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Old 03-02-2017, 10:49 PM   #1
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Mechanical assist for manual poptop?

I suspect this has been covered somewhere on this forum in the past but my search came up zip. If anyone has a link or knows the thread, please let me know.

So with a rack and solar panel and Yakima box on top full of landsailing sails and so forth, the weight adds up and come time to put up the top it sure is nice to have 2 people on board. But what about when I am alone? Has anyone come up with some clever ideas or mechanisms to help raise a manual penthouse top? Light weight and easy to store away, too, of course. Another alternative, besides exercising my lazy ass more, is to empty the Yakima box before attempting to raise the top, but it's also a pain.

Any suggestions or links?

Thanks!
Scott
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:05 PM   #2
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A bit of searching reveals no one has developed what you seek. Some options are out there, lacking in some of the requirements, but there is opportunity for someone to get rich I suspect.
Just need one of the engineers around here to go full time on this project.
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Makalu1 View Post
I suspect this has been covered somewhere on this forum in the past but my search came up zip. If anyone has a link or knows the thread, please let me know.

So with a rack and solar panel and Yakima box on top full of landsailing sails and so forth, the weight adds up and come time to put up the top it sure is nice to have 2 people on board. But what about when I am alone? Has anyone come up with some clever ideas or mechanisms to help raise a manual penthouse top? Light weight and easy to store away, too, of course. Another alternative, besides exercising my lazy ass more, is to empty the Yakima box before attempting to raise the top, but it's also a pain.

Any suggestions or links?

Thanks!
Scott

There are a few folks here with portable roof lift-assists.....SMB used to sell one.

On another note, have you adjusted your roof springs? That will help quite a bit if you have not.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:06 AM   #4
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A cheap ratcheting cargo bar is better than nothing but not ideal. I added one for a customer and found it pretty odd to use, but it did lift the top a foot or so where the spring tension took over. The problem with this idea is that a heavy load wants to shift to one side or the other and you'll all of a sudden see how much play is in an SMB top mechanism. Not pretty. It worked though. Don't poke a hole in your headliner. It can be done.

Also, your lifting method matters. It is totally awkward to me at 6'2" to lift an SMB top. I've tried different ways. The only way I can do it is to put the side of my head and shoulder on the roof and push, straining my neck muscles pretty good on a loaded top. I have had no other luck with alternative methods. YMMV.

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Old 03-03-2017, 09:03 AM   #5
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Aluminess has a nice air ram for lifting the tops. They don't have it on the website but I have personally seen it. I would give them a call or email.

Have a great day
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:24 AM   #6
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The aforementioned lift is on this page:
http://www.aluminess.com/accessories...r-accessories/

I have no personal experience with it, but was wondering the same...
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:33 PM   #7
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Aluminess has a nice air ram for lifting the tops. They don't have it on the website but I have personally seen it. I would give them a call or email.

Have a great day
It is located here Outdoor Accessories | Aluminess

You just have to scroll down past the trasharoo's
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:44 PM   #8
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Wow, Aluminess sure is proud of that lift, aren't they? $450, ouch! On the other hand I guess back surgery is a lot more expensive. I am 5'6" and have tried the side of the head and shoulder lift but can't get much distance out of it. Maybe I should try standing on a short stool, too. Currently my best option is to put a pad on top of my head and try to lift straight up using my head and arms. It kind of hurts to do it that way.

I will try adjusting the spring tension. I have not done it before. Are there any tricks or tips I should know?
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:06 AM   #9
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I thought this solution was pretty clever...

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...0-a-14940.html
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:30 AM   #10
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I thought this solution was pretty clever...

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...0-a-14940.html
Yep, I forgot about that one. Good stuff from LenS.

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