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Bestop HOSS Hardtop Hoist Review

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Review of the Bestop HOSS Hardtop Hoist

Hello, neighbors. It's Brad here at etrailer. And today, we're taking a look and installing the Bestop HOSS Jeep hardtop hoist for your garage. And this is gonna make it really nice to be able to take the top off of your Jeep and have a place to store it. And when you get it back on, you don't even need an extra set of hands to be able to do it. Now, we're here with Stacy, and we just installed the HOSS hoist system in their garage.

And now, they can start using the Jeep without the top. So tell me a little bit about your Jeep and how long you've owned it. This is my third summer having my Jeep. I always just take the front top off and my side doors. I've never had the Jeep totally everything off because I can never do that by myself.

So I'm very, very excited that now I can enjoy the sunshine, everything off the Jeep and ride without any problems, and I can take care of it all by myself. So if you didn't have the hoist, where would you store this when it would be offOh, my goodness. That would probably create another problem if I didn't have the hoist. So now, I can just hoist it up, and I don't have to worry about a storage place or having space because that was another initial problem. I didn't know where we could put the top after it came off.

Wonderful. Well, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you for your work.

Appreciate it. Jeeps are kind of a unique vehicle in the fact that they are off-road machines that are highly customizable and you can really drive around with no doors on which any other car people would look at you a little bit differently. And the great part about Jeeps too is be able to take the tops off. And a lot of my friends have had soft tops. You could roll 'em back. No problem. And when I asked my friends with the hardtops, "Well, have you ever taken it off" And they said, "I don't have a place to store it, "and it's hard to do by myself." Well, this is a solution to fix both of those things. That is a large hardtop, and it's fiberglass so it's not super heavy. But one person to carry that and move it around is kind of a pain to do and really finding a spot in your garage to put it. It's practically half the size of a car. So if you can move it up and out of the way and also have it available to lower it back on when those colder months come around, it's a really great option. It's going to not only gain you space but also just ease of being able to go fully topless in your Jeep. What I really like is how easy it is to operate. You just simply turn the key to the on position. Raise or lower as necessary. And the great part as it's suspended is one person can kind of move it around as it lowers down, being able to get this on the Jeep for when you do need to reinstall it. Another great feature is the key that's on this panel. If you don't want your kids raising and lowering the hardtop of your Jeep, you can simply lock it, pull that key out, and it's not gonna move. Now, at this point, when you're ready to reinstall the top, it's gonna be pretty easy to just simply take the wing nuts off of our bracket here. And that's actually the factory mounting point for the hole to tighten this all down. So it just loosens, you can lift this up, pop it out. And then, put your hardtop on, bolt it down, and you're back to having your top on. And then, when those warmer months come around and you're ready to take the hardtop off, you're simply just gonna put those brackets back in place once you take your hardware off. And then, you can attach those, put it back up, and it's gonna be stored safely. Now, the winch does move pretty quick, but the great thing is you don't have to worry about raising it up too high and causing damage or burning up the motor because there is a safety switch. So as I raise up, it'll hit that pin, stopping it. Now with the Jeep out of the way, you can see I can still gain access to the things that I need to, including the doors of the Jeep. But you can still use your garage. As I said, I'm six foot, and I can walk around here with no problems. I don't worry about hitting my head on it. So that's really nice because otherwise, that's a big piece of real estate to have to find a spot for. So using a spot that normally is kind of unusable by raising it up is kind of twofold. It gains you space, it makes it easier to load, and you can still use your garage. Not a bad choice. Now, this system is designed to work for ceilings that are gonna be nine foot minimum. So if you have anything shorter than that, unfortunately, it's just not really gonna raise it up enough to get this out of the way. But you can go up to 15 foot, so your applications are pretty wide there. Now, also with applications, this is gonna work for your JLs, your JKs, as well as your Gladiators and you're Unlimiteds. So if you have a hardtop and a relatively new Jeep, this is gonna work great for you. Now, this real-life application is a 10-foot ceiling, and this Jeep has slightly larger tires. I think they're about a 33, nothing too crazy, but kinda standard that you see on a lot of Jeeps these days. And the main thing that when you're backing into place, you do wanna make sure that the clearance over the third brake light is gonna be that lowest point. Because this is gonna kinda slide over as long as you back it in, in place. But having six inches of lift over the Jeep's roll bar here is really nice because you can go right under it. You don't have to worry about clipping the corners of it or anything like that. So again, this is kind of a 10-foot application. But if you have nine-foot ceilings, this is gonna drop down lower than the roll bar, potentially, if you have larger tires. So you are gonna have to back inside of it, which is just something to keep in mind if that is your ceiling height. Also, kinda having a designated spot once you have your hard top dialed in on the hoist is marking the spot on the floor. That way, when you back in, you know exactly where you need to be. And that way, you can guide that top onto it nice and easy. I'm really impressed with the kit in itself as far as the installation and how it works. But really, a lot of it comes down to they've supplied you with a lot of the tools you need to get this done. And you could probably knock this out in about two hours. One person can do it. You're gonna be on a ladder, so make sure you have one that's high enough to reach to your ceiling. Also, power tool-wise, they do include a nice drill bit as well as a hole saw and a socket to get your lag bolts in and make some of those holes. But having a drill, I highly recommend a half-inch impact if you can or a half-inch large ratchet would definitely help. Those lag bolts can be a little bit tricky, and you're gonna have to fight 'em, so impact makes it a lot easier. But overall, pretty easy installation. And we're gonna take a look at that now, so you can get yours installed. Now, one of the first things we're gonna wanna do before actually doing any portion of the install is setting it up to make sure that we have an open place to put this and still have room for our top to go up. So checking to make sure for any obstructions, including your garage door opener or the tracks or the door itself, even when it's open, as well as shelving around. And you're gonna want a three-foot-by-four-foot spot, and that's gonna allow room for this top to go up. And you're also gonna want to try to stay about three foot away from each wall just to make sure that you have that clearance. Now, something else to take in consideration is the power cord for the winch itself is gonna be about five feet long, and you're gonna want to find an outlet that you can reach. And normally, on your garage door opener, you're gonna have an outlet mounted up there with an open one. So we're gonna try to use that. And that can also kinda determine how you mount it up because you need that power outlet. You kinda wanna see if any of those different orientations in the instruction manual will work best for you. And you're gonna have two different options. It's gonna be really based on your joist, if they run perpendicular or parallel. So you're gonna wanna figure that out, either using a stud finder or if it's kinda like this, you can actually see where it's been patched. You can see the way that they run, but you do wanna double-check just to make sure. And before we put hardware up, we're gonna be checking for that. So we've gone ahead and chosen to do option D just because that gives us the clearance that we need for our power cable, and it also centers it up really nicely. So what I've done is also mark out on the floor where we have our Jeep parked right now. That way, when we get it in place, we kinda have a reference mark to move it back and try to center it up. So I'm gonna get the Jeep moved out, and we'll start the installation. So next, you're gonna wanna grab your mounting plate. And you'll see there's some studs that are on here. This is where the motor's gonna mount up. And there's actually holes for 16-inch studs as well as 24. So depending on what you have, you'll use those accordingly. Now, we have 16-inch, so we'll go ahead and make sure that you have those studs where you, the side that you want the motor based on the orientation that you've picked. And I'm gonna go ahead and just kinda mark these out. I'm using the nail pop that I see here that's been patched. So that gives me a pretty good indication that's a stud. But before I actually make any holes, I'll make sure to go back with my stud finder and give it a look. But I'm gonna make some reference marks here. And then, since we're 16-inch, I'm gonna go ahead and mark these as well. Now, I've made my marks, and I realize that one of my marks is actually going right exactly where a screw is. And that's obviously not gonna work very well for the lag bolt. So I'm gonna move it back a little bit. And also, you're gonna wanna make sure this is nice and flush with the wall. But really, not all walls are perfectly squared up. So you wanna get it at least close enough to where it's even and not gonna be crooked. So what I'm gonna do is measure from our tape line back just to get our first reference. And then, I can kinda line those, make our holes, and that's gonna give me room to miss this screw as well. So just using our tape line here, I'm gonna go right at about 10 inches. So I'll make my marks. Now, it's easy to assume that we have these all on a stud. But these lag bolts are pretty long, and if you run 'em up and they just hit the corner of it and kinda poke out, structurally, it's not gonna do a great job of holding it up. You really wanna hit the center of the joist, so it has that bite and it's really gonna have that nice, firm hold that you want while your top is suspended. So they suggest actually using the bit that comes in the kit, the little hole saw bit, and kinda drilling those out. And you can see the width of the joist. Just try to hit that center. You can also use a utility knife to cut these out. Generally, I'd never really done that, but I get the point of trying to find that center. But really, a good option too is also using your stud finder. And that should get you pretty close. And so we are getting our stud right there as it aligns exactly where we drew it. So that's a good sign. But I'm gonna drill these out, just make sure that we are hitting solid wood right where we're gonna put our lag bolts. So now that it doesn't poke through the drywall, I know that it's hit wood. I might kind of just enlarge this hole as a oval. And that way, I can see the whole width of the joist, and we can really get dead center on it. Now, this is gonna be covered by the plate. So if it does look like a large hole, it's not gonna be unsightly because it should be covered. So I'm gonna go ahead, enlarge these out, and then we can start getting ready to put our mounting plate up. So using our hole saw bit, it's kinda nice you can actually go kinda the width of it, and it'll kinda cut out those sections of the drywall to see the whole width. So now, we just need to take the drill bit that's included. It's an eighth of an inch, and we're gonna find the center point of our joist and just make a pilot hole. This is gonna help us to get our lag bolts in. And just once they're kinda started in this pilot hole, it's gonna be easier to zip them up and have a straight line. They're not gonna go in crooked. So now, you're gonna wanna grab six of your lag bolts, your mounting plate, as well as the socket that's included in the kit. And this is gonna be a half-inch drive, so you might need a half-inch ratchet. I'm using a half-inch impact to kinda drive 'em in. It is a 13-millimeter, so if you don't have a half-inch but you have a 13-millimeter socket, you can use that at home to get these mounted up. So again, make sure that the studs are exactly where you want the motor to be based on your orientation. And then, I'm just gonna kinda put one of these in to hold it in place. And then, I can put one on the other side just to hold it up while we get the rest of the hardware up. This one's slotted. So it may, it's kinda nice, it allows you to adjust to make sure you're on that perfect center. But again, try to find that pilot hole. So I've gone ahead and I got my two corners just to kinda hold that up. And now that it's mocked up, I've measured just to make sure I'm still squared up. I'm gonna go ahead and get the rest of our lag bolts installed and nice and tight. So we want this cinched flush against the drywall. So now, you're gonna wanna grab your motor as well as some flange nuts that come in the kit, and we're gonna get this mounted up. And I think it makes it a little bit easier. Just get these hand-threaded on. And that way, you can slide the motor on. It's better than having to hold the motor in place and then tighten these on. So just leave a big gap there. And then, you can see the tabs here. These are just gonna slide on it. Now, as far as orientation of the motor, it's gonna be obviously important that you set it up. That arm is gonna attach to this portion, so you wanna make sure whichever orientation you're using that you're matching the motor accordingly. So I'll just raise this up in place. I might actually have to take this one off where this mounting bracket is, but the other ones line up. And we'll at least have three of 'em holding. Just kinda place this up, slide it over, and then we can tighten these down with a wrench or whatever. But what's kinda nice is the socket that comes with it in the kit is a 13 and these are a 13, so we can get these tightened up. Now, with the motor mounted up, this is a good time to also check to make sure that your power cable does reach your plug. 'Cause if it doesn't, you're probably gonna have to move it. But since we've planned that out accordingly, we can go ahead and get this plugged in. So now, at this point, you're gonna wanna grab this channel. And this is where our pulley arm is attached to kinda spread out the cables that are gonna pull our top up. And you'll see this pin here. That's gonna be nice to align this. And what we're gonna be wanting to do, if you are running in a parallel orientation, you're gonna want to find the exact points where we think we have the studs. Again, you'll wanna check those before, maybe make some marks. And then, we're gonna just mark those, kinda drill 'em out like we did before and make sure we're in the center of the stud. And then, what we're gonna do is take a lag bolt, run it through before and after the pulley just for support. And again, make sure you're lined up in here. Now, something else that we do have is a small nut, and that's gonna thread on the bolt here just to hold that channel in place. So that's gonna kinda keep it nice and upright as we put our lag bolts in. So I've gone ahead and plugged it in, and we have our key that's included. Whoop. Go ahead and test this out, make sure that's working. And we're gonna need to lower it to get our straps on anyway, so before i mount these up and get the wires all cleaned up, we can go ahead give it a test run. So just kinda getting ourselves set up as well. One of your straps is gonna be longer than the other, and that is gonna be the one that runs out the arm through that pulley. So you can go ahead drape that. The other one you're gonna want in this mechanism. And the reason being is once this pulls up high enough, this will kick this sensor. And that way, it can't be over-lifted. Now, running of the wires is gonna be kinda dependent on the way that your garage is laid out. But again, try to make sure you have a nice, clean path before mounting. And just using these plastic wire holders, you pretty much just snap it around the wire and then run your screws in. And if you can hit studs, awesome, that's gonna hold it in really well, but there's also drywall anchors included. So you can use those as well. So make a nice, clean path, whatever works best for you. And really, it comes down to where you wanna mount the module to raise and lower. As far as mounting up your module box, I used drywall anchor behind here, the large screw-in ones, made it nice and easy. And then, using the black screws in the kit, just mounted those into the drywall anchors. And now, it's nice and secure. So now, we need to just mount up our hooks on our straps. So I'm gonna go ahead and lower this down and get it in a position where we can attach those. We're gonna first start with the strap that is running down in that loop there. It should be the shorter one. And what we're gonna do is feed our stopper plate in. And as I mentioned earlier, we have that little bar and as that pushes it up, it stops the motor while this is gonna make sure that it has a nice contact patch there. So we'll put our plate. We're then gonna put our spring and just slide that in. And then, grabbing your hook here and cotter pin as well as our pin here, we're gonna go ahead and just put it in just the top pole for now. You can eventually adjust your height later on, but probably need to have the top attached to it before we do that. So we'll just put it in like that. So I've gone ahead and attached our back hook with our cotter pin. And it does not have our little block here or stopper plate. And you're gonna wanna check and see if they're level or not. And we can tell that this one droops a little bit lower. So that's where this comes into play. We can actually adjust the height by just pulling this out and then pulling our strap down a little bit lower. So I'm gonna kinda just play around with it until we get this perfectly level. So I've kind of just gone ahead and adjusted these. And you can take a tape measure and just measure from the bottom of the hook and go to the ground. And that should pretty much make it easy to let you know if it's level or not. So the next step we need to do is get our hooks in place on the Jeep top. So I'm gonna raise this up, get it outta the way, get our Jeep in, and get those hooks mounted up. So as I go up, I'm gonna test to make sure our stopper's working. And just like that, it stops it automatically. And that way, it's not burning up the motor, causing damage to the straps. So we have our Jeep backed in place exactly where we want it, and we have all of our hardware taken off so the top is loose. So we need to get our hooks in place. And this is going to fit where our original Torx bits came out for the top to mount up. Now, something I've realized, though, is when I lift this up and put it in place, we do have a little bit of a clearance issue. So we have our bumper sitting there, and I've taken off our hardware. And this stud is where the rest of our wing nut and washers need to go to bolt this in. So I've actually had to trim off quite a bit from our previous ones. And the bolt is it's still encoded with that rubber pretty far down. So if you cut off about a quarter of an inch, that should allow you to get enough threads to get this tightened up. So I'm gonna go ahead and trim this one up. And then, we'll get it reinstalled. Now, you're gonna wanna double-check your fitment on your Jeep. Potentially, it could be different from trim to trim. But it doesn't seem like the threads here are that long. In the instructions, it actually looks a little bit different than this. So maybe a changed design has caused some issue, but you might wanna just take a look at yours, see how much you need to trim off. But again, you wanna make sure you have enough for your washers and your wing nut to be able to tighten down. 'Cause this is really what's structurally holding this onto the hoist. So I went around it with a utility knife and made a nice, clean cut here. So again, this is just gonna give us that little bit of extra space for everything to slide on there before tightening it up. So I'm gonna go ahead and do this to all my bumpers. And that way, we have that clearance. So with that trim, now I can raise this up. My rubber is gonna be nice to protect the body of the Jeep as we slide this through. And this channel, the little back part of it should slide kinda right in this area. It might be hard to see, but once we tighten this up, should be a nice, clean fit here. So we'll put our big washer, and then our little washer, and then our wing nut to finish it up. So this creates a solid mounting point for our hoist straps to be able to pull this up. So we'll go ahead and get one in each corner of the top and just get those all tightened down. So now, you're gonna wanna grab your cam buckle straps here. And we're gonna take our carabiner and loosen this up. And I'm gonna put the end that's furthest away from the cam buckle. That way, we can strap it from up top. So just go ahead and make this connection here. And then, I'll just run this up to my hook. I'm gonna leave a little bit of extra slack here 'cause I'm gonna run this over to the other side as well. So I'll repeat this on that side. And then, we'll go to the other side and attach to the hook there as well as this hook, and that's gonna create our cradle. Now, before we raise it up and get some of the slack out, you're gonna wanna make sure that you have your electrical connections also taken apart. That way, you're not pulling those as we go up with the lift. But now that I have both sides attached to the carabiners as well as the hooks, I can go ahead bump it up, get some of that. I can tighten this up, get a little more slack, and then we can adjust it with the cam buckle straps to kinda get it evened out. So I'm just gonna go ahead and get the slack out of those top straps and we can start to see kinda where it's balanced out at. So I'm gonna go ahead and just pull my cam buckles tighter. And that way, we have a lot of clearance to be able to pull this up. Kinda even it out on both sides. Then, once you get your cam buckles tightened down, you're gonna want to slowly lift up. And it might be helpful to have an extra set of hands to kinda just balance it up as it goes for at least the first time until you get it fine-tuned. Now, we've gone ahead and moved the Jeep out, and we've lowered this down to the ground to fine-tune our adjustments. And really, once you've gone and get this set for that Jeep, it should be ready for the next time. And the way we did that was brought both of our straps to the center. And we wanted both of our D rings to kinda meet there, then tighten it down to where you just had enough slack to be able to hook onto here. Now, also, make sure that your hooks are still level. But once you make that connection, that should keep it nice and tight as it pulls. And you might need to tighten it up more, just kinda go up and down a few times, raise it up all the way, and see if you can gain a little bit more clearance. It's kinda up to you. But we're gonna go ahead raise this up and see how it looks. Now, if you notice that it's leaning to one side or the other, this is a good time to adjust it. So I have it slightly elevated off the ground here, so I can kinda lift one side, pull a little extra tension, and then we can kinda iron out those inconsistencies. Now, it's not gonna take a whole lot here. As you can tell, it's kinda relying on the whole balance of all of 'em. But overall, it's already pretty good. They're all pretty even. And the main thing is to get more roof clearance, you really want these nice and tight. So now, let's go up and check our fit against the ceiling. Now, with everything fine-tuned, we're ready to take our Jeep out without a top on it. And whenever we are ready to put it back in place, it's gonna be simple to just back this up and being able to control that and just lightly guide it on. These rubber bumpers are gonna be nice. It's not gonna scratch the body. It's gonna be nice and easy. You're not really even gonna break a sweat trying to get this back on. So it's really nice. I'm six foot, and as you can tell, that's plenty of clearance here. I can still get the things on the shelf, and if you actually need to get more up there, you can always lower it down. And these bumpers also serve as a nice place to rest on the ground without scratching your top. And that was a look and installation of the Bestop HOSS hardtop Jeep hoist..

Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Bradley B
Installed by:
Bradley B

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