Date registered: Aug 2008
Vehicle: 2008 E320 Bluetec, 1988 560SL totalled unto death). 1997 Dodge Ram 1500, 1983 300CD
Location: Greater Metropolitan Beaverdam, Virginia
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 152 Post(s)
There are volumes written on this topic.
Basically, any brake-type winch and cable over an overhead pulley will do to remove. The top should be steadied while removing to prevent swing and contact with your painted parts.
In my case, I ran a cable harness through large diameter plastic pipe and slipped it through the windows to lift. Steadying straps run to front and rear of the top. Can't store it that way because of long term damage to the weather stripping but it is good enough to lift, drive the car from underneath, then set down on the storage cradle.
The top only weighs about 90 pounds so you don't need anything too heavy duty. I recommend a manual winch for finer control when replacing the hard top.