Hi MLC, and to all out there with this system, FrobyPuP here. I have spent much time rebuilding our IDT system over the last year and a half. I know seems long but a little at a time was all I could commit to during summer months, and my biggest chore was redesigning the cranking setup to try to reduce the extreme difficulty to lift the roof. So, in I guess answer to all I believe the lifting will always be severe, the IDT rebuild I did last year was a new spring, only one was kinked/chipped, new plastic guides, and two new gears. Also, my left hand bolt in brake system had broken too, simple I believe because of the sheer for needed to lift top. All reassembled last year, and began work on setting up a sound, stable, better geared crank. I shorted the existing chain, purchased a larger capacity toothed gear (32), and laid the system down horizontally with two pillow block bearings hold a 12 inch solid shaft that a friend welded a 1"nut onto the end, so I could us my existing crank that he also welded a socket onto to make my system very usable. Point! I was finally able to lift my roof last weekend, and it is still as heavy as ever. I believe this system is just inherently hard to crank. Pictures of project will soon be attached.