Look up the top removal procedure. If it does not open easily, you're doing something wrong-don't force it! I found 2 different top removals for the "same model". Also, if you can set all 4 corners up about 6-8" (on blocks,eg.) it would be a very easy installation. You cannot replace the rods with the machine sitting on the floor, I had to tip forward/rearward for the rods to clear... made it a little difficult since the top was wanting to move around (and too stubborn to ask the wife for a hand). If I had to do it again... less than 10 minutes, no problem.