• Sep 16th 2007 at 9:27AM
  • 20
I need this. My back isn't what it used to be, so when it's time to fiddle with the undercarriage, I start thinking wistfully about lifts or pits. It'd also make it easier to hang off the end of the breaker bar for those monster-torque suspension fasteners. Exhaust work? No more lying on your back, rust crispies falling into your mouth, embers from that bolt you're torching out ending up who knows where. Of course, it's always a plus to make sure there are no fluids in the car, or they'll remind you of their presence once you get the car on its side.

catalog is chock-full of tools that look awesome, and yet, I have no idea how to use them. Their Tilt-A-Car unit is pretty self-evident. It attaches with the lugs and one side has a radius. You pop your 3/8" driver drill on the lift screw, and it's bottoms up. This unit would have made repairing the rust-tastic rockers and rear quarters on my Volvo 245 a cinch. It's about half the price of a lift – not counting the installation cost, and it seems more useful on a fully assembled car than a rotisserie is.

Thanks for the tip, Keith!

[Source: bbgadgets]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      total PITA to remove the gasoline, oil, brake fluid, coolant. After a couple of uses the time and money wasted on the fluids would probably pay for a more normal home lift. Or just taking it to the mechanic
      • 8 Years Ago
      Whatever, I have a Dutch classic car magazine here from 1991 with the product review for this very product? Shows it with a SAAB 99 on the rack.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dan, if your back isn't what it used to be, at what point were you able to lift cars?
        • 8 Years Ago
        Ha! Leaning over a vehicle for extended periods is murder on your lower back. Getting underneath and working while lying on your back isn't so bad - unless it's during the dead of winter, as it usually is when I need to go below the car for something. That just sucks all your body heat out, even through multiple layers of insulated workwear.

        Lifts are nice - a garage must come first, though. Neither of which are in my future currently. Dang. Maybe i can get a job moonlighting at a hot rod shop?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "only the battery and vehicle fluids need to be removed."

      I guess I'm one step ahead since I have an Optima battery.

      But I'm not sure that tilting your A/C system like that is a hot idea. And removing your refrigerant is a bit of a chore. Any HVAC guys out there who can clarify?

      Cool idea. I'd like to see a vid of the car tilting process.
        • 8 Years Ago
        AC systems are completely sealed and revert to a gaseous state during operation, so I wouldn't have any concerns about this.
      • 8 Years Ago
      ONLY the fluids need to be removed? I don't think that removing gas, oil, rear axle lube (vents would leak) transmission fluid, motor oil and windshield washer fluid before replacing my muffler seems cost or time effective. It could make sense for body restoration work on Unibody vehicles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They've had this in Germany for 10+ years. However, the real answer is to find a company that installs lifts in dealerships. They replace them quite often and these companies refurbish and sell the used lifts for a fraction of what they cost, usually starting at around $500 to $1000. More expensive ones offer more features like dual controls or air and power on the lift.

      I've been quote $500 for an installed lift (looking at getting 3 for my workspace), so that's really the way to go.

        • 8 Years Ago
        Sorry! My response was to the following post by GTLLVR
        • 8 Years Ago
        You can by Hash pipes in a store. Being available doesn't mean you have to buy it. There is no ban on idiots.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Suspension components are designed for vertical or near vertical forces. Are they sufficient to support the car weight laterally?
        • 8 Years Ago
        I use an old mattress. Place at side of car. Roll car on it's side onto matress. Do work, roll back. No problem.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i already do that with my 1970's mini clubman...no fancy equimpment needed :D
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pictures from the NHRA race in Memphis, from the Ford Racing booth. Taken by me on my camera phone, so sorry for the so-so quality. Would of taken more pictures if I knew there would be an autoblog story about it.

      • 8 Years Ago
      That seems really pricey to me at over $1300!

      I bought an actual hydraulic lift for several hundred bucks less than that a few years back. You see I was underneath my wife's VW New Beetle, the rear on ramps, the front on jack stands when we had a small tremor. I have no idea how big it was, 3.0? 4.1? Who knows. My family did not even feel it inside the house, but me... underneath a car up on jack stands? Holy Sh*it... that car groaned, and swayed and I shot out from underneath it like a caterpillar being tortured by a kid with a magnifying glass! The idea of being crushed by a falling car terrified me into looking for a lift.

      I told the story on a Jaguar mailing list and a guy suggested a lift that he & his son had bought from Harbor Freight. It is a scissor lift, so exhaust work is out of the question as it lifts from underneath, but for oil changes, suspension work, etc? It is WONDERFUL. I even had a car up on one during a much bigger earthquake (a 5.4) and it didn't even budge. Gotta love that.

      Best of all, I bought it on sale, with a coupon, and it cost me around $800. Shipping added another $150, but all in it was under a grand.



        • 8 Years Ago
        I buy stuff from Harbor Freight. I don't think I'd EVER go under a car which was on a life from Harbor Freight.

        I'm buying tools from there because I don't need the pro version that is built to last 500 cycles before breaking when I'll only use it 5 times in my lifetime.

        But when the demise of the tool is likely to redefine the extent of my lifetime, I have to draw the line.
        • 8 Years Ago

        That HF lift is far safer than the ramps & jack stands I used before. It has a positive-locking safety mechanism that I engage any time I'm going under it. Seems a lot more sturdy than the tilting mechanism offered above, no?

      • 8 Years Ago
      Where can I get one of these?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I know the owner who original invented the car tilter.
        Contact me for more info:
        Ted Nolette
        Boston, MA
      • 8 Years Ago
      This obviously won't work for auto shops. All the crap inside (i.e. sodas) will spill all over and make a big mess.
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