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Thread: Rotisserie Build Thread

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    Default Rotisserie Build Thread

    Posted this on another Z forum. Basically what I did tonight.

    I thought I would share what I consider to be a unique twist on the rotisserie. Basically, I started with two engine stands, the four wheel kind. I decided I wanted to be able to pull the car around my garage any direction and wanted heavy duty casters. So I said to hell with it -- I have a welder, so why not? I wanted the option to be able to work on the vehicle's interior while on the rotisserie. As in actually climb inside to an extent without risking it tipping over. And so this idea was born. I would widen the front beam of each engine stand and probably add length to the main vertical engine support to allow complete, 360 degree rotation (yes, I pass AWS certified bend tests for butt-end welds).


    I chopped off the metal casters and non rotating wheels, lengthened the front bar, and welded on the new 330lb caster (engine stand each rated for 1000).

    I'm in to it:

    $30 orange engine stand
    $35 engine stand
    $100 even (WITH TAX, lol!) 1.5 x 3 x 1/8 inch tube, 2 x 2 x 1/8 inch tube, 3/16 flat stock 18 x 18 inch, 22 ga CR steel sheet for body work.
    $50 in casters

    First off is to get rid of these.
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    Here is what I started with if you imagine it under the forward support, lol.
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    Here is what I got.
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    Cheap HF casters. $6 each
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    I should have used my stick welder instead of my cheap $90 HF mig. But not bad welds for a harbor freight tool with no bottle setup.
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    Garage is a mess... :-/
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  2. #2
    Registered User grannyknot's Avatar
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    Zohan, when you get ready to put the car up make sure you mount the tie bar (the piece joining the two engine stands)
    as low as possible. Most engine stands don't have enough clearance to allow the car spin 180*, a low tie bar will help.
    Chris
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Couple of things to know. You will need the center point of the rotation to be at least 42" high with the the spreader bar that connects each end having 1" of clearance from the floor, if you are using a spreader bar. Otherwise you will not be able to rotate 360 degrees. I find that if you exercise the amount of overkill that I did building the end brackets and fastening them securely, you don't even need a spreader bar but I had left mine on just to be safe with the amount of structural strength I had removed from the shell while replacing the floors, rocker, etc. I wasn't sure how much twist or flex would occur. The pic of the rear end bracket was taken before welding on the through floor pieces (overkill).
    I got lucky and got an old freebee cart that had good wheels on it and just used that for a base, then cut it in half to create each end.
    When I had built mine, I bought 3 cheap engine stands. The metal from the 3rd gave me the material needed to raise each end and build the tie bar. They were not the angled head variety which simplified things as well. Total cost was less than $175. and a solid two days before my son and I lifted the shell up by hand with the brackets bolted to the shell and slipped the brackets into the receivers.
    I hope you are getting enough penetration with that flux core wire welder.
    Just sharing how I did it, I'm aware there is more than one way to skin a cat, so carry on and good luck!
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    The biggest tip I have is about getting the car up there. The first time I put mine up, I jacked it up, put wood under the jackstands, put wood under the jack, jacked it further, wood under the jackstands, etc. It's nerve wracking and I think I almost dropped my car once or twice. A MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH better way to do it is to get 2 engine hoists and two load levelers. Hook one to the front frame attachment and one to the rear. You can level the car with the load levelers and the cherry pickers can lift a shell 5 feet with no problems at all.

    The other thing is to offset the ends so that the car isn't top heavy. My pivots were offset 3.5" down, and that worked pretty well for a 240 shell. When I put the cage in, it got top heavy, and when the suspension went on, it was bottom heavy, but never so much that I couldn't muscle it around, and I'm not super strong by any stretch.
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    Jon

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    Thanks for the tips guys! First off, I am actually welding on extensions to raise the car high enough to go 360. I had already thought about getting it around, so I went ahead and measures the car. It was 68 inches wide at the fender wells, so I split that to 34 at the bottom of the rotating rod, then added 2 inches. In total there should be at least 2.5 inches of space between the car and the front tube of the engine stand. Since the engine stand is 3.5 inches off the ground with the larger casters, this brings the center of rotation for the entire car up to 2.5" + 34" + 3.5" = 40".

    I'm not going to use a spreader bar. The rotisserie should be pretty over engineered and I'll be adding slide in "lockout" bolts which prevent the rotating pad of the engine stand from sliding out if I were to pull on the car from the front. Think about the handles use to rotate the engine stand. It's basically this, but a locking pin/blot that goes all the way through. The last thing I want is to pull on the front end of the rotisserie and the rear slides out from the stand and the car falls. It's just an extra safety.

    Geezer: I do believe I have enough penetration on the metal. I'm at 80 amps and I take my time. I'm not too worried about it. Would love a bottle setup. I could haul my 220v arc welder out, but that would just be way overkill on 1/8. Besides, what wire welder can't handle 1/8? Lol.

    Jmortensen: Haha! That sounds so sketchy! I plan to raise the car up with the hoist one end at a time and bolt the plate on loosely. I plan to make the adapter plate (so I can still use the stand for engines later) with two elongated holes so the car can be bolted up even at an angle. Probably will double nut the preliminary bolts to handle the load. Then do the rear and tighten the bolts. Add the 2-4 remaining bolts and it's good to go.

    Here are some more pictures:

    I had to correct the angle to be straight, like the other engine stand. This one is tilted back to reduce load with an engine on it. Meh... Fixed that...
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    Solid weld, then I strayed off course on accident.
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    Started on the second stand.
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    And...pulled the engine. Any takers? :P
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    Default Nice Mountain bike

    Johan:

    Is that a Bullit in the background? It's funny the guy I bought my z from was also a cyclist. Sometimes the stuff in the background is as interesting as the car.
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    The bike is a 4 link. Bullit's have a single pivot.
    Jon

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    Ehhhh.... Sorry JM, the bike is a Bullit. One of the best handling downhill bikes I've ridden. Needs new rims. Apparently 7 foot drops onto pavement don't play well with stock rims.. Have a nice pair of sun rims going on for the spring. The move down here kinda beat it up in the truck. Man I road that bike like a bat outta hell up until a year ago. That's spring break's project.

    But agreed, pics in the background are as interesting as the main subjects themselves.

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    Is this the twilight zone?!? I don't want to tell you what is in your garage, but it says Ellsworth on it. Bullits are made by Santa Cruz and have single pivots.

    Bullit:


    Ellsworth:
    Last edited by jmortensen; 01-29-2013 at 12:11 PM.
    Jon

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    I have an old solid frame Tech. for off road and a Rossin SLX w Campy road bike.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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    JM:

    Zohan's the original poster. I asked him if his bike was a Bullit (which it is). The picture with the Ellsworth is my garage. You are correct it is a 4 link but an Epiphany not a Dare.

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    Ah... oops. XD
    Jon

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    ! I just figured it out, too. No worries. I'll have pics of the car on the rotisserie this weekend.

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    Alright, finished up the build. Pretty excited how it turned out.


    Drilled holes for attaching to the bumper mounts.

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    Here is the front stand with the bar attached for testing.
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    The 3/16" plate has to endure 800 pounds of torsion and shear stress. I wish I would have overrated to 1/4", but the solid bead all around should hold it pretty darn good.
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    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Garage is such a mess I can hardly stand it (I'm a little OCD). Oh yeah....and the car rear is up. Lol, I didn't extend the hoist legs enough (because the engine stand and hoist wouldn't fit there together), and I had to stand on the hoist to keep it from tipping over with the car on it.
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    A rear-end view...
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    A close up (errr....). Notice the stand vertical bar looks bent inward, but in fact the top half I welded on is straight up and down. The bottom half is bent back for better balance with an engine on.
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    $17 worth of mounting hardware... Worth it for the strength.
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    The perils which the hoist and operator hath endured whilst raising the fore of the vehicle shall not be mentioned. But yes, that is a car battery helping to weigh down the hoist, lol. The problem is the hoist legs don't fit under the car with the stand legs... Since the stand can't really move, the hoist has to. :P
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    Mildly sketchy, lol.
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    Last edited by ZohanIsBack; 02-03-2013 at 10:34 PM.

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    The results!

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    Looks like you've got plenty of height there. Congratulations on getting it done. Now you can show EVERY person that walks though the door and bathe in the sound of the stunned WTF's that result.
    Jon

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by jmortensen View Post
    Looks like you've got plenty of height there. Congratulations on getting it done. Now you can show EVERY person that walks though the door and bathe in the sound of the stunned WTF's that result.
    Yeah, ask them if they want to go for a spin!

    Alright, good stuff, glad to see it finished. Looks great!
    You can drill more holes through the heads to create more stop positions.

    I find it easy to just drop the entire rear assembly from the car, leaving the front intact with wheels/tires. Then 2 guys can get the rear of the car up without a hoist. Once the rear is mounted on the rotisserie, the front is even easier but I guess thats only good if your intentions are to immediately completely tear it down.
    Last edited by geezer; 02-04-2013 at 09:07 AM.

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    Lol! Thanks guys! Yeah, more holes would be good for rotation, but I have 8, so that's a start. I don't want to eat metal away from the head too much. :P As far as the offset jmortensen mentioned, I forgot to do it, and so the car is a little top heavy, but nothing that can't be handled. When the suspension is pulled off, I will probably support each end with the hoist and turn the plates sideways/drill new holes for mounting to better balance it.

    And yeah, the rear assembly is coming off, I just realize I could turn the car sideways and unbolt the rear end components piece by piece with a buddy and lift them off together, rather than groveling under the car. :P

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    Steve Parmley had another solution to that. He attached a post and added barbell weights to it to balance it out so that he never has to fight the weight. Just change the weight as needed.

    Take your doors and hatch off too, before you spin it with something not totally latched shut...
    Jon

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    That is a fantastic idea... I even have a few hundred pounds worth of weights. On future cars, it could be used to balance their load as well. I like it.

    Yeah, the doors need to come off, they are tied shut right now. Lol, was too eager to get it on the rotisserie.

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