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Roof hoist

 
Old 10-03-2006, 06:45 AM
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Default Roof hoist

Ok, I promised someone on here I'd post some pics of my roof hoist (a couple of months back !). Finally got round to taking some and upload to my album here:

Roof hoist album

They seem to be in completely reverse order - apologies for that!

Its basically built from square section steel (25mm iirc) with various sections either bolted together or welded, as appropriate.

The main cross-piece is actually made of 2 sections - an 'outer' (25mm) section which is cut into two separate pieces about 2/3rds of the way across, and a slighty smaller 'inner' square section tube which fits snugly inside.

This 'inner' section is slightly shorter than the sum of the two 'outer' sections and is fixed (bolted) inside the longer of the two 'outer' pieces. The shorter 'outer' section then slides over the 'inner' section which extends from the other 'outer' section (see photo 79!).

This:

a) allowed me to adjust the width easily while I was prototyping

b) ensures the cross section is exceptionally strong - there's no bowing at all with the weight of the roof

c) enables me to take it apart easily (it simply slides apart) and fit it in the boot if necessary (I did the welding/building in a mates garage so this was handy!)

The 'arms' obviously pivot so as to easily allow me to drop it over the roof and then swing them under. One side I keep tighted (i.e fixed at 90 deg) - the other is slightly loose, just enough to allow me to 'open' and 'close' the arm thru/under the window opening (but not enough such that it swings loosely).

The spongey stuff is simply pipe lagging from B&Q - it comes in 2 sizes which fits the different sections of tube I've used just nice. Its cheap (bought in packs of 8 or 10) and is easy to cut with a sharp knife. Its also firm but compresses just enough to follow the curve of the roof where necessary. It simply slips over the tube and stys in place, though I suppose a few tie wraps would finish it off a little better (I'm just lazy!).

It takes < 30 secs to fix the hoist in place and takes very little 'positioning' - the length of the covered T-pieces which fit under the roof (which took some experimentation to get just right!) and the curverture of the roof means it just finds its own, correct position with little or no effort.

The difficult part of the build was finding the balance point - that was a bit of trial and error (and a huge dollop of luck - I got it right 2nd go).

Once the hoist is raised and I've tied it off securely, I attach 3 fixed safety ropes, one to each side and one to the front. As well as being a backup if the hoist rope (or my knot!) ever fails they also stop it from swinging around the center pulley fixture and keep the whole thing nice and stable.

The hoist had to be positioned slightly towards the rear of the garage to avoid the up-n-over door from fouling so with the roof in the hoist I park forwards in the garage, the roof suspended just forwards and above the windscreen. There's just enough clearance for the soft-stop to be raised lowered without fouling the bottom of the HT.

To fit / remove the HT I have to reverse 3/4 way into the garage - I've got the hang of this now but I usually leave the handbrake off so i can make any minor adjustment once I'm out of the car. I then raise/lower the HT with one hand on the HT to steady / adjust it, the other on the rope (wrapped round my hand a few times so it cant slip by accident!). Sounds a tad scary but I dont completely untie the rope so there's a some friction and its fairly easy to control safely.

Always intended to fit an electric winch, but never got round to it (or found one at the right price!). For how often I fit/remove the HT (2 or 3 times a year!) its hardly worth it.

Its been suspended from the roof for 2 years now - there arent any depression marks on the inside of the roof and the roof isn't distorted at all.


I personally detest the HT. Not had it on since last Jan. Just put in on today and took it around the block. Ok, it looks ok, but it feels like a blamange (IMHO).

I'm always (not very pleasantly!) suprised at how much having the HT affects braking distances (or is it just me?!). I'd have thought just having a passenger (without the HT on) would make the same difference, but it doesn't seem to...or at least I dont notice it!

Only put it on today cos going I gotta leave the S in a backstreet, not very well lit carpark tonight... It's coming off again when I get home!

Hope this is useful to someone!?

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Old 10-03-2006, 06:53 AM
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I'd have a backup bit of wire holding the main pulley to the beam which runs over the beam. Looks like a small screw in eyelet holding up the main pulley and hence your roof

Otherwise, top marks for inventiveness.

Looks like you have an opportunity for a driver extraction setup so save your doors in that tight garage too
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:59 AM
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Brill, great work.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:10 AM
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Good idea.

Those eyelets are deceiving from the pics though - they're actually quite large (diameter) and about 2.5 in long (nearly the depth of the joist!) - I had to drill pilot holes and then still had to use a steel bar thru the eye to screw them in all the way.

You cant bend them open with large pliers either - had to put them in the vice and use lots of force simply to twist one open enough to get the pully eye thru.

The pully itself is probably the weakest link!

There's actually another 'backup' rope (which I forgot to mention in the original post - doh) which attaches between the eyelet on the hoist and a separate eyelet in the side of the joist (see pic 51), basically in case the pully or center eyelet failed.

I've tested it with my weight (about 80kg, which i'm working hard on reducing ) and its absolutely solid. The HT weighs about half this I believe.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:26 AM
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You remind me of the Chinese kid from The Goonies.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:41 AM
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Smart...reminds me of this though


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Old 10-03-2006, 07:42 AM
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Heath Robinson watch out

Seriously - good job
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:45 AM
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....we might as well get the inevitable "Inspired by Klingon technology" jokes out the way...
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:38 AM
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Good work

I'd have one too, but then I'd need a garage to put it in
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mark laughton,Oct 3 2006, 05:45 PM


....we might as well get the inevitable "Inspired by Klingon technology" jokes out the way...
I thought I recognised the shape
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