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Transmission/Pit Jack



arandall
10-21-2009, 02:36 PM
So here are some photos of my latest "Rube Goldberrg" multi-purpose welding table/rolling pit seat/jack platform.
I have a 35ft long pit in my shop with a flange built in around its edges which comes is handy for some of my car projects. I am in the process of swapping the auto trans in my old Thunderbird out for a 5-speed (I hate automatics in a project car), and seeing that I'm getting to be an old geezer, decided to make my life a little easier by fabricating a rolling jack that would allow me to mount the transmission on it over the pit, lower it enough to roll it under the car, then jack it up high enough to roll the trans input shaft into and through the clutch disc/pressure plate/flywheel etc. and bolt it up to the bellhousing.
Being of a devious mind, I also figured I could make the affair serve more than one function, so it's now my - rolling welding table, rolling pit jack, rolling pit seat, etc.
Attached are the pictures. One shows it out of the pit as a welding table, one in the pit empty, one in the pit as a rolling seat, one with the jack on it, and one raised with the transmission on it. The jack base can be moved to a number of different heights, for different applications.
Another one of Arty's follies.

Cheers,
Art R.

Gadget
10-21-2009, 03:44 PM
Better be careful Art, that thing is so handy your wife may figure out a way to use it to replace YOU. ;-) ;-)
Nice work though, looks like that will be a handy device.

matteh99
10-21-2009, 03:56 PM
That is great. Talk about a multi purpose unit. It looks very well thought out.

Eric

ksmeggy
10-21-2009, 08:52 PM
Nice work.

Those pits are unfortunately illegal here, following I believe some accident where someone did oil changes for years by just pulling the plug on whatever, and then decided to weld a frame in the same pit.

Not a nice way to go, I gather.

KHK
10-21-2009, 09:30 PM
Good idea. Thanks for sharing

BearNPum
10-21-2009, 10:26 PM
A multi-tasker. Alton Brown would be impressed. Nice job.

arandall
10-21-2009, 10:57 PM
Nice work.

Those pits are unfortunately illegal here, following I believe some accident where someone did oil changes for years by just pulling the plug on whatever, and then decided to weld a frame in the same pit.

Not a nice way to go, I gather.

Ksmeggy:
Yeah - I understand. I wasn't able to get a permit for my shop until I agreed to put in a "oil separator" below the pit floor to trap any oil that might have accumulated down there, along with the water from washing my vehicles, snow ;melt etc.. - Believe me, I would never just drain my oil into the sewer, but I didn't blame the city administration for their position, and installed it. I also had to prove to them that the pit was going to be longer than any vehicle that was going to be parked over it (I'm guessing so that you couldn't get trapped in it). Additionally, I had to change the name on the building blueprints from "workshop" to "garage" as proof I wasn't intending to conduct a business out of it. Once I showed I was willing to conform, they issued my permit, and were actually quite co-operative with me. I understand they have reasons for most of their rules.

Cheers,
Art R.

ksmeggy
10-22-2009, 08:22 AM
Ksmeggy:
Yeah - I understand. I wasn't able to get a permit for my shop until I agreed to put in a "oil separator" below the pit floor to trap any oil that might have accumulated down there, along with the water from washing my vehicles, snow ;melt etc.. - Believe me, I would never just drain my oil into the sewer, but I didn't blame the city administration for their position, and installed it. I also had to prove to them that the pit was going to be longer than any vehicle that was going to be parked over it (I'm guessing so that you couldn't get trapped in it). Additionally, I had to change the name on the building blueprints from "workshop" to "garage" as proof I wasn't intending to conduct a business out of it. Once I showed I was willing to conform, they issued my permit, and were actually quite co-operative with me. I understand they have reasons for most of their rules.

Cheers,
Art R.

Ah! I wondered why the pit was so long. They're very handy, I really wish I could have built one into my garage. As it is, I had to go 50/50 with a friend who has a 12' garage, and buy an electric lift. But frankly, I think the pits are safer than a poorly-maintained, saved from the scrap-heap electric lift (2 of the 4 post safety-brakes are missing or non-operational).

vault
10-22-2009, 10:53 AM
That is awsome great job getting several uses out of that project.

arandall
10-22-2009, 11:33 AM
Ksmeggy:
The pit is handy - but a lift would be nice too. I decided to go with the pit for a couple of reasons - I found that with a lift, sometimes the parts of the lift actually holding the car up got in the way of what I was working on (Murphy's Law), and also, I wanted to be able to service two cars at once - one, likely parked over the pit long term (a project car), and the other the daily driver, for oil changes, lube, and general maintenance. That's why it's so long. I also didn't want the pit taking up valuable floor space when not in use, so I built it with the flange you an see in the pictures around the edge to allow me to install a cover over 1/2 of it which you can drive over. That allows me to slide the cover in sections, from one end of the pit to the other, so I can work on either car, while having the pit safely covered at the other end of the garage. - another "Rube Goldberg" affair I'm afraid, but hey - it works.

Cheers,
Art R.

matteh99
10-22-2009, 07:42 PM
How deep is the pit? My dad has a pit in his shop which is pretty useful. It could be deeper though. I am 6 inches taller than him and it isn't quite deep enough for him either. He didn't make very deep because he wanted to be able to work on his dump truck. However in hind sight it is easier to get on a small step ladder than to crouch the whole time.

I have also heard of people having trouble with pits and OA torches the Acetylene is heavier than air so if you have a leaky hose you can fill your pit up which could make things interesting.

I have mixed feelings about the idea of protecting people from them selves. I am a big fan of doing thing safely but I wonder how much people start to depend on some one else to keep them safe. And because of that don't take responsibility for their actions.

There was a guy from around were I live who died a few years ago cutting a muffler off of his car with a OA torch. He had it up on chunks of fire wood and it fell of and he was trapped and burned to death. A pit sounds safer than blocks of wood to me..

Eric

arandall
10-22-2009, 11:39 PM
Matteh99:
I made mine 5ft6in deep, and I'm 6ft. I didn't want to have to crouch over all the time, and also didn't want to have to stand on a perch too much, so that was my compromise.

Regarding the fumes - it is a serious matter, and one that should be taken seriously. When poring the concrete for the pit, I had some 4in ABS pipe cast into the sides of the wall, exiting through the garage floor. my plan has always been to hang 4in flexible tubing (maybe non perf. weeping tile from the pipe in the pit wall down to the floor of the pit, and to connect an exhaust fan exiting outside to the other end in the garage floor. That way you could suck the fumes from anywhere in the pit, or even stick the flex over a car's exhaust pipe. - - - The truth is, I've never connected it up, and so far it's been OK. That doesn't mean I'm smart in my negligence though, and I have on occasion dropped a big box fan in the pit to clear the air.

Cheers,
Art R.

robrob
10-25-2009, 09:57 AM
Wow, that's some very nice craftsmanship and a great idea. Thanks for sharing the photos with us.

bhardy501
10-25-2009, 10:13 AM
Great work but you should really get a better looking model for the pics. A curvy blonde in a bikini just has a better way of presenting an item.

arandall
10-25-2009, 01:37 PM
Bhardy:
I couldn't get the blonde into the pit!!

Cheers,
Art R.

bhardy501
10-25-2009, 05:21 PM
OK I could see how, "Hey babe wanna come into my pit" might not work so well.

arandall
10-25-2009, 09:07 PM
Yeah - It didn't. I'll try harder next time.

itsmecord
11-07-2009, 10:24 PM
What tranny you swapping in there ? t-5 outa a camaro or mustang ?
Great thinking on the setup there.I am still on a cold flat carport with a tranny on my chest and the truck on ramps.

arandall
11-08-2009, 08:19 PM
Cord:
The trans is a T5 out of a Mustang. It was beefed up to "world class" standards, by an ex Ford mechanic called Anthony Delross. He races (drag-race) fox-body mustangs. I needed a manual trans. bellhousing, and a T5 adapter from "Mummerts", amongst other things. They were nice to deal with too.
As far as the T5 is concerned, I'm pretty sure it could never stand up to the abuse the old 390 in my heavy old '62 T'bird could dole out if I was silly enough to really abuse it (side step the clutch - speed shift with foot on the floor etc.), but for everyday "spirited" driving, I think it will be fine.
I sympathize with you working outside with a trans on your chest - I've been there - just getting old and spoiled with my shop I guess, but it really is a matter of priorities.
For me it was more important to try to save money for my shop than to buy a new car every few years, or to live in a mansion right out of school, and pay for it for the rest of my life. - - each to his own.

Cheers,
Art R.

itsmecord
11-08-2009, 09:30 PM
Agree'd on all the above,you probably know it already but the key in my experience to keeping even the best built t-5 together is regular maintenance.I read an article at one time that recommended changing your tranny oil every oil change.I picked up that little tip and have had great luck with a s10 t-5 behind a BUILT 327.