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Steel Pipe A-Frame Engine Hoist: How To?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by junquewerkz, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. junquewerkz
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Stockton, CA

    junquewerkz
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Somewhere, can't remember for the life of me now, I saw a great article, probably in one of the 50's little magazines, that explained how to build an A-frame engine hoist out of threaded steel pipe.

    It was built in such a way as to be broken down easily, and I believe was described in such a way as being easy to take to the lakes, or wherever, so that you could break it down into its component parts.

    I can guess most of the parts: involved making an upside-down 'u' shape out of three straights and two 90' elbows. However, on the top straight, before you put on the elbows, you would put on a 'T' coupler on each side that would slip-fit over the top straight's OD. Straights would go into the bottom of the 'T's and you'd connect the two legs with a piece of chain.

    I've probably described this thing to death, but the article laid it out so nicely, wondering if anyone knows what I'm talking about, or has built something similar they can describe for me.

    Thanks all,
    Paul/CA
  2. praisethelowered
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    praisethelowered Member

    I've seen 400lbs or so lifted with an EMT A-frame with a heavier steel pipe crossmember- it would be a lot lighter that way and you don't have extra material where the pipe is in compression and doesn't need it.
  3. MattStrube
    Joined:
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    Chicago, IL, USA

    MattStrube Member

    I'd be interested in building one of these too.
  4. junquewerkz
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    Stockton, CA

    junquewerkz
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    VonTingler - thanks for the response. Poverty is often as much the mother of invention as is necessity, I know!

    PraisetheLowered - forgive my ignorance - what is EMT? I've racked my work-weary brain but can't associate words with the acronym.

    Thanks,
    Paul/CA
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  5. Mike Paul
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    Northcentral Wisconsin

    Mike Paul Member

    Emergency Medical Technition(sp?)
  6. praisethelowered
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    praisethelowered Member

    Electrical Metallic Tubing- That light thin wall electrical conduit- sorry, I'm an architect and I spend all day typing out abreviated construction notes.

    On the wood thing, I built a temporary frame to pull a cab off a truck, then used it for firewood a few weeks later- here it is in action

    Attached Files:

  7. Kustm52
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    West Blocton, AL

    Kustm52 Member

    Electrical Metallic Tubing...or conduit.

    Brian
  8. Mike Paul
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    Northcentral Wisconsin

    Mike Paul Member

    Huh, never heard conduit called that before. My bad.
  9. oldbear
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    Location:
    Linden, Alberta

    oldbear Member

    praisethe lowered - What did you use to raise and lower the cab? I see the beam through the cab, but what "made it go"? We're about to build an A-frame for just this reason. Three of us have cab to lift off in the next few weeks and we want to save our backs.
  10. henry's57bbwagon
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    Woodlawn, ON

    henry's57bbwagon Member

    Don't use anything associated with ELECTRICAL, the steel is not meant to take any sort of weight. In the 60's a neighbor who was an army eng tied 3 pcs of pipe together at the top with rope and left a loop to hook the chainblock onto,worked great removing the FH from my brother's 53 Merc pickup and put in the OLD's(or Buick?) engine in, Henry.
  11. plym49
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    plym49 Member

    Speaking of Army engineer tricks, my favorite is the Gin Pole. Basically, it is one boom, one end on the ground, the other end high in the air angled over the load. You stabilize it with four guy lines.

    The beauty is that it uses a minimum of material.

    I have used them several times to pull a motor. I have attached the guy lines to the base of nearby trees, car bumpers (make sure wheels are chocked!), and so on - whatever was handy.

    Here's a shot of my grandkids using a gin pole.

    Attached Files:

  12. Goober
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    Goober Member

    How 'bout some redneck engineering?
    [​IMG]
  13. MEDDLER1
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    WOODLAND CA.

    MEDDLER1 Member

    seriously for what you are gonna spend on say 2"iron pipe and a chain fall you could buy a fold up cherrypicker from harbor frieght or tractor supply and it will be lighter and take up less space,even if you break all the pipe down.and trust me 3"you wouldnt even want to try and move.i once tried the 2"pipe trick but it buckled under the wieght of an sbc,it was just long enough to span a 78 chevy truck.poor truck.do yourself a favor buy the picker unless you have access to free steel..............
  14. TraderJack
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    santa rosa, cal

    TraderJack Member

    I built mine in the garage about 8 feet into the garage. A 10' four by eight sitting on the garage wall top plate, and held up buy a 8' 4x4 post on the other end. I hinged the 4x4 to fold up under the 4x8 when not in use. Pretty solid and lifted engines and bodys with a chain hoist of one ton capacity.

    When it is not in use the end is held up by a tie to the spreader that holds the side walls of the garage together..

    simple, cheap, and works.

    traderjack
  15. dbradley
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    dbradley Member

    Too bad you don't live near Arkansas, there's one in every front yard........... :D
  16. HemiDeuce
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    Just N. of Pt. Roberts, WA.

    HemiDeuce
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I built a A frame a couple of years ago, because I was tired of the hassle of using a Cherry Picker.
    And it's Traditional, as used back in the day at the Drags and Bonneville.
    About a year after I built mine, I came across this article by Frank Oddo in the April 1976 issue of Street Rodder, on building one, almost the same dimensions that I used.
    It works great, and can be dissasembled for storage.
    HemiDeuce.

    Attached Files:

  17. GuyW
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    Escondido

    GuyW Member

    Check out this 'un...

    .

    Attached Files:

  18. boldventure
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    boldventure Member

    As long as the pipe is strong enough...
    That one looks like a neat design, not too portable but the swing out of the way idea...I like it! What was old is new again.
  19. spiffy1937
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    spiffy1937
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    Look on page 74-75 of the new Rodder's Journal # 42. Referring to that picture,I'd just make sure that the elbows joining the legs to the crossbar couldn't turn on the threads and let the base of the legs slide apart collapsing the frame. Also, look on page 81, same issue. I'd scan it but don't want to piss off Steve Coonan!:D
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  20. spiffy1937
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    spiffy1937
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    <FIELDSET class=fieldset><LEGEND>Attached Files</LEGEND><TABLE cellSpacing=3 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>[​IMG]</TD><TD>crane shop.pdf (62.9 KB, 20 views)</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></FIELDSET>
    Now, that's really trick!!
  21. 50dodge4x4
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    50dodge4x4 Member

    Back in the day I was a cheap sob. I used 3 10' long 1 1/2" pipes. I torched a hole through the all 3 pipes about 2" from the end, and inserted a long 1/2" grade 8 bolt through the holes with a nut and washer on each end. I hung a come-a-long on the bolt, removed the car hood, and stood the pipes up, center pipe in front of the car, outside pipes over the fenders behind the front wheels. Picture a tripod. The outside pipes had to be positioned about 6" away from the fenders so when the car came up without the engine weight, the pipes cleared the fenders. Once the engine was up, you pushed the car backwards from under the engine. Pulled a great many big block Mopar engines and tranys with this set up. At some point I added a chain hook at the bottom of each pipe to hook a chain around the 3 pieces so they wouldn't slide on cement or other hard surfaces. Think I also added a plate to each pipe so the legs didn't sink into the yard too. About every 3rd or 4th engine job, I would buy a new bolt, as it would tend to bend. I'll bet those same 3 pieces of pipe pulled over 100 engines because most of the guys I knew borrowed it from me. I think I used it for the first 8 or 9 years we were racing. It wasn't until I moved into my home in the country with the big garage that I stepped up to the over sized swingset type setup. The old tripod wouldn't clear the garage roof. I think a few years after I went to the swingset thing I cut up the pipe from the tripod for a roll cage. That would have been at least 20 years ago.

    I didn't have a cherry picker until I opened my welding shop, 15 years ago. The welding shop wasn't at home and I still needed to lift engines from the race car. Gene
  22. JeffB2
    Joined:
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    JeffB2 Member

    Paw,what in tarnation did yall'do to the young uns' swing set!:mad:
  23. tikidiablo
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    so cal

    tikidiablo Member

    That is some funny shit. This one made me laugh!
  24. Capt. Zorro
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Capt. Zorro Member

    I copied one that a friend of mine has to lift off bodies. It's about 6" heavy wall pipe (looks like well casing), two pieces welded to 6" C channel about 6' long with gussets on the bottom. The top is the same 6" pipe about a foot long turned 90 degrees welded and gusseted, think of an upside down "T". It's all about 10' high, then a piece of 5.5" heavy wall tube or whatever size will work that will slide into the 6" tube about 14' long. It will break down into three pieces that are easy to store and then can be assembled quickly by one person. Use a chain fall to lift the weight. Make it wide and high enough to fit your project.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  25. hr31hr
    Joined:
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    222
    Location:
    PA

    hr31hr Member

    I have a cherry picker but one of these in addition would make taking the body off much easier. I happend to pick up quite a few pieces of schedule 80 from a dumpster and have been wondering what to do with them.
  26. 53choptop
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2001
    Posts:
    1,185
    Location:
    Austin, Texas

    53choptop Member

    I have one.

    I bought it off craigslist for 80 bux I think. I didn't know what it was i was getting until I got there. When I saw 5 pipes on the ground I was not happy having to drive 1 1/2 hours for it. The way the lady described it wasn't what i saw, until I started putting the puzzle together.

    It has large screw ends at the top where the legs screw into.

    I LOVE IT.

    Its a bout 15 feet tall and rolls on large steel casters. I have a 3 ton old school hoist my grandpa gave me before he passed on that I use. He use to use it when he worked on F500's back in the 70's. If I need to disassemble it I just unscrew the legs. Lifting it up by yourself is hard though, I had to drag it up a tree.

    Here are some shots of it.

    I use it to lift engines, front end of cars, I lifted a 36 Ford frame, without it even flinching.

    Here I am tearing apart a Buick, hooked up the front crossmember, lifted the front end off the ground about 4 feet, placed wheels on one side, let it down to work on that side.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  27. 53choptop
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Austin, Texas

    53choptop Member

    Here is another picture of one we use to use back in the 90's. This one is stationary (no wheels) and could handle more weight, grandpa use to use it to swap out 361's from his F500 fleet.

    Once you use one of these A-frames, a cherry picker just sometimes doesn't cut it.

    Attached Files:

  28. panic
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
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    1,456

    panic BANNED

    That's what they have to look like. Those 2 angled braces increase the load capacity of the top span, and weigh far less than a larger tube.
    How much?
    If (example only) the sides must be 8 feet apart to clear the car, the difference between a single 8' long top tube and an 8' tube with struts reached up to intersect it even 1' away from each end (1' + 6' + 1'): the shorter one is over 2.3 times stiffer.
  29. propwash
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Las Vegas

    propwash Member

    Triangles..use LOTS of triangles
  30. LarzBahrs
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
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    758
    Location:
    Sacramento

    LarzBahrs Member

    Would the metal tubing they use to build those portable car ports work?

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