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Bottoms Up Lift FAQ

  1. Does it work with unibodies?
  2. Does it work on a pickup cab?
  3. What about freight cost?
  4. Do I need any special brackets to attach to my car body or frame?
  5. Do I need three men and a boy to rotate the car?
  6. Do I need to brace the door openings?
  7. How long does it take to get one?
  8. Why don't you paint them?
  9. Can it tow it around the yard?
  10. How high does the car have to be to attach to the Bottoms Up Lift?
  11. What is the warranty?

Does it work with unibodies?

The Bottoms Up Lift works with frames, body shells, unibodies, steamer trunks, etc! In the unibody case, you normally will attach to the body at the bumper mount points on the frame. In a great majority of unibody cars, our standard attachment arms allow bolting sideways into the frame rail where the bumper strap is bolted. In the rear, quite often, the bumper is bolted to a flat area across the rear end of the car. We have unibody brackets that slip into the standard attachment arms and present a 4" x 8" flat plate (2 places, left and right ) to the rear of the car. You will need to drill these to match your particular vehicle. Some cars require 4 unibody brackets. Sub frame cars can be bolted to where the sub frame bolts in the front, or bolt to the bumper holes on the sub frame if you are not removing it.

In some unibody cases, the bumpers and there attachment points, are really fancy decoration, not structural components. I this case, it is necessary to build some special brackets that allow attachment to some suspension mounting points. We can build them or you can, depending on your capabilities. A full set of 4 brackets for a complex setup might run $100. A simple set might be $25.

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Does it work on a pickup cab?

All Bottoms Up Lifts will handle something as small as a pickup cab. Our adjustable center tongue consist of 5 pieces that telescope together. You would only need 3 of them for most pickup cab applications. This makes the center tongue (that connects the front axle to the rear axle on the BUL) just long enough to do its job and not stick out past the axle. Some unnamed competitors either give you nothing (go buy some pipe if you can figure how to get a 21' piece home) or a 20' piece of tubing. In both these cases, you quite often have several feet sticking out for you to trip over when you walk around one end of the unit.

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What about freight cost?

All Bottoms Up Lifts are shipped by motor freight (semi, 18-wheeler) as the weight varies from 450 lbs. to 1100 lbs. Give us a call or email with your zip code and we can give you the exact cost to deliver you unit. You want to ship to a business location, as there is a residential delivery fee that can be as much as $65 depending on the carrier. You also have the responsibility of getting this heavy crate off from the back of a semi trailer. If you don't have a business yourself with forklifts, etc., possibly a friend does. We could ship there and you could later pickup it up and take it home. Once at home, you could remove the lid from our packing crate and remove the parts without having to lift the whole thing off your truck or trailer. Another attractive option for a lot of hobbyists is to pick up the shipment at the freight terminal. They are open late at night so you can just go by on you way home from work. They can set the crate in you pickup or trailer, and you are on you way. We prepay the freight as some of our carriers will not give you the benefit of our full discount if the freight is paid by someone without an account with them. It would cost 20-30% extra that way. If you ignore these suggestions, and refuse the shipment at your residence because you can't unload it, etc., you are responsible for freight both ways (to your place and back to us).

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Do I need any special brackets to attach to my car body or frame?

All Bottoms Up Lifts have 4 attachment arms that have predrilled holes going up/down and side/side. Most bodies can be bolted to these like the body was being bolted back to the frame. Similarly, most frames can be handled by bolting into the frame rail at the bumper mount holes on the side of the frame. Some frames, and lots of unibody cars, need a back to front bolt orientation in the rear of the vehicle. We have a set of 2 unibody brackets that bolt to our standard attachment arm and present 2 plate that are 4" x 8" against the rear of the car. These can be drilled to match your bumper mount holes. By careful placement, you can use the same set for several different vehicles before the plate starts to look like Swiss cheese. The unibody brackets are standard equipment on our lifts. We do make special brackets if you or your local welder can't do them. Some cars require the attachment arms go under the sheet metal then up behind it to get to the place to bolt. Sometime you have to go all the way to the suspension mounting point because bumper (and bumper mount holes) are mere decoration, not structural. Brackets can range from $50 to $150 or so for a set of 4. However, 98% of our customers need no extra brackets.

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Do I need three men and a boy to rotate the car?

All Bottoms Up Lifts have an adjustment for centering the body up/down relative to the pivot point so that it is not top heavy or bottoms heavy. When this is set after mounting the body or frame, turning the body over is a one hand operation on the rocker panel. People who put in gear boxes, etc. to rotate the body do it because they haven't learned the balance principle. It's dangerous to have the car unbalanced even with a gear box, come-along, etc.

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Do I need to brace the door openings?

Door braces are always needed on convertible body shell from a body and frame type car that is removed from the frame. Other than that, it depends..... Even unibody convertibles are safe to lift and rotate without door braces, without damaging the vehicle. This assumes that it is as strong as when it rolled out of the factory. If the frame rails and floor pan are mostly rust, then its structural integrity might be suspect. In that case, bracing the door opening is probably a wise decision. Roofed body shells do not normally need door braces, unless you plan on doing a lot of surgery on the floor, rockers, etc. Major floor repair sometimes requires replacing some pieces (rockers, for instance) before removing the body from the frame. Pick up the frame and body on the BUL, cut out and replace the rockers, and weld them in sufficiently to the hold them structurally. The take the body off the frame to finish the job, replace floor pans, etc. Door frame bracing never hurts, but is quite often not needed. It also gets in the way of working on the door jam.

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How long does it take to get one?

Shipment usually runs from 1-14 days after we have received your check or you've given us a valid credit card. We try to keep them in stock. They are built 2 at a time. If we happen to be out of the unit you want when you order, you will be placed in the next build cycle. Truck shipping runs from next day to 6 days typically in the continental US (excluding our friends in Alaska).

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Why don't you paint them?

Painting requires a paint room, which we don't have at our present locations. We are currently working with a powder coater, who does all of our small stuff (TireSkates, etc.), about being able to powder coat the BUL. It will be optional if you want the powder coat or not. We do drill a hole in each piece, if it doesn't naturally have one, to hang the pieces for painting.

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Can it tow it around the yard?

The units with pneumatic tires can roll on gravel or grass. They use 17" pneumatic casters that all swivel. The advantage of this series is the unit can be pushed directly sideways due to 4 swivel tires. You really have to kind of go forward a few inches then begin to push sideways, as the tires grip the ground pretty good. These swivel casters have wheel locks.

The 3000 series is built like a wagon with a fixed rear axle and a turning front axle. These tires are 16" in diameter and are needed to handle the extra weight. They won't go directly sideways, but you can get around that in the shop, if necessary, but putting a floor jack under the back axle and scooting them over. They tow very well around the shop, yard, etc with the tow handle included. It has a cross bar for hand use and a loop to drop over a trailer ball, or garden tractor hitch is you don't have a level yard. Virtually nothing in East Tennessee is level, not even airport runways! We even make a tongue with a trailer hitch coupling for an extra $25 if you need to tow a few miles up the road to a blaster or paint shop. The wheels are greased bushing wheels not designed for extensive, high speed travel, but a few miles at 30 mph is fine. We make no warranties about police interference and tickets! We have sold dozens of unit this way, and it saves the hassle of the roll back truck or trailer.

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How high does the car have to be to attach to the Bottoms Up Lift?

The adjustable Bottoms Up Lifts will pick a car body or frame off from a set of jack stands. The fixed height units require the body be lifted about 30-35" from the floor. If varies somewhat depending on the balance adjustment. The fixed height lifts are made to 360 degree rotate the widest body we've found. The Body Lift, which we manufacture, is made to remove bodies from the frame and set on the Bottoms Up Lift. It uses your engine hoist (cherry picker). The adjustable units save a little work on unibody cars because you can jack them right off the jack stands. The adjustable option also does give you the ability to pick how high to have the body when working on it. Doing side panel work, you might elect to not have it high enough to rotate the car. However, the fix height units work fine. I look at it this way. If I was using the tool every day to restore cars, I'd spend the extra couple hundred for the convenience. If I was only doing one car, I'd stick with the fixed height, unless convenience is more important than money.

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What is the warranty?

The Bottoms Up Lift is warranted for 5 years due to mechanical failure of the steel structure. I figure if you haven't broken it in 5 years, you probably won't. The casters, tires, jacks are warranted for 1 year. If you have a problem, just advise and it will be corrected. We're not perfect yet, but we are doing the best we can.

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