How to Build a Home Wheel Liftby Mitchell Brock
Fabricating a wheel lift that you can use on the back of your truck or at home requires a lot of welding skills. The simplest wheel lift is one built out of box channel and is adjustable. To accomplish this type of wheel lift, you must use a different size box channel so you can adjust the length of the wheel lift. Making it adjustable allows you to pick up cars and trucks. This type of device comes in handy when you work on your own vehicles.
Remove the bumper from your truck and measure the distance between the two suspension members where the bumper attaches. Mark the steel plates 2 inches below the lip on the end of the length. Drill one hole in each steel plate at this mark. Drill the same size hole in the frame of the truck, behind bumper. Rest each plate on either side of the frame and insert the swivel bolts. Adjust if necessary and remove the plates.
Center the 6-foot, 5-by-5-inch steel box channel to the frame of the truck and mark where the frame hits the box channel. Weld the two steel plates on the inside of those two marks. Ensure that 5-inches of plate is sticking above the top part of the box channel. Measure to the center of the 6-foot steel box channel with the chalk. Weld the 4-foot, 5-by-5-inch steel box channel at that mark in a vertical position.
Drill four holes in each 2-foot, 5-by-5-inch box channel. Slide the 4-foot, 4-by-4-inch box channel inside the 5-by-5-inch box channel and mark the hole positions. Drill corresponding holes in the 4-by-4-inch box channel. Insert the lock pins to make sure the holes match. Remove the lock pins and slide the 4-by-4-inch box channel out.
Place the a 2-foot, 5-by-5-inch box channel at one end of the 6-foot, 5-by-5-inch box channel and weld it perpendicular, making a 90-degree angle. Weld the other 2-foot, 5-by-5-inch box channel to the other end.
Cut the 4-foot, 3-inch steel pipe in 1-foot sections. Weld one piece of the steel pipe on the inside of the 4-by-4 inch box channel, at the opposite end of the lock pin holes. Measure 10 inches from the edge of the end pipe and weld another 1-foot section of steel pipe to the 4-by-4-inch box channel. Perform the same procedure on the other 4-by-4-inch box channel.
Mount the hydraulic motor and ram in the bed of the truck. Mount the 6-foot, 5-by-5-inch box channel assembly to the frame of the truck and raise it to a level position. Take the ram end and mark the bolt holes on the back side of the vertical 5-by-5-inch box channel. Drill holes in the box channel and tap those holes so bolts can be mount the ram to the box channel.
Lower the ram, tilting the wheel lift assembly, and remount the bumper. Insert the 4-foot, 4-by-4-inch box channel assembly when you are ready to raise the wheels of a vehicle.
- Inspect all connections, swivel points and welds before making your first lift.
- Check the hydraulic fluid level on the hydraulic motor and ram before each use.
Things You'll Need
- Hydraulic motor and ram
- 1 Steel box channel (6 feet long, 5-by-5 inches, 3/8 inches thick)
- 2 Steel box channel (2 feet long, 5-by-5 inches, 3/8 inches thick)
- 1 Steel box channel (4 feet long, 5-by-5 inches, 3/8 inches thick)
- 3 Steel box channel (4 feet long, 4-by-4 inches, 3/8 inches thick)
- Steel tubing (3 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length)
- 2 Steel plates (5 inches wide by 10 inches long, 3/8 inches thick)
- Drill press
- Hand drill
- Steel drill bits
- Tapping bits (bits used to make bolt threads)
- 2 Lock pins
- 2 Swivel bolts
- Tape measure
- Ratchet and socket set
- Slag hammer
- Make sure the hydraulic motor and ram is firmly bolted to the bed of the truck.
- If the bed of the truck is not strong enough to hold the weight of a vehicle, bolt a mounting plate to the bed of the truck before mounting the hydraulic motor and ram.
Mitchell Brock has been writing since 1980. His work includes media relations and copywriting technical manuals for Johnson & Johnson, HSBC, FOX and Phillip Morris. Brock graduated from the University of Southern California in 1980, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English.