Houston we have a problem!
A black 1961 Corvette restomod was on a four-post lift at Houston Corvette Service when a bolt sheared from one of the pulleys and the lift collapsed. With the Corvette now at risk, the owner came up with an ingenious plan to save the car and the lift without any further damage.
We first saw the video clip of the 1961 perched precariously on a broken four-post lift on the shop’s facebook page over the weekend. We reached out to Houston Corvette Service and heard back from Gordon Andrus who explained how they were able to save the Corvette from any further damage:
This happened Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. Once we made sure that the lift and the car on top would not move I declared a stop until I could decide how to fix this. I considered using a couple of fork lifts to raise the lift, but we had an issue with one wall being in the way. On Saturday morning our favorite flat bed wrecker driver came by to pick up a car. We measured the width of the bed and width of the lift and realized we might be able to back the wrecker up to the lift, extend the bed of the wrecker at an angle under the lift and raise it.
It actually worked! We got the lift back so that it was level and sitting on the steel locks. However, our car was still sitting in between the ramps. Compounding the problem was that the car [a 1961 Corvette Resto Rod] which was in the final stages of restoration had no wheels and tires and had been sitting on the ramps on wooden blocks. Therefore, with the lift in a safe mode, we had to jack up the car while in its unsafe position so that we could put some wheels on it and then slide it over to the ramps. By strapping down the car with tie down straps we kept one end of the car fixed while jacking up the other end with a large transmission jack which sits on wheels and shoving it into position. Finally, with the car now fitted with wheels and tires, sitting on the ramps of the lift, we were able to roll it off the lift and onto the wrecker flat bed. Off loading that gave us a tremendous sense of relief as we inspected the car.
Damage? Yes, a little. Left rear bumper needs to be re-chromed. The right rear quarter, under the bumper suffered minor fiberglass damage. Really, a miracle that it wasn’t far worse.
Here is video from the rescue:
The after pictures show the Corvette looking pretty good considering what could have been it’s fate. And once the car was off the lift, Gordon was able to see the point of failure.
Gordon tells us the moral of this story is to inspect your lifts regularly. He thinks a bushing on one of the pulleys may have worn which slowly ground down the bolt to the point of failure. He also adds that you never want to be under it when it’s in motion and always make sure the lift is on its safety stops when finished.
Houston Corvette Service