Lift Off!

You might as well stop reading now. I’ll never come up with a better punning title than that baby!

Today's mission
Today's mission

Anyway, as that comedy gold suggests, today I embarked on the mighty chore of removing Herman2’s wheelchair lift. In my naiveté, I’d expected this to be a fairly simple affair, involving the removal of a few bolts and then dropping the lift. In essence, this was the case, although the job was made more complicated by the twin facts that the lift looked like it weighed a fecking ton, and also that it was anchored onto the bottom of the van a bit more “thoroughly” than my initial inspection suggested.

One last play with my big yellow remote control, before we get tore in
One last play with my big yellow remote control, before we get tore in

Having had a hoke around underneath, I realised that, instead of just being bolted to the chassis at the one side, the lift was actually built into a hefty angle-iron framework that spanned right across the back of the van. Given the size of it all, I thought I’d better err on the side of caution and remove the lift in sections rather than try and drop the fecker out in one go. So I did…

Lift folded
Lift folded
Lift unfolded
Lift unfolded
First off were the hand rails and the foldy out ramp flap
First off were the hand rails and the foldy out ramp flap
Next the platform itself
Next the platform itself

Plans to remove the lifting arm next were thwarted by the fact that I couldnae get in at it properly to disconnect it from the rest of the framework, so I decided to leave it in place. Besides which, I reckoned that, lowered, it would be able to take some of the weight of the framework, when it came time to drop that out.

I also used a pair of axle stands to support the weight of the framework, while I lay underneath unbolting it all and making sure none of my vitals were anywhere near where it would drop, if everything went horribly wrong. Here’s the framework after dropping it onto a seat cushion and pulling the axle stands out from under it.

Dropping out the cross-bar, with the help of a cushion and some axle-stands
Dropping out the cross-bar, with the help of a cushion and some axle-stands
The mini compressor motor is revealed
The mini compressor motor is revealed

With the lift framework disconnected from the van at last, there then followed about half an hour’s worth of further dismantling it into as many parts as necessary so I could lift the fecker into the back of the van without giving myself a hernia.

More dismantling needed
More dismantling needed
A final bit of temporary tidying up underneath. I'll leave the proper removal of the left-over wiring for another day
A final bit of temporary tidying up underneath. I'll leave the proper removal of the left-over wiring for another day
Loading the scrap metal into the back. Next stop, the tip!
Loading the scrap metal into the back. Next stop, the tip!