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Using a motorcycle lift platform for a KR200 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 24 July 2004
Around ten years ago I visited one of our former members in Florida - Terry Garbig, in the town of De Land. Terry was a motorcycle enthusiast and had a collection of interesting machines as well as a 1956 KR200. Terry's car was off the road awaiting installation of a new clutch cable and he asked me for advice on fitting it. Normally, I would recommend removing the engine for this job as so much can go wrong with the routing of the cable and the 'tunnel' entry plate in front of the engine. When I arrived at Terry's house the Messerschmitt was placed on a motorcycle lift (a hydraulic platform). This machine raised the car with all wheels free and better still, the under engine area was completely free and fully accessible. Terry again asked for advice on changing the clutch cable and I said that we could probably do it quickly with such good access. It took just 30 minutes including re-adjusting the rear brake, (the tension on the rear brake cable must be released to allow the tunnel cable entry plate to be removed). We carefully checked the cables to be sure that the throttle, clutch, and rear brake cables did not cross inside the tunnel. Failure to do this can cause the engine revolutions to increase when changing gear, not a desirable feature! Terry's car was soon repaired and I took the opportunity of free access to re-set the ignition timing. A road test left Terry astounded as performance was improved substantially by having the correct timing point. The clutch had never been set correctly and again the gears changed freely and easily.

After the experience of using Terry's motorcycle lift I was determined to find a similar thing in the U.K. An old pallet truck was converted to a moving platform and was used for two restorations, one of which was my Tg500. Good though the pallet truck was, it was never easy to put the car on it and the search for the motorcycle lift continued. One of the classic car magazines included a Machine Mart catalogue as a free gift and this was studied during a long plane journey. There was the motorcycle lift I had been looking for; but what a price. At over ?500 it seemed an expensive luxury. However, a quick call to one of the tool discount houses secured a 15% reduction and I placed the order.

Now I use the lift regularly and find it is more than capable of lifting the Tg500 to a good working height. One other advantage is that the engine and gearbox can be tried in complete safety, useful for finding the source of strange noises and brake faults. Available time for working on Messerschmitts is severely limited by my job so any device that speeds up the maintenance operations is appreciated. As I get older, the effects of lying on a cold damp floor are felt much sooner and all this has ended with a change to a good working height. Even the engine can be removed by releasing it onto a supporting box and lifting the car up and away from it. During the winter period, the lift keeps one of my cars high in the air, reducing the risk of damage, corrosion, and tyre 'flats'. One other advantage is that floor space is released and some of the other Messerschmitts use part of the space under the lift.

Of course, I should have realised long ago that Messerschmitts were built on similar devices at the factory. The production line consisted of a number of wheeled trucks on a track. These were pushed along manually as the assembly of the car progressed. Each assembly operation could be performed from a standing or sitting position. A picture of this operation is shown in the Workshop manual.

Find all the pictures of David Garner's lift in the Gallery
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