Newbie trying to figure this lift out.

Jun 30, 2020
11
Okay so this is a new popup to me it is I believe a 1985 Sunlite Firebird III. The lift system is not cranking it has what I am calling a scissor type lift. I know that's not the name if you could help me out that would be great. I'm trying to lift the back like it tells me to first. But it is just not wanting to go. I saw a couple videos that shows you should be able to just lift the bars or back and the springs will help with the lift. The springs are nice and tensioner but cannot get it up. The from I am wondering if I'm missing the top bars or if the ones connected to the camper go on the lift arm.

I am including pictures to try and help. Sorry if my question makes no sense. Any other info I can give ya I will do my best. The top was lifted with a forklift when I bought it because the person who owned it had it but never used it and never even popped it up. The inside and canvas is in good shape because it just has not been used.

Thanks for the help. 20200705_191137.jpg 20200705_191127.jpg 20200705_191120.jpg 20200705_191114.jpg 20200705_191107.jpg
 

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neighbormike

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 6, 2012
3,893
WI
The springs may be worn out... never heard of opening a popup with a forklift - that sounds very suspicious. Also, are the front arms not connected??
 
Jun 30, 2020
11
The springs may be worn out... never heard of opening a popup with a forklift - that sounds very suspicious. Also, are the front arms not connected??

I was thinking the springs might be worn out also. Yeah the gentle man I got the pop up from he was an older guy he could not lift anything so he had it lifted before I got there.

I think the front arms are missing the top half of the arm.

Any thoughts where to get replacement springs and parts for this kind of lift system. I have tried looking for sunlite parts to no avail.
 

Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
3,043
DFW, TX
That is an external arm system. There should be springs that help lift it up, and the arms are supposed to be connected. Once it is raised the arms lock in place and support the roof.

It works similar to this one:

C&R lift system

Yours looks like it attaches to a shaft under the camper. I admit I have no idea if parts are still available for that - they haven't made that style for quite some time now. I think a couple folks on here have the same camper, or something similar so hopefully they will chime in.
 

zak99b5

Active Member
Feb 21, 2019
330
The front arms aren't connected together or to the roof of the camper, it seems. You need to fix that before trying to rise the top.
 
Jun 30, 2020
11
I suppose you could look for a gently used forklift :huh:

Going to craigslist right now. Ha ha.
I think the springs are worn ou . Waa Was able to get more movement on it once I put a little more umph to it. After looking at some pictures of new springs I do see some wear.

My question is could I bend my own top arms. I think the ones that are not booked up are inside the camper. If not I may try bending my own.
 
Jun 30, 2020
11
The front arms aren't connected together or to the roof of the camper, it seems. You need to fix that before trying to rise the top.

Thank you, after seeing more pics, I found some in the gallery here that shows the exact arms. Looks like Palimino campers have the same system.

Going to look around inside to find the top arms.

Thanks for the response
 

zak99b5

Active Member
Feb 21, 2019
330
DB89D5B2-8FDF-4EA6-A761-80BE3C5E2C4B.png 385B70F7-98D0-4C59-82F9-F527A38B47AB.png From this pic it looks like you have the front arms complete, but disconnected from each other. The bottom of the rusty arm on the right fits into the top of the arm on the left.

and the top of the rusty arm on the right should bolt to the roof at the lower corner, not to the body of the camper as it is now.

Again, this is how it looks in the pic, and that would make the front match the rear. But I may be totally wrong.
 
Jun 30, 2020
11
Thank you all for the great responses. After researching and looking at other campers I see that the front arm lift assembly is missing the top arm attachment. The straight arm attached to the body of the camper is actually a stabilizer arm that connects to the top of the front lift making it so it cannot rock forward while popping it up.

My question is I would like to DIY the top portion of the front arm. The one that attaches to the bottom arm then to the roof.

Can anyone suggest the best piping to use to make this. It will have to have a bend in it unless you guys think I could just straight arm it and still get it popped up.

I will need to get some new springs which I think I have found on a link you all provided.

The top lift arms I cannot find anywhere. Thanks for the help.
 

WrkrBee

Super Active Member
May 23, 2018
6,544
South Carolina
Can anyone suggest the best piping to use to make this. It will have to have a bend in it unless you guys think I could just straight arm it and still get it popped up.
Maybe EMT tubing, but I don't know how thick the existing tubing is. Pipe is bent so the down force go over center of the pivot point to hold the top up.
 
Jun 30, 2020
11
Thank you
Maybe EMT tubing, but I don't know how thick the existing tubing is. Pipe is bent so the down force go over center of the pivot point to hold the top up.
Thank you for the insight. I will check the diameter of the piping to make sure it stays consistent.
 

Don Griffiths

New Member
Aug 7, 2020
4
Nashville, TN
Not sure where you are in this process right now. I have a sunlite that I am restoring. My lift system works and I currently have it up if you need any pics/measurements
 

vaderhater22

Member
Mar 4, 2017
32
Whiteland, IN
Glad I found this thread. I have a 1993 Firebird V. It looks like you got the right info on that front lift arm. It is definitely missing the upper portion. I'm running into an issue with mine being pulled too far forward when I close it. There is an inch or more gap in the front and the back lip is rubbing against the edge of the box. Definitely not centered front to back. Its missing one spring in the back and I'm hoping to find new ones to maybe correct some of this.
 

beenthere

New Member
Jul 1, 2022
6
Hi. I'm repairing the lift system in a 1986 Starcraft Starlite 17. What I am looking for is a drawing of the system. Anyone have any ideas on where I might find one?

Beenthere
 




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