The difinitive Bonair / L'extra / Lionel lift system thread

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by Tattoosleeve, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. Tattoosleeve

    Tattoosleeve Member

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    Sorry Guys,

    The image links weren't working and I guess I only get so many cracks at modifying a post before it stops. Perhaps a moderator can do me a solid and delete the image descriptions a couple posts up where there are no pictures.

    PVC roof supports. I made these based off a suggestion from another thread. these were VERY unstable as the only thing holding these posts in place was the weight of the roof itself. I would recommend finding some other way of securing the roof when you are ready to remove the cables and lift posts. You do need something to support the roof. Once you remove the the cables from the posts they will free fall and if you don't have any support there the roof will collapse on you.
    [​IMG]


    When I went to reinstall the posts I realized why there was only one screw on the right side of each post bases. The cables travel down through the opposite side of the post (left side). If you put a screw on that side it would interfere with the path of the lift system. I put a 2nd screw through the center to hopefully help with the post stability.
    [​IMG]


    I found trying to create the loops on the cable around the post bolt themselves kind of tricky. I put a screw in my workbench to give me something I could pull the loop around that wouldn't move as cinched the hole tighter. It was much easier than trying to do it on the post laying on the table. Once I had the loop created I removed it from the table screw and put it on the lift post bolt and tightened it down with the nut.
    [​IMG]


    The top of the lift post had a seized bolt/t-nut combo that I couldn't release. I had to tear the t-nuts right out of the roof wall. Keep in mind if you are doing this you will need to sort out another method off re-attatching the top of the post to the roof wall as it is quite a disaster.
    [​IMG]



    The aftermath in the roof (t-nut torn out of roof wall, right hole)
    [​IMG]


    Again a seized bolt and t-nut. Bolt on left side I was able to cut off with grinding wheel (bolt was seized in T-Nut). I don't recommend using the cutting wheel if you can avoid it. It was a very tight space as I had the PVC supports holding roof only partially lifted (also quite unstable). I also had to remove the guard from the cutting wheel in order to get the proper angle on the bolt head. In hindsight it was very unsafe and I was working alone, very easily could have seriously injured myself via collapsing roof or contact with cutting wheel.
    [​IMG]


    Believe it or not, beyond your normal tools, this is almost all the hardware and tools required to do your entire lift system in these PU's. The only thing I reused from the old hardware was the large double channeled aluminium sleeves that coupled the two eye bolts and the specialty clips that grip the cable to the axles on the first wrap around. As mentioned by other people in this thread you can also replace that particular assembly with turnbuckles. Other things missing from this picture that you will need is Grade 2 grease, silicone gasket maker, a roll pin/punch set
    [​IMG]

    There is one specialty tool missing from the picture above that I would highly recommend tracking down and that is a set of wire rope/cable cutters. NOTE: Normal Wire cutters or side cutters and some other styles of cable cutters are NOT sufficient to do this job. You might get one or two cables cut with wire / side cutters but it requires quite a bit of effort and leaves the ends quite a bit more likely to fray. The wire rope / aircraft cables will dull your wire cutters beyond working after a couple cuts. You want to find wire rope cutters similar to what is pictured below. They cut super clean, which is important as all your cable ends need to feed through your aluminium sleeves. The sleeves are a tight fit so if you have a single piece of fray it can made the feed through challenging. This tool is not so important if you are using the u bolt and nut style crimps but I would still say$40 well spent. I'm sure you can find them cheaper if you looked around I just clicked on the first link I found to grab the picture. Can't recall what I paid for them 3 years ago.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tattoosleeve

    Tattoosleeve Member

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    Reminds me of a couple things.

    1. Make sure when you are running your cables that the roof and trailer are both level. I set up the frame on jack stands and made sure it was level front to back and side to side. I also did the same with the roof.

    2. Once everything is level you can attach all the cables and lift into position. If a corner is up or down you can use the turnbuckles to adjust the tension on the cable to that post and you should be able to get it dialed in level to the other 3.

    3. Been mentioned a couple times already but this could also be caused by the turn buckles not being positioned properly and hitting the frame in the down position or the axle in the up position.

    4. Stationary cable inside the post could have been the wrong size as well.
     
  3. Tattoosleeve

    Tattoosleeve Member

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    I'm sure you already figured it out but it is 1/8"
     
  4. Tattoosleeve

    Tattoosleeve Member

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    Another note on the PVC supports. To ensure your cables are proper length and level you will want to.

    1. Extend roof to full height
    2. Find highest corner of roof
    3. Measure distance from top of sidewall to bottom of roof frame at the high corner.
    4. Make all four of your supports based off of the measurements on that high corner.

    Chances are that the lower corners are the result of slack cables. You want all the new cables to be the same length and fix the difference in heights. Having the supports all the same will help you get uniformity in the cables and result in less fine tuning on the turnbuckles after the fact.
     
  5. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Remove and replace one cable at a time. [;)]
     
  6. Tattoosleeve

    Tattoosleeve Member

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    It's so simple! Haha

    Sent from my LG-D852 using Tapatalk
     
  7. srichard88

    srichard88 New Member

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    I have a 1979 BA1000 and would like to know the length of cable required to redo the system
     
  8. Microdad

    Microdad New Member

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    Thank you ! thank you!. Job well done. I have a 1973 Lionel That the gear box is not working . This will way better than going in blind.
    [MOD]
     
  9. Tattoosleeve

    Tattoosleeve Member

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    Playing in the gearbox was my favorite part of the teardown. Have fun!

    Sent from my LG-D852
     
  10. Tattoosleeve

    Tattoosleeve Member

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    Believe it or not, beyond your normal tools, this is all the hardware and tools required to do your entire lift system in these PU's. The only thing I reused from the old hardware was the large double channeled aluminium sleeves that coupled the two eye bolts and the specialty clips that grip the cable to the axles on the first wrap around. As mentioned by other people in this thread you can also replace that particular assembly with turnbuckles.
    [​IMG]

    There is one specialty tool missing from the picture that I would highly recommend tracking down and that is a set of cable cutters. NOTE: Wire cutters are NOT sufficient to do this job. You might get one or two cables cut with wire cutters but it requires quite a bit of effort and leaves the ends quite a bit more likely to fray. The cables will dull your wire cutters beyond working after a couple cuts. You want to find CABLE cutters. There is a significant difference.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Rottmasterschatz

    Rottmasterschatz New Member

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    Can the cable system be installed without the turn buckle? D
     
  12. Mina

    Mina New Member

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  13. Mina

    Mina New Member

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    This post is great but I must be honest and am still completely lost and starting to feel pretty dumb. I bought a 1981 bonair 650 from a guy who wanted to turn it into a hunting camper. I want to make a hardside pop up. Not complicated if the things he said worked on them actually worked. He over extended the sides and I cant get it down. Now I don't know if it is broken or if it is locked or anything. And plus to make 5hings better one of the cables is broken.
    I would love to say I can fix it but I have no clue what I am doing and getting pretty frustrated.
    I do not even know how to access the cables from the inside or how to see if it is overextended etc from the bottom.
    Anyone have any advice on how to get this fixed. Thank you
     
  14. cfredcarter

    cfredcarter New Member

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    This thread helped me so much
    Just bought an old Lionel (bonair) and ─║ooks like my heat box is stripped. Haven't got into it yet but reading this thread has given me a lot more courage.
     
  15. Kevin66

    Kevin66 New Member

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    Thank you for this thread, I'm sure it will help a lot.
    We were given a 1989 Bonair 1050. It's stuck in the up position and I need to get it down quickly to transport it home to work on it. It has one broken cable and the crank won't turn. Any suggestions?
     

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