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Old 07-20-2020, 03:58 PM   #21
ericr
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

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Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
All of the above are very valid reasons, ...however all of the ones I ever worked in were filthy and an absolute mess. Likely because they were hard to clean, and to wash out. Even front end alignment pits that I worked in became dark dungeons over time. I personally don't think I would like to work in another pit. Add me to that list of 'Lifts have spoiled me too!'.
-that's because you were not maintaining Ford standards of cleanliness JK JK
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:52 PM   #22
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

What brand hoists did you go with? What weight load? Thanks



Both are Bend Pac one is a 9K and the other is extra long extra wide to accommodate a F350 14K, they are both 12 yrs old without a bit of trouble.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:06 PM   #23
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

Friend of mine in Ohio had a Jiffy Lube back in the late 90s. There were holes cut in the floor and the floor was supported by steel beams. Underneath there was a movable steel platform that was hydraulic and could be adjusted for height. They would pull the car or light truck over the hole which had guide rails so a wheel wouldn't fall in, one guy would work underneath dropping the oil in a catch system and change the filter, then check manual trans and rear end fluid, while the guy/gal would fill the oil, check auto trans etc. They could do a vehicle in very little time. Everything was spotless.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:22 PM   #24
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

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Used to play in them all the time as kid, but that was back in the 50s, then the cuban missile crisis hit and some of those pits were expanded and turned into bomb shelters, and those were really fun to play in.
Does anybody else see the funny side of this one. The service pit is converted to a bomb shelter, then they park the old bomb on top of it!
They used to be quite common in country areas here.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:10 AM   #25
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

My first experience with a pit was when I got my first car in the late 50's and went to our local country garage for service work and oil changes. The pit was dark and greasy with a slippery set of wooden stairs at one end. One of the hired mechanics lived upstairs over the office and his 2-3 yr old son often escaped from his mother to come downstairs. If Daddy was in the pit, the kid would run over, sit on his rear and slide down the stairs. Mother was not pleased! This pit also was used for alignments and had 2 recesses for the front wheels to drop into to position the car for alignment. When the pit was used for other purposes the recesses were filled with short pieces of greasy boards. One day I drove my 49 Meteor (CAN. Ford) in for a lube job and stopped the car just as the front wheels were on the boards. The front end slid sideways and the left side went into the pit. After I climbed across the seat and got out the passengers door, the garage owner called a guy up the road that operated a wrecker and he came and lifted the car out. No harm, no foul! My next experience with a pit was in the early sixties when I went to work for Ford dealership. They had a frame alignment pit and did a lot of work on large transport trucks. One day the mechanic, using a torch to work on a large truck, started a fire in the pit. Unfortunately the fire was between him and the only pit exit. Fe yelled "Fire" and I grabbed the nearest fire extinguisher and was luckily able to extinguish the fire. The only hiccup was that one other other mechanics had hung the cord for a trouble light around the extinguisher and when I grabbed the extinguisher and ran there was lots of sparks and a blown breaker. New rule in the shop: don't hang things on fire extinguishers. After that I was never a fan of pits. I think they are a death-trap.
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:53 AM   #26
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

I built my house in 1998 and had a pit included with the blueprints in NYS. The town first denied my building permit because I had oak planks (flammable?) covering the pit when not in use. I revised the blueprints to have 2,700 lbs. sq. ft. metal grates in 5 sections that could be removed when in use. They approved the plans and said that no electrical outlets were permitted in the pit.

Last edited by Doug 845; 07-21-2020 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Add additional info
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:16 AM   #27
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

My Dad put a pit in his garage in the 90's. I had also heard that they were outlawed (Dad didn't get a building permit) but the jiffy lube places have them and a local farmer/HD Mechanic has one in his big shop 100 feet long for tractor trailer units. I knew a guy years ago that was badly disfigured from being burned something like 3 rd degree over 90% of his body. Some kids put something in the fuel tank of a police car on halloween and the car was taken to the local garage to have the tank drained. The guy was just a kid working there at the time and, as he was draining the gas, he knocked the trouble light down and the bulb broke ignition the fumes. Of course the entire pit was like a cremation furnace. I think a pit can still be legal but it has to have adequate ventilation and fixed lights. I know I wouldn't step foot in one without.
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:55 AM   #28
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

Many years ago I had an uncle who had several drinks too many and fell accross an outdoor grease pit in the dark. He hit face first on the far side. Lost most of his teeth but somehow survived.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:58 AM   #29
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

Interesting read on pits. Now I understand the reason they are no longer common as they used to be.
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Old 07-22-2020, 12:28 PM   #30
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

I remember as a kid growing up, my father had a pit on the side of a hill.
No idea if he built it, or was there when we moved in.


There was a small barn with a carport, The pit was just planks on beams ... You just drove out onto the planks, then there was a trail down the hill on the side you walked down to get under the car.
They had dug into the ground and side of the hill to walk on etc.

I am thinking of no words to describe it's safety.


In fairness, this was in the 60's, we were renting the house and outbuildings on a old 125 acre farm. I suspect it was built by original farmer in the 40's or 50's.


Also have no horror stories to go with it, I know my father used it a few times, he also was a mechanic at a gas station and did most his wrenching at work.
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Old 07-22-2020, 12:45 PM   #31
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

I've seen plenty of grease pits. But also some places had a dirt ramp... you drove up onto old Railroad ties and worked underneath. This was also used to load tractors and farm equipment onto flatbed trucks.
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Old 07-22-2020, 12:45 PM   #32
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

I see your pit and raise you....
Attached Images
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:13 AM   #33
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

After they did away with the steam locomotives at home I remember dad putting plank ramps over the ash pit and doing oil changes on it.
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Old 07-23-2020, 03:08 PM   #34
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

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I see your pit and raise you....
I noticed the mechanic in the picture was wearing a leather “beanie” or skull cap and coveralls.

When I was growing up in the late ‘40’s, there was a rental house across the street from our house that had a narrow back yard. This family moved in and the guy promptly dug a grease pit and started repairing cars in the front yard!

He used to wear that “beanie” and coveralls and he used to ride on the running board of the cars to listen to engine. I don’t know if the city got after him or the landlord got upset with him for digging the pit, because they didn’t live there very long.

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Old 07-23-2020, 03:47 PM   #35
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

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I see your pit and raise you....
Unbelievable: he has the straps around the tie rod!
If he lifted an A like that, there’d be oil everywhere.
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:06 PM   #36
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

Interesting story, my friend Dave, who was building a 30 x 40‘ garage and the neighbor lady was calling the inspector and complaining all the time. So to figure out if it was her That kept calling the inspector on him, he told her that he was putting in a pit. The next day, the inspector shows up, and says “I hear you’re going to put in a pit”. Dave says” actually I’m putting in a lift, where ever did you hear that?” So then he went over to the neighbor Lady, and said “you know I don’t care what color the end of my garage that faces your house, it could be bright orange”. After that she backed off and quit messing with him
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:33 AM   #37
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

One of my brothers had a 1 ton chain block like the one in post #32. That was a heavy old brute, weighed about 50 - 60 pounds. The 1 ton chain block I have now only weighs about 20 lbs.
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Old 07-24-2020, 01:10 PM   #38
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

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I see your pit and raise you....
I love it!! Kinda like how an f250 gets worked on today, just raise the body off the frame.
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:43 AM   #39
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

Hi Guys,
I have dug and built 4 pits over the past 40 odd years. I have dug them all by myself, the last one at the age of 65. Once the hole is done, I build the walls, steps and floor with bricks and cement before painting it white and making timber covers.
As a youngster I could not afford a lift. Now that I can and my 4 car (double tandem)garage is high enough, I find that is just a little too narrow to fit a lift and have enough space to move and work around the posts of a lift.
Therefor, I have to be satisfied with a pit.
Regards
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:47 AM   #40
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Default Re: Anyone Ever Built or Even Seen, An Original type Greasing Pit?

There is a Muffler Shop locally who still uses two pits, leftover from a former service garage. The guy has been running that place for years. No appointment needed. He shuttles cars in and out all day long, moving from one pit to the other. Now, I would not go to him for a custom job, but if you need a quick fix, he's the man. He's got a few padded chairs to sit in while you wait, one of those old coolers with the chilled water in it that he keeps bottles of soda in, newspapers and trade magazines in haphazard piles, and it's a neighborhood hangout. I actually saw him throw a salesman out one day when he was being insistent that his mufflers were a better buy. Hardcore all the way.
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