Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Electromagnetic Car Lift

For fixin'
  [vote for,

Even with the advent of aluminium as a lightweight replacement, the majority of passenger vehicles and small trucks are still made primarily of steel.

Decent car lifts cost a pretty penny, are a bit of a pain to set up, and take up valuable floorspace when not in use.

Enter the Electromagnetic Car Lift.

Attach the pulley to a robust crossbeam ; lower, then attach the electromagnet assembly to the roof of the car, plug it in, energize and lift. For those whose vehicle manufacturer were inconsiderate enough to place the CG under the windshield, use the provided extension-beam to attach some of the magnets to the hood of the car (remember to close and latch hood, first).

FlyingToaster, Nov 30 2017


       Initially, I thought this was a dreadful idea. How would you work on a convertible, or a vehicle with a non-ferrous upper structure, such as a lotus or Land Rover? I feel silly since I realized that the lift would work just fine if the car was inverted.   

       You have however, missed the most obvious benefit. The huge electromagnet will induce a magnetic field in the entire structure of the car. As such, any dropped tools/bolts etc will just stick to the car. This may be a pretty robust attractive force, so if you need to detach the large wrench from the bottom of the engine block, simply ask an assistant to quickly flip the magnet off and on and the wrench will no longer be the most pressing issue.
bs0u0155, Dec 01 2017

       There may also be a problem in that most cars are not designed to be suspended from their roof. At the very least, you would wind up with a strangely shaped roof.   

       Also, how exactly does this invention differ from the electromagnetic grabs that are used to move cars around scrapyards?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 01 2017

       You’re onto something MB. CAN THIS actually BE a FANTASY (of helping cars) played out in the mind of a scrap-yard crane operator? The name Flying Toaster I think hints at the truth. The traumatic reality of squashing cars must have been too much for him. Show him an oxo cube (in its wrapper) and then run for it
DDRopDeadly, Dec 01 2017

       Sorry for the flippancy FT. The idea works ok if it operates maybe in a place with beaten up old cars like are driven in many countries. But in others, like Uk it’s amazing how much fuss people make about a little scratch or warping, as if their life is over. All new cars should be made with a scratched or bent appearance to help these people relax.
DDRopDeadly, Dec 01 2017

       A nice cushioned cradle and some non magnetic tools would make this idea passable. Is a crane with electricity cable more energetically efficient than an hydraulic fluid hoist? Probably a bit more flexible when it comes to variation of use.
wjt, Dec 01 2017

       //Is a crane with electricity cable more energetically efficient than an hydraulic fluid hoist?//   

       No. A hydraulic lift needs energy to raise the car and, if the pump is efficient, this energy can approach the potential energy of the raised car. Once the car is lifted, the system need use no further energy. An electromagnetic lift requires the same amount of energy to lift the car, but requires additional energy to maintain the magnetic force, even when the car is held stationary.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 02 2017


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