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Brake Lathes; Lifts


Modernizing the Brake Lathe
Today’s brake lathes are specifically manufactured for shops that need speed, disc/drum versatility and low maintenance.Flexibility is the operative word here and you can buy it online. You can even outfit your brake lathe with a Toyota rotor back plate that fits inside the large center-hole Toyota rotor hat, like those found on Tacomas, and clears the truck jaws, as well.

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Like so many basic tools in the tire industry, it is the addition of optional equipment that adds so much versatility to the original version. From Ammco Coats comes word that its vacuum brake bleeder allows one man bleeding at a cost effective price without the need for special reservoir adapters.

This unit comes with an overflow check valve, a convenient storage hook, operates on shop air and comes with a quick release locking trigger. A universal rubber fitting for bleeder screws is also included, as is an 18.5 fl. oz. container.

In fact, the company says the price of its brake bleeder permits the purchase of two or three brake bleeder units for less than a complete brake bleeder set with adaptors. In this way, a high volume shop can become more efficient.

Also incorporated in the list of features that can be ordered with this unit is an OTV lug nut kit that includes the five most popular tread pitches and nuts that eliminate length issues. Purchasers will also notice that tapers will seat properly in the adaptors.

One of the most critical elements of successful hubless rotor and drum machining is linked to accurately mounting the work-piece on the lathe arbor. Ammco’s new double chuck increases the odds of accurate mounting by centering the work-piece on the drums, a critical operation.


The double chuck helps the technician consistently achieve an accurate mounting even on half-ton and one-ton hubless rotors and drums. The company says this will reduce comebacks and rework.
In review, the company’s double chuck kit has two sets of concentric, expanding jaws to grip the center-hole and eliminate the need for cones. The kit also has two sets of concentric expanding jaws to grip the center-hold and eliminate the need for cones. There are only five pieces to choose, store and maintain in the kit, which also includes three backing plates, a chuck key and fits any 1-inch lathe arbor.

Serious Lifts for Small Spaces

If you need to squeeze a lot of lifting power into a limited amount of space, check out the many scissor lift offerings. We’re talking about the ability of being able to lift 6,000 lbs. on a very small footprint. At least one company offers optional air jacks that add to lifting vehicles off the runways during alignment procedures and other multi-service operations.


A scissor rack may also be installed flush mounted to your shop’s floor surface in a very shallow pit. This is an ideal installation for dealerships handling high-end “showcase” vehicles.


Today, it’s probably more about the options on such lifts that are generating the excitement. On cloudy days, have you noticed how dark it can be working under the vehicle? That’s yesterday’s news. Ask your lift supplier to add an optional light source under the lift with no exposed electrical cords. Power comes from the main lift power source and lights come on when the lift is raised and turn off when it’s lowered.

Also consider the wear detector plate(s), which can even be ordered as a stainless steel option. This handy feature simulates road forces to simplify pre-alignment inspection of the steering linkage and suspension components. One tech can control the air-operated plates from under the vehicle while observing most running gear components. This option effectively eliminates the need for a second technician and improves the ability to do a better job.

Swing air jacks can also be ordered with one company’s lifts, including the scissors lift in as many as three designs: 8,000 lb., 6,000 lb. and 4,500 lb. capacity versions.

These jacks, says the company, eliminate noise, oil leaks and frequent maintenance that can develop on jacks with air-over-hydraulic components. They also provide a safe lift to 22 inches from the runway surface with optional risers (18-inch standard).


Safe dual-handle operation requires both control handles to be used to raise or lower the jack, keeping both hands clear during the lifting process. These jacks also roll easily on a special rail to reach the vehicle manufacturer’s specified jacking points. This results in a jack that is less affected by dirt and debris buildup than jacks that roll in gutters. This unit swings out of the way when not in use.

For your customers with low clearance vehicles, optional low angle approach ramps are also on every dealer’s wish list.

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