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What Is an Auto Rotisserie?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

When repairing or restoring the body of an automobile, it is often necessary to access the undercarriage, the top, the sides, the front, and the rear at any given point throughout the process. Professionals and hobbyists alike will often use an auto rotisserie in order to keep the body of the vehicle off the ground and easily rotatable. This makes sanding, filling, repairing, and painting the body of the automobile possible without having to prop up the body and crawl under it, or squeeze large pieces of equipment into tighter spots. An auto rotisserie is usually made from high-grade steel.

This device is essentially a frame that suspends the body of the automobile off the ground. The auto rotisserie will usually feature two pivoting brackets that allow the body to be rotated easily; this means a person working on the car can repair one area of the body, then rotate the body quickly and easily to continue the repair process on another part of the body. The frame of the auto rotisserie needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the often heavy auto body, so it is usually made from a thick gauge steel. The device is also likely to feature casters that make moving the rotisserie and the auto body much easier.

A chicken before being rotisseried.
A chicken before being rotisseried.

Some auto rotisserie models are fixed height units, while others are adjustable. Adjustable units are likely to be more expensive, but they will accommodate a wider variety of vehicles. Just about all units will feature 360 degree turning of the auto body so a user can access all parts of the vehicle's body when necessary. After turning the body to the desired position, the frame can be locked in place so the body will not move while work is being done to it.

The most common alternative method to using an auto rotisserie involves propping the body up on jack stands. This is a far less expensive method, but accessing the bottom of the auto body can be quite difficult, especially when using bulkier pieces of equipment. A user may need to slide on his or her back to access the bottom part of the vehicle, which can be dangerous, especially when using pieces of equipment such as saws, grinders, and welders that can shoot sparks. The process of getting the vehicle's body properly positioned on the jack stands can be difficult as well, and some types of work will not be possible when the body is propped on stands.

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    • A chicken before being rotisseried.
      By: Diana Taliun
      A chicken before being rotisseried.