: Automotive lift in your home garage



csbuckn
01-06-11, 01:19 AM
I'm in the market for a lift and was wondering what others are using. It would be for automotive repair. I cant make up my mind between the scissor lift or a single post lift. I'm unsure about how much concrete I have on the garage floor and I'm also limited to height also. I probably have about 8 1/2' of clearance, maybe 9. I dont want anything that needs to be anchored to the floor because it would need to be moved when needed so my options are limited to a single post lift that is moved around kinda like a pallet jack or a scissor lift that has wheels. What do ya'll think?

Also, if I wanted to make height clearance so that I could raise a car higher, I would need to move the beams that go across the ceiling, can I just move them higher? In the pic, you can see the beams, one broken, that I'm talking about. They sit at about 8 1/2' high so I was wondering if I could remove those and put some a little higher without compromising integrity. The garage is 24' by 24' Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks

Here's an ebay link to the lifts I was talking about, either one would work fine for me.
http://frame.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?CompareItems
And here's a pic of the beams I'm talking about.
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/105_1018.jpg

iowasevillests
01-06-11, 01:27 PM
Well first without seeing more details of that garage roof/rafter setup that scares me. You seem to have no real rafters, just a bottom chord and a couple of knee braces going up....being in the north where snow load matters I would highly recommend getting this looked at by a compentent structural engineer or well known general contractor, because unless I'm missing something I wouldn't have much faith in that building.

As far as back to the original post you can't just cut the bottom chord and move it up, you could put in what are called scissor rafters to get additional headroom, however based on what I can see of the garage the cost to do that will be pretty high compared to my estimated value/worth of the garage.

PS your link doesn't work.

Based on what I'm seeing I would probably suggest looking at maybe some pneumatic bumper jacks to lift the vehicle up high then block it up to give you fairly high clearance underneath as well as portability to move around.

dkozloski
01-06-11, 01:38 PM
Ditto on the air jack. Many professional mechanics use one along with substantial jack stands. I recommend Hein-Werner end lifts. They are air operated and last forever.

Stingroo
01-06-11, 03:00 PM
Air jacks are amazing. I got to use a set for the first time when I did my rear brakes and they were much easier than using my dad's friend's lift. Great for an application like this, you can still get a couple of feet of height with some big SUV jack stands, and then when you're done you can just put them against the wall and keep your garage space.

csbuckn
01-06-11, 10:53 PM
Sorry about the links, here's are the correct ones
Single post:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/6-000-LB-Portable-Single-Post-Car-Auto-Lift-Hoist-/290517651756?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item43a433912c
Scissor lift:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/6-000-LB-Portable-Mid-Rise-Auto-Car-Truck-Scissor-Lift-/290517887775?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item43a4372b1f
Now that I see the video of the scissor lift, I'm starting to like it a little better. Easy to move and better piece of mind then the single post. I looked at the end lifts and I "think" I need more lift then that, I do quite a bit of repair from my house(dont tell the city officials). You can watch a video of the scissor lift in the link, pretty nifty. I'm gonna have to look into the scissor rafters. Are the scissor rafters the only way without taking the roof off?

iowasevillests
01-07-11, 09:13 AM
A good pneumatic bumper jack will be more then sufficient for anything you're gonna be working on in that garage. Remember you're only lifting one half of the vehicle at a time, we have one in the shop on the farm and its been going strong for at least 25 years and has no problems picking up the front half of a 3/4 ton extended cab chevy pickup. And just my .02 cents but I also wouldn't be working under any lift, post, scissor etc without additional blocking/jack stands in case of an issue, I like staying out of hospitals.

As far as the scissor rafters/truss those are the only way I know of to get more headroom without adding height to the walls, neither option is cheap to do but before you get too far I again will mention you should have a compentent structural engineer or good GC look at that framing setup in your garage, from the picture you showed it doesn't look sufficient for any real roof load, let alone being up north where snow load is a real concern.

csbuckn
01-07-11, 10:09 PM
I have to admit, the bumper jack is hard to grip. I could really use something more. Right now, I'm swapping a tranny in an 03 Yukon and the front end is lifted up simular to how the bumper jack would do. I'm still laying on my back trying to take a tranny and transfer case out, its a pain. I would like more height. I have to do an 02 Honda and 94 Shadow tranny soon and I'm probably gonna have the same problem. I could see the bumper jacks being very helpful for a lot of repairs but I fear that I will be left wanting more. I'm gonna have to figure out the garage height issue soon, we just had the inspection on the house and everything went well, should be closing next week. Do you think I could take out one of the beams and still be good? I have other pics of the garage if you need to see them.

Locomotive Breath
01-08-11, 08:53 AM
I don't know what I'd do without my Rotary 2-post lift.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs270.ash1/19732_479175990651_554955651_10867284_7692686_n.jp g

csbuckn
01-08-11, 09:55 AM
I could only wish for that height clearance.

greencadillacmatt
01-08-11, 03:21 PM
I could only wish for that height clearance.

Height clearance, and a GTO like that. :drool:

johnny kannapo
01-08-11, 03:43 PM
http://www.fortuna-lda.pt/equipamento/index%20coipe.htm

johnny kannapo
01-08-11, 04:08 PM
I don't know what I'd do without my Rotary 2-post lift.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs270.ash1/19732_479175990651_554955651_10867284_7692686_n.jp g

I wish....

csbuckn
01-08-11, 04:37 PM
Johnny, I see the link but I couldnt get a price or any other info besides the first page. Do you have any other info on those lifts? They do look very heavy duty with means they will probably be out of my price range.

johnny kannapo
01-08-11, 09:35 PM
I don't but I will look further for you. Nice aren't they. I would guess its more than tripling the 2X6's in the rafter system.

iowasevillests
01-09-11, 02:14 PM
I'm going to go back to my original post and say you need to get a professional involved if you want to do something with the rafters. I am an engineer(but not a structural) and can dust off my old books and generally get what I need when I'm doing stuff for my own personal use, but I will not offer opinions on how to modify something on someone else's structure, especially without seeing it in person. What I do know is that personally I wouldn't cut rafters without getting a professional's opinion, and from the pictures I've seen of that truss layout I would be getting a professional's opinion even if I wasn't wanting to raise headroom.

dkozloski
01-09-11, 02:51 PM
Some years ago we had an extraordinary snow year here in Fairbanks, Alaska. Every company in Fairbanks that manufactured and sold roof trusses suffered a collapse of their own company buildings. Numerous other buildings with manufactured trusses had structural failures. Nearly all the failures occurred in the span of just a few days as the snow load equaled the building code standards indicating that the calculations by the engineers were accurate and uniform. There were no failures of buildings constructed by eyeball engineering by old-time contractors. In most cases a few well placed braces were all the difference required.

An interesting question is what happens to roof-loads when the load equals design limits and the area suffers even a relatively small earth temblor like occurs in Alaska hundreds of times each day.

Build your roof hell for stout when you're going to be storing classic cars in snow country.

orconn
01-09-11, 03:01 PM
The sage of Fairbanks speaks the truth, Quimosabe!

csbuckn
01-09-11, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I will have a contractor out in about two weeks to look at it with the other issues that need addressing. Thanks, again.

thebigjimsho
01-09-11, 08:54 PM
I don't know what I'd do without my Rotary 2-post lift.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs270.ash1/19732_479175990651_554955651_10867284_7692686_n.jp g
I hate you.

Locomotive Breath
01-09-11, 10:36 PM
I hate you.
That's harsh! I'd let you use it.

thebigjimsho
01-09-11, 11:30 PM
That's harsh! I'd let you use it.
OK, I don't hate you so much...:suspense:

Aron9000
01-10-11, 01:20 AM
I don't know what I'd do without my Rotary 2-post lift.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs270.ash1/19732_479175990651_554955651_10867284_7692686_n.jp g

Need more pics of the GTO, and that red 1960's vintage Corvette I see poking out around the corner

Locomotive Breath
01-10-11, 07:13 AM
Need more pics of the GTO, and that red 1960's vintage Corvette I see poking out around the corner

GTO is a clone, it's a 67 Lemans. I have a built 455 ready to go in it. Bodywork is done, just need to get it sprayed.
The vette is my wife's hotrod, it's a 63 convertible.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs190.snc3/19732_479175930651_554955651_10867279_6484812_n.jp g

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs270.ash1/19732_479049055651_554955651_10866770_5740982_n.jp g

Stingroo
01-10-11, 09:33 AM
Argh! 1963 should never have been allowed to produce convertibles. I loooooooove me some SWC. Both sweet cars. :thumbsup:

csbuckn
01-11-11, 07:28 PM
So now I may be leaning more towards the single post lift. I finally got the tranny and transfer case out and it was a pain. I was thinking that if there was a scissor lift in the way, I would of had simular problems. I dont know now but I'm really looking more towards the single post. Anybody ever used one?

Aron9000
01-12-11, 03:27 AM
Man that is a bitching Vette!!!!!

As for the lift thing, I'd go single post. Its much nicer than a drive on type lift in that you can work on the suspension, and gives you more room to work around stuff than a scissor lift.

johnny kannapo
01-13-11, 05:38 PM
Here is a good lift idea thread with interesting links in it.

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/426314-lifts-mid-rise-two-post-home.html

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26368

csbuckn
01-14-11, 07:39 PM
Thanks for the links. Seems there is never ending debate about this all over the internet. Still thinking single post.

csbuckn
01-21-11, 12:07 AM
So Today I called around to the different companies that sold the lifts in question. First off was Greg Smith Co., they were the ones with the full rise single post lift. The guy didnt sound interested in selling me a lift, rushed me and kept refering me back to his ebay page. He did tell me that you cant lift bigger vehicles on the single post because it wont center correctly, not exactly sure why it wont center but by that time, I was upset and just said bye. Not the person I want to talk to when I have questions about a machine that can kill me.

Next I called on the mid rise scissor lift. The lady was friendly but the bad thing about the scissor lift is that its 9'x4.5' when flat on the ground, not exactly a spacer saver. The pad that lifts up is over six feet long and would be put right under the tranny, crossmember, some exhaust and some of the driveshaft. Not the worse place to not have access to but why have a lift if you can only get under the engine and rear axle area? Not to mention that, like the single post, it would need to be lifted out of a freight truck with a forklift so that means shipping to a company that could put it on my little ranger and possibly another charge.

So now I'm thinking about a two post mid rise lift. This one, you just bolt the post down, put the arms on, connect the motor lines and lift. When I'm done, I'd just unbolt it and put it along the side of the garage. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. I would have access to the whole underside and would be able to move it out the way if I needed. Here's the ebay link. If you search for similar mid rise two post lifts, one has a video of a guy putting one up, it only takes him a few minutes.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Dannmar-MaxJax-Portable-Auto-Lift-2-Post-Sys-Mid-Rise-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem4cf48a1189QQitemZ33052 0203657QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools#ht_1635wt_ 941

jayoldschool
01-21-11, 04:02 PM
Check out the Max Jax (http://www.maxjaxusa.com/). I think it will be the best solution for you.

Aron9000
01-22-11, 01:52 AM
Check out the Max Jax (http://www.maxjaxusa.com/). I think it will be the best solution for you.

That is pretty damn slick for people with low garage ceilings.

csbuckn
01-25-11, 09:34 PM
Well, ordered the Max Jax today from costco. 100 bucks cheaper, free shipping and a local place to return it too. Saved me about 400 dollars, even after buying a membership. 4-6 weeks delivery.

jayoldschool
01-26-11, 04:39 PM
Congrats! Glad I could help. I am jealous, btw.

Stingroo
01-26-11, 04:51 PM
You can get those at Costco?! That's bitchin'.

ben.gators
01-26-11, 06:36 PM
Please keep us updated... pics after installation will be great! :D

csbuckn
01-26-11, 08:36 PM
I'll definitely post some pics with my caddy on it. Thanks for the info Jay. We just wired the thermastat for the gas heater today, it should be a nice setup once we are done.

csbuckn
01-31-11, 02:22 PM
4-6 weeks delivery my ass. Its getting dropped off Tomorrow morning. I havent even moved into the house yet. Maybe they should change it to 7 days. I was planning on, at least, two weeks.

ejguillot
01-31-11, 03:00 PM
Better this scenario than the reverse (expect 7 days, wait 4-6 weeks)

Stingroo
01-31-11, 03:04 PM
lol This is probably the only time in the history of interstate commerce that someone shipped something too quickly.

RippyPartsDept
01-31-11, 04:13 PM
you can probably ask them to keep it in the showroom for you or at least inside somewhere at the dealership for you if you're not ready to take delivery

csbuckn
01-31-11, 09:19 PM
I'm still gonna take it so I can set it up before I get all my crap in the garage.

csbuckn
02-07-11, 09:31 PM
Got some of it up. Its a pretty nice lift but I think they sent me the wrong motor, it doesnt fit on the little two wheeler thing. Looking at pics on the internet, its way to big. Couple things, the saleslady said that two people could unload it from the delivery truck, only if they are weight lifters. We got it off the truck by sliding it down, my new lift now includes huge scratches down the sides(oddly enough, they included a can of black spray paint). After that, we couldnt move it an inch. We had to position the minivan and load it in the back just to get it from the end of the driveway to the garage. The other thing, the instructions are not that good. Couple pics.
The anchors:
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0104.jpg
One post:
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0110.jpg
Close up of the arm connections:
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0111.jpg
Both post(dont mind the dirty garage, its a work in progress):
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0114.jpg
The motor thats too big, the bolt holes dont line up:
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0116.jpg


I'll post more when I get some answers about the motor.

csbuckn
02-16-11, 12:07 AM
Fun stuff. The motor turned out to be correct but was mounted differently. I've had a couple of cars on it and it works great, no problems and it lifts with confidence. It puts the car at about the stomach before it hits the garage door opener, perfect for just about anything. Couple pics of the first car I'll be working on, a lot of front suspension work, a door and fender. The lift will make that pretty easy.
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0176.jpg
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0174.jpg

ben.gators
02-16-11, 12:19 AM
Congratulations... You know what, today I was thinking about your lift and was going to send a post here to see what happened and how did it go... :D But you yourself posted the update :D
BTW, is the car on the lift a Caprice?

csbuckn
02-16-11, 01:10 AM
Yea, an 89. Its not mine but it gives me an idea of how the lift will handle my caddy. The only downside I see so far is that it only has two positions for the lock bars. So to rest it on the locks, its either 24 inches or fully extended.

ben.gators
02-16-11, 01:32 AM
Is there any automatic switch installed on the roof for shutting down the lift when the car is raised very near to the roof? I can see some potential danger there... the last thing you want is to hit the weak roof with your caddy!

jayoldschool
02-16-11, 05:23 PM
Must... contain... jealousy...

Congrats, buddy!

csbuckn
02-16-11, 07:31 PM
Thanks Jay, you have to get one. I know you have enough room for a full size, those are all over Craigs. I had the 4" of concrete they required and I left the caprice on the locks overnight with no problems. Going to be out there tonight, cant wait. A shut down switch would be nice because I cant see the garage door opener from the switch.

jayoldschool
02-16-11, 08:06 PM
You can move the garage opener all the way to one side of the door. It doesn't actually have to pull in the middle. That may give you another foot!

csbuckn
02-16-11, 08:37 PM
I didn't know that. I'll definitely be looking into that. Does it pull from one side then? The tracks/rollers arent in the best of condition. I'll also get some more pics.

csbuckn
03-03-11, 12:55 AM
Few more pics.
This is the first car I was able to get up to the second set of locks. It was pretty nice to work at this level but it isnt quite high enough to roll around under it with my adjustable seat without ducking down a little, maybe another seat will work.
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0050.jpg
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0048.jpg
I have ran into a couple "opportunities". One being the heater, its in the way. We will have to move it next winter to the corner. I have to duck to go under it also. It doesnt really prevent the cars from raising like the garage door opener but sometimes I cant pop the hood as you see in the pic. Its coming down this summer and will have to be moved for next winter.
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0053.jpg
Here's the garage door opener. Prevents most cars from getting to the second set of locks
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0052.jpg
The only complaint I have is that there are only two locks to rest cars on and they are like 18" apart. You can see in this pic that the locks are just bars the slide from one side to the other(You can see one of the holes above the word danger), wonder if I can just drill another set of holes where I want them.
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad196/csbuckn/_DSC0111.jpg