a car lift in your shop

Discussion in 'Shop Plans, and some larger shop tool related inf' started by grumpyvette, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. chromebumpers

    chromebumpers solid fixture here in the forum Staff Member

    I’m not working in the industry, I guess you could call me a “hobbyist” at best and I never witnessed any failed installs. What is always absent from all these YouTube videos are pictures of cars with mishaps due to improper lifting.
    Even the best post foundations won’t save any car that is lifted improperly, out of balance or improper lifting points.
    I personally witnessed 2 lazy mechanics, one at a muffler shop - he didn’t even bend over, just kicked the swivel arm under the car and repeated that for the other 3 arms. The mechanic sure jumped quickly when one arm slipped off the pinch weld, now that arm dented the rocker panel and the other arm wasn’t holding up anything. It was the next time about a year later during a state inspection, a kid operating the lift removed 2 rear wheels when the lift was about 2 ft off the ground. Now the kid was raising the car higher and jerking the control stick, the car started to rock and then tipped forwards from being improperly balanced on the lift. The car tipped all the way with the car’s nose hitting the floor. All because the kid wanted to swing the doors free from hitting the posts.
  2. chromebumpers

    chromebumpers solid fixture here in the forum Staff Member

    Oh, wait one more, this one is on DC not that long ago (I’ll copy it when I find the thread). Some guy, for something to due with the garage door up or down was using just two arms on his lift to raise tjhe rear of a pickup with the lift arms under the rear bumper. I think it was mentioned the front wheels were not blocked so the truck rolled forward dropping the truck. A jack-ass move absolutely!
  3. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    yeah theres unfortunately always the "IDIOT FACTOR"
    to consider anytime you deal with any mechanical object or tool.
    how many idiots do you know that try to use a drill press without a vise, and have something snatched out of their hands
    I know one guy that blew out all the windows in his shop, and damaged the garage door,
    when he failed to shut off the leaking acetylene welding tank,
    when he finished,.. luckily he was not in the shop at the time,
    and nothing caught fire
    (wrong fuel/air ratio for an efficient ignition, but it was enough to scare him and all the neighbors )
    there was a dull WOMMP sound and the windows busted and the door bulged out,
    maybe because the leaking acetylene welding tank, was 99% empty..
    he had gone in the house to get money and car keys,
    to get what was required to drive to a gas supply to get a new tank.
    being forgetful can be very hazardous
    now his wife states he can only use a MIG welder..
    shield gasses don,t burn
  4. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I know exactly what your referring too as Im also 6'3" tall, and while its not always a P.I.T.A, it can be,
    there are several routes to take here,
    first most lifts have what are often referred to as truck lift extensions,
    these can be between 1.5" to over 6" in height.
    these allow the cars frame to lift clearance to be significantly increases along with the clearance for taller guys under the lift, when the cars raised.
    obviously the first issue youll bring up is the much taller lift arm extensions won,t fit under the corvette when you go to lift the car ,
    but generally the 1.5" versions will allow you to lift the car and of course you can resort to placing four 2ft x 12" wide boards,
    where the cars tires will be as its rolled between the vertical supports to gain temp easy,
    access to the frame with the taller lift adapters
    once the corvette with the side exhaust is up about 2 feet you can temporarily lower it on the 4- 6 ton,
    or ideally 4 -12 ton,jack stands,
    you should have for use with a mechanics creeper long enough to lower the lift just enough,
    to replace the 1.5" pad extensions for the 4" or 6" extensions , thus you have significant more under the car working room.

    your other option is one I frequently use, just lift the car enough to use the mechanics roller creeper
    or a comfortable desk chair with wheels that allows you to sit and easily scoot around while seated/

    two post truck lift adapters come in dozens of configurations and various heights talk to your lift vendor

    https://www.derekweaver.com/learn/2-post-lift/ (near bottom of page)


  5. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    you always start with the basics, is the floor dead level and are both vertical support columns spaced apart,
    and vertical,and 90 degrees from the slab surface,
    so the distance between both remains consistent at the base and at the tops of both.
    both vertical support columns ,
    generally require shims under the base to be perfectly vertical & parallel,
    many of the lift manufacturers offer a 1" thick extended
    (much larger base plate)
    and a shim package
    for applications where the floor is not level.

    looking at the posted picture, I would put a plumb bob and a carpenters square ,
    and steel, tape measure and a level on those vertical support columns
    Id bet they are not perfectly vertical and parallel,
    run the lift arms up to eye level and measure the distance,
    too the slab surface on both arms in the extended position.



    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  6. T-Test

    T-Test reliable source of info

    That is why these are adjustable or he was using two different height stands.

  7. leonsteed84

    leonsteed84 Member

    A home garage with a lift sounds like a dream. Gotta save up for it.
  8. T-Test

    T-Test reliable source of info

    Almost a necessity when you get old,broken up and busted up.
  9. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

    A car lift is just about a must have for most late model vehicles built the last 10 years.
    Old Corvettes and Musclecars Jackstands still work fine.
    Feel aches someday too at 49.
  10. T-Test

    T-Test reliable source of info

    Not many being built with a Frame anymore, all uni body construction.
  11. leonsteed84

    leonsteed84 Member

    I agree. How much does the same model cost nowadays?

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