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Old 05-29-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
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Default Garage Lifts

Any body have any experience with swapping their garage door to accommodate a garage lift? I'm curious as to what the pit falls are. Any drawbacks?
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
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Are you talking about an in-ground (dig up the floor, usually hydraulic) or above ground lift (two tall posts, electric cable system)?
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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Sorry, Above ground.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
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Okay. Well, we've got one of these at our shop.




One of the hydraulic lifts broke, and that was cheaper. Posts are about 12 feet tall. It's electric powered, so you don't have to worry about supporting it via jack-stands when you're not working on it. The offset arm lengths are kind of a pain, especially for racking something as small as a miata.


As for the garage doors, I think the easiest method would be this.




Yes, I am aware that's probably a normal garage door. I'd make it a "gate-style door, with the doors opening like a typical french door set. Offset the hinges back a bit, so the opening remains the same. I'd figure normal weather stripping would work well enough around the seals. Use a simple post, with a nice rope or polished chain, to hold the doors open. Stylish, and unbelievably functional.



tl;dr - Unless you garage is really tall, it ain't gunna fit. Electric garage door + lift + short roof = Not gonna happen.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
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Why not a roll up style door?
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:00 AM   #6
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Edited my misunderstanding.

If a rollup door can be found that is aesthetically pleasing enough that would work.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:36 AM   #7
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Piece of cake..











Yes, we plonked the same roof right back on top of the new stub walls... Made some partial "storage mezzanines" to bolster the strength of the long walls, and reconnected the same roll door tracks to them. The only limitation was that you can't have the door open when a car is up in the air, but it otherwise works great. Took a day and a couple buddies (and a crane) to do the whole thing.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:56 AM   #8
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For a less radical option, without sweating the garage door at all, consider one of these mid-rise scissor lifts. Not the greatest for pulling a trans or installing an exhaust, but it works great for most routine stuff.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:22 AM   #9
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Pinky, raising the roof like that is exactly what our friend and neighbor did to his shop.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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I feel like those scissor lifts are only for the lazy or older people. Doesn't seem like there's anything you can do on those that you can't do bent over with some jack stands. Less even, since you can technically get some big jack stands and a tranny jack and swap trannys. If you wanna hate your life that is.

I've told the fiance that the one requirement when we move to another home is that the garage gets bigger. Our econo single car garage is not cutting it. I also described the benefits of a lift.

"well get one then!"

She's a keeper.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
I've told the fiance that the one requirement when we move to another home is that the garage gets bigger. Our econo single car garage is not cutting it. I also described the benefits of a lift.

"well get one then!"

She's a keeper.
LOL. Emphasis on "fiancee." Just wait.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:06 AM   #12
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I don't have a lift right now because when I asked about it all she said was "is it a need or a want?" and I hesitated for just a half second and that sealed my fate.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:14 AM   #13
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I was thinking something with more of a store the miata in the air and park a small car underneath it application.

Was curious if anyone had been able to this in a regular garage.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
I feel like those scissor lifts are only for the lazy or older people. Doesn't seem like there's anything you can do on those that you can't do bent over with some jack stands. Less even, since you can technically get some big jack stands and a tranny jack and swap trannys. If you wanna hate your life that is.

Partially agreed. They're not great for stuff under the middle of the car, but they're not useless either. It's sure a lot nicer to work on brakes and suspension standing up rather than crawling around on the ground. Same goes for anything that requires getting under the motor; starters, oil changes, changing hoses and rads, the list goes on and on. I use my two post most of the time, but the mid-rise is handy when I have something on the big lift waiting for parts and such. If I couldn't fit a two-post in a garage I'd definitely prefer having a mid-rise over working on my back. They're also great for detailing, body work and paint prep.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:22 AM   #15
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Like so?





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Old 05-30-2013, 11:49 AM   #16
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Like this?

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Old 05-30-2013, 12:08 PM   #17
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I am not sure I understand the question. What do you have now and what would you swap the garage door to?

If you have a roll-up garage door (i.e. the normal style), I would think the question of whether or not a 4-post lift will fit is going to be more of a function of your ceiling height.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:27 PM   #18
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I bought this Bend Pak P6 for $1300 brand new. I've had it for a year and it has already paid for itself in time savings and reduced hassle. Can I stand underneath it? No. Does it save time on a ton of common jobs? Absolutely. It takes me all of about 10 minutes to change four wheels and tires (and two front brake pads) now to get ready for the track.

The center section is entirely open, so no problem using it for working on transmission, clutch, exhaust, suspension, or the underside of the motor/ engine bay.

For a value option, this one is hard to beat.





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Old 05-30-2013, 12:54 PM   #19
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Thats really interesting. I have not seen a scissor lift in that style before.

For the ceiling limited wanting a bit more than that scissor style. There's always a 4 post lift. IMO in a residential install they're safer than a 2 post because there's less change of a tipping failure. And you you put it on a standard thickness concrete pad rather than an extra thick one.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:59 PM   #20
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I'm ceiling challenged. That Bend Pak looks like a nice option. Hmmmmm . . . .

Curly, can I borrow your fiancee to ask permission?
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