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Residential Car Lifts and Slab Thickness

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by jb_selig, Jan 10, 2015.

    • Member

    jb_selig

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    Hi Rob-

    I've been reading your book and throughly enjoying it (even the reference to my Tii).

    I have long wanted to put a lift in my garage and reading your chapter on tools rekindled my interest. I'm curious what drove you to the scissors lift as opposed to a 2 or four post lift....especially given the limitations that you mention regarding the scissor and the amount of under chassis work you do.
    BendPak 4 Post HD-9ST (narrow profile)
    Danmar MaxJax 2-Post Portable
    Bendpak Mid-rise Scissor Lift

    Also, given you line of work, I was wondering if you can suggest how to determine slab thickness and whether rebar was put in place for an existing garage slab. The MaxJax requires a minimum of 4" thickness with rebar. Since I didn't build my house I have no way of knowing the concrete specifications. I have read up a bit on Ground Penetrating Radar, but I suspect this type of technology would be cost prohibitive for my purposes. Alot of people on GarageJournal.com report favorably on both the MaxJaxx and Bendpak lifts, with the 4 post favored for storage and the 2 post favored for servicing cars.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Presumably Rob will pipe in here when he has a chance - I thought I recalled him writing that he was height limited due to something like a basement garage and no way was there enough height to accommodate a taller lift.

    If you have the height and room, I'd think a two-post lift is the most versatile. A 4-post might be better for storage, but far less easy access for wheels/suspension/brake work, & a lot of others too.

    http://www.rotarylift.com/LIFTS/SPOA10/

    Asymmetric - more room to open vehicle doors, much easier in/out of vehicle

    10K lb. capacity - can handle a full size pickup

    For car work, you want the round adapters, not the standard 3-stage flip-up adapters, which can be too high for lowered vehicles (click the accessories tab)

    If you're over 6' tall, go for the taller 80.25" rise (same as SPOA10-TA, but with Round Adapters, not the tall Truck Adapters).

    Don't know what to tell you about the floor, but it might be worth it for safety's sake to re-do the support area for the post mounting anyway with not only rebar but extra depth/concrete. Last thing you want is to have your lift fall over with a car or truck on it because the floor gives way.

    At least two tall safety stands are an excellent idea when using a two-post lift, also important to remember to _remove_ them before lowering any vehicle on the lift!

    http://www.nationaltoolwarehouse.com/1500-lbs-Stinger-Capacity-Underhoist-Stand-P57803.aspx
    • Member

    Ken.S.330

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    At least two tall safety stands are an excellent idea when using a two-post lift, also important to remember to _remove_ them before lowering any vehicle on the lift!

    Sounds like there is a story there. ;)
    mvalet likes this.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Not yet for me, but another friend with a lift hangs a carabiner over his lift's release lever when he uses a safety stand to remind him to pull the stand before lowering - due to forgetting once to pull the stand (thankfully no disaster though, caught the mistake before catastrophe!).
    Ken.S.330 likes this.
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    solarphil

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    Rob and I had some back-forth discussion after I mentioned in the 2002FAQ that I put in a Max Jax. I liked the clear access to the full underside of the car and the ability to unbolt it and stow it away (although I haven't yet actually stowed it, I have relocated one of the posts to accommodate different cars, which was handy). In his garage, he had zero extra space to the side (which any two post style requires) so he decided his scissor lift style fit his application best.

    For the slab, I understand most residential garage slabs will be 4" assuming relatively modern construction, but not thicker. Mine was right at 4" with some of my holes "popping through" right at the very end. Not to worry, the wedge anchors provided with the lift leverage against the sides of the hole, not the end. If you have doubts, you can check with Max Jax or have an engineer run the calcs for "what if" there is no rebar, or remesh was used -- as concrete is strong in compression and the rebar is there solely for tension, the impact could likely be mainly in terms of how much imbalance the load can have, perhaps fine for a BMW but not ok for working on your pickup. However don't quote me on that, I'm not an engineer. :)

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