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Looking for ideas on homemade car lift

 
Old 12-23-2012, 05:14 PM
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rgs944
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Default Looking for ideas on homemade car lift

I have a 8K lbs fork lift at my shop. I also have a 5 ton over head chain hoist that rolls on a i beam in the machine shop. I am toying with the idea of building my own homemade car support. My first thought would be to use I beams that would be welded together in a solid sguare. At that point I would lift and support each end up to the height desired by using the forklift or chain hoist. I would love to have an actually car lift but for something I would only use a few times a year I am hoping to get something setup for cheap. Thoughts, ideas?

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Old 12-23-2012, 05:31 PM
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Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Name:  HomeMadeLift.jpg
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:42 PM
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I am hoping to do a little better than that. That is funny.

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Old 12-23-2012, 06:04 PM
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I have seen pictures of the metal frame box used by Porsche to fly the complete body over to and down on the driveline on the assembly line.....
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:11 PM
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Randy V
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Originally Posted by rgs944 View Post
At that point I would lift and support each end up to the height desired by using the forklift or chain hoist. I would love to have an actually car lift but for something I would only use a few times a year I am hoping to get something setup for cheap. Thoughts, ideas?
That does not sound like a very safe solution.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy V View Post
That does not sound like a very safe solution.
I am confident I can get something 100 % safe, it is just the best way to go about it. Since I have the lifts already I should be ablle to frame something up that can be supported at both ends securely. My chain hoist is plenty strong to lift the whole car up, but it will only need to lift one end. The other end would get lifted with the forklift. Obviously I would not get under the car untill it is on the supporting safety blocks at each corner.

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Old 12-23-2012, 07:26 PM
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Sqaure steel tubing welded together might work too. 4x4 tubes welded 3 accross would probably do it, but 4 would make it a little more versatile. Found this info in a search.

Re: 3x3 or 4x4 square tubing bending strength
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It does look like a 4"x4" hollow tube with 3/16" walls should be able to hold 1500lb without too much trouble, but it will depend and what kind of holes are drilled in it and how the beam is suppoorted at the ends.

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Old 12-24-2012, 01:24 AM
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Sometimes I spend time looking at ideas for a better mousetrap. In the end, the commercial mousetraps work well at what they do and are cheaper and easier than the overengineered solution I think might work better. Focusing on the goal of eradicating the mice, of course. The mice don't know the difference.

Moving on to the lift, I thought long and hard about interesting options. In the end, it was cheaper to buy a lift than just the materials would cost. I ddn't consider using a forklift for the actual lifting operation, though. But for less than $2k, a factory built lift was, for me anyway, a bargain.

As far as only using it a few times a year, you aren't thinking about it enough. I use the lift a lot. The car is sitting on it right now, as I work on the front tow eye socket. It's just way too easy to just swing the arms in and push the 'up button. The car is at the right height for just about anything I want to do. In the last couple weeks, the car has been the lift three or four times for casual little stuff. K's 4runner was on it to get the wheels off for cleaning. It's just so easy to do so much more.

Sure, you might invent some ramps or a frame that would get your car off the floor with the forklift. You still need rails and tracks, safety stops, ad a way to keep the thing from tipping over as you adjust the height. Vs. Buy once, bolt it down, push the button. Trust me, you'll use it more than you think once it's a pushbutton operation. Trust me.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:43 AM
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Picked up a 10,000 lb 2 post articulated lift 6 months ago for $ 1995 delivered. $ 200 for a pro to run power to it. You can buy lighter duty ones for $ 1,500-1,600. T
http://www.derekweaver.com/2-post-ca...sort=priceasca
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:17 AM
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I've got a Workhorse portable lift. It moves around like a pallet jack, and when it's at full height I can walk under my cars. 6ooo lb capacity, but it ain't cheap, all said and done $2700.00. Worth every penny!
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by polecat702 View Post
I've got a Workhorse portable lift. It moves around like a pallet jack, and when it's at full height I can walk under my cars. 6ooo lb capacity, but it ain't cheap, all said and done $2700.00. Worth every penny!
Is this the lift of which you speak?

http://www.asedeals.com/portable-car-lift-gen.html

What does it weigh and how easy is it to move around?
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:58 AM
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I had purchased one from here and absolutely loved it.

I will buy from them again when I have a garage again (hopefully in the spring)
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:30 AM
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Used high quality 6k lb commercial lifts are frequently dirt cheap as shops migrate to higher capacity lifts for SUV's.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by depami View Post
Is this the lift of which you speak?

http://www.asedeals.com/portable-car-lift-gen.html

What does it weigh and how easy is it to move around?
Yeah, thats it. It weighs around 900lbs, and to move it you pump the handle just like a floor jack, pull/push it where ever you need it. Because it's portable it uses 110 volt power. Plug it in anywhere.

It's got 4 different hight pads, it was made for junk yards, so the weather doesn't hurt it. My DIL, made a cover for the motor/oil tank.

It's fantastic, beats laying on your back! BTW, I've had the wife's Tahoe on it, no problems, very safe.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:51 PM
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Those lifts look very nice and I would love to have one. I will try to watch the used market and see what comes up. I do not need one till spring anyway since I can not fill my shop up with toys right now. I need the winter space for stuff that actually makes money. I am also going to be watching for some cheap used 4.4 Tube steel that might make it very cost effective to build my own.
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