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Technical Increasing clearance on a four post lift.....anybody do it?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hotrodA, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. Years ago, I bought a used Backyard Buddy 7000 four post lift at a smoking deal.
    I normally park my roadster under it, with a project car raised on the lift, due to my having TOO MANY PROJECTS! Yeah I know. SELL SOMETHING!:eek: Phffft.

    This model lift has 63" of drive-under clearance, which fits the roadster fine, but nothing else in the "fleet". The 33 coupe sits at 65" and the 32 Tudor is at 67", the 40's are taller.

    So, my question is: What about fabbing up four risers for the pads under each post. Steel, of course, 2x4 rectangular tubing with center brace and top plated. Bolt the existing pad to the riser. The drive on ramps would have to adapted, easy enough. Have enough ceiling clearance.

    Any input, pros and cons? Anybody done this?
    Thanks!
    Bill
     
  2. Just a thought have you contacted Backyard buddy and asked them?
    Its something that may have been asked before.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  3. I'm no engineer, but personally, I'd look at creating a stack of 1/2" steel plate. 6 plates under each leg would give you 3" of lift, a nice stable surface, you could run longer bolts through the plate from your lift to the floor.
     
    clem likes this.
  4. brjnelson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 424

    brjnelson
    Member

    Yes the ramps would have to be modified. If the cars that go on the hoist are low, the ramps will have to be made longer, for clearance (do not want to knock the mufflers off )
    If the 4 posts were made taller at the top, you would need new cables made.


    I would just chop n slam all your cars, problem solved ;)
     
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  5. BINGO!!
     
  6. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 1,925

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    09A803F2-45B2-46C5-A0A5-C7677120B828.jpeg Worked at 1 shop where the floors where stupidly sloped and in level

    The drive on hoists had stacked 1” thick plate under the posts and floor
    One side was almost 8” of steel to get it levelled.
     
  7. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 765

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Do you have pics of the column bases? What is the wall thickness of the existing legs? How thick is the concrete in your floor? Are your current anchor bolts L anchors that are poured into the concrete or are they wedge anchors and what diameter? How thick are the existing column bases? Lots of questions to be answered but it can certainly be done, as long as the base plates are 90 degrees to the risers and parallel to each other.
     
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  8. I don't see why not. Really, it's more material than than posts themselves. Make it with mitered corner (45* cuts on edge) the same o.d. size as the base and bolt it at mounting holes of lift to risers made.

    Do you currently have it bolted to the floor?
     
  9. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 463

    Doublepumper
    Member

    I'd do it without hesitation. The lift pads don't know what they're sitting on. As long as the risers are stout enough, no problem.
     
  10. Gerrys
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 328

    Gerrys
    Member

    They have one with a 71.5 inch same design just longer posts. A solid foundation and modifying the ramps would do it.
     
  11. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 362

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Yes, that should work fine, but I would think about getting some 6" or 8" box tubing so that your risers are a little bigger than the posts. Then make them 6" tall to give a little clearance. Weld flat plate on top of them. Once you have them in place, drill and tap a couple bolt holes thru the bottom plate of the lift and into the plates on the risers. That will keep everything in place. Then simply make some larger ramps or extend the ones you have.
    Since it's an older lift, I would also recommend checking the bearings in the cable pulleys. Had to replace the ones in the 4 post lift I had. They advertised American made but used cheap foreign made bearings.....said so right on the bearings. Has nothing to do with lifting your unit higher, but everyone who has a 4 post might want to do a little inspecting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  12. No, it's not. In fact, the pads are not even drilled. Due to the lower height, there is no sway. I bought the caster dollies from BYB that hook to the posts. You can lower the rails on to them and roll the whole rack around, even with a car on it (lowered).
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  13. Good advice on the bearings. Your plan on the fab'd risers is like what I had in mind.
     
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  14. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,146

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

  15. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 1,615

    ramblin dan

    I don't see why you would have an issue adding to the bottom end as others have stated. The problem I ran into was ceiling height. If my roadster wasn't channelled I would have a problem. I had to have the garage door lifted as high as it could go and relocate the door opener to the side. The pictures are of my Direct lift.
     

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  16. Oldb
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 157

    Oldb
    Member

    I've done it. I converted a horse barn with a sewer grade floor to a shop. I had to raise one end of the hoist to make it level. I can tell you that extending the ramps out the door for low vehicles is a pain in the ass but it does work. I apologize for the photo and the OT daily driver. hoist lift_LI.jpg but it is the only one I have handy. To make matters worse being a horse barn the concrete is only 3"thick. So I saw cut, dug a 16" hole lots of rebar welded to I beams. Sack concrete 3" above the floor then welded 3/8 plate 24"square to the I beams. This was the second shop I had put the four post in, I welded the posts to the plate. Much easier to square up and have it stay there than boring holes for the anchors like I did on the first install. Super solid, no issues other than the long ramp extensions needed.
     
  17. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,456

    clem
    Member

    This is probably the simplest and safest way to accomplish what you want.
    Make sure the bolts you use will be up to what is required of them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  18. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,456

    clem
    Member

    Not quite sure what you mean by this, are you wanting 4 x pieces under each post? on edge, on flat or vertical?
    Which ever way, they would need to be heavy wall, but I would not recommend it.
    To do it properly, your risers should be the same size box section and wall thickness or greater that the existing hoist posts. With steel plates top and bottom equal or greater thickness than the base plate that now bolts them to the concrete floor- if that makes sense !
    Technically- all designed by a structural engineer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  19. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,456

    clem
    Member

    I didn’t read the whole link, but again, I wouldn’t recommend this.
    Although I don’t know what the poster means by “just lag” as down here, that means to tie with string.
    You may need to be a mathematician to work out the requirements of this, then probably need to go to an engineer to find the appropriate fixing requirements. All this while understanding the different properties of the particular wood that you have chosen.
    Steel on wood is not something I would do, never have, as over time wood drys out, splits etc.
    A 2 ton car on another ton of hoist on blocks of wood is not something I would like to work under.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
    '51 Norm and alanp561 like this.
  20. Good stuff, thanks!

    I was thinking of a 12" x 12" square of 2 x 4 x.250, corner mitered and welded, with a centered cross brace, and plated top and bottom with .250 plate. The BYB pads are 12 x 12. Load rating is 7000. Divided by four posts. What's the compression load rating on a 2 x 4 x 12 x.250, standing on the 2" side?
     
  21. When I was building my garage I was in good health and didn't have any problems getting up and down, I didn't give any thought to what the next 20 years would bring, I can look back and say I should have installed a lift, it would have been easy at that time, to do it now would entail removing the sheet vrock ceiling and the 18" of insulation, also the duct work for the heat & air and then paying some one to put it all back in place after the lift was in stalled.

    At this stage in my life I am like you Bill, I don't own a car low enough that I can put it on the lift and still park another car underneath, I guess I will continue to crawl around on my hands and knees when trying to get under the cars. HRP
     
  22. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,656

    squirrel
    Member

    it's the bending you need to worry about....
     
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  23. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 709

    X-cpe

    From hotrodA's description of his proposed construction of the risers I don't think any of us own anything that could bend them or the lift. And if there is a force of nature that could bend them, they would be the least of your worries.
     
  24. The 2x4 tubing would be laying on the 2" side, horizontally, as opposed to vertically on end. Like a frame rail. I can't visualize it bending, if the box is sheeted top and bottom, and the load is spread across the foot of the lift and the concrete. Help me out, here. Don't want to do this but once. Failure is not an option.:eek:

    Seems like 2 x 4 tubing, laid flat on the 2" side would double the compression
    strength, with twice the number of uprights (8 - 4x12x.250 on edge. 10 with a cross piece).
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  25. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 362

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Didn't realize your "foot" plates were that large when I made my first suggestion. I don't think the ones on the lift I had were that big. Given that size, I would take 4 pieces of 2x4 or preferably 2x6 tubing and weld them in a square with the 2" side on the floor. Then take another piece of the box tubing and put it across the open center of the box you just made. Your lifts foot should just sit on top and either drill and tap a couple of holes or tack weld the foot to the riser. Saves having to buy any flat plate and cut it to size. The 6" will give you the clearance you need. It should be plenty strong enough. When you start stacking 1'x1' 1/2" plate you will get into a lot of weight and $$$ to get 6".
    Your local metal supply store will probably have some "off fall" for a semi-reasonable price. $0.50 lb (?) It comes in different wall thicknesses. Best if you can get at least 3/16 wall thickness. About 12' total length should do it.
     
  26. big john d
    Joined: Nov 24, 2011
    Posts: 98

    big john d
    Member
    from ma

    online aluminum e bay aluminum plate up to 1.25 thick in various sizes with free shipping
     
  27. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 576

    coilover
    Member
    from Texas

    My problem was not extra car space but extra head space. The drain plug on a standard trans or the bottom of the axle housing can make real welts. I put a 4x12x12 rough cut plank on each runner and can now walk around underneath without ducking. Have a one step stool for top bell housing bolts and high brake bleeders.
     
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  28. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,755

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Seems to me most suggestions here are waaaay overthinking the riser requirements, given the modest rise and no increased loading on the lift. If the existing columns are ‘good enough’ for the loads imposed, the risers can be the same material in the same shape, for example an 8” square tube, of the height you wish to raise the lift. Capped top and bottom with flat plate of the same thickness as the existing column bases. Bolt or weld the risers to the column base plates....done. Modify your ramps to suit.

    Ray
     
  29. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,456

    clem
    Member

    ^^^^^^^ pretty much what was suggested in post 18, and the correct way to go about it.
     
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  30. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,755

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Yes, exactly! Oops! :oops: Sorry, Clem......after reading all the posts I failed to remember yours. Had I, I would have merely endorsed what you said instead of offering my recommendation as a ‘fresh’ idea. I am not in the habit of intentionally plagiarizing ...... :)

    Ray
     

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