Garage Home


January 8. Big day for the garage: I found a used 7000-pound capacity Rotary lift, model SPOA7, from a nearby mechanic. He brought it over in his truck today. Here are the pieces:

It took five of us to lift the columns off the truck and stand them up in the garage. The heaviest part is done. When I figure out what I'm doing, I'll slide the columns into place, drill holes in the concrete and attach the columns to the floor.

January 11. With some help from my son, I bolted on the column extensions, moved the arm supports to the first locked position and wiggled the columns into place. The center point between the columns lines up with the center of the garage door. The distance between the columns is about 8 feet, same as the width of the door:

January 12. My son and I attached the top bar to make sure the column placement was OK:

Then I went shopping. I bought wedge anchors and rented a hammer drill to drill 3/4" diameter holes 4 1/4" deep in the concrete. Here is the drill:

I put a piece of tape around the drill bit so I would know when I had drilled deep enough. Click on the picture below to see a little movie of a hole being drilled. It is sped up 4 times. It took about 1 minute to drill one hole. Not really too bad at all:

All the holes are drilled in this plate, yielding lots of dust:

These are the wedge anchors that will be tapped into the drilled holes. I can't count this high. There are seven holes in each plate, but I bought 8 wedge anchors for each plate:

Tap the wedge anchors in:

Tighten the nuts:

Here is the lift, plumb and bolted down. I need to get a 1 1/8" socket so I can torque all the nuts to 150 foot pounds:

January 13. The lift is almost assembled. In this order, I hung the safety shutoff switch (A) and shutoff bar (B). I bolted on the power unit (C). I ran the hydraulic hoses (D) and attached them to the power unit. I attached and tightened the equalizing cables (E). I ran the safety lock release cable (F). I still need to wire up the electric (G) and attach the lift arms.

January 24. The lift requires a 30 amp circuit. Try to pull 10-2 romex through the wall on a cold day in January! The wire will go up the ceiling, stapled to a rafter:

The lift is wired up. Looking up towards the ceiling in the picture below, "extension cord" type 10-3 wire (A) goes from the motor switch to a junction box (B) into which is also wired the safety shutoff switch (C). From the junction box, the wire goes to a locking 3-pronged plug and jack (D), then up to the a metal ceiling box with strain relief (E), 10-2 romex goes down the rafter to the wall:

January 30. The lift is wired to the panel, and the panel has power from the house (see the electric page). The lift has power! It's working but only just. I have to adjust cables, fill the reservoir, etc., before I put a car on it.

February 2. After checking and rechecking cables, locking mechanisms, I put my car on the lift. Yay!

February 20. Van up. If I close the garage door, it goes up all the way:

March 2. The minivan goes up for a rear brake adjustment...

...and oil change. The guy who sold me the lift gave me an old oil drain. The telescoping tube brings a wide basin up to catch oil from the drain plug and filter. You can see my home made version in the background. It works, but this metal one has a wider basin and is more easily adjustable.