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Old 08-06-2013, 08:26 AM
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Lift... outdoors. Anyone?

So.... if we don't have headroom and can't build new or enlarge the toy box, perhaps installing a pad or footings and installing a lift next to the garage is an adequate solution.

Anyone do that?

A fellow down the street has one that he uses for working on his tractors (farm country). Very heavy-duty. Got it used really cheap from a repair garage, poured the footings himself and no permits needed.

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Old 08-06-2013, 08:54 AM
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Mitchman;

An outdoor lift is MUCH better than no lift at all. Over the years, I've known several guys who had outdoor lifts, and I was happy to have the use of one when the opportunity came up. You can just pour footers for the lift columns, but eventually, you'll want a concrete surface under the lift because it just makes life a lot easier. I'm lucky in that my lift is inside my garage, but if it wouldn't fit inside, I wouldn't hesitate to install it outside.

Cheers,
Grog
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:56 AM
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old style?

I helped Demo a garage in Calif. , I got the metal columns, beams and t & g 2 x 6. another guy got the old style lift with the column buried in the ground. He installed it along side his regular garage. He said he used peanut oil instead of hydralic oil in case it leaked he wouldn't have problems selling his house becoming a superfund contamination site.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:59 AM
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4 post with castors.

My nephew bought a 4 post lift and it came with a castor kit so it can roll around. you might be able to use it inside and lift a couple feet for a brake job and roll it outside to get it high.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:05 PM
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I put mine outside about eight years ago and have loved it. You can't change the oil when the wind is blowing without making a mess but I love all the natural light you get outside. I have mine on a slab next to the garage so I can roll the transmission jack or oil catch can in and out. The one thing to realize is the paint will fade and the lube will dry out.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:13 PM
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A couple of the businesses I deliver to have an old single cylinder in ground lift outside.....I guess you have to keep the ram from rusting, but they use them all summer long
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:29 PM
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i was going to post how you southern guys have it made, being able to use outdoor lifts
and then i saw poncho's ontario post. brrrr
when i lived in the bay area in the 70s, lots of shops had lifts outside
usually under a carport, but some were sans roof
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:13 PM
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I was looking on the Direct Lift website earlier today and noticed in their FAQ section a question about using the lift outdoors - they answered that it was intended for indoor use only and not designed to handle weather and wet conditions. They said that would void your warrantee. Probably ought to check that before you buy one. I like the idea of a 4-post with casters that you could roll wherever you want.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:09 PM
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Local guy here has a two post lift in front of his garage on the concrete apron. Drives between the posts when it's not in use.

Works well since we have 300 days of sunshine here, and east of the Rockies its a semi arid climate. But that can be a double edged sword, 'cause your baking in the sun sometimes.

Can you rework the trusses in you garage and install scissor trusses directly above the lift location? I had planned to do that but we ended up moving.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:41 AM
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My old man was going to put a 2 post in his polebarn (11' ceilings) but the local code makes it interesting. They want a MASSIVE pad under the lift. Its really to keep guys from running a shop out of a residential neighborhood. He could have done a 4 post, which isnt bad, but it does take up a lot of room. He looked at the off-shore made mid-rise lifts you see at the car shows; and he really didn't like the looks of some of the welds. He thought about buying one of those used car lot display racks they park the cars on; and leaving it outdoors. But it'd have its own problems since we're in winter 4 months a year and the following 2 months are soggy/snowy and muddy.
In the end he gave up and bought a used Kwik Lift on C-List for like $850. They're heavy ramps, but in theory he can push them together and park over the top of them or move them occasionally if need be and do something outside.

I think your average industrial (shop) lift like a Bend Pak would be okay outdoors, because Id assume you would have a climate more like Colorado Springs and not Seattle. However, remove any hydraulic fluid and use a food-grade hydraulic fluid, or even peanut oil; in case you get a leak.
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