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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2006, 01:45 PM
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Wow! I thought this thread had made its way to the graveyard by now! LOL!

Here are some notes I had on my computer....this should answer your question on the pedestals and how the whole thing goes together.

-Dean

General Notes about the build:

- I predrilled all the boards. I drilled the pass-through board but did not drill the anchoring board. The pass-through board is the board that the screw starts on, while the anchoring board will be the second board that the screw will “bite into.” You take the risk of splitting the wood if you don’t perform the drilling steps.

- I made the front & rear pedestals the same height, as my garage does not have much of a slope. If your garage has a slope, you may need to compensate for this (which changes a LOT of the measurements, accordingly).

- Once I got started, I found it much easier to primer and paint all the boards with a roller BEFORE I began measuring and cutting. This way all you have to do is finish the ends with a brush after cutting and assembly. You then coat each component with polyurethane AFTER assembly.

- All boards are finish-cut, meaning that a 2x4 is actually more like 1.5x3.5. Remember this fact as you measure each piece for cutting and also for drilling the pass-through boards.

- It’s hard to find 2x10 and 2x12 boards without the ends already splitting. Find the best ones and cut-off the split ends before you perform your actual measurements and final cuts. I typically had to cut-off 4-6” on either end to start with a clean, split-free piece of wood.

- Each step of the procedure is for the completion of ONE component. Since you will need to build TWO of everything, take this into account when you purchase the wood and begin your cuts.


FRONT PEDESTALS:
Start with the front pedestals, as they are easier to construct. Each front pedestal is 23" long and has a 2x4 "tire stop" for safety. You will need the following:
2pcs - 2 "x 10" x 23" (top & bottom)
2pcs - 2" x 6" x approx. 9.5" (width of 2"x 10")
1pc - 2" x 6" x 20"
1pc - 2" x 4" x approx. 9.5" (front tire stop)
2pc - 2" x 4" x 7" (used to support bridges)

Grab all of the 2x6 pieces first. Form an "I" with the 20” section in the middle and the two 9.5” pieces on the top and bottom. You will need to pre-drill the two smaller pieces. This is the basic “back bone” of each pedestal and will provide tremendous strength.

Now attach a 2x10 piece to form the top and bottom of the pedestal (again, pre-drilling these beforehand). Add the front tire stop to one top side end of the 2x10 (pre-drilled). Some people might want to double-up the 2x4 stop to make it taller, but you will definitely feel the front tires gently bump a single 2x4. Then add the two 2x4x7” bridge supports to the opposite bottom side end. I mounted the bridge supports flush with each outer edge so that you have more room for adjusting the bridges and disassembling them later.


REAR PEDESTALS:
The rear pedestals are made a little different because.....THE REAR TRACK IS 4" WIDER THAN THE FRONT (at least on an SPF with the standard 15" Trigos it is). So I had to get creative and used the 2x6s for the "I", but used three of them in the middle instead of just one (you could probably use just two, but I went with three). I also used 2x12 and turned them sideways, mounting two pieces side-by-side. This yielded the same overall length (23") as the front pedestals, but it gave me a pedestal width of 14" for the rears. You will need the following:
4pcs - 2 "x 12" x 14"
2pcs - 2" x 6" x 14"
3pc - 2" x 6" x 20"
2pc - 2" x 4" x 7"
4pc – 2” x 4” x 7” (one end cut at 10 degree angle)

Grab all of the 2x6 pieces first. Form a Roman numeral "III" with the 20” sections spread evenly in the middle and the two 14” pieces on the top and bottom. You will need to pre-drill the two smaller pieces to accept the center “spines”.

Now attach two 2x14 pieces to form the top and the other two to form the bottom of the rear pedestal (again, pre-drilling these beforehand). Then add the two 2x4x7” bridge supports to one bottom side end, BUT PAY ATTENTION HERE! You have to build mirror images of the rear pedestals, so these attachment points will be different for each one. Mount one piece flush with the outer edge and then mount the second piece using similar measurements from the completed front pedestals.

Finish each rear pedestal by mounting the 4 pieces of angle-cut 2x4x7 to the opposite bottom end of the bridge supports. No measuring here…just line them up side by side, pre-drill, and mount. The 10 degree top cuts will form a nice downward transition for the ramps later in the build.

.....more to follow.

Last edited by RedBarchetta; 04-07-2006 at 01:56 PM..
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2006, 01:46 PM
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BRIDGES:
The "bridges" are 2x10 with a 2x4 spine right down the middle (you may not be able to see them in the photos), with three trestles or center supports. You will need to do some math on this one, as the wheel centers (center of front hubs to center of rear hubs) will determine the exact measurements. For the SPF, I measured this at "xx” (can't remember now!) and then subtracted 23” from this number to get the exact length needed. In this case that came to 63”. You will need the following:
2pc - 2" x 4" x ???" (you'll need to measure for your car)
4pc – 2” x 10” x ???” (you'll need to measure for your car)
6 pc – 2” x 4” x 7”
3 pc – 2” x 4” x 3.5” (approx)

Attach the 2x4 to the bottom of the 2x10 centered left to right.
Build the bridge supports as shown in the picture; two of the long 2x4s with the short one sandwiched between.

RAMPS:
The actual ramps are 2x12 boards cut to 38". I did not perform any angle cuts on the front ends of these boards, as this can cause splits later. Your car will drive up onto these without any problems.

The ramp supports were cut from scrap pieces of 2x10, 2x6 and 2x4. I don't have the exact measurements handy, but each unit is roughly 14” in total length. I did make a 10 degree angle cut to the tops of each 2x10 section so that it meshes with the ramp angle.

CROSS SUPPORTS:
The cross supports are simple 2x4, cut to the proper tire-center-to-tire-center for your particular car (I believe these were cut to 62", as my front tires were 53.5" center-to-center, while the rears were 57.5"). The 62” measurement allowed for the ends of the 2x4 to mount flush with the outside edges of each ramp section. Your measurements may vary, so triple check everything. I attach them with 2 drywall screws on each end, but I'm probably going to change this to something a little easier (perhaps threaded inserts with a bolt so that my air wrench can remove these faster). I attached the cross supports to the bridge side of each pedestal.

PRE-ASSEMBLY AND PIN PLACEMENT:
With all of the pieces assembled, you can now start pre-assembly. Lay out all the components into their proper sequence. Start with one front and rear pedestal and place a bridge between them. Line them up perfectly. Then add a ramp section to the opposite end of the rear pedestal, resting the top against the angled 2x4 supports. Lining up the ramps to the rear pedestal takes a little guesswork, as you want the 4” narrower track of the front tires to “feel” enough of the ramp without restricting the same for the rear tires. As I recall, the ramp placement is approximately 1” inboard from the inside edges of the rear pedestals. Consult the photos for reference.

Then using a ½” drill bit, drill two holes for the “pins” through the ends of each bridge and down into the 2x4 bridge supports on each pedestal. Drill these holes perpendicular (i.e. vertical) to the floor of the garage. After drilling, find a paint pen and mark each end of the bridge (“FL” for front left, “FR” for front right, etc.). Also mark the ramps “L” or “R”. You will need these references later!

Now drill similar holes on the top ends of the ramps, drilling perpendicular to the ramp board and continue that angle right into the 2x4 ramp supports.

Using a 1” hole saw bit, countersink each of the holes on the bridge boards and ramp boards approx. ¼” deep. This will create a nice recess for the .375” x 4” bolts (“pins”) and washers to rest within and allow enough room for easy removal.


FINISHING:
At this point, I took apart the entire assembly and finish-coated the holes and any exposed surfaces with black paint. I also laid down another coat of flat black on all the top surfaces to create a clean and uniform look for the final polyurethane top coat.

Apply the polyurethane top coat with a brush. Only one coat is really necessary, but you can layer on another to ensure good coverage (I did). Make sure you coat the bottoms (garage floor side) of each piece as well. On the ramps, make a final coat using the anti-slip agent added. This will give the ramps a sandy appearance, but will help the tires grip a little better. You don’t need anti-slip on the pedestals or bridges.

Since you are only coating the external sides of the pedestals, you won’t need as much polyurethane as you did paint. I found that a ½ gallon of polyurethane (bought in quart sizes) was plenty to complete the job. Give the polyurethane a good 24 hours to fully cure and harden.

Then add the 1/16” thick aluminum diamond plate to the tops of each pedestal, using the self-tapping screws to mount. I went to a local metals supplier and purchased pieces of scrap for each section. I also had them cut each piece to spec, as they have the right tools for the job and can make clean cuts. Total cost of the diamond plate, with labor for the cuts, came to about $35. Half of that cost was for the cuts alone, so you can save some money if you have the right tools available. The diamond plate serves two purposes. The primary benefit is that you can park a warm tire on it and not worry about lifting the polyurethane. The secondary benefit is that they just look cool!

FINAL ASSEMBLY:
Put the assembly all together in the exact spot that you want the ramps to be positioned in. Pay careful attention to the ramp distance from your garage door, ensuring that you can close the door properly without removing the ramps (if space permits). Also check side-to-side clearances from tool chests, work benches, etc.

Once you have the exact location dialed-in and you have re-aligned all of the components, the final step is to anchor the assembly to the garage floor. To do this, you will need to drill a hole in front of each front pedestal. First grab some of the 2x4 scraps you have left and cut a few pieces into 5” lengths. Then take a 1/2” wood drill bit and drill a hole through the center of each board. Switch to the 1/8” masonry drill bit. Center one of the blocks against the front leading edge of a front pedestal and work the drill bit through the hole to make a mark on the garage floor. Remove the anchoring block and drill a hole at least 4” deep. Then switch to the 1/2" masonry drill bit and repeat the process, enlarging the hole. Take one of the 1/2" by 4” anchoring bolts and work it through one of the wood blocks. Align the block with the hole in the floor and tap the bolt into it with a heavy hammer. Tighten the nut on top of the anchoring bolt. Repeat the process for the other side. You now have two permanent “ramp stops” on either side that will prevent the entire assembly from “walking” forward on you when you drive up onto it.

Last edited by RedBarchetta; 04-07-2006 at 01:58 PM..
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2006, 01:54 PM
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ONE YEAR LATER:

The ramps still work great. I hung a couple ping pong balls from the ceiling as "guides" when I drive up the ramp. I hung them about 5-6 feet apart and in line so that the driver's side hood pin/hold down lever lines up with them as I move up the ramp.

The ramps, despite the stops that I placed into the floors, still tend to walk "side to side" after about 6-8 trips up/down the ramp. So I occasionally reset them manually...no big deal.

Getting used to driving on and off without another set of eyes took some getting used to...LOL! A leap of faith...the ping pong balls get me within a safe proximity, so I don't sweat it any longer.

The bridges tend to "waddle" just a tad as you drive up and down, but they don't go anywhere and you can't feel it in the car. Just a slight 1/4" movement while they settle and move within their respective positions.

Other than that, it's saved me countless efforts with the floor jack and stands.

-Dean #747
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:54 PM
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Dean

Thank you so much....


Michael....
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2006, 02:03 PM
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You're welcome, Michael!

One final comment. One time I used a little too much throttle going up and the whole mess shifted backwards about 6 inches...talk about some serious pucker pressure! So, the secret is to get a "gentle" roll up toward the ramp section, but as soon as those back tires hit the ramp you need to feather the throttle and slide the clutch just a little to ease up nice and slow and even so that you don't do two things, (1) what I just described above and (2) run off the other end (!!!). Haven't done #2 yet, and a 4x4 in place of the 2x4 that I have for a tire stop is a better idea.

If all this sounds too complicated, then spend your money on a real Qwik Lift and don't worry about it. I'm a cheap bastard on a two kid budget, so I'm making due with this contraption. LOL

Last edited by RedBarchetta; 04-07-2006 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 04-07-2006, 02:16 PM
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I'm right there with you on the budget (one kid, new house). Plus I like the fact it can be dismantled and stored away if needed. Don't think one can do that with the actual Qwik Lift? Now all that needs done is someone figure out a way to make a turntable out of scrap appliance parts to show off our rides in the garage....maybe I'll work on that in my spare time. Once again thank you for the assistance.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBarchetta
You're welcome, Michael!

One final comment. One time I used a little too much throttle going up and the whole mess shifted backwards about 6 inches...talk about some serious pucker pressure!
You could always put some threaded "Drop In" anchors in the floor & use studs to keep the whole mess in place. Pretty inexspensive if you have a 1/2" drill motor. THe anchors are basically a female thread which you anchor down in concrete with a punch & you can tread bolts or studs into them. YOu will also need the corresponding concrete drill bit to match the anchor size.


My other thought was to cut some neoprene & attach it to the bottom of the corner pieces which may keep everything from slipping. I think the anchors are probably cheaper though, much more stable & easy to remove the studs if ot in use
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Last edited by Tongue Pirate; 04-07-2006 at 03:02 PM..
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Old 04-08-2006, 07:32 PM
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Damn ! I can't stop staring at this !
My back feels better already .
Awesome Red.....
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:09 PM
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Awesome work! I have the fever, finishing the basement so I have good reason to have extra wood leftover.... yeah!, from the basement to... you know, build a little ramp for the cobra, and .... no, it didnt cost me anything more, because it is extra wood from the basement right. Okay I'll perfect the explanation before I give it to my wife. Great work and idea to post it.

Thanks

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Old 04-10-2006, 05:51 AM
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Dean,

I made a set last summer after reading your plans. They are great. Even without removing the middle cross overs I can use my creeper to easily get under the car. Since these are not permanent fixtures I've also used these ramps for my lawn mower. I just adjust the width for the wheels. Thanks for the plans.

John
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:04 AM
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Dean, just a note to tell you I built something simular. I ended up with a Rotary lift, but the drive up platform was and still is, the winter landing area for my Cobra.

I got a lot of good info from you and your design, thanks!!

BTW, if you use 2 x 12 material, you can change the clutch on a Cobra without jacking the car up, I know I did it using Dean's platform design.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:01 AM
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Default Thank you!

Thank you all for the positive feedback!

That's what it's all about...sharing good information with others so that everyone can benefit. It wasn't my idea to begin with...I'm just the messenger.

Now that the car sits up high on a ramp at rest, I truly realize how low our cars are everytime I fill it with gas. You climb in and out and realize "Dayum! This car is low!"

Of course, now the bumper jacks are higher, too. Four stitches to the eye brow and a couple bruised shins have been the offset to an otherwise good idea.

-Dean #747
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:51 AM
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Hmmm, I would think the quick jacks being higher would save the eyebrow. I am constantly hitting mine with my head when it is on stands. I love the idea, and might build one in the future.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBuoy
Hmmm, I would think the quick jacks being higher would save the eyebrow. I am constantly hitting mine with my head when it is on stands.
These ramps raise the car approx 8-9" at the frame, which is slightly lower than a typical 2 ton jack stand (at its lowest point). I'm thinking about fabbing some quick jack covers out of foam rubber that I can slip on/off. At least the blood on the one quick jack matches the paint...

-Dean
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:24 PM
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I have seen someone use a split pool noodle or pipe insulation to cover the jacks while working on the car.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:29 PM
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Good idea....Have to file that one in the memorybank for when the time arrives.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:40 PM
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Like I said, I used 2 x 12 material and was able to R & R the trans and change the clutch.

The drive up is a bit scarry, but I like having about 15 to 16 inches from the frame to the ground.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:53 PM
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Dean, that is real sweet looking and thank you for sharing with everyone. If I can't get my Qwik Lift installed then this is the way I will go. Good job and great description and pictures. Jeff
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:17 AM
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A question for all of you that have built and used Deans "Poor Man's Qwik Lift", is it truely necessary to have anchor points for the front pedestals for the occasional use. Such as to detail the car and regular maintanence requirements then pull it off? Or do alot of you use it as a permenant parking spot for your Cobra's?

Dawger
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:42 AM
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I can tell you that once the car is on the platform, the anchors are NOT necessary, however, When driving up, they want to skid. If you can, use a 1.5 inch angle iron on each tire podium at the front and hold those in place. Then, if you want to remove or store the platform later, you can just unbolt the podiums.

I recommend the anchors.
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