Harvey
Harvey Dork
8/10/18 5:03 p.m.

I really do not have the space to have a lift in the garage all the time and I had heard about these portable lifts for a few years, but didn't really think I could do it until we took a drive up to Woody's house to buy a Miata from him and he had the setup. Once I saw that I started really thinking I could get it going. It took another year before I finally pulled the trigger on the Danmar M6 from the Maxjax folks. I got in around $2100 for the whole thing and I got the 8 gallon oil drain in that price as well. The M6 is ALI certified with automatic locking positions and it seemed like a no brainer to get it at that price vs the regular Maxjax lift. They have a 12 month same as cash offer on the thing and my credit is good so I bought it in July and will pay for it all by next July!

The lift ships on a double pallet setup and the MaxJax folks bolt the posts and what not to a steel box frame they make up. The one disadvantage to this is that the guy who showed up had a truck that just wasn't gonna fit up my driveway. It was a lift gate truck, but it was a full sized semi trailer and while he was game to try and run the thing up the driveway on a pallet jack with me helping it was just not gonna happen as about half the driveway is gravel. So, it was a 90 degree, sunny and humid day here in CT with me disassembling the thing at the curb and trundling the pieces up to my garage about a hundred yards up the way. Luckily my neighbor has a really heavy duty hand truck as I keep forgetting that my hand truck sucks donkey balls, because them posts are big and heavy even when you don't have them fully assembled. They plastic wrap all of the small parts onto a big slab of cardboard so that you can't miss them and it's easy to keep them organized until you need them. The various fittings that require teflon tape are already pre-taped, except for one notable exception, that being the fitting that goes into the post itself. I ended up taping these up per instructions from them.

Once I got everything into the garage it then became time to plan where to put the thing. My garage floor has got plenty of depth to it, six inches of concrete in most spots, but it's unfortunately not particularly level. The old floor has a hump in the middle where there is a noticeable crack, but being as there were no noticeable cracks near where I wanted the posts I was good to go, but when lined up the posts tended to tilt outward. Luckily, even though the manual says you can only shim to 1/8" the Maxjax folks told me you can go up to 1/4", but that still did not save me from having to take a grinding wheel to the concrete where I wanted the posts to go to level it out some. I contemplated just pouring something new over top or even having someone come in to put in a new section, but it was close enough that shaving a 1/8" or so off would get me to where I needed to be with the shims. After some really annoying work with the grinder in a gas mask (silicosis no bueno) and ear protectors in temps approaching 90 degrees things were finished.

I did a lot of work lining the posts up and making sure they were able to be shimmed into a state that was good to go. I was pretty paranoid about drilling the holes and not having it lined up afterward. When the lining up and grinding was all done I set about drilling the holes for the anchors. My buddy had a basically unused Harbor Freight rotary hammer lying around and if I had been smart I would have gone up to my other friend's house and borrowed his bit for it, but instead I bought one myself because I was getting impatient to get things done. Turns out the bit cost more than the rotary hammer itself.

I had my wife stand on the posts while I used them as the template to drill the holes for the anchors. The rotary hammer cuts through concrete like a hot knife through butter. Hammer drill, no thank you. Wifey would not have liked waiting around that long.

Once that was done it was time to get the anchors into the holes. They give you the wedge anchors, but just to be safe I got some concrete anchoring epoxy and supplemented with that as well. I filled the hole up about halfway and then installed the anchor. After that was done I realized I didn't have quite enough shims to get where I wanted to be as a few areas still needed about 1/4" and they don't give you quite enough. Rather than wait I made my own from fender washers. The washers ended up being equal to two of their shims so that was fine. They didn't end up pretty as I don't have any fun tools for cutting metal so the $20 Harbor Freight angle grinder with cutting wheel and a vise had to suffice. The cheapo Harbor Freight grinding wheel setup also came in handy for taking off the sharp edges.

At this point I was getting really impatient to have this thing worked so I got everything put together, posts bolted in place and hooked up the pump. I had a small leak at one of the posts on the initial run up and had to remove the fittings and retape at the post and reinstall to get that fixed up. The lift was not going up all that fast at this point still, even after I bled out the cylinders and then it stopped about here.

That is not high enough. And then it popped onto the safety lock and I couldn't get it to go back up. After calling tech support and running through the various things I had done we figured out that a valve inside the reservoir tank was busted and I needed a new one. This is where I was getting really annoyed, but they said they would ship it out two day delivery and I would have the replacement part quick. Of course, it was a Friday and the shipper shipped it via ground instead of air and they didn't rectify the issue until Monday so I ended up getting the part on Wednesday. Once I get the part though I went to work pulling off the reservoir tank which was only really annoying because the whole thing needs to be disconnected from the little cart it's on to remove the tank. Reassemble and hey, this thing actually goes up pretty quick when it isn't spitting fluid back into the reservoir!

The question now was, which vehicle gets to be the guinea pig for my installation. Well, the lift holds 6000 lbs and the top end curb weight for a 2004 Lincoln Navigator is 5995 lbs, which given mine is the 4x4 with all the options is probably what mine weighs, minus a few lbs for rusty body.

I got her about a foot off the ground and left it there for a bit while I took a look at things. No issues and surprisingly I have probably another two feet of headroom in my garage with the door closed. Dunno if I will be working under said truck if I put it up, but it could be nice if I have to do some brake work. That said it's a close shave on getting it centered between the posts. Not the optimal amount of space for getting to my tool chest.


With that done I popped the wife's BMW on there and got it up to the max height to see how that looked.

That ends up being just enough space for me to sit on a stool and wheel around under there without ducking down. Though I found this recliner creeper thing and I think I might get one.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to using the lift this weekend to get at some stuff under the Corvette as that was the main vehicle that made me want one. Jacking that thing up sucks and using jack stands to work under it sucks. Also the BMW needs an oil change and I have that elevated drain now! Whoo!

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
8/10/18 5:13 p.m.

The reclining creeper you linked is awesome. I couldn't figure out a way to work comfortably under my MaxJax until I bought one. Welcome to the world of being too spoiled to ever want to work using jackstands again!

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
8/10/18 5:27 p.m.

Well good on you. What's the minimum slab thickness for one of those things? I assumed that I'd have to poor a separate footing for the towers.

Harvey
Harvey Dork
8/10/18 5:33 p.m.

In reply to enginenerd :

Yes! I knew one of you guys would have that thing and let me know if it was good. I'm totally buying that!

Harvey
Harvey Dork
8/10/18 5:36 p.m.
Kreb said:

Well good on you. What's the minimum slab thickness for one of those things? I assumed that I'd have to poor a separate footing for the towers.

4" of reinforced concrete is required.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
8/10/18 7:07 p.m.
Harvey said:
Kreb said:

Well good on you. What's the minimum slab thickness for one of those things? I assumed that I'd have to poor a separate footing for the towers.

4" of reinforced concrete is required.

This is exactly my first question. I would have probably added a couple 1/2” steel load distribution plates under the posts. But I also tend to over engineer everything. 

That looks really cool. I really like that. 

conesare2seconds
conesare2seconds Dork
8/10/18 7:30 p.m.

I looked at these but I'm renting and can't really drill into the slab.  Also, the lift I wanted (Twin Busch midrise) needed a high-mag breaker added.  Not paying for someone else's home improvements. 

Ordered a Kwiklift instead and will review it once set up.  Congratulations on your purchase, my forever home is getting something like it one day.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/10/18 7:59 p.m.

I love my MaxJax so much. I like the looks of this newer version even more. Good stuff. 

Harvey
Harvey Dork
8/10/18 8:19 p.m.
dean1484 said:
Harvey said:
Kreb said:

Well good on you. What's the minimum slab thickness for one of those things? I assumed that I'd have to poor a separate footing for the towers.

4" of reinforced concrete is required.

This is exactly my first question. I would have probably added a couple 1/2” steel load distribution plates under the posts. But I also tend to over engineer everything. 

That looks really cool. I really like that. 

The good part is they already over engineered this thing by quite a bit.

https://www.maxjaxusa.com/requirements

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