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I jumped on this as soon as it was posted as I've been thinking about upgrading from my Quickjack lifts for some time now to get a little more height and also something that'll fit Chris' 996, too (My Quickjack lifts are too short for him).  And at 6K# capacity I can get my neighbor's Tundra pickup on there for tire rotations and stuff and still fit under the raised garage door.

Where it's at (Fishkill, NY) is under 3 hours from me during Foliage season so it'll be a nice ride down and back, too.  Just like heading south as Snowbirds again!

Thanks to Mike for selling it to me.  It'll be a welcome luxury for an old guy tired of crawling around on the floor under a car.

And if anyone is looking for a Quickjack 3500 in the New England area, please PM me and we'll make a good deal on them.  Sparsely used and in great shape and they've been wonderful when I needed them.  I would prefer pickup as crating them up at 200 lbs. would be a PITA.

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Gordon, great find. Glad you jumped on this. Mike is a VERY nice guy. I helped him with his valvetrain and carbs.

He's got a gray widebody CMC. Let me know if I can help. Or at least meet y'all for coffee. It's not far from me.

I have the Harbor Freight version of the lift, and it is about 900 pounds. I have a set of wheel dollies if you need them for loading.

Last edited by DannyP

I'll have to see what I bring.  Got Chris' truck, maybe with Chris (but he's got a lot on his plate these days) and we both have utility trailers it'll fit in which are both low for loading, and I have 7' ramps from the trailering days and a couple of winches so I'm probably in good shape.  Stopping for coffee or lunch sounds pretty inviting, though!  

I can see myself going onto "automatic pilot" from the snowbird days and realizing I've overshot my mark somewhere on the other side of the Hudson and have to turn back.  

I'll have to dig out my Tom Tom GPS with the Redneck voice guide so it'll be just like the old days.  

"Mullet Man" a-tellin' us whar ta go, agin"!


So we were down in SC and trying to find a better route north than I-95 across the GWB, and the Taconic Parkway looked interesting but I had heard something about not allowing trailers, so I look up who patrols the Taconic (NY State Troop K) and give them a call.  It was answered by "Sargent So-and-So, Troop K, New Yawk State Police".  

I gave him my pitch on trailering my little car behind my pickup and asked if that was allowed on the Taconic Parkway as a shorter route than going up I-81 to I-84.  Those of you who've met me know that I often sound like "Your Cousin from Bahsten" on those Sam Adams commercials, so when I finish talking I get dead air on the phone for a few seconds and then he says:

"Geez....  You sound like one-a them "Red Sox Fans."

"Well, yeah.  I live near Boston and watch the Red Sox from time to time."

"Well, as a life-long Yankees fan and all, I don't know as I can really help ya, yah know?"

"What!?!  All I wanna know is if I can trailer my car up the Taconic!  I'm not gonna sit at Fenway and Boo the Yanks, yah know...."

"Yeah, I hear ya, but we don't want yah speeding up the Taconic with a sportscar on that trailer, Yah know?"

"Honest to Derek Jeeter, I wouldn't be speeding..."

Then he chuckled a bit and said he was just pulling my leg 'cuz he heard my accent, but trailers were not allowed on the Taconic for safety reasons.  My safety, because Taconic traffic is always heavy and the drivers have a bad habit of speeding and weaving around a lot like at the Indy 500 and he didn't want to see me get in an accident.   However!

"If yah wanna shorter route, come across the Tapan Zee Bridge and immediately get on the "Sawmill Parkway" north all the way up to I-684 and then to I-84. That should shorten your trip from I-81 by 30 minutes or more.  It'll say "No Commercial Trailers" as you get on, but that doesn't apply to private vehicles and trailers not under hire.  You ain't gettin' paid to trailer that car are ya?"

"No sir, it's my trailer and truck.  Just us, the car and trailer and a couple of Terriers."

"Well, just keep'em on a leash - We all know how wild those Boston Red Sox Terriers are!"

Who says NY State Cops don't have a sense of humor?

The Sawmill Parkway has a speed limit of 60, IIRC, and has many, many gentle sweeping curves and elevation changes as it flows through a few towns and it's a very pretty route, but they don't get many trailers on there, either, so when you're gliding along, keeping up with traffic and the diesel is snorting nicely keeping up on the hills, it can be almost as much fun as driving a Speedster.

The Sawmill Parkway is an awesome, very pretty road!  The upside is a continuous undulation of ups and downs and curves - it's really a lot of fun but you get sucked in to keeping up with traffic.  60mph pulling a trailer on a narrow road can be exciting if a stoplight suddenly comes up.

The down side is it's narrow, so it's really hard to pass anyone when you're pulling a trailer AND IIRC there are 3 or 4 stop lights on the length of it to watch out for.

I don't know how much faster it is than going farther east to pick up I-684 off of I-287 and north that way - Maybe 20 minutes?  The big gain for the trip was not taking I-81 all the way to Scranton to pick up I-84.  

The quickest route from SC to MA looks like it's I-95 all the way (Google thinks so, too), but the traffic in the 5 big cities you pass through always slows you down, especially across that terrible road surface of the GWB and Cross Bronx Expressway.  Coming up I-81 to I-84 is almost exactly 100 miles longer, BUT overall it's the same and often less time than the coastal route and can be a lot quicker with bad coastal weather or a few more traffic slowdowns due to accidents or any sports events causing heavy traffic in DC/Baltimore, Philly, NJ, around NYC or Hartford.  Those are the killers.

Of course, if you get an accident on I-81 just before an exit you can have a ten+ mile backup in a matter of minutes.  Always remember to bring dog treats.


Damn, Gordon, now you’ve done it.

Early in my photog career, before I landed a full-time job, I was still living in Philly and doing free-lance work. One of my contracts was with a company that did yearbook photography for colleges up and down the east coast.

I’d drive out the night before to be ready for an early morning start, so one of my most important logistical tasks was finding low-traffic routes around all the famous bottlenecks. I was driving a BMW 1600 at the time, so used to look for ‘alternate’ routes even if that meant twisty roads through farm country. Well, especially if that meant twisty roads through farm country.

I-80 to the Tappan Zee and the Saw Mill River was my secret way around NYC enroute to a bunch of schools up your way. I was always amazed how little traffic there was for that corner of the planet. The fact that commercial trucks were banned didn’t hurt any.

But now, you’ve gone and told everyone.

I've been on the Saw Mill plenty, I used to go that way to get to Westchester Medical Center.

I-80 today though is pretty bad, depending on time of day of course...

I-84 to I-81 is just super easy for us, we're 8 miles from I-84. Then I-81 takes you through PA, WV, and VA into TN(Johnson City), then into NC via I-26 to Asheville. Brevard is less than an hour from there. 12 hours any way you slice it.

There's also the fact that we're going to western NC and you were going to the SC shore.

Last edited by DannyP

Also about that time (Summer of 1974), I-81 did not yet connect to I-84 in Scranton so you took PA 209 through the Poconos between them to get to/from New England.  "209" was a gorgeous road of sweeping curves and moderate elevation changes, just like Sawmill Parkway.  Speed limit back then was 60mph and there were a LOT of Semis on it, all haulin' arse trying to get onto the next interstate.

That area was also PACKED with resorts (Kinda like the one in "Dirty Dancing") and a lot of the time you would be sailing through there at 60+, only to have some old white-haired goat in his Buick Electra Convertible pull out in front of you, new or weekend girlfriend practically sitting on his lap and the car doing 35-40mph.  

Did I mention that "209" was/is a 2-lane road?  There were almost no passing areas so you had to just sit back there fuming and watching the line of cars get longer in your mirrors.

Speaking of mirrors, those two lanes weren't especially wide, either, so when you approached an oncoming semi (at a combined speed of 120mph) the two truck's mirrors were maybe a foot apart or less when you passed.  THAT took a bit of getting used to, but I never clipped another truck's mirrors in three years of taking that route (although I did close my eyes a couple times).

@Al Gallo and Heidi took the 209 in their speedster going to Carlisle one year and it was the hit of their trip - So much so that they took it again going home and stopped at a resort overnight in both directions.  Of course, the fact that they drove through a downpour on the way down to get there wasn't all that pleasant, but hey!  That's Carlisle week weather!  It'll dry out!

What you describe with Mr. Electra, Gordon is almost always my experience on "the blue roads" everybody always waxes so lyrical about.

As I said elsewhere, I took US 276 over the SC/NC ridge this Sunday past. It was a great road, marred by idiots driving less than 20 mph (legitimately), then refusing to pull into turnoffs. I love secondary roads, most state highways, and US highways during the week. The blue roads on the weekend are impassible. 

That was literally a one-two punch. First it falls off the lift, then the legs tear off the front end. A couple of weeks ago, someone posted something similar on another forum. A pickup was in for a service that required the body to be lifted off the frame a few inches. They got the lift points wrong and when they got it in the air, the chassis fell Andrew piped the body right off of the frame. Brand new Escalade or something.

Gordon is probably about halfway home right now. We loaded up the lift and strapped it down without incident.

It's every bit of 900 pounds or more, and Gordon's winch pulled it right on.

It was a pleasure seeing Gordon, Bill and Mike(former lift owner) and chatting a bit.

@Gordon Nichols FYI, as soon as I got on the Taconic Parkway a Trooper had a guy pulled over. U-Haul cube van towing a TRAILER! That guy got a ticket for sure.

I tried to snap a photo on the sly but all I got was a picture of my hand... It's hard to hide what you're doing in a Spyder LOL!

YES!  A successful trip!  We had four people there and we managed to load and secure a 1,000 pound scissors lift and NO ONE GOT HURT! (That's a minor miracle, in my book).  

As it turns out, Mike told me of a way to avoid the "No-Trailers Allowed" Taconic Parkway on the way home.  @DannyP when you turned right at Beekman I went left (east) expecting to re-join I-84 at the exit before the Taconic, maybe ten miles east.  

I didn't realize that I-84 goes a lot more south than east in that direction as it heads back to Danbury.  The cheerful-sounding (but evil - I'm sure of that, now) GPS lady had other ideas, though, and took me for a merry ride through some absolutely beautiful farms and woodlands for about 30 minutes until I finally had enough of her keeping me lost, and on the last turn, where she told me to turn left, I said "NO Frikkin' WAY!" and went right just to spite her and, lo and behold, 2 miles down the road I was back on I-84.  In Waterbury, way east of Danbury.  Almost 35 miles east of Mike's.  In fairness, though, going the way I did, she had to get me around the northern end of Candlewood lake so I was going north while I-84 tends to go in a big dip south down to Danbury but I had no idea of that while riding around lost out there.

I had it all planned out how to get the 1,000 pound lift up onto the trailer using an electric winch and that worked GREAT!  BUT......    I hadn't given as much thought to how the hell to get it off of the trailer once I got home.   Chris came over and we recruited my neighbor and his friend, who was visiting, and we managed to off-load it in under 5 minutes without (a.) anyone getting hurt and (b.) without damaging the lift, or the trailer or the garage.  Sometimes Miracles DO happen!  it just takes a bunch of people working together.  Oh, and Gravity - That helped a lot, too.


"Eight hands make lift work".


Tomorrow I'll start getting it set up in the garage bay to the right where it'll store under the Speedster between using it.  The power unit is actually a lever-style tow bar so you can easily (with a lotta grunting) move it around in the garage, but I'll go Danny's route and make it into a semi-permanent installation with 2" X 10"s around it to lift the car up over anything sticking up from the lift and get clearance for the chassis/frame pads.  This thing is rugged, though - you can drive right over it, for sure.   Another successful Clown-Car Day in beautiful New England!


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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Excellent news, Gordon.

It's too bad, in about 10-15 minutes maybe 20 you could have been back on I-84. That required a right not long after you turned left onto Beekman Rd. The goal was to get back onto 84 at Ludingtonville Rd.(former exit 17).  But no biggie, home safe and sound, right?

Two of those yellow lift arms need to get moved to the other end of the lift, then have at it.

The “plumber” (actually, a Portuguese computer field service engineer and weekend motorcycle racer) noted that, too…..   Moving two yellow arms to the other end of the lift will keep it balanced.  I’ll get to that tomorrow.  Should be able to get lots done if I’m not driving across southern New England all day.  

Everyone else!   I finally got to see Danny P’s Spyder and it looks better in person than in any of the photos posted.  Danny does some super work, for sure.  VERY well thought out.

Now that I’ve spent some “Quality Time” with this lift, I have a few thoughts;

  1. BendPak calls this a “Portable Lift”.  They say you can easily move it around in your garage (maybe).  It looks like you can move it easily.  The power unit doubles as a wheeled lever to raise one end of the lift and roll it around on the wheels at the other end of the lift, IF you’re about the size of a defensive lineman - and AT LEAST 200 lbs.  Not the puny little 150 lbs. I can muster.   I have to really strain with my bulk-challenged body to get the lever down (and the lift up) and then I can only pull, not push (not enough traction forward while the lever is lifting me up off the floor).  Once I get this thing located in the garage, it ain’t goin’ no where after that, period.  
  2. This lift is built like a tank.  Great welds, solid construction with really heavy duty metal thickness and well thought out design.  No wonder the truck pulled it like a ton of lead.  
  3. A question for you BendPak (or other) scissors lift owners:  which end of the car/lift do you place the power unit at?  I’m guessing it makes more sense at the front of the car end, but looking for advice.
  4. I also have to figure out how far the lift moves front/back when lifting, as I have some interference between the garage door opener and my windshield and roll bar.  That should be easy to determine, tomorrow.
  5. I’ll be running 2” X 12” planks down each side to drive up on to get the height I need to clear the lift under the car.  Already got the floor marked and will start on that tomorrow.  
  6. Glad to have a new, fun project.  Wish I weighed 50 lbs. more.  Just have to make do, I guess.  

1. Yup. I'm a bit over the 200 pound mark and a bit taller, so I guess I have a weight and leverage advantage. However, my floor isn't very smooth, so it isn't quite as easy as it could be. I can certainly understand your troubles.

2. Yes, my HF has absolutely beautiful weld work also. It would probably survive a direct hit from a cluster bomb.

3. I put the pump unit at the front of the garage, same end as the hydraulic rams. Also where a convenient outlet(that I installed) happens to be. HF uses a 220v motor, so I had to run the line.

4. The "front" of my lift is where the rams are, and the lifting eye for the power unit/mover thingy. This end is stationary. The wheeled/rollered end moves maybe a foot or foot and a half. I set it so my windshield(and mirror) clears the door opener by a few inches. I rarely ever lift the car all the way to the ceiling. I usually lift it to the first stop, which is a little more than 2 feet off the ground. Most Spyder engine bay work is on the top AND the bottom. The 2 foot height lets me access all of it without going up and down on the lift, I use a creeper underneath.

5. I usually have the "boards" attached together at the front and just behind the lift. This helps keep them where they need to be so your tires go down on them AND the lift doesn't catch on the wood(continuing all the way down).

6. I wish I weighed 30-40 pounds less. 50 would be pushing it and unhealthy!(for me anyway)

From the "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" school of thought, I found that using a roll-around floor jack works a LOT better than the power unit's lever/dolly.  I had to move it to the other garage bay and turn it 180º from where it was.  Total time:  Less than 5 minutes using the floor jack.  Yesterday, it took me 20 minutes to move it about 6 feet!  It's still difficult to move it anywhere (much better to pull than push), but at least it's no longer a PITA (just a pain in the back).  

Note to all you lift wannabees:  Plan on installing it and never moving it again - Ever! Like Bill Joel said: "Get it right the first time!"

The power unit will go just to the left of the air compressor, out of the way, and I'll get some safety covers for the hydraulic hose which also got moved to the opposite side, close to the wall.  Bought a pair of (hyper expensive) 2" X 12" planks to get Pearl up high enough to clear everything (like the sump) and those will be finalized this afternoon along with some tire guides to guide it on straight.  I'm planning it out so either Pearl or Chris' 996 or anything else we have will fit.  Headroom clearance is another issue (the door opener motor is kind-a in the way), but something I can deal with (open the sun roof on the 996 before lifting).  This is turning out pretty slick.  Can't wait to try it out!



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I went 4-Post, which is amazing. Had my electric run for a dedicated circuit last weekend so that entire project (Build a shed to empty the garage, add the hi-lift garage door opener, add 4-Post) is done. I just haven't had the time but I am excited to actually work on the car using the lift.

It does roll to move but I cannot imagine doing it alone. Casters attach to the posts and you drop the ramps down to lift it onto the casters.

Like Robert M said, go hi-lift. My garage door rails are 8" from the ceiling so I can lift the Spyder up to the very top and still have 6" of clearance from the door, anywhere on the ramps.

I went with the LiftMaster 8500w. Lots of tech-ee features to it but one of them being, I can open/close the door from anywhere.

That's what Mike did (where I picked it up) but I don't see that happening here.  I can get it waaay up there before the opener gets close.  I just don't see the need to go up 4' in the air.  I've set it up with stops for the front tires and if I stop there, the windshield misses the door opener motor unit, but the roll bar will hit the chain channel but, again, that's darned close to 48" and higher than she really needs to be for me to work on her.

Soooooo.......   It's in, the ramps are done and stable, I've moved the hydraulic hose around to neaten it up a bit and get the power unit out of the way and then notched the ramp on that side for the hose to go under.   After all that, it looks like this:


I'll be getting one of those cable hazard strips like I've seen at trade shows so people don't trip over extension cords, to cover the hose at front right.  

I found that I could sneak Pearl onto it without hitting anything (all the low stuff is at the rear before it gets to the lift, like the sway bar and sump), but Chris' 996 is an inch or two lower (!), hence, the added ramp boards.  In the end, it's in, she's up and it's time for tea.



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When the budget recuperates Gordon, consider a jack shaft garage opener. It mounts on the side of the garage and connects to the torque shaft for the door. I installed one on my friends door and it is super quite and it eliminates the erector set over head track for the original opener. There are different price points when you shop around.

The sidewinder openers are cool, and the tracks that go straight up the wall to the ceiling even better. Most doors end up maybe 4 feet from the door wall on the ceiling, well out of the way of most passenger cars.

That's what we'll do in my next(and final!) shop.

I have pretty much the same setup as Gordon. My garage ceiling is 7' high. I don't find I need to lift the Spyder all the way up to work on it, most work is from the top or the side. Even working on the interior and under-dash is easier with the lift, easier on the back for sure. You don't need to climb DOWN into it.

It's absolutely awesome for brake bleeding. remove front wheels only on a Spyder, the clamshell allows easy rear caliper access.

Last edited by DannyP

That was Brian Hawthornwaite from Hilton Head Island and Palm Springs, CA.  He had sold his company, which was to Electronics what lettuce farming was to grocery stores.  

He had built up a business making bazillions of capacitors for electronic circuits (a commodity if there ever was one) and then sold the company and made millions.  He had a 60+ foot yacht behind his house on the only lagoon on Hilton Head Island with it's own lock to keep the water at an artificial "high tide" and deep enough to hold bigger boats.  They spent their time between both houses and the yacht, but they sold the boat shortly after Alan acquired the lift, because Mrs. Hawthornwaite was tired of seeing America from the coasts.  They bought a $1 million Rock Star Tour Bus RV and were going to spend a few years touring America (in between visits to Hilton head and Palm Springs).  I lost track of him after that, but my neighbor in Beaufort was a developer and I remember him telling me he was knocking down a couple of $4 million homes on that lagoon and putting up a couple of $12 Million homes in their places.

Lotta, lotta money on Hilton Head Island.......

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