Bendpak Midrise MD-6XP Install
Been doing some “testing” over the last couple of weeks on the new addition to the garage. If you follow the blog, you have probably noticed a few visual changes over the last couple of weeks. After a few years of work out of the garage and it was starting to look a little worn, so I put my wife to work.
First we added a few more outlets (only 1 was installed in the wall, and 1 for the overhead opener).
Val learned how to do sheetrock. (Now before you say it…..she doesn’t work cheap. Ask me how I know)
Across the front of the garage as well (there is a method behind my madness)
After running wire and putting in new GFCI’s, it was time to patch up the walls:
Then it was time to paint. I decided to throw some color on the walls. I was a little worried about it making the garage darker for working, but it really didn’t change the lighting at all to my surprise.
Then the fun started. I have some limitations in my garage: It is a standard sized garage with standard sized ceilings. This really limits my options for lifts. I went back and forth between trying to get a Max Jax put in (found out when installed, it would kill my other parking spot as it would be too wide). I shove about 6-10 cars through my garage a week for various work, so the jackstands were really getting old. I kept going back to Chris’s (HIRISC)posts on the MD-6XP (6speedonline, corvette forums, etc), and finally decided to make the leap due to his reviews (Bendpak should send him a cake or a basket full of kittens….something fun, lol). I went through Brian at ASEDeals.com after Bendpak referred me to him, and he was a pleasure to deal with. I don’t know if it was the cheapest, but I didn’t really care in this situation. I figure shipping must be about $300-350, putting the lift at about $1700. Not bad.
I picked up the lift at the local Conway station, they loaded it with the forklift and off I went. They would have delivered to the house, but I would have needed a quick way to unload it, and don’t have a forklift, lol. So then came the problem of unloading it. Let me preface by saying, I’m not the type of person to ask anyone for help, but by default my wife was close, so hillarity ensued. Piece of advice: Get about 3-4 freinds to help you with this, I am a dumb stubborn SOB. The shipping weight of the lift is 954lbs. You can unload about 100lbs off the pallet (pump, lift arms, etc), leaving you with a hell of a heavy pallet still. Bright idea…..cherry picker:
Now it takes quite a bit of sliding, lifting, cussing, sliding, etc to get it to the point pictured above (also I was in the 1/4 ton hole on the arm, with a 1/2 ton package, lol). Once lifted, you can get it shoved back to clear the truck and lower the pallet with one person supporting the far end of the lift (it isn’t heavy at that point, but it is off balance).
Now to get to this point takes a miracle. Once I lowered the picker all the way down, the lift is still off the ground by about 6 inches. Then I used the floor jack to pump up one end, which dropped the wheels of the lift onto the ground. At that point I was able to unhook the cherry picker and lower the jack/lift down to the ground. The only issue then, was the jack was stuck under the lift. Long story short, some wood, twisting, etc and the jack and cherry picker were free……Again, that’s 4 guys, con them with Beer.
Two thumbs up! Note: The entire time we were unloading the lift, my wife had the phone in her hands. Now I would like to think it was to call 911 when the lift fell on me, but I think it would have been to call the life insurance company instead….”well, no he isn’t actually dead yet, but I think he will be soon.”
After unpacking the lift, it is no surprise that the made in China stickers are all over the lift. I assume that is why the costs have actually gone up, because holy christ it can’t be cheap to ship the lift from China to Bendpak, and then to the home user. I paid $2040 to my door (and when I say door I mean to the conway station because I didn’t have a way to unload it easily at home). Anyway, I found it ironic that the pump (which is labeled in two parts that is is made in the USA), was the part that was defective. As you can see below, the hole for the cover bolt was never drilled and screwed in place. You see in the picture….the cover that says CAUTION…you will die if you open this cover). The one side had been done, just not the other side, lol. No big deal, a drill and a screw fixed that problem quickly.
And now to the lift itself. When I was researching the lift, I was really concerned that the way it would be put in the garage, would have the hydraulic line running down the middle of my garage. I really wanted to move the line to the other side, so it would run along the garage wall. I looked at pictures online, etc, figured surely you can do this. I called Bendpak and talked with 3 different people (including their “expert” on the MD-6XP….could have been the janitor for all I know). I asked if it was possible to switch the line to the other side: “Absolutely not, that is not possible.” I just couldn’t believe this (you could see the lift arm was drilled for a line to pass through on the other side), so I kept calling and talking with different people with the same response…..usually that response was preceeded by about a 5 minute wait period to look up the answer. I kept getting the same anwer, but decided to order the lift anyway and just deal with it. Now to my surprise, when I unpacked the lift, would you look at that.
Funny thing was, I opened the manual, and they show a picture of how I wanted the hydraulics set up, specifically stating, “the right side of the right cylinder should be plugged, with the left side of the left cylinder for the hose connection”…..hmmmm. So I unscrewed the fittings and swapped them. Problem solved. I love being master of the impossible.
The lift is actually portable using their little dolly cart. It is quite awkward to move as the handle of the cart is actually really high. It’s like trying to wheel a loaded wheel barrow around with the handles up by your nipples….it just doesn’t work as good. This cart also serves as a mount for the pump. I’ve got to put some weight on before I can move the lift, lol. Actually on concrete, you can slide it side to side if you pull hard enough, so you probably don’t need the dolly.
I decided the basement was the best place for the dolly, and I mounted the pump to the wall.
I came across something I had seen in the past as well with the front leg/bar. It was not level. The right side was off the ground maybe a mm or two. I put a level and a square on the floor, and they didn’t have a gap. Anyway, I loaded a car on it, and it is just as solid as any other lift, so I figured it would be ok.
So, after setting everything up and running it up and down a few times, I decided to call Bendpak and speak with a customer service manager. I talked to Joon (IIRC) and voiced my concerns about #1 his “experts” not knowing how to support the product they are selling (hydraulic line swapping), and #2 about the safety issues of shipping a pump in that condition (screw missing from an electrical cover and the cover hanging off). #3 was the front bar unevenness, which we discussed and determined with the measurements I took that it was not an issue, and I agreed, I just wanted to double check. He also put me in the computer and wrote down all my concerns in their system in case there ever was an issue. None of them were big deals, but I felt he should know about the issues so they could deal with them accordingly. He sent me an extra set of lift pads for my troubles, which I told him was absolutely not necessary, but he insisted. Once that was done, it was time to build ramps.
I followed Chris’s build, and took (4) 2x12x12′ boards and cut about a foot off the top one, and cut a 45 degree angle for the tires to climb. I am not going to do the cross bars to connect the ramps as some others have done, but was going to drill a few holes in the floor and drop long bolts through to keep them from moving. After a bit of use though, I have found that they don’t move at all when coming on or off them, but they do want to shift sideways when you lower the car onto the ramps. I wash my floor about 2x a week with stuff going in and out, so I want to be able to slide the ramps out of the way easily when I need to clean. Each ramp probably weights a good 70-80lbs at least, so at this point, I am going to leave them free standing and unbolted. I think I will try and find some old tractor trailer mud flaps though to add to the bottom of the wood for additional grip.
Note: It appears a few things have changed with the lift since Chris got his.
#1: The pads are now square pads and larger in size.
#2: The safety lock mechanism use to be the high point of the lift when it was lowered at about 5.5″. Now the pads are the high point at about 5.5″, with the lock mechanism measuring slightly lower. With the ramps, there is plenty of room between the lift and the car. I picked up some hockey pucks to use on top of the lift pads for the p-cars. My M is lowered and there is plenty of room to still do that. Note: It isn’t easy to find hockey pucks in Kansas City, but Nill’s Brother Sporting goods do carry them for about $1.50 each.
The M in the air. I am surprised at how high 48″ of lift actually is. Plenty of access underneath and very comfortable to work under. Tires are at about chest level for brake work, etc.
1. After using it on a bunch of different cars now, this thing rocks! It doesn’t take up much room at all, and is the perfect solution to a smaller standard size garage.
2. Total bill for the install will put me right at about $3000-3100 (includes outlets, drywall, wiring, paint, lift, highlift garage door conversion (18″ raise) and liftmaster 3800 opener). Ok, that is a lie, remember my wife doesn’t work cheap? It will cost me more, but it is definitely worth it. It goes up pretty quick actually, and can come down faster than you would ever want it to, lol. If you are hurt by space, and are on the fence, just take the leap.
3. So far I have lifted most models of Porsches already (as well as BMW’s and the Jeep), including the Cayenne, which remains quite stable when raised.
4. I do wish they had added a slightly lower safety lock on the lift. On the lowest lock setting, it puts the level of the car up a little too high to work in the engine bay. The pump/cylinders do have a valve that prevents the car from coming down fast if there is a failure, but a lower lock would be nice for piece of mind.
5. The rear most bar looks like it will made dropping motor/tranny out of a 911 a little difficult though not impossible. I think I will cut the center out of the bar, and install a removable bolt in brace that can be dropped out quickly when doing that job, and reinstalled for the rest of the time.
The last thing to do was to raise the garage door and install the side mount opener. I had a door company come out and do the high lift conversion as it didn’t cost much more to have them do it then it would be for me to buy the parts.
Once that was done, I installed the liftmaster following the videos on youtube. It walked me right through the install.