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Old 23rd May 2013, 18:59   #1
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Default Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

Friends - Need a suggestion from you guys. I am in the process of constructing my house in Chennai. As an automobile enthusiast, I want to have a mechanism for under chassis inspection. It is purely enthusiastic only. I do not plan to anything other than a visual inspection. I might spray Brake dust remover / wheel cleaner on the inside of the wheel at the max.

Note: My Aspirational / Dream Vehicle is Toyota Fortuner which weighs 2700 kgs approx, so I am looking for a lift with capacity of 3 Tonnes

I have come up with the below options and would like to discuss the Pros and Cons of the same.

1. Hydraullic Lift - Found at Petrol Pumps
2. 2/4 Post Lifts Found at Workshops
3. Stack Parking System - Found in apartments
4. "Pit" - Found in Wheel Balancing / Alignment Shops.

Hydraullic Lift - Costs 95,000 + Tax = 1.2 lacs approx with Install

2/4 post lifts - Start at 4 lacs for a Sedan / Hatchback. SUV Lifts costs as much as an Ertiga/Quanto

Stack Parking Lifts - Start at 2.5 lacs for a Hatchback/Sedan. Hatchback should be on top and SUV on the ground.

Pit - This is the most cheapest and the simplest option IMHO. I can request the builder to cut a trench of 2 feet width by 5.5/6 feet depth so that i can inspect the underbody. This is similar to what is found at Wheel Balance / Alignment shops.

Please comment and let me know suggestions and inputs.

Note: This is purely for Domestic/Self use only. I am a salaried employee in a bank and am in no process of starting any commercial business.

Hydraullic Lift
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2 post Lift
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Pit
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Pit
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Stack Parking
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Last edited by scopriobharath : 23rd May 2013 at 19:12.
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Old 23rd May 2013, 20:33   #2
GTO
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Default Re: Options for Underbody inspection at home

Buying a hydraulic lift only for visual inspection is like investing in an operation theatre to treat a flu.

Please visit a local petrol pump / service station, pay them 75 bucks and they'll let you inspect the underbody all you want

On the other hand, if there is a parking spot constraint, you could kill two birds with one stone like this:

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Old 23rd May 2013, 21:36   #3
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Default Re: Options for Underbody inspection at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Buying a hydraulic lift only for visual inspection is like investing in an operation theatre to treat a flu.

Please visit a local petrol pump / service station, pay them 75 bucks and they'll let you inspect the underbody all you want
Hi GTO - Thank you for the suggestion. Petrol Pumps / Service stations are too buzy to allow this, at least near where i live.

What is your suggestion on the "pit" idea. it should the most cost effective and simplest to implement.

Also - I might extend this usage of my ramp / pit for all T-BHPians whenever they need :-)

Last edited by scopriobharath : 23rd May 2013 at 21:54.
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Old 24th May 2013, 14:28   #4
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

Why don't you just buy two simple "hi lift jacks".

Raise the front or rear only by about one feet.
Do your inspection and bring the car back to ground.

Pic from: http://www.fabfours.com/
Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home-img_7451.jpg

In my honest opinion this is all a major overkill. Like using a hammer for a cracking open a peanut.

Last edited by bblost : 24th May 2013 at 14:29.
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Old 24th May 2013, 14:45   #5
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

If you are only going to be inspecting SUVs, all you need is a cardboard piece or a mat. Unless you are really obese, you should be able to crawl under most of them. I used to do that when I had my Scorpio.

I too feel you will be wasting far too much money on all your suggested options for what you intend to do with it. I do understand your need to take a look under your car once in a while. Most viable option is to crawl under them. My 2 cents.
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:18   #6
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Default

As you are constructing your house right now,the most optimal solution is to have a pit dug up in your garage and cover it with an iron grill

If it was not feasible to dig holes in the ground, I would have gone for the high lift jacks/ axle stands option.
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:23   #7
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

Why don't you use small ramp like the one below. SUVs already have good clearance and this will enhance it further and it will be sufficient to crawl under and inspect.
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Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home-m3-ramp.jpg  

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Old 24th May 2013, 16:40   #8
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

I use a fair sized mirror and a lamp! Works good enough for me!

Else, I take the car to the friendly Shell station, where they will oblige me by keeping the car on the oil change pit for a few minutes, when there is no crowd!

Last edited by Gansan : 24th May 2013 at 17:04.
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:24   #9
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

Get 4 jack stands and a high lift trolley/bottle jack. It will give enough clearance to do basic oiling/greasing inspection kind of jobs on your SUV. And wheels will be in air too if you want to do some brake work.

From the options you have posted the trench will be the cheapest but then it is a safety hazard in a domestic setup. So it needs to be covered up at alltimes except when you use it.

What would be the cost of a Scissor lift?
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:31   #10
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

How about the see-saw car ramps where you drive on at one end, wait for the heavy front end of the car to make the ramp 'level' and then ask someone to make the rear legs upright? But could be dicey for a 2,700 kg SUV!

Something like this:
http://www.showroomevent.co.uk/rentramp/aboutus.htm
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Old 24th May 2013, 18:21   #11
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Pit - This is the most cheapest and the simplest option IMHO. I can request the builder to cut a trench of 2 feet width by 5.5/6 feet depth so that i can inspect the underbody. This is similar to what is found at Wheel Balance / Alignment shops.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drsingh View Post
As you are constructing your house right now,the most optimal solution is to have a pit dug up in your garage and cover it with an iron grill

If it was not feasible to dig holes in the ground, I would have gone for the high lift jacks/ axle stands option.
@scopriobharath
I would want to suggest the same. Since you said you're a salaried employee and not at all planning to start your own business where all your instruments could be used later, I don't see any point in investing so much for 'Inspecting the underbody once in a while'. A 'pit' would do the job very well. Most of the basic tyre shops with alignment/balancing facility use the same, its just a matter of getting under the body !!

Frankly, its just too much money for me.

Last edited by Fiest@DuraTec : 24th May 2013 at 18:23.
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Old 24th May 2013, 20:26   #12
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Why don't you just buy two simple "hi lift jacks".

Raise the front or rear only by about one feet.
Do your inspection and bring the car back to ground.
This apprears to be a good option, but could not figure out how to lift the car

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCORPION View Post
If you are only going to be inspecting SUVs, all you need is a cardboard piece or a mat. Unless you are really obese, you should be able to crawl under most of them. I used to do that when I had my Scorpio.
Thanks - I did not think of that option

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsingh View Post
As you are constructing your house right now,the most optimal solution is to have a pit dug up in your garage and cover it with an iron grill
If it was not feasible to dig holes in the ground, I would have gone for the high lift jacks/ axle stands option.
I am still yet to start construction. I can request the builder to make a pit like what we have at wheel aligners. This should cost couple of 1000s at the max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S5157 View Post
Why don't you use small ramp like the one below. SUVs already have good clearance and this will enhance it further and it will be sufficient to crawl under and inspect.
Is this available in India ? I googled but failed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I use a fair sized mirror and a lamp! Works good enough for me!

Else, I take the car to the friendly Shell station, where they will oblige me by keeping the car on the oil change pit for a few minutes, when there is no crowd!
The petrol pump near my house is far too buzy to accomodate this, even if i am ready to pay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Get 4 jack stands and a high lift trolley/bottle jack. It will give enough clearance to do basic oiling/greasing inspection kind of jobs on your SUV. And wheels will be in air too if you want to do some brake work.

From the options you have posted the trench will be the cheapest but then it is a safety hazard in a domestic setup. So it needs to be covered up at alltimes except when you use it.
What would be the cost of a Scissor lift?
Scissor lifts are imported and 3 ton ones cost close to 10 lacs with import duties and installation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
How about the see-saw car ramps where you drive on at one end, wait for the heavy front end of the car to make the ramp 'level' and then ask someone to make the rear legs upright? But could be dicey for a 2,700 kg SUV!

Something like this:
Is this available in India? I liked the one on which the Merc A Class is parked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiest@DuraTec View Post
@scopriobharath
I would want to suggest the same. Since you said you're a salaried employee and not at all planning to start your own business where all your instruments could be used later, I don't see any point in investing so much for 'Inspecting the underbody once in a while'. A 'pit' would do the job very well. Most of the basic tyre shops with alignment/balancing facility use the same, its just a matter of getting under the body !!

Frankly, its just too much money for me.
I am more inclined towards Pit, as it seems to be the least cost effective one. Also, maintenance boils down to broom cleaning / washing any stains. I would be buying a pressure washer, so this should be pretty easy.
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Old 24th May 2013, 21:08   #13
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

Please DO NOT use hi-lift jacks (2 or more does not matter) for under body inspections. They are not meant for this, and for the 2700 kgs you are talking about, it might kill you.

Be safe.

Spike
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:36   #14
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

I think all the above posts suggest on "Pit" as the most economical solution.

I am constructing a Bungalow type individual house, so placement of the Pit does not matter. I mean I am okay building a pit and need not answer anyone. (If it is apartment, others may object).

Now I am stuck with one thig. I need to cover the pit due to safety concerns. I have a 5 month old kid now, who will grow up by the time i construct the house.

Please throw some suggestions on how to cover the pit. I could put Iron Grills, but that would be stolen for sure (Not planning to have a watchman / security guard). Any other suggestions please?
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Old 24th May 2013, 23:18   #15
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Default Re: Equipment Options for "Underbody Inspection" at home

hmmmm..

What you need is this. (IMO )
PORTABLE COLUMN LIFTING SYSTEM
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PCL18 Portable Column Lift Features -
•18,000-lb. individual column capacity; 108,000-lb. maximum system capacity
•Two, four, or six column configurations can accommodate heavy duty trucks and light duty passenger
vehicles
•208-240 volt, 3-phase main power system - optional voltages available upon request
•SINGLE, PAIR or TEAM operation
•Simple operation, long service life and minimum maintenance
•Intuitive controls allow the lift to be fully programmed and controlled from any column
•Control systems feature 24-volt safety circuitry
•The PLC and main system components are standard off-the-shelf brands rather than proprietary
printed circuit boards or controls which can be very expensive to service or replace
•Smart electronics feature self-diagnostics and self-calibration functions
•Sealed and enclosed linear potentiometers feature precision potentiometric output and high
frequency response for precise synchronization and communication of all columns throughout all
operation cycles for precise, level lifting
•Variable height limit settings can be programmed for shops with low ceilings or when specific vehicle
service requirements necessitate specific rise heights
•Two-speed lowering option – turtle or rabbit speed settings
•Each column is equipped with a warning light and audible alarm for critical warning alerts
•Emergency shut off switches on each column quickly shut off power to the lift in the event an unsafe
condition is detected by the operator
•Separate key lock enclosure on each column
•Electronics are multi-fuse protected
•An enclosed electric-hydraulic power system that ensures quieter operation is better suited for sound-
sensitive areas
•Pallet-jack style steering wheels enable the columns to be lowered firmly on the floor vs. constantly
loaded spring-type steering wheels that can cause columns to roll when unladen with the weight of a
vehicle
•Low mounted power units and cylinders means a lower center of gravity making the columns easier to
move and less likely to topple vs. screw-drive systems with heavy overhead motors and drive systems
•Extended forks accommodate wide tires and deep wheel configurations
•Multi-width wheel forks with locking pins accommodate the widest range of wheels eliminating the
need for specialty wheel adapters
•Tandem 8” diameter polyurethane covered steel wheels with sealed roller bearings easily roll over
dirt and debris
•Heavy-duty steel carriage rollers feature turned, ground and polished axle pins
•Manual safety override valves on each column permit the lift to be lowered in the event of a power
outage without the need for manual hand cranks
•Durable forklift pockets provide simplistic handling when moving the lift columns from once facility to
another
•Inverted hydraulic cylinders feature an integrated safety valve to prevent accidental uncontrolled
lowering in the event of oil pressure loss
•Multiple, automatic, independent safety locks spaced every 4 inches ensure safe operation
•Space-saving design, reduced column weight and a tight turning radius provides improved mobility
•Use the lift to place vehicles on tall jack stands then use the columns to raise another vehicle in an
adjoining bay
•Durable powder-coat finish
rhgds
Nikhil
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