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MG MGA - Jacking up the MGA

Iím looking at buying a jacking/lifting system of some sort for the MGA most of which use blocks sitting in a channel which push upwards onto the underside of the main chassis side rails. Iíve always simply jacked the car up under the front spring pans or the outboard ends of the rear axle so wondered if others have experience of lifting under the chassis rails, particularly lifting the whole of the side of the car in one go rather than just the front or rear portion of the car, if you get my drift! Iíd also be interested to know if the car ďbalancesĒ ok, longitudinally, using just the available limited straight portion of the side rails.
Hoping that makes some sense to all, please let me know.
Best
Bruce.
Bruce Mayo

Hi Bruce
I hope you are keeping well and enjoying life on the other side of the Solent.
Some research was done which showed that the weight distribution on the wheels is 52% front - 48% rear so the centre of gravity is not far off mid point between the wheels. http://www.mgbmga.com/tech/mga10b.htm

That puts it about 100mm behind the front of the door on the body and chassis rail. Hope that helps
David
David Marklew

Mine lift fine at the 4 corners.

Steve





Steve Gyles

I have spent a lot of time beneath my MGA over the last few months during the process of installing an Electric Power Steering system ( Sorry Steve :^) and replacing the diff and hub oil seals.

I have jacked up the car front and back and used axle stands to keep it as safe as I can. I still get a bit nervous working under the car on axle stands, especially when I am applying a lot of torque to nut. Plus I am getting a bit long in the tooth to be crawling under the car when I only have about 18" working height.

So I have been looking at installing a 2-post lift into my garage, the most appealing one is made by Automotech Service Ltd at around 1160.00 brand new.

This is the link https://www.automotechservices.co.uk/products/as-230nsp-3-0t-capacity-short-narrow-2-post-lift/

I have been close to ordering the lift a couple of times but other things seem to have gotten in the way, car repairs, daughters wedding using wedding cars tunbridge wells etc. But it is getting more and more tempting and I will most likely take the plunge over the winter season.

I will let you know how I get on.

Cheers
Colyn


Colyn Firth

I forgot to add that I have seen the Automotech 2-post lifts being used by Ant on the Wheeler Dealers TV show. So I would assume that this must be a fair endorsement.

It will lift the car by 1.5 metres and, as well as the welcome increase in working height, I quite like the idea of keeping it parked up there as an extra security measure


Colyn
Colyn Firth

Colyn,
Don't forget the additional 20% tax on the Automech price.

Steve,
Do you find the hydraulic ram arm gets in the way?

regards
Colin
Colin Manley

These scissor hoists are very popular in our Club. Rated 3 T and lift 1.1 m. $A2k suit low head room garages.
Mike


Mike Ellsmore

Mike,
can you use the scissor hoist to raise the car with the wheels off?
Most of the stuff I do to my car seem to require the removal of the wheels.
Cheers
Colyn
Colyn Firth

Colyn, and others, it's a bit of a nuisance having the type of hoist connected between the bases of the posts, especially if you need to occasionally push your car back or forward, as you have to push the car over the top of a hump.
Similarly for my purposes, I preferred not to have the connecting member between the posts above either, because I have a block & tackle arrangement to lift my MGB hardtop on and off in the bay I am fitting the hoist.

I came across a hoist, which has completely independent posts, top AND bottom. I'm in the process of installing it currently. It affords a minimum lift of 1.75 metres, and you can get a bit more still (1.8 metres) using the higher blocks supplied with the hoist. This will be ample for my needs.
The company supplying these here in Australia, "Hood Auto Performance Products" has a factory in China.
I am unaware if they sell outside of Australia, but others on this side of the globe may be interested.

https://sw-ke.facebook.com/HappAutoHoists/videos/our-happ95-is-only-242m-in-column-height-but-can-still-lift-to-1750mm-with-the-p/339226493409517/

T Aczel

Colin

Yes, the ram on mine does get in the way. Although it is mobile, having small wheels at one end and an F1 type lifting dolly at the other I do not recommend that lift for use with the MGA. It's other main problem is that it is verging on being too wide (and heavy) to be pushed under fore and aft. That is the reason you see the long wooden ramps in my photos, allowing me to drive over the lift which I leave in place for storage. The lift can be pushed under the car from the side (if you have room in your garage) and this gives better access underneath.

In summary, a poor purchase on my part and I wish I had known about Mike Ellsmore's lift at the time. Far better.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Bruce

Just to clarify my pictures. The front jacking point I use with my 4-point lift is on the longitudinal chassis rail in line with the tubular cross member. It is where the rail curves inwards. The rear point is as far back as I can manage on the longitudinal chassis rail. I have never had any stability issues in 8 years of use.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Thanks Gents
All interesting and useful inputs.
David - all is well on the IOW. We can almost see you over the Solent water from Yarmouth!
Steve and other scissor lifters - I agree with the theme running here that there is a lot of bits and pieces involved underneath there which could seriously conflict with certain jobs.
Looks to me that, provided space allows in the garage, Colynís two post lift looks useful. Unrestricted access underneath. I need to go out and measure and think carefully about how it would fit in the garage without any conflicts.
Mr T Aczel - nice idea your two poster but having no cross members at all presumably means it will need some very serious foundations/fixings to be safe?
This was one I have been looking at - Quickjack BL 3500SLX. Only a limited lift, and a lying-on-the-back system, but very portable independent synchronised hydraulic lifts each side. Anyone have any experience of that one?
Bruce.
Bruce Mayo

"Mr T Aczel - nice idea your two poster but having no cross members at all presumably means it will need some very serious foundations/fixings to be safe?"

Correct Bruce. Hence the delay in commissioning my hoist! The supplier specifies bolting into 20cm thick concrete. The slab under my shed is 10cm. I'm presently waiting for a builder to come and cut sections out of my shed floor slab to form footings of the specified depth!

The company also makes a shorter version of the same hoist which was the one I first had noticed. How could I not notice when one of the examples among their photos was a black MGA?
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hemmant/other-parts-accessories/two-post-fully-adjustable-portable-hoist-happ90-unique-model/1249362353



T Aczel

Bruce and T, that lift looks to be the same as my "MaxJax" shorty, just painted a different color. Mine's been great. It's sold as "portable" but I've never moved it - it's pretty heavy.

Yes, the specs do call for at least a solid 6" (15.25cm) concrete floor. 20cm would be even better. You don't want just pads under the jack columns because then the pads could shift. Have the entire section of floor where the lift will be installed cut our and repoured to the correct depth.

Jud





J K Chapin

Bruce, I have just had another look at the Automotech website and to fit their 2-post 230 NSP model you need a width of 2860 mm and a height of 2025 mm, plus a decent thickness of concrete in the garage floor.

I have also noticed that they make a pretty decent looking scissor lift, the AS-5500 2.5 tonne model for £890 (plus VAT)
It looks pretty neat and it lifts the car to 1025 mm (40 inches) This is the link,
https://www.automotechservices.co.uk/products/as-5500-2-5-tonne-scissor-lift/

This scissor lift is 123 mm deep (5 inches) when folded down but it is 40 inches wide, which could be the critical measurement, will it fit in between the MGAs wheels so you can drive over it?

I notice that is has it has the rubber pads to lift the car via the chassis instead of by the tyres, which gives much easier access to do repairs to the car.
This also saves the concern over the thickness of the concrete garage floor.

Cheers
Colyn



Colyn Firth

Colyn,
The Automech scissor lift will give problems with the ram in the way, similar to Steve's lift.

regards
Colin
Colin Manley

Hi Jud
I agree, your MaxJax looks very similar, or indeed the same as the HAPP 95 I am installing.
Interestingly the accompanying notes for my jack also describe it as portable, though with the posts being bolted to the floor, this seems far from convenient.
Having said that though, that box on the back of your MG TD looks perfect for transporting your MaxJax with you. You can jack up your car wherever you go!! :)
Regards, Tom
T Aczel

Colyn
Just been measuring up in my garage with your Automotech NSP two poster in mind. The N in the name is short for narrow it says but even in my three car width garage I reckon the 2.86m posts width is way too much and would compromise access around the garage. Are you happy with that sort of width?
Bruce.
Bruce Mayo

Colyn

No!!!!!!! That is my hoist. Don't even consider it. It does not fit between the wheels of a car with standard MGA back axle and disc wheels. I can just get it in from the back with my car because I have the WW mod on the same axle so the wheels are a tadge wider apart. The front wheels are not wide enough to drive over.

You also need a substantial compressor.

Steve


Steve Gyles

Thanks for that Steve,
I hoped you would be able to tell us about the width issue, I will take the Automotech 5500 off my list of possibles then.

Bruce, my garage is only a few cm wider in total than the AS-230NSP lift but the posts are not particularly deep and they would stand alongside some brick pillars at each side. So they wouldn't really make much difference to the width available already.

I may have to re position a couple of wall cupboards to accommodate the posts but I think it will be worth it.

I would have thought that with a triple garage, you could position one pillar near to an outside wall and so you would only have the other single pillar to work around.

If you have enough height in you garage, you may be able to store a car up high enough on the lift to park a car on the floor below it. So it may actually free up more working space for you.

Cheers
Colyn

Colyn Firth

I am fortunate to have plenty of room in my 3 bay shed for the hoist.
Nonetheless, I thought it important to do a trial fit for my hoist, using my MGA and my MGB before cutting concrete and bolting the posts down.
According to the specifications supplied with the hoist, the typical spacing between the leading faces of the hoist posts is 2400 to 2800 cm. With the design of this hoist however, you can place them anywhere from zero spacing upwards.
My main concern had been how difficult it might be to swing the arms inwards inside the relatively short wheelbase of the MGs. (93" MGA and 91" MGB, from memory). For this reason I thought we would have to separate the posts wider than the relatively narrow width of the two MGs would suggest.
We started at 2450, but at that width the hoist arms needed to be extended quite considerably.
We eventually wound up with the posts 2350 cm apart.
With this the arms were at about mid length extension when appropriately positioned, and it was simple to swing the arms under the car/s to their correct locations, without having to roll the car back and forth to manipulate the arms into place.
T Aczel

Tom

Can not simply leave the arms swung out in position and drive the car over them or are they bulky (high) bits of kit?

Steve
Steve Gyles

"Bruce Mayo, Isle of Wight

Mr T Aczel - nice idea your two poster but having no cross members at all presumably means it will need some very serious foundations/fixings to be safe?

Bruce.

Just an update.
As Bruce predicted, "serious" foundations were needed!
The supplier had advised a 20 cm thick concrete slab with 20 cm long bolts.

The builder preferred to get an engineer to assess the job. The engineer in turn insisted on piers going 90 cm into the shale terrain beneath the 10 cm concrete slab.
When the builders hit solid sandstone about a third of the way down under the 10 cm slab they rang the engineer, who still insisted on going down the full 900 mm !
The six bolts a side too were specified by the engineer in excess of the supplier, at 40 cm, instead of 20cm.
And finally the engineer insisted on a particular epoxy rather than that normally used in such work by the builder.
The cost of the bolts and epoxy alone came to just under Aus $1000 !!!

Moving the roof trusses wider and reinforcing the garage roof supports was relatively cheap!

Trouble is once you start on such a project, there's no backing out.

If we ever get a cyclone that sweeps my shed away, the hoist will still be standing. Indeed I'll probably secure the shed, (and my family) to the hoist in that eventuality!!!

The photo shows the lift available; the ladder fits comfortably underneath the differential of my MGB.
You can see the two hydraulic lines going to the pump; the downside of this type of hoist is having to accommodate these hoses.



T Aczel

Tom,
You could have run the hoses vertical from the jacking columns then across the ceiling dropping down to the hydraulic pump unit to clear up your floor. Just a couple of new hoses!
Cheers
Mike
Mike Ellsmore

Mike, I'm considering doing exactly what you suggest. There are hooks on the pillars which I assume are for this purpose.
The reason I hesitate is that I'd estimate I'd need hydraulic lines three times the length of those supplied with the hoist. Will such a longer length then tax the pump given the additional resistance of pumping oil through such long, relatively narrow hoses that I'd require?
I vaguely remember Pouseille's law from my physics days in high school.
Any hydraulic experts around here?

T Aczel

Shouldnít be a problem, just a bit more power need to over come friction (constant displacement pump so hoist speed wont be effected). Buy good quality hydraulic hose. Next size hose will eliminate. Hard to calculate without knowing pump flow rate, hose size. Power should be plenty if 2-3 tonne rated and you are only lifting a 1 tonne MGA.
Mike
Mike Ellsmore

Tom, with my MaxJax lift which is very similar to yours, I finally got tires of the hoses on the floor. I bought to additional hoses from the supplier and some fittings from the local Tractor Supply to make the hoses long enough to go up, across the ceiling, and down to the pump. This also allowed me to move the pump all the way to the back wall so it is more out of the way. I have not had any issues with taxing the pump or anything else that I can see. I think the fluid flows pretty slowly through the hoses so excess friction is pretty minimal. Moving the hoses overhead has greatly improved my garage. In the attached photo you can just see the pump mounted on the back wall and the hoses going up to the ceiling. The right hand post is just visible behind my friend Peter (TD10879).

Jud



J K Chapin

Evening gents. As I started this thread a while ago I thought I should give an update on what I did. Attached are two short utube videos (hopefully, Iím no expert at all) because it was not possible to load them here conventionally due to file size. The system is the American Quickjack, expensive for a limited lift height but still useful for lots of jobs, wheels remain free, and there is no impeding central ram or metalwork. The two jacks are quite independent but miraculously lift exactly together - just as well! There are two locked lift positions but it is still advised to have some backup support in case of any catastrophic failure.
I do hope the two video links work for you. Fingers crossed!
Bruce.

https://youtu.be/LjtaR5X4PcI

https://youtu.be/k_GMiOt4ZG4
Bruce Mayo

Mike and Judd, thanks for the information.
Apart from the added resistance I also had concerns with what I assumed would be raised pressures in the lengthened lines of leakages at the unions. As it was, they needed to be done up very tight.
I'll investigate getting longer hoses, and perhaps of larger calibre.

Bruce, good luck with your purchase.
T Aczel

Bruce, Iíd assess the Quickjack system as pretty low on a cost/benefit scale! Doesnít lift high enough and needs a secondary safety device. For the money you want at least 1 metre lift.
Cheers
Mike
Mike Ellsmore

Mike. I wouldnít disagree with your cost benefit conclusion! But for my purposes itís perfect and there isnít anything similar out there thatís truly easily portable, stores under the car driven over, and takes no garage space. I couldnít accommodate any form of post lift. The lift height is limited but copes very nicely with most of what I now do at my age. Bruce.
Bruce Mayo

This looks good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moRAb63O72M&feature=emb_logo
P Draycott

This thread was discussed between 27/10/2020 and 14/01/2021

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