Project: Dream Garage Part 4 & 5

This is likely to be a wrap for Project: Dream Garage series of posts for a while. I will definitely make more minor and major upgrades to my garage such as flooring and various tools. Until then be on the lookout for more car and welding related projects!

Saber Cabinets

I mentioned in the last post that I was buying some cabinets from Saber. Here are the line items that I purchased:

  • 2x Saber Base Cabinet Assembled
  • 1x Saber Stainless Steel Work Top
  • 1x Saber Wide Storage Cabinet

The installation was not very difficult. The first thing I did was placed the large wide storage cabinet into the corner. This created the base for everything else. My garage has oriented strand board (OSB) behind the sheetrock so I was able to hang the two base cabinets into the OSB and above the floor. This makes the work top easier to use and you don’t hit your feet on the cabinets.

The Saber cabinets came with a few screws and fender washers, but I didn’t feel like this was enough to hang the cabinets. I think it is probably fine if you were just screwing them to the wall on the floor like I did with the wide storage cabinet. I ended up going to Lowes to grab some screws with a square drive and more fender washers. I grabbed the driver and screwed a bunch into the hanging cabinets. It was super satisfying and the cabinets and work top are totally solid against the wall.

BendPak GrandPrix GP-7LCS

Something I always dreamed about was a lift in my garage. There is nothing worse than crawling around on your back between jack stands when it’s hot. I always liked BendPak lifts and was hoping I’d be able to fit one of their lifts into my new garage. I definitely wanted a two-post lift, because it’s more versatile. Unfortunately even the smaller two-post units like the XPR-9S-LP were 113 inches tall. My ceiling is 108 inches (9ft) and obviously way too short. I started to look at various other brands. However, I was a little worried about quality and safety of other systems, especially those not ALI certified. I posted online and was told to check out BendPak’s GrandPrix lifts, which were apparently a new product line.

Sure enough after a google search I found a link on their website to a group buy and a forum post about these lifts. They had a lift model GP-7LCS which had the perfect specs for my build. It stands 106.5″ tall and carries a load of 7,000lbs. The lift will go up 58″ with the pads and has an overall width of 125″. This is pretty compact considering it’s a legit two-post lift and not a portable or scissor type of lift. It’s a very versatile solution for a lot of home mechanics.

The guys from BendPak were nice enough to install the lift for me here in Houston. I had to provide a forklift to unload the lift from the delivery truck and it would also later be used to install the lift. I rented one locally and had it delivered for the day my lift and BendPak’s install crew were supposed to arrive. It was my first time driving a forklift and I was a little nervous. Turned out to be a little more challenging than expected, because the forks that came on my forklift were too short.

The lift had to be removed the long way from the truck and I just couldn’t get the lift to slide out of the truck. The driver had a good idea, which was to insert the fork like I was trying to remove the lift and tie a strap around the fork and the lift. Then I basically drove backwards to pull the lift to the back of the truck. We then used the truck’s lift gate and together lowered the lift onto the ground. I slid it off the lift gate and I came around and picked it up by the side. You are NOT supposed to do that, because that is a top heavy way to hold it. Unfortunately I just didn’t see any other way to get it into my garage. I figured I would tilt it back as much as possible and because I’d be driving up hill I’d be ok. I was a bit worried, but things worked out well.

A few hours later the BendPak guys showed up to the house and we started to install the lift. These guys were absolutely amazing and did a great job figuring out how to squeeze the lift into the very tight clearances I was working with. Some of my ceiling was a little below 9ft and it made it really hard to install the top bar, but they were very patient. I drove to Lowe’s to grab a 240v plug, but forgot to get wire. Had to go to Lowe’s again and hit traffic on the way back. When I arrived the guys were nearly done and before I knew it we were testing out the lift with their car. Next we lifted my Audi and finally after the guys left I threw my Mustang on the lift.

There is padding to protect doors from crashing into the columns. However my Mustang can clip the lift arms in certain positions. I ended up ordering Adhesive Foam Padding from Amazon and cutting up those pads and sticking them on the top edges of the lift arms. That’s good insurance against someone accidentally scraping the door against the lift arm.

Overall this is a very minor thing and I’m sure it’s just one of those things that comes with trying to lift sports cars vs. a normal sedan. It’s much the same when you try to tow a sports car, it’s always an adventure. At least my car isn’t too low to be lifted without using a floor jack first. Overall I’m extremely satisfied with my experience and so far the GP-7LCS has exceeded my expectations.

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