I (embarrassing admitting now) still have the lift "sitting" strapped down in the bed- spare time went to foster kids we're getting ready to adopt, her boys(I'm step-dad entraining still, 5yrs later), fix the van's 2 O2 sensors, jetted axle DOJ & oil pan replacements, and work...... I came up with an idea to make the mounting even more DIY. Talking w/ my machine shop owning mentor on the structural integrity issues that could pose a "weak link" and so far I think we're a a few steps from starting final stage. This may have to wait till after the holidays -to be fare for both our lives and schedules (shrugs) -one ofthe trade offs for domestic life, I have learned- and continue to relearn on several fronts.
I'm also embarassed to say I haven't installed my Tommy Lift yet. I moved it 40 miles to a storage area to where I will be moving to this spring. I was going to use it to move, but didn't have enough time so I ended up moving the Tommy lift instead of installing it.
I'm eager to start on it, but have no time. I'm able to lift the Tommy lift with my engine lift and with fabric straps. I'll use that to install the tommy lift onto the back of the truck.
Perhaps a year from now it still won't be installed. I would have already moved and will no longer have a real use for the tommy lift. I bought it for this move. Oh well.
I also noticed that the lift is covered with hydraulic fluid. It must be leaking out.
I bought the bracket kit for it: $200, cables, electric breakers, etc. Cost me about a grand. Should of bought a new one instead.. oh well.
well, last week we finally got it installed... now all I have to do is wire it up and test it out... had a little leaking occur but, I figure that i can at least lower it and then un screw the flap and inspect the innards, eh?
Never bothered wiring it the rest of the way though I use it quite a bit. No excuse other than sloth and I didn't feel like crawling under the truck.
Found the limit of the liftgate (they set the relief valve around 1500 lbs) picking up the base of a J-head Bridgeport milling machine. Found how to get around that limit since liftgate leverage changes as the pantograph lifts the gate and if you give it some help it will keep going.
This is NOT per manufacturer instructions but if you get stuck with a partially lifted load you can't shift may save your bacon. Stand out of the way of, well, everything when playing with heavy objects and if you aren't sure, don't do it!
With a quality jackstand under the Reese hitch so the truck wouldn't squat or shift (liftgates must be LEVEL to lift heavy loads safely) we ran the mill table out to the rear then put a 4x4 atop a floor jack and took some of the weight off while I alternated short lifts with applying tension with my winch to the top of the mill base to keep it vertical and as a safety to ensure it couldn't slip rearwards. As the gate lifted it took over without jack support and got to full height. My Hi-Lift (I love those jacks with a morbid passion also reserved for Wyeth-Scott comealongs) lifted the outboard edge of the gate just enough to get my prybar clearance to scoot the base onto the bed whence I lowered my choker on the base and winched it forward.
We had the head off the Bridgeport or the jack trick would not likely work without additional prep and more than one floor jack or Hi-Lift, but it's one way to get that size vertical mill home.
2000 F150 with a 4.2 handled the load fine but I had added Hellwig overloads, Timbrens, and coilover shocks so it barely squatted. I like that Timbrens don't load the leaf springs or leak like air bags. Didn't go over 65 on the way home out of respect for having 2100 lbs in the bed.
I'll take pics tomorrow of the loaded truck and my winch setup when I unload the mill. An in-bed winch is outstanding for loading the truck, trailers, and in the case of one liquidation where insurance rules forbade me driving into the building, winching out thousands of lbs of heavy steel racks I bought to repurpose. (Deadman ****** blocks off columns and you can go in many directions besides straight to the winch.)
The liftgate required zero maintenance so far, saved my back numerous times and is the best addition I've ever done to a personal truck.
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