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Hanging lift in garage ceiling with composite LP beams.

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papakevin

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Looking for help on hanging a Racor lift from my garage ceiling. It has the LP composite I-beams / engineered I-beams and I’m a little concerned with hanging weight from the screws tapped into the bottom. I’m looking to lift and store my Jeep hardtop up at the ceiling when not in use, so probably 200lbs of total weight. The floor above is storage in the attic, so I could open it up if needed. Just don’t want to do more work than necessary. Picture of the same type from my basement attached for reference.
 

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Flyover

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When you say "open it up" you mean remove those i-beams, and possibly some trusses connected to them above? I'm not so sure you can safely do that without harming structural integrity.

For whatever it's worth, I have a pullup bar in my garage (this one) mounted with 8 large screws (4 on each side) into the ceiling joists. I weigh 170 but that pullup bar is rated, I think, to something like 250 or 300. (EDIT: Nope, website says it's rated to 600 lbs!)

So it probably depends on how you're mounting the lift: what kind of fasteners, how many, where they're placed.
 

bud16415

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I wouldn’t worry about 200#. Connect across several joists with stringers (2x4) so the weight is shared and you will be fine.



The Racor is a nice design. Will you put 4 eye screws into the roof to hook it to the lift?

I have thought more than once about doing that for my truck cap.
 

papakevin

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When you say "open it up" you mean remove those i-beams, and possibly some trusses connected to them above? I'm not so sure you can safely do that without harming structural integrity.

For whatever it's worth, I have a pullup bar in my garage (this one) mounted with 8 large screws (4 on each side) into the ceiling joists. I weigh 170 but that pullup bar is rated, I think, to something like 250 or 300. (EDIT: Nope, website says it's rated to 600 lbs!)

So it probably depends on how you're mounting the lift: what kind of fasteners, how many, where they're placed.
Sorry I wasn’t clear. The attic space above the garage has a floor down so I cannot get to the topside of the beams to provide additional support for the rack hanging underneath unless I cut up the floor (which I could do.) Since these composite beams only have a 2x2 at the bottom, didn’t know if they would support the weight.
 

papakevin

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I wouldn’t worry about 200#. Connect across several joists with stringers (2x4) so the weight is shared and you will be fine.



The Racor is a nice design. Will you put 4 eye screws into the roof to hook it to the lift?

I have thought more than once about doing that for my truck cap.
There is a company called Topsy which makes a hook which will mount to the back hinge of the Jeep hardtop and provides a connection point. I got the kit which is made for the Racor for ease of use. It looks really neat. Just hope the beams hold the weight. The size of the wood on the bottom of these I-beams seems a bit sketch.

I did decide to run a 2x4 across multiple beams so it’s connected to 4 of them vs putting stress on a single beam. Photo of the work-in-progress.
 

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papakevin

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Well, hell. After installing my first arm, started my second arm install in the 2x4. I predrilled the home with a 1/8” bit and used a Craftsman driver to screw in the hex head lag screw supplied by Racor. When I was almost done, the head of the supplied screw snapped off! F$$k! Started installing another, went fine. Then another, and it snapped. F$$k again! Now I have two snapped screws up in my garage ceiling. Any easy way to get them out? Should I just drill a hole into the frame and put in a real screw from Home Depot in next to it? Photo for reference. Thanks.
 

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bud16415

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If there is any sticking out you might grab it with vice-grips and get it out.



Toss those junk screws and get some good lag screws. I would drill a new hole or take it all down and move the 2x4 over a little. Drilling a new hole would be best.



As to the pilot hole it should be just a speck smaller than the minor dia. of the threads. You might be a little small at 1/8”

Hang in there you will get it up. Some projects like to fight us.
 

papakevin

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Project is more-or-less completed. Lessons learned - supplied lag screws are junk. Snapped three heads off and kicked myself for not throwing them away in the first place. Topsy makes an upgraded metal gear for the lift (which I purchased and installed.) Racor lift comes with a hard plastic gear. I trust metal over plastic. Since I plan on storing my Jeep hardtop up there all Summer, I will likely reinforce from the top at some point prior before I trust the four lag screws holding the 2x4’s into the beams above. I just don’t trust those LP composite beams.
 

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bud16415

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If it were mine I would use the lift for picking it up and then have other fixed cables straps etc I could connect and then lower the lift just a smidgen to take strain off the gears and cables in it.

Did you load test it by getting a couple people to hang on it as you ran it up?

Years ago I designed a lifter for a locomotive diesel engine that weighs around 40,000 pounds. We made dozens of them to ship around the world and each one we made we would hook to a 100,000 pound test weight and lift it an inch off the floor and let it hang for 24 hours. That wasn't the only testing done but it was part of the certifying plan. That lifter was designed with a 10 to 1 safety factor.
 

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