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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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BIKE LIFT

I have a foot operated hydraulic bike lift with a safe load capacity of 500kg. The heaviest of my bikes is 1200 Trophy with a dry weight of 235kg. I'm generally very pleased with the lift, but as can be seen from the pictures there is a problem with the safety bar. It appears to be made of BlueTac and has become very banana shaped. I presume that this may be stressing the side members of the lift when it's in use, as well as losing a lot of the working height.
Can anyone point me in the right direction for what type of steel to go for as a replacement bar. I haven't a clue on the relative strengths of steel rod. The safety bar as supplied with the lift is 16mm diameter.
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Last edited by Sixties Lad; 03-11-2017 at 05:17 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 03:29 PM
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Err, stop using it! That steel has yielded and deformed. With the same load on there it could easily fail and drop the bike on top of you.
I would return it to the manufacturer as not fit for purpose and demand a refund. If it is rated at 500kg, then it should safely hold 500kg. If sold as lifting equipment they have a legal duty to test and certify it.

Seems strange that the support bar would just sit on the top edge of the side plates. That is a poor design if assembled correctly. Also, that bar is clearly not strong enough forthe forces acting on it.
The bar could be respecified to be stronger, like 4140 or similar but you'd need to know what the original material strength is, and the loads involved to be sure you are making the design safe... But this is the manufacturer's responsibility!

AC
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Andy. I hear what you're saying. The safety bar failure has worsened over the period of ownership which is almost three years now. I replaced it at one stage with a steel bar from a British manufacturer, but not knowing anything about the relative strengths of various grades of steel I must have ordered a general purpose mild steel because that bent in the same way. I've looked at other makes of lift and they were all designed in the same way (probably all from the same manufacturer and re-labelled). I haven't yet heard back from the distributor of the lift that I have, but I note that they have had replacement hydraulic seals made for this lift after a series of failures. Looks like my original research and choice of lift was a bit flawed, though I have to say that it has been a godsend despite the faults.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b6/bettesh/59-1.jpg
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 06:54 AM
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My lift did the same. Cheap Chinese lifts - fine for hobby use, apart from this steel holding/safety bar. IIRC we drilled out the holes to 20mm diameter and bought a bar from a farm supplies shop, as stuff like this is common around tractors and machinery stuff.

In fact, from your pics, I may exactly the same model. Hydraulic pump failed under warranty, but the replacement has been fine.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:20 AM
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Is that a solid bar? Hollow tube would be stronger.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Cheers Mike, that's interesting. I'm waiting to hear from a steel supplier in the Midlands about high tensile steel bar that they can offer. I'll have a look at increasing the hole diameters as well. I've had no problems with the hydraulics since replacing the seals, but I do notice the lack of working height with the amount of bend in the safety bar now. As you rightly say, OK for occasional hobby use.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b6/bettesh/59-1.jpg
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felony View Post
Is that a solid bar? Hollow tube would be stronger.
It is solid and I wondered about tubing. The max size of the holes that locate the bar is 16mm and I wasn't at all sure if a thick walled tube would be available at that size.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b6/bettesh/59-1.jpg
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 07:59 AM
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16mm is about 5/8" diameter. Here in the states I can buy 5/8" OD tube with a wall thickness of 1/8" in DOM A513 Type 5 mild alloy steel. Here is a chart showing some alloys and their properties. As Andybass posted, you need to know the stress load that is required. But, you could experiment if you can obtain a short piece from a supplier without spending an arm and a leg. Boring out the hole for a larger size would help, but you shouldn't have to do this as an owner. Do you have any machine shops in your area? If you do, take the stand in and get their opinion as to how to make stronger and safer. That would be my first endeavor.

http://www.industrialtube.com/client...loy-Tubing.pdf
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:05 AM
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Try your local junk yard and get an torsion bar (from an old Chrysler).strongest bar I ever encountered.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 08:59 AM
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I don't think he will find any old Chryslers in the UK in a breaker's yard. A 2X4 of hard maple or oak shoved in between those two side plates would work better than the rod supplied.
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