Disclaimer: Read and follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and instructions. Don’t blame me if you hurt yourself.
Stuff You’ll Need:
- Paper towels or shop cloths
- Teflon tape
- 2-3 qts of Dexron transmission fluid
- Funnel with stem diameter 0.5” or less
- 10 mm wrench
- 14 mm wrench
- 17 mm flange wrench
- 18 mm wrench
- 11/16” open end wrench
- ¾” open end wrench
- #1 Phillips head screwdriver
- #3 Phillips head screwdriver
- 6mm Allen wrench
- Air compressor
- Schrader valve tool
I ordered the Quickjack from Flyin’ Miata. Flyin’ Miata customer service was, as usual, exemplary.
Two weeks later Fedex dropped off two boxes that had been shipped directly from Bendpak with “free” shipping. The big one weighed about 130 lbs and contained the two lift assemblies and the handles. The Fedex guy brought these up with a two-wheel dolly to the front door.
The other box, about 45 lbs, contained the pump, the carrier, a set of 3810mm (12.5 ft) hoses, a set of 603 mm (2 ft) hoses, two sets of blocks and a box of hardware consisting of some fittings and fasteners. There was also a set of obsolete and very incomplete instructions.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the big box was shrink wrapped. The wheels were sticking out, though.
In the little box, the contents were just tossed in the box and were rattling around. There was one piece of Styrofoam that seemed ineffective. My motor was scraped up a bit.
There have been several revisions by the manufacturer and mine was different from the early adoptions. Some of the changes I noted were:
- The original control pendant cord was 20 ft long; mine is 10 ft
- Fluid reservoir changed from plastic to metal
- The quick-disconnect fittings have been changed
- Carrier changed from two-sided to one sided
- Paint on the air cylinders was changed from silver to black.
The next picture from the Bendpak instructions shows the earlier version of the system.
The electric motor, pump and reservoir are shipped as one piece that has to be mounted to the carrier. I had read that some units did not fit on the carrier properly; this was the case with mine. The carrier handle interferes with the motor termination box. Here it is right out of the box.
The situation was easily remedied. I took the #1 Phillips and opened the termination box. Inside, there are four Phillips screws that hold it to the motor. These are on a square layout allowing the box to be rotated ninety degrees clockwise. Here’s the box rotated:
With included Phillips screws and the #3 screwdriver, the pump mounting adapter plate is fixed to the pump block. Then the whole assembly is bolted to the carrier and tightened up with the 14 mm wrench from the bottom side. Now it looks like this:
I actually slipped in a washer between that 14 mm and the carrier bottom. This made the 14s the lowest point, causing the carrier to high-center and rock on the floor. So off came with the foot pads to get their own washers. The 10 mm wrench was used for this mod.
With the pump and carrier assembled, I turned to the lifts that were still shrink wrapped:
After removing the wrapping, I noticed the safety locks were attached to the frames rather loosely. I took the 18 mm and tightened both sides so the locks had enough tension to stay in the up position. The reason for this simply so you don’t have to fight them when you are trying to lower the lifts; they will drop into the mid-way detects on the way down. This is the only change I made on the lift frames.
Bendpak ships the cylinders with oil to prevent them from corroding. This oil is supposed to be drained out. I removed the Schrader valves from the air cylinders:
One cylinder just had a little that I caught on a paper towel, but the other one required a bowl.
The other place that needs to be drained is the hydraulic cylinder. Remove the red plug with the 6 mm Allen wrench. I didn’t get much oil out of these. These plugs don’t have to be reinserted.
Finally, turning to the connections, everything is going to be separated with the 11/16” and 17 mm flange nut wrench (I used my biggest Japanese Deem for the first time) and Teflon taped – except the pump block fitting that have o-rings (the top half of the fitting below):
And the beveled-seat ninety degree fittings that screw into the cylinders:
Note that the latter fittings are angle up slightly to prevent the hose from hitting the frame as the angle changes during lifting. I was careful to not point them up too much to prevent them from getting scraped on top.
Once everything is taped up, the hoses can be installed:
After connecting everything, I added the Dexron I had in the supply cabinet:
The electrical requirements of the 110 V system are minimal. The motor is about 0.3 hp and draws 5.1 amps; it can easily run on a standard household 15 amp circuit.
Operation is simple. Open the reservoir vent. If the reservoir cannot pull in air when it is being emptied, the tank could collapse due to the vacuum formed. I have seen large industrial storage tanks collapsed and it is always amazing to review the circumstances and how little pressure differential is required.
Position the lift under the body and press the UP button. The pump runs to pressurize the cylinders. To lower, push the DN button. The pump does not run; the valve is opened in the pump block to allow fluid to flow out of the cylinders and back to the pump. This is called “single-acting” because the pump only runs in one direction.
Only when I pressed the DN button, the frames would not go down. The next day I called Bendpak support and, after being connected immediately to a rep, was told to pressurize the air cylinders to 90 psig while they were still in the up position. (The cylinders are marked with a warning to not exceed 50 psig if pressurized in the lowered position.) Once I did, the lift went down as commanded. After cycling it several times, I re-bled all four cylinders.
The original lift time was advertised as 4.5 sec. My instructions stated 10 sec. The label on the big box I received showed 15 sec. My experience was about 55 sec, much more in line with the FM’s statement of “about 60 sec.” Lowering was slightly faster, averaging 45 sec.