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General VW Discussion This is a place for General VW topics (the company, not your vehicle). General topics about a specific vehicle should be posted in the General TDI Dicussion Forum sections for that vehicle platform. A4, A3 & B4, B5, etc.

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Old November 12th, 2018, 18:41   #1
benIV
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Default Whatís your garage look like?

Wasnít sure where to post this so I apologize in advance.

Iím getting ready to build a shop and storage for my TDIís and their friends. Iíve got grand ideas but Iíd love to see what everyoneís elseís looks like. If you feel up for sharing, Iíd love to see some pictures or drawings or whatever.

Small sheds up to huge car collection and shop garages.

Iím looking for ideas on layouts, design, aesthetics, equipment and setup, etc.

Thanks!!


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Old November 14th, 2018, 05:11   #2
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Have you been to garagejournal.com? Lotsa great ideas and discussion there.
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Old November 14th, 2018, 05:21   #3
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Old November 14th, 2018, 09:27   #4
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OH, that's a clean shop! That's the way I like'em
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Old November 14th, 2018, 09:53   #5
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We try.
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Old November 14th, 2018, 17:01   #6
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Iím going to be buying a lift (or two) for the garage iím building and had a few questions:

1. Is there a specific type or brand of lift that is better for a4ís? (iím thinking size or style/compatibility with lifting procedures for a4ís)

2. Where are the best lifting points for an a4 jetta using the liftís arms? Every time I search for lift points all i get are floor jack and jack stand locations.

I really appreciate your help and advice.

Iíve got a wide ranging collection of vehicles.. VW, MB, GM, Mopar and a good range of years too, so Iím not sure if there is one lift to use for them all.

Maybe Middle Earth Solutions, Inc. will make me one. lol


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Old November 15th, 2018, 04:21   #7
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I have always been partial to Rotary lifts. They seem to have the best ergonomics, and are durable and reliable.

When we moved into the new building, we got a few more 2-post lifts, they are Challenger. They were cheaper, and despite looking a little beefier, they are the same 10k pound capacity. I find them a little clunky to use, and the arms do not drop as low to the ground as our Rotary, but that may just be the design they are.

A 2-post above ground lift is the most commonly used, and the most versatile for the most jobs, but keep in mind the concrete floor they are bolted to has to be a very specific thickness and compound, so be sure that whomever you have doing the floor knows this and takes that into consideration.

While the weight capacity is plenty, know that they are not the most stable for very long vehicles, and some stuff can be tricky to rack depending on the arrangement of the undercarriage. Ford trucks come to mind, as they have a frame that kicks UP in the back right after the cab.

On A4 platform VAG cars, on the Golfs and Jettas, I generally lift them with the arm pads flat on the pinch welds ahead of the rear wheels and aft of the front wheels. Spreads the load out, will not damage anything. On the New Beetle sedans, I go into the unibody box rail in front, then flip the short extender up in the rear and get them on the little round nub that sticks down right near where the parking brake cable passes. This is because their rockers are shaped differently. You need to do the same thing on and G/J with side rocker trim (like some GLX/GLI/GTI models), as well as Audi TTs. The NB 'vert has a rocker reinforcement running down the side, so you can usually just grab the flats there, but I sometimes do them the same as the sedans.

B5s, C3s, etc. grab the flats BUT there is only a very small spot in the back because if you go too far in you can hit something else, so you have to make sure that you just grab the outer most spots.

A5s have designated spots sticking down from the pinch welds, like most Hondas, but the rear ones are about a foot forward from the rear wheels for some reason. A6 is the same.

NCS Jettas and 2012+ Beetles (same platform underneath) have those spots further back in the rear, where they belong. NMS Passats are similar.

I can take some pictures from under some cars if you like.

4-post lifts are not as versatile, but are good for heavier duty stuff. We have two of those here, one is our dedicated truck rack, the other is our alignment rack, but sometimes has to double duty for other things as necessary. And it is still a royal pain to get transmissions out of Transits, something that is a very common necessity here.

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Old November 20th, 2018, 20:08   #8
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Rather than the layout, etc. I have some suggestions on structure. One of the considerations I have for buildings these days is insulation, as energy costs will one day return to goofy high. Building for today's bargain basement natural gas is not a good plan. Start with the floor (assuming slab on grade). Some people will put expanded polystyrene under that - I don't like its long term stability. Strongly recommend at least 6" of PFCC (Preformed Foam Cellular Concrete) instead of compacted gravel and insulation board. A good concrete contractor should know about the stuff, you want very high amount of air (at least 80%). Far more stable than compacted soil, self levelling and great insulation. Not to mention will last about forever. The floor slab should be thick enough and high enough strength to suit future use such as required by hoists (as mentioned earlier in this thead). BUT: don't use steel rebar!! It is the very reason concrete fails. If you want to go old school of a network of embedded, bonded in rebar - use basalt - 1/4 the weight, 2x the strength, same co-efficient of thermal expansion, can not corrode. Plan B is more money, but post tensioned slabs can be done, but probably not cost effective for a shop floor (have seen in on residential slabs a few times, but overkill). Plan C: is very easy - helix fiber. Replaces rebar with tiny little helical bits of flat, galvanized or stainless steel.

Assuming you plan a "tin box" type of structure, the way to get fantastic insulation is to use MIP (Metal Insulated Panels). Do NOT confuse with SIP (Structural Insulated Panels) that tend to be styrene foam glued to plywood skins. MIPs are cast-in-plant polyurethane foam that directly bonds itself to steel (sometimes aluminum) skins. They are rigid enough to be used structurally, but once span gets large, you are back to hanging them onto some kind of truss for roof. Usually need purlins only 6 or 8 feet apart (depends on thickness). I am looking at 4" wall and 6" roof panels for my next shop, but temps here get down to -40. You could probably get by on 2" and 4".

When I build a shop, I always put in an overhead crane. If you are not commercial, one can build one very cheaply. I use 12VDC truck winches, build the trolleys to run underslung on I beam bridge with winch motor on one side, battery on the other. Hang a chain from trolley and pull the trolley and bridge with it by hand (pendant on bottom). If you do a lot of fabricating, it is worth the trouble and minor expense. Even if you just do the odd engine change, designing truss with enough strength and allowance to attach a single central I beam and hanging a chain block on small commercial trolley can really make a job go easily. We have an electric (again 12VDC) monorail in our off grid storage building, used to haul everything up to the mezanine floor. REALLY useful on the work area down the middle.

Think seriously about storage. As the hobby goes through the years, you will be surprised how much stuff you will accumulate. For cold storage, we put up tensioned fabric "buildings" (just doing one now, a cover over a 20' gap between two 40' containers - lockable storage on remote farm site plus out of sun/rain/snow for big things). Have built them from 1,000 to 10,000 sq.ft. - can be very cheap if you either build everything yourself or buy used (have done that as low as $2.00/sq.ft.!!)

Finally: think about vertical. It is fairly cheap to go higher, and a second (mezzanine) level for storage on one end and lots of height for hoists on the other covers a lot of things easily.
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