Hydraulic Lift Cart

As I am always looking for easier and more comfortable ways to work on and service engines I recently made an auxiliary enlarged work surface for a hydraulic lift cart bought at Harbor Freight.  The cart has a lifting capacity of 1100 pounds and a working height of 13 to about 36 inches.  The original top measures 19.5 x 32 inches.  The new auxiliary top has a usable area of 28 x 44 inches.

I used some 1 inch thick plywood left over from another project and normal construction grade 2 x 4 lumber for the project.

A hydraulic engine hoist (cherry picker) is used to lift an engine on its cart and then place it on the lowered table.  Once on the table I chock the engine in place and then can raise it to a comfortable working height.  I have used it with several flywheel engines in the 3 to 4 h.p. range and am careful to always lower it to minimum height to move it from one place to another.  Even fully extended it feels quite stable.

I would never run the engine while it is on the cart.  Three coats of spar varnish will help preserve the wood and keep oil, dirt, etc. from soaking in.  The side rails help to contain small dropped parts and the open corners allow drainage if the engine is washed.

Below are some pictures of it in use and some of the construction details.

These are thumbnails and will expand to larger pictures:
Cart at full height. Cart at minimum height. Auxiliary work surface installed on cart.
Engine lifted with cherry picker using nylon straps. Cart in place to receive engine. Engine lowered to cart.
About half way up. Full height. Note that engine does not extend too far beyond original table. Chocks placed in front of both wheels on steering axle to hold engine in place.
Underside showing 2x4's to locate top.  They are glued and screwed in place. Hole is for steel pin to hold auxiliary top in place. Top extends to front only due to lack of clearance at handle end.
Hole for push pin on each side is only modification of cart. Detail of push pins.  Regular hex head bolts could be used. Detail showing side rails and general construction.


Updated: 09-17-04

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