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Old 02-22-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
CCjon OP
HighHorse Rider
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Under the Texas Sun
Oddometer: 570
Building a homemade sidecar lift

NOTICE: You will be disappointed if you try to build this lift as I finally was. Was a failed project.
Notice added 02/01/2014

After asking for table lift ideas here, using internet searches and talking with Ural dealers, I slowly laid out plans to make my own table lift.

Well, I finally pulled the trigger and decided to build my own sidecar lift. Laying on the ground to work on the rig is for novices... or when you are stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

Went from this set up.... a HF motorcycle table lift with a foot pump and a separate jack... and no way to raise them further. Some suggested that they straddle the MC lift and use it to raise both MC and SC. That would work with an air operated lift. On this lift the foot pump pedal is immediate to the side on the table, no way to relocate it.

To this... a table that supports all three wheels, can use a jack to raise any wheel for removal. Can raise and lower the rig safely.


The lumber from Lowes cost $151.21 plus tax.
The two jacks and jack stands from Harbor Freight cost $294.88 plus tax

Dimensions: Long Table - 24" x 84"
Short Table - 18" x 48"
Width - 60"
Lowered Height - 8 1/2"
Raised Height - 21"

Basically copied ideas from a homemade motorcycle table lift then made changes for the sidecar. Yes mistakes were made along the way, a trail and ERROR process to work through to a final solution. Finding the center point of balance was tricky. Once the lift was built and I stood on it in a raised position, felt stable and flat. But once the rig was loaded and we started raising it, everything changed.

Here is the Cliff Notes version of the build. From these you can make the changes to fit your rig and your abilities. To answer the question - Why I did not weld it? I don't know how to weld. I put myself through college working as a carpenter, not a welder.

So... on with the show.

First the base.

From one sheet of 23/32 plywood, and 2x4 framing.

Second, the top frame

Third, the support legs out of 2x4's

Fourth, the legs installed to pivot on 5/16" bolts with lock nuts

Fifth, add the upper pivot support for the legs using bolts and lock nuts, The top deck will be screwed to these pivot supports and the top frame.

Sixth, the top frame installed and checking for smooth raising and lowering...

Seventh, laying the top deck pieces in place to check clearance and fit.

Eight, remove deck pieces to finish up inner mechanisms,

Nine, Fasten deck pieces in place with glue and screws. Note red rope, is to release for brake stop.

Ten, checking the working lift. Was stable with one jack, even standing on it, but without the Ural.

Eleven, add the ramps using the existing HF lift ramp and making a ramp for the sidecar wheel

Twelve, trying the first lift with the Ural and one jack. Not a good result, MC out weighs the sidecar, table sagged to one side, threatening to drop it.

Thirteen, okay, let's try it with two jacks, both centered between the MC and the SC. AGAIN NOT STABLE!!!!!!

Fourteen, the final solution, relocate the rear jack to under the MC and keep the front jack centered between the MC and the SC. Refer to the previous picture and you will see a 2x4 that had to be knocked out for the jack to fit under the MC deck.

For additional safety and security, set the table down onto four jack stands while in the raised position. Raise the table slightly to remove the jack stands and release safety brake, then lower slowly.

Hope this gives you some ideas on how to build your own table lift. Time wise, I started working on it on a Thursday night, the grandkids came to visit for the weekend and I finished it on Sunday.

C2C US50 - Cross Country Ural Ride

Ride to Alaska on a URAL Blog

CCjon screwed with this post 02-01-2014 at 07:14 PM
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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Location: Tacoma, WA-ish
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I don't have your mad skill.

Do you take PayPal?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:20 PM   #3
tony the tiger
yeah - what he said...
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nice! I didn't see a beer fridge in any of those pictures though... way cleaner than my garage.

Good job!
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Anchorage, AK
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That is a nice looking lift.

Nice job!
Every great adventure begins with piss-poor planning
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:59 AM   #5
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Wild West Wales
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Superb. Well designed and constructed. Thanks for sharing this in so much detail, I think building one of these is going to be a future project for me (got to build a new garage/workshop first though ) . Have you thought about strapping the rig either onto the table itself or to a couple of fixed points on the floor each side to avoid any risk of it tipping while your working on it? maybe it doesn't need it, but I was thinking of when you jack up the chair to take the wheel off for example. I'm sure you've already got this worked out, but just a thought.
Good to see a fellow woodworker showing his skills on this forum, makes a change from all those engineering and welding guys getting all the glory.

The road goes ever on and on...J.R.R.Tolkein
Are we nearly there yet?...Batphluke jr.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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Nice, thanks for the pics !
1300cc 217Nm/207Hp NOS-injected VMax (1985), 500 cc 1950 BSA chopper (1983) in pieces, 750 cc CB750 chopper (1990), 300 cc MZ transporthack (1989) winterhack, 900 cc BMW R 90/6 hack (1976) summerhack, 1100 cc BMW R1100GS (1997) daily driver.

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:06 AM   #7
Out standing in his field
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Galt, CA
Oddometer: 218
Really well done. Why did you use metal supports for the SC wheel portion rather than 2X4's like you did for the MC portion of the table?

My Dad and Grandfather were the cabinet level of precision stops at framing...

I am still intrigued with adding a side table for the SC wheel like what you have done to my HF lift......It is #354 on my list of projects......

Thanks for taking the time to share all the pictures

Your garage is amazing!!!! I spend 30% of my time looking for where I just laid down a wrench in our slovenly farm dad was a typical aerospace quality control engineer.....neatness and the desire to farm apparently skips a generation!!!!
"How hard could this be for men of our caliber?"
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:04 PM   #8
CCjon OP
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Under the Texas Sun
Oddometer: 570
Originally Posted by Farmer1949 View Post
Really well done. Why did you use metal supports for the SC wheel portion rather than 2X4's like you did for the MC portion of the table?
Dang, you caught my mistake.. a slight miscalculation made the fit too tight between the lower frame and the upper frame for a regular 2x4, so had to use a smaller width steel support there.

Thanks for the nice comments.

Now to work on getting the Ural ready to pass state inspection, then learn how to drive it. It was sitting in a garage for over a year when I bought it. Came with boxes and boxes of spare parts that I do not know where they all go.

Am studying the forum to learn and apply.
C2C US50 - Cross Country Ural Ride

Ride to Alaska on a URAL Blog
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:10 PM   #9
CCjon OP
HighHorse Rider
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Under the Texas Sun
Oddometer: 570
Reality check

time to fess up to all. In the end the lift I built was a failure.

It started twisting and binding when lifting that I was afraid it was going to dump the rig into the side of my wife's car. Or just drop it on the floor. Did not feel confident enough with it to crawl under the rig for any work when raised.

So I disassembled it, used the lumber for another project. Bummer....

Am back to using the HF motorcycle lift with an auto jack under the S/C.

So save yourself the time and money, don't build a lift like mine. Try a different approach. Wishing you better success than I had.

Ride safe ya'll
C2C US50 - Cross Country Ural Ride

Ride to Alaska on a URAL Blog
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:58 PM   #10
"offroad shit"
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Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Bahama
Oddometer: 158
buy a quality lift table made for atv's

the handi-lifts used in many service shops have the option for adding sides to make it wider. not sure on the width of the rig, but i'd bet they have sides to match what you need..

race width atvs at about 50" outside to outside fit on the "atv" extension lifts and we even had one lift with "utv" sides on it that fit the polaris ranger and other utv's
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:43 AM   #11
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Location: Rochester, MI
Oddometer: 150
Harley lift

There is a picture of a Harley sidecar lift in this ebay ad that may be of interest.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:27 PM   #12
Joined: Jun 2008
Oddometer: 83
I use three car ramps. Run the rig front tire and side car tire up on two ramps. Jack up the back and slide the rear ramp in reverse. Rig stays in place, high enough to use a creeper.

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