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Paul K's Avatar
 
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Built an inspection pit...

All:

I don't have enough ceiling clearance for a lift, so I just got done installing an inspection pit. Finished dimensions are 6' deep, 3' wide by 8' long. Offset toward the front of the garage so I can still slither in/out when the Discovery is over it.

Step 1. Template:



Step 2. Cut floor:



Step 3. Remove concrete:



Step 4. Excavate:



Step 5. Place floor:



Step 6. More rebar:



Step 7. Build form:



Step 8. Place walls:



Step 9. Strip forms:



Step 10: Finished! (Well, almost...)



Step 11. Timbers to cover hole when not in use (Still working on that- might use old aluminium walkways?) Next year I'll paint it with that epoxy stuff.

Cheers,

Paul.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:22 PM
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Well Damn! Aren't you a handy fella.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:24 PM
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Bobcats are great - I remember when they first came out

just watch it with any fumes in the pit!
Old 06-12-2010, 01:21 PM
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Pits are not not allowed by building code in most cities.

Keep your garage door closed if you are within city limits.
Old 06-12-2010, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masraum View Post
Aren't you a handy fella?
I may not be handsome, but I do try to be handy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RWebb View Post
Just watch it with any fumes in the pit!
I have an electric fan from an old fire place I'm going to use to keep the air circulating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990C4S View Post
Pits are not not allowed by building code in most cities.
No ordinances against pits in this city!

At least for now...
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:47 PM
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You could use the thick grate, then hook up a pulley system to send it strait up to the ceiling so you're not trying to lift it by hand.....
Did you incorperate a ladder in there on the front wall?
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:59 PM
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are you in Pendle-town? surprising code...

I'd locate the fan motor outside of the pit - and I'd use a blower, not a "fan" - the reason is that the fumes can be explosive and any sparking from the brushes on an elec. motor and...
Old 06-12-2010, 02:47 PM
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You should have buried a body or two while you were in there. But then maybe you did anyway.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:52 PM
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Paul:

Very nice.

I really like the clever use of the road flares.

I would suggest your coat the pit as soon as the conrete is dry enough to accept the coating. Once you get oil/grease absorbed into the concrete, you will have paint adhesion problems and will need to take heroic means to get decent adhesion.

I also agree with the other poster that a small ladder may be nice as well.

One question, when the car is over the pit, how will you get in or out? I hope you will not be counting on Kathy to let you out, this could be dangerous
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:58 PM
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That is an incredibly nice pit but I always thought they had stairs that lead into them from one end. If you are in there how do you get out over a 6 foot wall?

I would wire a phone in there AND carry a cell phone just in case.
Old 06-12-2010, 03:05 PM
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All:

thanks for the responses! I am going to mount fold-out steps on the end wall. And I may well paint the whole thing this summer- garage floor is due anyway. Not in Pendleton- La Grande. The fan should work pretty well, but I'll keep my cell phone close. I took confined space training so I'm clued into that stuff. As I mentioned, I can get in/out when the Land Rover is over it, so there'll be plenty of room for getting in/out when the 993 is over it!

Cheers,

Paul.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:29 PM
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Good deal!

I guess you had to back up for each shovel full? Doesn't look like you had much swing in there...
Old 06-12-2010, 04:22 PM
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I guess you had to back up for each shovel full? Doesn't look like you had much swing in there...
I started off by loading the trailer, but It was a real bear backing the trailer in then getting it out. I tried man-handling it at first, but loaded it was over 1,000# so I started doing it this way:

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Old 06-12-2010, 04:33 PM
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Good God, we Americans have become a society of self conscious safety mavens. I remember playing unsupervised in a pit at my grandparents farm when I was 10 or so. Yeah, no guards on big flat belt machines either. And, Jesus, get this, an exposed flywheel slap on the side of the John Deere just ahead of your left foot.
Old 06-12-2010, 06:20 PM
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Great work - but one question I'd have based on your pictures is, you did check to see you have enough room to get in/out of the pit with the ENGINE END of the car over the pit and without the nose of the car hanging outside the garage door right?

The workmanship looks solid - one other thing Oregon is pretty wet and can have high water tables in places - any need for a sump or anything in the bottom of that?

Congrats if you got it all worked out - you definitely did a clean install. Be careful driving the car over that thing! Or better still leave the cover plate in place, then drive the car up and pull the plate out afterwards so there's no chance of getting a wheel where you don't want it.
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:53 PM
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Very cool! If you would be so kind and supply a cost breakdown. I would like to do something like that as well.
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:40 PM
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SWEET! Wow Paul, I am impressed. I was in LaGrande Tues/Wed this last week for a safety conference. If I hadn't been so tuckered out, I would have looked you up and bought you a beer.

Very nice work. I suspect when it comes time to sell you will more than recoup your expense to another car nut.

Larry
Old 06-12-2010, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milt View Post
Good God, we Americans have become a society of self conscious safety mavens. I remember playing unsupervised in a pit at my grandparents farm when I was 10 or so. Yeah, no guards on big flat belt machines either. And, Jesus, get this, an exposed flywheel slap on the side of the John Deere just ahead of your left foot.
Hey an old timer like me. I dug my own pit by hand in the first house I built with my ex wife.

It was a lot longer than this one and covered with thick pieces of hard wood.
You could park a car over the middle of the pit and get out at either end.
The walls were done with cinder blocks, the floor with poured concrete and there was a small sump at the bottom but that was never needed.

I used a small fan to blow air our of the garage if the car was running while I was in the pit....
I installed two movable fluro tubes for lighting and a small metal ladder that could be used at either end.

Like anything. If you use some common sense it's hard to get into trouble.

As fare as housing codes... I believe what you do on your own property is nobody's business but your own.
Local councils have way too much power in my opinion.

It actually helped with resale value because I made sure potential buyers saw it during the open for inspection.
The guy that bought it was into classic American muscle cars. A few weeks after they moved in I went back to the house to check for mail.
The new owner was in the pit dropping the oils on his Mustang. You should have seen the smile on his face.

I'm considering a lift for my current house because the garage has a high ceiling and if I sell it I can take it with me.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:26 PM
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Nice work, Paul. Be careful driving over that thing. (And I've always thought that an "ultimate" pit with lights, fans, tile walls for easy cleanup, tool storage, retractable lid, etc. would be way cooler than a lift.)

PS what is with the mirror in the garage?

PSS - that is one neat and tidy garage!
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Last edited by herr_oberst; 06-12-2010 at 09:09 PM..
Old 06-12-2010, 09:06 PM
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Jeff - he's on the dry "side" of the state - also the "high" side.


That is a great pic - nothing like using a Bobcat load up a... wheelbarrow!

I bet there is some metal grid out at the truck stop - cut it down to size & then sit it on that lip around the side of the pit.
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