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Author Topic: Opinions on Miatacage car dolly?
Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
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Looks like I'll pick up a donor in the morning. If I'm going to get a book for the car in time for license school in March time is tight. In the past I've built these kinds of tools but I think it might make sense to buy the dolly kit. Looks like an hour or so of fab. Which at this point is better than me fabbing something from scratch. I'd rather use that time on the car. Anyone bought one of these dolly sets that could offer an opinion?

Dave

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The 2011 Money Furnace
http://racing.roaddog.com/

Spence Gatrell
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Region: Oregon
Car #: 27
Year : 1991
Posts: 23
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Have not used these exact dollys on a miata but very similar one for my midget.

Great for getting the car off the ground and keeping it mobile.. Hard to do with jackstands.

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When in doubt.. Stand on it!

Mike Ferrara
Junior Member

Region: Utah
Car #: 03
Year : 1999
Posts: 2
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I just received a set of these dollies from Sean at Miatacage last week. I don't think there is a better way to build a miata. They allow you to move the car around the garage. They also put the car at a height that makes it much more comfortable to work on. I am about to remove front and rear sub frames and will still be able to position the car anywhere I need.

Ken SM-94 Verified Driver
Veteran Member

Region: Oregon
Car #: 94
Year : 91
Posts: 971
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I have built and used the Miatacage dollies. They are definitely the way to go for getting your car up off the floor to a good working height and still allow you to move the it around. They're a no brainer.


Ken

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
Now The Fastest "Blake" in Spec Miata

Region: Central
Car #: 97
Year : 1991
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We think this is a better and more cost effective option: http://www.bendpak.com/shop-equipment/carts-and-dollies/RCD-1V.aspx

these move around so freely it's very easy to get carried away. we have two sets, more on the way. We looked at the MC dollies and they look similar but are a bit more $. EITHER one will beat the hell out of those awful wheel dollies at Northern Tool/Farm and Fleet/ Tractor supply. those things suck.

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Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
Posts: 74
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Thanks guys. I ordered a kit on Thurs. The Ranger's don't look to be as cost effective or have the lift of the basic MC kit. The Rangers are about US$360 a pr plus shipping. I can build a set for well under a hundred but it gets to the time/benefit equation. I'd have to get the chart out and calculate the tubing size, take the trailer to the steel yard and get a couple of sticks, bring it back, cut it, drill it, weld it. Likely to take the better part of the day. The kit will take an hour tops. All in it was $236 for the kit delivered plus another $70 in high quality casters from the local industrial hardware joint and some Rustoleum that I have as a matter of routine.

OTOH, the cage I'm doing because I want some things from cages I've seen around. In terms of material cost it will be minimal, about $250 in tubing and probably another JMR hole saw. I've got the gusset and footing material as standard. I usually have a couple sizes of sq tubing, some REW round, plate and sheet. I guess now I need to start having some DOM around. I've got a model roughed out in Bendtech. I did have to get a 1.5" die because I couldn't use my 1" and didn't want to use the 1.75" we use in the stock cars. Of course it took a few years and several grand to get the tooling to design, fab and install a cage. [Wink] I wanted to use this project to justify going air over hydro for the bender but the cheapie air ram version doesn't work well and a real solution is more than a grand. You can buy a lot of SM parts for a grand. Like most of the suspension. [Wink]

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http://racing.roaddog.com/

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
Gold Member

Region: Oregon
Car #: 68
Year : 91
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Just remember that a lot of folks are having trouble making weight with their 1.6s these days and most of that is probably attributable to the cage build. With my MC, I need 40 pounds ballast to make weight.

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
Oregon Region SM Class Advisor

SeanH88
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Region: OR
Car #: 88
Year : 1990
Posts: 186
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The Bendpak units look nice. The biggest thing I wanted to accomplish when designing these was to have the ability to be able to roll on a creeper underneath the car from front to back without anything getting in the way.

We also use them a lot for transporting customer tubs to the fab shop for cage builds and we needed some height to get the front end of the car to clear the trailer ramp angles to get the car safely in the trailer.

I completely agree on the Northern Tool/Harbor Freight stuff.... Don't waste your time or money.

Thanks.... Sean

Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
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quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
Just remember that a lot of folks are having trouble making weight with their 1.6s these days and most of that is probably attributable to the cage build. With my MC, I need 40 pounds ballast to make weight.

Indeed. Forty pounds of 1.5x.095 is 28' though I don't mind giving up 10-15# for piece of mind that if I take someone at speed in my door or roll it that the cell will remain intact. Bendtech says I'm at about 75' right now. If I didn't have the stuff to do it I'd get a kit. That's what I did before I had the stuff. Ironically if you add my time, even at a low ball 30/hr for materials and just design and bending time I'm a few hundred above the cost of a kit. So much for my time/benefit theory.

This is my "learner" build. It was cheap and easy to get into. Sammy made a good case for a 99 but the donors I saw were either automatic, insanely priced 6 speeds, severely damaged or had title issues. One guy wouldn't give me the VIN to CarFax. Even though it won't get registered I didn't want a hot car.

I'll campaign this one for a couple of seasons, it will take me that long to get my head around the class and car.

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http://racing.roaddog.com/

Kyle Keenan Verified Driver
Pass right

Region: OR, NWR
Car #: 44
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I've been working on a local guy's SM and having the dolly's is AWESOME! Like Sean said, you can roll right under with a creeper, easilly move the car around a shop, etc.

It's one of those things you don't reaize how benificial it is until you have it!

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Driver, #44 Spec Miata
ColdTrackDays.com

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
Now The Fastest "Blake" in Spec Miata

Region: Central
Car #: 97
Year : 1991
Posts: 602
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quote:
Originally posted by SeanH88:
The Bendpak units look nice. The biggest thing I wanted to accomplish when designing these was to have the ability to be able to roll on a creeper underneath the car from front to back without anything getting in the way.

Thanks.... Sean

Great point, thanks.

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Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
Posts: 74
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I'm going to hijack my own thread. Blake, I saw your SM in a pic on the Max Jax site. For those not familiar Max Jax is a $2000 portable two post lift aimed and home garages and small shops. It's only got 48" of lift but it looks interesting. Are you using it or was your car just in that shop when the pic was taken? If you (or anyone else) is using one I'd like to hear your opinion.

Dave

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The 2011 Money Furnace
http://racing.roaddog.com/

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
Now The Fastest "Blake" in Spec Miata

Region: Central
Car #: 97
Year : 1991
Posts: 602
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yes, I have a max jax half-height portable lift. If you have the room for a full height lift then do that. Dad and I bought the portable system because we envisioned moving the lift, a) seasonally to take advantage of the peculiar way our building heats/cools itself and b) flexibility for where we would work on cars.

Because of the way the hoses are it's not totally advantageous to move it from where it sits. Where I have it now there is a basement, we cored two holes and run the lines under foot. In the other sections of our shop we have no basement. Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Also, we use the lift constantly, there is almost always a car loaded on it. While our load isn't what say a firestone franchise would have its definitely a lot more than the typical home user/prosumer. We haven't had a problem with it in the years we have had it.

 -

-Blake

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Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
Posts: 74
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Thanks. The big lifts are only about 500 bucks more but I'd need thicker than 4" concrete and 12' ceilings. I work out of a basic suburban two car garage. There's a bunch of low budget industrial space in town but it's in dodgy parts of town and not as easy as my car being 40' away from me now.
Then there's triple nets, business licenses, commercial utilities, insurance, etc. If I was good enough to hang out a shingle and charge others to make up some of the other costs it might work. At this point I have a hard enough time getting my car on track. the Max Jax will be something for next season.

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The 2011 Money Furnace
http://racing.roaddog.com/

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
Now The Fastest "Blake" in Spec Miata

Region: Central
Car #: 97
Year : 1991
Posts: 602
Status: Offline
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well in that case it is a nice solution. it stows in a small area. I have heard that 2" concrete won't cut it, checkout the forums a bit. Not something to chance. I think we have 4" reinforced but im not positive.

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Mark Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Year : 1990
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As I was in a time crunch I built my own dolly. I've built a few of these. The dolly (current one is a single piece design) is useful for lots of things. Removing and installing subframe assemblies is a piece of cake. Pushing a tub around the garage is trivial. I consider a dolly one of the 'must haves' if you are going to do any serious work on the car.

Should you decide to construct your own, keep in mind (if you don't have a lift) how you are going to get the car on and off the dolly. Don't make the dolly too high or you will have a heck of a time getting the car on and off. Best bet IMO is to buy the MiataCage unit and be done with it. Nice design and all these details have been taken into account and the price is right to boot.

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Mark
http://www.ironcanyonmotorsports.com

Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
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I was going to build a dolly for the stock car a couple seasons ago but the car took so much room that it didn't make sense. The Miata is a lot smaller and the MC dolly should work well. I use a pair of 18" lift Craftsman jacks. The bummer will be once the spec suspension is installed the jacks aren't low profile enough to get under the car. I don't like the HF race jacks though a lot of people use them. I'll keep my eye out for a good, used Brunnhoelzl. The come up every now and again at race shop auctions.

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The 2011 Money Furnace
http://racing.roaddog.com/

   

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