It’s fairly nuts, but it’s pretty space-efficient (moreso than a 2-post lift anyway). The plan is to build a frame to support a bodyshell then have a hoist lift it up to the ceiling using cables attached to the ceiling joists. At the left-hand side of the picture is the plan view of my garage To get enough drag on the single cable for it to be able to lower it all the way to the floor I need to double-back the rearmost cables which adde complexity, but shouldn’t be too bad.

In the centre of the picture is a side-view of the frame and cable arrangement. The cables will be looped down to a snatch-block and then connected to different ceiling joists to spread the load. By looping it down to the snatch-block, I halve the weight the hoist has to draw (essentially to lift 1000kg it just has to lift 500kg twice as far). This is good as high capacity hoists are bloody expensive...

For safety I’ll have a straight chain looped around another ceiling joist that will provide a failsafe in the ‘up’ position should the hoist brakes fail. Also, each individual part will be specced to be able to hold more than I’ll ever hold on this thing entirely by itself. As the vast majority of parts are duplicated, and any single parts will be beefier than that, it should be pretty safe. Oh, also, as per the far-right I’ll reinforce the corners of the wall where it meets the ceiling joists to stop the whole thing trying to pull the garage down.

All in all it should cost me £300-£350. About half of what a 2-post lift would cost second hand (with probably a reasonable amount of the functionality).

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Thoughts? Ideas? Referrals to mental institutes?