Harbor Freight Lift Table can't get it up - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Harbor Freight Lift Table can't get it up

I have one of those big red lift tables from HF. Maybe 5 years old. I only put the wing up on it once a few years back. Was a little wobbly so I just always worked on the Goldwing on the floor. Now I'm doing forks, shock, and a trailer hitch work. Table would help.

My 500-600 lb bikes have been on it many times. Lawn mower, uni-go trailer, etc. The skinny bikes get it up no problem.

Put the big 900lb machine on it this week and it won't go up. Pumping the peddle just make a squeaky groaning noise. Pump hard pump fast and nothing

Took the wing off. Topped up the bottle. Only took a couple ounces. Bleed it as the manual suggests. Pumping the lift peddle while holding the release peddle. Lubed her joints. Greased all the grease ports.

I, 300lbs, stood on it and my wife pumped me up no problem. Roll the wing back up and just squeaks and groans. We got on together and it was able to lift us.

I sort of remember the table having a difficult time lifting my R1200GS (600lbs) a while ago. I put my floorjack under the front of the lift and used that to help it get started. After about 6" help the hydraulics on the lift table finished the job to full height.

Called HF support. They recommend a new pump. About $100 and 10-12 weeks from China.

Suggestions? Wife thought maybe a crushed blue pill in the hydraulic oil may help. I doubt it and those pills are expensive.

Has anybody repaired or rebuilt the pump? I suspect if I brought to a real hydraulic shop they'd throw me out.

I could scrap the table and go get another one when they are on sale and with a coupon. Should be $350ish.

Seems a shame to toss that much metal.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 05:56 PM
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The HF lifts are really not beefy enough for something the size of a Wing. As you have found, they work great for the lighter stuff, but they will always struggle with as much weight as these bikes carry. Time to invest in a better lift...

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 06:36 PM
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I'm guessing it has a pressure relief valve somewhere. Spring that holds the check valve ball took a set and now activates at a lower pressure. A new stiffer spring might be what the doctor ordered. Just guessing here.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 07:22 PM
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Assuming the specs on the model on their web site now are the same, max lift capacity is 1,000 lbs. The Wing is very close to that limit. The way they operate, getting it up the first foot or so is the hardest part. After that the angle improves and it take less force to get it the rest of the way up.

You might be able to identify the pump make and try to source it somewhere else.

Just following your lead ... consider taking the blue pill and then have your wife help you get it up the first little bit. After that, you could handle it yourself.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 07:59 PM
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There is an adjustment on the pump. There is a screw tighten it a little and try it again

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 06:03 AM
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I no longer have this lift table. Make sure you are not low on oil I had to add jack oil a couple of times and that really help it raise.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gfcsteve View Post
There is an adjustment on the pump. There is a screw tighten it a little and try it again
That is correct, there IS an adjustment on the pump to increase the pressure.

Back when I had my HF table lift, it would lift my '87 GL1200A at 800 lbs, but it would not budge my friend's '97 GL1500 which was a few hundred pounds heavier.

When I asked HF tech support about adjusting the pump, they said that they were not allowed to tell me how to do that and would not recommend it. So, I did it myself anyway. Just adjusted the pump pressure adjusting screw enough so that it would lift the GL1500. It worked just fine after that.

Have since sold it to my friend with the GL1500 and he still uses it today.

Since I work on other people's bikes, I was not confident putting them up in the air on that HF lift. It was just too wobbly when up for my comfort. I replaced it with a 1,500 lb. rated lift from TCML (The Complete Motorcycle Lift).

Hope that helps.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to guess that screw P19 in the pic attached is the adjustment screw. I know P21 is tight. I'll try it out this weekend.

Thanks for the suggestion on The Complete Motorcycle Lift. I looks like I'll be a winger for the foreseeable future and it sure would be nice to have a lift that can handle it. I could sell the HF for a couple hundred $ to somebody with a lighter bike.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 10:16 PM
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I bought that lift when I still had the 1500 Wing, mine weighed in at 1020 at a grain elevator. I turned the screw down a full turn and it would pick up the 1500 then with no moaning and groaning. Now my 1800 goes up quite easily. Can't hurt to try it. Also check the oil level again.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 09:58 PM
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I've been watching for these HF lift tables to go on sale for less than $300. Guess I wasn't supposed to have one in light of the inefficiency in lifting a GL1800. I might ask the Honda shop what tables they use. Theirs don't seem to strain at all.

2008 Black Goldwing, risers, highway pegs, Wingsoft seat, Utopia backrest, MP3 player, CB, rotor covers, sheepskin seat cover, spoiler, modified brake and turn signals, air wings, mirror wings, All Balls steering bearings. No money left.
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