Jump to content

Photo

An actual garage

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1
manthony121

manthony121

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts
  • Location:upstate new york
  • Region:Glen Region
  • Car Year:1991
  • Car Number:59

I have a '91 Spec Miata race car, that I keep in an enclosed trailer when not on the track.  The trailer, in turn, lives in a storage yard, under a roof, but otherwise open.  I don't have a lot of experience working on cars, but I do want to be able to do most maintenance, setup, and repair work on the car myself. 

 

We just bought a house, that has enough land that I will be able to build a heated garage for storing the car, as well as working on it.  So, I am collecting advice and insights, on how to plan this garage.  How much space should I allow for the car, tools, spare parts, etc?  I'm not sure if I will install a lift, but will certainly plan on having enough room for one.

 

So, fellow Mazda racers, if YOU were building a garage from scratch, how big would you want it to be?  What would you plan to put in it?


Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#2
Steve Scheifler

Steve Scheifler

    member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,221 posts
  • Location:St. Louis
As big as your last $ allows.

Be sure that the floor, or at least the part where the lift would eventually go, is of correct type and thickness for the lift. I wonder if it would even make sense to have that pad poured separately as one piece, thicker and dead level/flat. Would it be more or less likely to heave and crack in the future? Hmmm.

Sorry, I’m not much help. I make like water and quickly cover all available space no matter how large then move stuff around or step over it so I can work.
  • Ryan Roberson likes this
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#3
Tom Sager

Tom Sager

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,531 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburbs
  • Region:Central
  • Car Year:2001
  • Car Number:94

If the budget allows, absolutely build tall enough for a lift and have a poured section of floor that is as dead nuts level as you can achieve.  Both the lift and pad will really come in handy and will probably help you meet new friends :).  Insulation is cheap so insulate it well and suspended natural gas shop style furnaces are not terribly expensive either. If you can easily get some running water to it a large laundry tub style sink and hose outlet are also nice.   Efficient LED or Florescent lighting is pretty cheap also. 

 

Back to lift, you might be able to build half the ceiling height taller to accommodate the lift and get some upper level storage above the half which doesn't need the lift height ceiling and that might reduce the area that needs to be heated and the overall footprint of the garage.    


Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+

#4
Danny Steyn

Danny Steyn

    Zulu rain warrior

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,405 posts
  • Location:Fort Lauderdale
  • Region:FL
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:39

But the coolest thing to have in a garage is a drain, so that you can wash and dry your car in the garage if needed!

Then you add an entire bank of tool boxes with a wooden work surface so that you have a continuous work bench at about 32" high - perfect work height. 

A bunch of 8ft closets to keep all the big items that don't go in tool box trays. Have an under bench storage area for jacks and jack stands


  • av8tor likes this

Danny
Danny Steyn Racing | DSR YouTube Channel
Danny Steyn Photography | Adept Studios | Ocean MachineryOPM AutosportsRossini Racing Engines | G-Loc Brakes | 

2018 SCCA Runoffs Champion, NASA Champion, Hoosier Super Tour Champion, June Sprints Winner

2016 June Sprints WInner, ARRC Winner, NASA Eastern States Championships Podium

2015 Eastern Conference Majors Champ, June Sprints Winner, ARRC Winner

2014 NASA Eastern States Championship Runner Up.

2013 SEDiv Driver of the Year, Eastern Conference Majors Champ, SEDiv National Champ, ARRC Winner, Runoffs Podium

2011 SEDiv Driver of the Year, SEDiv National Champ, ARRC Winner, Palm Tree Quad National Champ, SEDiv ECR Champ
2010 June Sprints Winner, ARRC Winner

2009 SARRC Champ, SEDiv ECR Champ, FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver NASA Champs Winner - NASA Champs Winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Majors Winner - BFG Supertour Winner -

#5
FTodaro

FTodaro

    Veteran Member

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,986 posts
  • Location:Columbus Ohio
  • Region:Great Lakes
  • Car Year:2001
  • Car Number:35

You might want to check your building codes also. I had size limits to work with and it had to match the trim and look of my house. However it was the best thing to have a man cave. I think i am close to 14' ceilings 8x16 door I think I am 26x 36 due to code and our proximity to a creek. 


Frank
TnT Racing
SCCA Ohio Valley Region
Chairman, SCCA Great Lakes Divisional Series Committee.

Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+ We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Donor - Made PayPal donation

#6
av8tor

av8tor

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
  • Location:Ybor City
  • Region:SouthEast
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:121

+1 for the drain! Best addition ever.



#7
Jim Drago

Jim Drago

    East Street Racing / 2 Time National Champion

  • Administrators
  • 6,162 posts
  • Location:Memphis, Tn
  • Region:Mid South
  • Car Year:2005
  • Car Number:2

If you are doing it for a race car.. It would be really nice to pour the floor with provisions to have your scales laid in the floor so that they are flush when installed.  Preferably where your lift is, so you can roll it on and off scales. where you wont have to set scales up each time, just drop in the floor( or leave since it is your personal garage.  


  • -P- likes this

East Street Auto Parts
Jim@Eaststreet.com
800 700 9080

NASA Champs Winner - NASA Champs Winner Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#8
Mark McCallister

Mark McCallister

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 163 posts
  • Location:Gainesville, FL
  • Region:Central Florida
  • Car Year:1991
  • Car Number:40

Those are great thoughts! A couple places I've looked for ideas are a DIY-detailing-oriented Facebook group called Obsessed Garage, and a forum site garagejournal.com.  Both give you lots of ideas of ways to spend money that won't make your racecar any faster.  :)


Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#9
TylerQuance

TylerQuance

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 49 posts
  • Location:Houston
  • Region:Texas
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:70

If you are doing it for a race car.. It would be really nice to pour the floor with provisions to have your scales laid in the floor so that they are flush when installed. Preferably where your lift is, so you can roll it on and off scales. where you wont have to set scales up each time, just drop in the floor( or leave since it is your personal garage.


Then you would have a lot less room to get under there and Crank on cam bolts or tie rods to adjust camber and toe. I would have your setup pad several inches off the ground and leave it set up on one side of the shop where you don't have to re-level each time you use it. Or buy a good 4-post lift that stays level as you go up with it.
  • Alberto likes this

#10
Jim Drago

Jim Drago

    East Street Racing / 2 Time National Champion

  • Administrators
  • 6,162 posts
  • Location:Memphis, Tn
  • Region:Mid South
  • Car Year:2005
  • Car Number:2

Then you would have a lot less room to get under there and Crank on cam bolts or tie rods to adjust camber and toe. I would have your setup pad several inches off the ground and leave it set up on one side of the shop where you don't have to re-level each time you use it. Or buy a good 4-post lift that stays level as you go up with it.

 

that's why you have the lift :) 

I have my alignment set up on a 4 post, that is the best method IMo, but it takes up a lot of space and I prefer working on the cars on a two post lift.

 

We did set up on two post lift and scale leveling pads for years.. It works well, but not as fast as 4 post lift


East Street Auto Parts
Jim@Eaststreet.com
800 700 9080

NASA Champs Winner - NASA Champs Winner Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#11
Tom Sager

Tom Sager

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,531 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburbs
  • Region:Central
  • Car Year:2001
  • Car Number:94

But the coolest thing to have in a garage is a drain, so that you can wash and dry your car in the garage if needed!

Then you add an entire bank of tool boxes with a wooden work surface so that you have a continuous work bench at about 32" high - perfect work height. 

A bunch of 8ft closets to keep all the big items that don't go in tool box trays. Have an under bench storage area for jacks and jack stands

 

How about donating one of your ladies to be a greeter?


  • Alberto and Danny Steyn like this
Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+

#12
Steve Scheifler

Steve Scheifler

    member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,221 posts
  • Location:St. Louis

Then you would have a lot less room to get under there and Crank on cam bolts or tie rods to adjust camber and toe. I would have your setup pad several inches off the ground and leave it set up on one side of the shop where you don't have to re-level each time you use it. Or buy a good 4-post lift that stays level as you go up with it.

Not sure why the lift raising extra level is important?

We’ve gone through several approaches for setup. Being able to level each pad independently and then relative to each other is critical for accurate AND repeatable results. Whatever you do keep in mind that cars vary in track & wheelbase so build some flexibility into your design and layout for future use.

Being able to work under the car while on scales is high on my priority list so even in the unlikely event of a floor being and staying truly level so scales could just be set down, I’d go with leveling stands. We have two areas marked for locating the leveling stands, one in an open area for roll-on/roll-off using homemade platforms to get the car up about 6 inches. The other is in the lift bay. The lift bay requires moving the scales in and out each time yet we rarely use the platforms anymore. (If buying scales, a good wireless model is REALLY nice to have and well worth the premium IMO.) The lift is just faster and easier overall and I really like getting under the cars for a good visual inspection, nut & bolt check etc. on a regular basis. Compared to the platforms we need to be a little more careful that the slip/turn plates are functioning correctly and not binding each time we lower the car, but that’s important anyway since you typically lift it to adjust a spring perch. Which reminds me, we use proper turn plates up front and simpler slip plates in back. Leveling stands with plenty of range allow us to compensate for the difference in thickness without extra shims, tiles etc.

If your space is large enough for an area with sloped floors towards a drain then great, but I personally don’t put a lot of emphasis on that feature.
  • Alberto likes this
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#13
Martinracing98

Martinracing98

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 125 posts

Then you would have a lot less room to get under there and Crank on cam bolts or tie rods to adjust camber and toe. I would have your setup pad several inches off the ground and leave it set up on one side of the shop where you don't have to re-level each time you use it. Or buy a good 4-post lift that stays level as you go up with it.

I use a four post lift. I make sure I have it on the locks, not the cable because the level is more reliable. I still level scales with some floor tiles. Working with car at chest high makes adjustments a lot nicer

 

As for how big a garage. Whatever size you can afford. I bought a house with a 25 x 27 work shop with only 9 foot ceiling. I have reworked the rafters so I can lift car to max height. It is very workable, but I sure would like if it was about twice the size 



#14
FTodaro

FTodaro

    Veteran Member

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,986 posts
  • Location:Columbus Ohio
  • Region:Great Lakes
  • Car Year:2001
  • Car Number:35

+1 for the drain! Best addition ever.

In my area drains are not permitted by code, Big No no.

 

If i were going to do it all over again, i would put hooks in the floor at strategic locations so i could use my life as a frame rack, You know pulling out fenders and frames. 


Frank
TnT Racing
SCCA Ohio Valley Region
Chairman, SCCA Great Lakes Divisional Series Committee.

Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+ We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Donor - Made PayPal donation

#15
Steve Scheifler

Steve Scheifler

    member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,221 posts
  • Location:St. Louis

In my area drains are not permitted by code, Big No no.

If i were going to do it all over again, i would put hooks in the floor at strategic locations so i could use my life as a frame rack, You know pulling out fenders and frames.


That’s an idea! Or maybe, you know, crash less. :)
  • Jason J Ball and Danny Steyn like this
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#16
Steve Scheifler

Steve Scheifler

    member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,221 posts
  • Location:St. Louis
Ah, so you guys are talking about a 4-poster drive on lift like a typical storage lift. I get it, but I’d be surprised if you can get each pad level to earth and to every other pad easily and consistently. And even then, do you try to adjust heights without lifting the corner? I guess I’d need to see it in action but it sounds like a colossal PIA. You should be able to get reasonably close on alignment but cross-weights are a lot touchier. Keep in mind that 1/8 inch height change at the tire is approximately 0.7% wedge.
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#17
Richard Astacio

Richard Astacio

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 332 posts
  • Location:Stamford CT
  • Region:NER
  • Car Year:2003
  • Car Number:80

I purchased a 2 post lift and another 4 post lift. Give you a little more flexibility depending on what you are working on. 

 

In my area a floor drain is not allowed per code. They do not want oil from the car spilling into the ground.

 

A heater for sure, radiant would be great if you are pouring the floor from scratch. 

 

 


Richard Astacio

2003 Spec Miata VVT & 2013 Cup Car
 

We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#18
FTodaro

FTodaro

    Veteran Member

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,986 posts
  • Location:Columbus Ohio
  • Region:Great Lakes
  • Car Year:2001
  • Car Number:35

That’s an idea! Or maybe, you know, crash less. :)

Putting the hooks in the floor is easier to achieve.


  • Jason J Ball and lillyweld like this

Frank
TnT Racing
SCCA Ohio Valley Region
Chairman, SCCA Great Lakes Divisional Series Committee.

Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+ We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Donor - Made PayPal donation

#19
Martinracing98

Martinracing98

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 125 posts

Ah, so you guys are talking about a 4-poster drive on lift like a typical storage lift. I get it, but I’d be surprised if you can get each pad level to earth and to every other pad easily and consistently. And even then, do you try to adjust heights without lifting the corner? I guess I’d need to see it in action but it sounds like a colossal PIA. You should be able to get reasonably close on alignment but cross-weights are a lot touchier. Keep in mind that 1/8 inch height change at the tire is approximately 0.7% wedge.

The plates are adjustable on each corner. So I can adjust level without car. Then I pull car on ramp and make final level adjustment for lift flex with couple pieces of floor tile. Once level I can raise and lower lift returning to same spot with no change in level. For adjustments I put tall jack stand set to about 5' under it and lower lift to get wheel up for adjustment. Back to original spot. Roll forward and back on blocks that are in front of scales. Rinse, repeat. Someday I am going to make teflon sliders and then I may not have to lift. Some four post are even sold as allignment lifts. They have pivot/slide plates built in.



#20
Steve Scheifler

Steve Scheifler

    member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,221 posts
  • Location:St. Louis
Hey, if you can make it work, go for it. But good enough for a street alignment or even a race car isn’t quite the same as getting accurate and repeatable cross weights. I like a fixed no-doubt base for that and most any 2-post service lift helps.
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users