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Idea needed for garage entrance "ramp"

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by Celtic Blue, Sep 12, 2008.

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  1. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    I could use some help for ideas on this one. I figure there are some products out there, but don't know where to look or under what name.

    Problem: There is a 1.5" tall semi-square ledge leading into the garage that is about 5" inside of the garage door. This gives the Prius suspension a whack everytime we pull in. There is an incredible finish on this floor and it is somewhat slick...so that if one pulls in too slowly and it has been raining the tires will slip on the ledge. My concern is that entering the garage is going to cause some slight derangement to the alignment over time.

    What I'm looking for: A long strip (or several smaller strips) of rubber ramp (or similar material) that is roughly 1.5" tall and about 3 to 4" wide to place against the entrance lip to eliminate the ledge.

    My truck's tires and suspension are big enough that it really isn't jolted by this.

    Thanks in advanace!
  2. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    What is it, a single car garage? No way to approach on an angle? That's what we do on our steep driveway apron.
  3. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    It's the third bay (single) and the Prius fits well. The Tundra hogs the double bay and won't fit in the single. Angle approach won't work for this.
  4. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Shawn,

    There is a less expensive way to get what you want... wood!

    A standard 2 by 4 is really only 1-1/2 inches X 3-1/2" inches. If you have
    access to a table saw it's a relatively simple matter to cut a 2 by for in half
    lengthwise on the diagonal. But not exactly on the corner to corner diagonal.
    The thin edge should be left about 1/4: thick, rather than a "feathered,"
    pointy, edge. This will prevent the edge breaking off in use.

    Other thoughts:
    * Carfully pick the wood for few/no knots. In the long run, hardwood
    would be better than softwood -- SPF means spruce/pine/fir, varies but
    is usually soft. "White Wood" is very soft.
    * You don't absolutely need the mini-ramps all the way across the
    opening. Two, 2-foot pieces in the right places will be more than enough
    length.
    * Paint the pieces top and bottom before you secure it to the floor --
    maybe alternating yellow and black diagonal safety stripes.
    * Although you could secure the ramps with cement capable screws,
    "Tapcons," i would suggest sticking them down with a good adhesive in a
    caulk tube.
    * You could use the pressure of the tires against the ramp to "clamp" the
    ramps in place as the adhesive dries/cures.

    Edit: All together, wood, paint, adhesive it would come to maybe $30.

    Good luck.
  5. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    Don't worry about it. I have the same thing with my garage and have been going in and out of it for almost 5 years with my 04 Prius. I've never needed an alignment.
  6. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

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    2nd the wood idea.

    Have you tried backing into the garage?
  7. CBarr31

    CBarr31 Member

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  8. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    I was thinking the same thing except my use for the 2x4 was to smooth the taper on the fresh QuickCrete I just mixed and poured.

    Mix and slap down some QuickCrete and run the 2x4 across the top of the high point and down to the line you marked just a few inches inside the garage door (this will make sure the door still comes down on level ground). Doing this will give you the ramp you desire with the lasting power of concrete. When you're done, you can give the QuickCrete a cover to match the garage floor.

    Take pictures before and after.
  9. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Well, duh! Why didn't I think of that, "Cheap and cheerful," as they say across
    the Pond.

    As a wooden boat builder I think wood first.

    But there have been ferrocement boats. In which case we need some rebar
    and lots of chicken wire... Oh, never mind!
  10. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    Except for the size of the 2x4, the attachment is to scale.

    It assumes that you chalk line a mark 4" away from the high point, throw down some concrete and drag the 2x4 along to form the ramp.

    Some people say I use Visio too much. Impossible!

    Attached Files:

  11. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    And when I was reading your reply I was thinking, "I built an angle-cut jig for my table saw that would be perfect for this."
  12. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    Good ideas, everyone.

    Rokeby,

    A wood ramp as you described is my back up plan, but I would prefer something more durable/rot resistant. Rubber might stay put, but the wood would definitely need gluing or fastening as you mention. I would be looking for hardwood because I don't think softwoods would hold up.

    Tony,
    The garage floor and drive are drop dead gorgeous "saddle tan" in "liquid quartz or liquid granite" (it was here when I bought it) so QuickCrete is not high on the list, although it does give me an idea or two...if I could pour a pliable rubber material. Aesthetics come into play.

    Chris,
    The threshold ramp idea is a good one if I can find one short enough. Never dawned on me to think of handicapped accessibility. "Threshold ramp" is the term I've been looking for at least.

    Thanks!
  13. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    Just came up with another option: Drop Over Cable Protectors Looks like I could slice one of these in two to accomplish the mission.
  14. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    Make it out of Trex decking or something like that. You could also use redwood. Neither of those will ever rot.
  15. cairo94507

    cairo94507 Member

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    I like the drop over cable covers.
  16. MagneticGrayIndy

    MagneticGrayIndy 06Prius;94M Miata;65Rambler770

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    I think all modern garages have this lip to keep rain water, etc, out.. Honestly, I think you're over thinking this. Not that I haven't been accused of the same thing every day or so.. ​

    Really, you're goind to go over bumps, holes, etc every day that is 1.5" when you're out doing normal driving. I don't see how going over this lip at low speeds in/out of the garage will have any worse effect on your suspension and/or alignment than normal driving.​
  17. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    This is similar to having to cross a set of railroad tracks every day, and I can tell you that crossing several sets every day was hell on the front end alignment of my other cars, so I would prefer to fix it rather than leave it as is.

    The floor coating (slick) is an issue with the Prius due to traction control climbing the ledge. This requires a bit more speed any time the tires are wet. It was amusing the first time I tried to drive it in the garage because it took two tries.

    I don't hit bumps or potholes much in the Pruis and certainly nothing resembling a 1.5" vertical ledge (the same as hitting a 2x4 in the road.) Speed bumps are more gradual, not perpendiculars. I still slalom around them whenever possible or at least try to subject only one wheel to them.
  18. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    Update: I ended up ordering the 1.5" high drop over cable protector from the following site: Drop Over Cable Protectors

    I sliced off the ramp portion of both sides and placed each against the lip. The result is two 36" long sections of black ramp. Ideally, I would have liked a 3:1 run vs. rise instead of the nearly 2:1, but it is a decent compromise. I have not glued the ramps or secured them yet because they have stayed in place rather well.

    I will try to post some pics later. It's still not super smooth going up the lip, but the jarring of the previous arrangement has been replaced by a gentle bump. (I'm curious enough that I will try to measure how much difference there is in first contact angle and height of the tire tomorrow.)
  19. FlyFar

    FlyFar New Member

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    Dear Celtic Blue,
    Have you got a chance to post the photos of the garage door ramp?
    I got a similar problem. The driveway entrance into garage door has 1.5-inch to 2-inch ledge between the concrete surfaces. The garage door width is 15.5 feet.
    May I ask how to slice off the ramp portion of the rubber cable protector?
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