I got my Fleximount installed today and I have to say I'm very impressed with the quality. I ordered it from Amazon, and FedEx delivery was included. It was on my porch just a few days later and I installed it the same day. Installation instructions are very clear, and the process took me about 3 hours. My garage is unfinished, so I didn't have to f*ck around finding hidden trusses in the ceiling. I was working alone, and there was really only one step where having a helper would've been good (Gorilla Tape to the rescue).
1. Everything comes neatly packaged and the hardware is labelled in a way that corresponds with the instructions. So there was zero difficulty in identifying the bits for any given step.
2. The welds appear to be of high quality, and the overall quality of the hardware isn't bad either. Not the finest I've seen, but it's much better than what I'm used to in kits like this.
The bearing was oily and had good action. No flat spots or grinding in its action that I could detect.
The welds were smooth and nice, and the powder coat finish on all parts was also of high quality. No blisters, flaws, or peeling paint.
3. The first thing you do is install the bearing between the gearbox and one of the brackets. The bearing just presses in with your fingers. It was a perfect fit on mine. I could see grease in the gearbox's innards, and it appears to be of high quality. The case is cast metal, zinc I'm guessing.
Here we see one of the brackets bolted to the gear box, with the bearing sandwiched in between and held in place.
4. Next is to mount the corner brackets on your truss. Fleximount includes a template that spaces the three holes for each bracket exactly 48" apart. Since I was working alone, I used my staple gun and stapled the template on the underside of my truss, marked my holes with a sharpie, removed the template, drilled my holes, and mounted the brackets. The lag screws (3 per bracket), are of very good quality, and none of them broke off while I was screwing them in.
After fastening both corner brackets, the winding shaft is installed between them. The clever design of the winding shaft allows the brackets to be installed first, and then the shaft is expanded between the brackets, with small screws holding it in its expanded length. The end that goes into the gearbox has a flat on it, and the fit into the gearbox is snug. I actually had to give mine a few gentle taps with a dead blow hammer, and then it went right in.
Here's the winding shaft installed between the two corner brackets. The cables come coiled up like this from the factory. So far so good.
Here's the flat on the shaft that goes into the gearbox. You may need to gently tap this in (I did). A helper would be handy here too.
5. Perhaps the trickiest part, and where you will probably need a helper, is installing the bars that extend away from the corner brackets. It's tricky because you screw them into the corner brackets and then they have to be supported while you mark the opposite ends for drilling and fastening on the other truss 48" away. Since I didn't have a helper, I used Gorilla Tape to support them in the middle, and then stapled the Gorilla Tape for good measure.
You first fasten the latter pulley bracket to the bars using a screw that functions as a wrist pin. Then you drill and fasten the pulley brackets quickly before your Gorilla Tape fails. After the bars are installed, they look like this:
6. Next, you thread the far cable ends over the pulleys you just screwed to the truss. Now you have the main brackets and gearbox, two distant pulley brackets attached, and the four corners with cable terminals are hanging down ready for the basket.
This picture also shows the winding rod hooked into place on the gearbox drive connection.
7. You're almost home free now. The basket fastens to two load bars using these somewhat janky "j-screws." Assemble the three wire panels that form the basket onto the load bars, and then put the eye-bolts (which look to be actually forged) through the corners of the load bars.
8. Crude adjustment happens at the cable crimps. Fine adjustment is possible using the jam nuts on the forged (?) eyelet bolts.
Attaching your cordless drill to the winding rod works great! I did recruit a helper the first time I raised the basket so that I could keep an eye on both ends of the winding shaft and ensure that the cable wound neatly. With only a little effort it's easy to get the cables to wind neatly and I imagine they'll develop a memory over time.
Thanks! It was a fun project. And now I just have to hurry up and wait for my RTT to arrive, an AutoHome Columbus. Because I want to be able to lower the RTT directly down onto my trailer (most likely setup) or my Jeep (2nd option), I think I'll be replacing the wire basket with two 2x4's.
The crank and pulley systems want the cables to be 4' apart. If you put something wider than 4' onto the platform and force the cables to go out and around it, it' would probably work, but I think they might be unhappy coiling neatly on the winding shaft.
So my plan is to replace the 4'x4' basket/platform with longer (say, 6'-7') 2x4's, and fasten the eyebolts to the tops of the 2x4's at 4' spacing to keep the cables and winding happy. Then I'll loop tow straps or ropes around the ends of the 2x4's such that they hang down like belly straps, to suspend the RTT.
Then I should be able to back my trailer (or Jeep) in, lower the RTT onto it, clear the belly straps and raise the Fleximount out of the way, fasten the RTT to the trailer (or Jeep), and drive off. That's the plan anyway!
I like that the gear box is off to the side. In certain situations I've found that the middle gear box of the Racor can get in the way. I also like that Fleximount doesn't seem to have the same cable cams that the Racor does. These are plastic on the Racor and a weak point. Topsy actually sells metal cam replacements.
Currently, they have an automatic coupon for $30 off orders $200+. If you look at their other products, they have an item called "Price Difference," so you can increase your total order amount to $200.99, so the coupon code kicks in. Shipping was free, so after coupon & tax, I was just under $180 shipped to WI.
Can't wait to get my garage lift to create my hardtop hoist!