Thule Box Lift Garage Storage Lift System
Congrats you’ve been looking at garage storage lift systems and got your Thule Box Lift – also confusingly called the Thule 572 MultiLift- but how to you get your cargo box lift in place? It’s not as bad putting together an Ikea crib, but you do want to put some thinking into how you install your lift to get safest and best use out of it. If your not familiar with rigging and using pulleys, there are also some basics to know about how the leverage works. Ok lets get into it.
First you might need to get some more materials than Thule box lift kit supplies to get this installed safely. For instance does your garage ceiling have studs that are 24″ on center or 16″? Many installation guides assume you have 16″ but in newer homes 24″ is quite common, so check.
You can do this with a stud finder, or if you have a garage door opener check how it’s mounted, for sure it’s on studs. The basic idea is the weight needs to be anchored into the studs, even if it’s not meant to some day it will be lifted fully loaded and you want a secure anchor.
You can use two by fours cut to 5 feet to allow placement into three of the studs spread out to 48″ with 6″ overlap on each side. I would suggest using two screws in the center (lag) and getting a good secure mount with one near each end of the wood.
The MultiLift middle rod is at a distance of 47.25″ (or 1200mm in the UK ;-). With 48 inches you should have some space to spare. Get two ten footers and cut them in half.
Thule box lift instructions suggests you make the distance between the your back 2×4 and your front 2×4 equal to 1/2 the length of your car box. But a much better guide is to make their length equal to the length that your car box attaches to your car. Because of how pulley leverage works, this will insure you the easiest effort to lift!
This should allow you to hang the rope straight down (getting the best leverage) and catch the anchors on the box. This way, the box won’t slide anywhere.
Thule Box Lift Install Tools & Supplies:
- 2×4″ x 10 feet, buy 2 of the them, cut in half to make 4.
- 16 3 1/2″ long 1/4 inch thick lag screw. 4 on each 2×4
- 16 1/4 inch washers
- 3/16 drill bit for lag pilot hole
- 6 #8 wood screws or #8 2 inch deck screw
- 8 #14 2 1/2 inch wood screws
- 9/64 drill bit for pilot hole.
- 20′ 3/16 rope (with low ceilings might not need)
- 3/8 inch foam pipe insulation, get the solid foam without the slit
- A decent Stud sensor (about $20 if you need one)
Step by Step Guide to Installing Roof Box Storage Lift
1. Cutting your 2×4 into half or 5 foot each.
2. If you have a center stud in the center of your garage where you opener is, mark the center on the 2×4 and drill 2 pilot holes with the 3/16 bit. Leave the pilot hole at least 1 inch from the edge of the wood.
3. Measure a good distance away from your opener to give you enough room to suspend your car box.
4. Find and mark the center stud with the stud finder.
5. Using one of the pilot holes and drill up into the ceiling studs, attach the 2×4 into the ceiling and square with your garage.
6. With the 3 1/2 inch 1/4 inch lag screws + a 1/4 inch washer secure the 2×4 up to the ceiling. DON’T fully tighten at this stage, you need some adjustment room plus your ceiling might not be flat. Push the stud into the correct position squaring it with the garage. With the second pilot hole drill the pilot into the ceiling, secure with the lag screw.
7. Drill one pilot hole into the stud by using a stud finder on each side of the 2×4.
8. Measure the distance between the rail attachments on the car box. Remember to place the second 2×4 this distance away from the first 2×4.
9. Hang the second 2×4 at the right distance, making sure to keep it square to the first.
10. When the 2 front and rear 2x4s in place, hang the pulleys.
11. The pulleys cannot be spread out any farther than 39 inches. Average Thule box is about 38 inches wide but measure yours. Spread the pulleys out to 19 inches from the center of each 2×4. Use a square to make sure you are putting the pilot holes square on the 2×4. Use the 9/64 drill bit for the pilot holes. Use the #14 2 1/2 inch wood screws for this, no washer needed.
12. Once all the pulleys are on, secure the middle 2×4. This should be evenly spaced between the rear and front 2x4s.
13. Secure the middle 2×4 in a similar fashion as the other 2. You may have to use a countersink into the 2×4 to get the lag screws flush with the face of the 2×4. This is only important on the middle 2×4. The anchor brackets that attach to the wind up bar needs to be spaced out to 47 1/4 inches which can be close to the lag screws. The first anchor bracket has to be facing a certain direction, but the other two can be facing either direction.
14. Attach both the end anchor brackets to the middle 2×4 with #8 2 inch deck screws, no washer. No pilot needed. These need to be mounted at 23 5/8 off center on each side. I suggest about 1/4 inch to allow it to fit just inside the lag screw head. Put the other outer one 47 1/4 inches away.
15. Look at the picture and assemble the rod with the coil wheels installed. The rod might have one pin in it already. Slide the rod in place. Don’t forget to insert the middle anchor bracket.
16. Bend the cotter pins to hold the rod in place. Secure the middle bracket to the 2×4 with a couple more deck screws. Look for a good 2 inches of extra rod exiting the far bracket.
17. Thread the rope through the pulleys and wheels.
18. Use 3/8 inch foam pipe insulation around the rope. Buy the closed type with a center hole and feed the rope through it.
19. Decide how high you would like your car box when fully down. This rig should get you 48 inches from the ground with a 10 foot ceiling, but you can adjust this easily as it’s really just the rope length. Cut the rope and run your insulation over the rope, then tie a good stopper knot.
20. Put your car box into the rig. Level your system by pulling rope through the coil wheels in the middle.
21. Test lifting your box and crank it up. It should takes less than 1 minutes to lift and release the unit. SUCCESS!
If you don’t have your Thule MultiLift yet, kudo’s on checking the install first! and check out the current purchase options, it helps me build the site guides out a bit if you click through my links.