caffecapri
caffecapri New Reader
8/18/08 9:08 p.m.

I had the mis-fortune to work on a car this weekend at a garage with a lift. I say mis-fortune because there is no way I can go back to laying on my back with a car on jackstands or raceramps anymore......even to change oil

So, I've got the room in my garage (height too) and I would prefer to stay 110v so I don't have to call an electrician out. My current fleet ranges from a lowered Miata to a heavy Supra and a lifted 4-Runner. What do I need to look for and more importantly, what companies are the ones that have been around and will stay around in the future for support?

Thanks for any info.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn Dork
8/18/08 9:43 p.m.

Two post or four post? Four post lifts are great for storing one car on top of the other and the center part of the car is clear so they're good for working on drivetrain and exhaust, but a two post lift is a lot better for suspension work or anything where you need the wheels up in the air. I have a 110 volt Stinger four post lift in my garage and it works fine - no problems with the voltage, just plug it in the wall.

Bend-Pack and Backyard Buddy are a couple of the big names these days; there are a ton of brands out there, but many of the cheap ones are built offshore if you're concerned about that sort of thing.

Go over to the garage journal forum, there are about a zillion discussions on the various brands of lifts there. http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
8/19/08 5:54 a.m.

Someone brought these guys up in a thread here about lifts.
Greg Smith Lifts

I've found their information quite interesting and impressive.

bravenrace
bravenrace HalfDork
8/19/08 7:21 a.m.

I've had a Bend Pak HD9-ST for four years now with no problems. My thinking is that if you are only going to have one lift, it should be a four post. You can add jacks to get the car up off the ramps, but you can't do the opposite with a two post. For lighter cars, I just put my engine hoist under a center jack point, lower the lift, slide some jackstands under the car on the ramps, and raise it back up. Not much to it.

Kramer
Kramer New Reader
8/19/08 9:56 a.m.

My dad just bought a 9,000 lb four post from Greg Smith Equipment. It was about $2500, I think. For what he uses it for, it's perfect. He has bottle jacks for wheel or suspension service, which isn't as common as just needing to get under the car to change oil or adjust/clean/tinker. It's portable, so he can move it out of the way, or into a better spot in his garage. And it's 110.

I tried to talk him into a two post assymetrical, but he went with the four post. I now see he made a good choice.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Associate Publisher
8/19/08 10:04 a.m.

A space saving solution to look at is EZ car lift. Seems pretty legit from talking with the guy. Don't have any first hand experience.

www.ezcarlift.com

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
8/19/08 10:18 a.m.

I want to be able to have a stable living situation that would allow me to purchase a lift. Maybe one day, when I retire

ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
8/19/08 3:52 p.m.

I would have a 2 post before a 4 post lift. I don't want to have to lift AND THEN jack to take off a tire. Ground clearance (on a low car, for instance) is more of an issue on a 4 post as you have to drive up on the lift.

My opinion (aptly disclosed) is that if you plan to use it for WORKING on a car...a two post lift is the best bet.

If you're wanting to expand indoor parking...a 4 post is a mediocre compromise. My father has one and is finally using it to park is '06 GTO under his '37 Ford Coupe street rod (because he got the front seal drip corrected on the coupe). Both cars parked on or under the lift are "occasional use only" vehicles...so it's ok.

To climb into and out of a car under a 4 post lift on a regular basis is not fun...He never parked under it with his daily before the GTO came along.

You've got to have a BIG shop to make the "portability" of a 4 post lift a significant consideration. (at which point, you probably aren't looking to stack cars anyway...)

Clem

RussellH
RussellH New Reader
8/19/08 7:13 p.m.

Go with a 2 Post if you want to work on the cars.

Mohawk if you want it overbuilt and best quality, BendPak if you want pretty good quality and service.

dculberson
dculberson New Reader
8/19/08 8:17 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: You can add jacks to get the car up off the ramps, but you can't do the opposite with a two post.

I'm definitely not disagreeing, as I don't have a lift at all, but what would you need to do that a 2-post lift wouldn't work for? Just about the only thing I can think of is working on the doors, which you'd probably do with the car on the ground..

TorqueNut
TorqueNut New Reader
8/21/08 11:36 a.m.
Greg Voth wrote: A space saving solution to look at is EZ car lift. Seems pretty legit from talking with the guy. Don't have any first hand experience. www.ezcarlift.com

I like the simplicity, size and portability of this unit. Too bad it has the cross members in the way, preventing any drivetrain work (such as dropping a tranny). I don't see a major benefit over jack stands to justify the price. I use heavy duty jack stands for RV's to lift my RX-7. The stands have a wider base than car jack stands and are very stable, allowing me to raise the car high enough to get the tranny out from under it while it was on a small dolly. These jackstands also has a locking pin so I'm not relying solely on the quality of castings of the teeth.

This Unit does not have the cross member but it is very heavy. The price is about the same. If the easylift did not have the crossbar, I would seriously consider getting one.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Associate Publisher
8/21/08 11:44 a.m.

Apparently you can remove the crossmembers on that EZ lift. If you are seriously considering purchasing a lift I would call them. I got through to the owner and designer of the lift immediately. He was telling me that a lot of BMW guys have bought it and been able to drop their whole exhaust exhaust system once they removed one of the center pieces.

bravenrace
bravenrace HalfDork
8/21/08 12:15 p.m.
dculberson wrote:
bravenrace wrote: You can add jacks to get the car up off the ramps, but you can't do the opposite with a two post.
I'm definitely not disagreeing, as I don't have a lift at all, but what would you need to do that a 2-post lift wouldn't work for? Just about the only thing I can think of is working on the doors, which you'd probably do with the car on the ground..

General Benefits: A four post is free standing, and can be moved around with ease. Because of that, you can move it out in the driveway to pressure wash or sandblast without messing up the shop. You can also do alignments on a four post lift. You can add cross members and use it to lift a riding mower, ATV, or off road go kart. They are better for general parking They don't require additional strengthening of the floor like two post lifts do. They are generally more stable than a 2 post, and often are cheaper for the same quality. Two post lifts take up more room side to side. Four post lifts are better for R&R'ng a transmission or exhaust system.

Personal Benefits: I have a bad back, and leaning down to adjust the arms is something I can't do. BTW, it's not easy for anyone. I have hydronic floor heat and didn't want to drill into my floor for fear of puncturing the tubing. I used to be a mechanic, and have worked on all kinds of lifts. I personally think it's easier to jack a car up off the ramps of a 4 post and it is to get the arms adjusted right to raise a car on a two post. And you better make sure the car is balance on a two post before you go to tighten that lower control arm bolt!

Somewhere I have a list of pros and cons, and I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now. The biggest factor for most people I think would be portability and stability.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn Dork
8/21/08 12:18 p.m.
Greg Voth wrote: A space saving solution to look at is EZ car lift. Seems pretty legit from talking with the guy. Don't have any first hand experience. www.ezcarlift.com

A guy I know from the mye28 board bought one of these a while back, and he seems to like it pretty well. There's a review of it on his website: ezcarlift review

bravenrace
bravenrace HalfDork
8/21/08 1:08 p.m.

I can't find where the EZ Lift is ansi or american lift institute certified. I wouldn't get under anything that wasn't.

bravenrace
bravenrace HalfDork
8/21/08 1:12 p.m.
ClemSparks wrote: ...To climb into and out of a car under a 4 post lift on a regular basis is not fun...

Why do you think that is? I do it everyday, and it's no problem at all. Maybe you're a lot taller than me and bang your head on the ramps?

ClemSparks wrote: You've got to have a BIG shop to make the "portability" of a 4 post lift a significant consideration.

Or a driveway!

Jack
Jack SuperDork
8/21/08 2:10 p.m.

Anyone familiar with the one Costco has on sale now? It's a Dannmar 4-Post Portable Parking & Storage Lift for $1,700

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Productgroup.aspx?Prodid=11288133&search=lift&Mo=16&cm_re=1_en--Top_Left_Nav--Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=lift&Ntt=lift&No=1&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1

Jack

Nashco
Nashco Dork
8/21/08 2:29 p.m.
bravenrace wrote:
dculberson wrote:
bravenrace wrote: You can add jacks to get the car up off the ramps, but you can't do the opposite with a two post.
I'm definitely not disagreeing, as I don't have a lift at all, but what would you need to do that a 2-post lift wouldn't work for? Just about the only thing I can think of is working on the doors, which you'd probably do with the car on the ground..
General Benefits: A four post is free standing, and can be moved around with ease. Because of that, you can move it out in the driveway to pressure wash or sandblast without messing up the shop. You can also do alignments on a four post lift. You can add cross members and use it to lift a riding mower, ATV, or off road go kart. They are better for general parking They don't require additional strengthening of the floor like two post lifts do. They are generally more stable than a 2 post, and often are cheaper for the same quality. Two post lifts take up more room side to side. Four post lifts are better for R&R'ng a transmission or exhaust system. Personal Benefits: I have a bad back, and leaning down to adjust the arms is something I can't do. BTW, it's not easy for anyone. I have hydronic floor heat and didn't want to drill into my floor for fear of puncturing the tubing. I used to be a mechanic, and have worked on all kinds of lifts. I personally think it's easier to jack a car up off the ramps of a 4 post and it is to get the arms adjusted right to raise a car on a two post. And you better make sure the car is balance on a two post before you go to tighten that lower control arm bolt! Somewhere I have a list of pros and cons, and I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now. The biggest factor for most people I think would be portability and stability.

I like a portable four post for a lot of the same reasons, but until now I hadn't considered the ability to go with in-floor heating when you don't have to worry about drilling through the tubing. Of course, with careful planning on a new slab you could avoid it, but with the portable four post it's not even a concern. Thanks for the tip, that's perfect for the shop to take the chill off and I've got a great southern exposure on the roof that would even allow for a solar water heater! I'll have to keep that in mind when rebuilding the garage someday. FWIW, I haven't bought my own lift but if I was going to today it would be the portable four post Bendpak.

Bryce

dculberson
dculberson New Reader
8/22/08 10:25 a.m.

Bravenrace, thanks for the input. Those are some great reasons, and you may have convinced me to go 4-post.

I was facing moving downtown next year, and not having a garage (the horror!) but it looks like that's not happening. I was looking forward to living downtown, but the income from leasing out the space will be much better. Plus now I get to buy more toys.

RussellH
RussellH New Reader
8/22/08 12:46 p.m.
Jack wrote: Anyone familiar with the one Costco has on sale now? It's a Dannmar 4-Post Portable Parking & Storage Lift for $1,700 http://www.costco.com/Browse/Productgroup.aspx?Prodid=11288133&search=lift&Mo=16&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=lift&Ntt=lift&No=1&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1 Jack

Check this thread: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21456

Pergal
Pergal New Reader
3/5/15 4:30 a.m.

I think for your your needs a lift like this should do the job.

unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
3/5/15 6:53 a.m.

Looks like a canoe to me.

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