Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/14/13 8:41 p.m.

DrBoost's recent thread on his new mid-rise lift got me thinking about these things again. Then he mentioned the MaxJax and after a little work with the Googles, I started getting really interested in them.

Up to this point, the two biggest obstacles to my getting a lift were the price and the fact that it would actually be an obstacle when it's not in use. The Max Jax seems to address both of these issues by being reasonably affordable and more or less portable.

I am enthused.

Anybody have any real world experience with one of these things?

http://www.maxjaxusa.com/

DrBoost
DrBoost PowerDork
4/14/13 9:16 p.m.

I hope someone that has one chimes in, but I'll throw the reasons I decided not to go with one out there.
I do more quick-ish little-ish jobs than engine swaps. Take rotating my tires. I didn't do that NEARLY as often as I should have in the past because with a jack and jack stands it's an hour long job. With the MaxJax it's still going to be an hour long job because I'll have to drag them out from behind what ever crap is in front of them, bolt them to the floor, THEN do the work.
I also thought about just leaving one of the posts permanently attached, halving the time it would take. That wasn't a bad idea, almost bit the bullet and ordered one.
Then I did the measurements. If I placed one post about 18"-24" from a side wall would put the car I'm working on about 30-36" from said wall. I can deal with that. But, that would put the other post just about in the middle of the garage. So, when I am doing a big job (like the project car I'll be starting on in a few weeks) I'd effectively have a one-car garage. Still not really a deal-breaker. But, when I looked at where my posts would be bolted I realized I'd have to do some concrete work. The MaxJax has to be anchored no less than 10" from any crack or seam. That part of my garage floor is cracked so I'd have to factor in that expense. While not a deal breaker, coupled with the other two non-deal breakers they all became a deal breaker.
Am I saying my scissor lift is the best solution? No, not at all. That MaxJax is great, great enough that I'm always going to wonder if I should have gone that way. If my garage was 2' wider, I'd have done it.

Woody, I'm glad I mentioned it then. And I hope you're able to get one, I think they are great.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/14/13 9:44 p.m.

I was also thinking about leaving the outside post in place most of the time and that idea really appeals to me.

I have to make a 90 degree turn into my garage and while I have thought about a scissor lift, lining it up to hit the risers perfectly every time would be a total pain in the ass. And, of course, the thought of working around those risers all the time makes me chafe. I'd also want to add a steel plate for the scissor lift to roll on, to keep it from scraping up the concrete.

Don't get the idea that I'm knocking your new toy because I'm totally jealous, but I think that living with a scissor lift would make me crazy.

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/15/13 7:05 a.m.

I have been looking at these too.. With only an 8 foot ceiling I can't put in a regular lift. And while my garage is 18 feet wide, it is still effectively a one car garage.... And if I bought an extra set of floor mounts, in nice weather I could use it outside the garage...

cutter67
cutter67 HalfDork
4/15/13 7:15 a.m.

i have one and love it. i used hilti drop in anchors for mine that way no studs stick up. i put bigger wheels on it for ease of moving but it still is easier with two guys moving it. i have a friend who has one that made a adapter for his so he could move the car in and pick it up from the front and rear which comes in handy

mazdeuce
mazdeuce Dork
4/15/13 7:20 a.m.

I really want one of these mounted outside so I can put the rallycross car up in the air and pressure wash it.

dculberson
dculberson SuperDork
4/15/13 7:32 a.m.

I have no personal experience with one but have talked to Speedycop (Jeff, of Lemons fame) about his and he loves it. I'm thinking about buying one later this year. There are challenges with post placement, but no more than with any other post type lift. At least when you're not using it you can move the posts out of the way with the maxjax.

My garage is extra wide but with the motorcycles and other stuff in there it's still effectively a one-car garage once I have a project in it, so that's not a problem for me. My biggest gripe would be not getting to move the project car around based on which part of the car I'm working on. Right now, I'll pull it forward if I'm working on the rear, back if I'm working on the front, etc. There's only one position that works well with a lift.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/13 8:30 a.m.

I'm seriously starting to think about putting one of my motorcycles on Craigslist to bankroll one of these things.

Dashpot
Dashpot Reader
4/15/13 8:41 a.m.

I have one and think it's great.

Main advantages over scissors lift is full length underside access & no need for ramps & such. A roller stool makes for a fairly comfortable work platform.

My installation leaves the post closest to the wall set up full time. I set-up & remove the opposite side as necessary, takes about 10 minutes and keeps the walkway open when not in use. That mobility feature sealed the deal. There is nothing for anyone to avoid or trip over, so no objections from the home team.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
4/15/13 8:52 a.m.

I bought my scissor-lift less than a year before the Max Jax went on sale (cursing myself a bit since they were selling for $1400 at that time). Had I waited a bit longer, I might have gone that route.

I'm hoping to design my new backyard shop around using a Max Jax. I'll have my scissor lift in my attached garage for most work, so the Max Jax would only be used in situations where the scissor lift won't work. Additionally, the plan to use the shop for long-term projects (like restoring my 1800ES), so I'd use the MaxJax for raising the body up to rotisseri level and then unbolt the posts and get them out of the way. While the shop might have a high enough ceiling for a full-height 2-post, I'm willing to give up the additional working height for the portability. After all the years I've had my mid-rise lift, I really don't mind having the sit under the car vs standing.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition HalfDork
4/15/13 9:03 a.m.

I have one. Using a two-post lift of any kind is fantastic. I had a four-post lift before and it is night and day being able to get around it. I've really enjoyed mine, and I like the idea that I can move it out of the way if I need to, although I leave it in place pretty much all the time. It takes less than 5 minutes to unbolt and roll away.

There are umpteen threads about these on garagejournal.com. Lots of great hints for modifications and installation. I bought mine through a group buy there, though it has been a long time since I've seen any group buys. FYI, Northern Tool has them on sale with free shipping ATM.

Some comments:

If your ceiling is tall enough and you can do permanent installation, get a regular two-post that you can stand under. Maxjax configuration is not what you need and it does have some downsides versus a regular two-post.

Maxjax works fine with an 8' ceiling for most cars, although a tall SUV won't leave you enough room underneath to make it worthwhile. I don't find scooting around on a stool inconvenient at all.

Get and install the epoxy anchors, you can get them reasonably priced in a kit from Dannmar (they are very expensive from Grainger or the like). The stock wedge anchors don't always work and can be dicey to install correctly. It is easier just to go straight to the epoxy and they will tend to hold better with fewer issues.

Make sure your slab is at LEAST 4" before you order or you'll find yourself having to beef it up, which will annoy you and add to the time and cost.

Have fun!

DrBoost
DrBoost PowerDork
4/15/13 9:29 a.m.

WPWP

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition HalfDork
4/15/13 3:20 p.m.

DrBoost wrote: WPWP

Mmm k.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/17/13 5:51 p.m.

I just had the MaxJax discussion with the Other Person Who Lives Here and she was surprisingly cool with the idea.

dj06482
dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/17/13 7:44 p.m.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35763

I really like the concept, but unfortunately our garage is too narrow (and we have a center support in exactly the wrong spot) to make good use of one.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/17/13 7:53 p.m.

I more or less planned for a future lift when I designed my house. I have eight foot high doors, ten and a half foot ceilings and no columns. At least in theory, it looks as if the MaxJax is perfect for me.

Dashpot
Dashpot Reader
4/18/13 7:26 a.m.

The MaxJax is perfect for a standard 7' high door & runners. With your extra height (unless the portability feature is paramount) you may also consider something like this:

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200359746_200359746

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
4/18/13 8:37 a.m.

In reply to Dashpot:

The problem with that lift in a residential garage is the width - either 132" (~11') or 145" (12') depending on the model. Even if one post is located against a wall (not ideal), the second post often ends up in the other parking bay and becoming a nuisance if the garage's primary purpose is parking.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/18/13 11:55 a.m.
Dashpot wrote: The MaxJax is perfect for a standard 7' high door & runners. With your extra height (unless the portability feature is paramount) you may also consider something like this: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200359746_200359746

Portability is paramount.

Even with the high ceiling, the bottom of the garage door opener is at 8'3" and the open garage door is at 8'6". I can work around both of those issues without too much trouble, but it would be nice to tuck the lift away in the corner when I'm not using it.

Dashpot
Dashpot Reader
4/18/13 8:03 p.m.
Woody wrote: Portability is paramount. Even with the high ceiling, the bottom of the garage door opener is at 8'3" and the open garage door is at 8'6". I can work around both of those issues without too much trouble, but it would be nice to tuck the lift away in the corner when I'm not using it.

Then you can't go wrong.

You'll wonder why you didn't do it years ago & your back will thank you.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Dork
4/18/13 8:24 p.m.
Basil Exposition wrote: I have one. Using a two-post lift of any kind is fantastic. I had a four-post lift before and it is night and day being able to get around it. I've really enjoyed mine, and I like the idea that I can move it out of the way if I need to, although I leave it in place pretty much all the time. It takes less than 5 minutes to unbolt and roll away. There are umpteen threads about these on garagejournal.com. Lots of great hints for modifications and installation. I bought mine through a group buy there, though it has been a long time since I've seen any group buys. FYI, Northern Tool has them on sale with free shipping ATM. Some comments: If your ceiling is tall enough and you can do permanent installation, get a regular two-post that you can stand under. Maxjax configuration is not what you need and it does have some downsides versus a regular two-post. Maxjax works fine with an 8' ceiling for most cars, although a tall SUV won't leave you enough room underneath to make it worthwhile. I don't find scooting around on a stool inconvenient at all. Get and install the epoxy anchors, you can get them reasonably priced in a kit from Dannmar (they are very expensive from Grainger or the like). The stock wedge anchors don't always work and can be dicey to install correctly. It is easier just to go straight to the epoxy and they will tend to hold better with fewer issues. Make sure your slab is at LEAST 4" before you order or you'll find yourself having to beef it up, which will annoy you and add to the time and cost. Have fun!

I am just curious..........are you saying you didn't like the four post at all or that it is just easier space wise to get around a two poster? The reason I am asking is I would prefer a two post but I plan on using the lift to store a car over the winter and from what I have read you shouldn't leave a car's suspension just "hanging" for long periods of time so I have to get a 4 post unit.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition HalfDork
4/18/13 10:23 p.m.
Feedyurhed wrote:
Basil Exposition wrote: I have one. Using a two-post lift of any kind is fantastic. I had a four-post lift before and it is night and day being able to get around it. I've really enjoyed mine, and I like the idea that I can move it out of the way if I need to, although I leave it in place pretty much all the time. It takes less than 5 minutes to unbolt and roll away. There are umpteen threads about these on garagejournal.com. Lots of great hints for modifications and installation. I bought mine through a group buy there, though it has been a long time since I've seen any group buys. FYI, Northern Tool has them on sale with free shipping ATM. Some comments: If your ceiling is tall enough and you can do permanent installation, get a regular two-post that you can stand under. Maxjax configuration is not what you need and it does have some downsides versus a regular two-post. Maxjax works fine with an 8' ceiling for most cars, although a tall SUV won't leave you enough room underneath to make it worthwhile. I don't find scooting around on a stool inconvenient at all. Get and install the epoxy anchors, you can get them reasonably priced in a kit from Dannmar (they are very expensive from Grainger or the like). The stock wedge anchors don't always work and can be dicey to install correctly. It is easier just to go straight to the epoxy and they will tend to hold better with fewer issues. Make sure your slab is at LEAST 4" before you order or you'll find yourself having to beef it up, which will annoy you and add to the time and cost. Have fun!
I am just curious..........are you saying you didn't like the four post at all or that it is just easier space wise to get around a two poster? The reason I am asking is I would prefer a two post but I plan on using the lift to store a car over the winter and from what I have read you shouldn't leave a car's suspension just "hanging" for long periods of time so I have to get a 4 post unit.

I'm not saying that I didn't like the four post, just that I prefered the two post after working on cars on both. The four post was a hassle because I had to find a way to jack the car up on the ramps to work on anything that required the wheels to be raised. It also took up a lot more space in the garage. No mistake, I was thrilled with the four post when I got it. It made working on cars a whole lot better than crawling under a car with jackstands. Or squatting to work on the brakes, etc. The two post is just better.

I don't know that you'd necessarily have a problem with the suspension hanging. There are also threads on garagejournal.com dealing with this issue. Having said that, it may depend on the car. My Jaguar, for example, has an IRS that is only held on by metalastic rubber pieces. I wouldn't want the IRS hanging on those for extended periods.

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