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Old 06-25-2013, 08:50 AM   #1
Shadetree
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Default Car Lifts

I am looking at car lifts and need some advice. What do you have and what do you recommend?
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
The Hot Rod Grille
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Default Re: Car Lifts

Bud,

I've helped install a couple of "Backyard Buddies" and have been very impressed with the quality of the lift. Plus, it's made in Ohio, so you could go visit the factory and see how they are made. I personally have a Perfect Park 7000 (made in TX with USA parts) and have had no problems with it. I like the massive posts and how heavy the unit is constructed. Feel free to stop by the garage and check it out in person.

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Old 06-25-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I have a four post "Bend Pack" 10K lift.. I did a lot of research on hoists before I purchased mine.. The twin post lifts has several good points, however, I had concerns about picking up vehicles on same.
One of the advantages of a four post, if you have a high enough ceiling in the your shop/garage, you can store a car on the hoist with another car under it..
It is a little difficult to work on suspension items on a four post because the wheels are sitting on the ramps, where-as on a twin post the wheels/axles are hanging free.
Of course in many cases you will have to have an axle jack/stand to remove a differential. Another expense that is not apparent until you try to do same.
Axle accessories are available for four post lifts, they fit onto the ramps, sliding out of the way when not in use.. It is advisable on many vehicles to lift the weight off of the suspension prior to lubricating springs/bushing, so the axle lift accessories are a must..
One very big plus to a twin post hoist.. Removing car bodies from the chassis..
With a little bit of planning, lifting a body off with a four post can be done...
After all is said and done... For the average car nut, I think a four post is the best bet..
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Car Lifts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadetree View Post
I am looking at car lifts and need some advice. What do you have and what do you recommend?
What height ceiling? I have a MaxJak 2 post with 9 foot ceilings.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
Ross F-1
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Default Re: Car Lifts

Best advice I heard was on another forum:
"I sell, service and install lifts as part of my living. I always get asked "can you get me such and such a part for my never-heard-of-em lift?"...buy what you've heard of. I sell Challenger and Rotary, and my customers know 50 years from now I can easily get them parts. Seriously, every swinging d sells a lift and quickly goes out of business...Moral of this story, you get what you pay for. "

US-made lifts come with an assurance of having been designed by a structural engineer, no so much with imported asian stuff.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I have a Challenger VS10 two post lift and it's the best investment I've made in my shop. Good customer service located in Kentucky. They had damaged some parts in shipping and I had purchased the unit months before I installed it (while my shop was being built).
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I have a Rotary two post, I bought it used out of a garage that went out of buz. Its old but still works great and the rotary install guy came over and gave me some install advice at no charge! Make sure your concrete is thick enough, I think the minimum is 5" My ceiling was only 9' so I had to cut out some and make a box above the lift.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:28 AM   #8
Tony, NY
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I bought a used Mohawk asymmetric lift. Since my garage is 24x24, it doesn't tie up a lot of floor space like a 4 post. I use it for lifting all sorts of things besides vehicles. They are pricey new. American made about 40 miles from me.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:29 AM   #9
Seth Swoboda
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Default Re: Car Lifts

We have a Challenger two post lift in the shop. It's well built. We really like it.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I've had a 4-post Backyard Buddy for 19-years and I use it almost daily for everything from brake jobs to power train repairs, body work and even waxing the 'fleet'. I've never had a problem with it in all that time.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I have a Mohawk 9000# two post lift. The pillars are 5/8" thick. I looked at some of the cheaper ones and they were much thinner. I wouldn't go cheap. Take a look at this video of a weight test on a cheap one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLUjq6ijvVc
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Car Lifts

If you don't have room for a lift, these stands look better, safer, and lift the car higher than jackstands.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&fe...&v=cXCvq6DNJi0
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I bought an Eagle 4-post lift about 10 years ago - loved it in every way except I could not park my 40 Ford coupe underneath - it would not go high enough even with "feet" underneath the posts.

So, do your homework for what cars you may want to park underneath - I would say to get one of the "extra tall" lifts to give you the needed clearance for anything you want to park underneath.

I've since gotten rid of the lift because I found that unless you have a working bay specifically/dedicated to use the lift in for repairs, etc, it just becomes a tall storage area and a waste. That's me - if you know of someone who has one, go check theirs out, maybe try and park your car underneath and talk to them on their practical likes and dislikes ....
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:18 AM   #14
Ross F-1
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Default Re: Car Lifts

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomT/Williamsburg View Post
... if you know of someone who has one, go check theirs out ....
... and just use their lift to do your work! Give 'em $50 for a big job. It always seemed to me that these would have pretty limited bang for the buck on all but a few jobs.

There used to be a place in town that rented out bays with lifts for $75/day, and you could leave stuff overnight. They even supplied things like trans jacks, and compressed air hookup. Sadly they went out of business.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:09 PM   #15
TomT/Williamsburg
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Default Re: Car Lifts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross F-1 View Post
... and just use their lift to do your work! Give 'em $50 for a big job. It always seemed to me that these would have pretty limited bang for the buck on all but a few jobs.

There used to be a place in town that rented out bays with lifts for $75/day, and you could leave stuff overnight. They even supplied things like trans jacks, and compressed air hookup. Sadly they went out of business.
I agree with you - the fellow who bought my lift I now "rent" from time to time and either buy him dinner or give him some parts, etc. Works out great ....

Used to live on Long Island and there were some places you could rent a lift from - it was in Farmingdale I believe and I used it a couple times. Great idea but insurance today would probably make it impossible and not profitable/affordable ....
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: Car Lifts

Mine is made in Germany, so not applicable to you in the States?, but heres what I would have done different:

if you get a 2 post lift, which mine is and its is fantastic, it will probably drive one post from another via a chain box that runs along the floor between the 2 posts. This box is 1 1/2" high.

If you are laying a new concrete floor at the same time as installing a lift, set the chain box (well, the whole lift) into the concrete so its top is flush with the floor surface. I could have done this and didnt, which I regret every time I trip on the chain box! After all, whenever you are under the lift, youre always looking up!

Oh, and another thing...if you aint got alot of hair...wear a cap when yr under the car...saves bashing yr head !

Tom.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:45 PM   #17
Don
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Default Re: Car Lifts

Bud ,I saw a neat lift a while back.it was made like a scissors jack ,just slide it under the car,it had adjustable arms to fit the frame, hyd operated/w/electric motor,could be raised about 3or 4 feet or up to your ceiling height ,just roll it out of the way when not on use,I think it was made somewhere in Texas would be great for most jobs and you wouldn't have to raise you ceiling
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: Car Lifts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Walker View Post
Mine is made in Germany, so not applicable to you in the States?, but heres what I would have done different:

if you get a 2 post lift, which mine is and its is fantastic, it will probably drive one post from another via a chain box that runs along the floor between the 2 posts. This box is 1 1/2" high.

If you are laying a new concrete floor at the same time as installing a lift, set the chain box (well, the whole lift) into the concrete so its top is flush with the floor surface. I could have done this and didnt, which I regret every time I trip on the chain box! After all, whenever you are under the lift, youre always looking up!

Oh, and another thing...if you aint got alot of hair...wear a cap when yr under the car...saves bashing yr head !

Tom.
Seems like some sheets of plywood would fix that
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:21 PM   #19
mfagan
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I have both 2 and 4 post lifts and find both
to be useful, however, if you can only have one I
would stick with the 2 post unit. The 2 post unit
is more useful if you are doing a lot of axle
related work.

I agree with the other posters, buy a domestic brand
that has service parts available.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: Car Lifts

I got a two post lift for free and i have it outside and out of the way. Its pretty rare to use it. I wish i had a pit mostly because i have a place it would have been convenient as my property has different levels. Pits especially if its only three sided so no stairs. Nothing to break car cant fall on you unless your really dumb. Oh and make sure that the arms on a 2 post can reach your frame, mine is for trucks and i cant lift model A's and my 56 chevy is a pain because it has to be just perfect. But the 35 fits great.
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