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RebekahsZ

Need recommendation for garage lift

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Contractor is pulling permits to build a 30x30 2-car garage for me. This is intended to be a Z-car shrine. I plan for 10' doors and a cathedral ceiling to allow for 2 lifts: a 2-post for tire and suspension work and a 4-post lift for car storage, quick services like oil changes and front end alignments (will later add bearing plates for that). Please share your favorite brands and brands to avoid. I need to get slab specs from manufacturers and power supply requirements to give to my contractor. Of course you are all welcome to come use my lift any time!

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Race car club I was involved with for many ears had one of these:

http://www.eagleequip.com/automotive-shop-equipment/2-post-car-lifts.html

 

Only lift I've really worked with, but always did the job. Our SCCA (ITA) CRX race cars needed to be jacked up to fit the arms under the lift points, while a similar prepped 81 RX7 did not. YMMV.

 

Bryan

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Check height of arms from floor before you purchase. On the lift I use I had to jack up the front of my Sunbeam to get the arms under and they just clear the Z lowered (but ride height not set yet) and no interior, or front cap installed with bad dog frame rails. once all the weight is back on the car it may be really close to needing to jack it.

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With the 4post lift make sure you get a couple of jack trays that go between the rails.

You can do tire and suspension work on the lift by using the tray with a couple of 10 ton jacks and jack stands that fit on the tray.

You might find you don't need a 2 post lift.

 

ritrebor

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Anybody out there recess their floor so that the arms of the 2-post lift can drop down into the floor? I'm also planning to have extra long ramps made for the 4-poster to account for lowered cars. Although it will only be a 2-car garage, I really want it to be a big help in taking a lot of the hassles of working next to my wife's minivan away. Then her garage will get a used sports car of some kind for her in place of my disassembled Z-car so she can shake the "soccer mom" blues loosen up a bit. I will be taking her for test rides in newer VW bugs, miatas and S2000s. Hoping for the latter. I will have two more years to scrimp and save for that.

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Sick in bed, so I researched quite a bit.  Looks like those Eagle Lifts and the Atlas lifts are the same lift.  In fact most of the lifts in the $1400 range are of the same basic design.  My buddy here has an Atlas.  The only problem I have seen is the lift arms sagging.  The BendPack is about double the price but has much heavier design to the arms and goes down to 3-1/2" on the low profile arm design.  Looks like 4" of 3000psi slab is all that is required for a 2-post.  Slab design isn't as important for a 4-post, as many of them don't even have to be bolted down (though I sure would bolt mine down)!  I watched a video of the center jacks that go between the ramps on a 4-post.  They seem very gimmicky and it looks like it takes a certain amount of work to use them.  Plus, I think they would hit my oil pan when driving up.  I think I will use the 4-post for storage and minor services without center jacks, and commit to buy a separate 2-post.  I think I should buy with sufficient capacity to lift a Suburban (do I own a Suburban-no), which weighs 8600# if I have my numbers straight.  My truck is 4000 and my Z 0s 2400, my wife's minivan is around 4000.  Seems crazy to buy extra capacity, but I could see me moving to a full-size van or Suburban as a tow vehicle some day.  Install seems to be an issue, mostly due to the heavy weight of the kits.  In fact, just getting the kit off the delivery truck might be a problem.  Will need to talk to my buddies to see how they got around that.  I think when it is time to guy that I will start with the 2-post first and maybe buy the 4-post the following year.

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We had a four post with caster kit to do prep. I never missed a two post using it. It was a quality unit, it was not $1,400. The caster kit allowed us to attach the casters, drop the lift, then move it where we wanted. The axle lifts/cradles worked well and supported the axles like the old single post pneumatic lift I trained on back in the Stone Age.

 

Sounds stupid, but pushing it outside when you want to pressure wash under the car...do sandblasting, apply undercoating, or simply free up a stall in the garage for a party on a rainy day comes in handy. Not to mention working in a breeze instead of the stuffy garage.

 

I would recommend ramps for both ends of the lift... Especially if you have a deep garage...allowing a drive over to the back without transferring the ramps.

 

If you even THINK about a full size truck, buy the lift to handle it's weight and length. The bigger truck four posters and handle storing a LOT of stuff on them overhead other than a vehicle...and with a nice piece of I-beam become nice mobile gantry cranes if you know how to work it that way (mowhahaha!)

 

Some guys have a garage door in the front and back, so driving over the lift out the back door is also nice. More than one city lot dweller kicks themselves over the simplicity of a second door in the back when it comes time they have to rent a 100 ton crane to pick their hot tub into the back yard! (Or just park something out of the view of prying eyes on the street!)

Edited by Tony D

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This is how my 4 post is with the jack trays that i am talking about.

The trays are made from heavy angle iron and slides along the bed. Nothing sticks above the level of the tracks. I have 3" ground clearance on my car. After the car is on the lift I use a couple of HF 10 ton bottle jacks on the trays to do the jacking and use 2 big red jack stands on each tray to set the car on them when working on tire or suspension work.

The company is no longer in business but other have the same design.

Also my uprights are made from 1piece box tubing with safety notches cut in them. Some lifts use a "U" channel upright with safety stops welded in. I had to anchor my lift to the floor because when I tried to drive my car on the ramps it pushed the lift away.

I used 4 HF small furniture dolly under the front and back and lowered the lift down on them and the uprights will move by pushing it in place. Sorry for the mess but I ran out of room.

 

ritrebor

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TonyD-I will have one side drive thru but just to get bikes, canoes and lawn mowers out. The garage is going to be on a slope with a retaining wall so there won't be any real driving thru. I'm in town in a subdivision with rules and crap. The side with the 4-post won't be drive thru-will have pumps and filters for the pool. Would love to have a gantry crane like in an airplane maintenance hangar, but I'm afraid a traditional engine hoist will have to do.

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We use the 2 post lift for storage, just let the weight down onto the stops to take pressure off the cylinders if its going to be up there a while. A few years back there was a leaking cylinder and my dad had to get his 4 door diesel dually Ford up there for something. That cylinder blew, but the truck was on the stop. To get the cylinder out , the truck needed to be raised 1 inch. Know how hard it is to jack up a big truck thats 6' off the ground an inch?

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"I'm in town in a subdivision with rules and crap."

 

I'm sorry! :D

 

The Lift we had at the Powder Coating Business had an actual crocodile/floor jack like tray that slid on rollers under the car. You would jack from underneath and then flip up these "Y" Cradles from the center...but I actually like the idea of the jack stands better. That C-Channel and HF Jack is like the one we had at the Car Club Shop, I hate bottle jacks. I can see not liking that setup if that is what you were looking to have to do.

To lift a big truck, 6' in the air 1", you get a 4X4, a piece of 4X4X1/4" plate, and a bottle jack.... Cut the 4X4 shorter than the height of the bottle jack, put the 4X4 on the plate of 1/4" and jack it from underneath... This works, I know! <_<

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