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Anyone have a car lift?

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Old 10-11-2010, 11:27 PM
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Anyone have a car lift?

I was wondering if anyone has a car lift, or could offer any advice or experience.

I mostly want one so I can squeeze an extra car in my garage, but I would also love to have one to assist in working on cars.

From my initial research, I am pretty surprised at how many different lifts are out there, and their prices are really pretty good. Prices range from $1,500 - 5,000. You can get a two or four post lift.

The height of my garage ceiling is about 120 inches. Some of the two post lifts are 112 inches high, leaving 8 inches from the top of the post to the ceiling. It would be a squeeze, but I think it could be done. I don't know the height of a 911, as its not in my garage at the moment, but my GTI is about 58 inches high, so with the suspension being uncompressed (wheels handing), I don't think you could stack two of them, I think they are too tall, but a 911 and a GTI seems possible.

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What do you think???
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:12 AM
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Best two post lifts made are Rotary, simple as that
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:19 AM
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Having worked on every type of lift there is, you need to ask yourself what are you going to use the lift for the most.

If you are using it mostly for storage, with some occasional minor maintenance (change oil, etc), then a 4 post lift is the way to go. Easy on, easy off, and most of the time the GOOD lifts do not even need to be bolted to the floor. If you get a simple sliding jack plate with bottle jacks, you can lift the wheels off the ramps to change tires, etc.

If you are wanting a lift to do some more serious work on a car, then the 2 post is the way to go. You can store a car up on a two post and one below, but the suspension hangs which, there is argument that is not good long term for a suspension. Typically a 2 post lift needs a minimum of a 11-12 foot ceiling, and would need between 4-6" of pour concrete to bolt in to. To determine how thick your floor is, you will need to drill in to it and take a depth measurement. Most people are surprised at how little of thickness of concrete they have in their garage floor, so make absolutely sure before buying. They do make some shorter 2 posts like you have listed above where you might get away with a little shorter ceiling.

THen there are scissor lifts and low rise lifts like the max jax, but you will not be able to store a car underneath them.

You will also need to consider your power source as well. If you can go 220, then definitely do that. There are quite a few 4 posts that operate off 110 as well.

Next thing is to really do your research on buying a GOOD quality lift. This is not something you want to screw around with purchasing the cheapest thing out there. You don't want to be testing the quality of a lift with a car 6 feet in the air. Stick with your top sellers, like Bendpak, Rotary, Mohawk, Challenger, etc.

Floor slope is also very important. You can get away with some slope by shimming, but if it is excessively sloped, you will be limited on your options.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:23 AM
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I'd agree that Rotary is a hell of a lift, and I have worked professionally on them, but if you want the cadillac of lifts, you go with a Mohawk. They are about twice the money, but they do have an option with their 2 post lifts where you can add plates to keep the wheels loaded for storage when the car is raised, so that is one option.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:04 AM
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I recently did a lot of research on this subject. I needed the room to stack cars and also liked the idea of getting the P-car up to a better working height for brakes, suspension adjustments, etc. Lastly I had only 3.5" of concrete so I couldn't bolt it to the floor.

I choose an Eagle lift 8000 model.
- Very simple safe design and well manufactured
- Easy to use for storing
- Strong enough to hold heavier cars
- came w/ Jack plates (use bottle jack or Air Jacks to lift the car off of the lift (servicing wheels sus, etc.)
- Came w/ casters in case I need to move it (trick set-up)
- Aluminum Ramps
- W/ shipping less than $2K
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DT007 View Post
I recently did a lot of research on this subject. I needed the room to stack cars and also liked the idea of getting the P-car up to a better working height for brakes, suspension adjustments, etc. Lastly I had only 3.5" of concrete so I couldn't bolt it to the floor.

I choose an Eagle lift 8000 model.
- Very simple safe design and well manufactured
- Easy to use for storing
- Strong enough to hold heavier cars
- came w/ Jack plates (use bottle jack or Air Jacks to lift the car off of the lift (servicing wheels sus, etc.)
- Came w/ casters in case I need to move it (trick set-up)
- Aluminum Ramps
- W/ shipping less than $2K
How high is your ceiling? And it looks like you had to remove the mechanism to raise and lower your garage?
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rascus View Post
How high is your ceiling? And it looks like you had to remove the mechanism to raise and lower your garage?
Ceiling is 12' and the garage door was rerouted to go higher. In this case to just over 10.5'. Whenever you do that you need to use a shaft driven opener. Mine is made by LiftMaster 3800.. They are slick as ****. All my future garages will have them. Side mount and silent. It also bolts the door shut automatically.

You can see it in the upper right hand corner of the 1st picture. 2nd Picture shows the garage door raised.

From a cost stand point. Getting Garage door rerouted, new springs, etc. $450. LiftMaster 3800 $500.. It has a ton of cool features too.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:17 AM
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Nice! My ceilings in the garage of the house we're getting are 12ft so that will work out great!
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:20 PM
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Yup, the high lift door conversion and a 3800 liftmaster are the way to go if you put in a lift. If you do the liftmaster yourself, they run about $300 and there are complete step by step videos on youtube on installing them....very easy. This is assuming you have a torsion system. I am getting estimates for a high lift conversion on my door, then will install the liftmaster myself.
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:41 PM
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Go wth Rotary or Bend Pak. Both good quality. Don't skimp on this as you're betting your life.
Others said 4 post for storage, 2 post for real work. After evaluating everything, I opted for Rotary asymetrical 2 post. Buy the 3 stage arms too.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:16 PM
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I agree with everyone's advice thus far - I did a 4-post for storage and did the extended height Bendpack because my ceilings are really high. I have been very happy with it. I also did the LiftMaster garage door motor and it is perfect for the application.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:37 AM
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Doc's synopsis is right on.

IMO, for your storage needs and spacing, it sound like a 4 post will be a good fit. I don't think you'll have the height to store a car up on a 2 post.

4 post - will it fit?

Stock 911 height is 51.4", call it 52".
GTI height is 58"
4 post ramp height is +/- 5"

Depending on which car you want to put 'up', that will determine the lock height for the lower car. Assuming your GTI is down, and the lock height is +/- 60", you're going to need 60+52+5+2-3" (to get the ramps off the mechanical locks) around 120" height... it's going to be close.

You have a little (1" or so) adjustment of the height of the lock ladders on most 4 posts, but your ability to take advantage of that will depend on the slope of your garage floor.

G/L.. lifts are a total win.

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Old 10-13-2010, 08:28 AM
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The other advantage of a 4 post for storage......drip trays. Not that anyone's cars leak oil or anything, lol.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:43 AM
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Well said, I would go with a 4 post as well. I have a 4-post..
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAPorscheDoc View Post
Having worked on every type of lift there is, you need to ask yourself what are you going to use the lift for the most.

If you are using it mostly for storage, with some occasional minor maintenance (change oil, etc), then a 4 post lift is the way to go. Easy on, easy off, and most of the time the GOOD lifts do not even need to be bolted to the floor. If you get a simple sliding jack plate with bottle jacks, you can lift the wheels off the ramps to change tires, etc.

If you are wanting a lift to do some more serious work on a car, then the 2 post is the way to go. You can store a car up on a two post and one below, but the suspension hangs which, there is argument that is not good long term for a suspension. Typically a 2 post lift needs a minimum of a 11-12 foot ceiling, and would need between 4-6" of pour concrete to bolt in to. To determine how thick your floor is, you will need to drill in to it and take a depth measurement. Most people are surprised at how little of thickness of concrete they have in their garage floor, so make absolutely sure before buying. They do make some shorter 2 posts like you have listed above where you might get away with a little shorter ceiling.

THen there are scissor lifts and low rise lifts like the max jax, but you will not be able to store a car underneath them.

You will also need to consider your power source as well. If you can go 220, then definitely do that. There are quite a few 4 posts that operate off 110 as well.

Next thing is to really do your research on buying a GOOD quality lift. This is not something you want to screw around with purchasing the cheapest thing out there. You don't want to be testing the quality of a lift with a car 6 feet in the air. Stick with your top sellers, like Bendpak, Rotary, Mohawk, Challenger, etc.

Floor slope is also very important. You can get away with some slope by shimming, but if it is excessively sloped, you will be limited on your options.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:03 AM
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Went with a Rotary 4 post lift about 5 years ago. Excellent choice, very sturdy even though it's not bolted to the floor. As mentioned above, watch for slope of floor. If the garage floor is sloped you will possibly need a shim to allow the lift to go into it's uppermost locking position. I'm considering a 2nd lift and will go with another Rotary.

However, the Revolution (what I previously purchased) edition from Rotary is now made in China - the same factory that produces ProPacrk lifts from Direct Lift. I think Rotary went offshore to compete on price athough the quality is said to be as good.

I'd like to invest in a set of air powered bag jacks (looks like a donut) to use with my jack tray. That would speed up doing wheel work using my 4 post lift. Those jacks look like they would really be great and they are light and can be stored in a cabinet when not used.
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