Grizz

Lift suggestions

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im in the market. I’ve only ever used two kinds. Bend pak  and challenger. I’m thinking about a challenger le-10. Challenger is the cheaper of the two but I actually liked using the one at the shop better than the others. Any suggestions? Thoughts? Insults?

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I bought two four post Direct Lifts a couple years ago and like them.  I think it was a Bend Pak I also considered but believe they required the use of an air compressor. 

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I want a two post. Big enough for a full size truck. I’ve never heard of atlas before but It looked higher in price. Thanks for the input

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18 hours ago, Grizz said:

I want a two post. Big enough for a full size truck. I’ve never heard of atlas before but It looked higher in price. Thanks for the input

My lift will accommodate a truck, no problem.  It is an American made  Mohawk A-7.  I bought it used.  Check out the used lift market.  Good deals are available.

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I would do used but I need it installed. Ive put up 3 lifts in my day and don’t want to do it again. Plus I have no one to help me. Never heard of Mohawk. I’ll check it out. Thank you!!

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I hate a two post lift.

The reason for a lift is so that you don't have to crawl on a floor.

A drive on four poster with a sliding jack works for me.

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Never used a four post. Is the sliding jack to lift the wheels off the ramps?! I have limited space and like the wheels to hang free. What’s the pluses of a four poster?

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I use a two post lift and have never wished I had a four post instead of the two post. However, there are times when I wish I had both. If I’m going to do any kind of tugging, pulling, banging or such I will use stabilizer jacks at each end.  Something like this. https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/TWRST100C 

 

 

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Oh yeah I can see how a four post would feel more stable. I’ve definitely had some heart jolting experiences with cars “settling” on the lift. Haha. Never anything serious thank god... And yes I’m also in the market for at least two of those stabilizer jacks. Especially now that I know the proper name. I was calling them screw jacks or something stupid like that.  I’m a major cheapskate so they can wait until I find a good deal. Speaking of which I emailed the folks at Mohawk. They looked nice and the Indian head logo would go good with my chieftain but they were about 2x as much as the challenger 

Edited by Grizz (see edit history)

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Being a “major cheapskate” will not reduce the amount of damage to your car or the hospital bill in the event of an accident. 

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Major plus for four post is not having to get out and kneel to place the arms of a two post! As you get older, the four post makes way more sense. Full disclosure, I only have a two post asymmetrical, and kneeling is a pain! But oh so nice when in the air.

 

Or, you want to do wheel alignments. For those you need to load the wheels as if driving down the road. OK, need turntables and slip plates too....😉

 

That Pogo stick is only for steadying a lightweight part, not a heavy part (automatic transmission, engine) or an end of a vehicle. You need these to make you feel vary safe:

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/2-ton-capacity-underhoist-safety-stand-61600.html

 

Laugh all you want at suggesting a Harbor Freight tool, but these are really nice.  Makes vehicles rock steady on a two post lift. One front, one rear, one for the heavy part you are removing a mount from, like an engine or transmission.

 

Your safety is never to be compromised. I lost a good friend (professional mechanic working in his business) when a Ranger pickup slid off a two post lift and crushed him against his Snap On tool box. Other mechanic friends have lost vehicles off lifts. If it happens to people using them everyday, what chance do you want to take as a casual user?😨

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When I was planning my garage, I looked into the 4-post versus 2-post lift question in some depth.  The 2-post lift allows almost total/clear access to the underneath areas of a car and can't be beat for working on wheels, tires, brakes etc.  On the other hand, the 4-post lift has restricted access to the underneath areas of a car, but is great for routine chores such as oil change and the like.  The drive-on convenience of the 4-post is also a big plus factor, not to mention that it is best for "stacking" vehicles if your collection exceeds your available floor space.    While not absolutely necessary, a 4-post lift makes working on exhaust systems easier, and all of the muffler shops I've patronized lately use 4-post lifts.

 

I determined that I would only have the space and budget for one type of lift and eventually decided on a 2-post lift.  One factor that helped in my decision was observing maintenance areas of large car dealerships/repair garages:  for example, out of 20 lift/work stations, one would be a 4-post, and all of the rest would be 2-post.  I asked around amongst my gear-head friends, and those who do extensive work on cars overwhelmingly thought that if one had to make a choice between 4-post and 2-post, the 2-post lift was the best all around tool.

 

I'm 74 years old, and getting down onto the cold concrete floor of my garage to adjust the lift arms of my 2-post can be a pain (literally and figuratively), but once adjusted, as Frank stated above, using the lift is "oh so nice".  Actually, with the assist of gravity, I find that getting down on the floor is easier than getting back up, but that's a whole 'nother story.  Oh, one other thing: the 2-post lift ties up much less floor space than does the 4-post.

 

So far, the most ambitious project I've tackled in my garage has been the conversion of my 1968 Chevelle from automatic to 4-speed, and my 2-post lift performed admirably.  I've read about folks who remove entire bodies from their frames using a 2-post lift, but I have no plans to do anything like that.

 

In my opinion, the best of all worlds would be to have one of each, but if I can only have one, I'll go with the 2-post lift.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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5 hours ago, JACK M said:

I hate a two post lift.

The reason for a lift is so that you don't have to crawl on a floor.

A drive on four poster with a sliding jack works for me.

 

Four post lifts get little respect from pros but I agree with Jack M that for a home garage there are real advantages.  The common refrain is that a 2 post is preferable since it will allow the wheels to hang for suspension work and that is true, BUT if you buy the sliding jack you eliminate that problem.

 

The sliding jack slides back and forth between the ramps.  When the car is on the lift and up in the air you place the jack at the lifting point and manually jack it up, no air or electricity needed.  If you are only servicing that end of the car you can securely work on it while on the jack OR you can put it on jack stands and move the jack to the other end to elevate that axle too.  A heavy cross tray is included to hold the jack stands under an axle.

 

ADVANTAGES:

No need to bolt down the lift or have specific concrete thickness; since the load is distributed on four posts pretty much any solid and level concrete will support it.      

 

No need to get on the ground to place the lifting arms under a car, just drive on and no worry about stability or balance

 

The lift includes casters that can easily be installed to roll it to a different space anytime.  I used mine as a movable scaffold for hanging my ceiling panels and lights.  I also partially disassembled it and took it along when I moved.

 

No need to avoid the posts when opening the car doors, you can freely get in and out

 

Can be raised and allow a second car to safely park underneath—plastic drip trays are included. 

 

No need for air supply and plugs into any 110V outlet.

 

When working on the car you can use the ramps as your workbench for tools and parts

 

I have had mine for over ten years and one move and have had no problem with the hydraulics, pump, cables or any other part. 

 

DISADVANTAGES: Raises slowly compared to a professional lift and requires purchasing the sliding jack to be most effective.

DirectLift1.jpg

DirectLiftJack.jpg

Edited by poci1957 (see edit history)
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^^^very helpful. Now I understand why jack said “the reason for a lift is so you don’t have to crawl around on the floor”. Got it. I do hate having to set the lift. I would always be overly careful and set the arms. Raise a little. Stop. Double check. So a four post lift is easily movable?!  I mean just push it around? That might be a huge plus.

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Mine has big urethane casters that attach easily and allow me to push the unit around by myself.  I would say if I needed to move it to another space I could do it and be ready for use in 15-20 minutes start to finish.  They can be seen in this photo, Todd C 

266DF4E0-EB54-42BE-9D11-D936E49D85D1.jpeg

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I have two 4 posters ... total both 40" long.

Dual sliding jacks... a Rotary 12,000 lb and a BP 14,000 lb.

I have done engines, transmissions, exhaust and suspension on them...... 20" wide ramps /runways... widely spaced runways .... quick and safe on and off... very safe and stable

I have seen cars fall off two post lifts like I show below as I was driving to work one day....I do use two post lifts ... 4 post for my personal use with rolling jacks.

 

HD 17 Lift (1).JPG

Midas Car fell off lift.JPG

Shop Equipment and Lifts (2).JPG

Edited by c49er
Messy post! (see edit history)

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In regards to the casters.

I have them but rarely if ever have I used them.

The way they work is that they hook into place (one on each post) and thru a cantilever idea the weight if the treads lift the posts.

The posts don't need to be very far from the floor to be able to roll the thing around.

I am glad to see so many here that like the four posters, to me they make much more sense than a two poster.

One thing that I do is to remove the approach ramps as soon as I get the car up a few feet.

They will be in your way walking around the car, and if you aren't careful you will knock your head into them when the car is high up.

It only takes a couple of times of bonks on the head to learn this.

As far as parking another car under the lift, I see the point but to me it makes for to much work to get that top car out. I think every car should have its own door.

I have used my four poster and some straps to lift off bodies, lift boats off of trailers, pull engines etc. (albeit this is not the best thing to use for engines)  

Another bonus is that when you are working under the car you have a handy place to put your tools and parts on the treads.

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I went with the Atlas 4 - Post Lift model 8000 a few years ago. It came with the casters and drip pans - I ended up purchasing additional drip pans to cover the entire length of the ramp. So far , it's been great ! Also when I purchased  the lift, the manufacturer gave me a name of a installer that would pick up the unit at the distribution center, deliver and install the unit - best decision I made !   

 

 

LIFT #1.jpg

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9 minutes ago, STEVE POLLARD said:

I went with the Atlas 4 - Post Lift model 8000 a few years ago. It came with the casters and drip pans..............when I purchased  the lift, the manufacturer gave me a name of a installer that would pick up the unit at the distribution center, deliver and install the unit - best decision I made !   

 

Mine was purchased from Greg Smith in Indianapolis and I also ordered delivery and setup (their service was either in house or closely associated).  It was what I needed at the time but when I moved and needed to move the lift I was able (with helpers) to take it partially apart and reassemble it myself.   

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GRIZZ

Just reflect on the wonderful amount of information that is provided with the help of so many AACA helpers.

That is what is so good about our AACA people.

 

I wrestled with the same thoughts, and decided to obtain a 2 Post, 10,000 lb,  Challenger.  Had it installed by local Rep distributor of the company. 

At 79 crawling to adjust arms under car is not bad, the best part is having most any part at the height I want.
Let us know what you decided to do

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