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car lifts


dkontor
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Not recently, but the last one (Made in Germany, except for American made electric pump motor) I got was given to me for free 20+ years ago. It was manufactured in 1991.

Still works good and I've received at least half a dozen offers from people wanting to buy it, but since they're no longer available nor is anything similar, I have no intentions of selling it.

 

I bought one (Made in USA, all of it) about a year or two earlier after an extensive/in-depth research and paid full retail, because it was and still is the best (design & quality) on the market.
Only drawback was the wasted few hundred bucks on “installation” which I ended up doing myself after realizing the two guys contracted by the lift dealer had no clue what they’re supposed to be doing or how assemble this particular type lift.

I told them that if they just unload everything and leave, I wouldn’t report their inadequacies to the dealer.

 

Happy with both lifts.

 

Oh, and both are "two-post" style lifts.

 

 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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I bought a Titan Lift  (Made inChina) in 2013.   It's a 4 post lift with drive on ramps, 120 volt with a 30 amp lift motor.

I had to buy the longer ramp (21 Ft.) model to get one that lifted high  enpugh to get my 34 Ford under it, (67") high.  It's a

7000 lb. lift and I can get it to 6'2" high and I can walk under it.    The shorter ramps model only lifted to clear about

65" underneath.    With the 110 volt 30 Amp motor it takes about a minute to get fully raised, but I'm not in a hurry.

Cost was $2800 delievered and set up.    Came with 4 wheel attachments that you lower the lift onto to move it around.

I'm real happy with it.

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Last May I bought an Atlas two post lift,model OH9K,from Greg Smith Equipment in Buford,GA.Made in China,9,000 lb capacity,2 settings,11'6" and 11'10" height,230 volt motor.Mine is set on the lower height setting and it raises my '51 Pontiac high enough to walk under it with several inches to spare.It is just fine for a hobbyist,but I wouldn't use it commercially.It requires a minimum 4" slab and is recommended to have a 4'X4' footing 6" deep minimum under the posts,which I have since I built the shop with the lift in mind.

 

I paid $1600 plus $300 shipping for the lift back in May.I just looked up the lift again and it is now $3449 with free shipping!A friend and I installed it in about 3 hours;the worst part was drilling 10 holes in the concrete to bolt it to the floor.When I put a car on the lift,raise it just off the floor and make sure that it is safely situated before I raise it to the height I want it.

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On 1/4/2022 at 6:13 PM, dkontor said:

has anyone purchased a car lift recently?

 D Kontor,

 

A word of caution about 2 post lifts:   In order to lift a car, it requires at least 8 trips to the floor. 

A.  Drive in to position the car between the two posts. 

# 1   On the floor to position the right front lift bar.

# 2   On the floor again to position the right rear lift bar.

# 3     "    "      "       "       "       "           "   left front lift bar.

# 4    "     "     "       "        "       "          "   left rear lift bar

B.  Raise the lift a few inchs.

Repeat #1 thru #4 above.   You need to make sure none of the lift point are in places where the won't slip off, or crush a brake line or exhaust pipe..

Thats minimum of 8 trips to the floor and back up.   The older you get the harder it is to do that 8 times.

If any of these lift points are off, you can do at least another 4, maybe 8 trips up and down.

Buy a 4 post ramp lift with a sliding jack tray to use a bottle jack and jack stands for brake and wheel/tire jobs.

Voice of experience after nearly 50 years in this hobby.

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10 hours ago, Paul Dobbin said:

Buy a 4 post ramp lift with a sliding jack tray to use a bottle jack and jack stands for brake and wheel/tire jobs.

I bought the optional sliding axle jack with mine. It was money well spent.  I also have the standard jack tray, which also comes in handy from time to time.  ;)

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
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That is true; there's no getting around the fact that you have to get down on your knees and bend over to get the lift pads positioned properly.  When lifting 'modern' cars at the rocker panel pinch weld, I can position them by feel so I don't have to bend all the way over to see under there.  If you have bad knees, a 2 post would not be the way to go.

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If you are older and retired....saved money for retirement...have no need to crawl on the shop floor....

Buy a four post and buy the rolling air jack if your lift has air lock release.

Air/hydraulic jacks are fast and require no effort to to raise the chassis off the runways.

Hand pump rolling Jack's or bottle Jack's on a tray....you deserve better than that.

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I have three lifts.  I have a four post lift, a two post lift and I have a scissor lift.  They all have their advantages and they both have their disadvantages.  The four post lift gets used more for long term storage in the winter, the two post lift gets used the most, and I put a scissor lift in the paint room so you can sand and/or paint withing having to climb on your knees to paint rocker panels.

 

I'll give you what I think are the advantages of each.

 

1.  Four-post lift - Great when you don't have a lot of space.  I have two of my Mustangs stacked on them.  If you don't have the real estate and/or have high taxes, a four-post lift will give you the space to store two cars in a one car garage so it saves the need to build another bay. 

 

2.  Two-post lift - great for doing brake work, you can raise them up high enough to walk under the car, but it can be a pain in the butt for lining things up before you raise the car.  What I like with a two-post lift is doing restoration work.  When we're taking a body off of the frame, we take all of the body bolts out, and use the lift to raise the body off of the frame.  When we're putting the body back onto the frame, we'll put the body on the lift, raise it up, put the frame on a set of casters, and roll the frame under the lift.  We drop the body onto the frame, it goes slow, it goes even and we adjust the frame as the body is coming down.  We put punches in the body bolt holes so it gives us a couple of inches to see where the body is before it touches onto the frame solid.  You know everything is lined up perfect when the punches drop into the holes of the frame.  Once everything is down, take the punches out, put the bolts down and bolt the body down on the frame tight.

 

3.  Scissor lifts - Great if you don't have a lot of overhead clearance, and they're very affordable.  Personaly these are my least favorite, but where mine gets used is in the paint room.  you can adjust the height of the body rather than having to lay on the floor to paint rocker panels.  If the car isn't on the lift, you throw a sheet of plywood on it and it makes a great workbench that you can raise and lower based on what you need to do.

 

My father bought the two-post lift, I bought the scissor lift used, and I bought the four-post lift new.  When I bought the four-post lift, I really didn't know that there was a difference, but it was a case of where I went to the Syracuse Nationals where there were several lift manufactures there to where I was able to see what was there and compare them.  I was glad that I did that because you don't see what's good and what's bad unless you can see several of them and compare them.  The one lift that I was looking to buy after looking at something else was relatively flimsy.  When you look at a lift it might look fine, but if you can compare it to something else, you find out that it isn't.

 

The one thing that I will tell you that I haven't seen anyone else say??  Don't cut corners on a lift!!  It isn't worth destroying your car and killing yourself by putting your car on a cheap lift for the sake of saving a $1,000. There might be two lifts rated for lifting the same weight, but when you look at them both, one might be built a whole lot better and cost you more than the cheaper one that is flimsy.  The money you save on a cheap lift will disappear very quickly if the car falls off of it.

 

My father and I used to lock horns on a lot of things, but knowing the time, money and work that has gone into every one of our cars, when it comes to lifting your car, or trailering your car, I don't believe on cutting corners.  

 

My best advice to you is take your time, do some shopping and make sure you can live with what you're buying.  I would look around at the different lift manufacturing websites, see if they're going to be set up at a show where you can walk around and look at one, and see if you can find a show where multiple companies will be there selling lifts.

 

Oddly enough, some of these companies will come to a show, set up a lift, and sell the lift after the show at a discount rate rather than take it apart, move it to another show and set it up again.  This gives you a chance to see exactly what you're getting as well as save you some money.  In my case the lift I wanted was sold before I got to the vendor, but I ordered one based on what I saw.

 

The bottom line is you know what you want to do with your cars, you know your financial abilities, you know your vehicles, and you know where you're going to use that lift better than any one of us on this forum.  

 

My best advice is find out what fits all of those things that I mentioned that will best fit your needs, shop around for what will best do the job, and do it safely.  What works well for someone who owns a Volkswagon, will not work as well for someone who owns a Packard.

 

I hope this helps....

Edited by ex98thdrill (see edit history)
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I bought my Direct Lift 4-post at the Syracuse Nationals in 2018.  I also looked at others there and ultimately went with Direct Lift because it was ALI certified and had good dealer support.  I paid to have mine installed by the dealer and like the optional sliding axle jack, I think it was money well spent.

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17 hours ago, EmTee said:

I bought my Direct Lift 4-post at the Syracuse Nationals in 2018.  I also looked at others there and ultimately went with Direct Lift because it was ALI certified and had good dealer support.  I paid to have mine installed by the dealer and like the optional sliding axle jack, I think it was money well spent.

Without going out in the shop and looking at the lift, I think that's what I bought too....

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