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Thread: Garage car lift

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    Registered User rdefabri's Avatar
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    Default Garage car lift

    Anyone have experience or own a car lift for their garage? I've seen a ton advertised in the classic car mags, but I am nervous and there's some good FUD out there (e.g., lift collapsing) that makes me want some references.

    Here are some examples:

    http://www.superlifts.com/
    http://www.americasprideonline.com/
    http://www.pantherlifts.com
    http://www.rhilifts.com/

    It has to be a 4-post lift, and I have something like 16 feet from ground to ceiling, so I should be ok. I have a neighbor that has one, but I can't ever seem to find him home to get more data.

    It's critical I get this right, my E-Type will be on top and my 240Z on bottom - if something catastrophic happens I am screwed.

    Any thoughts?

    Rich
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    I got a metro lift 7000 series last year and have really enjoyed it. Just about everything I do on the car is much easier and more pleasant. It feels very secure and I have no qualms about parking another vehicle under it.

    http://www.metro-lifts.com/four-post-garage-lift.html
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdefabri
    It has to be a 4-post lift, and I have something like 16 feet from ground to ceiling, so I should be ok. I have a neighbor that has one, but I can't ever seem to find him home to get more data.

    It's critical I get this right, my E-Type will be on top and my 240Z on bottom - if something catastrophic happens I am screwed.

    Any thoughts?

    Rich

    Rich, and Bill D, hello.
    Please educate me a bit. I've been interested in lifts as well, and a friend has a 2 post lift. I have been attracted to it because of the ability to work on wheels, brakes, suspension etc., and I'm quite certain my friend uses his 2 post for over/under car storage as well. Why your preference for the 4 post?
    Thanks, Gary S.

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    I debated the two styles and finally chose the four post version because it made me feel more secure about vehicles parked in the bottom slot and I didn't need to anchor it in the floor. In fact, my lift has removable (enormous) wheels that allow me to move it around -- even outside. I was also attracted to the ease of getting cars on and off on the ramps. On the other hand, it is very hard to use with jack stands so work on the wheels is usually done the old fashioned way on the floor. For everything else, including lifting other stuff like lawn tractors to a convenient working height, it has been as functional as I had hoped. Bottom Line: The style is a compromise, but it works for more things that I need to do.
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
    GaZClub #676

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    I would think you need to anchor the 4-post lift to the floor as well. What's to keep the bottom legs from kicking out if there weren't bolts into the floor? The 'racking' tendency would also cause me to worry (if it wasn't bolted down).

    I like the idea of a 2-post for working on wheels/suspension and things. But, the 4-post seems more convenient as you can simply drive the car onto the rack and push the button.

    In either case, a lift would be pretty sweet. My only problem is ceiling height. Can you use one of these in a 8' garage efficiently? I'd think you need at least 10'-12' ceilings.

    -- Mike

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    The other thing you want to we aware of is how it picks up your car. The frame rail under my passenger side floor pan was flattened using a lift like these. The two post lift was not set up right Sure created a lot of work for one little mistake.

    I am looking into the four post types but, I am also concerned about ceiling height. There must be a way to put a mechanical and electrical stop to keep the cars from hitting the ceiling.
    Jim
    Bought my 70Z at 21 with 24,000 miles
    Still own it. Thirty plus years later.


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    Depending upon the design of your roof, and the trusses that hold it up - - it is quite possible to re-configure four or five of them to allow space for the car to rise above the standard ceiling height of 8'.

    The Z needs about 4.5' of clearance sitting on the ramps of the usual 4 post lift. You need about 5.5' of clearance below the top of the drive on ramps (as the Z sits an additional 0.5' above the top of the ramps. So it would be easy enough to re-configure about five of your trusses to a scissor type for example and that would do it.

    There may not be a need to put "stops" in the lift - if you re-configure the trusses.. because most 4 post lifts don't lift the car higher than 6 to begin with.

    The main problem with the four post lifts in standard garage is that the Posts themselves are over 6' 8" high. If you add wheels to the lift - they raise the height even more. The standard garage door opening is 6' 8" high... so once you set the lift up inside, you can't roll it outside unless you have taller openings in your garage.

    FWIW,
    Carl

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    The design is very solid with guides inside of the posts that prevent racking. It comes with floor bolts and I was initially tempted, but it is solid as a rock.

    Ceiling height is a problem. My garage cieling is 10' 2" and I can only lift my 240z's wheels 5'7" off the floor. It would be very limited with an 8' ceiling. The lift has mechanical locking tabs on the legs forcing you to lift beyond your resting point and then lower down on the tabs making the 8' ceiling even more problematic. I have caution and stop points marked in day glow on the post adjacent to the hydraulic controls, so it is pretty easy and quick for me to get it into position.

    The garage door height is more of a problem. If you look at the picture, you'll see that the door rails are about hood level when the car is raised. In order to lift the door high enough to bring a car in the lower slot, the top car has to be moved all the way away from the door (and the lift was also moved in that direction). This is annoying and has caused banging of the top car with the door more than once -- I now have a removable stop on the door rail to prevent me from forgetting this limitation of two objects occupying the same space simultaneously.

    I have really large carport on the side of the garage that has much higher ceilings (15'-16') and my next project is to enclose it, install a much taller door, and move my lift to its new home where I don't have to worry about these things. Of course, Carl's correct observation about the current door height and the additional height when the lift is raised on its wheels will require partial disassembly of this incredibly heavy piece of equipment (original assembly of the main rails took four very burly men), but it will be worth the effort for my peace of mind.

    I've wanted the convenience of a lift for most of my life and kept postponing because of the expense and concerns about use. I should have gotten one a long time ago. I use it for everything - you haven't lived until you have detailed your wheels with your car at exactly the correct height. This is a truly great tool/toy!
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
    GaZClub #676

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    Great feedback guys!

    Bill, I will definitely go with a 4-post, for many of the reasons stated above. In my case, it's more about storage space, since I only have a 2-car garage. My ceiling is EXTREMELY high, 16+ feet, so no problems fitting anything.

    I would prefer the bolt down, but the idea of the unit having wheels is intriguing, especially if I need to move the unit out.

    Right now, I have both bays occupied (240Z one side, E-Type on the other) and my wife's car is outside. Since my kids are very young, it's a bit selfish that I make them park it in the cold, so the lift is a great compromise and very reasonable in terms of price. If I can work on the car from underneath, that's gravy, but my preference is to work on the ground or jacks on the ground.
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    Bill,

    One more question - what made you pick Metro? Any specific quality/feature or was it something else?

    Rich
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    Gary:
    You can always bolt it down, but you won't believe how solid these things feel. I eventually put mine on four pieces of carpet so it doesn't scratch the floor. The wheels are removable so they don't get in the way and they are a really great design. They sure came in handy when I had to change the lift's position because of the garage door problem.

    Rich:
    I scoped out a lot of possibilities and decided on Metro because of price and convenience. I'm in Georgia and the shipping point was in Alabama so the reduced shipping costs really tipped the scales in their favor. Also, the technical support was from their engineering staff was really good. It has been trouble free except for the sound my box fan made when I forgot it (running) under a rail while lowering the lift.
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
    GaZClub #676

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    Rich, Bill

    I am in a similar situation, especially in regards to risk of hydraulic failure of the lift...Do you think it's feasible to bolster the posts with removable 6 x 6s while the lift is at max extension? Is there a metal flange that flips into place so the load is born by the posts and not continuously exposed to the hydraulic cylinder? I'm obviously ignorant of a lot of these details, but the diagrams I have looked at in Hemmings Motor News, Hemmings Sports & Exotic, etc don't really address that very well...

    Thanks,
    Steve
    Steve

    HLS30-81167 restored, top to bottom.
    2001 M roadster Gehen sie Schneller!
    1987 SpecE30 Trackster...welcome home!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillD
    The lift has mechanical locking tabs on the legs forcing you to lift beyond your resting point and then lower down on the tabs making the 8' ceiling even more problematic.
    Steve, hello.

    If I'm picturing what BillD is saying in this previous quote, the ramps push by the "mechanical locking tabs" on the way up, the tabs drop down into the support position, then the ramps are lowered onto the tabs, supporting the ramps and eliminating the concern for hydraulic failure. BillD, can you confirm?

    Gary S.

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    Registered User BillD's Avatar
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    Sorry for the poor quality photography, but it was quick and dirty. The silver thing next to my hand is what I am calling a flange. It rests on the supports on the insides of the legs.

    The lift is completely off the hydraulics and supported mechanically by the four flanges (or whatever these things are called) when at rest. The flanges and their supports on the insides the legs are made out of 3/4" steel that is about 2 1/2" high. They are spring loaded and click into place as the lift goes up. To get the lift to lower, you have to raise it about two inches to allow them to rotate down and then keep the flanges retracted as as the lift comes down. Believe me, it is a very confidence inspiring design and pretty idiot proof (as long as you don't ask my box fan's opinion).

    BillD
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
    GaZClub #676

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    Here's a post on hybridz concerning lifts.

    http://forums.hybridz.org/showthread...ht=ben+pearson
    things will only bother you if you let them.

    82 280zxt 4 spd auto
    73 240z--lsd, cv axles
    short throw info

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    Now in reading that post, there's reference to the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) factor I talked about - he mentions lift failures, Chinese made, etc.

    I am absolutely shocked that there hasn't been a comprehensive test done by some classic car magazine (since many car buffs have or want these).
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    That was his opinion about what lifts he was looking at. But he did do some homework.

    I have seen a few lifts on craigs list. Not sure of the brand. But the people selling them had a few in stock and was told they bought them from a dealership that gets new ones after the warranty runs out.

    Looks like more homework to do.
    things will only bother you if you let them.

    82 280zxt 4 spd auto
    73 240z--lsd, cv axles
    short throw info

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    Guys,

    Thanks for the clarification...It seems conceptually similar to the ratchet mechanism of winches, particularly those I know of on boat trailers, but I'm sure the concept is ubiquitous in application. So, if we hear about "lift failures" where is the break point? Poor design in the securing mechanism? Hydraulic failure on lift/lower function? What would cause them to fail? If the engineering is like what Bill shows us, I would feel pretty confident in my lift's ability...

    What recourse would one have if the lift failed and crushed an expensive item resting underneath it? Homeowner's insurance? Auto property insurance? Sue the lift manufacturer?

    Steve
    Steve

    HLS30-81167 restored, top to bottom.
    2001 M roadster Gehen sie Schneller!
    1987 SpecE30 Trackster...welcome home!
    Making up for owning a minivan...
    http://picasaweb.google.com/srcartermd

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    The person on HybridZ was talking about Ben Person lifts...

    In 1975 I owned/operated a Muffler Shop - had a new Ben Person Pipe Bender and two 4 Post Lifts. After I actually learned something about the business... I realized that I should have bought a Huth Pipe Bender... and I found that Ben Person was a young company at that point.

    One day I was letting a car down, as I watched a fine young girl walk by outside... distracted to say the least... My attention was returned to the car when I heard it sliding sideways and threatening to fall off the lift!! YEA GAD !!!

    One of the "stops" had failed to retract on the Left Front Post...so that corner was still at its uppermost position... in the mean time the other three corners were allowed to come down... The car was sliding backward on the ramps, as the Right Side was now about four feet lower than the left front...

    As the car slide - it the lift made a horrible noise... twisting posts, drive on ramps sliding across the cross braces... I jumped back away from the lift.... as the Customer exclaimed "Watch My CAR!!"...

    Everything was at a "ALL STOP"... and I stood there wondering how I was ever going to get this customers car safely back on the ground...

    After I calmed down... I called Ben Person in Arkansas. They put a "technician" on-line... I explained what had happened..... cute little ass and all.... and he said; "no problem, just go out and push the UP button and raise the car back up... then make sure all the STOPS are up and let the car down".

    I told him I was not intending to get too close to that mess, because I was afraid that it would either fall on me, or go through the side of the building. He said; "then take a broom handle, stand back and push the UP button... I will give you my word that if anything happens, other than the car returning to the full up position - then coming down properly - Ben Person and Company will pay all damages". He added the fact that he was the lead engineer there - and that lift had 4 times the strength required in every aspect of its design build. He also said he was one of the Principle Owners of the company..

    So I took a boom handle - stood back - and pushed the UP button. Among much loud creaking, screeching and poping... the car did in fact return to the lifts full up position... and all four posts returned to their former unbent state. I put the STOPS up and let the lift and car down...

    The Customer, now some three hours into this venture... exclaimed "I'll be damned!"... "if I hadn't been here to see that - I wouldn't have believed it." Needless to say, there was no charge for the work on his car... Two days later the man from Ben Person was in the shop to inspect the lift... and find out why one stop had failed to retract. He OK the condition of the lift ... and three months later a service team from Ben Person was in the shop installing a new mechanism for raising all the STOPS....

    At that point I found out that I had two of the first twenty 4 Post Lifts they had designed and built for the Muffler Shop industry...

    Bottom line - don't buy a lift from anyone that hasn't been in business for at least 20 years. Don't buy a lift from anyone that builds their lifts outside the USA (to avoid product liability suites)... Don't PAY for anything purchased from ANYONE until it is delivered to you (the exception is when you are dealing directly with the factory, that has been in business for at least 20 years). Way too much FRAUD with retailers and resellers or "factory rep.'s".... If they don't have the working capital to order and deliver your lift - prior to payment - RUN...

    I'd by a Back Yard Buddy...

    FWIW,
    Carl



    Carl Beck
    Mad Hatter Muffler
    Clearwater, FL USA
    http://ZHome.com

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    Carl,

    Would you go with a Ben Pearson lift? Curious if you've had any experience with Backyard Buddy (I am guessing you have!)...

    Rich
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    Hi Rich:
    Yes, I'd buy from Ben Person again - they now have about 35 years of experience. It would depend to an extent on them having the type/size lift I wanted and of course a competitive price. (competitive with other high quality lifts).

    I've seen several of the other vendor products at the National Street Rod meets in Tampa, as well as having several friends with commercial or private lifts. Having had some longer term personal experience with lifts - I always look them over a little more closely.

    The Backyard Buddy is really tailored to the private homeowner or Classic, Collectible and Special Interest hobbyists (although they have now expanded into the commercial market as well). Many of the four post lifts in the commercial market are simply too large for a private garage.

    I liked the smooth operation of the BYB as well as the numerous accessories they offer. Mostly I like the quality of the materials and design. They are not the cheapest...

    Nonetheless, they do have some good information on their video's on their site. Kind of gives one at least one benchmark to keep in mind.
    BACKYARD BUDDY

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

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    Carl,

    Good to know - I have a rather large garage, so I am less concerned about the size (of course it DOES have to fit!).

    With respect to price, consider the value that's at risk - in my case the combined value of my cars is $40K+, so haggling over a few bucks is not worth it. I need to know that the system WILL NOT fail, that's all I am concerned with.

    Thanks for the guidance!!

    Rich
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    Hi Rich:
    Backyard Buddy has NEVER had a lift fail. Big as any garage is, you don't want to take up too much unneeded room.

    Depending upon where you want to locate the lift - most people have to keep in mind that the typical garage door is only 16' wide. Which means that they would want to be able to center the ramps within an 8' area to the right or left of center of the opening. If the Posts are too far apart - it leave little to no room on the other sides of the opening.

    For example, if the Posts are 10' apart - the remaining side of the garage door opening will only have 7' left open.

    Just some other things to consider..

    regards,
    Carl

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    Yes, good point. Interestingly, I have a front spring on one door (as the rails are close to the home entrance) and traditional side mounted springs on the door I wish to put the lift.

    I wasn't sure if the lift would fit between the rails - the added width needed for the 4-posts. I'd have to measure, but I thought of using a front spring and curving the rails way up so that the door/rails don't retract close to the car(s).

    I suspect some "rigging" is involved, but necessary.

    BillD - any pics of the door/rails? I couldn't tell from the picture you posted...
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    rdefabri:
    Fitting the lift between the door rails was no problem in my garage. The garage door rails are a little more than 10' from each other on the inside and the outside width of the lift posts is a little more than 8'.
    BillD
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
    GaZClub #676

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    I have a lift from Eagle Equipment. I had it about four years and haven't had any problems. One of the features that I like (many lifts have it) are the wheels that I can attach so that when it's lowered the post raise a few inches and I can move it in my garage even with a car on it. At one time I turned it sideways and put my GTO on top, the Z underneath and could still use the bay for my other short car (BMW). I only have a 10' ceiling so it just makes it. I put an extention on the garage door rails and raised the opener up between the the joists rather than hanging down. You can see it my gallery.
    Greg

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    Greg,

    Sweet wheels - I have been jonesing for a 1965 GTO for some time...I think I looked at Eagle lifts. Seeing you are East Coast helps, since I want to minimize shipping, so I'll give them a look - THANKS!

    BillD - yes, I figured the car and lift would fit between. As I would likely put my E-Type up top, and it's a thin car, I have minimal worries. However, as many a good engineer have told me "measure twice, cut once!".

    Rich
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    Rich,
    The shop was only about 15 min from me in Attleboro,Ma so I was able to go in and see how they were made and check out the demo models in the warehouse. Here is ther web site.
    http://eagleequip.com/page/EE/CTGY/LI-SS

    Greg

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    Default http://www.challengerlifts.com/about.shtml

    Hi Rich,
    This morning I spoke with a friend to see what his lift is. It's a Challenger:
    http://www.challengerlifts.com/about.shtml
    My friend chose it at least in part because a local Porsche mechanic, (Hartmut Leuschner,Alpine Motors in Hayden Lake, ID. 208-762-7914) has a number of them in the his shop. I visited the Challenger website briefly and they meet your criteria in at least two ways - they sell a 4 post and they are ALI/ETL certified. They cite Ford and Michelin as two of their customers, and there is a lot of info on their website. Just another option for you to check out.
    Gary S. (who hopes to be following in your footsteps lift-wise in the near future!)
    Last edited by 7T1240; 12-06-2006 at 03:18 PM.

  30. #30
    Registered User rdefabri's Avatar
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    Excellent! The more references the better! I will check out Challenger as well!

    How can we get Nissan Sport or some other magazine to do an independent test on these???
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    Lets see... that 240Z weights 2500 lbs and a E-Type might be 3500 lbs....

    Wonder just how big a lift one really needs... the smallest Challenger seems to be 12,000lbs..

    Personally, I have got to have that Eagle - Extreme Duty Four Post Lift - 40,000 lb lifting capacity... Instead of lifting a car - hell, I'll lift the whole garage and park four more cars under it !


    I wonder why Eagle doesn't put the Eagle name on their Mechanix MS-7000?

    I wonder why Eagle doesn't offer a comprehensive, assembly / operation manual for their Mechanix MS-7000?

    I wonder why Eagle shows you more information about their Eagle SS series lifts - when you hit the "Click here to read more about our Storage/Service lifts"... on the page that shows the Mechanix Lifts..

    Do you wonder why there is $900.00 difference between the Mechanix MS-7000 series and the SS-7000 Series?

    decisions, decisions.. but you know that Mechanicx lift looks a lot like the "other brands cheap lifts" that they show you on the Backyard Buddy site... hummm...

    Nonetheless, at $1850.00 - the Mechanix MS-7000 would most likely hold our 2500 lb Z's without too much risk... and it includes jack tray, caster kit and aluminum ramps... Just knowing about it might help you swing a better deal on some other lift... Get ahold of the right salesman, and most of these companies will deal off their full retail prices...

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

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    Insurance Coverage: In response to an earlier question about insurance coverage should the lift fail, my automobile insurance company (Haggarty) tells me that although the case would have to be assessed at the time of claim, unless there was a specific exclusion under the collision section of my policy (there isn't) they would cover all damages incurred.

    As noted before, I wouldn't lift my car or park another vehicle under it if I didn't have confidence in the machine, so I'm not anticipating this as a likely outcome but it is still good to know that it is covered.

    Warning: I've never had any major bad experiences with the lift, but I would like to underscore Carl's warning to pay attention to what you are doing. The mechanism is lifted by one hydraulic ram that pulls four aircraft cables running within the legs. These cables are easily adjusted so that everything is made exactly level. If they are allowed to go out of adjustment, when the lift is raised to release the mechanical locks it is possible to release three locks and keep one of the locks activated. This will result in out of kilter lowering that could be catastrophic. It happened to me once but was very apparant before anything close to Carl's experience. I saw what was happening within inches and simply raised the lift a little higher, released all of the locks, and then lowered it down without incidence. I then readjusted the cables and everything is cool. Since you hear the locks click as the lift is raised, it is easy to monitor by readjusting when the clicks are no longer simultaneous. (I've never had to readjust after this event.) Bottom line - Keep all of your tools (especially the ones that can cause your car to fall on you) well maintained and pay attention to what you are doing when you are using them.
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
    GaZClub #676

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    BillD is correct in regards to the insurance issue. Unless the policy specifically excludes the storage lift or working on your own car on a lift, it would be covered if you have the collision coverage . I have yet to see a policy (25 yrs in the business)with this exclusion (doesn't mean it doesn't exist with someone). Read your policy or contact your agenct to confirm.

    Carl brings up interesting questions regarding Eagle lifts. When I purchased mine (SS7000) it was the low end one that they carried. I paid around $2000 about 4-5 yrs ago and got them to throw in drip pans & wheels. Over the last year or so the Backyard Buddy has been advertising all those failed lifts out there, which should and is supposed to scare you. I'm not sure of BB's prices now but I would consider them if I was getting a new one. As BillD stated the lifts are easy to adjust. As far as one end catching and the lift coming down crooked it could happen if one of the safety latches catches but it would be extremely hard to miss since they have you in a position not miss it. The Eagle has a handle that you have to push down with one hand while releasing the pressure with another. When you release the safety locks you can clearly see all four release. The way the system is set up makes it very difficult not to be paying attention. The safety release lever is on the front bar that goes across post to post. The release for pressure is on the motor which is mounted to the post so my left hand reaches over and releases the safety and my right hand releases the pressure. I am basically stuck watching the car come down.
    Bottom line is do your homework and check them out. There was a lot of terrific info posted here.
    Greg

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    Your lock release mechanism appears to be exactly like mine. It appears to be a very simple and reliable design.
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
    GaZClub #676

  35. #35
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    Snipped
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck
    Lets see... that 240Z weights 2500 lbs and a E-Type might be 3500 lbs....

    Wonder just how big a lift one really needs... the smallest Challenger seems to be 12,000lbs..

    FWIW,
    Carl B.
    Actually, the smallest Challenger has a 9000 lb. capacity - albeit as a two post. This is the model my friend has. He uses it to store his early Carrera RS over his '80 911SC, as well as for maintenance, and he paid ~$2800 for it in 2002.

    And yes, the smallest four post is rated at 12,000. Is excess capacity a problem? If pricing on two similiar models is equal, wouldn't increased weight capacity be a benefit? Also, if there is real added value in durability (over-engineered might equate to lasts longer), flexibility (maybe one day I own a truck or SUV, or perhaps a relative or friend who owns same would like access to the lift), or safety / peace of mind (ain't no way the E-type is gonna break this sucker!) a price premium might be worth it to some. It's all about choices.

    The Challenger website has a link to all ALI members, which is think is really helpful:

    http://www.autolift.org/members.html

    Go to the homepage of this website, and you can learn about lifts broken out by type - 2 post, 4 post, etc.

    Snipped
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck
    Personally, I have got to have that Eagle - Extreme Duty Four Post Lift - 40,000 lb lifting capacity... Instead of lifting a car - hell, I'll lift the whole garage and park four more cars under it !

    FWIW,
    Carl B.
    Personally, I'm looking at the lift pictured below!

    Gary S.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    I am less concerned with Capacity - as Carl pointed out, my E-Type is a lightweight (more like 2,900 lbs), my main concern is the safety and ease of use. While I certainly want to ensure that my cars are safe, I also have 2 children and I work away from home. God forbid something happened to the lift while the kids were inadvertantly close to it.

    This will be the major selling point for me - the product should be overbuilt for dummies like me (e.g., there should be no failure 99.999% of the time).
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    The lift controls are mounted high on a leg (about 5' off the floor). It has a short electrical cord that I disconnect when the hydraulics are not in use. Since it requires power to lift from the floor or to lift prior to unlocking the safety tabs for lowering, it would be difficult to imagine a small child activating the system. Older children would present another problem but I have a hunch the lift would be just another entry on a long list of potential disasters. In passive mode -- up or down -- everything is solidly mechanically connected and unbelievably heavy making it difficult for me to imagine a scenario where the system would become unstable.
    1973 240z L28 engine
    1985 300zx
    1959 AH 100-6 289 v8
    1947 Ford 2N/8N hybrid (SN 8N0268)
    Kawi ZX11, Ural
    GaZClub #676

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    Bill,

    I have very young kids - I would agree with unplugging, so I suppose if everything is up and unplugged, chances of car slipping off is minimal?

    That's a good thing!

    Rich
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

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    I haven't read through all post but I have been satisfied with the four post I got (cheapest that I could find).
    I did get the castors and extra jack pan. I had to be able to move it around and couldn't use a 2 post.

    I use it on almost everything I've got (C3500 truck is too wide) including my Suburban. It is very stable.

    Other points:
    1. Being movable, I even moved it outside and lifted the Suburban to pressurewash the underside.

    2. To change tires, brakes, etc..., lift a few feet, put jack stands under car frame, let lift down and then place second set of stands on ramps to car frame and then lift again. I usually work it up one end at the time but wind up all 4 wheels off the ground (and ramps) and the car with axles at eye level.

    I know it sounds crazy but its easier than fooling with jacks and actually safer (more stable)

  40. #40
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    Who is the manufacturer? Always good to get another opinion/reference.
    '72 240Z HLS30-73667 (sold)
    '66 Jaguar XKE FHC, numbers matching
    '67 Honda CL77 305 Scrambler, 8,000 original miles

  41. #41
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    The link didn't show up.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/8-K-F...58112317QQrdZ1

    Found it on Ebay but talked to the people a couple of times on the phone. Been over 2 years but I think it was made in China. I think the same case with others mentioned with different prices for similar models. Several of the companies have economy models. This was what I could afford and it has been fine.

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