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Thread: Anyone own a 4 post garage lift for their Z?

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    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    Default Anyone own a 4 post garage lift for their Z?

    I need to find a home for the Z for the winter. We have a two car garage that has a ceiling tall enough to accomodate one of these 4 post car lifts. I would like to have the Z in the garage so that I can work on it over the winter. Also I would think it would make working under the car a snap even just to change the oil.

    I would love the hear from anyone that owns one of these lifts?

    http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/SearchResults.asp

    Questions I have:

    1. How is it parking and getting into and out of the car that would be under the Z?

    2. Do the posts get in the way? My garage is only 20' wide by 24' deep.

    3. What brand do you have an are you satisfied with it?

    Appreciate any and all comments,

    Marc

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    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    No one on this site uses a 4 post car lift to store a car??

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    I probably would if the garage were tall enough. Then again, our climate is mild enough that I can (and do) drive my car regularly throughout the winter. So storage would not be my goal.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    Hi Arne, living in New England my Z is going into hibernation for the winter so I need a good place to keep it. I want to get a lift so that I can still tinker on her during the winter months. Need to insulate the garage and find a space heater

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    zguitar71 zguitar71's Avatar
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    I do not have one personally but my girl friend's father does. His is about 10' wide all together so the space left over will be tight in your garage, 24' deep is plenty of room, he has a door in front of his that can open fully and leaves room to move too. You have to be careful to place the lift forward enough so you can close the garage door without hitting the car on the rack, with a z that is probably not a problem (the transitional area from horizonal to vertical is where he had trouble). As far as getting in and out of the car below, no problem. He has a `37 Ford hot rod below a `65 Tempest, access to the car below is good including under the hood and trunk, doors open fully without interference. If you are tall you will have to watch your head getting out from under the rack. With a Z on top you should be able to go pretty high with the lift. One thing to do is order the optional pans that can be inserted between the two racks (the runners that the car sits on). If your car has any leaks at all then the car below will be covered in oil ect. The pans are deep enough to contain quite a bit of fluid before they over flow, more that your car should ever be able to leak. He bought the optional larger motor for the hydraulics, it is still pretty slow but, according to him, much faster than the smaller motor (110 vs 220 volts). Sorry I do not know the brand he has. Hope that helps.
    Did I hit that cone?
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    I have a 4 post lift. Mine is a huge beast (Rotary brand, 19 feet long, 12,000 pound lift) that I got a good deal on from a muffler shop that was going out of business. The sad part is it's just about a foot short of being able to hold 2 Z's. (kind of an issue for me).

    Right now I have one Z on it and the twins are underneath while I paint the '73 on the other side of my 30x40 shop (which is too damn small!) The posts don't get in the way at all. Make sure you can remove the ramps - those DO get in the way.

    I'm very happy with mine.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Glen

    NoCo Z club "Cruise, Wrench, Socialize"

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    beandip beandip's Avatar
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    One of the couples in my Club has a four post lift. they have a 240Z up top and his muscle care on the ground. there garage is a typical 2 car. With the high ceiling the electric garage door rolls straight up and out of the way. The four post do limit movement around in the garage . Getting in and out of the bottom car is not a problem. I don't know what brand it is , but from the looks of it , it looks vary heavy duty . It uses compressed air to latch the safety latches as it rises and it has a large hydraulic ram attached to a cable system that lifts the ''runners''. I am 5' 10'' and there is plenty of room to walk around and under the lift.
    I personally would shop around and look at the 2 post lifts. Just for comparison sake . As long as the posts are off set then there is no problem opening the doors. This is the type brake shops and tire shops use so they can access the suspension and work . I wondered about stability and have been assured that the 2 post are vary stable. I don't own either , these are just my observations.
    I was surprised that they are not really that expensive.
    The two post lifts do not take up nearly as much room, this is a positive in there favor. I can get the brand that they have if you want. Just send me a PM
    Gary
    I'd rather die while I am living than live while I am dieing. CZC 1887 IZCC 12602 Member of NorthWest Z Car Club

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    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zguitar71 View Post
    I do not have one personally but my girl friend's father does. His is about 10' wide all together so the space left over will be tight in your garage, 24' deep is plenty of room, he has a door in front of his that can open fully and leaves room to move too. You have to be careful to place the lift forward enough so you can close the garage door without hitting the car on the rack, with a z that is probably not a problem (the transitional area from horizonal to vertical is where he had trouble). As far as getting in and out of the car below, no problem. He has a `37 Ford hot rod below a `65 Tempest, access to the car below is good including under the hood and trunk, doors open fully without interference. If you are tall you will have to watch your head getting out from under the rack. With a Z on top you should be able to go pretty high with the lift. One thing to do is order the optional pans that can be inserted between the two racks (the runners that the car sits on). If your car has any leaks at all then the car below will be covered in oil ect. The pans are deep enough to contain quite a bit of fluid before they over flow, more that your car should ever be able to leak. He bought the optional larger motor for the hydraulics, it is still pretty slow but, according to him, much faster than the smaller motor (110 vs 220 volts). Sorry I do not know the brand he has. Hope that helps.

    Zguitar, thanks for the feedback. Do you know if his lift was made in the US or China? Is it stable with the car in the raised position? This is my debate now because most all the lifts that sell between $1700 and $2000 are made in China. The brand Backyard Buddy is made in the US but the price is $4450, more than double. But the quality of the US lift looks superior to the imported lifts.

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    I would avoid any lifts made in China. I've heard a lot of bad things about them - some of that could be fear and doubt by US suppliers. Since me and my vehicles are under the lift, I really want to do all I can to make certain it's safe, the vendor has a good reputation & long history.

    FWIW

    NoCo Z club "Cruise, Wrench, Socialize"

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    1983 280ZX turbo - running gear donor for Spyder project

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    Hiya Marc,

    Here's a post started a few years ago. It has some great links and I actually considered buying one..

    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...ight=auto+lift

    Hope this helps, I had to run search a few times to find the one I was looking for.

    m

    PS: Also look at the bottom of this thread (scroll down) and you'll see a box with "similar threads" that were found by the system.
    Mike

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    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for that link. I should have done a search myself. It was a very helpful thread. I am still searching as there are so many companies that sell these especially the imported version made in China. I spoke to a dealer this morning and he said the big thing is to get a lift wether made in US or China with the ALI certification sticker to ensure you are getting a quality lift. Not too many of the units made in China have these stickers.

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    This is the one I have. Its easy to park under. I bought the high lift version because I dont have a lot of floor space. I needed to be able to lift the rack up high enough that I could comfortably walk underneath it and Im 6 ft tall. Im afraid that the lower lift model would have had me hitting my head when working below it. Its made in china (I believe) and the quality and workmanship are just fine. If you call some of the companies selling USA manufactured lifts they may give you a line of crap in an effort to scare you, thats what they tried to do to me. After seeing a side by side comparison I made my decision to buy the bendpak.

    http://www.bendpak.com/products/auto...ts/hd-9stx.php


    "theres nothing to it, but to do it"

    Steve
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    Registered User whamo's Avatar
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    Here is the side by side comparison I mentioned in the earlier thread.

    http://www.metro-lifts.com/backyardb...ak_compare.pdf


    "theres nothing to it, but to do it"

    Steve
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    I bought a two post lift about a year ago and have been very satisfied. Like Steve said above, they will really put the sales pitch on you to buy their product. I researched for months to be sure I got what I needed. I learned that many of the imported lifts are the same manufacturer but are marketed under different names. Not a problem with that, just be aware that many of them are identical and the only difference is the name, hype, color, etc. Four post or two, I think, is a matter of personal preference. My vision saw very few advantages to the four post that the two post didn't have, while the two post offers features that the four poster does not. Again, personal preferences and needs should prevail. For the price diffeence, I chose the imported lift after comparing side by side with the domestic models. If I owned a shop and would be up and down dozens of times a day, I might have spent the extra bucks, but for my needs, I have more than I will ever need. I did go with a bit of over capacity as I believe it is more heavy duty and this should translate into less wear and tear and therefore, longer life. Mine has an 11,000# capacity and is an "asymetrical" design. Not to belabor this thread, but just my .02. Again, a very good buy for my needs. Good luck

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    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    Jim and Steve,

    Thanks for the helpful feedback. I am going to a dealer tomorrow after work to compare two lifts, a TEC7000I and a Revolution 7000 (made by Rotary).

    Steve, thanks for the tip on the extra height lift to walk under neath easily. I never thought of that and was thinking I only needed to shorter lift.

    I really appreciate all this feedback!

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    I have been following this thread and am going to ask a stupid question....maybe....

    I really like the bendpak lift and after looking at the specs it has a total height of 100" or 8.3 feet. It looks like when a vehicle is on it the car is raised to about 60" or 72". I have a 9 foot ceiling in my garage, so wouldn't this lift work if I just raised the car to 5 feet....does that make sense, it would still leave 4 feet to the ceiling. 240's are what...51 inches or so tall (that a guess), so in theory couldn't you use this lift with a 9 foot ceiling.

    Does this makes sense...You would just have to be careful when raising the car so that you don't crush the top on the ceiling and still have room underneath.

    If this will work I'm all over it...

    1970 240Z HLS30 00797 White / Blue

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    Registered User whamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mally002 View Post
    I have been following this thread and am going to ask a stupid question....maybe....

    I really like the bendpak lift and after looking at the specs it has a total height of 100" or 8.3 feet. It looks like when a vehicle is on it the car is raised to about 60" or 72". I have a 9 foot ceiling in my garage, so wouldn't this lift work if I just raised the car to 5 feet....does that make sense, it would still leave 4 feet to the ceiling. 240's are what...51 inches or so tall (that a guess), so in theory couldn't you use this lift with a 9 foot ceiling.

    Does this makes sense...You would just have to be careful when raising the car so that you don't crush the top on the ceiling and still have room underneath.

    If this will work I'm all over it...

    Yes, you could just lift the car 5 feet, but that wouldnt allow much room for working under the car.


    "theres nothing to it, but to do it"

    Steve
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    Bitten by the Z bug hard bigoak's Avatar
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    Remember that you'd gain a few inches as you lift from the base of the body, not the wheels.
    Bigoak

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    Sportscars FTW! xray's Avatar
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    Don't forget to account for lost height due to the track of your garage door. If it hangs down 18-24", in an 8-9ft high garage space you probably can't open the door with a car raised on the lift. You could if your ceiling height is 10-12ft or (in a lower-ceiling garage) your door gets very close to the ceiling when in the open position . Or, your door does not open vertically....
    Steve

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    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    Don't forget to account for lost height due to the track of your garage door. If it hangs down 18-24", in an 8-9ft high garage space you probably can't open the door with a car raised on the lift. You could if your ceiling height is 10-12ft or (in a lower-ceiling garage) your door gets very close to the ceiling when in the open position . Or, your door does not open vertically....
    Steve,

    Good point, I have been doing a lot of measuring to see how the different lifts would fit in my garage. My ceiling is 10'6". I was going to look into having a new track installed for the garage door so that the track would only be 6 inches from the ceiling rather than the 30 inches it hangs now.

    PS Steve, I enjoyed viewing your photo album on the restoration. You did an awesome job restoring the Z. I can't imagine how many hours you have invested. Where did you get the SEM paint for the interior vinyl? It looks great.
    Last edited by mgmoreau; 09-30-2008 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Add comment

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    Sportscars FTW! xray's Avatar
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    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for the compliments! It was an enjoyable job, for sure. Not sure how many hours--it's easy to lose track of time doing what I like! I got almost all my paints from Eastwood, although I bet most are available locally at auotmotive paint shops.

    Steve
    Steve

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    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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    Yellow Z-Car Club DougN's Avatar
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    I bought my 4-post lift from Greg Smith, and am very pleased with it. After doing lots of research and looking at the specs, I could not justify the significant extra $$$$ for the BackYard Buddy (not that there is anything wrong with it) for what I am using it for. Mine is the Direct Lift Pro Park 8 Plus (which incidentally seems to work just like the BYB)

    The lift I got includes 3 drip trays, a jack "tray/stand" and they threw in an oil changing funnel/drum when I asked for it. The lift also includes 4 wheels that you can attach to the posts to move it around the garage or wherever you want to put it (you can see them leaning on the back garage wall behind the air compressor next to the lift in the photo I have attached). No clearance problems, it has a great safety system to ensure the lift doesn't fall.

    My garage is almost the same size as yours is Marc. I am 21' wide and 24' deep ( 27' on my side with a 3' alcove). I put mine as close to the wall and back of the garage as I could. I can put a car under it and open both doors if necessary, but it is a bit tight on the wall side (so I back in the car that will be under the lift). My wife can get her car on here side, and even with a lawnmower in the middle, still has plenty of room on both sides of her car.

    As you can see from the attached photos, I put 3 cars on my side with no problems. The garage door is the standard 8' door, and opens without any issues, and stops a few inches from the end of the lift (see second photo taken from a ladder).

    I love the lift and it is great for getting under and working on the car. Be advised, you'll see lots of things you might not have noticed about your car(s) before! In the photos, the lift has 2 more notches and is 68" at the bottom of the ramp, and over 6' under the car).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Doug

    '73 240Z (HLS30-126840)(10/72) Yellow (64XXX original miles)
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    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougN View Post
    I bought my 4-post lift from Greg Smith, and am very pleased with it. After doing lots of research and looking at the specs, I could not justify the significant extra $$$$ for the BackYard Buddy (not that there is anything wrong with it) for what I am using it for. Mine is the Direct Lift Pro Park 8 Plus (which incidentally seems to work just like the BYB)

    The lift I got includes 3 drip trays, a jack "tray/stand" and they threw in an oil changing funnel/drum when I asked for it. The lift also includes 4 wheels that you can attach to the posts to move it around the garage or wherever you want to put it (you can see them leaning on the back garage wall behind the air compressor next to the lift in the photo I have attached). No clearance problems, it has a great safety system to ensure the lift doesn't fall.

    My garage is almost the same size as yours is Marc. I am 21' wide and 24' deep ( 27' on my side with a 3' alcove). I put mine as close to the wall and back of the garage as I could. I can put a car under it and open both doors if necessary, but it is a bit tight on the wall side (so I back in the car that will be under the lift). My wife can get her car on here side, and even with a lawnmower in the middle, still has plenty of room on both sides of her car.

    As you can see from the attached photos, I put 3 cars on my side with no problems. The garage door is the standard 8' door, and opens without any issues, and stops a few inches from the end of the lift (see second photo taken from a ladder).

    I love the lift and it is great for getting under and working on the car. Be advised, you'll see lots of things you might not have noticed about your car(s) before! In the photos, the lift has 2 more notches and is 68" at the bottom of the ramp, and over 6' under the car).
    Hey Doug,

    Thanks so much for posting these pics. This is the lift I am leaning towards because of the price and they are now ALI Certified. It is one of the few Chinese lifts that carry that certification.

    Does your lift have the double lock system and how do you like that feature? Also did you go with the 110 or 220 motor?
    Was it worth the extra money to get the plus version?

    Thanks again,
    Marc

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    Yellow Z-Car Club DougN's Avatar
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    Marc,

    Gald to be of assistance. Yes, the lift has the double lock system. It definately works because when we were installing it, we ran the cables the wrong way thru the first time (which made the system think the cable was broken) and the lift would not go anywhere! I like the added security - to me, anything that helps make sure that my car will not fall is a good thing The channel locks are good too, I just lift the car to the point I want it, then let if back down to engage the channel lock. So the lift is not dependant on hydralic pressure to keep it where it is.

    I got the 110 motor, it take about two minutes for the 110 motor to go from the ground to 6 feet up. To me, that is plenty fast enough.

    I like the plus version as it is higher than the standard. This means that I can put the car at 6 feet up and still have two more notches (over one more foot) to go higher, and I like that the lift is not all the way at the top where I normally keep it. I think it is more stable that way. If you have the ceiling room, I'd get the plus. If not, I am sure the standard would work just fine as well. Based on my photo, you can see that even with the standard you could keep it a bit lower for storage use (and raise to the top when you want to work on the car) and still get a car under it without a problem.

    Also, I did not have mine bolted down, and it stays in place just fine.

    Hope this helps, good luck with your lift purchase!
    Doug

    '73 240Z (HLS30-126840)(10/72) Yellow (64XXX original miles)
    '66 MGB (GHN3L108501)(12/14/66) BRG
    '10 BMW E93 Silver

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    I just installed a Greg Smith four post lift. Have my 240Z on top and my daily driver 280ZX on bottom. Really nice lift for the price. Takes about 8 hours to install especially since the directions stink. I have 10 foot ceilings so no problem for me, if you have lower ceilings, might be tough.

    Let me know if you have specific questions, or if you get one, specific install questions. I don't check the forum too often so can also email me. tvtanner@aol.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRtom View Post
    I just installed a Greg Smith four post lift. Have my 240Z on top and my daily driver 280ZX on bottom. Really nice lift for the price. Takes about 8 hours to install especially since the directions stink. I have 10 foot ceilings so no problem for me, if you have lower ceilings, might be tough.

    Let me know if you have specific questions, or if you get one, specific install questions. I don't check the forum too often so can also email me. tvtanner@aol.com
    Hey Tom,

    I did purchase a four post lift from Greg Smith also. I got the Pro Park S. Did you check out the directions they have online? They are 31 pages and seem very detailed to me. The lift arrived at a local business Thursday. I am waiting to have it delivered to my house hopefully Monday by a boom truck.

    Did you get the S or the Plus model?
    Did you have someone help you?
    Did your lift come with the ALI sticker?

    Can you post some pictures on this site of your Z on the lift with your ZX under it? My ceiling is 10' 6" so I am hoping it fits OK. My garage is only 20 feet wide by 24 feet deep. I wish the garage was wider. I am concerned my wife is going to hit the post in the middle of the garage. How big is your garage and how does the lift fit in the garage?

    Thanks,
    Marc
    Last edited by mgmoreau; 10-11-2008 at 07:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougN View Post
    The lift I got includes 3 drip trays, a jack "tray/stand" and they threw in an oil changing funnel/drum when I asked for it. The lift also includes 4 wheels that you can attach to the posts to move it around the garage or wherever you want to put it (you can see them leaning on the back garage wall behind the air compressor next to the lift in the photo I have attached). No clearance problems, it has a great safety system to ensure the lift doesn't fall.
    Hi Doug:
    I think the wheels go under the ramps.. so when you put the ramps all the way down, they lift the four corner posts up off the floor.

    IMHO - if you have a 4 Post lift, that is not securely bolted to a 6" to 8" thick concrete floor - you need to have either a Safety Beam connecting at least one side, front to rear for the corner posts, or Safety Cables affixed to them.

    The Safety Beam is bolted to the top of the corner posts - where both the bean and posts have properly welded mating plates, that can be bolted together.

    Regardless of the built in safety features - these lifts are man made, and price is a major consideration of their design. Put a 2,000 or 3,000 lb load on the ramps, and look at the ramps as 18' long levers, with the corner posts as fulcrums and its easy to see the huge amount of force that can be generated "if" something goes wrong. From personal experience I can tell you that things that are not supposed to be possible - are.

    The ramps that go up/down are in no way fixed to the corner posts, so they really offer no structural rigidity/strength. These lifts are designed with the idea in mind, that the load will be carried directly downward via the four upright posts. When that happens everything is fine and dandy. Shift the center of gravity of the load, when one end or one corner of the ramps dips 6" to 8" below the others and you have a completely different situation on your hands (or head as the case might be).

    I had two Ben Person (now BendPac I believe but not sure) 16,000 lb. 4 post commercial lifts in the muffler shop I owned/ran for a time. When a "safety" lock hung up on one post.. the other three corners went on down.. the load shifted, the ramps shifted and everything started to slid toward the low side/corner,.... and two of the four Posts twisted like a pretzel The only thing that saved me was the fact that the commercial lift had a Safety Brace between the tops of two uprights on one side of the lift that prevented the whole thing from collapsing - - plus I had them properly bolted to an 8" commercial concrete floor but I seriously doubt that would have stopped it from just bending the uprights over.

    Some of you may recall years ago that a "Park" lift failed in a man's home garage, and destroyed two of his Corvettes. He raised hell on the Internet for a few years. sued them.. etc. I have no idea how that turned out - but from the pictures he posted it was easy to see why his lift collapsed.. and mine didn't. No top safety brace on his.

    Personally - I wouldn't have a roll around 4 post lift without the Safety Brace tieing at least two of the side Uprights together. Likewise I'd want that Safety brace with any lift bolted to the standard 4.5" to 5" concrete garage floor in a residential home.

    Just my experience.... BTW - at the time Ben Person stood behind their product, had service tech's in my shop within 48 hours. Changed their design on the safety latches, and replaced two of the uprights that had been twisted (although they looked OK after I ran the lift back up). I don't know if BenPac is still the same or not...

    FWIW,
    Carl B.
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  28. #28
    Registered User mgmoreau's Avatar
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    Carl,

    Thanks for pointing these safety issues out. The thumbnails were very helpful. I will look to incorporate one or both of your safety braces when I build the lift. I don't want to bolt the lift to the floor as I want to be able to move it to the center of the garage some times.

    I will post pictures of the lift once I have it built.

    Thanks again,
    Marc

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