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Old 03-24-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
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Default Help me decide on a lift

I'm getting old. The 5 decades are taking their toll, and it's getting too painful to be crawling around on the garage floor to work on the car. Not to mention that it is slightly dangerous to jack up one end of the car, and then while it is on stands, jack up the other end. So, I decided to get a lift. Amazingly, the wife is okay with it, but cheapskate me is balking at spending money. I can't decide if it's worth it.

Lift main purpose is working on the Miata, but also general maintenance on the Jeep and wife's Tracker. Naturally, there are many options, most of which are not usable for me.

First, I have a crappy surface - my garage is actually asphalt, paved even with the driveway. Underneath is concrete, but I have no idea of the condition of it. Suffice to say it would not be suitable for anchors and bolts, so this eliminates any 2 post lifts, and most 4 post units. No way in hell I'm digging up that floor to pour concrete. I have 110V 15A, and have run wires for 220V 30A, but never actually hooked anything up, so the power is there. Low ceiling height (84") precludes most of the rest of the 4 post units.

Craigslist has a Snapon scissors unit (actually made by wheeltronics) and now apparently discontinued. $800. Advantages: name brand, sorta. Reasonably priced. 110V power pack. 36"-42" lift, 6000# capacity. Disadvantages: rollers will either tear up the floor, or I have to get some sort of runners for them to ride on. No center access to the car (no clutch job?) Possibly not as stable. Used, so no idea of actual condition. Alternative to this might be a Harbor Freight unit. Would you trust your life to a chinese made lift?

Ebay (and other places) have the Bend-Pac LR60P, which is a portable, low rise, drive on style. Advantages: brand new. Decent center of car access. Much more stable. Lifts along entire pinch weld seam. Disadvantages: $1600 (double the cost!), lower 29" lift, 220V.

There are other brands, but cost nearly as much for imports crap. For 200-300 bucks, I'd rather go with the BendPac. EZlifts look nice, but are an extra $400, plus more for wheels. They have very good under car access, but are also scissors style, and I'm afraid they would suck on asphalt.

So, who here has used or owned a lift? What style? Would you buy the same or something different, and why? Help me spend money, or tell me to suck it up and keep using the jackstands.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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How thick is your shop floor? I am a big fan of the electric/hydraulic two post design but you need a good 12" of concrete to keep it from tipping over. I would avoid scissor lifts, they are useless for anything other than brakejobs and suspension work. No trans, driveline, exhaust, or possibly rear end work on a miata since the wheel base is so tiny. Even oil changes would probably be difficult.

My father inlaw bought a four post drive on lift w/casters which is nice and does not need to be bolted to the floor for around $1800 new. The only problem is that you need to buy two rolling flip up jacks in order to raise the wheels up.

Every once and a while a car dealership or repair shop will have a going out of business auction where you can go and bid on professional shop equipment. Try searching for some in your area.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
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Get a lift for sure. I'd try to check out what the concrete looks like, can you see the concrete if you look at the side of the garage from the outside? If it's in good shape you could remove parts of the asphault ware the posts would go and get something like this or this. I would personally go with the 1st one because you can service pretty much any part of the car with it, whereas with a scissor lift it looks like you cant really get to the exhaust, but I don't know that for sure.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
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How thick is your shop floor? I am a big fan of the electric/hydraulic two post design but you need a good 12" of concrete to keep it from tipping over.
Garage floor is not sufficient to hold a 2 post, or I would get that. Digging out the floor and replacing it would cost me way too much to consider.

Gearhead, garage is too short for a 4 post. 86" to the open door max.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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Here's the CL ad for the snap on one: http://rochester.craigslist.org/tls/2915699443.html Concerns are with scisors models digging up the new driveway, or sinking in once I have the car up in the air.

Here's the best price on a Bend Pac portable: http://www.ebay.com/itm/120785384166...S:1123&vxp=mtr $1525 is for the same model without the casters. For 60 bucks, might as well get the "portable" one, so I can rolll it out in the driveway and mess with the cars in the open.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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Just my 2c, but I would never get a scissor lift.

You may as well just get a really pimping set of jacks and jackstands. It'll do you about as much good as a scissor.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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I'd get the one on CL and if it doesn't work out you can just resell it.

Also, I happened upon this thread which looks like its got some info you'd be interested in.


^this is nice, but...



^This is what you should get. I like how it raises up the frame a bit so you can get to the driveshaft & exhaust.

EDIT: If your worried about the lift sinking into the asphalt or something like that, I'd build something for it to sit on that would distribute the weight over a large area.

Last edited by gearhead_318; 03-24-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:02 PM   #8
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Gearhead, those are the same lift. Those extensions are optional. You'll notice, on the CL ad that he shows the pads flipped up on the ends of the arms, which accomplishes the same thing.

I'm sorta leaning towards that one, as the cheapskate in me likes the lower price. I'd probably have to replace my springs, as the sagging FM ones (I believe they are the old style) leave my car only 3.5" from the ground to the pinch weld seams. Too low.


Edit: contacted the guy about the scissors lift. He claims it weighs 1200#. Not exactly what I'd call portable. Called my buddy who has a trailer, and he told me to not get anything hydraulic used. Back to square 1.

Why the heck are the EZlifts so damn expensive? If they were more like a grand, I'd buy them in a heartbeat. 2 grand, and not even powered? That's a little steep.
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
I'd probably have to replace my springs, as the sagging FM ones (I believe they are the old style) leave my car only 3.5" from the ground to the pinch weld seams. Too low.
You can easily sell those on ClubRoadster and make enough cash for a new lift

Harbor Freight has a couple, you maybe be able to pick one up to avoid the shipping cost.
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...q=scissor+lift
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:50 PM   #10
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Check out Greg Smith. It's where I bought my 4 post. They have a good selection of midrise and scissor lifts.

http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/Lifts
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:32 PM   #11
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fwiw- A two post lift can be installed can be installed in your situation. Basically the existing floor is cut out and new pads are poured to the manufacturer's spec. Rotary has the specs on their site for this exact installation. According to the installer that installed my Rotary 11k, he has to do this regularly for commercial installs since these installs usually require much more concrete/psi for the commercial size lifts. The minimum spec concrete for my Rotary 11k was 4 inches at 3000psi. Minimum pad size for using surface insets was 3x3ft.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:46 PM   #12
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If your slab is too crappy for a 2-post, and your garage isn't tall enough for a 4-post, you should move.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:10 PM   #13
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Cut out (2) 24x24 sections of the floor where the posts would mount and get a Maxjack system. Total you are looking around $1800-2000 and will have a functional 2 post lift that is made for being inside the typical height garage.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rharris19 View Post
get a Maxjax system.
You wanna know why I hate you? It's because now I'm thinking "Hmm. I'll bet I could install that in the garage of my apartment."
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:53 PM   #15
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Snap on (CL) unit is gone. Absolutely NO Harbor Freight or other chinese made junk. Would you trust your life to most of the HF tools you've used? BTW, Atlas is pretty much the same as HF. I'd rather spend a little more and get made in US. Also the US ones have free freight, so the price difference isn't as much as it looks at first glance.

Not really considering the 2 post, because that would limit me to using it only in one place. After a lot of looking, I much prefer the portable ones. Still not sure if the scissors style would tear up the asphalt, or sink in or whatever, so I'm leaning towards the parallelogram style. I really like the EZ Lift (basically 2 smaller scissors style ones), but I'm not liking the price. Maybe I'll become a distributor to get a discount.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:17 PM   #16
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I've been pleased with these guys... www.nationalautotools.com

I plan to get my tire changer/balancer from them - and a 2 post.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:32 PM   #17
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Thread necro!


Wife gave me the go ahead to purchase the Ranger Quickjack. BL-5000, which is the bigger unit. Hey, we all need a bigger unit, right? Flyin' Miata has it for $1300, with free shipping. Same price as everyone else, but I'd rather give my money to a vendor.
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