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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if anybody out there has an opinion on car lifts. I’m building a detached garage which will give me room for a car lift. As you all know there were two post and 4 post car lifts. I will be storing a car on the lift. So probably a four post is what I need. Any opinions out there on the possibility of storing on a two post lift.... Brands and pricing would be helpful. Currently looking at Direct - Lift Sold by Shop Equipment USA in Hayward California .....
 

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It is my personal opinion and limited experience only, that a 4 post lift is better suited for storage and a 2 post is better suited for working on cars. That's not to say that with a sliding jack on the 4 post, you can do pretty much the same as a 2 post will allow. Advantages and disadvantages to both. The 4 post, pretty versatile, some come with casters and can be moved around in the garage. Only require 110V current. Four inches of reinforced concrete is suggested. Again, I think this lift is ideal for storage. The 2 post lift, depends who you talk to, requires 6" reinforced concrete at 3000 lbs. psi. It's stationary. Requires 220V. Have to get on all 4's to position the arms under the car. Can be a PITA. (The 4 post you just drive up on the ramps). Certainly allows alot of exposure for work underneath. Storage; everything I read, no one recommends long term. Saw some video's of them collapsing when left for a long period of time. I really don't think they are designed for that. Can't speak for the 4 post, but with a 2 post, to get maximum height and benefit, you need a 12' ceiling. I have a 2 post 9000 lb. lift I bought from Greg Smith about 6 years. Never an issue with it. What a luxury to have. Originally, I wanted a 4 post with the sliding jack, but when the drive on ramps were figured in, it would have been too tight. So, I went with the 2 post. No regrets. At the present time, I have my '71 GTO on it which I'm working on. I'm sure I forgot things about both. The best thing to do, is research this issue. Alot of info out there. Buy from a reputable vendor. This is no time to buy the cheapest one out there. You have to get under it. One other thing, if you go with the 2 post, I would strongly suggest that at the same time, you also purchase 2 tall jack stands. When I have my car up in the air, one goes under the rear and the other under the A-frame. Never forget that these lifts are nothing more then mechanical. Cable. Hoses. Chain. Hydraulic. Electric. They can malfunction. I feel much safer underneath with the jack stands. Best wishes with your selection.
 

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I have a 9000 lb extra tall/wide BendPak, plus jack tray and casters. Being able to use it for vehicle storage was probably the least important aspect of it to me, and in fact I have so far not done that even one time. I planned it as part of an expansion project for my workshop specifically to add a lift that involved adding on to the building (new foundation) so I was in a position to have whatever foundation poured that I needed. In fact, the foundation I had built is capable of supporting either two or four post lifts. At the time I made my final decision to go with a 4 post lift, the aspects that were the deciding factors for me were the ability to put it on casters and make it semi-movable (it's not as easy to do as they make it look) and safety. If you get a heavy vehicle up in the air and then subsequently remove a heavy assembly from it, like for example the front subframe and engine cradle (with engine), on a two post lift it can change the balance enough for it to tip and fall unless you have the vehicle supported at the ends with stand jacks. (I also bought a set of 4 such stand jacks that I use even with my 4-post for some operations, such as picking up my tractor with my shredder mower hanging off the back so that I can work on the underneath side of the shredder.) The only jobs I've found that would be easier with a 2-post so far are those on and around the wheels and "outer" suspension components. They aren't "bad" at all with my 4-post and definitely tons better than trying to do them with the car on the ground and on jack stands, but I can tell they'd be easier with a 2-post.

If it helps, now that I've had my lift for over a year I'm positive that I made the right choice. I use the snot out of it and it makes what would otherwise be unpleasant jobs such as replacing front and rear wheel hub/bearing assemblies on my wife's 2010 CTS much less of a pain - almost enjoyable.

Here are links to the lift I have plus the accessories/add-ons I have.
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200697733_200697733
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200329443_200329443
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200664192_200664192
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200022374_200022374
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200679438_200679438
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200329455_200329455
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200641735_200641735
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200641383_200641383


Out of all the accessories, the only one that I would "undo" is the Air/Electric utility station. I had to fabricate additional mounts for it because the mounting brackets supplied with it were way too flimsy, and the unit itself was little more than a duplex electrical box, air regulator, air lubricator, plus a few fittings and some wiring. I could have fabricated one myself using individual components for a lot less money that would have been just as good if not better.
I also considered getting one of the rolling air/hydraulic scissor jacks for doing suspension work instead of using the jack platform and the two bottle jacks, but decided not to because of cost and weight - those things are over 300 pounds and if I ever needed to move it completely out of the way to get to the whole underside of a vehicle, that would have been a pain, plus I don't need to lift the wheels of a vehicle often enough to justify having one when I can do the same jobs with the jack platform and a couple of bottle jacks, or use a pair of the tall rotary lift jack stands.

So far, the only times I've used the casters have been when I first got them to try them out to make sure they work, and to 'demonstrate' them whenever I'm showing my workshop to visitors. :D

Also FYI, my lift does require 240v service.

Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you guys for all the feedback. You’ve given me a lot to think about and consider. That being said, I’m probably going to search for a four post lift. The one I’m looking at here in the bay area will probably meet my needs. Specially thank you bear for your links to accessories. Fortunately the one I’m considering includes most of those assessors... Thanks again to the both of you.
 

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For car storage and oil changes, etc. a decent 4 post is a great choice. You can move it anywhere you want, and you don't need a special reinforced concrete pad. It does not need to be bolted down. For more extensive repair work, a two post is better. A two post will need a good pad and takes up more room with the post placement. I went another route, and got a Mohawk USL 6000 full-height scissor type lift. It's portable, has no posts, and vanishes when I park a car over it. It is more awkward to use for clutch or transmission work, however, due to the difficulty of getting a transmission jack in place because the rams are in the way. For the price point, a 4 post lift will suit most hobbyist needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you.... 4 post it is.... just have to find the right one given budget and room in the garage...
 

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Thanks Larry for your post. I will check out this lift. Question for you, I live in the Sacramento California area and I’m sure I can get this shipped to me somehow. Do you know how that works? In other words does it shipped to your house or to a site where you have to pick it up. Then of course the issue is installation. I’m not able to do that myself so I need to hire it done. Any help appreciated thank you
 

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Keep in mind, that where ever it is shipped to, someone at that address has to have the capabilities to remove it from the truck. I had mine shipped to my in-laws where they have fork lifts. It was removed from the delivery truck and placed on a car trailer. It was then brought to my house. Two of my son-in-laws put it together for me. While still on the trailer, they removed it piece by piece and it wasn't so heavy doing it this way. That was about 6 years ago. You appear to live in a very populated area. Must be someone there that can do the install for you. Best wishes with it.
 

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These Four Post Lifts are too big to unload with a truck with a lift gate. You must have a forklift, tractor, etc, to get it off the truck.
You can pick it up at the local truck terminal, but you will need a larger truck or large trailer. They will load it there, for you. Can't use
a standard pickup. Maybe you have a friend with a pickup and a trailer, or one who works at a business with a forklift. You can
unpack it at the business and transport the individual parts on a pickup. The packaged lift is really bulky and weighs about 1700 lbs.

Larry
 

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I had a four post lift for several years. Made in USA by a fT Worth Company, but since goine out of business. Watch out for the chinese junk. Also be sure and get aluminum ramps. The steel ones are heavy
 
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