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Author Topic: 2 post vs. 4 post lift
Apex to Apex
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Region: NASA Mid-West
Car #: 077
Year : 1995
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I'm considering getting a lift to ease working on my car. Anybody have any experience with these? Recommended brands, vendors, suppliers?

I see 2 post and 4 post lifts. It looks like the 2 post might make it easier to get around to work on the car, but with a 4 post I can raise the lift and store a car on top, opening up room to store a car underneath it.

Anybody have any experience with these?

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"Driving is a serious business" - John Milner, 'American Graffiti'

htron435 Made Donation to Website
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Year : 1990
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If you're talking about commercial grade lifts, you'll want to buy a Rotary or an Amco. We bought the Amco through Napa for our service bay at the dealership, and we've had no issues whatsoever. I'd avoid some of the low end mail order stuff that you see -- who's gonna service them if there's and issue? Check with some local shops and see where they bought theirs. A good option is contacting a company that installs them in your area to see if they have any used lifts. With all the dealerships that have closed due to the economy, you may be able to find a super deal on a used lift. I'd go with the two post, as you can still store a car on one of these. Just raise the car & lock it down, and pull your other vehicle underneath.

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Jay
Car Dealer
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NV Racer Verified Driver
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+1
On the 2 post lift. They are much more usable than 4 post. The only place I see 4 post lifts are Transmission and muffler shops since they do not have to remove the wheels. There are 2 types of 2 post overhead and surface. If you have enough clearance the overhead is better since you will not have the plate between the posts to mess with tranny jacks etc...

Dennis

amolaver Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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probably want to go search and read the copious discussion on the topic at garagejournal.com. general consensus, IMO, is the 2 post is the best 'service' choice.

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ahm - http://www.awesom-oracing.com
2009 NASA MA SM Champion

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Search craigs list and look for auto repair places going out of business. A friend of mine and I are putting up a 2 post next week. With this economy there are lots of businesses closing.

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Paul McLester

CP Verified Driver
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Be sure to read up on the required thickness of the cement you'll be bolting it to.

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-Cy
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Ken Wilkinson Verified Driver
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Vertical clearance is a big issue. If you don't have at least 10' it is tough to find something that will work without spending a small fortune. If you do have a small fortune ($5k+), one of the best 2 post lifts on the market is a Mohawk low rise that has the hydraulics overhead and still will fit in a 8' space.
Don't worry about the asymmetric vs the symmetric...a Miata door is not a problem on a symmetrical, in fact my full size Chevy pickup works fine on mine.
Slab thickness can be a problem if you have less than 4"
I found a used 2 post symmetrical at a shop that was upgrading, paid $800 for the lift and $500 to the guy who had been servicing it to install and replace a cable.
One other thing you have to look out for...all your new friends who would like "borrow your lift for a while" A coffee can taped to one of the posts with a sign above it requesting donations is helpful...and in my case, still empty.
It will be the best money you spend on your car!

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Ken

Jamie Tucker Series Champ

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+1 on the two post lift.

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2010 ARRC Champion
2010 CFR Champion
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Astro Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I have a Bend Pak single post lift that I use for storing a car overhead...it required 4" 4000psi concrete floor which is pretty standard. A 2 post is best for working on the car but a single post gives you plenty of room in your garage vs a 4 post. I recommend checking out http://www.asedeals.com. I have not had any issues with my Bend Pak and have had it for 4 years.

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David Spencer
1990 Miata - #87 SM

fishguyaz
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i just bought a 2 post from http://www.direct-lift.com
its the 800K two post that is for low cielings.

it was $1,600 new including tax, and i cant imagine not having one now that i got it.
its this one
http://www.directlift.com/HR8000-Two-Post-Lift-P51C8.aspx

Josh

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Josh Pitt
AZ Region

NER88 Verified Driver
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I bought a 4 post free standing lift.
It's on the second floor of my barn.
It has a 7K capacity.
Each post only has a little more weight than one corner of a car.
Great for alignments, no more creepers!

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Jerry

Gibscreen Verified Driver Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Astro:
I have a Bend Pak single post lift that I use for storing a car overhead...it required 4" 4000psi concrete floor which is pretty standard.

4" thick concrete is pretty standard, but 4,000 psi is pretty high. Most residential garages will only have 2,500 psi (which hardens over time to 3,000 to 3,500).

Most important when installing a lift is making sure you do not have a post tension slab--these have cables embedded in the concrete that are stretched to about 25,000 psi. You do NOT want to cut one of those when drilling holes to install a lift. If it's post tension, there will usually be a stamp in the concrete saying so. If your slab is PT, you'll need to hire someone to use subsurface radar to locate the cables before drilling.

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Rob Gibson
RJ Racing
2010 NASA Nationals TTE Champion
2008/2009 WERC Champion
2007 NASA SoCal SM Champion
rjracing.net
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Rob Burgoon Verified Driver
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Rob, you're not speaking from a painful personal experience are you?

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It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

Gibscreen Verified Driver Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Rob Burgoon:
Rob, you're not speaking from a painful personal experience are you?

No. I have a few clients that are concrete contractors. In some of the cases, testing has been done on the concrete where they take a 6" core. I've heard too many stories about the "experts" coring through the cable. Ouch!

I don't have a lift yet but we're looking to get one soon. And I hope that you would put something in the donation can if you used it! [Wink]

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Rob Gibson
RJ Racing
2010 NASA Nationals TTE Champion
2008/2009 WERC Champion
2007 NASA SoCal SM Champion
rjracing.net
Weekend-Racer.com

Apex to Apex
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I talked with ASE a few weeks ago and they said they have local installers who can help. Perhaps, before I order I should have the installer come out and make sure my floor can handle it. One other thing, this floor is heated, so we'll need to watch out for the in floor heating elements. ASE said they can use infra-red cameras to look out for the heating elements.

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"Driving is a serious business" - John Milner, 'American Graffiti'

planet-miata.com
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quote:
Originally posted by Astro:
I have not had any issues with my Bend Pak and have had it for 4 years.

+1

after having 15 of their lifts (2 of the 4 post drive on type and the rest 2 posts) i wouldn't hesitate to buy another brand.

the 2 post you'll use more often. the 4 post ones are great for scaling, alignments and any kind of work on a large vehicle like a dually or rollback.

just make sure when you mount the posts, they are square to each other. otherwise, you'll have slight binding issues when lowering a very light car (a stripped miata shell comes to mind) [Big Grin]

the only other thing which is obvious, is to always use the locks for the arms. without them, if a cable snaps or a hyd. line or fitting on the cylinders fails, there is nothing holding the car from coming down in the blink of an eye.

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Marc Cefalo

#00 1996 ITA
#00 ???? SM

Mike Kelly
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I guess it really depends on what you plan to do... I love my Ammco twin post, but you can't do any suspension setup/alignment work with it. I am looking for a four post or qwicklift, or something like that.

Mike

Kyle Keenan Verified Driver
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We use Rotary Lift's 2-post lifts every day at work and havent had any problems with them. I suggest them to everyone. A little more spendy then some other solutions out there, but you'd be able to work on just about anything on it.

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Driver, #44 Spec Miata
ColdTrackDays.com

   

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