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Garage Question, Lifts ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by choppedsled, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. choppedsled
    Joined: Jun 2, 2007
    Posts: 301

    choppedsled
    Member
    from Spokane WA

    Hello, I visit the garage journal site a bunch but really think I'll get better opinions and advice over here. I just built a new shop at home and am shopping for a lift. I was set on a two post model but have heard some strong reasons for a four post unit from some autobody friends I have. So what do you use and recommend for home shop use for hot rod fabrication and repair? Like I said it will be low volume work of a great variety. With my new shop I plan on doing my first full on build, chassis and all. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,633

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    If I can have only one it's gonna be a two post. Find the local supplier for Rotary lifts and see if they have any used ones. I'll take a used Rotary over any import any day. If all you're doing is autobody then a 4 post could be nice, but there are quite a few things that a two post is ideal for.
     
  3. 32v
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 952

    32v
    Member
    from v.i.

    i wouldnt have a 2 post you cant swing the feet under a low car i have a 4 post it rolls around and i have 2 air jacks that slide full lengh best thing i ever bought..also my frame jig mnts to it so when i'm welding i can raise or lower where i want it
     
  4. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,633

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    I have a rotary 2 post, I have 4 little platforms to get under super low cars, no problem, and when the car is lifted the entire undercarrige is open. You can't say that with a 4 post regardless of your jacks or not. And sorry to say any 4 post that is on wheels to roll around is to light duty for my tastes. I can get a '49 Caddy hearse up on mine with no sweat, I'd question doing that on a hobbyist 4 post lift, and if it has wheels that's what it is...
     

  5. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,709

    phat rat
    Member

    one thing to be aware of if you go with a 2 post be sure your floor is thick enough to support it. I can't remember for sure but I think the recommended minimum is around 8" thick
     
  6. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 807

    buffaloracer
    Member
    from kansas

    I went for the four post with a sliding bridge. Use it as a chassis jig as well as a lift.
     
  7. dixiedog
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,204

    dixiedog
    Member

    When I built my shop I poured the floor 12" thick with 2 #5 rebar for a 2 post lift. The manufacturers say 4" is fine (do to the large base plate), just make sure you use a good epoxy and blow out the drill holes before you epoxy in your anchor bolts, DO NOT USE WEDGE ANCHORS they can loosen and a more likely to blow out the concrete

    I did a lot of research and thought the 2 post would be the best since you got full access under neath. When I was a mechanic my bay had a single post and it was pretty much useless for exhaust jobs but I was front end tech so it worked fine.

    Just make sure your car is balanced and the locks are out before you go under.
     
  8. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,727

    GassersGarage
    Member

    Just one recommendation. Check around for someone that demos old gas stations. They usually have a lift or 2 hanging around. You may pick one up cheap. Friend of mine demo'd stations as a side job.
     
  9. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,870

    5window
    Member

    I've been looking for a long time. I am pretty much convinced,though I have no personal experience, that I would most like to have atwo post,asymetric lift. I've been to several garage auctions, but the prices usually show the excitement of bidding wars. Plus,you have to wonder if a really good lift that has been up and down dozens of times day for many years is going to need some expensive rebuild. I 'll probably end up with on of the better quality,foreign lifts.
     
  10. had an argument about this with a worker the other day we decided a two post is okay but no matter what i still go for drive over pit!-
    I HAVE BEEN IN A SHED when a four poster dropped a big 4x4, it bounced sideways through the posts and into the side of a truck it is not pretty!
     
  11. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook
    Member

    had a commercial grade 9000lb lift bought it used off a guy for $900. dragged it home alone set it up using my engine hoist rebuilt the cylinders (just a simple oring) used it on all kinds of cars lowered cars need to drive up on a 4" x 10" block to make it easy.I had a professional mechanic drop my truck off a lift and bend the chassis on a 2 post. now that i have more than 1 project car i need to stack them at night to store them and the 4 post is way easier for that.my import 4 post has lifted my expedition with no problems and my 59 chevy wagon get's parked on it for months at a time. The 2 post is def easier to work on the car.
     
  12. choppedsled
    Joined: Jun 2, 2007
    Posts: 301

    choppedsled
    Member
    from Spokane WA

    It's clear there are two sides to who likes what over here just like at the garage journal site. I like the open room you have with a two post lift, but worry about being able to really muscle a project around on it. The LAST thing I want is a car to fall off it and I have seen that with a two post twice in a professional shop.
     
  13. Choppedsled, when those cars fell off the two post lift, what was the cause? I hear the problem is "usually" the car not being clear of obstruction, and when it's taken up or let down it catches and tips off the lift.
     
  14. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,633

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    Usually if it's a quality lift like a Rotary it's operator error. The only problems I've ever seen that were the lift failing were cheap import lifts.
     
  15. dixiedog
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,204

    dixiedog
    Member

    One problem with a 2 post is the ability to open the door and get in and out of. Esp. when you have a little extra bagagge like me:rolleyes:
     
  16. choppedsled
    Joined: Jun 2, 2007
    Posts: 301

    choppedsled
    Member
    from Spokane WA

    I'd be willing to say both instances were the fault of the mechanic's using the lift. One of the units was a Rotary with a one ton dump bed on it. It went over forward, I don't know what the cause was, and L&I is doing an investigation into it. The second looked like it slipped off the pads on the pass side and ended up holding the car up by the bottom of the door etc. I don't think for a minute that either lift was at fault, just that there may be a lot more room for error witth a two post if you arn't real carefull. That being said I'm still leaning toward a two post, just value the opinions on here before I buy.
     
  17. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,928

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    If you opt for a 4 post, go with Backyard Buddy. I wouldn't let my dog lay under some of the Chinese crap out there. My BB has given me flawless service for six years.
     

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