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Need advice on buying a car lift.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Don's Hot Rods, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Forty61
    Joined: Jul 29, 2013
    Posts: 35

    from DFW

    THAT is where you use a good pole-jack under the rear end to stabilize it. I've never had any issues with the 2-post setups, just make sure it's got good mounting under the frame and if you're gonna be doing anything that might unsettle it throw a pole-jack under there.
  2. Hey Don, a couple points that I haven't seen made or that need reiterated. Either style will be a huge improvement over a jack and a creeper but think about your available space. The 4 post has a much bigger footprint than the 2 post so if you're not using the 4 post it still eats up a 9'x 12'+ bay of your shop. A 2 post can generally have the arms pulled off if you don't need it for a while and it's just a couple posts to navigate around. If you go 2 post the only other comment I'd add after not doing so myself and regretting it, is spend the $$ on a Rotary. The offset arms make it a ton easier to get in and out of the vehicle once it's between the posts. Properly installed and operated I don't think either is any safer to lift a vehicle, and one is definitely easier on your noggin.
  3. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,659

    Atwater Mike

    When I built my home shop, I designed it with a 16' rollup door in the front, and the same on the right wall. Shop is 24' X 25', not big enough to turn cars around in, not even hot rods.

    There's a retired gent in Fresno that deals in West Coast lifts, (single pole air-over-hydraulic with center flange and 4 telescoping swing arms)
    He would come, deliver & install, for $1100, used...This one has a valve in the air/over so that when you close the valve, it locks tight. (no slow ascension 'til the air is compressed)

    My plan was to fit a 1" solid steel 'table', 4 feet by 8 feet, that would be sunken into the floor, just flush with the concrete. The lift would be installed deep enough to lower the plate to this height.

    Raise it to any height and stop, as a work table; jig & assemble a whole chassis; drive a car up on it and with frame chocks, raise it and turn it to exit thru the side door.

    I am ready to hang the side rollup door now, (sure takes time to do stuff when you're retired!)

    I like 2 posters for most tire, brake, suspension work; engine removal/install for Porsches;
    Not bad for same with hot rods, but opening doors and working inside/outside on a 2 poster sucks.
  4. jhtdon
    Joined: May 29, 2012
    Posts: 112

    from Florida

    I have 2 4 Post and 2 2 Post lifts. Both have AD- & DIS-vantages. 4 post scores on safety and speed, I have moved a 4 post fully assembled across town using a U-Haul Trailer. Jack Trays are useful. Easy to move on rollers when empty. Tall Jack Stands allow easy axle work by lowering the lift a few inches. 2 post scores on wheel and axle work Slower to put to use and fixed location. Requires Pro Assembly/Reassembly/ movement. When you yearn for a second lift get the type you did not buy the first time. Operate either type with extreme care. Do not buy junk! You will love which ever style you choose the older you get.
  5. arvonian
    Joined: Feb 28, 2013
    Posts: 35

    from Virginia

    I've got a Globe 2 post lift similar to the one in your first pic. I've never had any problems with it, it's easy to get around, and I've never had a problem with anything "tipping"!! you can also remove the arms when not in use....
  6. rouye56wingnut
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 352

    from mn.

    The concern of a car falling backwards off of a 2 post lift because of improper placement of the arms by a sloppy operater would be just like saying 4 posters are dangerous because of not chalking tires or putting in gear and ending up with a car rolling off the end .

    Don I would suggest you go to someones shop that has both and seriously look at what kind of work you do on a daily basis .I cant imagine working around all those posts unless I had a shop with more space to give away than mine (and I have a relatively good size shop) . Any thing you do on a 4 post (for the most part ) you will be leaning in to do work on suspention , brakes and such . If you are doing chassis work I cant think that you would want to tie up a rack for this and you would use a dedicated spot in your shop that you could have level and straight .

    I guess I have seen too many of these in shops where the guy originally came from a home shop and just didn't realize how cumbersome they are compared to a twin . Just look at what most pro shops are using and it might allow you to make the correct move . These are only my observations after using them for 30+ years .
  7. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,731


    i just moved into a new home with a 2 post lift.. and I had a mid rise lift.. Ironically.. All I wish I could add to the shop right now is a 4 post lift!!
    seriously.. I think each has its advantages..

    no matter which you get.. Any is better than NONE!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  8. oldtom69
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 544

    from grandin nd

    one thing not brought up is in this part of the frozen north many shops have floor heat,either the electric cable type or the hot water tubing in the concrete.You can't just put an anchor anywhere you need,you have to lay out the holes before you pour the floor/You don't need a Jed Clampett moment-drill a hole in your floor an hit anti-freeze
  9. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,839


    1st is a PITA as you have to locate pads under suitable lifting areas on early cars as you need risers due to running boards. 1st is good for removing bodies from chassis and vice versa.

    2nd one is good for most things; drive on, drive off. I've never used this model to remove a body from a chassis.

    Horses for courses they say.
  10. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook

    I have had 2 post lifts and now have a 4 post. as has been said 2 post for work 4 post for hobby. I worked as a mechanic when I was younger and never dropped a car off a 2 post lift as that's all we had. I have had a chevy truck dropped off a lift by tire kingdom while getting front tires and bend the frame and at a friends shop they had a handicapped van fall backwards off the 2 post while doing a front brakejob

    heck I remember working under single posts lifts. I did get a book one time which showed the jacking positions on different cars and instructions on how to lift cars.
    one advantage to the four post is that it doesn't have to be anchored to the floor and is moveable with a vehicle on it. the 2 post lifts I had did not have the bar above ,they had a chain on the floor with a cover to drive over .needed less ceiling height .got my 2 post used for $1000 each
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013

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