No announcement yet.

Off Topic, well hopefully not entirely, car/vehicle lifts

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Off Topic, well hopefully not entirely, car/vehicle lifts

    Does anyone have any experience with car lifts?

    I am getting too old to be crawling underneath my pre-classic fleet doing maintenance, so I have been looking at car lifts. I found a couple of units that look to be sufficient for my requirements.

    The BendPak looks to be heavier built i.e. it has a 10,000 lbs rating vs the 7000 lbs. rating for the Autolift. My heaviest vehicle is less than 5000 lbs so a 10,000 lbs rating is not necessary.

    I found this review on the bestbuyautoequipment site where they compare the BendPak with the Rotary lift. Rotary is considered by some the best, but that comparison seems to give the nod to BendPac. BendPak is made in China which I am guessing is the case for all the lower cost units including the Rotary.

    Has anyone dealt with Northern tools also sells the BendPak for pretty much the same price as


  • #2
    ironnut, I installed the BP XPR 10 this year in my shop. I also, based my decision on that same comparison article and other research. I think you will be happy to have the excess capacity weight-wise. I'm sure you will encounter a situation where you would like to help someone who has a need... Certification of the lift is compelling as well. Overall best value.

    You will be happy with almost any lift as compared to not having one at all.
    Good luck,
    Who do I think you are...?


    • #3
      I have been thinking about getting a lift also, the web site Garage journal has a lot of info on lifts if you like to read a lot.
      Brandon MI
      2003 MINI Cooper S JCW#249
      1971 Opel GT
      1985 Ford 3910LP


      • #4


        • #5
          Two post lifts all depend on anchoring to the concrete to keep them upright, so the first consideration when choosing a lift is whether or not your concrete slab meets the spec for such anchoring. If it doesn't you'll have to reinforce it somehow until it will or find a different style lift.


          • #6
            Sometime in the near future I hope to buy a used four post lift. There's apparently enough diy'ers killed by collapsing 2 post lifts every year to make me nervous, and I'm not sure my floor is up to spec either.
            A slideable jack takes care of lifting the vehicle for suspension work in situ. Most of the garages here use four posts, and the fast fit places use two.


            • #7
              I had a Bend Pac 10K lift at my shop and loved it, also had between 6" and 8" of concrete to mount it to, if you don't have a fork truck to unload it your in for a surprise , now personally if I had room for a lift I'd get a 4 post lift, I have a friend who has a 4 post in his garage puts his cobra replica on the lift, raises it and puts his Caddy under it.


              • #8
                I've seen two post lifts locally, but they have arms at ground level to reduce the tendency of the verticals to topple if the weight of the vehicle is not directly between the posts. Under those conditions, the demand on the floor is dramatically reduced.


                • #9
                  I have a 2 post Rotary lift 9000lb asymetrical, and reguraly lift my crew cab 454 dually. If you call Rotary they will send out their install instructions. I bought mine used with no inst. and was unsure of the thickness and sack mix of concrete I needed, the inst will clear it all up.
                  If your base concrete is not strong enough they tell you how large an area you need to replace around the base.
                  For my use I would not have a 4 post lift, but I don't have it for storage, although you can raise a vehicle on a 2 post and park something else under it.
                  With a 4 post you need another jack to lift the vehicle in order to do and work on tires or suspension.

                  THANX RICH
                  People say I'm getting crankier as I get older. That's not it. I just find I enjoy annoying people a lot more now. Especially younger people!!!


                  • #10
                    I'm a big fan of pits personally (insert scarey oooo here). Many claim theyre unsafe, but properly built with steel covers that will support a vehicle and can be removed after the fact, theyre the safest, cheapest, and easiest to use method of getting under a vehicle.

                    On the two vs four post lift discussion, I find frame vs wheel lift to be the more important factor. To me a wheel lift without a frame lift built-in is pretty useless unless youre just storing cars, and with the built in, the wheel lift portion is often a PITA to work around. From a safety standpoint, some people get nervous about two posts, but truth be told drive ons are more accident prone - or at least that was the claim in the required annual safety video.
                    "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the input.

                      The garage journal site has a similar thread on car/auto lifts.

                      I looked at the 4 post units as they don't have the cantilevered loading problem when the center of gravity of the vehicle is not in line with the 2 posts. The extra space requirement was a negative. The other aspect that lead me to consider the 2 post unit was the fact that on a 4 post unit the vehicle was supported by the tires which meant tire rotations, brake work, wheel bearing changes, etc. presented additional complications. I think I can live with being careful about getting the center of gravity in line with the two posts.

                      As to unloading it from the delivery truck, I was going to go the route I did with the 1200 lb lathe, in that I would pick it up with my trailer at the freight company and use the backhoe to unload it. Then use my non-approved gantry to assemble and set it up. The FAQ on the Northern site for the BendPak unit says that 4" of concrete is required, which I have. I would have to run 220 volt power to it, but that is not an issue.

                      Mostly I would be using it for oil changes and similar maintenance. It would have been great with I replacee the seal on the differential on the pickup. Crawling in and out of the underside of the truck got to be old crap really quick.



                      • #12
                        I don't have one, but one of the guys in the car club does. He has the BendPak XPR 10AC and is very happy with it. He got a good deal on it because they were discontinuing it. He recommends a "clear floor" lift, what ever that means.

                        Best of luck.
                        Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.


                        • #13
                          I have 2 two posts in my shop and both are asymetrical. One is a Ben Pearson, which i bought used for $1500.00 and the other is a Forward which i bought new ( $2600.00 ). I prefer the Ben Pearson (forerunner of Ben-Pak) because it's easier to use. The lock release and lowering handle are mounted on same side. Forward lift handles are not. My floor is 3 and a half inches thick and i haven't had any problems with weight of vehicles, both are 10,000 lb. units. Your shop ceiling should be at least 12' where your lift will be mounted. I'm a machinist by day and an auto mechanic by night. I have had these lifts for about 10 years and they increased my productivity by at least 50% or more. All you need to install is a Hilti gun for anchoring pads or whatever you have access to. Good luck on your purchase. Arky


                          • #14
                            I have a 10,000# 2 post and like it a lot. Cost was about $2,200 6 years ago and it was one of the best tool investments I have ever made. 6" concrete with reinforcement. Regularly put my 2500HD duramax on it and I don't bother to unload anything before I lift it. They are available in lots of styles so you can tailor them to your building. Cables over or under. I like over better so there is nothing to trip over or move vehicles over. Mine has the cables overhead and is adjustable for lower ceilings.

                            I think the 2 post is better for working on cars because the entire drivetrain is accessible. Also, like machine tools remember there is bling needed with a hoist. Telescoping oil drain pan, Transmission jack(s), 6' jackstands (still need to get/make a setof those), full complememt of air tools, lighting, I am thinking about air conditioning equipment, the list goes on and on. You also may be more popular if you have a hoist.

                            OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                            THINK HARDER


                            MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC


                            • #15
                              I have a couple of Rotary lifts - an early '80s 9K lbs symetrical and a newer 7K lbs asymetrical. No, I'm not rich - just a reasonable auction hound. When Rodger Penske closed the Penske K-Mart auto centers I went to one of the regional auctions and bought the symetrical one - that day Roger became my best friend (even though we have yet to meet)! I had a lack of head (height) clearance so I had to bump my ceilings up for both lifts. From mid Spring thru the end of Fall, I keep both of my permanent cars at home in our 2-car garage and my wife still gets to keep her car in there also (crappy low res picture):

                              I also was concerned about getting the cars properly balanced on the lift so I found the fore/aft balance point of each of them. THe interesting thing is that the top of the windshield to roof junction ends up being within a couple of inches fore/aft of the balance point of each of them. Because my garage (at my residence) is a typical 20 x 20, I ended up shortening the lift arms and have the posts 2 ft closer together than designed. The downside is that it takes me longer to get a vehicle located and the arms under the vehicle to lift it.

                              THe asymetrical lift is in my workshop garage. Being newer, the balance cables run overhead. WHen I bumped the ceiling up for that one, I sacrificed about 8 inches of potential lift height and ran the cross bar up in the attic right over the ceiling joists. Since I don't own a full size van and don't intend to own one in the future, this seemed like a good compromise to maximize both the pocket height and attic storage above the pocket. I mounted the e-stop bar to the underside of the ceiling. In addition to being able to do service work, I can raise a car out of the way in the winter when I use the lathe and not have swarf landing on the car - I store 2 cars in my workshop garage along with fabricating & machine tools.