4 Post Lift

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4 Post Lift

Postby sjgharib » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:40 pm

I'm sure a few of you have 4-post lifts to store/park your spyder...

I'm looking to install one in my new home - I have the spyder and a 1974 Alfa 2000GTV that I'd like to double up.

Any recommendations, advice, lessons learned?

Has anyone had one installed in CT, or DIY?

I would love some knowledge here... and are they useful at all for actually working on the car?

Thanks,
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby DannyP » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:09 pm

First of all, I don't have a 4 post lift. I have a 6000 pound capacity freestanding scissor lift. I got mine to get work done easier in my very low-ceiling garage(7 feet).

That being said, you'll be able to park, clean, do most engine work, change oil, adjust valves, change trans oil, wiring, etc......

You'll be able to do anything except brake, front end, and wheel work. I don't think you could pull the motor and trans either, unless you made some kind of way to support your frame on the lift with the whole rear end torn apart. You'll also need an engine crane or hoist of some sort.

Usually they sell some kind of tray along with the lift in case one of your cars marks the spot.....
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby albaran » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:41 am

Car Lifts Plus in Norwalk sells and installs lifts. I didn't know about them before I put mine in. I bought an Eagle 4 post and had them ship it to an installer in Ct who put it up for me. The good thing about the 4 post is winter storage for another car saves one bay in your garage. I couldn't live without it as my days of being able to crawl under cars are over. Make sure you have enough ceiling height and also make sure the lift itself goes high enough for you. If you go to the garage forum ( https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/ ), there is extensive discussion on different brands of lifts. If you are still at Sikorsky, PM me. I live a few blocks away and you could come over and take a look at it.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby EEricson » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:58 pm

I bought a Pro Park 8 from Direct Lift two years ago and have mixed feelings.

I assembled it mostly by myself over a weekend using an engine crane. I needed my wife for about 15 minutes to steady the heavy ramp with the hydraulic cylinder under it. It was a chore; paying a couple monkeys $200 to do it could be money well-spent, and they'll be getting well-paid for 5 hour's work. Two reasonably sensible and not crippled dudes could do it in a day.

The good: It fits easily in a single bay garage, and under nine-foot ceilings I can easily stack two cars—though stacking a car and an SUV would be a problem. It makes working under the car much easier, and, yeah, you can pick up the wheels if you think about it. The lift comes with a very heavy "jack tray" you can use, but I made two sliding cross beams with scissor jacks welded to them so I can lift the wheels. It works pretty well, albeit a bit clunkier than two-post guys enjoy. The lift came with casters so it can be moved easily and doesn't need to be bolted down (mine isn't). This means I can roll the whole thing out in the driveway if I want to put something tall really high up for some reason. It could happen!

The bad: all four-posters are better for storage than work. The ramps do make loading a snap but can be cumbersome to work around. The cable lift and rod lockout systems can be fiddly. You have to be mindful when lowering the lift. You need to remember to go around and clean and grease everything about once a year.

AND: my lifting cylinder is toast after two year's light use. Turns out, if you leave the lift parked on a concrete floor over winter, condensation will rust the inside of the cylinder and the thing will leak. That means you can either https://alongcameaspyder.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/etching-primer-etc/ bodge it back together at great cost in your own labor, or shell out $800 for a new lift cylinder. Because the warranty is only a year.

They say Bend Pack is a better lift (for more money) but I suspect you'd have the same problem with it if you did what I did, so the solution is to just leave the lift up most of the time (so the tube is full of oil and off the cold floor) and if you do that you'll probably be fine.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby albaran » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:08 am

The other thing to consider is how your garage door opens. Most people go to the jack shaft type motors that mount on the wall, not hanging down from the ceiling. You might also have to change some of the door tracks so that they roll up closer to the ceiling.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby DannyP » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:01 am

Great comment on the garage doors, not a lot of people think this through.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby Ray550 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:41 pm

My floors slope down to the garage door so I used steel plates with jacking screws underneath the posts to get them straight. Then I filled underneath the plates with non-shrinking cement to distribute the load.

I had cathedral ceilings put in and the garage door ran along the ceiling. This way I can get the car 6 ft. off the ground and don't have to crouch underneath the car when working on it.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby EEricson » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:57 am

My front garage door is tight to the ceiling but the lift is 25 feet behind that so no problem. I am thinking hard about popping the ceiling up back there though! An extra foot or 18 inches would be the bomb.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby RBP » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:54 am

I have the 4 post "Backyard Buddy". Easy to install and set up with 2 reasonably strong guys. I can stand up and work under the car and have a jack assy that slides on a track between the ramps so you can lift both front or rear wheels off the ramps depending on what you are doing. Also has wheels so you can put the car up then lower the ramps so that the lift is sitting on wheels rather then the post footings. That allows you to roll the lift around and position it anyway you see fit. Not the cheapest lift but very well constructed.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby danstern » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:25 am

I have a big garage but the finished ceiling is only 88", 7' 4", high. Any suggestions ??
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby RBP » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:49 am

Whats above the garage? If the garage is built with a roof and using trusses (no second floor above) then there are some options.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby danstern » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:06 pm

Nah, live at the beach. Little lots with 3 story houses. Rooms above. I'm terribly fortunate to live here, just thinking a lift and extra parking would be way cool.
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby DannyP » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:29 am

I don't think you've got the headroom for anything unless it's a couple stacked Spyders LOL
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby ExpensiveNoise » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:45 am

I purchased mine from Advantage Lifts. Very similar design to a Back Yard Buddy from what I am told. Advantage took care of everything from shipping to installation in my garage....could not get any easier.

I had my garage door converted to a “High Lift” by a local garage door shop, and I did not convert the motor to a jack shaft until a year after buying my lift. (Nice upgrade for sure).

My ceiling is only 10’4” which limits the height of the two cars a bit but with a Spyder being one if the cars....it really is no issue!
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Re: 4 Post Lift

Postby sjgharib » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:50 am

Thanks for the advice guys- very helpful.

I have a pertty high ceiling in my garage (12 ft), but the doors are standard 9' high doors. Will have to figure out what to do there...
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