1 2 3
Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/25/13 8:02 p.m.

NOT A ZOMBIE THREAD!! I have willingly bumped this thing!

 

It's no secret around here that I've been thinking about adding a lift to my garage. It's always been in the grand plan. When I designed and built the house, I went with 10.5 foot ceilings and engineered beams above, so I could avoid the need for columns between the bays. It's wired for 220 volts and I recently added a high lift conversion for the door of the long bay, got rid of my overhead openers and switched to wall mounted units. I've weighed the pros and cons of two post, four post and scissor lifts. Each has its benefits and limitations. The current frontrunners are the BendPak HD-7P and HD-7W four post lifts. Both lifts feature 100" high columns (giving a maximum of 82" of head clearance at full rise) and 164" runways. The 7000 pound capacity is more than sufficient for my needs and the approach ramps on the 7000 pound lifts are slightly shorter than the ones on the 9000 pound models. The problem is that I have a hard time visualizing these numbers within the confines of my garage space. So yesterday I, printed the blueprints for the HD-7P off the BendPak website, grabbed a tape measure, some cardboard and a chalk line, and bought four pieces of 8" Sonotube from Home Depot ($5.75 each). I started by snapping a line across the inside edge of the garage door rails and then found the center point. Every subsequent measurement would build upon these points. I snapped a parallel line 38" in, to allow plenty of room for the ramps. I cut four 10"x12" pieces of cardboard to represent the base plates, marked their locations, added the Sonotubes to mock up the posts and snapped longitudinal lines for the runways.

The first thing that I noticed was that the posts sat pretty far within the garage door opening. Even so, that bay's primary resident rolled neatly within the allotted space. 

But then, I discovered a flaw in the plan.

The truck wouldn't fit between the posts with the mirrors out, and even with them pulled in, it made for an uncomfortably snug fit. 

 

I could make it work, but I'm not sure if I'd be completely happy with it. So today, I swept up the chalk lines of the 7P and set down some new lines for the 7W. It's 16.75" wider and has runways that can be adjusted for a wide or narrow track. I'll leave this in place for a couple of days to get a sense of what it will be like to have one of these behemoths intruding on my precious garage space. It didn't take long to realize that the mock-up was a good idea. It's cheap insurance that can help prevent an expensive mistake.

Toyman01
Toyman01 UltimaDork
9/25/13 8:08 p.m.

Good idea. I always have a hard time visualizing something from the dimensions.

mightymike
mightymike Reader
9/25/13 8:16 p.m.

Are you sold on a 4 post lift? FWIW, I envisioned a 4 post lift in my shop until my brother bought one. I was surprised by how much room it took up.

You are are the right track laying it out like that. Go look at one that someone has in a garage with similar dimensions to yours.

JtspellS
JtspellS Dork
9/25/13 8:26 p.m.

I personally prefer the versatility of an Asymmetrical 2 post but it depends on how much heavy stuff you plan on working on, if its 1/2 ton and below you will have no issues, 3/4 can be pushing it though.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/25/13 8:27 p.m.

I was initially thinking about a two post, but as it is a residential garage that I have to park in every day, I don't want to be constantly worrying about my doors hitting the posts. Plus, the four post has the added advantage of doubling up the parking space.

mightymike
mightymike Reader
9/25/13 8:43 p.m.

I'm sure you've already considered the moveable 2-post lifts? I really wanted a lift, but we built my race car in a shop with just jacks and jack stands, so the practical part of me wonders how often I'd use one.

Maybe after the welder, blast cabinet, and a few other things I think I'd get a lot more use out of.

I'm sure you've considered the actual vertical clearance also?

jdbuilder
jdbuilder Reader
9/25/13 9:13 p.m.

I'm sold on a maxjax, I dream of the day I purchase one.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition HalfDork
9/26/13 4:24 a.m.
jdbuilder wrote: I'm sold on a maxjax, I dream of the day I purchase one.

Today may be that day, my friend:

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=212083

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs HalfDork
9/26/13 5:43 a.m.

What are your reasons for a 4 post? They don't appeal to me, because you still have to use jacks to do any suspension/wheel/brake work

wclark
wclark New Reader
9/26/13 5:56 a.m.

I went with a 2 post MTP-9F from Eagle for my little race car shop.

I wasnt worried about parking a daily driver between them so much as how hard was the existing concrete floor. If I had confidence in the floor and needed the parking space for other than my race car I would have looked for an assym lift to get more door opening clearance and padded the opened door contact points on the lift.

A 4 post was not on my radar because I wanted a lift to allow access to the entire car including suspension for work. I think a 4 post is fine for storage and if you have lots of room.

My restrictions were 3 - 9' spaced large wood beams running front to back in the shop around which the 2 post lift had to fit and the slightly under 10' overhead at the posts.

jdbuilder
jdbuilder Reader
9/26/13 6:02 a.m.
Basil Exposition wrote:
jdbuilder wrote: I'm sold on a maxjax, I dream of the day I purchase one.
Today may be that day, my friend: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=212083

Now why did you have to go and post that! lol. That hurts, the price is awesome. Here's the deal I struck with my wife, I was allowed to get one when I close on another house as a self bonus.... Got a link for that!

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/26/13 6:42 a.m.
Basil Exposition wrote:
jdbuilder wrote: I'm sold on a maxjax, I dream of the day I purchase one.
Today may be that day, my friend: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=212083

Oh man... I have no place to install it, but that's so much lower than current MSRP it might be worth buying and just leaving in storage until I get my shop built... Sadly, a MaxJax wouldn't work in my single-bay garage at all.

Unfortunately, a 2-post lift is even wider than a 4 post. Great for a shop, but they kinda suck for a garage where the main function is parking cars. Might work in a 3 car garage with an extra wide center bay, but in a 2-car, one of the posts will likely be slammed up against a wall with the other partially in the other bay. The friggen things are wide.

For better or worse, everything you're going through is why I went with the scissor lift.

DrBoost
DrBoost PowerDork
9/26/13 7:02 a.m.

Woody, good work on laying this out like that. My buddy just bought a used alignment rack. Got a good deal. $800 for the lift and alignment computer and associated stuff. We got it home and piled in the garage. I asked him (for the third time at this point ) if this thing will really fit. His garage is deeper than standard, but no wider. After he saw the pile of iron in his garage THEN he decided to measure. It's just too big. Now he's bumming. Nice work.
And even though I decided that a MaxJax would not work in my garage, I'd buy that today if I didn't already buy a lift. That's a great price.

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs HalfDork
9/26/13 7:36 a.m.

holy cow, 1800 bucks!
What has been seen cannot be unseen. I see a long chat with the wife soon.

bravenrace
bravenrace UltimaDork
9/26/13 7:54 a.m.

In reply to icaneat50eggs:

Is that considered a good price? I only paid $2100 for my 9k lb 4 post Bend Pak HD-9ST just a few years ago. And that included shipping from California to Ohio. And it was made in the USA, not imported like Dannmar lifts.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/26/13 8:00 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: In reply to icaneat50eggs: Is that considered a good price? I only paid $2100 for my 9k lb 4 post Bend Pak just a few years ago.

Yes, the MaxJax MSRP is around $2400.

...and let's not get into another arguement about the 'value' of Maxjax vs. how high it can go. And yes, I know you can buy a brand-new 2-post lift for less (used: much less). It's value lies in its portablility/non-permanent installation. That's why I want one. Even in my future shop, I don't want a permanent 2-post lift. I'd never use it enough to give up the floorspace. It would be like my scissor-lift: 99% of the time it lives under a car. The MaxJax would live in a corner under a cover...

jdbuilder
jdbuilder Reader
9/26/13 8:01 a.m.

In reply to Ian F:

exacto mundo!

bravenrace
bravenrace UltimaDork
9/26/13 8:02 a.m.

In reply to Ian F:

I'm not arguing anything. Just commenting that it doesn't seem like a good value to me.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/26/13 8:05 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: In reply to Ian F: I'm not arguing anything. Just commenting that it doesn't seem like a good value to me.

Depends on where your priorities lie.

bravenrace
bravenrace UltimaDork
9/26/13 8:07 a.m.
Ian F wrote:
bravenrace wrote: In reply to Ian F: I'm not arguing anything. Just commenting that it doesn't seem like a good value to me.
Depends on where your priorities lie.

Yes, it probably does. If that's a good price for a portable, and that's the only kind of lift you can use, then I suppose it's a good value. But it sure doesn't seem like it in comparison to what I paid for my lift. And mine really doesn't take up any room either. I can park on it and under it, so it actually creates space instead of taking it up.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition HalfDork
9/26/13 10:54 a.m.

The Maxjax is best for folks that have a height restriction and/or want a lift that they can easily move out of the way.

If you have the room for a traditional 2 post, then, you're right, it doesn't make sense to buy the Maxjax. Especially since the Maxjax won't raise a vehicle as high.

It's a compromise and usually a bit pricey compared to other options, but a compromised 2 post is better than no two post.

Didn't realize the group buy would inflame such passions! I guess I should start a new thread so other folks can play...

DaveEstey
DaveEstey UltraDork
9/26/13 10:58 a.m.

gah, don't have the extra cash monies right now

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
9/26/13 1:52 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: Yes, it probably does. If that's a good price for a portable, and that's the only kind of lift you can use, then I suppose it's a good value. But it sure doesn't seem like it in comparison to what I paid for my lift. And mine really doesn't take up any room either. I can park on it and under it, so it actually creates space instead of taking it up.

But that's what I mean - While I'd love to have one, a 4-post would be useless to me, since I can't use one in my single-bay garage. In the shop (which would not be used to 'garage' any cars under normal circumstances), a 4-post would be downright annoying.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/26/13 2:13 p.m.

I like the one post we have in the shop but I imagine an install on that would be "fun".

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/26/13 5:04 p.m.

For the past month or so, I've been driving around looking in the open bay doors of various repair shops and garages, sort of like a GRM Peeping Tom. I was surprised at the number of four post lifts that I've seen.

1 2 3
Birthdays
Our Preferred Partners
jmOub2AgA4GJnt31sHXBWSxi8ccefVIxZ8RGDqHAlpjpWYjhZGNEVZRvMaVwDqBU