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I would like my fellow forum member’s input on a new lift for my personal shop.

As some friends already know, I spent most of my cash in 2017 building a 4000sq ft building to house my car hobbies. As I try and pay “cash for toys”, this was a long time coming and has also left me cash poor for my much-desired new automotive lift for my workshop. The bright spot is indoor storage for my classics and a place to work on cars at my leisure.

After saving the last half of 2017 and working hard all year long, this has paid off with the 2018 Year End Bonus! It is time to buy that new lift.

I already have a Bendpak MD-6XP scissor lift that I have had for 7years and she has served me well through restoration projects and daily driver maintenance. The $800 price was super right as a “like new” auction find from a car enthusiast estate, but I have always lacked “center of car” access.

I intend to keep the scissor lift and I want add a 4 Post lift with a capacity of 9000lbs. I have been looking across the spectrum at many brands, types and price points. The only “Con” I have come up with on 4 post vs. 2 Post, is perhaps the lack of ease for a bottom out motor or transmission pull.

I have considered the following brands and I think I have narrowed the field down, but I would like to get input without my bias.

Bendpak, Ranger, Challenger, Titan, Auto Lift (which seems to be one of many names for an import lift fp9k-dx-xlt), Advantage, Nationwide, Atlas, Rotary, Wildfire, Back Yard Buddy and a few I might have missed naming.

My stable includes things as light as VW Scirocco and as heavy as a Silverado 1500 4x4 and things in between, even a side x side UTV and Mahindra Tractor.

Any first-hand experiences to share with quality, usability and price are welcomed.

Once decided, I plan to share my decision and experience with the chosen brand and vendor.

Thanks, Stephen
 

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A four post lift uses up more real estate in the shop, reduces the number of vehicles/toys you can fit inside at any time, makes any wheel, brake or suspension work more challenging, especially on narrow vehicles. Dropping any powertrains or subframes out the bottom is a huge chore and requires more work than doing it on the ground in my experience.
Decent jacks to lift the vehicle add considerable cost to a plain lift, and the inexpensive jacks, or the "jack trays" suck and are sketchy at best.

I'd go with a 2 post lift no questions asked, besides alignments/suspension setup, there's nothing I prefer using a 4post lift over a 2post.

You can get a quality ALI certified made in America commercial grade 2 post lift for the price of 9000lb Chinese 4 post and decent air jacks or less.

If you decide Chinese is the way to go, at least pay the extra for ALI certified "premium/ultra/platinum" version. Replace any hardware that a lift comes with that's below 8.8 grade.


A used Rotary from a closing Sears Auto center is what I'd go for.

I refuse to buy Chinese tools and shop supplies when there are even remotely closely priced alternatives, I spend a lot more time under a lift in a single week than most people will in their entire lives and I get that there's a place for a "hobbyist" grade product. That said, I'd go with a 12k, 3 stage arm, 2 poster. Something like this is about as good as Chinese lifts get, and is still priced ok. https://www.gregsmithequipment.com/Atlas-Platinum-PVL12-ALI-Certified-12-000-lb-Capacity-2-Post-Lift

Make sure whomever you buy from STOCKS cables, hoses, cylinder, seals, and Rams. A lift being down for weeks or months, waiting for a warranty part from China really sucks. Ideally you should buy from a distributor you can personally visit.
 

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The higher poundage rating isn't overkill, it provides you some "headroom" should a a future toy or project ever start to approach the limits of a 9k lift, it also is just more stable with typical 2500-5000lb loads. I work on everything from Chevy Sparks, all the way up to 35' foot motorhomes. I see alot of crew cab dually Dmaxes. I use a 10k Rotary 2post, and a Mohawk 16k 2post 3stage arm. Since I got the 16k, I only use the 10k when the big lift is occupied, doesn't matter what I'm working on . The extra stability you get from a higher rating just makes work more comfortable. The 10k lift handles the Dmax truck NO PROBLEM, but the higher capacity lifts are more stable. A 22' long, 7000lb Silverado work truck wiggles a lot on a 10k lift when you're working. I get unhappy now every time I can't use the "overkill" lift

Oh...The "portable" 9k 4post lifts, and any 4poster that you do the bolt down, WILLwiggle/rock, sometimes unsettling amounts, even with a light car and only moderate work being done.
 

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I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. In the near future when I expand my garage out at least a car and a half (it's barely a two car right now, but I know that I can get away with at least a three car - and likely a three and a half car - without exceeding the township's allowance for garage space, so I won't need to go through the process of a variance), I will be installing a lift. A two post would probably be best, but with the added space of the extra "half a car", I can easily fit a four post - and then I can theoretically park four cars in the garage. I know they actually make a sort of scissor lift that fits inside of certain four posts to act as a two-post of sorts, which would allow me the functionality of a two-post, with the security of a four post.
 

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You can park under a 2 poster as well.
And with a vehicle up on a 2 post, you can pull other vehicles under it with less restrictions than a 4 poster.
 

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I suppose that is true, as well. Do they make something that fits underneath a vehicle on the two post that can catch any kind of oil drips? Four-posters have pans that fit in the middle.
 

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Perfect, then a two post it is for me. I believe they are cheaper, as well.
 

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your concrete floor is the correct psi rating?
It will be when I have the new slab poured. It's going to go in the new bay and a half I'd be building, so I can have it poured however thick I need.
 

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I'd go with the bendpac asymmetric 10A , much bigger steel and product support way better

On the floor 4" 5 sack mix is OK due to the larger base plate on the bendpac, uniform thickness is paramount for any slab, 6x6 10-10 mesh is OK also if placed right, otherwise pencil rod is best at the lift, just make sure they put no control cuts within 5' or more to the posts, also throw away the Chinese anchors bendpac supply's and get redheads

The wide setup is a must for trucks and 11' 8" will work for the height, make you layout decision carefully allowing for enough access at the front and sides

Shop carefully and you can get the bendpac for just slightly more than the Chinese ones--keep in mind the bendpac's are made in china also but to bendpac's specifications
 
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