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curiousB

Garage List Ideas?

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Just wondering if anyone has some suggestions for an auto lift for a residential garage. I've been shopping around for a bit and am getting tired of jack stands and crawling around on cold concrete floor.

I have lower ceiling so it limits my choices. A two post lift is nice but the permanent location of the posts really makes annoying obstacles in the garage the 350 days/yr its not being used to work on cars. The range of portables look interesting but I'm not comfortable with safety with some of them. The free standing full height scissor lifts seem just dangerous...

Any feed back appreciated.

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the two post with the Mitsubishi on it looks the the safest and best, but if you want a single post the one with the Lincoln looks decent as well as the top left one. What ever you do do not go for the red scissor lift. I've used one very similar to it and was extremely nervous the whole time. You want something you can be comfortable with and not worry about every time you go to use it. I have used one like the one on the top left and they are super easy to drive onto and if you want to park a car on it every day it would be my first choice. The only down side is when you want to lift a vehicle you need to use foam blocks under the lift point of the car, which isn't to big of a deal in fact they protect the lift points really well.

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Do you have a good high range hydraulic floor jack? Using mine I can get one our cars up on four jack stands in maybe five minutes. And I never lay on a concrete floor. I've got a confortable mechanics "creeper" with a nice padded headrest. I doubt if it would cost $150 to buy a nice floor jack and creeper. Mine have got around 30 years on them are are still in great shape after countless uses.

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I love my garage and would love to have one of these. I have seen several different kinds at friends and car shows and know they are pricey. I also know people buy them off craigslist for really good prices. I use ramps or as someone else suggested, my floor jack and jack stands. For over 30 years I have been thinking of buying a creeper but I still use an old piece of carpet. Ceiling height is a big issue with lifts so figure out your restrictions. Most people think you have to have the car way overhead on a lift but if you can get 2 or 3 feet, you are golden. Search and buy used which is easy since most of the people who own lifts are people with money and most of them are older. Sad to say but when they check out, their lifts sell cheap. I doubt they would have wanted it any other way.

Good luck

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Do you have a good high range hydraulic floor jack? Using mine I can get one our cars up on four jack stands in maybe five minutes. And I never lay on a concrete floor. I've got a confortable mechanics "creeper" with a nice padded headrest. I doubt if it would cost $150 to buy a nice floor jack and creeper. Mine have got around 30 years on them are are still in great shape after countless uses.

I have a jack, stands and ramps today. For simple oil change ramps are easiest but they don't help with tire rotations. In summer they're fine. I can put them at the edge of the garage door where there is a slight lip in the concrete. This stops them from moving around as you drive up. In the winter (my garage has heat) I have to use the ramps in the garage floor which is a smoothly troweled concrete so they just slip out. So yesterday I welded up a 1" square tube rod with angle iron "feet" to make a stop the ramps could go up against. I then drilled into concrete floor and sunk a pair of female 1/2"-13 NC anchors. I drilled holes in angle iron lip to line up with floor anchors. So now I have a way to use ramps on my slippery concrete floor. I had tried rubber mats but that didn't work and this works fine.

So maybe this takes some of the need out of a $2000 lift. My jack is a pretty cheap hydraulic one. Rated at 3 Ton but it doesn't lift very high. How high does yours lift? Also I am unclear on the rear lift point as it seems to suggest using the rear differential which looks like an aluminum casting on my '04 LS430. Do I have the lift point wrong for the jack? I am nervous about the aluminum casting shattering using that as a lift point.

A lift would be nice but a two post lift will cost around $2000 all in. Aside from cost is the jockeying around the posts (doors only open partways)as we use the garage to park 3 cars 365 days a year. That is why I like the portable and scissor lifts but they just don't look safe to me. I guess an inground solution would be ideal but now were're creeping way outside of the DIY budget range.

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I went through the same thinking several years ago and concluded that for the relatively little work that I do on my cars, a good hydraulic jack, safe jack stands and ramps is all I need(as Jim suggests). I could not justify a garage lift. The lift would have to be plenty beefy (ie: big $$) before I am going to trust climbing underneath the car. My hydraulic jack is about 35 years old, 1.5 ton with 18" reach.

The correct jacking point in the rear is the pumpkin. I always use a short piece of 2x4 on my jack plate to cushion the contact. However, having the same reservations about the pumpkin, I did place the jack on the suspension member just behind the pig and it worked ok.

On the ramp side of things, have you considered making a set out of varying lengths of 2x8's? It is cheap, safe and does not slip. You start with a long base piece of 2x8 (maybe 5') and cut progressively smaller lengths to go on top, each centered about the lower base. That way, your tires first roll over the base holding down the base and then "climb" the upper sections one-at-a-time. Or you could bolt it to the floor each time to get the precise tire location. With the boards being centered and symmetrical, overshooting the top just walks you back down rather than an abrupt fall.

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My jack is a pretty cheap hydraulic one. Rated at 3 Ton but it doesn't lift very high. How high does yours lift?

My decades old Sears/Craftsman floor jack is rated at only 1 1/2 tons but it lifts to exactly 18 inches. I remember buying a cheaper jack but returned it because it didn't lift nearly high enough and I then bought the Sears/Craftsman.

Attached is a photo of the jack and the creeper someone once gave me as a gift.

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Sometimes when I change the oil in the garage in the winter I use a couple 2x4's which I place against the wall and put the ramps up against them. Works pretty good if you have the right garage configuration. Still, my first choice always would be a lift. When the boys come over to hang out having a lift would sure be nice. I guess I'll add a lift to the things to have in a garage. TV, refrigerator, and lift.

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Sometimes when I change the oil in the garage in the winter I use a couple 2x4's which I place against the wall and put the ramps up against them. Works pretty good if you have the right garage configuration. Still, my first choice always would be a lift. When the boys come over to hang out having a lift would sure be nice. I guess I'll add a lift to the things to have in a garage. TV, refrigerator, and lift.

Good point. Fridge stocked with beer trumps the lift. ;) :cheers:

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I welded a couple ramps together, but I made them too steep of an angle and I need a 2x4 to clear the bumper. Also they dangerously slide on the concrete floor, but on a driveway they are perfect.

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Sometimes when I change the oil in the garage in the winter I use a couple 2x4's which I place against the wall and put the ramps up against them. Works pretty good if you have the right garage configuration. Still, my first choice always would be a lift. When the boys come over to hang out having a lift would sure be nice. I guess I'll add a lift to the things to have in a garage. TV, refrigerator, and lift.

Good point. Fridge stocked with beer trumps the lift. wink.gifcheers.gif

Did I hear a fridge filled with beer ? cheers.gif Beer will give you a lift laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

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OK I guess I'll put the lift idea on hold. Bought a nice floor jack today at Harbor Freight for $59.99 (reg $99 but with coupon this week is $59). 2 Ton Low Profile Floor Service Jack Item # 67022 Manufacturer: Central Hydraulics

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I had bought a 3 ton (Item 34271) from there 3 weeks ago but returned it because it was unsafe. Lowering speed couldn't be controlled so car came crashing down too fast. This one is much better.

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I bought mine off craigslist a while back, they work great, the speed jack is an arm saver, two pumps and the car is ready for lifting, it has the 18" reach like my stands.

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