Lotus Elan

two post or four post lift

PostPost by: bast0n » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:57 am

Apart from worrying if the chassis is going to drop out using a two post lift..............!! I cannot see how you clever chaps work on your cars, especially suspension and brakes and so on.

I have a four post with ramps and can work on one/two/four corners at once all supported on axle stands/jacks and so on. How do you do it? Below is my setup - please excuse the mess, the barn is over 400 years old :wink:

P7030005.JPG and


PB280019.JPG and
David

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PostPost by: abstamaria » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:31 am

Bill wrote:Andy
Works well on the Elan doesn't it?
Bill


Bill, it's fantastic. It sure beats working with a floor jack and stands. Please post a photo of yours. I would be very interested.

Andy
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:49 am

jimj wrote:It may be obvious but not to me: with a 2 post lift lifting a car with imperfect weight distribution isn`t there a danger of it just toppling backwards or forwards, wrenching the (presumably) bolts from the floor?
Jim


Jim, that's a valid question. There is a video on the Net of an Elise falling backward from a two-post lift. The problem there, I think, is that the marked rear jack points on an Elise are only for floor jacks. To lift the car, one has to remove the undertray and use the lift points that are farther rearward. I believe the Eliese manual says that, but can't confirm as I sold my Elise before my lift came.

By the way, I think, if a car fell off, the lift anchor bolts probably will hold.

On some cars (e.g., new Porsches), the lift points are designated, so no problem. For our older cars, it's important to get as much advice as possible on the lift points, hence the value of this thread. What is reassuring is the good experience related by many on this forum and also the fact that commercial Lotus specialists use two-post lifts all the time (as I noted, one of them also seems to use them for storage!).

Cheers,

Andy
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:55 am

David,

To service the brakes or the suspension on a two-post lift, one of course would simply lift the car and remove the wheels.

How do you remove all the wheels on a 4-poster? I assume it's like jacking up a car on the floor. How do you raise one end, specially the rear?

Andy

PS: I love the photo of your car in the water and also those of your 400-year-old barn. It has character.
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PostPost by: gav » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:20 am

Hi

I have a four poster and I use a jacking beam to raise one end or the other (or both).

It is a hydraulic lift that runs back and forth within central well and can raise the car to a reasonable height. I tend to lift one end at a time then secure it with approriately placed axle stands or blocks depending what is required.

Hope this helps.
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PostPost by: bast0n » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:35 am

Andy - just as Gavin says, a sliding cross beam with hydraulic lift capability.

To service the brakes or the suspension on a two-post lift, one of course would simply lift the car and remove the wheels.


Well yes................? How do you jack up the suspension as shown in my bottom picture. Taking the diff out with the suspension at full sretch would be interesting!!
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:21 pm

Hello, David,

I wrestled an Elan diff out three times and hope I don't have to do that again in this lifetime. I have Tony Thompson's 26R sliding-spline driveshafts though and probably can remove them even with the suspension at full droop.

Anyway, there are undoubtedly some jobs that will be easier to do on a four-post lift, but majority of the tasks should be easier on a two-post, I think. I was adjusting ride height the past weekend and had to lift and settle the car on the ground a few times, removing the wheels each time. If I had a four-post lift, I would have had to move the cross beam to one end, jack up, locate the stands, jack down. Then do the same for the other end. On the two-post lift, I just press a button.

The wheels and suspension offer themselves up nicely, and there's also clear access to the underneath of the car -

L1020683.JPG and


In Garage Journal, a forum on garages, the never-ending debate is two-post versus four-post. Like the Spyder-versus-Lotus frame topic here, it will never be settled. A good thing, as it provides an evergreen topic for discussion.

And don't forget the garage pit - that has its own proponents, too.

Best,

Andy
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:46 am

Andy, your garage is wayyyyyy tooo clean but magnificent none the less!

I have had an Eagle 7000 lb four poster for 12 years now. No troubles with it at all! Use to store my old Elan over the 69 Chevy Impala. Then used it to work on the 67 Barracuda Convertible. Now use it on the current Elan restoration. Only problem, I wish I had the two poster too! One lift is not enough!

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PostPost by: abstamaria » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:59 am

I cleaned up before taking the photos, Frank! And you have quite a collection!

Andy
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PostPost by: zacharym » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:35 am

Sometimes lifts are used to lift the car up from the ground when needed to be repaired. If the quality of the lifts are not good then it will be broken by the heavy weights of cars. Many companies manufacture heavy lifts but our company is one of the best in selling strong lifts.

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:46 am

I think the bottom line is whether the ramp is to be mainly used to increase parking space. If so then it's a 4 poster. If it is to be used mainly for working on the car then I would prefer a 2 post lift. Floor condition / type permitting. I would def' want to firmly bolt down a 2 poster lift.

There is no right or wrong. It will depend on what you need it for. I had no choice in the matter really as my Sprint lives on it's 4 poster. It is slightly more awkward to work on the car IMHO but then again one can lift the car without concern for suspension components. One of our local Lotus race engineers up here (Mike Stuart. Errol) lifts Elans very regularly with one of his two posters and says it is not a problem but I like to slacken off the front wishbone mounts which are still fitted with rubber bushes. The rear I tend to worry about the (2 inner) doughnuts on my Spider driveshafts. That's it. Taking out the diff I dismantle all the nearside suspension and swing the a frame away from the Chassis. and rotate the suspension unit taking the drive shaft out of the way at the same time. Like David I enjoy the capability of jacking the car whilst it sits on the ramp should I need too.

Need the parking space? ........................ = 4 poster

Just for maintenance and a good solid floor? = 2 poster

Just my Humble 2 pence worth. I use the same lift as David (Baston) and think the quality of the Chinese built units. with Full CE certification etc is absolutely fine. I was amazed to find telemecanique electrical equipment installed in the automatic control box too... Good stuff. Should not say this .. and I am holding onto the wooden table as I type, but so far it has proven to be 100% reliable.

I did a mod to the electrics to suit my own usage due to the tightness (width) on my Garage space, namely an umbilical control box which duplicates the push button controls on the main box. I found this was required because I found climbing around the car and ramp to adjust the height of the ramp a real pain. Now I can control the ramp height from where I am working, which I personally enjoy very much...

Couple of pic's for you... You will note the width issue and the need for the 'remote' / umbilical control box... I also had to dismount the hydraulic pump unit from the machine and mount it on the wall.. As pic'...

Have fun and drive safely.

Alex B.....
Attachments
IMG_4792.JPG and
No hieght issues though. The ramp is almost fully up and ample room at the top..
IMG_4785.JPG and
Just enough room to work on the car between the ramp and the walls.
IMG_4789.JPG and
The now wall mounted Hyd' unit
IMG_4783.JPG and
Telemech box on the end of 5mtrs of wire armoured flex.
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PostPost by: Bill » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:38 pm

I installed a MaxJax 2 post lift a year ago for my Elans and TR3, perfect for my purposes, excellent value, AND, I CAN store 2 cars in one spot if need be.

Bill
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:27 pm

I have an old tecalamet 4 post I bought secondhand for £150 (had to dismantle and collect it as well), mine is also in a single garage (10 feet wide) and I had to move the contol box and hydraulics as described above, I also had to replace the motor and relay with single phase components and modfy the roof structure of the garage to get the headroom.
It works a treat, the jacking beam is a god send but I do find at times I could do with two. I use mine for working on the cars and it enables me to store the elan and TR7V8 in the same garage which saved around £70 a year on insurance and freed up space for me to get a third toy (s2 landrover) as well. One other advantage not mentioned of the 4 post is it is easy to put drip trays between the ramps to stop oil leaking on the car below. (or perhaps none of your elans leak...)
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:47 am

One thing I found with my four poster (also provided with one transverse jacking tray) was that the removable ramps could also be placed transversely across between the runways to form additional jacking trays. Good design, that!
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:17 am

I (Just my opinion mind). Don't think leaving a standard Elan sitting on a two post lift with the suspension at full droop, is a very good idea. That will have a detrimental effect on the suspension bushes and drive shaft couplings. So I recon' if the lift is for space purposes mainly, it is a 4 poster.

But hey... Take your pick. I can certainly see the advantages of a 2 post lift as well. If I had room, I would have a two poster also.. :wink:

Alex.. 8)
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