Lotus Elan

best garage lift

PostPost by: rdssdi » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:54 am

My new garage is nearing completion. It is 40 feet by 32 feet with three garage doors. The center door being the widest at 11 feet. That way I can park my car trailer in the garage.

I would like to install a lift. For storage and maintenance. How well will the 4 post residential lifts work for auto maintenance?

Here in the U.S. they offer them with 120 volt single Ph. 60 hz. or 240 volt single Ph. 60 hz. motors. Which would be preferable?

Which lift design would be most flexible for both storage and maintenance in a home garage. I see many have cable mechanisms to lift the ramp. Are any screw jacks? Is one preferred over the other?

I have no experience with home lifts and am totally in the dark.

Thanks

Bob
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:20 pm

Bob, everything you wanted to know about lifts to make an informed decision is found here. A search will give you a day's worth of reading.,
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/

I'm also anxious to hear from Elan owners on this.


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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:03 pm

Bob,

I have a 30ft by 20ft garage with 2 bays.One bay is fitted with a four post hydraulic lift which I bought from a local commercial garage that was selling up. (cost me £500 three years ago which included it being dismantled,transported and reassembled in my garage). The motor is 3 phase and I bought a single to three phase converter. (£300).

The lift also came with two steel beams which can be inserted into the ends once the car has been driven onto the platform.This allows the lift to be raised and then,by engaging the locks, the platform can be lowered, leaving the car suspended in mid air (It allows all wheel and suspension work to be carried out).

You might consider a two post lift which doesn't take up so much space but I didn't like the idea of supporting the car by it's underbody . (Even my local MOT centre doesn't lift either of my cars (Plus 2 and Europa).

Only other thoughts - do you have enough garage height to fully raise a car? The top of my garage roof is 20ft up)?
Unless it is too late, if you have a four post you might want to set it into the floor so that the raising platform is flush.Mine was fitted after the garage was built so it is proud of the floor by about 4 inches - I have two metal ramps to allow the car to be driven onto the platform.

In the end the decision comes down to personal choice or circumstances. However, once
you get a lift you will never look back - no more crawling on hands and knees with the car balanced on bricks.

Kind regards

Martin
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:42 pm

I agree with Martin in as much as the lifting issue is concerned. I also did not like lifting the car by the body only and much prefer driving the car onto the ramps then up she goes. Had I had the chance to set it into the floor I would have done that too. However as a retro fit and plug and play, the 4 poster I bought has met all my requirements.

There is a slight issue access wise because of the runways but its great also to be able to still jack up a corner whilst up at waist height. So some swings and roundabouts..

A good clean secondhand item would have done me too but finding one in good nick was difficult.

In the end its your choice... Its what you fancy really..

Good luck with the purchase..

Alex B.... 8)
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PostPost by: drtarkir » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:00 am

Bought this one about 6 years ago. Love it. Comes with everything you need.

Get a 4 poster. Much more versatile, can jack up one corner or one half. If you need to work on the brakes etc. lift the car up a foot or 2 and then jack up one corner. Much more accessible. Only time I wished for a 2 poster was in taking the body off my +2S.

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PostPost by: AussieJohn » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:20 am

I bought one of the 4 posters from the Dutch bloke who advertises regularly. Had it 2.5 years, best thing I ever bought [I needed it for storage] but I know I wouldn't have changed the diff and many other jobs without it.
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PostPost by: elansprint » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:23 am

Bob i have a similar unit to Alex & i am with the others lifting an Elan with a 2 post is a no no for me. The only advantage of a 2 post is it leaves the wheels free but it sounds like want to use it for storage as i do so i did not want the suspension in full droop while stored. As for trhe voltge thought you only had 110V in single phase in US also i had to use a type "D" circuit breaker to stop it tripping
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:25 am

In US got mine through Panther going with 110 house current in typical garage--very helpful aside from just the storage. It's one of the less expensive ones but unlike some of the scary pictures of them collapsing have had my full size Volvo on it and regularly my Citroen SM--weighing lots more than the +2 or baby Elan and never experience any instability nor see some wear giving slop in the blocks that run up inside the posts--had it five years or so. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:07 am

The ramp the 'Dutch bloke ..( Intern BV' http://www.internbv.nl/ ) sells is I am sure the same lift as you have there too Gordon. They are not badly made (IN China) and are fully CE'd for European duty. John's ramp is the same as my one too.

All in all not a bad bit of kit, and good value for money.

The only thing I found was I had to fit it with an umbilical control box so I could work it from anywhere in my Garage as I am limited for width. Trying to use it at waist height for E.G. was difficult as I either had to walk along, or crawl under it. I soon got fed up with that caper. Hence the remote control.

I am well aware that the addition of the umbilical control box has effected the CE, but as I am the user its fine. :roll:

By the way I was only able to fit the remore control box allowing control of the lift from anywhere in my garage because the remp is fitted with electrically controlled safety locks, which automatically retract when lowering the lift. Pushing the 'Lower' PB lifts the ramp about 3'' and then the locks pull out. No manual intervention is required.

Happy days... Best thing I ever bought methinks...

Al' ....
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:38 am

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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:12 pm

Fred Talmadge wrote:Home made lift of wood
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/show ... hp?t=17838

Lots of comments there from people who worry because it is made of wood instead of metal.

The same people who probably live in wooden frame houses with tiled roofs that weigh a LOT more than a car.

:lol:

That ramp & stand look plenty sturdy enough to me.

8)
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PostPost by: posulliv » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:07 am

I did a lot of shopping for lifts in the States. Finally purchased a Revolution lift even though the Direct Lift Pro Park 9S is identical. The local Rotary dealer installed the Revolution; with the Direct Lift it was some outside contractor doing the install. Our telephone conversation did not instill confidence. After watching the Rotary guys spend most of a day manhandling these parts around I'm glad I didn't do the install myself.

There are plenty of good lifts available. The links listed in an earier post are really good; that's how I did my research. You will get a different opinion from every one you speak to about this. I'm happy with my decision.

This lift is extra-wide because of the weird configuration of my garage. It is so wide in fact that I feel uncomfortable putting the car on the lift without a helper to guide me. The upside to this is that I have full access to the running gear. Attached are a couple of pictures (if I can figure out how to do it).
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:43 am

The lifts involved here all look like they are made in the same factory. Remarkably similar. It must be wonderful to have the extra width as well as the required height. Well done. My Elan sits quite near the middle of the runways but it is too a bit nearer the inside edges. This as you say has the advantage of giving good access to the car for service etc.. Good choice!

Installation is admittedly a bit more involved than my supplier suggested. The instructions are not brilliant but there is a decent video also which does clear up the queries. The big problem I had was weight. The supplier suggested to good men can manage it. Hmmm... Assembling the runways onto the end posts was quite a tussle, esp' the one containing the hydraulic cyl and the pulleys etc.Very heavy, and if it was not for the engine lift I had sitting here (quite a big one!) I would have struggled even more. The other issue I had was the garage was not wide enough to allow me to fit the lift without dismounting the hydraulic motor and pump ass'y, which I then mounted on the adjacent wall.

The fitting of the umbilical control then finished the install and the ramp has been 100% reliable so far. Looking at the electrical components in the control box revealed quality parts. Telemecanique ...! V good stuff.

Happy chappy....


All the best guys...

Al' .... 8)
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PostPost by: hartley hare » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:25 pm

best garage lifts !!!

the best i can do, is work on one side of car, roll it out, turn it, and do it all again on the other!!! :cry:
some guy's have all the luck.. :wink:
bet i'm not alone though....


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PostPost by: rdssdi » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:42 pm

Great responses. It does appear that all the residential roll on lifts are the same. The differences are in the details. There is much competition and an incredible amount of hype. I would prefer a lift manufactured in the U.S.. Certainly over one from China. That actually leaves only one lift as far as I can ascertain. That is the top end Backyard Buddy lift. The others that claim U.S. manufacture are apparently only "engineered" in this country. Some were recently made in the U.S. and are now imports.

I have not called the Back Yard buddy company as the price for their U.S. made lift is not published on their web site. I can only assume it is very high priced and they want an opportunity to "persuade" you to spend that amount. Although they now have a Chinese low price lift. An unfortunate sign of the times.

I do have reservations about the cable system which is what they all use to lift the ramps. There is a variety of safety systems but none have one that will stop a runaway ramp if the ramp is in the process of being lowered and a cable breaks. When the lift is in action this should be a probable time for cable failure. Similar to what I learned when flying that an engine failure was more likely when performing a power change.

I will call back yard buddy company and get their cost and see if I can bargain. I will also need the optional ( added cost) jack to raise the car off the ramps to allow wheel and suspension removal.

I will post pictures the unit when and IF I get one.
Thanks to all for your responses.

Bob
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