Type of car lift to use with the Esprit? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Type of car lift to use with the Esprit?

I had an excellent opportunity to buy an inexpensive, portable single post lift for a third of the cost of new from a motorcycle shop that took it on trade for a bike (it was a steal, I even went to see it), but I slept on it too long and missed out. Now I really want a lift in my garage but am at a loss as to what type to buy. It seems when I find one that is a frame platform, or another portable single post lift it doesnt have the sizing to fit the Esprits jack points. This is a stupid question and know the answer im sure, but you cant lift the Espirt with a frame lift that does not stretch to the jack points right? Because you would be lifting only by the fiberglass and not the frame correct?

What type of lift do you guys use that have them? I would like to find one to use with a few of my vehicles, but the Esprit seems to be the only one that requires a specific type/size of lift.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 07:31 PM
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If you have the room the 4 post lift is the best. Easy up and down, easy off and on, and very secure. You can easily jack at the jack points on the platform when necessary.
I know that the proper 4 point 2 post lift will also work.

Yes the Esprit jack points are poorly designed, and jacking anywhere else except the rear hoop can cause problems. It is very disconcerting to hear the cracking of fiberglass when you don't get the jack point just right!

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 07:33 PM
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If you have ceiling clearance the safest lift (IMHO) is a four-post. We have two in our shop - a Dannmar and a cheap Chinese copy of a Dannmar. We use the Dannmar for our day-to-day work and use the cheap Chinese one to store cars. You can also go with a two-poster. That has the advantage of always having your tire/suspension "free" (i.e., hanging freely) but it puts all the lifting load on the jacking points which is inherently less stable that lifting the car by the wheels.

If you don't have ceiling clearance there are some short two-post lifts including the MaxJax by Dannmar but you will not get the same total lift height clearance with the shorter lifts. They are not cheap - Dannmars cost about $2500 plus shipping. An economical alternative is the Kwiklift, which is a drive-on ramp type lift which uses a floor jack to raise the car and lock it in the up position. I owned one for several years when I was still working out of my home garage and I found it to be quite good - but you will always be working under the car on a creeper. Requires no power (other than hand operation of a floor jack). They are USA made and extremely safe.

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 08:26 AM
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I would think that a one-post lift would be kinda "tippy".
But what do I know, I have a four-poster.

(I'm sure Mark meant two-post)


Every time my Esprit was lifted by a two-post lift on the proper jacking points, the body creaked. <SHUDDER>


I can't live without my lift anymore...I'm addicted.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mieczkow View Post
If you have ceiling clearance the safest lift (IMHO) is a four-post. We have two in our shop - a Dannmar and a cheap Chinese copy of a Dannmar. We use the Dannmar for our day-to-day work and use the cheap Chinese one to store cars. You can also go with a two-poster. That has the advantage of always having your tire/suspension "free" (i.e., hanging freely) but it puts all the lifting load on the jacking points which is inherently less stable that lifting the car by the wheels.

If you don't have ceiling clearance there are some short two-post lifts including the MaxJax by Dannmar but you will not get the same total lift height clearance with the shorter lifts. They are not cheap - Dannmars cost about $2500 plus shipping. An economical alternative is the Kwiklift, which is a drive-on ramp type lift which uses a floor jack to raise the car and lock it in the up position. I owned one for several years when I was still working out of my home garage and I found it to be quite good - but you will always be working under the car on a creeper. Requires no power (other than hand operation of a floor jack). They are USA made and extremely safe.
In addition, the Kwiklift is made right here in Tulsa Oklahoma. If anyone wants one, I travel a LOOOOT with the Army, and can pick one up for you if I'm headed your way. There's about a $200 savings by excluding shipping. I know I'll be headed to Killeen Texas again in a few weeks, I need to head to Cape G Missouri soon too.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 02:01 PM
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For an Esprit I agree with the four post. A two post 'A Symmetrical' lift where the posts are 45 degrees from one another would give you better door opening vs. the 'regular' two post.

The Esprit jack points really suck because I think they were only designed to jack the car for replacing a tire or tyre. As Atwell said I 'shuddered' everytime my car went up because it creaked pretty bad.

Robert

Last edited by Type82; 06-25-2014 at 02:08 PM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 03:01 PM
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Have a MaxJax in the shop and have not noticed any cracking sounds lifting the V8.
It came from Northern Tool in Missouri with free shipping. (We needed a fork lift to get it off the truck when it arrived).

Blocks with slits cut in them are placed under the jacking points to avoid the flanges and raise the car up so the jack arms don't touch fiberglass. No problems getting the lifting pads in place, but have to push car into position with doors closed.

You need six inches of concrete below the lift to secure the 5-1/2" anchor bolts. If necessary, you can pour new pads for the lift to bolt into.

One thing about the MaxJax is (theoretically) one person can remove it, load it into a pickup, move it, and set it up again somewhere else.

Last edited by John Woods; 06-25-2014 at 03:06 PM.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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I did mean one post, it was friggin incredible. I saw it operate and could not believe it. It seemed real stable also. For as often as I would use it, it was perfect. And it rolled around like a pallet jack. Kickin myself in the @ss for not buying it when I saw it.

Similar one in the photo......
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 05:44 PM
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I use a 4 post and am completely pleased with it's performance. I have seen one of the "Single Post" lifts and it was really cool. I had to look that thing over for a while just to be sure what I was looking at. Seemed safe and very stable in spite of how it looked. Just makes one wonder who actually engineered it to work so well and look like maybe it shouldn't. Maybe it is assembled with an enclosed hex key and only shipped from IKEA.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 06:58 PM
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For all of these lifts and especially the 2 and 1 posters, the floor must be smooth, level and flat. The 4 posters are a little more tolerant of a less than perfect floor and more easily allow parking underneath. The 4 posters are great until you want to work on the tires, brakes, or suspension. Try to buy one where the posts are a solid metal tube, not a 3 sided bent up channel, they are very weak. There are some scary pictures on YouTube of lift disasters for your viewing pleasure. Be aware some lifts require 220 volts so you may need an electrician to hook it up. Check your ceiling height so you don't lift the car into the ceiling.
David Teitelbaum
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 03:27 AM
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look nice and portable but.....
Just make sure it's not "MADE IN CHINA" 'cause i'm not going underneath that thing.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 12:17 PM
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Four post lift is the way to go. I bought a Direct Lift from Gregsmithequipmentdotcom here in Atlanta for under $2K. I believe they have two other locations in the eastern US. Set it up in my garage in half a day by myself. Am very pleased with it. It is good solid construction, good welds, mechanically very well made. Should have bought one of these long ago. My Esprit fits on it like a charm. Its great at half height to do brake work, cleaning, etc. Also doubles your parking space!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bluekinabalu View Post
Four post lift is the way to go. I bought a Direct Lift from Gregsmithequipmentdotcom here in Atlanta for under $2K. I believe they have two other locations in the eastern US. Set it up in my garage in half a day by myself. Am very pleased with it. It is good solid construction, good welds, mechanically very well made. Should have bought one of these long ago. My Esprit fits on it like a charm. Its great at half height to do brake work, cleaning, etc. Also doubles your parking space!
Do you have to lower the lift to open the garage door, doesnt look like much room if door open fully in that photo

Kenny; Dallas Tx
==============================
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bluekinabalu View Post
Four post lift is the way to go. I bought a Direct Lift from Gregsmithequipmentdotcom here in Atlanta for under $2K. I believe they have two other locations in the eastern US. Set it up in my garage in half a day by myself. Am very pleased with it. It is good solid construction, good welds, mechanically very well made. Should have bought one of these long ago. My Esprit fits on it like a charm. Its great at half height to do brake work, cleaning, etc. Also doubles your parking space!

I see you're a Rider fan too!
Were you born in Sask?

-Mike
2003.5 "Final Edition" Esprit
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 12:59 PM
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I installed a MaxJax unit several months ago, I purchased thru Costco. At maximum height the garage door clears with room to spare (see photo). What I like about the lift is that it is portable, the posts can be unbolted and can be moved to the side of the garage, to allow the other half to park her Pilot a prime consideration. Saves on the aggravation.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:13 PM
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Yes sir. I am a Rider fan. The current Grey Cup Champions of course. Born and raised in Regina. Living in HOTlanta since 1999. So the lift can go to max height with my Sprite or my Big Healey as they are both convertibles. My ceiling height in the garage is about 10.5'. I can get the Lotus up to one stop before the top (if I take off the antenna!). Plenty high to work on. I had my original garage door opener removed and installed a Chamberlain Liftmaster direct drive opener. I would recommend this for ANY garage. It has a 12v battery for when the power is out and also locks with a steel pin so it can't be forced open. I'll never buy a non direct drive opener again. By going direct drive you gain all of the overhead space taken up by a belt or chain drive opener. Here is a shot of the lift down and one with it up. I saw a guy who cut holes in the drywall between the floor joists and his AC Cobra with roll bar fit perfectly in the pockets! No need for that here. I did not bolt it to the floor, once a car is on top it is rock solid. Included in the price was a set of four castors but I never put them on. Handy for those who want to move the lift around or inside and outside...
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:44 PM
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I installed a MaxJax unit several months ago, I purchased thru Costco. At maximum height the garage door clears with room to spare (see photo).
Nice Esprit Ed!
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 05:43 PM
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I also have a Liftmaster to open the garage door. The installer talked me out of the battery back-up option. He said they go bad after a couple of years and are expensive to replace. He also warned me to check the balance of the door once a year. I have a torsion spring and it loses power after a few years. When the door gets too heavy because the spring is weak you quickly wear out the operator. Manually close the door to about 3 feet off the ground. The door should stay there and not close. If it does the springs must be adjusted. As for the castor wheels, the floor must be absolutely smooth, flat and level or bad things can happen. I would not move the lift when a car is on it.
David Teitelbaum
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 08:04 AM
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Hi Eken,
I have a 78 esprit S2 and just installed the exact MaxJax you have pictured lifting your Lotus.
I am pretty apprehensive to use it as I'm not sure of where exactly to lift the car, I have read a few contradicting forums on the matter.
Could you please share with preferably with pics if you can on where these points are.

Thank you for your help,
Regards,
Kevin
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