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post #1 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Garage lifts

Hey, looking to install a lift in the garage. First issue is that this is a standard stick built regular height rafter single layer garage. One can't lift a car very high before you hit stuff (including the garage door roll up area).

What have people done that works well?

Is a pit a better idea?

If you did install a lift, what kind and why?

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post #2 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 01:26 PM
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I was looking at Rotary lifts last year. If you have 13' of vertical space a Rotary should work nicely. They quoted me a price of $4200 installed. You also need to have proper concrete slab... 6" thick... but I don't remember the load rating.

My son works as a vallet at a Dodge/VW/BMW dealer. They use Rotary lifts in their shop. Sometimes they replace them and let employees buy the old ones really cheap.

Once installed, they can be unbolted and moved to a new location.

Scottsdale Lotus also uses Rotary lifts.

Rotary has a lift design that offsets the CG from the line between the pillars. That design makes it possible to open car doors after the car is raised -- another nice feature.

edit: Not sure about the 13' ceiling. It might be less, like 11.5'

Steve -- '05 Laser Blue, Biscuit, Sport/Touring, Starshield
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post #3 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 01:32 PM
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Just installed a lift about 6 weeks ago. I purchased from Direct Lift. Local distributor is in Temecula. Didn't seem to be a big difference with more expensive lifts and I know someone that had this lift for a couple years without issue. I had a guy come over and customized my garage door and tracks to maximize space. I went with a side mounted opener. I am in San Diego. You are welcome to check it out.
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post #4 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:07 PM
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I have not tried it with the lotus, but the little sizzor lifts are great, cheap and portable.

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post #5 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:17 PM
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Using a Revolution 4-post here (made by Rotary...Revolution is their "consumer" line). I love it. Changed my world, and I've not been to a dealer for service since I installed it (my main purpose).

I had my garage door raised. My previous car (350Z) could be raised all the way minus two notches (about a foot and a half of unused raise). The Exige can go allll the way up with plenty of room to spare.

Revolution/Rotary is the way to go though...quality equipment, looks great, and very safe. Runs off 110 too, so no need to install 220 (but you can use 220 with greater lift speed if you have one available).

Also depends on what kind of lift you want/need. The Revolution I have is a drive-on type, so I have to use bottle jacks or just work on the garage floor with jackstands if I need to remove wheels or unload the suspension (which is why I purchased Jim's jack helper adapter). If you plan to do a lot of work with the suspension unloaded, then you'll want a two-post with the unfolding lift points. For that though you will need to bolt the posts into the slab, and you usually need 4-6" of slab to do that I think.

-Smoky
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post #6 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:17 PM
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How much ceiling height do you have? I put a Direct Lift 4-post lift in my garage. I have a 10' ceiling at the front wall that becomes about 10' 4" at the door (The floor slopes for drainage). I can't stack cars until I get my garage door tracks raised (It's on the list...). The lift has been really handy for doing all sorts of work on cars though.

What is this lift for? Storage and/or maintenance? If you're ever going to store a car you want a drive-on lift so the suspension isn't drooping. For maintenance, a two-post lift is handier if you need to take the wheels off. I bought a sliding jack for my lift which makes getting the wheels off when the car is up easier.

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post #7 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:25 PM
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What sliding jack are you using jock? any pics or links? thx!

-Smoky
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post #8 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:33 PM
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What sliding jack are you using jock? any pics or links? thx!
The "Pro Jack 3500"

Direct Lift - Automotive Lift, Motorcycle Lift, 4 Post Lift, 2 Post Lift, Hobbist Lift

I don't have any pictures of it in operation in my garage. What I did was buy one of those flat rolling dollies:

Furniture Dolly Wood Working Tools Restoration Repair from Van Dykes Restorers

This allows me to roll the jack into the middle of the floor, then lower the lift and turn it 90 degrees so that when I raise the lift it picks the jack up. Then when I don't want to use it I drop the jack onto the dolly, then turn it 90 degrees so the lift can be raised and it's left sitting on the dolly to be rolled out of the way.

Otherwise the jack is always under there where you want to work when you don't need it, and it's really heavy...

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post #9 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
I have not tried it with the lotus, but the little sizzor lifts are great, cheap and portable.
PM me...one member had a sizzor lift, but dont know if its acceptable to post about other people's homes.

It worked great for the Lotus. Brought the wheel to about my chest level and made working the suspension a breeze.

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post #10 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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I will get some measurements. This is really just for working on Noble. Being able to lift the car is more important in the Noble IMO than it was in the Elise. It will probably though be where I normally park the car.

Some thoughts, a 4 post lift is easy for most work, drive on, lift. Unless you need to take the wheels off. Plus since I park the car there, I have to drive onto the lift every day.

Scissor lift seems like a nice idea, but I wonder about the mechanism getting in the way of what I need to reach, plus does it work well on a midengined tippy car?

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

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There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #11 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:46 PM
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I
Some thoughts, a 4 post lift is easy for most work, drive on, lift. Unless you need to take the wheels off. Plus since I park the car there, I have to drive onto the lift every day.
Taking the wheels off isn't bad with a rolling jack or a jack tray and a couple of bottle jacks (I'm thinking about getting a couple of pneumatic bottle jacks or air bag jacks).

As for parking there every day, when there isn't a car on the lift I raise it all the way up and park under it. My lift raises to over 6', so I can walk under it and it's like it's not even there.

The big downside to a 2-post lift (to me) is anchoring it to the 6" of high PSI concrete it needs to be sitting on (Which you don't usually have unless you planned for it when you poured the floor).

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post #12 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NMRJock View Post

As for parking there every day, when there isn't a car on the lift I raise it all the way up and park under it. My lift raises to over 6', so I can walk under it and it's like it's not even there.
Of course! thanks

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

2005 Lotus Elise, 1993 MR2, 1995 MR2, 125cc Shifter Kart, Toniq (in build), 2018 Origin 7 (waiting), 2018 Origin Noble M (waiting)
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post #13 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Chase View Post
I will get some measurements. This is really just for working on Noble. Being able to lift the car is more important in the Noble IMO than it was in the Elise.
Why? I thought the Noble had very nice tilting clamshells for both front and rear?

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post #14 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 02:58 PM
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Another point on getting the wheels off.

I needed to lift the back of a parts car I was dismantling higher. It was already on stands and I'd long since taken the rolling jack off the lift. Instead of going through the hassle of putting the jack back on to lift the car, I grabbed my spud bar and put it on a 'hard point' on the back of the car and lowered the lift until the spud bar was supporting the rear. All I had to do was lower the lift until the car was high enough to raise the jack stands to the level I wanted, then raise the lift to set the car on the stands and free the spud bar.

Now, this was obviously quite unstable (and stupid). But it got me thinking that I need a pair of these:

Tripod Stand - Greg Smith Equipment Sales, Inc.

That way I can do the same trick without having a very high probability of catastrophe.

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post #15 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Why? I thought the Noble had very nice tilting clamshells for both front and rear?
Yes and for working on top stuff, it is awesome. I really love this.

But for working on bottom stuff (which it seems is everything I need to work on), I need bottom access. The diffuser and belly pans use a LOT of screws. The belly pan has 134 if I counted correctly.

You need to go under and through the belly pan area to access the turbos, alternator, AC, battery.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #16 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 05:47 PM
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I just had a 4 post lift installed from Aresco. They offer a high quaity US manufactured product line as well as a cost cutting off shore model. I went with the oversize US model. I use it for my elise, q 7, acadia, or a yukon xl. I also removed my chain drive door opener for a wall mount chamberlain jack screw drive opener. Switching to the wall mount granted me the overhead space I needed for the elise/q 7 combo with only 11.5 ft. height..
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post #17 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMRJock View Post
The "Pro Jack 3500"

Direct Lift - Automotive Lift, Motorcycle Lift, 4 Post Lift, 2 Post Lift, Hobbist Lift

I don't have any pictures of it in operation in my garage. What I did was buy one of those flat rolling dollies:

Furniture Dolly Wood Working Tools Restoration Repair from Van Dykes Restorers

This allows me to roll the jack into the middle of the floor, then lower the lift and turn it 90 degrees so that when I raise the lift it picks the jack up. Then when I don't want to use it I drop the jack onto the dolly, then turn it 90 degrees so the lift can be raised and it's left sitting on the dolly to be rolled out of the way.

Otherwise the jack is always under there where you want to work when you don't need it, and it's really heavy...
Sorry for the hijack, but hey this info is useful to Randy too, if he decides on a 4-post.

That's really wild! Thx for the link. So do you place the pucks in line with the jack points? Any compromise there or is it pretty adjustable? Seems scary...especially with our cars... but anytime i unload the suspension i think it is scary (seen faces of death too many time).

-Smoky
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post #18 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 06:04 PM
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Sorry for the hijack, but hey this info is useful to Randy too, if he decides on a 4-post.

That's really wild! Thx for the link. So do you place the pucks in line with the jack points? Any compromise there or is it pretty adjustable? Seems scary...especially with our cars... but anytime i unload the suspension i think it is scary (seen faces of death too many time).
I've never actually had the Elise on the lift... But the arms of the jack pull in and out independently and reach to the edges of the lift. My plan for when I do wheels/tires this coming fall is to install the jack and drive the Lotus onto the lift. Then I'll raise the lift and drop the undertray (Super-easy when you can do it sitting on a stool!) That will give me access to the jack points.

Paul Parkanzky
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post #19 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 12:35 PM
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Is a pit a better idea?
I believe that most residential building codes don't allow a pit. So to sell the house you'd probably have to fill it in. Besides that cost, homeowner's policy coverage is doubtful.

Here's another source of lifts:
Greg Smith Equipment Sales Inc. - The lift professionals with quality automotive equipment at discount prices.
with a variety of options.

In theory, there is no difference between Theory and Practice. In practice, there is. - Y. Berra
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post #20 of 195 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 01:27 PM
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Hey, looking to install a lift in the garage. ...
Hi Randy... I'm thinking about getting one too, and there are some relevant comments here & here.

Many other threads on the topic too.
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