I just finished installing a MaxJax portable lift. Life should be easier under the Esprit and others from here on out. Installation went relatively smoothly, installation manual could be more explicit in some areas.
Got mine from Northern Tool, with free shipping it was about $2200. While comparable in price to low-end full size lifts, advantages are imo semi-portability and low ceiling clearance.
Two people can easily take it down, load it up and move it where-ever. I've moved mine twice including setting new lags.
Hint and tip, when setting lags, rent a commercial/industrial Hilti or Bosch hammer drill and bits which makes the job of drilling holes way way way easier than grinding away with a generic 1/2in hammer drill.
I'm still debating about a roll on car stacker lift, or one of these.... i like the clear lift / no wheels of these, but i think for storing a car in the air, probably not the best option.... guess i need both!
Bought the lift to put in my low ceiling garage, then decided to share rent on a large garage/shop, so moved the lift there.
The MaxJax is very economical in my view, if you can do your own work often enough, have enough of it, and would rather do it yourself, compared to the cost and inconvenience of having work done by someone else.
(And the closest Lotus dealer is over 140-miles away).
So far, replaced springs and shocks all around on one car, shocks all around on another, done some brake work, removed the engine/trans from two cars, and replaced radiator on the Esprit, not to mention several ups and downs with other cars, all in a few months.
Its already paid for itself.
No idea whether all that would have been as easy with a 4-post, but thinking it wouldn't, plus the original ceiling height issue, is what led to getting the MaxJax. Then having to move it made it all even more a good idea.
One thing, just my opinion, the idea of loading it up near its capacity kind of worries me because I've seen the pics of what happens when things go wrong. Be careful about bleeding it and keeping the columns level, (which only means to me keep an eye on it to be safe, not that its an issue).
As long as we are comparing lifts, I went with a 4-post lift 'cause I primarily needed it to increase automotive storage space (my garage has a 12 Ft ceiling).
I still prefer jacking the car on the ground and using jackstands for suspension or brake work, but I bought a floor/pole jack for not too many bucks that serves to lift the car off it's wheels on the lift, where it can then be lowered (without wheels) onto jackstands placed on the ramps. I do this when the weather is crappy or cold, though it's a bit less convenient.
Kyle (Lotus69F1) has hydraulic lifts that do the same thing at his place. They fit between the ramps...don't know what the capacity is.
SIGH I guess we are never happy as car owners....we always want 50 more horsepower and room for another type of lift... rotfl
Be really careful about how high you raise the car and if the garage door is open or closed. From the photo it looks like you will barely be able to stand under the car and if the garage door is open you will hit it especially if you try opening or closing the door when the car is up. Now that you have a lift you must be at least as careful as when you had jackstands. You can do a lot more damage to yourself and the car with a lift. Double-check things before you lift and make sure there is nothing around that can get caught going up or down (like an open car door or the trunk). Lighting becomes an issue because when you have the car up any lights on the ceiling are blocked. Some people put lights on the walls. Painting the floor a bright color also helps by reflecting the light. Put foam padding on the jacks so you don't hit the doors. To change oil you will need a can with an extendable neck so you don't splatter all over. Read the directions so you are very familiar with the safety items of the lift so you can check it to KNOW it is locked when raised. As with any new piece of equipment it brings new opportunities and dangers. The Internet has plenty of pictures of what happens when things go wrong with lifts.
David thanks for the concern and advice. I've always been pretty safety conscious and will continue to be so. The car is well clear of the garage door when it's open at max height of the lift, (not apparent in the photo).
The max height to underside of the car at full lift is 45" a good height for sitting on a rolling stool.
I am envious, what a great little lift. I had no idea they made them in a smaller size. I only have about a 9 foot ceiling though, and with the opener its like 8 foot, I dont think it would be worth my having one, or would these work on that ceiling size?
I love my MaxJax lift. I had to take the radiator out recently to get it repaired and it made the job soooo much easier. Not sure I would have done the job myself without it so it definitely pays for itself. Never mind all the time you save not having to screw around with jacks and jack stands.
Those drive-on ones are OK but you can't do any suspension,brake, tire work because you are lifting the car by the wheels. Even using a creeper is not so great, you can't get underneath from the sides. Very limited in what you can do but if you don't have enough height it is about your only option.
Well I don't know your waistline but I could easily slide under my Kwiklift from the sides using a creeper. And since the tires are on the ramp you do need to use a Jack to get to the tires and suspension. We have two four post lifts in our shop so we are used to using jacks. The advantages of the Kwiklift is it is about half that price of a good 4 post lift, is is very compact for the home garage user, is easy to move, can be easily disassembled and stored, requires no power, and is incredibly safe.