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post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 08:00 AM
Green Meanie
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 196
Reviving this thread from a few months ago, as I am considering a QuickJack lift. My garage is long and narrow: 34' long x 9' wide. The ceilings are also low at 8' at the front and 7' at the back, less so once you factor in the door / opener. I use long, sturdy wooden ramps to get the cars in/out of the lower space. They can be dismounted when the cars are in winter hibernation, to clear up some floor space.

All of these compromises were necessitated by a remodeled old house on a small city lot. On the plus side, it provides space for my '70 Giulia TI and '74 Spider nose-to-tail. It is insulated, heated, and separate from the detached garage that houses our two "real" cars. On the coldest MN day I can get it to 50+ degrees in no time and it's right in the basement so easy to sneak down there when nobody is looking...

Providing this background because my options are pretty limited. A post lift won't work because I don't have the width. The low ceilings mean that I won't be able to raise the cars very high anyway. Finally, it would be good to have something that can be moved from one space to the other, which requires being able to lift (!) it up the 11-inch height difference. I've looked at a lot of lifts and been to a regular visitor to garagejournal.

It looks like Quickjack has a newer 3,500 lb model, the BL-3500SLX, which is has a longer pad length than the older Bl-3500 one, though it's of course more expensive. Maximum spread of the lift blocks is 50.5" for the BL-3500SLX vs. 43.75" for the older one--see “Technical Specs” here:

BL-3500SLX-AC 110-Volt Hydraulic Jack - Portable Car Lift - Race Car Jack - QuickJack

So the BL-3500SLX would seem to be a good fit for Alfa Spiders, since the jacking points are 50" apart. However, the Giulia TI has a longer wheelbase and its jack points are 60” apart. This led me to their 5,000 lb model, the BL-5000SLX. The lift block spread for this one is 31.5-60” so should, in theory, cover the Spider and the Giulia. The weight rating is of course overkill but suppose it provides an extra safety margin:

BL-5000SLX-AC EZ Portable Car Lift - Lightweight Race Jacks - QuickJack USA

My only concern is the overall frame length of the BL-5000SLX is 72.5” and it’s about 3” high on one side. A rough measurement between the bottom of the Spiders tires is 77”. I need to be able to drag the frame between the tires. I think it will fit, but just barely. It does narrow as it raises so, in theory, you could get it under there, raise it a little, and reposition the blocks before they make contact with the jack points.

All of this is a long winded way of asking if anyone here ended up purchasing one of these lifts and/or has an opinion on the above options, particularly the BL-5000 SLX. Even if it doesn’t get the car off the ground all that much, it provides more clearance and ease-of-use than jack stands. Because of the cozy confines, using floor jacks and stands is also a bit tricky in my garage, though it can of course be done. And it would also seem to be safer than jack stands, though I always have redundant support (floor jack or extra stands) when under a car and will continue that practice, even with a lift. I am just looking for something to help with the basic maintenance and brake/suspension work. Dropping a tranny is beyond my skill set anyway. $1,300 is not cheap but we just moved into this house and plan to be there 20-30+ years (knock on wood)…

Anyway, thoughts and opinions welcome and appreciated. Pickup hockey season will soon transition to late winter wrenching season and the parts orders have already been placed…

Thanks,
Jim

Jim McDonald
Minneapolis, MN
'74 Spider
'70 Giulia 1300TI
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