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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering a 4-post lift for my garage. I will need it to work on the 74/80 Spider and to store the 74 Spider below it.

I would like to see how others have used the 4-post lift for repair work. Most of the lifts have about 37" between the main runners, runner widths of 18" and with a wheel base of 52" that means the wheels are on the inside 7.5" on each runner.

So, how do you support the car on jack stands on the lift? Are the ramps in the jack pan and then supporting the axle or front suspension? Is it possible to use jack stands beneath the jack points and if so where does the base of the jack stand rest?
Will I need to have two jack pans to support the car on four jack stands.

I know others have done this and if you have photos to share, please do.

TIA.
 

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I bought a DirectLift ProPark 9. It has ramps a little wider than other models so I can fit my small cars (MGA, Alfa Romeo) and also my F250 Ext Cab pick up. In other words, the ramps fit both the track of my small cars and the truck. Other model lifts fit one or the other. BendPak has a model with one moveable ramp but I believe that involves bolting/unbolting the 'adjustable ramp'.

My lift came with one 'jacking bridge' that fits between the ramps and can be slid fore/aft depending on which end I want to raise up. I suppose one could buy (or make) a second bridge so you can lift both ends but I wonder if the car would be stable like that? With one end jacked up the wheels on the other end are chocked. My lift didn't some with jacks - I use a couple of small bottle jacks. BendPak has a jacking bridge with built-in jacks - air operated I think. Pricey though...

You may not be able to position jack stands under the Spider's jacking points - the stand's base will not be totally on the ramps. I've thought about making an additional bridge that would be on the same plane as the ramps to allow use of jack stands. But I haven't really found the need to do that...

I don't have a photo with the Spider up on the lift so here's one with my MGA and another with my truck. The MGA has since been completed so I'll include a photo of it, too.

If you're ever near Mebane, NC you're welcome to come visit (anyone else, too).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Eric,

I am planning on removing the rear end and complete drive train using the lift. Being able to hold it up with jack stands at the jacking points will be important.

Am interested in seeing and hearing how others have done this.
The alternative is a two-post lift but they are not as functional for storage. Hopefully more guys will respond to this thread.
 

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I am planning on removing the rear end...
I did that on the MGA. With the car jacked up using bottle jacks under the axle I laid a 4X6 across from ramp to ramp with some short pieces of 4X4 on top - under the MG's frame. I could then rest the MG on the 4X4's and lower the axle out from under the car.
 

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Other model lifts fit one or the other. BendPak has a model with one moveable ramp but I believe that involves bolting/unbolting the 'adjustable ramp'.
I have a Bendpak HD9-XW with adjustable ramps. I never need to adjust them because the wide setup (44" clearance between ramps) fits the Alfa just fine. Mine raise almost 7 feet and is long enough to fit my long wheelbase Sprinter Van. My garage is 14 feet high.

I made a movable "cross member" to jack car.

P1030181.jpg
P1030184.jpg
 

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And if you have more cash to spare, here's a nice jacking bridge: Sliding Bridge Jack for 4 Post Lift.
Eric, when I bought my lift I was interested by a rolling bridge Bendpak was offering but the price was insane. I just bought channel beam and made my DIY sliding bridge !
 

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Just make sure whatever brand you buy meets ANSI and ALI. When I was looking for my lift I read about several cheaper import lifts that failed dropping cars and in one case killing someone.

In doing a little research Direct Lift seems to be a good brand. They claim to meet all the safety institutes and they are owned by Dover which owns Rotary. There just built in Asia.

One thing I suggest is to watch Craigslist through one of the free search engines. If you take your time you can find a nice lift for a good price. I found a 9 year old Rotary a couple of years ago for 1600 on craigslist. It came out of a closed down Ford dealer. I was able to go and pick which one I wanted run it up and down before I took it down. They also had several 4 post Rotary's they were asking around 2200 for.

It made me feel good when the lift company I hired to put it up was impressed with the shape it was in. He told me he would sell a lift in that shape for 2000 to 2200 plus installation. When I told him what I paid for it he asked me if I wanted to sell it.
 

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I'll be the dissenting opinion in this debate.

Rotary (or similar) vs import: A new Rotary is what, $20k? Too rich for my blood. A used one? $1,600 is a great price - the ones I've seen go for about $2 - $3k depending on age and condition. My greatest concern with a used lift is not knowing its maintenance history and duty cycle. I've seen plenty of repair shops with a big old dump truck on a lift you know it wasn't rated for it.

I believe I paid $1,600 for my new import lift which included delivery and anchors. I rented a bloody big hammer drill and with a couple of ladders and a couple of extra hands we had the unit up and operating in half a day (wiring was pre-arranged). Installation cost: $50 plus a few pizzas. I've had it for maybe 5 years and never had an issue with it. If you are a professional mechanic and are up and down with your hoist all day long than maybe I could see spending the money for a high end lift. But I would rather have a new lift with new hydraulics and virgin welds than a used lift of any brand.

Two vs Four Post Lifts:
I prefer the versatility of the 2 post as well as the greater access to the rockers and the ability to work on the suspension uninhibited. One of the nice features of a 2 poster is that I can use it to lift the rear end only when we pull an engine. I suppose you could do this with a 4 poster as well but it just seems more natural.

In terms of storage, I don't have any qualms about stacking our light little cars - apart from oil dripping...

Capacity is a choice with any lift. Mine is a 9000 lb capacity which has held everything from Alfas to Escalades to a '63 Caddy. I will admit, the lift prefers the Alfas...

IMAG1508.jpg
(I'm tempted to store a Spider in the trunk...)


My $.02...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rich,
Thanks for the reply. Now I am totally perplexed with 2 vs 4 post.
I can see where a 2 post will give better access to the drive and suspension. I can also see where it would easily allow the storage of a Spider above and one below; not sure if the hanging suspension is a real concern. I guess for most jobs, the 2-post would give better access.

Rocker replacement and work directly between the posts and the car would be difficult on a 2-post I think. On the 4-post, the narrow suspension of the Spider would mean fighting with the rails that support the wheels.

I get where storage on a 4-post is easier and better. Storage for me is not the primary need.

If I select a 2-post lift, I will have to make a decision soon to make sure they pour a thicker floor slab in the lift area of the garage.

Decisions decisions....

Would love to see some more photos and comments.
 

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You need a minimum of 4 inches of thickness were the post sits and 3000 psi in concrete strength. You can get a new rotary 2 post 10,000 pd lift for 3500.00. The biggest thing about import lifts besides quality is can you get parts for it 3 or 5 years later if something breaks. DO a google search there are a lot of other quality brands out there. Challenger is another good one. The first Alfa shop I worked for in 1986 is still using the rotary's lifts put in in 1982 today.
 

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Oh I forgot to post that I have worked in a shop that had 4 post lifts. It can be a big pain in the you know what when doing work underneath the car. This was 4 post lifts that had the air operated jacks from underneath.
 

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I built a garage 6 years ago. Poured a 6" slab and installed a 2 post lift rated at 9000 lbs. I have had no problems with it. Works well for the spider or the Tahoe. However I have never felt completely comfortable with the 2 post when wrenching under the car. I always place a support jack at the front and rear for added security.
 

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Heres a scary video of an import lift. Not all of the imports are bad. Like everything else in the world there's always a few bad ones in the bunch.

 

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The MAXJAX is perfect for me. I also have a 4 post. I think you could put a spider under the 2 post. If you want I could measure, but I think it's about 46" if you use the post extenders.
 

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My GTV on the 4 post. It had about 3-4" inside the tire. it's a Dannmar Lift. I think it was around $2300 installed.
 

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Sorry, no pic, but I can say just about a year ago I treated myself to a 2 post lift. For 40+ years I have been on concrete floors, all I can say is Life is Really Good.

Find a reliable unit and utilize safe work practice while under a vehicle and enjoy.

I also went back and forth for several weeks until I went for the 2 post, and I have no regrets.

good luck
 
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