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Discussion Starter #1
Since purchasing my Spyder, my daily driver (540i) has been relegated to the driveway. I'm not happy about exposing it to the elements since I've always taken car of my cars. SO, I'm seriously thinking of purchasing a four post lift to store the Maser when not in use so I can park the Bimmer underneath. Anyone have any experience or suggestions on what to look for in one of these? Prices are more reasonable than I had expected and seem to be in the $1.5k to $4K range. Would also provide an awesome way to get at the underside of the car for oil changes, F1 pump, etc.....
 

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I have both a 2 post and a 4 post lift. The 2 post is better for maintenance and the 4 post is better for storgage. The picture below shows both lifts.

Biggest issue most people face is height. I don't reall the minimum needed but that info is readily available with a quick google search. Quality wise, the biggest differences I saw was in the construction of the channels within the posts. How the safety stops work, how the welds are constructed, etc.

If you have a specific question I'll do my best to answer.
 

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I bought a "Direct Lift, Pro-Park 7" from Greg Smith Equipment. Love it!!!
http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/Direct-Lift-Pro-Park-7-LL-p/tppro-park7ll.htm

I have 10 foot ceilings in the garage, and can raise it high enough to stand up underneath it.

It also came with a hydraulic lift that slides up and down between the runners which allows you to raise up an axle so you can remove the wheels and work on brakes, shocks, etc.. It worked like a charm when I replaced the shocks and springs on my Jalpa. Also, its so nice to raise it up, put the oil drain under it! NO more laying on your back on cold concrete! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jake & Mike - thanks for the advice. For my purposes, it seems that the four post will be the most appropriate since I intend to use it primarily for storage and some maintenance. The two post lifts wouldn't be good for storing since the suspension would be dangling all the time. Mike - thanks for the link to Greg Smith. I think I'm going to order the same unit as you - seems like a quality outfit, in business for a long time, and stand behind their products. My only problem will be having to remount the garage door channels and electric motor. I'm going to have the door lift straight up to the ceiling rather than track horizontally at about seven feet. I can do this as my ceiling is rather high. Thanks guys! :D
 

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I removed my garage door opener too. so I could raise the car all the way up. The other nice thing about the lift, is it came with 4 Casters that allow you to move the entire unit by just pushing it around. Very convenient!

It took me about 6 hours to set it up. Unfortunately, I did it all myself! Trust me, the heaviest piece is the ramp with the hydraulic ram! My back hurt for a week!!!!





Jake & Mike - thanks for the advice. For my purposes, it seems that the four post will be the most appropriate since I intend to use it primarily for storage and some maintenance. The two post lifts wouldn't be good for storing since the suspension would be dangling all the time. Mike - thanks for the link to Greg Smith. I think I'm going to order the same unit as you - seems like a quality outfit, in business for a long time, and stand behind their products. My only problem will be having to remount the garage door channels and electric motor. I'm going to have the door lift straight up to the ceiling rather than track horizontally at about seven feet. I can do this as my ceiling is rather high. Thanks guys! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bill - thanks. The URL you provided has an interesting video that walks you through the construction and features of their model. Very helpful. I highly recommend to anyone that is looking for one of these units.
 

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BendPak is another very good option- http://www.bendpak.com/ I am purchasing an HD-9ST-B lift from them.

I am cutting into the concrete floor in my garage floor the size of the lift, going down about 12" to put in a new and much stronger base, and then bringing the new concrete pour up to about 4 1/2" below the existing floor.

In this manner I get a greatly strengthened base, and the drive-on rails will be floor level giving me a bit more available height. I am then changing the overhead rafters a bit so I have more height.

I then end up with space for two cars and a great lift to do the services!

The one Jalpa Mike suggested looks very good as well. For me BendPak is in CA so the freight is less.
 

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After looking at a number of different vendors, I concluded that most of these are made in China, and are copied from the Bend Pak design. The biggest difference is probably the quality of the hydraulic motor. I don't expect to be using these to raise and lower cars every day, so I was motivated mainly by price. I purchased two 4-post lifts from nationalautotools.com - they had the best price, lowest shipping, quick delivery and connected me with a local installer to set the units up. While I would describe their after-sale service as ok (I'm still waiting for some touch up paint), they take my calls, helped with several set-up issues and seem like decent people. The biggest hassle was unloading the lifts from the truck, as the truck had no lift gate and I had no fork lift! The installer arrived with an engine hoist, which he used to lift the heavy pieces - probably a cheap investment if you're going to do it yourself. You'll be happy you bought one.
 

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Garage Door motor Mounting

Hello all, I have an IDRIVE type garage door motor from wayne dalton company. It mounts directly above the door and would not impede your lift. Check out the pics on their website.

http://www.wayne-dalton.com/DirectDrive.asp
 

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Hello all, I have an IDRIVE type garage door motor from wayne dalton company. It mounts directly above the door and would not impede your lift. Check out the pics on their website.

http://www.wayne-dalton.com/DirectDrive.asp
Great find Scottish ladd! I'll look into that.

I will have to change my garage rails so the door goes up higher.

I also looked at nationalautotools.com and decided my cars are too valuable to rely on a Chinese made lift. Besides after reading today that Cessna is building its new entry level fixed wing airplane in China, I have decided that enough's enough.

Keep this up and our national language will soon change to Chinese!

For the $800 +/-difference I'll definitely stick with the American made BendPak!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great Scott! These are very cool.....do you have to swap out your garage doors to use the iDrive - my doors are made of wood and I'm wondering if the motor on the unit will lift a typical wood door. I also think it's funny that the unit shares the name of BMW's iDrive vehicle control system.....especially after all the complaints they've received from old-schoolers like me. :D
 

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They work by clamping onto the torsion spring bar. Somehow I can imagine that grinding loose, but then that's how the springs work too, so???

I am planing to switch to them when my openers need replacement, they're so cool. And quiet, I imagine.
 

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IDRIVE Garage Door Info

Hey guys, The IDRIVE only works on a special spring tension system that comes from that company, its a teardrop shaped tube with the torsion spring inside, I have had mine on a heavy metal style door for about 5 years or more without any problems at all, Its also very quet compared to the other systems. No I dont work in this industry, just a satisfied customer.
 
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