Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Collingswood, NJ
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I bought a Backyard Buddy Economy lift for $2175. The thing to look for in lifts is how sturdy the "ladder" that the safety latches lock into is designed. You want the ladder bar to be part of the upright post, not bolted on seperately. BB welds the thick metal of the ladder bar directly to the post. Other brands may suspend the ladder bar by a single 3/8" bolt at the top. Those 3/8" bolts are the only thing keeping your car in the air! You want the holes that the latches go into to be firmly attached or actually part of the upright posts.
By the way, virtually all brands of lifts are all made at the same factory in China, except maybe the $5000 Backyard Buddy deluxe one that has gizmos that allow you to lift it up and roll it around.
Shipping and actually getting these lifts to your house is troublesome. They can ship it to a trucking depot near you and you can pick it up yourself, otherwise you'll need a forklift of your own or pay extra to have a truck bring a fork lift. They come as a 16' log that weighs 1200-1600 lbs.. I had them deliver it to a large auto repair shop just 4 blocks from my house that had a forklift. When I got home from work and stopped by, there it was in their parking lot. I unbolted the end plates that hold all the pieces together and took it home a couple of pieces at a time in 3 trips on my Jeep Cherokee's roof rack with some added 2x4's for support. The "runways" are serious heavy and one of them has the hydraulic cylinder. I could just barely get the empty one on my truck by myself, but I needed them to forklift the one with the cylinder in it onto my roof. At home I used my engine hoist to lift the runway with the cylinder in it off and lowered it onto a dolly I had. It only took me an hour to put it all together ready for use. It's not bolted to the floor, it's free standing. My Opel GT's(2000lbs.) and Solstice(3000lbs.) are each way under the 6000-7000 capacity of the thing, so no need to screw it to the floor.
I have a shared garage with one roof. My half has one half of the roof. With the lift shoved against the party wall where the roof is highest, the height where the Solstice or GT roofs would hit the garage roof beams is 106". The cross bar on the lift is 4"-5" thick. An Opel GT and a Solstice are both about 48" high. So, 48" + 48" + 4" = 102". I had 4" to work with. GT's have a narrower wheel stance than modern cars and the tires were hugging the inside edges of the 16" wide runways, so I moved the runway under the low part of my roof 8" inwards and redrilled the mounting holes. This probably added an extra couple of inches of ceiling clearance, so I now probably have 6"-7" of ceiling clearance.