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Thread: Garage Storage Lifts

  1. #1
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    Garage Storage Lifts

    Does anyone have experience and suggestions for a brand of 4 post lifts. We need more car space and will go up and we are looking for some recommendations for a lift.

    Thanks
    Robbie

  2. #2
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Robbie, I'm planning on getting a "Backyard buddy" in the next couple months.

  3. #3
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    I have a backyard buddy that I am thrilled with.

    My next little project is to install some flooring and fellow member Z8 Ken recommends this Swiss Trax floor- I was previously considering race trax and this looks like that but even better. I am also going to tile the cement on the garage walls because whenever I brush up against the walls- which happens frequently- I get my pretty little self all dusty. LOL. Thinking of doing a white rectangular subway tile, staggered with a checker pattern something like 2/3 or 7/8 up. Not so sure on the floor pattern, I want to keep it simple, but I am having fantasies of doing a rectangle on one side with the ///M Logo on it and the other side with the Scuderia Ferrari logo on it.... Heres the lovely Z8 before I put her away for a winter nap- but I had to wake her and drive her recently- she is a gem.
     

  4. #4

    Are these safe for us San Andreas locals?

    Living in an earthquake zone my first thought is do these give insurance companies any wiggle room in the event of a natural disaster?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
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    Backyard Buddy

    I've had a Backyard Buddy for about two years now in Northern California. I love it and would recommend it to anyone considering a 4 post lift. Easy to install, works as advertised, and according to the factory, is "designed to walk across the floor in an earthquake". Not sure I want to see the testing mule for that but there you have it.

    We actually tore down our old garage and rebuilt it around the BB specs with a Z8 on top. During the summer when I'm driving the Z8, I can get the Jeep on top.

    Regards!

    KQ Smith
     

  6. #6
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I just ordered a lift which will be delivered and installed at the end of September. I will take pics of the install and post them for those that are interested in buying one.

    If you are in the Modesto, CA area and want to watch the install or see the completed unit, let me know and I will fire up the BBQ and throw some Foster's in the fridge.

    Scott

  7. #7
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Scott, what kind? BYB has been on my list, along with one other.

  8. #8
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I will pull my paperwork and look as I can't remember the name due to looking at so many of them yesterday at the Good Guys Custom car show. It is certified though.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy a BYB if they were the only company on earth due to their advertising practices. Until I saw that, they were my #1 choice.

    Scott

  9. #9
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Care to elaborate?

  10. #10
    Z8 Madness
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    BYB's advertising generally is along the lines of picking on competitors quality. I recall, from my days over at corvetteforum.com, that a few did not appreciate this style of advertising. I tend to agree, a product should stand on its and the consumer should be the ultimate judge of quality.

  11. #11
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I am going to hit the hay as I have a 5 AM flight to the east coast for an event at BMW.

    I will try and find the web link and post it.

  12. #12
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    I know several folks....

    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    Care to elaborate?
    here in Tulsa that have the BYB and are very happy with them. Their advertising that I have seen has been to essentially give the consumer the "pumped up" sales pitch on why the BYB is better than all the other competitors. American Made with American Made Steel is one of their selling points. Reason is, alot of the other scissor lifts, side lifts and other 4 post lifts are made of Chinese steel and there have been problems reported with them in various car mags I have seen. Before buying one, I personally would find out if it is "Assembled in the USA" or "Made in the USA". If they are the former, then verify where the steel is made. If US Steel or Japanese Steel, you would be safe. The Chinese Steel variety is just that, variable quality and hence, I would not trust my Z8 (or the car underneath it) to one made of Chinese quality steel.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  13. #13
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Yes, that is my understanding Jeff. I would prefer not to have Chinese steel.

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    Lift Choice

    Thanks for the all the info. Most likely I will be buying a Bend Pak in the near future. My indie Mercedes shop has been using them for years and has great success.

    Robbie

  15. #15
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Can you tell us more? Why that one? Besides the local shop experience?

  16. #16
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I had my lift professionally installed today and it is great.

    Since a few of you had asked me for details, here they are:

    It is a Rotary product, 4 post, 8K lb. lift capacity. It was a package deal at the Good Guys Custom Car Show. It is hydraulic and powered by a 120v motor and came with castors, a 3K lb. jack tray, 3 plastic drip trays, non-slip wheel chocks and wheel stops for both the front and rear of the ramps. Total cost of the product including shipping was $2359.00. Installation was $400.00 and worth every penny. The unit is certified.

    The Z8 is on top with the Z3 underneath it.

    On Sunday, we are going to make some adjustments to the locking mechanism so as to raise the Z8 another 6 inches, giving me a little more room for the 3.

    I will take some pics this weekend and post 'em.

    By the way, the installer is an independent who has installed about every brand and style on the market including the carousel style that goes underground and stores / locates / delivers your car at the push of a button. It was interesting to hear what he had to say about the different brands and models.

  17. #17
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Thanks Scott. Pics would be great. Please send me or post your installers info.

  18. #18
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Hey Nor Cal,

    If you want to come take a look, I am in Modesto.

    I made some adjustments today, allowing it to raise the Z8 closer to my ceiling which gave me more room underneath. So far, I really like having it as a storage unit but only time will tell if I like have my daily driver under it.

  19. #19
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the invite. I may take you up on that at some point!

  20. #20
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    I can freely attest to the quality of my 4 post "Back Yard Buddy" with extra height. I spent a lot of time to ask around and look at others but everyone I spoke to said this was the best one.
    It was quite a bit more expensive than all the competition but I was not willing to take any risks with a cheap unit.
    The lift was installed over a year ago by a local prof. lift installer who charged $475 and the list was around $5,500 with freight in that number. So far trouble free.
    Let me know if anyone needs photos but their website has plenty.

  21. #21
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Hey KQ Smith,

    Quote Originally Posted by kqsmith View Post
    We actually tore down our old garage and rebuilt it around the BB specs with a Z8 on top. During the summer when I'm driving the Z8, I can get the Jeep on top.
    When you remodeled, what did you do with your garage doors? I do not see any or am I just missing them?
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  22. #22
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    Garage doors

    Hi Jeff,

    The garage door is an extended height roll up style from Overhead door, standard product offering from them with a std opener. The only change we made was to route the tracks at an upward angle rather than horizontally. I couldn't tell you the exact angle but it's roughly 45-55 degrees and it clears the back of the Z8 by 6-8 inches.

    If you would like me to post you a picture, let me know directly.

    Cheers!

    KQ

  23. #23
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    If you don't want to use a roll up door, have a door company raise your sectional door tracks as high as possible. I did this and installed a jack drive type motor which mounts to the front wall. I also installed electric outlets in the ceiling so the the lift is powered from above as in a commercial application. Also, I am mounting the battery tenders to the wall so that they can be plugged in the cars easily.

    My next project will be to raise the ceiling above the lift or, better yet, add a forth garage without a ceiling. As it stands now, I sit on a adjustable stool to service my cars which works OK but I'd prefer to stand.

    Scott Pettit

  24. #24
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    sectional door

    Scott, you said it much more clearly than I did, we did the stacked sectional door with the guides/tracks going up at a 45-50 degree angle above the car. The lift unit is on the ceiling as we had installed electrical outlets there.

    Thank you for helping me clarify.

    KQ

  25. #25
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    If your opener is in the way, or you just want a simple project, switch to a jack screw. I installed a Liftmaster and love it. The advantages of the front wall mounted jack screw are too numerous to list here so if you are interested, here is the website:

    http://www.liftmaster.com/consumerwe...px?modelId=834

    Scott

  26. #26
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    I am too looking for a garage lift, and while surfing the Internet I found this rather disturbing story about a 4-pole (which I thought were more stable) Garage Lift...

    http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-t...gs-images.html

  27. #27
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    If you read the entire post it reiterates what has been stated here regarding the quality of the steel used in the construction of the whole unit. Autolifters when TU because of these quality issues among others and BYB uses 100% US Steel in all of it's components as far as I can determine. Even though the overall design may be similar, inferior materials will obviously lead to catastrophe and couple with poor maintenance of your unit, obviously a recipe for disaster IMHO.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  28. #28
    Z8 Novice Z8Z1-HOOG's Avatar
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    storage lift

    This is how I store two cars in my garage.....
    In europe garages are somewhat smaller.... and just over 8 ft high....
    Single column lift gives maximum of manoeuvrability....
    As long as the window of the lower car fits in between the rear wheels of the top car all fits neatly. And of course you can still remove the wheels of the top car....
     

  29. #29
    Z8 Madness
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    The pic of the single post lift is interesting. I can't envision where the top portion of the Z1 is.

    IMO, for long term storage, the wheels should carry the normal weight of the vehicle. Also, in So Cal., the number one concern is earthquake.
    62050 - Z8

  30. #30
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Great point about the bolts and regular inspection.

    Rotary makes a great product (I have one).

    No car should be stored with the tires / suspension hanging from the car.

    Enough said.

    Scott

  31. #31
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    Pro Park 8 Plus by Direct Lift

    This is the lift I chose, a Direct Lift Pro Park 8 Plus. I originally wanted a Bendpak HD7P or HD9 (I liked the pneumatic locking system), but wanted to see the lift first. Neither BendPak or their distributors could find one for me to see. The local dealer in Dallas for Direct Lift is Derek Weaver, but there are other dealers in the U.S. They told me that a local place called House of Hot Rods had several, and sure enough, I was able to see them used commercially, and talk with the workers there. It has a manual locking system (like Backyard Buddy), but even from the Backyard Buddy head to head comparison, I preferred certain aspects of the Direct Lift.

    I picked this particular model for several reasons.

    1. It was a bit narrower than others, so it maximized the other space in the garage. If you have vehicles that are much wider than the Z8 to park under the stored car, this might not be your lift.

    2. It fits the Z8 almost perfectly. The ramps are about 3" wider than the outside width of the Z8 tires, so you have 1.5"" on either side of the outside of the tires. The mirrors still easily fit between the posts. The Z8 is about 174" long. The main ramps of this lift are 175.5 " long (180" to the outside of the posts), and when lifted, the approach ramps fit inside the garage door, so I never have to remove them.

    3. I wanted to have a lift that I did not have to bend down to access the car underneath. The maximum height under the runways is 6'9". I can stand up and walk under it without hitting my head. My garage is an add-on, so I built the ceiling 12' high in anticipation of all this. The Z8 is about 52" high, so even with the 5" thickness of the ramps, I could still raise the lift to the max height and have 1/2 foot to spare (4'9" plus 6'9" = 11'6"). I use a Liftmaster side mounted garage door opener so it does not interfere. I can explain it in another post if anyone is interested. There is another added benefit of a higher lift and a standard height garage door. If the car is lifted high, it is less visible from the outside than if the lift were lower.

    4. The lift comes with a lot of standard things included like removable casters to move it to just the right spot, and drip trays to protect the car underneath. As you can see from the pictures below, I added plywood to fill it in solidly so nothing could fall or drip on the car below. I think this is lighter than the all steel option offered, plus gives me some flexibility to do some work on the car, if I am ever brave enough. I added an extra sheet of plastic shown for added protection. A more elegant solution I am considering, is a solid sheet of plexiglass, which will run between $140 and $250 depending on the length.

    5. Last but not least, for $450 they had two guys deliver and set the whole thing up. These things are HEAVY, so that is a bargain.

    Here are the pix.
             

  32. #32
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Very nice lift. I have the same one.
    Scott Pettit
    61930
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  33. #33
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Where is it manufactured? Where is the steel from? I understand a lot of these lifts come from China... at least the steel etc. Scott, is this as good as the Rotary (in your opinion)? Still haven't installed one at my place yet.

  34. #34
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I cannot remember which one bought which but the company that I bought mine from (Direct Lift I believe) bought the a chinese company (Rotary I believe) and retooled the factory. They also use non chinese steel and I was told that they bought the company in order to stay competitive in pricing while producing a product made to the higher standards of the US.

    I really like mine and have had ZERO problems.

    You are always welcome to come over and take a look.

    Now, if I could sell the Z8 to free it up for other uses......
    Scott Pettit
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  35. #35
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    I looked at number of lifts. I eliminated a lot for size issues alone. I can't recall all of them, but Back Yard Buddy does claim to be American made with American steel. If that is a big priority, they may be your best bet. I believe they are the most expensive. If you just search "4 post car lift" you will see a lot of offerings and "head to head comparisons", so you can determine what other matters may be important. Next in the price chain would be BendPak, a good commercial name, that has US and "worldwide" plants. Others, (Superlifts, for example) claim to be American made, but do not address the steel issue. Still others, like Dover Corp. maintain that they "have" ISO certified plants worldwide and like BendPack rely on ANSI and other certifications. Dover owns Direct Lift, Rotary Lift, Forward Lift, and Revolution Lift, and claim to be the world's largest lift manufacturer. At the bottom of the price heap are brands that have no certification claims. Somehow a lift for few hundred dollars scares me.

    I will say the ProPark 8 Plus Direct lift I have does appear to have about 1/4" to 3/8" deflection in the middle of the ramp when the Z8 is loaded, but is more stable loaded than unloaded. The ProPark 8 which is not as long may not have had this deflection, but I would have to duck under it. The cars at House of Hot Rods were much bigger and heavier than the Z8, and they had no problem. Some of the lifts were quite old.

    There are some other garage lift posts you may want to search. I think others had the Back Yard Buddy and were happy with it. They may be close enough for you to go see them. I encourage you to look at Scott's too. I would not want to buy any lift without seeing it first.