VOLUME XIII,  ISSUE 2 - MAY- JUNE,  2018

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Tech Stuff

DAY TWO: TWO-POST LIFT

Text and photos by Chris Holley

Day two saw the two-post lift arrive. Again, the lift components were well padded providing it protection from damage. The two-post lift required less on-site assembly work than the four-post lift, but there was still a substantial amount of assembling that was performed on-site.

An extensive amount of hardware was required to complete the installation of the lift. This lift has twice the number of hydraulic fittings because the two-post lift has two hydraulic rams (one in each post).

Twelve anchor bolts (six per post) were required to mount the posts to the floor. Additional hardware included the safety lock track release handle and cable. Some of the hydraulic lines are shown in the photo.

 

With the posts still on the trailer, the hydraulic lines were run through the posts to the rams. It is much easier to install the lines while the posts are horizontal instead of on end, which would require a ladder.

The posts were moved from the trailer and with plenty of help set up on end. These two posts are extremely heavy. When each post slid from the trailer, they made a resounding thud as the mounting end of the post made contact with the floor. The top bar with the safety stop lever was lifted into place on top of each post. Several fasteners secured the bar to the posts. The hydraulic lines were run from the driver side post to the passenger side post. The electrical wiring for the safety stop lever micro switch was unwrapped and run down the passenger side post.

Once the posts were in place, a hammer drill was used to bore holes into the concrete for the anchor bolts. The concrete was 6 ½” thick or thicker throughout the garage. The hammer drill worked through the concrete with ease. If rebar was hit, the hammer drill worked a bit harder to clear the hole. If we had run radiant heat in the concrete, we would have made arrangements to drill around the water passages. The 220-volt motor was the same design as the one on the four-post lift. Again, we installed a short pigtail to the prewired motor. We took care of the small scratch on the post with touch up spray once the installation was complete. That was the only scratch on all of the components of both lifts.

 

We had to tie the hydraulic line from the pump to a T-fitting on the passenger side post. The T-fitting fed fluid to the passenger side ram and routed fluid over the top of the lift to the driver side ram. After the hydraulic lines were run, we added hydraulic fluid to the pump reservoir and then purged the air from the rams. The safety lock release handle was installed. The safety lock release handle directly acts upon the passenger side lock while a cable attached to the release handle operates the driver side release. Then the micro switch on the safety bar lever was installed and wired. This bar is in place, so a vehicle’s roof will not hit the top bar on the lift. The lever is pushed up and once the micro switch breaks the current flow to the motor, and the vehicle’s roof is protected from damage. Hopefully, we will not ever have a vehicle that comes close to hitting the lever.

The cables had to be run from side-to-side and from the bottom of the post to the top. Each king pin was removed, so the cable sheaves could be removed. The cables were loosely placed into position. The cable sheave and king pin were reinstalled once the cable was positioned correctly. Most of the work on the two-post lift is required to be completed while standing on a ladder. There are four cable sheaves at the top of the lift (two at each post) and two more located at the very bottom of each post. The final step was to install the safety lock release handle cover. The electrical wire for the micro switch was properly routed through a grommet in the cover, and the hydraulic line is protected by the cover.

The two-post lift comes with screw-jack pads on all four legs of the lift. The screw-jacks can be twisted to provide an additional 2” of lift. The rubber pad covers the screw-jack, and the pad should be in place for proper lifting of a vehicle. If the pad is damaged, it needs to be replaced. The only optional accessory we added for the two-post lift was four optional 60-millimeter frame cradle pads to lift full-frame vehicles. These pads will fit a truck frame securely and come with a 2” riser to raise the vehicle higher if necessary.

An option for the four-post lift was a pair of bridge jacks. The bridge jacks allow the vehicle to be raised off the runways, so the wheels can be removed to allow service to the brakes or suspension. While the jacks are expensive, they do provide additional options for the lift. The bridge jacks can raise the vehicle several inches off the runway. If additional height is necessary, there are 2” and 4” risers that can be used in conjunction with the lift pads.

As viewed from under the four-post runways, the Charger is protected from arrant drips from the car above. The drip pans were another option for the lift, but they are essential in protecting the finish of the vehicle stored under the runways.

With a 14-foot ceiling, both lifts (and vehicles) fit in the garage without any clearance concerns. Note the four-post lift is bolted to the floor. We can remove the 16 anchor nuts at any time and install the casters, but we will most likely leave the lift in place, so we elected to mount the lift to the floor. With both lifts installed, it has been nothing but a pleasure to work with the lifts. They are smooth, quiet, and allow us to perform tasks without having to lay on the floor. When we are not using them, they provide excellent storage to free up valuable floor space.

 

Upon completion, some thoughts about the lift installation. Each lift required more than one person to unload, erect, and assemble, therefore, plan to have a crew if the installation is not being done by a professional installer. Everything related to the lifts is extremely heavy, so having at least one person in the crew with previous experience with lift installation is a benefit and will reduce the time of assembly. With each lift, expect at least an 8 to 10-hour day to complete the installation.

 

The setup of each lift can cost $500 or more depending upon the delivery location (physical address), the placement of the lift in the shop (floor prep, moving equipment, etc.), and if any fluids or expendables are required. If the shop does not have the electrical capacity for the lifts, expect additional time and costs to accrue to have an electrician run 220-volt or 110-volt wiring for the lifts. The costs for the two lifts in the garage pushed past $10,000, but a cost-effective decision could have been made to install a two-post lift for less than $3,500. In either case, it is not small money, but the benefits of having the correct tool (lift) when it is needed is priceless.

 

To see the installation of the Four-Post Lift click here.  

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