4 post lift vs. 2 post lift. Pros and Cons.

Shop, Garage and Tools

  1. Scamp Rhonda

    Scamp Rhonda Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about a car lift but not sure which way to go. Cost, size, capabilities and safety are all factors. what do you like or dislike about yours. How did delivery and installation go. Looking to get my dream purchase right the first time. As always I trust FABO members input. Thanks much, Steve
     
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    • TrailBeast

      TrailBeast AKA Mopars4us on Youtube

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      I always liked how 2 post lifts gave so much open access to everything.
       
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      • moparmandan

        moparmandan FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      • jefflock

        jefflock 69 Dart 408 10.08 best pass so far

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        TrailBeast is right about a 2 post having more room underneath. But it depends on what you want to use it for. I have a 4 post because I use it to store 2 cars in 1 spot or just to have room to get the project car up out of the way.
        Since I'm almost done with my 68 GTS total restoration it will be more for storage. I have completely rebuilt this car using my 4 post as a level plate to measure off of to keep things square. And I do mean completely.
        I do have 3 darts in my collection.
         
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        • Scamp Rhonda

          Scamp Rhonda Well-Known Member

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          Wow, that would solve my discision making problem quickly. LOL
           
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          • 67Dart273

            67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            I have a 2 post, and cannot see how I could do some stuff at all or without difficulty on a 4 post. Very little of what I've done needs a 4 post. One exception is stuff like U joint angles or front end alignment. For front end stuff I block up the trailer level with the car on it, and use the trailer itself for a 'front end rack" Of course this is alignment only, you would not normally use that (at least my age) to replace parts

            On my 2 post, I've pulled engines, transmissions, done rear axle swaps and rear spring work, swapped K members with the engine/ trans in the car, and done front end repair and brake work.

            I have an "ugly redneck" transmission jack that works like a bomb.

            Pulling engine/ trans, the Dakota is on the hoist to adjust up / down for the hoist

            img_0864cs-jpg.jpg

            Finishing up junking a DeadRango

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            Then lifted the body on the hoist and set it on the trailer

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            The really ugly but effective trans jack

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            I have no floor, "it's outside" and I use some lightweight channel I scored for "tracks" for the cherry picker/ trans jack

            _mg_7780cs-jpg-jpg.jpg

            Not terribly clear, there is threaded rod on the lower arm which titles the support plate front to rear. This thing is ugly as hell, redneck as it gets, and works so well i can't think of a THING to improve it

            jack-jpg-jpg.jpg
             
            Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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            • Scamp Rhonda

              Scamp Rhonda Well-Known Member

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              Yeah, I like that too. How do you balance the vehicle? What I mean is how do you determine the center point of the weight?Are factory jacking pads engineered for centering a vehicle's weight? I get nervous thinking about a car crashing down when pulling or pushing under there.
               
            • Scamp Rhonda

              Scamp Rhonda Well-Known Member

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              Ok, thanks. I'm slowly leaning towards a 2 post. No pun intended. Lol
               
            • 67Dart273

              67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I gotta say the little tractor with the loader, and the 2 post is the best money I've ever spent. I'm 71, and in a fair amount of pain all the time. I cannot do much crawling under a rig and will do 'most anything to avoid that
               
            • 67Dart273

              67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              There should be cg in "the manuals" some place. I mostly use my head. Put it up a foot, and bounce it a little See what it "feels" like. My neighbor was GIVEN a Mohawk, which makes my Challenger look like a toy. One advantage to his, is that the arms lock into place. This could be a help if something 'tried to move' For example, if you got the "short arms" to far "in" with, say, the engine end over them, and it tried to tip forward, I could see it would try and pivot them to the rear, further amplifying the problem.

              One problem I have with the Dodge and 1/2T Sierra both, is that when you extend the short front arms in, you have to really fiddle sometimes to get them to 'set' on the frame, as the frame of course curves upwards to the suspension This of course is particular to this hoist, one with different dimensions might not be a concern. Mine is only a 7K hoist, and it is getting on the short end lifting the Cummins. Keep that in mind when you buy. My Cummins is not a 4wd, so it is a bit lighter than 4wd models.
               
            • Scamp Rhonda

              Scamp Rhonda Well-Known Member

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              I don't know where to begin. First off I love your tranny jack contraption. That's what you do when you get older, you invent better stuff to safe your back and body. Second off, you opened my eyes as all you can do with a 2 post. I didn't even think about setting a body down on a trailer. Bouncing it a little to feel for center sounds logical too.
              And I thought you only new electrical. Lol, thanks alot
               
            • Scamp Rhonda

              Scamp Rhonda Well-Known Member

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              I just noticed the extra bracing on the side of your 2 post. That would make me feel better for sure about any stability issues.
               
            • Dana

              Dana FABO Vendor FABO Vendor

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              I have to go to my neighbors garage to do alignment and exhaust work. Other than that, I think I like my 2 post.
               
            • halfafish

              halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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              Either lift is a compromise, you have to sort out what's more important for your needs and how they get prioritized. I went through the same decision process a while ago. A 2-post has better access underneath for just about everything. The down side, it must be correctly anchored to the floor, with sufficiently thick high-strength concrete. That meant I would have had to saw two 24" square holes in the shop floor, dig it out, and re-pour the new concrete. Also, once set a 2-post can't be moved without a LOT of work. I chose the 4-post, as I can do whatever I need underneath. It is movable if needed - I can put the swivel wheels under it to roll it about. It doesn't need to be anchored to the floor although when I find the sweet spot in the shop I will anchor it down to keep everything square. I don't need to get at the wheels or brakes often so I'm OK with driving the car onto the ramps to work on it. If I do need to get a wheel or wheels up off the ramps I made a way to use jack stands to hold the car up in the air while it is on the lift. If I need the floor space for another project, I just hike the car up to the ceiling and I have the full shop floor to work with.

              Installation on the lift was a nightmare. It is H-E-A-V-Y. I had access to a forklift which really sped up the process, but this could be done without power equipment if you are careful and get a helper or three. The nightmare part was the criminally incomplete, misleading, and overall wretched assembly instructions. I finally got it all figured out and really like the lift. But whoever made the assembly booklet needs to be tarred and feathered. Perhaps with a beating thrown in for good measure.
               
              Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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              • plumkrazee70

                plumkrazee70 Well-Known Member

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                I don't have one, but alot of the 4 posts have the option of a jack that slides on a track underneath, for lifting tires.
                 
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                • Dana

                  Dana FABO Vendor FABO Vendor

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                  The best advice I can give is... take the oil and filter out of the car before you lift it up there. ask me how I know
                   
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                  • pishta

                    pishta I know I'm right....

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                    2 post lift brings back vivid memories of high school auto shop with a true 2 post jack with 2 independent hydraulic rams that lifted 1 car. You had to work them in tandem to lift car level and the rear one had a sticky control valve. A student lifted a VW and before we knew it, the front was 3 feet off the ground and the rear was 12 feet high! Lookes like Herbie coming down from a Dukes of Hazzard jump. Teacher screamed at us "Get the fuc# out of here!" While he raced opposite the crowd to the pump power disconnect. Close call. The 2 post at our maintenance shop hampers entry into the doors, only thing i could fault as well as the potential balance issue once the motor and trans are pulled out the bottom.
                     
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                    • gzig5

                      gzig5 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      I went with a 6000lb mid rise because I couldn't fit a two post. A four post might fit but I'd be super tight. A two post is more flexible in my opinion for everything but storage. If you need to do an alignment or have it on it's wheels, make or buy some wheel cribs or the Race Ramp blocks. I can jack the car up, put 24" tall cribs under the tires, drop the jack back down and have full access to the under side but laying a sheet of plywood over the jack. Not perfect situation, but I can work on the suspension loaded or unloaded.
                       
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                      • Tooljunkie

                        Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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                        I wouldnt trade my 4 post for any two post.
                        So i cant lift a body off a car? If i get creative i could. But in 6 years i havent felt the need.
                        I did build a rotisserie to work on the hoist.
                        Brake job,no problem.i have one air jack and 2 jack trays.
                        Deck is a perfect spot to place wheels,tools and parts. Try that on a 2 post. Balancing car is a non issue.

                        try and get under the dash if its sitting on your two post hoist....

                        safety-four post is safer hands down.
                        If you use it a lot, drive on push button. No setup required,and lowered vehicles are no problem at all.

                        do not buy a two post without safety locks on arm swivels.

                        never ever saw a car tip off a 4 post hoist.
                        Guess one could roll off,but thats a block the wheels thing to prevent it.

                        i have been in the auto repair industry for a long time,used all kinds of hoists, some good, some really bad.
                         
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                        • 383Scampman

                          383Scampman Well-Known Member

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                          A 4 post gives the option of extra storage with one up and one down . IMO a 2 post is more useful all the way around . check your overhead before ordering
                           
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                          • Scamp Rhonda

                            Scamp Rhonda Well-Known Member

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                            I'll have to check my concrete thickness for sure. I'm not sure but the 4 post seems like there is more work and more weight involved in setting them up. Those are all good points you brought up and I really like the idea of being able to move the lift around. Thanks
                             
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                            • Lefty71

                              Lefty71 Well-Known Member

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                              My main factor in deciding to go four post instead of two post is because, I can wheel the whole mess just outside the building if I need to pressure wash, sand-blast, paint, undercoat undercarriages, etc. There's no way I'm doing any of those things inside the building!
                               
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                              • WTruo

                                WTruo Well-Known Member

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                                When I was working as a mechanic in a dealership I was assigned 2x 2 post and 1x 4 post lift. I did the majority of my work on the 2 post lifts. I mainly used the 4 post to do services, oil changes, fluids ect ect.
                                 
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                                • Oldmanmopar

                                  Oldmanmopar Going left turning right FABO Gold Member

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                                  Make sure your floor is thick enough for a two post. And good strong concrete. My floor is 8 inches thick. I saw one rip out of the floor when the guy was jerking bolts loose. Destroyed the car and the garage when it went through the wall. 4 post are safer if you are not sure of the concrete you have. Or cut the floor and pour columns in the ground.
                                  A lift is only as safe as the installer or operator. BE SAFE !!!

                                   
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                                  • 67Dart273

                                    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                    That is mainly because mine is mounted on a steel fabbed frame---it's outdoors, and I have no concrete pad. They get in the way sometimes but not much
                                     
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