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4 post lifts


MARK
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This is a complaint about 2 major suppliers of USA made USA steel 4 post powder coated lifts.

The first lift from Tx arrived very scratched, gouged and nicked on every piece of power coated steel. Months of calls to the owner finally responded with the promise to replace. A few weeks later while lifting a car the lift broke and dropped my classic car 4 ft. Seems the cap on top of the column that has a bolt attached to the S.S. cable broke. After getting my money back and money for the car repair, the installer returned to disassemble and remove the lift. He saw and pointed out that 3 of the 4 caps were only tack welded and not fully welded. He reminded me I was lucky to be alive.

Another lift was ordered from another USA major manufacturer who advertises in every car publication. That lift also arrived with scratches, gouges and nicks on each and every part. Upon installation the installer; referred from the manufacturer as was the shipping company, called the manufacturer and informed him of all the cosmetic damages, photos followed. Again, I was told not my problem and that I should get a can of rustoleum and spray over the damages. Yea sure, I just spent $6000 for a lift, over $400 for delivery and $850 for installation. And I should do what???

My advise; for what it is worth, prior to assembly, check all welds, look for any and all cosmetic damages and refuse delivery after photographing and calling the manufacturer. Sad to say, you have already paid everyone and now its your problem.

Mark

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A good friend of mine built his own 4 post lift, but figured he had about $4000 into it when he was done if his time was worth anything, but at least he knows what he has. (It is a very nice lift. I envy his engineering skills...) By the sounds of your story, it sounds like it wasn't that bad of a deal for him!

Sorry to hear you had such an unpleasant experience!

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Several years ago I also wanted to purchase a 4-post lift. The American manufactures I talked to wanted the money up-front, and then there was a several week wait while they built it, and another wait for shipping. I did a bit of research and discovered that some of these companies had unfavorable ratings with the BBB. A few of them are no longer around or they are operating under a new name. Not wanting to part with a lot of money with no guarantee of a product, I decided to look for a used lift instead, and eventually found one not too far away on Craigslist. I found an older model BackyardBuddy lift for much less than the cost of a new one, and I got to see it operate before I bought it and inspect it to make sure nothing was missing, broken, etc. It also came with some of the accessories you'll pay extra for when you buy a new one.

Edited by adamderosa
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Be cautious of what system is used in the pins and pulleys. My lift had bushings but I wasn't made aware of that in the manual. The maintenance instructions said "lubricate" the pins with WD-40 2-3 times a year. This made me assume (there is that word again) that the system had bearings and the spray was to keep things coated and cleaned. My hoist actually had bushings and all the WD-40 did was wash what little grease there was out of the friction surface. After 3 years of this I noticed iron filings on the floor and cringed when I realized what was happening. Actually, if one only used thier hoist for storage the spray might allow it to last a fairly long time but my hoist was cycled multiple times most weekends.

The importer was contacted (5 year warranty) and after 6 months of trying to get replacement pins and pulleys and not having the use of my hoist I devised my own solution. I had a machinist friend mill the worn out pulleys and press fit proper bearings into them. As a temporary measure I reversed the pins and now I can use my hoist while I wait for the importer to supply me new pins. This whole exercise cost about $150 but I was without the use of my hoist for 6 months...

My hoist was really inexpensive as a purchase (new, under $2500 all in) but it has cost me a lot after the fact. Be careful what you buy...

Edited by StudeNorm
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Be very careful about a pit, a primary reason many States outlaw them is your are trapped underneath, if fluids drip or pool, the fire hazard is deadly.

Both lifts were advertised as US steel and US made. Problem was with quality of powder coating and both companies refuse any responsibility even though they use their favorite shipper only, and will advise you who to use to install. As I told one owner, you have all the responsibility as you controlled delivery and installation.

I am having an attorney review my photos and letters prior to posting online as I don't want to get sued .

Mark

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  • 1 month later...

When buying any product one should check reviews and BBB ratings. The Garage Forum is a great place to find information on lifts and experiences users have had. Make sure your lift is ALI certified. I have a Direct Lift and it's been awesome so far. Unfortunately when it comes to buying US made lifts, buyers have experienced bankruptcy issues along with quality issues in many cases. Make sure you have the certification and you should be good.

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  • 1 month later...

in response to Silverpate, both companies have history about 20+ years. the first company is in Texas and the second in Ohio. Since there are more than one company in each State that I spoke of, BBB did not help at all.

Mark

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in response to Silverpate, both companies have history about 20+ years. the first company is in Texas and the second in Ohio. Since there are more than one company in each State that I spoke of, BBB did not help at all.

Mark

My post actually Mark is for people buying a lift to avoid what you went thru. People should do their homework first before making this type purchase. The BBB will give you a complaint history. And like I said ALI certification is most important. Unfortunately it has been proven thru the track records most US made lifts have issues.

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