1 2
dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/16/14 7:23 p.m.

So I'm considering a car lift for my garage - the small types that are not something that could be used for commercial purposes. My garage is low, so I only have 7.5' of clearance, and with the car's current height, I could only lift it 45" before it would hit my ceilings.

I'm looking at 3 models and would like some feedback from anyone that's actually used one or more of them. Would be great to hear from people who have one of them but I'm open to suggestions from others.

1 - Ranger QuickJack - lift height is 24", weight capacity is 3500lb and its advertised as portable

2 - AutoLift Mid-Rise Frame lift - lift height is 38" and capacity is 6k lbs - also listed as portable but you'd need a truck

3 - Dannmar MaxJax - lift height is 45" and capacity is 6k lbs - not portable.

All three offer accessibility to the engine and tranny tunnel since none have cross-members - the first 2 are scissor type lifts with separate sides that don't connect in any way - neither are bolted down. The Dannmar is bolted down, and is a post type lift, but is short with a max height of 89" - so barely fits.

The lift capacity of 2-3 are appealing since I could theoretically throw my wife's care on them for easy maintenance items. The 1st is appealing since this one could be used track-side with just one of the 2 lifts for side lifting higher than I can achieve with a typical jack.

Portability isn't a priority - the priority is being able to get under the car to do work, brakes, tranny, engine, suspension, chassis, etc. These 3 offer affordability and size that fit into the garage. Price is a factor and I'd likely struggle to justify option 3 since its the most expensive.

Any thoughts-recommendations from those who have gone down this road is appreciated - wondering if there's something I'm missing.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/16/14 8:01 p.m.

I have a MaxJax and I love it.

DavidinDurango
DavidinDurango Reader
7/16/14 8:43 p.m.

I work for a collector . . .when he told me about this idea (MaxJax) I thought he was crazy.

IT IS WONDERFUL - rolling stool and you are set!

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/16/14 8:59 p.m.

There are undeniably better lifts out there, but the MaxJax was by far the best solution for me. There is nothing else like it. I looked at just about every option before making the decision.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/16/14 9:39 p.m.

Woody, is yours a standard height garage? The MaxJax almost looks like it would fit our single car garage and that would be a big bonus.

codrus
codrus GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/16/14 11:09 p.m.

I have a QuickJack and I love it.

The advantage of the portability, aside from the obvious "you can take it to the track" use, is that the placement in the garage is flexible. If I'm doing a single weekend project, I can put the car up in the center of the garage, to maximize space around it. If I'm doing a multi-week project, I can put the car up on one side of the garage, so that I can still park another car next to it.

The biggest downside is the 3500 pound weight limit -- that's really annoying with modern cars because a lot of them are between 3500 and 4000 lbs. A second downside is that the spacing of the two lift points is somewhat restrictive. The front pad is fixed in a given location, and the rear pad has to go within a range of about 18 inches. I think the 3500 pound frames were really designed with Miatas in mind and are thus length-limited by the Miata wheelbase. This means that you can't line up the rubber lifting pads with the jack points on things like an E46 (or so I'm told -- never tried it myself). They sell a higher-weight version that uses different frames with a larger distance range, although I suspect they're probably too long to fit a Miata.

Fobroader
Fobroader Reader
7/17/14 12:35 a.m.

I was looking at that Maxjax at Princess Auto....for $2k, it seems like a smoking deal especially for most small garages.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/17/14 5:54 a.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: Woody, is yours a standard height garage? The MaxJax almost looks like it would fit our single car garage and that would be a *big* bonus.

My ceiling is 10.5 feet.

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/17/14 8:32 a.m.

Nice thread.. I am watching with much interest since my garage only has an 8 foot ceiling...

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
7/17/14 9:38 a.m.

I've got a Maxjax, as well, and it is a fantastic tool. I think the main advantages over the QuickJack are the height and access. The Quickjack doesn't allow you to go in from the sides and you still have to squat to do brake work or lie down to get under the car.

The Maxjax's disadvantage is that it is semi-permanently mounted. I had to install mine to accommodate a variety of cars, which requires some compromise on the arm positions. Another alternative is drilling additional mounting holes so the post can be repositioned for different cars. You also have to position your car to the MaxJax and get everything lined up so it is balanced and the arms are in the right place, which sometimes requires some maneuvering. That's fine if you have a running car, not so easy if it isn't.

I used mine with an 8' ceiling, which worked fine for my topless British iron and the MINI. Not so great for the Toyota Highlander. With a 7.5' ceiling you might find yourself not being able to lift a car high enough to use the top safety stop so you might have to drill more holes in the posts. I've now got a 10' ceiling, so the Toyota goes all the way to the top without a problem.

If you get the MaxJax read up on installation on Garagejournal.com. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE OPTIONAL EPOXY ANCHORS! They install easier and more reliably than the wedge type that come with it.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
7/17/14 9:42 a.m.

I have a scissor lift (BendPak MD-6XP) and a 9' ceiling. It's not perfect - especially if being able to R&R a RWD transmission is required, but for the mostly FWD cars I own (and my Triumphs where the trans comes out through the interior), it works well. Under-car access isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I can still do exhaust work if I need to.

It's 'portable' in the sense that I can move it around the garage, but the sucker is about 900 lbs, so really moving it requires heavy equipment - I rented a box truck with a lift gate when I needed to move it from my ex's garage to mine.

I have a single-width garage, so a MaxJax wouldn't work for me. The posts would be against the walls and I wouldn't be able to get around them. They weren't out when I bought my lift, or that's probably what I would have bought (the ex's garage is much larger than mine).

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 SuperDork
7/17/14 10:01 a.m.

That Ranger QuickJack system looks pretty cool for someone like me who has limited height (maybe 8',probably more like 7.5') in my garage, but it seems like it really doesn't lift the car very high. I suppose high enough for oil changes, and brake jobs, but I don't know if I would want to remove a transmission in my REPU, or RX-7 with that limited height. Plus it limits access from the side of the vehicle which is where I usually attack any job on said vehicles anyway. How much do they cost? I didn't see a price on their site.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
7/17/14 11:25 a.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: That Ranger QuickJack system looks pretty cool for someone like me who has limited height (maybe 8',probably more like 7.5') in my garage, but it seems like it really doesn't lift the car very high. I suppose high enough for oil changes, and brake jobs, but I don't know if I would want to remove a transmission in my REPU, or RX-7 with that limited height. Plus it limits access from the side of the vehicle which is where I usually attack any job on said vehicles anyway. How much do they cost? I didn't see a price on their site.

I think the 3500 lb version is about $1k and the 5000 lb version is $1.3k.

There are a number of threads and reviews of this product on garagejournal.com, just do a search. There are probably hundreds of pages on the MaxJax and thousands on car lifts in general, as well.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/17/14 12:11 p.m.

I didn't have any issues with my MaxJax anchors, though once I installed it, I have not removed it. My floors are six inches thick. The posts aren't really in my way but I do store the arms and the pump in the corner of the garage.

 photo MaxJax2001_zpse17766e7.jpg

 photo MaxJax2002_zps379b3f9d.jpg

codrus
codrus GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/17/14 3:40 p.m.
Mazdax605 wrote: That Ranger QuickJack system looks pretty cool for someone like me who has limited height (maybe 8',probably more like 7.5') in my garage, but it seems like it really doesn't lift the car very high. I suppose high enough for oil changes, and brake jobs, but I don't know if I would want to remove a transmission in my REPU, or RX-7 with that limited height. Plus it limits access from the side of the vehicle which is where I usually attack any job on said vehicles anyway. How much do they cost? I didn't see a price on their site.

The QuickJack lifts my Miata to about the level where it would be when sitting on my big jackstands, adjusted most of the way up. Yes, it limits access from the side, but accessing from the ends is significantly easier than on normal jackstands, so that mostly makes up for it. It's definitely high enough to do a Miata transmission, so I would imagine it would work for a REPU unless they're really strange underneath.

DrBoost
DrBoost UltimaDork
7/17/14 5:40 p.m.

Maybe you'll find this interesting.
https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/i-finally-got-it-up-garage-lift-updatereview/63025/page1/
I also have a standard height garage.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/17/14 7:09 p.m.

I had a feeling the MaxJax would be the favorite but I guess that's what you get for 2x the cost of the smaller portable option.

I'm surprised that nobody commented on the AutoLift Mid-Rise option. It lifts higher, is more portable in nature than the MaxJax, and its one of the only scissor lifts I've seen that allows full access to the center section of the car from engine to diff/exhaust.

I must admit after reading through this I hadn't thought much about the fact that the smaller lifts wouldn't give me access from the side - guess I figured I'd either go front or back entry to the undercarriage.

One issue I think I have with the MaxJax is that once installed, I'm not sure I could walk around the car - the lifts would be up against the walls or tight up against the other car bay. I'll have to see but it would be very close.

I'm currently running a convertible M-Roadster so the shorter lift isn't likely to be a major issue in terms of working on the trans or other parts - its not that big. Certainly couldn't deal with the Venza though.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/17/14 7:18 p.m.

 photo MaxJax014_zps033f209e.jpg

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
7/17/14 8:08 p.m.
dcteague wrote: I'm surprised that nobody commented on the AutoLift Mid-Rise option.

What exactly are you talking about? Googling "AutoLift Mid-Rise" doesn't turn up anything specific.

DrBoost
DrBoost UltimaDork
7/17/14 9:00 p.m.
Ian F wrote:
dcteague wrote: I'm surprised that nobody commented on the AutoLift Mid-Rise option.
What exactly are you talking about? Googling "AutoLift Mid-Rise" doesn't turn up anything specific.

Yeah, I'm curious too. Not that I'm going to get lift #3 or anything, just wondering. I wanted the MaxJax, but I don't have enough room width-wise or I'd end up having a 1-car shop.

dcteague
dcteague New Reader
7/18/14 7:38 a.m.

This is the other one I mentioned - its the only other frame lift I've seen that allows full access to the center of the undercarriage for tranny/exhaust type work.

http://www.bestbuyautoequipment.com/Auto-Lift-6-000lb-Portable-Mid-Rise-Frame-Lift-p/al-6k-mr-38.htm

docwyte
docwyte HalfDork
7/20/14 9:52 p.m.

This is where having a 13 1/2' height garage works for me. Planning a full size two post lift next spring.

glueguy
glueguy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/20/14 10:15 p.m.
dcteague wrote: This is the other one I mentioned - its the only other frame lift I've seen that allows full access to the center of the undercarriage for tranny/exhaust type work. http://www.bestbuyautoequipment.com/Auto-Lift-6-000lb-Portable-Mid-Rise-Frame-Lift-p/al-6k-mr-38.htm

The two sides are connected (unlike the QuickJack). How does this provide easy access to the center under the car? Wouldn't those be uncomfortable on the back and get in the way of moving around under there?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/20/14 10:18 p.m.
Woody wrote:
BoxheadTim wrote: Woody, is yours a standard height garage? The MaxJax almost looks like it would fit our single car garage and that would be a *big* bonus.
My ceiling is 10.5 feet.

Turns out ours is only a little over 8'. No wonder it feels a little claustrophobic...

Ah well, I better save up more money so we'll eventually be able to make the additional garage/shop space reality. Fortunately we still have plenty of space on this lot.

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/21/14 6:30 a.m.

As a choice I am liking the MaxJax so far. It is on my want list. My garage is 18' x 28' deep. The other options would just be in my way the rest of the time. I also have a plan to make a second mounting point on my outside slab for a MaxJax when: A)I get a MaxJax (or similar) 2)I get an outside slab... BTW, the vid with the Porsche was fantastic...

This one... flush floor lift with Porsche

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
PUCQAtTdTNIkyianX9SWOurLxeNg4QGdDbg7vm9Udrcyonxufntixb12Brr41sq2