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View Full Version : Mid-rise Automotive Lifts - Help Me Decide!



Seek
07-01-2013, 06:46 PM
For years I have been pretty much set on betting a BendPak MD-6XP due to the excellent reviews they receive. I really don't have the room for any posts in the garage, or will I re-slab the thin, cracked garage floor in the house I'm at now. A scissor lift would work well as a secondary lift in whatever future garage I may be able to put together. The Greg Smith Atlas TD6MR is also a decent lowend lift.

These things are currently going for $1900 shipped and can lift up any vehicles I'd be working on (not trucks of SUV's) up to 4 feet off the ground. The BendPak unit also has a fairly low minimum height with the shortest pads.

I was set until I found people comparing these, along with some $3-5k lifts, and then the Harbor Freight unit came up, including its 56" of lift. At $1350 everyday price, it is around the lowend of others' pricing pre-shipping, but the 20% (and this week's 25%) coupons work on these things, making it $1012.49 (and special order of course). No stores carry these types of things to check out, so I can't study the weld quality or locking bar thickness, my two main concerns with something so cheap.

Saving $900 is saving $900. Other than two cases I found of hydraulic seals and the electric motor not working, no one has had any complaints about the HF units (most being the older 39" version that was clearanced and discontinued in early June). All the units are build in China, and what really matters for safety is the metal thickness, welds, and strength at the rotating joints. I don' t know if it's smart to trust other brands more when using a scissor lift, but it just seems I'd be more careless with something not sold from Harbor Freight. A good unit would also be a more long term investment if it holds up, and $900 over 10+ years isn't really anything.

Does anyone have an opinion on this? I also don't currently want the awesome looking BendPak SP-7X at $4500. It's nice to see no-post lifts (at over a ton weight) that provide nearly full access under a vehicle.

Seek
07-03-2013, 11:42 AM
Anyone? Tomorrow's the day for the 25% coupon at HF.

Cougars 2 go
07-03-2013, 12:11 PM
Anyone? Tomorrow's the day for the 25% coupon at HF.

You got me checking it out. Did you receive coupons in email or something? I can't find the extra savings from $1350.

bodyman
07-03-2013, 12:50 PM
I don't know anything about these lifts, but I have never regretted spending more for quality equipment. I have regretted spending less for discount equipment. My decision would come down to is it something I am going to use everyday, or once a month.

Seek
07-03-2013, 01:11 PM
Direct link to 25% coupon:

http://widgets.harborfreight.com/wswidgets/common/displayCoupon.do?hdr=mag&week=2713&campaign=a&page=2713a.html&cust=99999999999&keycode=1002&hftref=cj

I did a test through the web store with a 20% coupon and it worked fine. The 25% should also work tomorrow. It excludes car jacks, but these lifts seem fine. People were able to use the 20% coupons at the beginning of June when the smaller lifts were on clearance, with them getting them for $600-700.

Cougars 2 go
07-03-2013, 02:14 PM
Direct link to 25% coupon:

http://widgets.harborfreight.com/wswidgets/common/displayCoupon.do?hdr=mag&week=2713&campaign=a&page=2713a.html&cust=99999999999&keycode=1002&hftref=cj

I did a test through the web store with a 20% coupon and it worked fine. The 25% should also work tomorrow. It excludes car jacks, but these lifts seem fine. People were able to use the 20% coupons at the beginning of June when the smaller lifts were on clearance, with them getting them for $600-700.

Cool, thanks. Now you have me seriously entertaining this. It looks like there is still an additional $89.95 though for shipping making it $1102.44 total. Is that the same math or did you find a shipping discount too?

Seek
07-03-2013, 04:11 PM
With the June lift clearance, people were purchasing in store and getting them delivered to the store, to bypass the delivery charge. Then you just bring a buddy to help load it up into the back of a pickup.

I don't know how well this would work with my local store, but I figured I'd give it a try. At $1100 it's still a very cheap lift, and it should still be much safer than jack stands. Someone was under a car up on jack stands when a small 3.2-ish earthquake hit and wobbled the car. It didn't fall, but I wouldn't trust normal jack stands with my life any more than this lift. I double up on them and still I don't feel that safe.

I haven't read a bad thing yet from people who actually own the HF units. There are a lot of people with more expensive lifts bashing the HF unit, but they also have no experience with these, or have seen it (since they aren't displayed in store). If the metal is thick enough and all joints are solid on the frame and locking mechanism, there's no way it'll come crashing down on top of you.

Me being overly paranoid, I'd like to see two more locking beams though for triple redundancy. None of the "scissor"/"specialty" lifts have multiple locking beams.

http://www.bendpak.com/car-lifts/specialty-lifts/md-6xp.aspx
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c5-general/1483905-bend-pak-md-6xp-scissor-lift-install-review-20-pics-and-long-no-56k.html (BendPak)

http://www.harborfreight.com/6000-lb-capacity-scissor-lift-91315.html
http://chuck.goolsbee.org/archives/2888 (shorter discontinued HF model)

Dougy_Fresh
07-03-2013, 04:40 PM
if you want a secondary locking device, you could use a chain from one side of the scissor to the other. it would essentially make an "A" out of the lower "^" part of the "X" and unless the chain broke, there is no way the lift could lower

Seek
07-04-2013, 11:46 AM
Decision day!

I still cannot decide.

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29333

jrad235
07-04-2013, 01:37 PM
If you think ANY Mid-rise will work for you, just get it! I don't want the limited access under the car, so 2/4 post only for me.

Seek
07-04-2013, 01:47 PM
If you think ANY Mid-rise will work for you, just get it! I don't want the limited access under the car, so 2/4 post only for me.

Would you want to lose the space to the posts in your garage when using either a 2 or 4 post? They take up a lot more room. Solo 4-post is less useful than a scissor, since you can't do anything with the wheels, brakes, suspension, and the posts get in the way with body work, and with 2 posts, you cannot get into the vehicle. Exhaust is also possible with the scissors and the correct arms, and on some cars the transmission can come out too. I'd say transmission is a no-go with the fox body vehicles since the scissor needs to support closer up front, but how many times are you pulling a transmission? The other issue is 6-7k weight limitations with scissor.

I think ideal would be scissor for most things, then either 2 or 4 post in another bay for everything else (or the open-bottom scissors for $4500).

I do want to know though - have you thought about how much stuff you actually need to touch in the center of a vehicle? I'd like to pull the transmission once to install a PI converter, and hook it up to an aluminum driveshaft, but beyond that, I wouldn't be down there anymore. This is also not an issue with any fwd vehicles.

Roomy enough:

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l54/HIRISC/Lift-Rear-3-Big.jpg
http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l54/HIRISC/Lift-Front-1-Big.jpg

jrad235
07-04-2013, 01:53 PM
You know me, I work on so many different vehicles that I can't say I'll never be down there, someone might bring me a damn AWD Subaru! :P

A four post has bridge jacks to access the suspension/brakes/etc. A two post would also work since if it's spaced correctly you can get in while working on it.

I would probably clear my other bay for daily parking if I installed a lift. Unless it was a four post. Or the MaxJax setup.

Seek
07-04-2013, 02:26 PM
You know next to nothing but a scissor will fit in my current garage.

I'm also trying to figure out what I'd use it for over the next few years, other than oil changes, and that parking brake adjustment thing. I think think having a scissor available would be more useful for the more common work, even down to working under the dash. Much of the stuff that causes aches after working on a car can be alleviated by getting a car off the ground 3-4 feet.

A local dealer can get the Bendpak for $1900, or the Forward 6000MRL for $1800. Both appear also excellent with US-made pumps and support from US-located headquarters. I still wonder if it's worth twice the price of the HF one though. The automatic unlocking mechanism on the BendPak would very well justify the price just because of it being a more polished unit.