4 post lift and track width of GTs
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Thread: 4 post lift and track width of GTs

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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    4 post lift and track width of GTs

    I'm planning a new garage build and was looking at 4 post lifts (BendPak in particular).

    The width between runway centerlines on a BendPak lift at the narrow setting is 56.5".

    The track width of a GT (between wheel centerlines) is only 52.5".

    It seems conceivable that some tire/wheel/offset combinations on a GT might be too narrow too fit solidly on the runways of a 4-post lift. Has anyone encountered this problem?
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    Should not be a problem. I have a BendPak HD-9 Narrow. Distance between ramps is 37 1/2 inches and ramps are each 19 inches wide. Gives you plenty of room to park the toy quite solidly. It is possible, if you try hard enough, to run one side or the other off the ramps...

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    Of course, this brings up another question, that being "which is the better drive-on lift?" I have had Backyard Buddy and BendPak and I prefer the former. Both run the car up in about the same time, but the Backyard Buddy's lowering system uses a purely mechanical and operator-actuated release mechanism to release the safety catches, whereas the BendPax uses compressed air, requiring the ready availability of an air compressor. I foolishly purchased the air kit that is available, that compresses air and stores it as the lift is going up, but what I found was that the unit is simply trash. The BendPak also tends to "walk" more than the BYB did and I find myself being much more watchful, especially lowering the car, than I needed to be with the BYB. They both rust, so there is no advantage with either one on that score. BendPak enjoys the reputation of being the pros' choice, but that is because of the frame lifts they build -- my opinion, but they fall short on the drive-on models.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
    Should not be a problem. I have a BendPak HD-9 Narrow. Distance between ramps is 37 1/2 inches and ramps are each 19 inches wide. Gives you plenty of room to park the toy quite solidly. It is possible, if you try hard enough, to run one side or the other off the ramps...
    Thanks! Do you have stock-ish wheels and tires or something a little wider?

    I was looking at the BendPak HD9STX (Narrow with extra length and a foot of extra lift). Don't need the extra length but the extra lift would be nice to avoid being a head-banger.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    I am dithering back and forth on Backyard Buddy vs. BendPak, leaning towards BB until I read BendPaks response to BBs claims:

    BendPak - Backyard Buddy Comparison

    Now I'm leaning toward BendPak due to certification. The lift will be bolted down in either case so walking across the floor shouldn't be an issue. I have a good compressor and will have an air drop at the lift so that shouldn't be an issue either. BendPaks air solution looked kind of cheesy for sure.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    I regularly park a BMW 3-series on it without difficulty, and I service my daughter's Wrangler on it. However, there are times when I climb out of the car and decide to re-park it because it is closer to the ramp edge than I like. Haven't had the Opel on the lift yet, but I do put the Cobra replicar up on it occasionally and here is where you might find some difficulty. The replicar (Factory Five Type 65 Coupe) does not have enough clearance to climb the ramps. I use a pair of boards, 2"x12", that I place underneath the drive-on flaps -- this gives the car enough height to drive on comfortably.

    BendPak's criticisms of the BackYard Buddy have been on the website for some time. The sniping that the two do at each other reminds me of the current campaign for president, and I would take some of the commentary with a grain of salt -- maybe the whole canister.

    I can tell you this: I never worried about the BYB safety catches hanging up. With my BendPax, it is a constant threat. If the air pressure is not high enough (regular occurrence with that air kit they sell), one or more catches may hang up, while the others release. You can tell when this is happening when you notice one of the posts tipping at a lurid angle and you see two or three corners much lower than the one or two that are hanging up.

    The real pain is getting the unit delivered. BendPak tries to sell through dealer-installers, and, watching my installer, it is a bit more complicated than BYB. BYB will not ship their product directly to your door unless you have a fork lift. Otherwise, they ship it to the nearest loading dock available to their shipper, and it is your responsibility to get it home from the loading dock -- and that ain't easy.

    Customer relations is not the strong suit of either company.

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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
    I regularly park a BMW 3-series on it without difficulty, and I service my daughter's Wrangler on it. However, there are times when I climb out of the car and decide to re-park it because it is closer to the ramp edge than I like. Haven't had the Opel on the lift yet, but I do put the Cobra replicar up on it occasionally and here is where you might find some difficulty. The replicar (Factory Five Type 65 Coupe) does not have enough clearance to climb the ramps. I use a pair of boards, 2"x12", that I place underneath the drive-on flaps -- this gives the car enough height to drive on comfortably.

    BendPak's criticisms of the BackYard Buddy have been on the website for some time. The sniping that the two do at each other reminds me of the current campaign for president, and I would take some of the commentary with a grain of salt -- maybe the whole canister.

    I can tell you this: I never worried about the BYB safety catches hanging up. With my BendPax, it is a constant threat. If the air pressure is not high enough (regular occurrence with that air kit they sell), one or more catches may hang up, while the others release. You can tell when this is happening when you notice one of the posts tipping at a lurid angle and you see two or three corners much lower than the one or two that are hanging up.

    The real pain is getting the unit delivered. BendPak tries to sell through dealer-installers, and, watching my installer, it is a bit more complicated than BYB. BYB will not ship their product directly to your door unless you have a fork lift. Otherwise, they ship it to the nearest loading dock available to their shipper, and it is your responsibility to get it home from the loading dock -- and that ain't easy.

    Customer relations is not the strong suit of either company.
    Thanks so much for the good information! Your description of the safety catches hanging up is scary. Still not sure which way I'll go, maybe I'll keep looking for awhile.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    I have one of the generic 4 post lifts (i.e. made in China). I bought it a number of years ago for ~$1,500. Picked it up at their warehouse and assembled it myself. It wasn't easy but like the old local saying goes "Give a 'Portegy' a 2x4 and he can move the world!"

    It came with a wheel kit for moving the lift. Very handy! I have moved the lift around with a car on it, freeing up space in the garage when working on long term projects. No need to anchor it to the floor.

    I later bought a generic bridge jack and converted it to air operated with an air/oil pump from Harbor Freight. This was a very useful add-on!

    I have had my Tacoma on it without problem and I would not have attempted the 24v wagon project without a lift.

    The ceiling in my garage is only 9 ft high. I use a creeper seats to roll around under it.

    Only once has the safety latch hung up when lowering. I noticed it right away and corrected it.
    My 24 Valve Ascona A wagon project blog.
    www.alt-opel.us
    @opelgary


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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    The lift you guys have seen so many pictures of in my garage is a Backyard Buddy economy version. About $2200 plus about $300 delivered. Delivery is the biggest issue, it weighed 1600lbs and was a 16 foot long log of metal. A forklift is required to get it off the tractor trailer. I saved BIG money by simply having it delivered to a big auto repair shop just blocks from my house that had a forklift. When I got off of work and stopped at the auto shop it was there waiting for me. I unbolted the end plates and broke it down to it's 8 constituent parts(2 Runways, 4 Posts, and 2 Crossbars). I took 1-3 parts home on the top of my suv over several trips. One runway had the hydraulic cylinder in it and it was too much for me to handle, so they forklifted it on top of my suv. I used my engine hoist to get it off the roof and lower it onto a dolly. Assembly was simple as pie. I'm so glad I didn't waste money having a delivery/assembly crew do it. That would have added another $300-$500 to the cost. The whole pick up and assembly took me about 90 minutes.

    The narrow stance of our cars made me decide to drill new holes in the crossbars so that I could have the runways about 6" closer together.

    I ripped the side skirts off of my Red Baron car the first time I drove up on the thing. I had to extend the ramps for a shallower slope. Later I replaced them with some light weight aluminum general purpose ramps. They have worked out marvelously. The original ramps were 18" long, my temporary extensions made them 36" long, and my new aluminum ones are 60" long. All to simply drive up onto the runways which are about 5" off the ground. I showed them in my Garage Redo thread. I also removed the hydraulic pump that was mounted to one of the posts because it blocked easy entry to my tiny garage and remounted it on the garage wall.

    My 4 post lift is free standing, not bolted to the floor, and has been some of the best money I've ever spent. Even better, it was income tax refund money!





    P.S. As far as I know, EVERY brand of garage lift is made at the same factory in China, except for the deluxe Backyard buddy one that costs $5000+.
    Last edited by The Scifi Guy; 09-19-2016 at 12:31 PM.

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    I have two of the BendPak narrow 4 post lifts. My Karmann Ghia is on one and my GT is on the other. You will not have a problem at all.
    Jeff

    '73 GT,5spd,Recaro,EDIS4 2.2 EFI MegaSqrt, Ali Flywhl w/S10 Clutch, Elec Fan, Roller Rockers, Venolia Pistons, 6 Cyl Intake w/ Custom Injection, 15" Wheels,F&R Sway Bars,2" Exhaust,1" Sport Spring,Koni Reds,Big Brakes,3:90 Gears & Gripper LSD,Rear Disks,Ali Radiator,Hse of Colors - Kandy Pagan Gold.
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    Senior Contributor markandson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
    I can tell you this: I never worried about the BYB safety catches hanging up. With my BendPak, it is a constant threat. If the air pressure is not high enough (regular occurrence with that air kit they sell), one or more catches may hang up, while the others release. You can tell when this is happening when you notice one of the posts tipping at a lurid angle and you see two or three corners much lower than the one or two that are hanging up.
    First, don't buy their air kit, just use a small compressor and be done with it. I am running both lifts off of a small pancake compressor, the two air systems are connected together with a tee. It takes almost no pressure to release the latches, like maybe 5-10psi. It is very important to adjust the ladders that the safety catches latch into so that all four corners latch and release at the same time; this takes some patience during the install. Mine are really good but still not perfect. If I don't go up far enough to release all 4 latches and then try to go down one corner will stay latched and I can immediately see it since that corner does not move. Since my lifts are bolted to the floor it is not dangerous at all I just have to go back up and release the one corner. This problem has only happened to me around 4 times in the hundred or so times I have lowered my lifts and it is always my fault for not going up enough to release all 4 latches. That is why it is important to adjust the latches as perfectly as possible, so that they all release at the same time. I would never use one of these lifts without having it bolted to the floor no matter what the manufacturer says.
    Jeff

    '73 GT,5spd,Recaro,EDIS4 2.2 EFI MegaSqrt, Ali Flywhl w/S10 Clutch, Elec Fan, Roller Rockers, Venolia Pistons, 6 Cyl Intake w/ Custom Injection, 15" Wheels,F&R Sway Bars,2" Exhaust,1" Sport Spring,Koni Reds,Big Brakes,3:90 Gears & Gripper LSD,Rear Disks,Ali Radiator,Hse of Colors - Kandy Pagan Gold.
    123 WHP @ 6800 RPM

    www.markandson.net

    www.gpny.com

    '64 VW Ghia '09 S35 BMW Z4
    '15 BMW M4 '11 BMW 335 '04 Ford F150 SVT Lightning

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    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markandson View Post
    First, don't buy their air kit, just use a small compressor and be done with it. I am running both lifts off of a small pancake compressor, the two air systems are connected together with a tee. It takes almost no pressure to release the latches, like maybe 5-10psi. It is very important to adjust the ladders that the safety catches latch into so that all four corners latch and release at the same time; this takes some patience during the install. Mine are really good but still not perfect. If I don't go up far enough to release all 4 latches and then try to go down one corner will stay latched and I can immediately see it since that corner does not move. Since my lifts are bolted to the floor it is not dangerous at all I just have to go back up and release the one corner. This problem has only happened to me around 4 times in the hundred or so times I have lowered my lifts and it is always my fault for not going up enough to release all 4 latches. That is why it is important to adjust the latches as perfectly as possible, so that they all release at the same time. I would never use one of these lifts without having it bolted to the floor no matter what the manufacturer says.
    The one time mine hung up was when I didn't raise it up enough for all the latches to release. This happened after I moved the lift and the floor level changed. You can 'feel' when all the latches release with the mechanical release. You just need to be aware when first lowering it that it is coming down even.

    I love the flexibility of having the wheel kit to move the lift. No other issues with it not being anchored. It stabilizes when it raises up.

    I would not have attempted to do the 24v swap without a lift.
    My 24 Valve Ascona A wagon project blog.
    www.alt-opel.us
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    Mike's Opel Shop Site Supporter My location opellane's Avatar
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    So being I have a Kwik Lift it's like a four post lift kinda...Ramps...drive up
    So when you drive up onto the ramps and then raise the four post lift
    how do you raise the wheels off the ramps...on a GT you would most like to jack on the
    tire jack point tubes or rear axle.... if your lift has swing arms OK Not a problem for you but a Bridge is different

    So I ask if I have a bridge across the ramps and jack on the rear axle I would have to drive ontop of the bridge and park, to set the bridge centered over rear axle... ?? yes ? that's hard to do alone.
    The bridge doesn't slide between the wheels...or I was going to use short blocks of wood 4x4 and place between ramp and jack points as jack stands ..is this cool to do.
    You don't have to raise the car too much. What do others do?
    MIKE
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    I have my runways spaced so that, when I have the car perfectly centered on them, there is 4"-6" of space between the inside of the tire sidewalls and the inner edge of the runways. That's almost enough room for me to fit my small jack(if I must absolutely have it next to the tire). I say "almost" because I'm never perfectly centered and 1" either way and I end up with 1" too little space for the jack and the wheels would hang over the runway edge. But, I have filled the space between the runways with sections of 3/4" plywood(Too catch and prevent the Opel drips from getting onto my Solstice parked underneath). The plywood supports the errant floor jack wheel.

    This is what I do when I'm lifting one wheel at a time off of the lift. I position my jack under the spring buckets on the back wheels and under the knuckles where the front spring is attached to the A-arms.

    My lift's runways have a recessed track along the inside edges where a rolling "bridge" made of steel could roll back and forth and onto which a floor jack could be positioned when you need to lift the car in the middle or support engines and trannies. I have access to lots of scrap metal at work that I could fashion to do the job, I've just been lazy about bringing some home.

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    Mike's Opel Shop Site Supporter My location opellane's Avatar
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    So you have the same problem with lifting the GT wheels off the ramps for extended period of time you can't leave it on the floor jack.

    am going to invest in two nice small tiny scissor jacks,,like from a Toyota
    lift from the tubes slide the bridge under support with jack stands unless there a better way...can I support with blocks wood on jack tubes ?? or just use the scissor jack as a stand?

    You can see in the photo that the bridge overhangs onto ramps...does not ride on edge
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    Last edited by opellane; 09-21-2016 at 09:05 PM.
    MIKE
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    1969 Opel GT Lt Blue Metallic 2.0L,Weber 38DGES
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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    I'm confused, are you talking about what you'd do with at Kwik Lift or what others do with bridge jacks?

    When I worked in the tire shop we used pneumatic bridge jacks that rolled back and forth longitudinally, between the runways, and that telescoped horizontally on each side. With those there would be no problem raising a GT with the built in tube body lifts, or rear axle, or pretty much anywhere.

    No idea if BendPak and other bridge jacks telescope. It's a good question and something I'll have to check out!
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    Mike's Opel Shop Site Supporter My location opellane's Avatar
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    I under stand now...My Kwik lift bridge does not ride on the edge it rides on top of the ramps so the bridge is now blocked by the tires....because my lift is not very complicated very Basic...So I guess what am asking
    what is a bridge jack? and how can I get one telescoping
    MIKE
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    1969 Opel GT Lt Blue Metallic 2.0L,Weber 38DGES
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    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    Here's the one that I have. I replaced the manual pump with an air/oil one from HF.

    I cut "pins" of off two Opel jacks. I put them into the jack points and put jack stands under them to hold the car up if I need to use the jack in another place.
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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opellane View Post
    I under stand now...My Kwik lift bridge does not ride on the edge it rides on top of the ramps so the bridge is now blocked by the tires....because my lift is not very complicated very Basic...So I guess what am asking
    what is a bridge jack? and how can I get one telescoping
    The runways on most 4 post lifts have a U shaped channel the full length of the inside edge. With two runways you have two U-shaped channels, one on the inside edge of each runway. These channels are useful to hold drip pans, bridge jacks, etc that can then slide the length of the lift even when a vehicle is on the runway. If the Kwik Lift doesn't have the U channels then a typical bridge jack won't work (not that you couldn't make something that would do a similar function).
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    Here's a link to the BendPak bridge jack. You can see how it rides in the U channels. And it does telescope!

    BendPak RJ-45 Rolling Bridge Jack, 4,500 Lb. Capacity
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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