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MG TD TF 1500 - Car Lift

I would like to put a lift in my garage for the TD but because of the garage door opener the most I could lift it would be 45" (with the windshield up). This would give me about 53" clearance below the chassis.
I was thinking about something simple that did not required mounting into the concrete, and yet would give me access to the undercarriage with minimal interference.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Mort 50 TD

There was a thread a month or so ago showing such a portable scissors lift. There are quite a few on the web I surfed back then. Wish I had one!
efh Haskell

Mort I think Harbor Freight had one, but I haven't a clue how it works. PJ
Paul S Jennings

Check out There are many, many threads in there on car lifts.

I currently have a Maxjax that I love, though it did require drilling anchors into the concrete.

I've also had a four post lift with a 8' ceiling that didn't require anchors. It worked OK, but the ramps, posts, etc. got in the way a lot.
David Littlefield

Mort, I have a pdf of the HF installation manual but I don't know how to post a pdf. send me an email and I'll email a copy back to you. I bought the MaxJax 4 foot two post lift from Summit Racing but I haven't installed it yet. Here's the link:

Jud jchapin3 at aol dot com
J K Chapin

I don't have a lift, but given all I have are British cars (apart from the Miata, and it's nearly one), and given that all British cars drip oil, how does one deal with the fact that the one on top is bound to drip on the one on the bottom!?
Kevin McLemore

When I installed my lift, I had to move the door and the door opener to get more head room. The ceiling is 12 feet. I moved the track up to the ceiling, and got a jack shaft door opener. The opener mounts on the door track one the top on the left side.
D. Sander

most 4 post lifts don't require to be bolted to the floor in fact many have castors so that they can be moved
W. A. Chasser Jr

You can get a shaft mount opener that mounts on the wall by the door. That will give you an extra foot or so. I have three of them and I'm satisfied with their performance.
Steve Simmons

Re: Oil dripping

You can get decking or plastic catch bins for 4 post lifts, some come with them as standard.

Two post type lifts are more problematic, assuming you have one that will lift high enough to park another car under it.

Re: Maxjax

If you are a Costco member you can occasionally get it on sale for around $2000. There are also sometimes group buys on I got mine for around $1800 on a group buy a few years ago.
David Littlefield

I bought mine for $500 used; an exceptional deal but there are other very good deals out there as well.

Ditto on the wall mounted, shaft opener. I have one in my lift bay so I have the full 12' available.
JE Carroll


This is the lift I installed in my 1 car garage. I did have room to get it in front of the door opener, but with a little modification to the garage, I know can get three cars in. My garage is about 26' deep. I did remove a couple of the stringers across the width of the garage, but they weren't doing anything anyway. I have a 32' workshop built in the front of the garage, so I made a small dog house to run the front of the lower car into. By doing that I can still fit my wife's Honda behind it. Works great for me. The lift will go to the second highest setting, so there is still plenty of room to work under the car.

I think I paid about $2700 for the lift, and my son and I had it installed in 5 hours.


G Parker

If the opener is the only problem it's an easy fix. (even if you keep present opener)
My contractor mounted my opener just slightly higher than my track for the door. 7 foot doors made it too low for my liking. I simply moved it closer to the ceiling and extended the arm that attaches to top of the garage door. Only a 15/20 minute job to fix.
If you look close you can see the one on my larger door is still "low" (way they installed both of them)
My uncle did the same thing on his ...his are right on the ceiling.

David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

If removal of the door opener will solve your problem there is an other solution. Overhead Door, I believe, now sells an opener that is a worm drive with the motor mounted vertically at one side of the door. A coupling is installed on the end of the shaft passing through the torsion springs. The worm drive turns the shaft with the assist of the torsion springs. The old overhear track is removed. Talk about silent operation.

Jim Haskins

1953 TD
J. M. Haskins

This one seems reasonably priced. Anyone have any experience with this brand?

Thank you all for the suggestion to move the garage door opener. I will look into that tomorrow.

Mort 50 TD


Is it for storage that you want it or for working on your cars. If for storage the four post will work fine but for working on cars a two post, preferably asymmetric, is the best. The four post is fine for oil changes but for most other work it's usually in the way.

Two posts give you the most freedom to move around and have the least stuff in the way. You do have to bolt them to the floor and you generally need 5" of concrete under the posts but I've seen some that say 4" is OK.

The old single post lifts that gas stations had years ago were fine for suspension work but for exhausts the post was always in the way. Pits were the "pits" for sure. I hated working in one and always thought it was a trap. They all seem to have been filled in so I guess insurance companies thought so as well.


JE Carroll

Yeah, Jim, the pits were filled in because in many states they were made illegal... the reason is that because gasoline fumes are heavier than air they could accumulate in a deep pit and be a substantial fire hazard. That being said, I think they were being overly cautious - they have used pits all over the UK for ages and I know of very few that have ever blown up.
Kevin McLemore

I will be using it primarily for working on the TD but also for storage during winter snowfalls.
I agree with you about the working room with the two post but I am leery about anchoring it into the slab. I believe the building code allows a 4" slab in this county but since I did not witness the pour I have no idea what kind of job the builder did. This was a spec house in an adult community and I have no idea what short cuts were used. I also don't know anything about the fill and insulation below the slab.
Some of the units I am considering have ramps that are adjustable to accommodate different tire footprints. If I set them to the maximum width for the TD I should get decent work clearance.

BTW, What is meant by "asymmetric" for a two post?

Mort 50 TD

Asymmetrical could mean it's not balanced due to the swinging lift arms.
You need a good foundation for a two post lift. My son had a 3 foot square hole cut through his shop floor and 3 foot deep hole filled with reinforced concrete for each post. A building code regulation. PJ
Paul S Jennings

Agree 100% with what Jim said. I love my 2 post...and love being able to remove wheels and have pretty much unrestricted access to bottom of the car.
Looking at the link you posted the 4 post is 7klb and you will need to add "jacks" to work on wheels.

My BP-9klb 2 post was $1800 delivered from:

I considered a 4 post...but in the end I liked the idea of "less obstruction" to floor space you get with the 2 post. I went with a base plate model as I planed on using it as an elevator to get to attic storage from the start. (top brace was cheaper, but felt it would be in the way.) The arms when all the way up are high enough to walk under so really lose less than a total square yard of "floor space". That makes it easy to move things around in the garage!

Guess it all comes down to "what" you want to get out a lift.
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Mort; The 4 post is a better storage lift than working lift - but better than laying on the floor for many operations. Width of the runways make wheel related services a stretch. Narrowing the the spread would help there. Be sure and get a jack plate with the unit if you go 4 post as it helps with service work requiring wheel removal. Mine is a relatively inexpensive China copy of a BendPak lift and is not bolted down. Been in service 3 years now. Garage door tracks and opener were raised to ceiling level for lift clearance.
Asymetrical 2 post lifts have 2 long arms and 2 short arms to allow you to position the vehicle further back for door opening clearance. Really want good anchor points for one of these.

Dan Craig

I am going to throw one more thing into the mix...Shopping for best price I ran into a little game one supplier tried to play on me. (Don't recall what vendor it was off hand).
I was quoted a great price with delivery out of Indiana and paid with my credit card. Lucky for me my CC company followed up on the purchase...mainly because it was being drop shipped to a business with a loading dock. Most can not ship to a "home" address.

Anyhow, my CC company called to verify the charge and it was for $700 more than the purchase price. When I called the company back I was told they didn't have "my lift" available in Indy so they were shipping from Utah, so shipping was more. I canceled the sale. Don't know if that was standard business practice with them or not, but it did not sit well with me!

If you do go with something that needs concrete drilled let me know before you buy a 3/4" bit for impact drill. I rented a drill but had to pay $67.00 for the bit...have had it on CL for several years @ $35 with no takers! I can mail it to you to use! LOL
David Sheward 55 TF1500 # 7427

Mort; 9000 lb Rotary asymmetrical lift in use this morning. This a clear floor model which are generally taller than the units with a floor plate. Dan

Dan Craig

Better shot?

Dan Craig

i use a lift from Greg Smith. the only thing i would differently would be to cut the floor out so it set down flush at the ramp level. then there are njo posts to walk around.
For the TD, they have cross bars with feet that you slide in to hit the frame.
mine could hit the door if it were up but when i switch the breaker for the lift on, i switch the one for the door off.

TLW Wright

I too am looking at two post lifts and have a concern with the concrete slab thickness - 4" with one layer of mesh. For peace of mind I intend increasing the footprint at the base of each post by welding a suitably sized steel plate with gussets around the existing base plate. If height allows I might even opt for the overhead cross bar for further stability.
Peter Malkin


Dan's picture of his asymmetric shows the advantage of the type - mine is not but at the price I'll put up with squeezing into the doors.

I agree that I would want to be sure of the floor strength. I specified the mix, depth, and reinforcement in my shop. It has wire and fiberglass and has no cracks. The fibers all stood up when I etched the floor for epoxy so after the first coat I got on my knees with a DA sander and cleaned them all off before the second coat.

Maybe you could do a core sample on the floor.

JE Carroll

Info on various lifts:

Regarding pits, it isn't so much a fire hazard as an asphyxiation hazard. People have died from the fumes that accumulate in non-ventilated work pits. Typically it's when you bend down to pick up something you dropped, get a big breath of fumes, and pass out onto the ground in them. It truly is a hazard, not to mention the fall hazard as well.
Steve S

I personally would not mount a 2 post lift on a 4 inch slab! Minimum 5 inch, steel re bar reinforced. Or a poured base. You have a small footprint with a lot of leverage on top of it. PJ
Paul S Jennings

While considering the pro's and con's of the 2 post and 4 post, I came across some single post lifts. Anyone have any experience or thoughts on them?

Mort 50 TD

In principle, a single post lift is great, because it is not in the way. If it can be moved like the one in the clip, even better.

What I donīt like is the small footprint of the base. I use a scissor lifter to move my car to the back of the garage in winter, and the base is about 2 ft wide with the fork approx. 3 ft long. It still wobbles easily and I would not be comfortable to work under the car without additional support.

The lift in the clip does not seem to have much more than 3 ft base width, Iīd be more comfortable if there was a crossmember that covers at least twice that distance.

Rgds, Mike

Mike Fritsch

Mort, see my link above. The red single post lifts in the photos are mine.

The portable single post lifts are very unstable. There are reports of them being knocked over. While I absolutely love the convenience of them, I wouldn't personally use one unless it could be easily bolted down once moved into position.

The standard single post lifts are another story. They are stronger than any other type of lift I've used. See the previous link for pros and cons.
Steve Simmons

I have a 6,000 pound scissor lift with which I am most pleased. It's portable (weighs 1,000 pounds), and actually provides adequate clearance (not completely clear floor, but.......) and access to everything underneath the car. Paid $1,600, delivered to a dock. I had to pick it up, no problem. I would do it again.
Frank Bice

I want to thank everyone for all the info and advice.
I am going to get a single post 6,000 lb. lift.

We all have different reasons for our choices.

Mfg Kernel
USA Distributor Tuxedo/Redline
Sold by about 11 different reps.

This lift comes with ramps to raise the car by the tires. Drive on....push a button....gain access to undercarriage.

Slide ramps off and I can lift by the frame from the stationary forks. They seem perfect at 43-1/2" c-c. Will use a rubber adapter. This will give me access to wheels and suspension.

With 4 cars and a 2 car garage this will give me the ability to store an additional car indoors.

I'll post a photo next month when complete.


Mort 50 TD

This thread was discussed between 12/11/2014 and 24/11/2014

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