EZ Car Lift


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I've always wanted a lift but our garage is neither big enough or tall enough for a two post car lift but.............. in the past couple of years, two very interesting options have come to market.....Dannmar's MaxJax, a "portable" two post lift that requires permanent anchors in your garage floor. The MaxJax has a maximum lift height of 45" which makes it a "chair" lift i.e. you sit on your roller chair to use it as you can't stand up under it. The other option is the EZCarLift which is a completely portable lift that has a maximum lift height of 26". If you're like me, you're immediate reaction is that a 26" lift height makes no sense and can almost be achieved with jack stands and wood blocks. I've gotten my car about 18 - 20" off the ground using that techique but the safety aspect is, at best, questionable. So what was my thought process for making this decision and what got me started.............. it started with a very very profitable 9 months during which I sold 60 Fender Blankets and 20 Interior Panel Kits.......... you can't take it with you so you might as well spend it on the car that got you there...........and make sure you buy your wife some nice presents too!

MaxJax - is often sold by Costco for $2300 delivered.

EZ Car Lift sold direct for $1900 delivered under a Father's Day special.

MaxJax requires permanent anchors in the garage floor and storage for two 64" lift columns that weigh 300 lbs each plus the lifting motor and hydraulic components. Total weight of over 800 lbs. The column are on wheels but for a guy with a bad back, that's a lot of weight and bulk to be moving around and storing.

EZ Car Lift is completely portable, rolls around the floor with a gentle push with the foot and can be lifted and stored on it's side with no problem. Each lifting ramp weigh about 60 lbs which I can handle. Think of it as two really big sissor jacks connected together.

MaxJax takes about 30 seconds to get it to its maximum height of 45" and then requires the use of a stool on casters to move around under it.......and the stool has to be the proper height relative to your body height.

EZ Car Lift takes about 110 seconds to get it to its maximum height of 26" and requires a 1/2" drill with a minimum of 7.5 amps and 1000 rpms. Pretty much any creeper will work or you can just lie on the floor.

Two interesting choices aimed at guys like me who don't have a garage that can easily take a two or four post lift.

The MaxJax was very tempting and would add to my Costco 2% cash back card but I didn't want to risk my back manhandling those 300 lb columns. So I went with the EZ Car Lift and am pleased with my decision for a few reasons: portability, speed of set up (MaxJax lifts faster but takes much longer to set up when you want to use it) and working room under the car.........I was amazed at how much room 26" gives you.

So here's the assembly and use process.

The lift comes in two boxes weighing about 65 lbs each.
Nicely protected
Instruction Manual
Socket drives for your drill

The studs are part of the lift and make sure you save all the hardware as you'll need it for assembly. This is the "slave" end of the lift.

The gear box end of the lift has bolts which also need to be saved.
The four casters.
Everything unwrapped and the arrows pointing out the cross pieces.

This was the garage temperature when I started and it climbed to 103  as I worked on the lift..........with LOTS of frequent A/C and drink breaks.

The directions on the casters are somewhat confusing with one picture saying to install them this way while all the other pictures show them pointing to the left. Seeing as I actually read the directions instead of just looking at the pictures I got them right the first time.

The top cross piece (pink arrow) goes to the gear box end and the other piece is the slave cross piece. Once the car is in the air the slave cross piece can be removed to gain more room if, for example,  you needed to drop the oil pan.

The lift is upside down with the casters pointing up and the ramp wheel on top. You can tell that this is the rear/slave end of the ramp by the studs (blue arrows). As you can see the cross piece is a U channel made to fit over that machined cut out on the end of the ramp.

Here's the rear/slave end complete with the casters on the out side.

This is the gear box end and the blue arrow points to where the cross piece will attach. The pink arrow points to the foot that will rest on the floor when you jack it up.

Here's the cross piece with the arrow pointing to the end of the transfer rod. This will slip over the gear box piece in the photo above.

Bolts = gear box end of ramp. The transfer piece (blue arrow) will slide left.
Here's the two pieces coming together.
Gear box end complete with the transfer piece catching the gear box rod on both ends.
Call the wife and flip it over! One person can do it but it's easier and safer with two.

The pink arrow points to the lift mechanism that your drill will attach to. And there's the foot that rests on the floor when you start to lift.

You don't see this much much anymore!

This is an 8.5 amp two speed drill from Home Depot. You need a minimum of 7.5 amps and lots of torque to get your car up in the air.

First thing is some pre-maintenance with no load on the lift.
Get it about 16" in the air to check the gear oil level.

 A 1/4" hex removes the plug to check the level.  Here's my one "complaint".... the manufacturer ships the gear box full but requires a specific gear box lube that they sell with special additives to deal with the temp and stress that the gears go through when lifting. That fact should be brought up when ordering so you can have a bottle tossed in with the lift shipping cost...........or just include a bottle and add $10 to the overall price. My guess is that if you go to use your lift and find it low on gear lube, you'll use whatever gear lube you have rather then order it on-line, pay for shipping and then wait for it to be delivered.

There's two grease fittings under the ramp. This picture was taken when the ramp was still upside down.

After you check the gear box lube, you raise the lift to its full height and hit the two grease fittings with two shots of grease...... any auto grease will do. Then you lower it half way and give it one more shot. The only problem is that there's not much room for your grease gun fitting when the lift is raised. That blue cross piece gets in the way.

To make it easier you can pick up a 90 degree fitting for about $4.

The instructions also say you can oil the jack screws but all I could envision was oil all over the floor as it dripped off of the screws. I picked up some garage door worm gear lube which tends to stay in place better than oil.

The pads slide left & right so you can position them as needed.
As you raise the lift, these pads at the gear box end drop to the floor so it can't move.
The other end has these wheels so it can move up & down.

It's critical that you don't over-extend the lift past 26" or it can cause "fatal" damage and your car is stuck in the air! So I placed a yardstick right by the ramp. To be honest I didn't bother timing how long it took but it's much quicker than a floor jack and jack stands!

Once I got the pads where I wanted them I marked the location with magic marker.

At the rear end I used a 1/2" block of wood to give me clearance from the Trailing Arms. It also leveled the car off as my garage floor has a very slight slope.

This nylon anti-rattle piece chews itself up as the cross rod rotates but will stop once it gets to the size the rod wants it to be.........or so I'm told.

The picture perspective is a little skewed but the frame is resting solidly on the ramp. The slave cross piece can be removed once the car is in the air to gain more working room.

At full height.
Ready to have the brakes bled and adjusted.

When it's time to lower the lift slow down as it approaches the bottom and STOP when you see the pads lift off of the floor so as to not damage the gear box.

When I was done I lifted it up on a 2x4 and secured it to the wall.