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Four Post AUTOLIFTERS Lift Collapsed - Warnings (IMAGES)

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Old 06-17-2006, 10:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglandGreen
That is a nasty surprise to see in your garage

I'm just glad it didn't slid off and hit your beautiful hot rod
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Old 06-18-2006, 02:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIRISC
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KWIKLIFT, INC.
805 S. 11th• Broken Arrow, OK 74012
Toll Free: 1-800-961-LIFT (5438)
E-mail: [email protected] • Local: 918-258-8492

Perhaps it's a coincidence
hmmm.... tulsa to broken arrow:


1: Start out going NORTHEAST on W 2ND ST S toward S CINCINNATI AVE. 0.2 miles Map

2: Turn RIGHT onto S CINCINNATI AVE. 0.4 miles Map

3: Turn LEFT onto E 8TH ST S. 0.2 miles Map

4: Merge onto OK-51 E toward BROKEN ARROW. 12.1 miles Map

5: Take the 161ST E AVE exit toward BROKEN ARROW. 0.2 miles Map

6: Turn RIGHT onto N ELM PL / N 161ST EAST AVE. 1.2 miles Map

7: Turn LEFT onto W BROADWAY AVE. 0.3 miles Map

8: End at Broken Arrow, OK US Map

Total Est. Time: 22 minutes Total Est. Distance: 14.90 miles
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Old 06-18-2006, 02:49 AM   #23
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I replaced all the plastic wire rope sheaves (pulleys) with solid steel on my AutoLifter's four-post lift this year.

One of the spacer tubes split which caused a sheave to lose its bronze bushing and crack. I found it before any damage was done, but if the sheave had failed; it might have caused the wire rope to pull directly across the pulley shaft.

I’m pretty sure AutoLifters sent out a warning letter to all owners about potential problems and corrections of the “spacer” that had a smaller outside diameter than the bronze bushing used in the sheaves. The undersized spacer would allow the sheave to slide off the bushing and run on hard steel.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:02 AM   #24
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For those of you with Autolifters units still in service, I have been informed by BYB that they are manufacturing and selling (at cost) replacement parts for Autolifters units.

Replacing the older plastic pulleys with steel is a very wise idea, as the plastic pulleys supplied on older Autolifters hoists have a tendency to crack at the edges, which could possibly enable a cable to slip off as you've indicated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FRISKY
I replaced all the plastic wire rope sheaves (pulleys) with solid steel on my AutoLifter's four-post lift this year.

One of the spacer tubes split which caused a sheave to lose its bronze bushing and crack. I found it before any damage was done, but if the sheave had failed; it might have caused the wire rope to pull directly across the pulley shaft.

I’m pretty sure AutoLifters sent out a warning letter to all owners about potential problems and corrections of the “spacer” that had a smaller outside diameter than the bronze bushing used in the sheaves. The undersized spacer would allow the sheave to slide off the bushing and run on hard steel.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:06 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglandGreen
That is a nasty surprise to see in your garage

I'm just glad it didn't slid off and hit your beautiful hot rod
It's an even nastier surprise when you're standing there holding the button watching a car go up in the air!

The normal use of lift (it's in my father-in-law's garage -- I wish these were my cars!) is storing a 1977 Mercedes 240D (with 11,000 miles -- an absolute 100-point car) over a 2004 Mercedes SL55, next to a 98-point 1930 Model A Rumble Seat Roadster (pictured). I can't even imagine the havoc that would have resulted had it collapsed in its usual configuration.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:13 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by striper
I have researched almost all available lifts to decide on my own purchase ... the quality of their components are also of higher quality than all others, which are all basically the same Chinese products made by one manufacturer and sold under different brand names. Caveat Emptor. I have a deposit on a BYB.
Striper...

I don't know where you got your information from, but I'll take a guess that it came from your BYB salesman.

I purchased a lift after visiting Corvettes at Carlisle more than 4 years ago. At that time there were at least 4 vendors there selling lifts including BYB. While there were some differences between the different lifts, the two commons were they were all made in the USA and they were all within $100 of each other (approx. $3000 @). Each offered basically the same options with slight variations and frankly all were high quality.

There was one big difference however... the sales reps for BYB were the only ones that were denigrating their competition. I have been around lifts all of my life and I certainly know the difference between a good lift and a bad one. I also understand the concept of "puffing" in advertising and that it might work when dealing with the uninformed, but that alone convinced me to not buy their product. Too assume all of your customers are ignorant of quality was a little too arrogant for me.

After researching all of them, the lift I purchased is of the same high quality as the BYB, and in my personal opinion, had qualities that they didn't. I even spent a couple of hours touring their manufacturing plant as I happened to be in the city where they're made.

Yes currently there are a good number of lifts being offered that are made in China, and unfortunately in America today, price trumps all with too many consumers, but there are other options available that are made in America and just as good as BYB.

Good luck with your purchase, although I'm confident you won't need it.

GUSTO
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:46 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FRISKY
I replaced all the plastic wire rope sheaves (pulleys) with solid steel on my AutoLifter's four-post lift this year.

One of the spacer tubes split which caused a sheave to lose its bronze bushing and crack. I found it before any damage was done, but if the sheave had failed; it might have caused the wire rope to pull directly across the pulley shaft.

I’m pretty sure AutoLifters sent out a warning letter to all owners about potential problems and corrections of the “spacer” that had a smaller outside diameter than the bronze bushing used in the sheaves. The undersized spacer would allow the sheave to slide off the bushing and run on hard steel.
Thanks for posting this -- I've been trying to figure out what plastic parts you all have been talking about, as I have an All American Lifts 4-post (new company of former Autolifters employees making the same lift). I haven't found any plastic parts in the cable/pulley system -- sounds like the new lifts are supplied with all steel bits.
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:16 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adb1240
Hi,

As a former Corvette owner / enthusiast, I figured I'd share these pictures of my recent near-catastrophe involving an AUTOLIFTERS (now defunct, but nearly identical in design to the popular BackyardBuddy -- with very similar design flaws) four-post lift.
Good post! One minor correction: you can be a former Corvette owner, but you cannot be a former Corvette enthusiast. It's like saying, "I used to be Italian."

DBD
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:42 AM   #29
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HOLY SMOKES!!!!! I also was at the last Carsile event and considered purchasing one of the suspect lifts!!!


Thank you so very much for posting this enlightening and life saving info!!!

I frequent the Auto hobby shop garage here on the Groton CT Naval Submarine Base and have had the opportunity to see first hand what can happen when the un-informed/un-qualified try to do things to a lift that it wasn't designed to do!!!

The four post US Made 9000lb lift that the hobby shop uses has a cable pulley system and a pneumatic operated safety latch system. If all four latches do not fully engage and the lift is lowered on the safety latches, what ever corner or side is not properly latched, will drop!!! If you just yank on the vent valve to lower the lift on the stops and don't pay attention, your in for a BIG surprise!!! I saw a guy lower an entire side of the un-latched lift with a full size ford truck on the lift and the truck was leaning approx 35 degrees before someone yelled at him. He had his back to the lift as he was lowering the lift on the safety latches. Now, only qualified shop personnel are suppose to operate the lifts!!

Thank you again for the information! I believe it will go a LONG way on allowing people to make informed choices when purchasing lifts!

Bill C
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:52 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by striper
I have researched almost all available lifts to decide on my own purchase and I have discovered one difference between BYB and all the other brands. The BYB posts are of a completely different and much stronger design. Also the quality of their components are also of higher quality than all others, which are all basically the same Chinese products made by one manufacturer and sold under different brand names. Caveat Emptor. I have a deposit on a BYB.
I'm sure BYB is a nice product, but FYI Autolifters (now All American Lifts) had/has the same post design as the BYB, and was/is made here in the USA. As to the quality of the individual components, your guess is as good as mine. However, BYB's prices have skyrocketed in the last few years - far more, IMO, than the general increased costs of steel and everything else. For the kind of money they want you could be looking at commercial stuff like Rotary.
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Old 06-19-2006, 12:18 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adb1240
For those of you with Autolifters units still in service, I have been informed by BYB that they are manufacturing and selling (at cost) replacement parts for Autolifters units.

Replacing the older plastic pulleys with steel is a very wise idea, as the plastic pulleys supplied on older Autolifters hoists have a tendency to crack at the edges, which could possibly enable a cable to slip off as you've indicated.
When I read this post it really didnt click that the pulleys they were talking about were the ones the cables run on. I cant believe after all the hoopla about how great US made equipment is, that we come to find out one of the more important parts are made of plastic. Thats scary. I must admit that price was part of the reason I bought a lift of foreign orgin but at least it is all steel. They post numerous warnings on vigilant maintainence and safety. As far as bolting it down, I now plan to do the readheads in the slab so I can unbolt it whenever I want to move it outside. Air tools will speed up the proceedure, and it will definately make it stiffer. One thing to note, if you move yours even to reposition it, make sure the posts are square when you set them back in place. I moved mine one time and the rt rear post rotated on its vertical axis just enough for the locking dog to stick in the locking channel and not engage when locking down, The corner sagged to the next lock level. Once the post was squared it worked ok. In this day and age, you pays your money and you takes your chances. Look at our car of choice. Its not perfect, but we know its flaws and we deal with it. I think its good we know what to look out for in this case regardless of who made it. Thats one of the cool things about this site.
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Old 06-19-2006, 12:27 PM   #32
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Well, at least one of those "Chinese" lift manufacturers does a very nice job of welding the pulley pivots in place so they can't come out from lack of maintenance. The brand name is Danmaar, and it appears not to have any of the weak spots identified in this or other collapses I've read about. I'm pretty hard to satisfy about machinery - but this product is a good job all around from what I can see. Cable lengths are perfect, plates are huge, runways are thick and stiff, latch blocks are massive, pulleys are steel. One clue was its shipping weight, 1800 lb. Time will tell - but so far it looks like a good product. It doesn't have to work very hard, the upper car is a Lotus (as is the bottom one).

Last edited by RB01C5; 08-08-2006 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:00 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adb1240
It appears that the pulley axle at the rear of the left runway simply came loose, enabling the pulley to wiggle itself off. It also seems the use of some Loctite Sleeve Retainer at installation time might have prevented this whole fiasco.
My lift had two locking screws on each of the pulley axles.
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:45 PM   #34
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Glad nobody was hurt and thanks for taking the time to share!
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Old 08-06-2006, 06:55 PM   #35
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What was the outcome of this, and what did you do with the lift?
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:13 PM   #36
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One problem I had with my BYB is that after two years of use(not everyday use), the lift start to squell when being lowered or raised. I spray lubricant on the pulleys and it would quiet them for awhile. I went under and removed a couple of the pulleys and found that the bronze bushing where very badly worn and egg shaped on the inside diameter. I contacted BYB and they sent me replacement bushing to replace all the bushings in my lift. I replaced them all and tagged each on I removed as to where it came from on the lift. I sent the old bushings to BYB with letter explaining it all. I hoped the would respond, but after a year I have given up, and just keep an eye on the new bushings.
You can check the condition of you bushing by raising your lift, and setting on the locking plate in the highest position, release the tension on the pulley's, go under the lift and try to wiggle the pulley from side to side, when new and not worn there will be almost no movement.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:34 AM   #37
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Now I don't feel so bad swapping trannies with a floor jack and jackstands.
I guess the moral of the story is, you have to inspect and maintain anything that is holding a ginormous weight over your easily-crushed body, no matter who manufactures it.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:21 AM   #38
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Man, I was thinking of one of those Autolifters. I ended up buy a Revolution/Rotary lift for a few hundred bucks more. It makes the Autolifters, BYB look like a toy.

Before you buy a lift, visit your local repair shops and dealers. You will not find any repair workers standing under a Backyard Buddy.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:27 AM   #39
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I posted above about the Danmaar lift I bought a few months ago. I thought I'd post again, now that it has been in service a while and has shown itself to be as good a product as I first thought. The total delivered price was only $1845 - which is the best delivered price I've seen for a 4-poster. But the important thing is the heft and overall robustness of the product. I'm very happy with it - I think its a great value.
http://www.asedeals.com/garage_lift_d-7.html
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:59 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastguy
I guess the moral of the story is, you have to inspect and maintain anything that is holding a ginormous weight over your easily-crushed body, no matter who manufactures it.
Very true!
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheaddroppings
Man, I was thinking of one of those Autolifters. I ended up buy a Revolution/Rotary lift for a few hundred bucks more. It makes the Autolifters, BYB look like a toy.
"AutoLifters" is out of business, but "All American Lifts" has taken their place.

Apparently All American Lifts has redesigned the pulleys and is now using bearings in metal sheaves (per their advertising) instead of the inferior bronze bushings in phenolic plastic sheaves that AutoLifters used.

Anyone with the old style pulleys/sheaves should look into replacing them with the new "bearing" style if they can be retrofitted onto the old design. If there isn’t a retrofit kit, you should at least replace the "plastic" wire rope sheaves with the ‘steel and integral bronze bushing’ style available from aftermarket suppliers.
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