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Old 07-12-2006, 08:22 AM
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All American Four Post Lifts

In my research for a four post home garage lift, I came accross "All American Lifts" (web site: AllAmerican.com). They are a group of former "AutoLifters" (now defunct) employees that have picked up where AutoLifters left off.

I am VERY interested in their Model M-813, which I think is essentially the former AutoLifter M-80. Lots of good features, just the right size for my needs and great price - plus it is AMERICAN BUILT.

I called them @ (316) 283-2242 and talked with "Earl" about accessories and S&H. Excellent communication! Super nice and knowledgeable guy. He did not act or sound like a "salesman" (no disrespect intended).

Now the $64.00 question - Can anyone shed any light on these guys? They look and sound sincere, and it looks like they have a good product. Has anyone dealt with them since AutoLifters went belly-up?

I would really appreciate any feedback and/or help that anyone cares to share.

thanx,

texastomeh
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:32 AM
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FWIW

I have a 3(?) year old M-80, but wish I would have went with a Back Yard Buddy. A few bucks more, but I think the BYB is a bit better lift. Nothing WRONG with the M-80, but the BYB has features that appeal to me more. Better fit/finish. A bit better engineering.


I wouldn't buy any of the formed channel 4 post lifts though!! No way!! My buddies lift wobbles more than a drunk, when he starts reefing on bolts under the car. Pretty scary. I won't get under it.

The BYB seems like it moves less than mine as well.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:13 AM
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Thanx for the feedback!!!!

That's the kind of info that I need/want!!!
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:01 AM
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This one is similar to BYB. US made. Few hundred cheaper.

http://www.classicautolift.com/
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:44 AM
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428-
The pics didn't show much, but my first concern is the planks. They appear to be formed metal, rather than structural members. If you ever decide to add a rolling tray, how do they make it work?? Thats part of my disappointment in the M-80. I have to slide my tray over the diamond plate ridges. And that wears the painted surface. BYB has a welded member JUST for the rolling trays. The tray has bearings/wheels.

The other feature a BYB has over an M-80 is the release mechanism. Mine is done with set screw clamps, where BYB has threaded spherical ends. Nice touch.

I do like the M-80's lift/drop hydraulic system a bit better. The M-80 has the lift/drop valve at a stationary hand height. My buddy's BYB , you have to follow it up and down through the range of motion.
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:17 PM
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I don't have one of these lifts, I looked one over at the Charlotte show and it had the jack tray, casters and other features but I don't remember the specifics of how the jack tray rolled. I do know they used heavier steel then BYB, had the spherical rod ends, all cables were hidden in the cross tubes, pulleys had needle bearings and needle thrust washers instead of bronze bushings. Very well made.
I've talked to Mark several times about ordering one but haven't pulled the trigger yet. He's a nice guy, call him with specific questions, he'll be glad to answer.
He's not to great at answering e-mail and his deliveries run 6-8 weeks too. All he builds is this lift but it really looks nice.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:39 PM
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Thanx 428HO for the lead re Classic Auto Lift

Followed the link to their web site and really like what I saw.

I plan follow your example and contact "Mark" re some specifics.

Also noteworthy is that they are located in Crowley, TX - which is (as we say here in Texas); "just down the road a bit". That can save some semi-serious bucks on shipping - as I should be able pick it up.

Thanx again!!!!!
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:27 AM
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Just a quick update for those of you that might be interested:

I decided on the AllAmerican Model M-813 - mainly because of the compact size. The and construction design aspects of all three lifts are very SIMULA and I think that all three are excellent for the "Garage Hermit" (my wife's term).

I called and talked some more with "Earl" on Friday (14 July) and decided to order. He called me back in a few minutes with the shipping charges and said that they probably couldn't get it out that day (it was already about 2:00 PM) but they would ship no later than Monday (17 July). Now, in my book - that's service!

I received a call this morning (Thursday - 20 July) that the shipment was on the dock here in Dallas and wanted to know when could they deliver it! I am going to pick it up at the dock - easier that way.

Will keep you guys posted as to how the "receipt inspection" and assembly go. So far, the communication and interface with AllAmerican has been fantastic.
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:30 PM
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Cool, they had it in stock?
Beats Classics delivery by almost 2 months.

If you don't mind keep a running journal of this. Pick up, installation, etc...

Also, how much was their lift? Shipping?
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Old 07-20-2006, 02:00 PM
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Will do 428ho!

Price for the Model M-813 (including 3 galvanized drip trays) = $2,895.00
S&H to Dallas, TX = $319.31
Total = $3,214.31

You also touched on one of the major deciding factors that influenced my decision; ie the fact that they had it in stock. I am planning to have knee (both) replacement surgery right after Christmas and I want to have the lift installed and working before then to save some wear and tear afterward. Even my wife agreed that was a good reason to buy it now.

Will keep you guys posted on progress.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:53 PM
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I am looking forward to your experience with the M-813. I am building a garage which should be complete in October. I have not been able to see a unit because All American does not display at many shows. Backyard Buddy appears to be very good, but they are about 40% more money. I ask BYB about a show discount at Indy. Their answer was that they would deliver the show model to me (approximately 50 miles from the Bloomington Gold Corvette show) and set up for $500. I don't call that a discount.
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:00 AM
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Updates... How's it going with the lift?
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:02 AM
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Glad that you asked!!

I was finally able to get the lift home last Tuesday. I ended up renting a U-Haul Auto Transport trailer. The lift as shipped is approx. 13'L X 2'W X 3'H. The Bill of Lading lists the weight as 2,000#. I am not sure it is thatheavy, but I do know that it is HEAVY.

I had them set it (using a forklift) between the trailer runways on the cross-members. I tied it down throughly to keep it from tipping over or bouncing around (I had to tow it approximately 40 miles through Dallas traffic). It towed and road perfectly. The trucking company (AAA Cooper) was absolutely super in helping load and secure it. I make a point of all this because it will take a good size truck or trailer to get this thing home. The trucking company could not have unloaded it as a residential delivery. When I got it home, I jacked it up off the trailer (using bottle jacks) and pulled the trailer out.

The lift is extremely well packaged for S&H. The top and bottom consists of the two runways with excess (not part of the lift) steel plates and angle iron bolted to each end. The post, cross-members, pump, cables, hardware, etc. and all "cocooned" in cardboard and plasti-wrap and set inside the up-side-down bottom runway. The entire pack is then cocooned in cardboard, padding, plasti-wrap and steel bands. Bottom-line: Packing is OUTSTANDING!

I broke the package down in the driveway using my cherry-picker motor hoist to hold/lift/lower/move the runways (the heaviest pieces) onto a pair of wheel dollies. This way I was able to roll the runways around to wherever.
I was able to man-handle all of the other parts with a little help from the cherry-picker. The construction is outstanding! The only "formed sheetmetal" on the entire lift are the pulley guards! The rest of the structure is thick steel tubing, plate, channel, diamond-plate, or rod.

The actual assembly is a "piece of cake" !! The design and construction is so simple and straightforward! The instructions are clear/concise/complete! The parts: (1) are actually all there, (2) actually agree with the pictures and instructions, and (3) ACTUALLY FIT!!

I did all of the assembly by myself using only the cherry-picker, couple of bottle jacks, wheel dollies, and a come-along (to extend the hydraulic cylinder per the instructions), plus of course the normal wrenches. I actually took me three evenings after work to assemble.

I will offer one word of caution: the instructions alert you to make sure that you have enough clearance in front of the lift to insert the front half of the latch actuation bar, or to insert that bar prior to putting the posts and cross-member in place. I had a "senior moment" and forgot to insert the bar until I had the post/cross-member in place, the runways bolted down and the lifting cables ran. Turned out to be a non-problem: I cut the bar so that I had enough room to insert it. I then joined the two pieces of the bar back together using a sleeve and tack welds. This bar does not take any load stress - it only rotates to actuate the latch release.

The latch release geometry is such that you can set it up to release by either "lifting" (clockwise) or "depressing" (counter-clockwise) the release handle. I chose to have it release by "depressing". No big thing - just a neat little feature. Don't know if it was intentional or not!

One One full day (Saturday) was spent admiring my completed handiwork, tweaking and improving on "good enough". Bottom-line: 2 or 3 people could put this thing together in a Saturday afternoon without any sweat. But, don't be afraid to tackle it by yourself.

The results are better than I really expected! To quote Paul Sr. from AMERICAN CHOPPER; "It's as smooth as budder!" . I am running mine on 110 VAC (it comes pre-wired that way with the regular 3 prong plug already installed - just plug it in). For me, the lift and lowering speeds are PERFECT! It can be converted to 220 VAC if desired.

I have rambled-on long enough, but if anyone is seriously interested in additional or more specific details; drop me a PM. I will post pictures in a journal when I get them scanned. My only regret is that I didn't buy this thing two years ago when I first started on my current project. Sure could have saved some wear and tear on my old back and knees while I was doing the chassis work!!!!!!

texastomeh
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:36 AM
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Cool.

Suprised you tackled it alone, but nice to know it can be done.
Got your ride up on it yet?
Feel confortable doing that the first time?

Looking forward to the pics because...
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:45 AM
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thanks for the great info
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