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Center post removal

does anyone know how to remove a center post lift? a buddy need help removing some from his shop. they are air over hydraulic. you add air pressure and the post comes out of the ground. my plan was to remove the plug in the top of the lifting cylinder, pump out the hydraulic flud, remove the collar ring, and pull it up and out of the ground. and then fill the hole with road base and concrete.

NO!! Why destroy the lift?? Jack up the concrete around the lift. Dig out as much dirt as you can. Have a large tow-truck back over it and lift it out in one piece!! The car frame adapter on top of the lift post can be unbolted and removed. Then a chain is connected to the top plate (the outer cylinder) and the whole thing lifted out. The air line can be cut or disconnected during this process. These old lifts have VALUE!!

thanks for your comment, in california the lifts cannot be re-installed and my buddy doesnt want to deal with selling them or tearing up his concrete, he is looking for a quick solution

Remove the car-frame adapter and cover the top of the post with a floor patch…Just leave it…

He might want to list them on e-Bay just to see what kind of response he gets…That center post, a chrome plated high-strength tube, is worth some money. The hydraulics can all be rebuilt…Not everyone lives in California…

If you’re doing any of this in public view, such as with a building permit & inspections, be prepared to do a lot of contaminated soil removal and EPA approved disposal. They are known for slow leaks that never really affected their opperation and the EPA will have a field day if they even get a whiff of the dirt down there.So just keep it a quiet secret or your job just blows up bigger that you’re ready for.

This is where the idea of leaving the main cylinder in the ground and just covering it up can cost you the least.

When we took out 14 of them ten years ago the feds had a rabble rousing time nit picking every teaspoon of dirt where those cylinders came out. We’re a Ford dealer and had to weather that storm to remodel.

Perhaps, if you went online, and googled the manufacturer, and input the part number, you could get the repair/service manual. This would tell you how to install the lift. Reverse that, to uninstall.

Other than the good advice you’ve been given I would strongly, VERY strongly, suggest that extreme care be used when removing these lifts since you mention removing the plug.

When I was shop foreman for a large dealer a number of years ago I assigned a shop utility man to go around and service all of the lifts.
After hearing what sounded like a sonic boom that rattled every window in the place I discovered this guy had removed the plug from the floor, dumped a full 5 gallons of hydraulic oil down the hole, and then flipped the lever to the DOWN position while not setting the safety catch; which may or may not have stopped this thing.

It came down like a runaway freight train and spewed oil all over the ceiling and everything else within a 30 foot radius; including the interior of a brand new Jetta that was sitting on the next rack with the sunroof open.

This guy, and the guys in the next stalls, were very lucky they were not even slightly under this thing when it came down.
It took a full day to clean this mess up, including bringing in a crew with a scaffold to clean the perpetually dripping roof trusses.

I’m assuming the lifts would be down on the ground but just wanted to make you aware of the danger of having them up while doing something like this.

well thanks for the warning, did the guy leave the cap off? it looks like i am going to have to leave the oil in, i couldnt get the plugs out, then pull up on the inner post with a forklift while letting in unpressurised air from the lift valve. today i tried lifting them with air pressure which resulted in the seals blowing out and 10 gallons of hydraulic fluid onto the floor and the post sinking back into its hole. man, what a day. thanks for the warning and help

You forgot to mention he didn’t put the fill-plug back in…That’s not the lifts fault…They had a safety “stiff-leg” that came up with the frame adapter. The lift and it’s load were then let down so the stiff leg was supporting it and any air or hydraulic failure could not cause the lift to come down. Even with this feature disabled, a broken air-line resulted in the lift coming down fairly slowly…They had an excellent safety record and tens of thousands of them are still in use today…They get blamed for underground oil leaks, but that is VERY rare. The oil leaked out the top, not the bottom. Most of these lifts had a floor drain located nearby and these drains are the source of most ground contamination, not the lift…