Restoring a 4 post Rotary Automotive lift

To be honest, I regret buying this car lift. It ended up being rustier than I realized. I almost cut my losses right in the beginning, but I kept plugging away at it. I'm happy I have it now, but I still have mixed feelings about the process. Even after the paintwork, it seems like it was one thing after another that kept sucking money from me. First it was a cable ($125), then it was a pulley ($140), then I realized the safety locks were worn ($180). Then the piston was leaking... Add another $100 for a rebuild kit and $220 to have a shop rebuild it. Did I mention I wasted most of my 2021 summer working on this in my free time?

I have around $3500 into this lift including the initial cost. Thats the lift, the center airjacks, the old alignment machine, all the parts listed above, and paint. I wish I had paid a little more and got one that didn't need as much work. I made a video of the restore process so it's best to watch that and feel my pain. But I'll include a few photos below too. Then at the very end I'll include another video that goes over what to look for if you are thinking of buying a 4 post lift. Hopefully I can save you from some of the same mistakes I made.

Here it is when I looked at it. It was operational and still being used at the shop I bought it from. I made sure it went up/down. I acknowledged it was rusty, but figured I could clean it up.

Here it is after bringing it home. Taking it apart was difficult. None of us had any idea what we were doing and it was a grubby operation. Thankfully the shop next door let us borrow a forklift.

Here is all the rust that was hiding underneath the rear turn tables. Beneath the turn tables was a sheet of stainless someone had bolted down. I realized there was some rust under the stainless, but didn't think it was this bad.

This is after I swept away all the loose rust and started tapping it with a hammer. When the hammer punctured right through the metal in two different places, I immediately started having buyers remorse.

I decided to use electroysis to clean up the rust. I dug a pit and lined it with a tarp. It actually worked really well. The negative terminal goes to the part you want cleaned and the positive terminal goes to sacrificial metal that you hover around the part you want clean.

This is what the sacrificial metal looks like after 2 days of electrolysis. I'd have to clean it and repeat. Each ramp stayed in the water for a little over a week.

And here it is after restoration. I realized I skipped over all the the metal repair and painting pictures, but the video at the top covers everything.

In this video I talk about what to look for, and go over the best way to take them apart and put them together. I also go over how to maintain them. If only this video existed before I bought mine.