Triumph NT-9 Review — a 2-post car lift that will impress you with its stability and quality while providing you with a safe way to work on all of your automotive projects whether at the shop or at home. We also review the Triumph NSS-8 a 4-post car lift to provide you with another great option and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
Intro | Triumph NT-9 Review
Are you tired of having to lay down on your back while working underneath a car? It would be great if you didn’t have to rely on jack stands when it comes to supporting a 4000–pound vehicle just a few inches above your chest. In that case, have you ever thought about purchasing an automotive hoist for your garage? These are powered electronically or hydraulically and are available in various designs.
You have 2-post lifts, 4-post lifts, scissor lifts, in – ground lifts, wheel engaging mobile column lifts, and low/ mid rise portable lifts. Out of all these options, the 2-post automotive hoist is what most garages and DIY enthusiasts prefer. It is relatively cheap compared to the 4-post and mobile column designs, can lift everything from lightweight sports cars to super duty trucks, and doesn’t take up much floor space inside your garage.
VIDEO | Things You Need to Think About When Buying A Car Lift
The best thing about a 2-post car lift is that it supports a vehicle by engaging the designated lift points located on the frame. This means that the wheels, suspension and brakes are hanging freely in the air, and you can easily work on them. In comparison, a 4-post lift is equipped with runways. You drive your car, SUV, or truck onto the runways and then the lift raises the runway to elevate the vehicle, so you can work underneath.
This design doesn’t let you access the wheels or suspension, since they are the point of engagement through which the vehicle is supported on the lift. The only way you can do wheels – free tire or brake work on one of these, is if you install a rolling jack. These are basically little scissor lifts that slide on rails mounted to the inside edge of the runways, allowing you to lift the car above the runways by engaging lift points on the frame.
More Capacity — 10,000 lb. Car Lift | Model : L1100: 2-Pole
Typically, 2-post lifts are preferred for “drive – through” jobs. You drive in, lift the vehicle, work on it, and drive out. But remember that a 2 -post lift must be securely anchored to the concrete floor, it cannot be moved around like some of the 4-post models. In contrast, a 4-post lift is generally considered to be a better choice for expanding the capacity of your garage. Because 4-post lifts have runways that engage the tires of the car, they are better for storing vehicles. You can drive one car onto the lift, elevate it and then drive another car underneath. Now you have successfully stored 2 vehicles within the floorspace of just one, by better utilizing the vertical space within your garage.
In this article, we shall review the Triumph NT-9 which is one of the most popular 2-post automotive lifts on the market. It is relatively inexpensive compared to models from other companies, can lift up to 9000 pounds on its 4 arms and is symmetrical so you can use it on long wheelbase vehicles. The NT-9 also comes with truck adapters for the lifting pads and should fit into most standard garages since it is 109” tall. We will also discuss the pros and cons of symmetrical vs asymmetrical 2-post lifts, and help you decide which one is right for your needs.
Triumph NT-9 Review
9000 lbs. Two Post car lift
- Three stage front arms provide excellent reach on a wide variety of vehicles.
- Floor Plate to cover cables and hose and fit under low ceiling.
- Includes Power Unit/Motor and floor mounting hardware.
✓ View or download the INSTALLATION MANUAL for the NT-9.
Rated for up to 9000 pounds of load, this is one of the most affordable dual post symmetrical car lifts we have ever seen. When we say 9000 pounds, we are referring to the curb weight of the heaviest vehicle that this lift can accommodate. Curb weight is taken after removing passengers and luggage from the vehicle, and it is different from dry weight. Dry weight just like curb weight doesn’t include passengers or luggage, but it also doesn’t take into account consumables such as gasoline, hydraulic fluids, engine oil, coolant and brake fluids, etc.
Before mounting a vehicle on the Triumph NT-9, make sure that it doesn’t exceed the load rating for this particular lift. Most modern sedans and coupes weigh around 4000 pounds, so you have plenty of room before the hydraulic cylinders of this lift start straining to lift the vehicle. Even a medium duty pickup truck like the Ford F–150 King Ranch which weighs around 5500 to 6000 pounds empty shouldn’t be a challenge for this Triumph lift.
The lift system in the NT-9 isn’t as robust compared to what you would find on more expensive models that are rated for higher loads, but nevertheless it gets the job done just fine. In fact, the lift time on this 2-post system is one of the lowest we have seen on any model, irrespective of price differences. The Triumph NT-9’s arms are 4.5” above the ground at their lowest point, and 72” above the ground at their highest point.
The lift time is the duration it takes for these arms to go from their lowest to highest position. For comparison, the BendPak XPR – 9S which is also a 9000 pounds dual post car lift like the NT-9, takes 45 seconds to fully raise the vehicle. And the XPR – 9S costs significantly more than the NT-9, which makes the 40s lift time of the NT-9 that much more impressive. Most 9000lb and higher rated 2 post card lifts need anywhere between 45 to 90 seconds in order to fully raise a vehicle.
In terms of maintenance, we believe that the Triumph NT-9 should last several years without needing any major part changes. It is built from thick gauge steel and uses a 220V AC single phase motor. The carriages ride up and down with the help of a steel leaf chain riding on top of a hydraulic cylinder. One end of this chain is attached to the carriage, and the other end is attached to the inside of the column.
When you press the button to raise the lift, it activates the 220V motor, which is driving a hydraulic pump. There is a plastic hydraulic fluid reservoir right underneath the pump, hydraulic fluid from this reservoir is transferred into the cylinders, which causes the piston to rise up. There are sheaves mounted on top of the piston, which hold the chain. When the piston goes up, it pulls the chain and raises the carriages along with it.
To make sure that both carriages rise and lower at the exact same speed, there is a synchronizer cable running from one carriage to the other via a floor plate. This floor plate also houses the hydraulic fluid lines and has ramps on either side so your vehicle can conveniently roll over it without scraping the front spoiler or bumper. The Triumph NT-9 is what we call a clear roof 2-post lift. There is also a clear floor lift, an example of which is the Triumph NTO – 10A 10,000 – pound 2 post car lift. With a clear roof lift, you don’t have to worry about your garage roof being too short since the columns aren’t very tall.
For instance, the Triumph NT-9 only measures 111” from base plate to top of the post when fully installed. But with a floorplate in the middle, you can’t bring in stuff like tool trolleys, oil drain tanks, air compressors, transmission jacks, etc. into the middle of the lift. This may or may not be an issue depending on the type of vehicle you are working on, and the location of its engine or gearbox. With a clear floor style lift there is no floorplate, but the top is closed off. Instead of routing cables and hydraulic pipes through the bottom, they go around the top of the lift. Closing off the top means the columns must be higher, and such lifts may not fit into your average home garage unless you have at least 12 feet of clearance.
Clear floor lifts also have a motor kill switch integrated into the top crossbar which comes in handy if you are working on a tall vehicle such as a minivan or truck. This safety mechanism consists of a padded bar which rests just underneath the top beam. When the roof of a vehicle bumps into this padded bar, it rises up and pulls a cable that is connected to the power unit of the lift. This cable when pulled, cuts off electricity to the motor and prevents the vehicle from rising any further. Pretty neat feature if you don’t want to send your car through the roof.
- Lifting Capacity : 9000 lbs.
- Size : Overall Height : 111″ / Overall Width : 132″
- Width : Between Posts : 106″ / Drive Thru Width : 95″
- Lifting Height : 72″ / Lowered Height : 4.5″
- Base Plate Size : 19″x17″
- Truck Adapters : Yes
- Lock Release : Dual Point
- Electric Safety Shutoff : No
- Concrete PSI : 3,000
- Motor : 3 Horse Power
- Voltage : 220 Volts
- Lifting Time : 40 seconds
- Shipping Weight : 1,303 lbs.
Is the Triumph NT-9 correct vehicle lift for you?
For most homeowners, the Triumph NT-9 is a great choice as long as you don’t intend to do any sort of maintenance on large commercial vehicles. It can handle everything from a Mini Cooper to a Toyota FJ Cruiser. And the low column height means that it will fit in most garages. It isn’t very wide either, with the total width (measured from the outside of the columns) being just 132” or 335cm. The inside width or “drive through width” is a generous 95”. And the lifting height is 72”, so as long as you are under 6 feet tall there is going to be plenty of space underneath your car for you to do whatever you want.
You can remove the transmission, do oil changes, check the exhaust pipes, do wheel alignment, tune the suspension, etc. The motor needs a 220V single phase AC connection, and you will need a professional electrician to install 30-amp wiring and breakers if you don’t already have those in your garage. Don’t try to do it yourself, or else you will not be eligible to apply for warranty claims on the power unit of the lift. They will ask you for a receipt provided by a professional electrician when you file a warranty claim for the motor or pump.
And you will need to hire a professional crew in order to install the lift, if you aren’t a very mechanically handy person yourself or don’t have a bunch of friends hanging out nearby who are willing to help you out with the labor. You might need a forklift or crane of some sort to unload the 1300-pound crate from a trailer bed when it arrives at your home. And make sure the concrete floor in your garage is at least 4 inches thick around the area where you plan to mount this lift. The concrete must have a tensile strength of at least 3000 psi and should preferably be reinforced with steel rebar or fiberglass.
Don’t install the lift unless the concrete has cured completely, it takes at least 30 days for most concrete mixes to cure properly. To test the thickness of the concrete slab in your garage, take a hammer drill with a carbide masonry bit and drill into the floor till you feel like you have popped through the concrete and are now in dirt. You will be able to mark the point at which the concrete ended on your masonry bit, or you could also wrap some electrical tape 4” above the tip of the drilling bit.
Difference between symmetrical and asymmetrical 2 post car lifts
A debate has been going on since decades over which is better – asymmetrical or symmetrical 2-post lifts? And while designs have improved over the years and the differences between the two aren’t as drastic as before, there is still some merit to purchasing an asymmetrical lift instead of a symmetrical one. And even then, you have things like half asymmetrical and fully asymmetrical lifts. So, what does all this mean? Asymmetrical lifts are used when the wheelbase of the vehicle isn’t extremely long, and if you want easy access to the driver’s seat while carrying out maintenance work. You can easily get in and out of the car in an asymmetrical lift without denting or scratching the door against the lift columns. That is because unlike a symmetrical lift, only 30 percent of the vehicle is located ahead of the column in an asymmetrical setup.
VIDEO | Symmetrical vs Asymmetrical Lift
Since the majority of the vehicle is behind the lift, the door can be opened much farther before it hits the columns. And the front arm is made shorter than the rear arm, so that you can easily slide both arms underneath a vehicle that has a tiny wheelbase. Cars like the Honda Fit, Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Mini Cooper, etc. will be easier to load on an asymmetrical lift because of the shorter front arm and angle mounting style for the front arm which allows you to swing it in much more easily. Over time, asymmetrical lifts have been getting more design updates which strengthens the longer rear arms, so they don’t fail when you approach the maximum load rating of the vehicle.
Still, we don’t recommend that you use an asymmetrical lift to raise a vehicle with poor weight balance. Something like a long pickup truck with luggage in the bed isn’t meant to go on an asymmetrical lift. And modern clear floor symmetrical lifts are wider than ever before, with more drive through clearance so you can open the doors and get in or out. You don’t need an asymmetrical lift for opening the doors, but it does make getting in and out easier. There are also some “turn column” asymmetrical lifts out there, ones that have angled columns which face 45° outwards from their regular parallel alignment. This gives you even more room to open the door, and you can actually reduce the total width of the lift while still retaining the ability to open and close doors much easier.
VIDEO | “Turn Column” Asymmetrical Lifts
Triumph NSS-8 Review | 4-post auto lift
- Comes with a caster kit, jack tray, and three drip trays.
- Drip trays will keep any fluid from the top vehicle from dripping on the bottom vehicle.
- Jack tray allows you to use a bottle jack or floor jack to lift one end of your vehicle.
- Caster kit allows you to easily move your auto lift around the garage.
- Easy to set up and completely portable.
- Perfect for storing your car.
- Automatic locking that engage at 10 different positions as you raise the vehicle.
- Overall Height : 84″
- Overall Length : 175″
- Drive Through Width : 93″
- Runway Length : 165″
✓ View or download the INSTALLATION MANUAL for the TRIUMPH NSS-8
It is winter time, and there are a lot of homeowners out there who don’t have sufficient space in the garage for all of their vehicles. Leaving your car out in the cold means that you will have a much harder time starting it in the morning and depending on the weather conditions you could be letting your car sit through snowfall. Getting rid of snow from the windshield and doors isn’t fun at all, and you are also risking low tire pressures because the air volume shrinks as temperatures fall. Dead batteries are also a common occurrence during winter because the starting capacity of the battery is reduced in sub zero temperatures. And depending on how old your car is, the batteries may fail to supply enough juice to the starter motor.
So how to keep your car safe if there isn’t enough space in your garage? Maybe you have a one car garage with around 9 feet of vertical clearance. There isn’t enough horizontal space for 2 cars, but what about vertical space? The Triumph NSS – 8 is the perfect solution for getting an extra parking spot in your garage with minimal investment. And this isn’t just a parking spot, it also allows you to do tire changes, oil changes, brake maintenance, etc. without having to scoot around underneath your car scrambling for tools in the darkness while your back aches and your neck is cramped.
One nice thing about the Triumph NSS – 8 is the fact that you don’t have to install a 220V circuit in your garage. You can get away with a regular 110V connection, but it has to be 30 amps. Don’t go with 20 amp circuits or else you will blow the breakers. The NSS – 8 is also designed so that it doesn’t have to be anchored down into your garage floor. Since this is a 4-post car lift, it is inherently stable based on the design.
A 2-post car lift must be anchored down into the concrete with ¾” expansion bolts, or else the columns will fall down easily. But the NSS – 8 doesn’t have to be secured to the floor, although you can choose to do so if you want. Just make sure the concrete is reinforced, has a tensile strength of around 3000 psi, and is at least 4” thick.
The nice thing about not having to anchor this lift is the ability to move it around inside the garage. If you have a smaller garage this isn’t a feature you can use, so you might as well secure it to the concrete floor. But if you have a large workshop or commercial garage, the NSS – 8 lets you move it around with the casters that are included within the package when it ships to you. There are 4 casters, one for each of the 4 corners of this lift. You can learn more about how to attach these casters with the lift in the video below, the process is toolless and barely takes any time.
VIDEO | Triumph NSS-8
Once you have the casters mounted, lower the runway and the wheels should now be in contact with the ground, raising the frame of the lift a couple centimeters above the ground. Despite the fact that the NSS – 8 weighs nearly 1600 pounds, one man can move it around the garage floor because of how smooth these casters are (rolling friction is very low).
Another feature of the NSS – 8 we really appreciate is its single point lock release. On the Triumph NT-9 which is a two – post lift, you had a two point lock release. So, when you wanted to lower the lift, you had to disengage the locks on both posts, only then could you lower the carriages. Imagine doing the same thing with the NSS – 8, only this time you have twice as many locks to disengage because this is a 4-post lift.
The lock release is a long lever with a red knob located adjacent to the right side approach ramp. When you pull this lever, it will disengage all 4 safety locks at the same time. Keep this lever pushed and hold down the decent button at the same time to lower the lift. The NSS – 8 also comes with 3 drip trays that slide around between the runways, these prevent fluids from the top vehicle spilling onto the bottom vehicle. There is a jack tray which you can use to mount a floor jack/ bottle jack, so that you can do some work on the tires and brakes.
After all, this is a lift that uses the wheels to raise the vehicle instead of the frame. Which means you can’t do any work on the wheels, brakes, or suspension unless you lift them off the ground. One major issue a lot of people have with the NSS – 8 and its 2-post cousin the NT-9, is that neither one of them ships with physical instruction manuals. Fortunately, we managed to find the online pdf version of the manual for the Triumph NSS–8.