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Old 04-08-2010, 05:58 PM
 
3,071 posts, read 8,374,878 times
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Before jacking up and getting under any vehicle you need to consider several things. Is the vehicle on a flat solid surface.? If the surface is on an incline extra precautions need to be taken to insure that it can not roll off of the jack and stands even if someone bumps it. Always use at least one jack stand in any area where you will be under it. Also be sure the area on your car where you place the stands is strong enough to support the weight.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:00 PM
 
232 posts, read 565,761 times
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I went with 4 stands and the jack. Even at Sears and a "Craftsman" label, the stands were only $20ish a pair. So far, the only time I really needed to have all 4 up was to service my transmission. It'll be usefull again when I will remove all 4 wheels to powdercoat the rims. Other then that, haven't had a real need, but for $20ish I can afford to have an extra pair sitting around.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:15 PM
 
40 posts, read 43,927 times
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What I do when I have to lift a car and am concerned...

Take the wheels you removed and stack them and place them under the car. The combined height should be higher than your chest laying down. This way if anything drops its impossible for the car to hit the floor. I had a good friend almost get killed because he was rocking the car from the bottom and it slid.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:01 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,127,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
If I were going to do 4 jack stands they would be big heavy-duty jack stands on a good flat concrete floor, and I would not be doing any bigtime pulling or pushing on the vehicle.

Generally I prefer to keep 2 wheels on the ground, more stable.
I agree. I'd much rather have two wheels on the ground than all 4 in the air, although for anything I'm doing, that's almost never necessary. The first time I jacked up a car in my garage I realized how much more sloped the floor is than it looks, and that it really comes into play when supporting a vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboyslo View Post
as long as you get the ones suited to the weight of your vehicle, no problems. i've used rhino ramps for years with no issues.

when it comes to jobs that require removing a wheel (brakes, suspension, etc), one trick i was taught is to place the wheel under the car underneath the frame (or the seam in a unibody). that way, if the stand or jack fails, you have a bit of a back-up. never had anything happen, but it makes sense.

Mike
Quote:
Originally Posted by cr1080 View Post
What I do when I have to lift a car and am concerned...

Take the wheels you removed and stack them and place them under the car. The combined height should be higher than your chest laying down. This way if anything drops its impossible for the car to hit the floor. I had a good friend almost get killed because he was rocking the car from the bottom and it slid.
I learned that in shop class many years ago. It's an extra level of comfort, if nothing else.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:51 PM
 
19,023 posts, read 24,106,527 times
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Older thread revived:

I don't have a lift and don't really like lifts in general. When i was a pro tech, often times i used 4 stands and a jack instead of a lift which was there. More or less what i did depended on if laying down on a creeper was as good as standing.

One example of that was doing the clutch on a volvo 140 series where alone, and for me it was eaiser to push a tranny back up laying down, than it would be for me standing.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 3,922,713 times
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Just a cautionary tale, since the OP made his decision already.

Never, under any circumstances get under a vehicle which is supported by just a jack. Many moons ago a very good friend of mine was working underneath his 69 GTO. He only had to be under it for a minute, so he figured he could get away with just the jack. In the two minutes or so he was under the car, the hydraulic jack let go, and the frame rail bounced off his forehead. He is lucky to be alive, but has been epileptic from that day forward.

Please, use at least two jack stands. It's worth the extra trouble.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:22 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
5,142 posts, read 12,197,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanman13 View Post
Just a cautionary tale, since the OP made his decision already.

Never, under any circumstances get under a vehicle which is supported by just a jack. Many moons ago a very good friend of mine was working underneath his 69 GTO. He only had to be under it for a minute, so he figured he could get away with just the jack. In the two minutes or so he was under the car, the hydraulic jack let go, and the frame rail bounced off his forehead. He is lucky to be alive, but has been epileptic from that day forward.

Please, use at least two jack stands. It's worth the extra trouble.
We had a local reporter in our city get under his car to do some maintenance work and died as a result. I'm not sure if it was because of only using a jack but it was very worrisome to hear about.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Suffolk County, NY
874 posts, read 2,660,058 times
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As many others here have stated; always use jack stand and never a jack alone. Jack stands are not very expensive and anyone who works on cars on a regular basis has at one point or another had a jack fail to work. I do a lot of side work in my driveway and have gone through approximately six jacks in the last five years. Yes, I work on many vehicles.

I have had to use four jack stands to support vehicles on numerous occasions. I have had to do this for changing transmissions, fuel lines, brake lines, exhausts and jobs of that nature. I also use four jack stands when checking brakes, rotating tires, etc. I have never had a vehicle slide while on jack stands. Use as level a surface as possible, heavy duty jack stands and common sense and you will have no problems. ALWAYS place the jack stands under the frame rails, never under rocker panels or floors. After I place the car on jack stands I always visually check the jack stands to make sure the legs are all on the ground and to ensure that none of the stands are leaning. I then try my best to shake the vehicle to make sure it does not move. If you can rock it at all, you need to reposition the jack stands. If done right, you can't rock the vehicle no matter how hard you push on it.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
14,355 posts, read 22,413,535 times
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When I used to do this stuff (can't now), I would also constantly check that the stands and/or the jack are actually supporting the weight of the car. One time we had two jacks that we thought were holding up the car, fall over because another jack had lift the weight off of them, but we didn't know. It's weird being under there with your head between two jacks and they both fall over on their sides, but the car doesn't fall on you. We were darn lucky the third jack was able to hold it up even though it wasn't rated for that much weight. I started making sure that all the jacks and stands were doing their job before I would ever get under a car again.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:42 AM
 
19,023 posts, read 24,106,527 times
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Yeah testing the vehical on the stands is a real good idea. Once the vehicals I work on are on stands and still have tires mounted, I push and pull the vehical hard to make sure it has settled on the stands.

I have had a few problems with stands too.

Once in a driveway the pavement gave way under a stand. Lesson make sure the pavement is sound and there is no cracks showing water run off under it.

Another time the stands were fine, but the car frame broke, which in fact pinned me. Lesson check the cars frame if it is a older car, before you go under there.

I was damn near killed by a Olds 442 on just 2 stands. The customer complained the starter was no good, and didn't tell me he installed a new saftey neutral switch, and had tampered with the shift linkage.

I shorted the start motor and the engine jumped to life and the tranny was indeed in reverse! That car took off in reverse and crashed into a stone retaining wall. I was just a little bit up set.

Lesson don't trust customers who tinker around, and in a case like that have the drive wheels off the ground too.
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