Some useful advice when working on cars/suvs

Bruce Urie

The Ventures,CCR forever!
I've got a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo...LOVE IT!!!!!.....pinion seal has been leaking....though I loved it leaking as it kept tailgaters way, WAY behind me all of the time!!!! (fine spray of oil backed them off every time;)) I just got tired of cleaning the rear window after every drive, plus losing differential oil is not good.:arghh:

Had to get the Jeep up in the air in order to disconnect the driveshaft, pinion flange bolt, pinion flange and seal...problem was, using my two jacks just couldn't get the Jeep up high enough....jack stands only went up to 18 inches. This model Jeep sits way high in the air (chassis)

Well, dork here, got the grand idea of setting the jack stands on an old disc brake rotor, with the flat side of the rotor facing upwards.....put each stand on one of those....did the trick, got it high enough to just clear the differential by 1/2" over my chest.....BUT....had a bad feeling, did not feel comfortable with this idea....warning bells going off at 1,000 times a second. I had shaken the Jeep back and forth to check stability....a little wobble from side to side.....uh.....hmm.

Thus, I made a long trip to Harbor Freight and bought two 6 ton jack stands...set me back $87.....expensive. Heavy as hell.

Today I put a 2x4 block on the jack pad, jacked up the Jeep higher, wrestled the 6 ton jack stands under the Jeep, got it up very high.....nice and steady.....about 30 inches high now. Plenty of room, perfect for me to complete the job SAFELY.

That's the whole point of this story.....do not ever jerryrig anything that would threaten your life......I kept feeling very, very uncomfortable just even LOOKING at the old jackstands standing on disc rotors....sure, it was "kind" of steady, but no cigar. Kind of felt stupid, me. Like a new first grader.

I realized that my life is worth more than an $87 pair of jack stands. Even my wife was happy with the new jack stands.....well worth it for safety.....she's breathing a sigh of relief and I even got a kiss from her for doing the right thing for once.:rolleyes:!

So, when fooling around with your cars/trucks, always evaluate your personal safety FIRST....when no WARNING BELLS are going off in your head, you are ahead of the game.

I know a garage two post lift would be a great thing for me...problem is, in both of my garages, there are cracks in the cement within the 3 foot limit of where the posts would go, as I was going to get a lift earlier last year......those cracks.....well, too close to the posts, so I was very disappointed. Sad even.

I'll live with jacking up vehicles, placing SAFE stands under it as long as I can.....it does hurt my back quite a bit, all that jacking and crawling around everywhere, maneuvering stands, etc. but it's better than being crushed to death because of poor judgement.

I hope I've opened a few eyes here on this matter. Always take your personal safety very seriously.

I'm glad I did.....now I'm not intimidated like I used to be when crawling under this 2008 locomotive here.:eek:


Bruce '87 Grand National
 

Frederickdav

Active Member
Good job !! Bruce!!The Lord gave us this stuff between our ears to use for something other than filler. I've heard too many tales of guys getting crushed under their cars. It just ain't worth it. Do it right or don't do it at all!
 

John Larkin

Sublime Master of Turbology
It happened in this community. A gal named Lisa that was on this board well over 10 years ago lost her boyfriend to a car that fell on him. She came home to find him underneath. That incident comes back to me every time I raise a car. I always leave the jack pumped up along with the jack stands when raised just for a little extra insurance in case the worst happens. When doing brakes I never get my legs under the suspension, ever.
 

Warp6

Mine since '92
It happened in this community. A gal named Lisa that was on this board well over 10 years ago lost her boyfriend to a car that fell on him. She came home to find him underneath. That incident comes back to me every time I raise a car. I always leave the jack pumped up along with the jack stands when raised just for a little extra insurance in case the worst happens. When doing brakes I never get my legs under the suspension, ever.
I remember that EVERY SINGLE TIME I go under any car. That was/is very sad. Your life can change in the blink of an eye. Same goes for eye protection when grinding. Use your head people.
 

achalmersman

Well-Known Member
I know it sounds like a pain in the ass, but it's really not too bad tearing out 2 sections of concrete and digging it out a foot deep and tapering out under the existing slab. Then pour yourself 2 nice new pads. Having a 2 post is well worth the effort

No trees were harmed in the sending of this message, however, a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
 

Bruce Urie

The Ventures,CCR forever!
Ah, jeez, I hit the "post reply" button early before I posted the pictures.....excuse me, I'm in a lot of pain from working on my "locomotive" Jeep.....the pinion seal was rusted to hell...took me over 50 minutes to chisel it out, damaged the differential flange by putting some gouges in it, had to file it flat again.....then the torquing of the bolts....I hurt like hell....all right, enough of the whining from poor Brucie, here's the bad jack stand idea I had, (second picture) (can't believe what I was thinking...I'm just AMAZED at my stupidity!) First picture is the heavy duty jack stands I finally got enough brains grown to go out and purchase.....glad I did. Also glad you guys agreed with me doing the right thing.....that car falling down on that guy here was so tragic....I thought about it the whole time I was under the "locomotive."

Look how bad the pinion seal was....a bitch to get off.

Bruce '87 Grand National
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Bruce Urie

The Ventures,CCR forever!
I know it sounds like a pain in the ass, but it's really not too bad tearing out 2 sections of concrete and digging it out a foot deep and tapering out under the existing slab. Then pour yourself 2 nice new pads. Having a 2 post is well worth the effort

No trees were harmed in the sending of this message, however, a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


That's a good idea....never thought of that....I just don't think I have the back to do this.....I'm at the age now that all hard mechanical work causes immense pain for me for days on end.....I'm thinking of retiring from car work for good, only work on mine....it's getting too much for me. But I will consider this idea of yours....maybe I can hire someone to do this for me at a future date.....but....are you sure those cracks in the concrete floor won't be a liability? Just don't know about them. And are you sure your idea would be safe? I'm asking because I just don't know enough about this....you seem to know what you're talking about. Thanks for the idea, too.

Bruce '87 Grand National
 

achalmersman

Well-Known Member
That's a good idea....never thought of that....I just don't think I have the back to do this.....I'm at the age now that all hard mechanical work causes immense pain for me for days on end.....I'm thinking of retiring from car work for good, only work on mine....it's getting too much for me. But I will consider this idea of yours....maybe I can hire someone to do this for me at a future date.....but....are you sure those cracks in the concrete floor won't be a liability? Just don't know about them. And are you sure your idea would be safe? I'm asking because I just don't know enough about this....you seem to know what you're talking about. Thanks for the idea, too.

Bruce '87 Grand National
Yes I'm sure. Ive done it several times. I used to work for Hunter Engineering Company so I've been involved with many alignment rack installs, etc. Take the company that makes to lift and look up concrete requirements. For example a lot of rotary lifts have a pad spec for if current concrete doesn't meet requirements. It might say you need 4'x4'x6" of 3000 psi. If im tearing out concrete im doing more. If that were the spec I would probably go at least 5'×5'×1' and it only costs a little more to use 4000psi concrete. Dig out under the exiting pad at the ends so fresh concrete bites underneath the existing pad. I had customers that didnt want to have 2 pads and decided to cut out 1 big long pad. More money. Make the cuts with a concrete saw and then bust it out with a sledge and wrecking bar or rent a jackhammer. Then dig out the dirt. Ask whoever pours the concrete how long to wait till it can be drilled. I think its usually 30 days unless an accelerant is used. Remember to retorque the anchors several times. They DO loosen. 24 hrs, 1 month, 1 year would be a good start.

No trees were harmed in the sending of this message, however, a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
 
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chopped39

Well-Known Member
I almost checked out back in 2002. Doing a trans mount on a escort for x-wife's aunt.
Jacked up car knew it would only take a few mins to get out mount.All of a sudden It got tight under car. I started pumping jack with my leg which barely gave me time to get out from under car.Crafstman jack had a bad seal. They recalled that model years later. That one got the torch to it. I will never go under a car without using stands. Don't use ramps either. Friend lost a brother to a collapsed ramp.
 

SpeedRacerX

Well-Known Member
Ah, jeez, I hit the "post reply" button early before I posted the pictures.....excuse me, I'm in a lot of pain from working on my "locomotive" Jeep.....the pinion seal was rusted to hell...took me over 50 minutes to chisel it out, damaged the differential flange by putting some gouges in it, had to file it flat again.....then the torquing of the bolts....I hurt like hell....all right, enough of the whining from poor Brucie, here's the bad jack stand idea I had, (second picture) (can't believe what I was thinking...I'm just AMAZED at my stupidity!) First picture is the heavy duty jack stands I finally got enough brains grown to go out and purchase.....glad I did. Also glad you guys agreed with me doing the right thing.....that car falling down on that guy here was so tragic....I thought about it the whole time I was under the "locomotive."

Look how bad the pinion seal was....a bitch to get off.

Bruce '87 Grand National
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Now that I've seen that picture of the stand on the brake rotor, omg, that's scary. Nothing more to say.

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SpeedRacerX

Well-Known Member
I almost checked out back in 2002. Doing a trans mount on a escort for x-wife's aunt.
Jacked up car knew it would only take a few mins to get out mount.All of a sudden It got tight under car. I started pumping jack with my leg which barely gave me time to get out from under car.Crafstman jack had a bad seal. They recalled that model years later. That one got the torch to it. I will never go under a car without using stands. Don't use ramps either. Friend lost a brother to a collapsed ramp.
I've been under several of my cars while they were on rhino ramps and it makes me nervous every time.

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SpeedRacerX

Well-Known Member
Serious question. I have jack stands from auto zone and I think harbor freight. I usually buy the ones rated higher in weight. Am I risking my life with these brands???

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626gn

Well-Known Member
In some parts of the U.S. they use a post-tensioned slab to deal with movement on problem soils. Usually, there is an identifying sign or a stamp somewhere on the slab itself. Not likely in most parts but on the off chance you have one of these slabs you don't want to be tearing into it without consulting an expert. The fact that you already have existing cracks is a sign that it's not post-tension but since we're talking about safety in this thread, just thought I'd mention it :). Otherwise, it's a great solution to your problem.
 
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INEEDAGN

Seen Your Member
I believe a well known member of the syclone/typhoon community was killed when his truck fell on him.

If you get a 2 post lift make sure the arms lock in position once it comes off the floor. We have one here at work that's an in ground rotary and they don't lock, it scares the shit out of me when I put something heavy on it, as its dropped a couple vehicles over the years. Both instances the tech should have known better where they put the arms but it wouldn't have happened if the arms would have been locked.
 

Bruce Urie

The Ventures,CCR forever!
In some parts of the U.S. they use a post-tensioned slab to deal with movement on problems soils. Usually, there is an identifying sign or a stamp somewhere on the slab itself. Not likely in most parts but on the off chance you have one of these slabs you don't want to be tearing into it without consulting an expert. The fact that you already have existing cracks is a sign that it's not post-tension but since we're talking about safety in this thread, just thought I'd mention it :). Otherwise, it's a great solution to your problem.

I appreciate very much this information from you...thanks a million...I WILL keep this noted.

Bruce '87 Grand National
 

Bruce Urie

The Ventures,CCR forever!
I believe a well known member of the syclone/typhoon community was killed when his truck fell on him.

If you get a 2 post lift make sure the arms lock in position once it comes off the floor. We have one here at work that's an in ground rotary and they don't lock, it scares the shit out of me when I put something heavy on it, as its dropped a couple vehicles over the years. Both instances the tech should have known better where they put the arms but it wouldn't have happened if the arms would have been locked.

Man, you'd better follow your gut when you get that feeling putting something heavy on it...if it's dropped before, you know damn well it will probably happen again. Please be cautious!

Bruce '87 Grand National
 

Bruce Urie

The Ventures,CCR forever!
Serious question. I have jack stands from auto zone and I think harbor freight. I usually buy the ones rated higher in weight. Am I risking my life with these brands???

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Just look at the stands and make sure they are solid all around, and buy by the maximum weight they can safely hold.....the Harbor Freight ones I got were made to hold up 6 tons, that's 12,000 pounds.....you KNOW that's safe. Any stands you see welded straps at the base of the stand should be avoided, just in my opinion
Stands should be thick metal, but that's just me.
You're doing the right thing in getting the higher weight rated stands. Look at the ones I got from HB....very, very sturdy and strong...they worked just great, but with these, you REALLY have to jack up the car very high.....but they gave me lots of room to work. Safely.

Bruce '87 Grand National
 

SpeedRacerX

Well-Known Member
Just look at the stands and make sure they are solid all around, and buy by the maximum weight they can safely hold.....the Harbor Freight ones I got were made to hold up 6 tons, that's 12,000 pounds.....you KNOW that's safe. Any stands you see welded straps at the base of the stand should be avoided, just in my opinion
Stands should be thick metal, but that's just me.
You're doing the right thing in getting the higher weight rated stands. Look at the ones I got from HB....very, very sturdy and strong...they worked just great, but with these, you REALLY have to jack up the car very high.....but they gave me lots of room to work. Safely.

Bruce '87 Grand National
I do have a pair with welded straps at the bottom and every time I use them, I look at the tiny weld and it makes me wonder if it can pop.

I think I'll be double checking my stand inventory and making upgrades. This is a purchase even my wife would agree with.

Thank you for the input.

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Bruce Urie

The Ventures,CCR forever!
I do have a pair with welded straps at the bottom and every time I use them, I look at the tiny weld and it makes me wonder if it can pop.

I think I'll be double checking my stand inventory and making upgrades. This is a purchase even my wife would agree with.

Thank you for the input.

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You're welcome.....glad to have helped. And go back to the picture I posted of the 6 ton jack stands and you'll see what a sturdy mount really is....plus, they are heavy as hell....but life, especially yours, is more precious.

Bruce '87 Grand National
 
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