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marcapra

How high can I jack up my car?

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Jacking the car and working under it is probably the most dangerous part of the hobby. My Father was really concerned about it and grilled the warning in. When I was young we were a little rough around the edges.

Even this job had a driveshaft proped against a frame rail.

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The right tools are a lot easier to get now through online ads and the aging of the hobbyists. I picked up a SnapOn scissors lift that raises 4' for $500 or $600 a few years ago. Similar lifts come up often.

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A friend of mine bought a Kwik Lift, used as well, and loved it. I kept an eye on Craigslist ads and found this nearly new on less than 10 miles from my house, $800 delivered.

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When I work under either lift I use jack stands and my hydraulic jack as back up supports. My 6 ton Hein Werner stands just fit under the Kwik Lift. And I have varied access depending on the lift.

 

For a low ceiling garage I am in good shape right now, although a short post MaxJax may show up by the end of the year.

 

Before you get under any car remember, the two most dangerous words in the English language are "I thought". Say it out loud.

Bernie

 

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Subtract the height of the car from the height of your ceiling.

There are many ways to raise and block it up. 

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It certainly is a good idea to have redundancy for safety. (e.g. : Boeing used to be a Seattle company run by engineers. Now a Chicago company, apparently run by bean counters - of course I used to work for Boeing back in the 707 days, so it hurts to have said this). My pal, Joe, occasionally does heavy lifting for me. I know some of you have met Joe already, but for you who have not  yet had the pleasure, this picture by way of introduction. I am a bit of a born and practicing paranoid, so Yellow Polly steps in when I need to crawl under. Joe lifts, then Polly suspends completely. Back off until Joe bears 25-35% of the load. This has worked pretty well,........................................., so far...................              -   CC 

 

 

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I have a medium rise (40") scissors lift. Since I am mostly taking wheels off and on, made more sense for me. Also needed to be able to lift my Class A RV. Four other requirements:

- all rollers in steel trays (not on concrete)

- positive locks

- separate pistons for each ramp (but mechanically linked.

- portable.

 

RV track was too wide for ramps so used 2x12s. Is on the frame rails.

 

 

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I have done the ramps thing for two out of four wheels and had no trouble using jackstands for the other two wheels. Also used a fork lift on occasion but the less said about that the better.

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Posted (edited)

The BendPak Portable Mid-Rise Scissor Car Lift  Model# MD-6XP will lift a car four feet off the floor, giving you the opportunity to sit on a stool and work underneath.

 

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Edited by Roger Frazee (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

John,  I like your answer and your 31 Dodge looks great!  Your long, long friend from San Diego days, Marc.

 

Hey Roger, your scissor jack or lift looks great?  Is it powered by hydraulics? 

Edited by marcapra (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, marcapra said:

John,  I like your answer and your 31 Dodge looks great!  Your long, long friend from San Diego days, Marc.

 

Hey Roger, your scissor jack or lift looks great?  Is it powered by hydraulics? 

Yes, the unit is operated by hydraulics.  In the picture the pump unit is just to the right of the doorway.  There is a hydraulic hose that goes from the pump to the two rams on the lift.  Since this picture was taken, I have put two 1/8" X 3" X 36" peices of steel on the floor for the lift's rollers to glide on.

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 I looked at the scissor lift option. I want a lift however my shop height does not allow for it. The scissor lift seemed like a good idea until I did some research. They weigh up to 1000 pounds. My garage is a floating slab type. With living quarters underneath it. I really don't think I want to add 1,000 pounds up top. Everything could end up in the basement. Also as seen in the pics above, much of the centre of the car is un-serviceable when using these scissor jacks.  Sometimes for big jobs, I have used very large chunks of cut wood. I 'm talking like 2 ft cubed pieces. I get the the car up on there and you'e safe. I cannot come down. Worked great for pulling a tranny and doing a clutch.

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30 minutes ago, keithb7 said:

 I looked at the scissor lift option. I want a lift however my shop height does not allow for it. The scissor lift seemed like a good idea until I did some research. They weigh up to 1000 pounds. My garage is a floating slab type. With living quarters underneath it. I really don't think I want to add 1,000 pounds up top. Everything could end up in the basement. Also as seen in the pics above, much of the centre of the car is un-serviceable when using these scissor jacks.  Sometimes for big jobs, I have used very large chunks of cut wood. I 'm talking like 2 ft cubed pieces. I get the the car up on there and you'e safe. I cannot come down. Worked great for pulling a tranny and doing a clutch.

 

Are you saying you will park a car in there, but not another 1000 lbs?  That's the same as 4-5 grown men standing in the garage with your car. 

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2 hours ago, 39BuickEight said:

 

Are you saying you will park a car in there, but not another 1000 lbs?  That's the same as 4-5 grown men standing in the garage with your car. 

 

Well a 4,000 lb car and a 1,000 lb hoist all on 4 concentrated contact areas of the jack. Depending on the style of jack. I don’t have plans of the house build. Not sure what floor weight psi is rated for. It’s not an ideal situation. 

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Tripwire,  Thanks for this pic.  That's the best way I've seen so far.  Hold my 3000 lb. car up with 2 by 4's and smoke cigarettes while I work on gas lines.  Looks safe with at least two 2 by 4's on each side.  That's redundancy for you!  Marc. 

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Posted (edited)

Actually have 34" between the ramps which is plenty to drop a tranny. Also ramps are inside the wheelbase so NP dropping an axle or even a Jag E-type engine and tranny (clutch job is easier if drop drivetrain out bottom).

 

ps I rarely raise any higher than needful. (anyone identify the car ?)

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Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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