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The 7 Most Dangerous & Unlucky OEM Jacks


Wowabunga
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Some of these OEM car and truck jacks are truely accidents waiting to happen.  Please help me as I'm compiling a list of the most dangerous factory jacks.  I'll be adding a new jack each day for the next 7 days.  Please chirp in and add to the list.

 

Today's featured jack is a 1940 Packard screw jack.  This jack was a "one year only" jack so you won't see many of them.  A Packard owner told me they were worthless as they just couldn't hold the 3,100 pounds of chrome and steel very well and they were simply tossed aside and alternative solutions implemented.

 

What would be great is to hear some personal "stories" about the dangers you've seen first hand when changing a flat tire.

40_Packard_jack.JPG

Edited by Wowabunga (see edit history)
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They qualify as "antiques" now, so back in the day I recall scarey times with my early 70's Volvo and Mercedes (sounds snooty....both were VERY used & $500 each)

 

Both had single post screw jacks with mushroom bases.  It was like balancing a car on a road flare.  Sitting on a pool ball!

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3 minutes ago, JRHaelig said:

Both had single post screw jacks with mushroom bases.  It was like balancing a car on a road flare.  Sitting on a pool ball!

 

My early ninties honda was a 'modern' style jack which basically expanded as a diamond on a central screw -  was great except for the fact it slipped on the screw constantly and was unsafe as anythign

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5 minutes ago, Bhigdog said:

Shoulder of the road, soft uneven ground, traffic whizzing by inches away, every jack ever made qualifies as an accident waiting to happen.......bob


The worst experience I had was changing a flat in peak hour in a no standing zone with trams (light rail) in the lane next to me  (in Melbourne trams and car share the road) and it was on a hill... in the rain 

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4 minutes ago, hidden_hunter said:


The worst experience I had was changing a flat in peak hour in a no standing zone with trams (light rail) in the lane next to me  (in Melbourne trams and car share the road) and it was on a hill... in the rain 

Best and safest tire changing tool is called, AAA......bob

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Most Fender Jacks have to be the worst as the weight on the rear fender might cause the car to roll. I don't know of any newer car to have these any more.

Also some Jack Stands are know to release accidentally if they are the type with out the pin that goes through to hole.

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The jack in my Riviera is there as an ornament.  No way I want to try to pick up a car with a bumper jack.  I carry a small trolley jack in a plastic case.  Probably ought to add a piece of plywood too.  

 

I still shudder at some of the set ups I used to get under cars as a kid.  Those tin jack stands should have been banned from the market.  Even with a two post lift, I get anxious under there.  

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1953 Buick jack was the worst jack I ever ran across.  You needed a poos table flat, dry surface and then it was shakey.  I had one occasion on a loose shoulder where the car started to tip into the ditch.  Luckily I had loosened the lugs and I was able to hold the car from falling while my wife changed the tire.  I later bought a tripod jack to lift the car so the tire would clear the fender and a bottle jack under the axle.  Then I started buying better (more expensive) tubeless tires and did not need either jack while travelling.

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Here is the original equipment jack for an MGB.   If you think it looks dangerous, you are right!   Very unstable, and that little sticking our prong goes into a metal tube, welded to the side rail.   If you attempt to jack up a car that has some rust in that area, you stand a good chance that your jack will slice into the car like a can opener!  

Terry

MGB Jack.jpg

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Fender jacks make great bead breakers if you needed to remove a tire from the wheel. Any more I carry a scissors jack or "aluminum racing jack" and a piece of diamond plate for it to stand on.

 

MGA was more dangerous, it had a hand crank.

 

Have probably had four flat tires this century, mostly roofing nails or staples in Michelins. Few seem to know how to properly patch a tubeless tire any more.

 

I carry a radial tube & tire iron in the Caddy - in case the fix-a-flat doesn't work

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When I was a kid I helped my dad change a flat on his '64 Malibu with the factory bumper jack.

Back when the car wasn't that old that was what you used.

Shoulder of the road was uneven and the jack ended up leaning almost to the point of falling over so as soon as the flat came off my dad put that under the frame just in case the jack let go.

Spare went on, flat was dragged out real quick, we flipped the lever and started to ratchet the bumper jack down.

Only after the car was on completely on the ground did we attempt to put the flat into the trunk.

Bumper jacks are completely unsafe.

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3 hours ago, Terry Bond said:

Here is the original equipment jack for an MGB.   If you think it looks dangerous, you are right!   Very unstable, and that little sticking our prong goes into a metal tube, welded to the side rail.   If you attempt to jack up a car that has some rust in that area, you stand a good chance that your jack will slice into the car like a can opener! 

 

On the other hand Terry ( hoping on a good day the car is solid ) at least you have one point of reference/insertion that won't shift, slide, slip, or scoot or skadaddle away from you.  I'm out of action verbs that use the letter "S" but you get the picture...

 

Here's a OPEL GT jack that inserts into the frame rail like your MGB.  For added fun this jack balances on a "road flare sitting on a pool ball" per the words of JRHaelig.  And... the ground point pivots 360 degrees for some extra added fear factor.  Personally I'd rather pay two bystanders to lift the car off the ground and hold it while I changed a flat tire..!

 

 

opel.jpg

Edited by Wowabunga (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, Terry Bond said:

Here is the original equipment jack for an MGB.   If you think it looks dangerous, you are right!   Very unstable, and that little sticking our prong goes into a metal tube, welded to the side rail.   If you attempt to jack up a car that has some rust in that area, you stand a good chance that your jack will slice into the car like a can opener!  

Terry

MGB Jack.jpg

Same style jack that the Metropolitan used. I had the slice though happen when I was removing the brakes from the rear. I was 18 and not to bright and was sitting with both legs under the car while pulling the brakes. The Met just slowly settled on my legs, no injury I just couldn't move. Next problem was I was working by myself with parents not expected home for 6+ hours. After a few minutes of telling myself how stupid I was, I grabbed the fender that were trapping my legs and bent it up out of the way and slid out.

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2 hours ago, Wowabunga said:

 

On the other hand Terry ( hoping on a good day the car is solid ) at least you have one point of reference/insertion that won't shift, slide, slip, or scoot or skadaddle away from you.  I'm out of action verbs that use the letter "S" but you get the picture...

 

Here's a OPEL GT jack that inserts into the frame rail like your MGB.  For added fun this jack balances on a "road flare sitting on a pool ball" per the words of JRHaelig.  And... the ground point pivots 360 degrees for some extra added fear factor.  Personally I'd rather pay two bystanders to lift the car off the ground and hold it while I changed a flat tire..!

 

 

opel.jpg

 

I wouldn't want to lift an ATC with that jack let alone an actual car.

That thing is scary looking.

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18 minutes ago, Jim Bollman said:

The only thing going for this Crosley jack is the car only weighs around 1200lbs.

Jack.thumb.jpg.b6e7f03cd468a494852f1a7c0af70565.jpg

 

What year is your Crosley Jim ?    The post screw jack was popular mid 1930's and then at the end of the 1930's the "Friction Post" came into popularity.  Here's some literature from Walker... All jacks said to easily lift 1 ton.  SMH...!!!

1939ad_Walker copy.JPG

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6 minutes ago, kgreen said:

"This was a sure way for a 1940 Buick owner to be the last Buick customer ever."

 

KGREEN you are stealing the thunder and climax of my presentation LOL.... the 40-41 Buick Jack/Stand combo surely is the most dangerous jack ever engineered.  I read the instructions today and still scratching my head how they are used.  Life without you-tube tutorials must have been really dangerous back in the day. :)

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12 minutes ago, Wowabunga said:

 

What year is your Crosley Jim ?    The post screw jack was popular mid 1930's and then at the end of the 1930's the "Friction Post" came into popularity.  Here's some literature from Walker... All jacks said to easily lift 1 ton.  SMH...!!!

1939ad_Walker copy.JPG

While the 1940-41 Buick jack was certainly a contender for most dangerous jack of all times. The 1938 Buick jack looks identical or nearly identical to the Walker No. 293. While totally different, I think it is nearly as bad as the 1940-41 Buick jack. 

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5 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

The 1938 Buick jack looks identical or nearly identical to the Walker No. 293. While totally different, I think it is nearly as bad as the 1940-41 Buick jack. 

 

I'm devoting all day tomorrow to "Friction Jacks" MCHinson.  Here's a pic of a nice friction jack I saw at the Charlotte Swap.  Note the lovely well preserved surface area of the metal post...

ukj_charlotte3ford copy.JPG

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Early water cooled Volkswagens had a scissor type jack that was used under 1 of the 4 jacking points under the unibody.

The more they were extended the less stable they became and were not made of the strongest steel to begin with. Believe it or not some owners used these jacks when doing maintenance and/or repairs to their vehicles. These jacks were given the nickname "Widow Makers" by VW Owners. Sadly, the name is self explanatory.

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Do you crave adventure and danger... because next up we have the "FRICTION POLE" bumper jack style.   From 1935 thru 1941 the major automakers switched over to this style jack.  The principle is the same as those employed by acrobatic pole dancers... just add rain and or snow and enjoy the show.

 

Who ever wrote the copy for this GM De Luxe Accessory Jack was shooting for the moon...!

30s_Universal_user_modiol** copy.jpg

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20 hours ago, Wowabunga said:

 

What year is your Crosley Jim ?    The post screw jack was popular mid 1930's and then at the end of the 1930's the "Friction Post" came into popularity.  Here's some literature from Walker... All jacks said to easily lift 1 ton.  SMH...!!!

 

Crosley used variation of the same jack from 39-52. The jack I showed I believe was the last variation. Hard to believe but the earlier ones used a round base that was even smaller.

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On 11/13/2019 at 9:14 AM, Wowabunga said:

 

You are going to have to elaborate more on this statement...  a video demo preferred...

jumpercables_fire.jpg

Bumper jacks were commonly used as jumper cables in the fifties ( in my experience) as automatic transmissions became more common. If you think about it for 10 seconds, you’ll figure it out. I’ll give you a hint: if polarity of vehicles was different you needed two bumper jacks, other wise one.

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1)  Set handbrake and remove your brain.... you won't need it because "sanity" is not required to change a flat using this "rim jack" a style popular in the early 1940's.  Packard, Studebaker and Cadillac also used a near identical setup.

 

The jacks were only used for a year or two and are somewhat hard to find.  The accompanying "stand" is many times harder to find fyi.

 

 

rimjacks.jpg

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OK so the Buick is just like a Citreon except for the air ride. Raise car, insert jackstand, lower car on stand, remove jack, remove tire. Or does the tire remove with the jack which can be used to break the bead ?

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5 hours ago, Pfeil said:

Image result for Image of a VW Beetle jack

 

Straight out of a Hollywood Science Fiction feature film...!  Thanks for posting.

 

Had not yet decided which jack would be crowned the most dangerous.  This jack to me is the most complicated looking.  This friction pole principle is the very same that was used in the middle 1930's and featured earlier in my series only this jack pictured has no outer shell and the inner workings are wide open to view.  Spill a few drops of motor oil on this by mistake and you'll soon see what a real mistake looks like.

 

I assume this is a VW or Mercedes jack probably made by the Bilstein Company.

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1 hour ago, Wowabunga said:

 

Straight out of a Hollywood Science Fiction feature film...!  Thanks for posting.

 

Had not yet decided which jack would be crowned the most dangerous.  This jack to me is the most complicated looking.  This friction pole principle is the very same that was used in the middle 1930's and featured earlier in my series only this jack pictured has no outer shell and the inner workings are wide open to view.  Spill a few drops of motor oil on this by mistake and you'll soon see what a real mistake looks like.

 

I assume this is a VW or Mercedes jack probably made by the Bilstein Company.

 

 

 

Yes, VW Porsche and many German cars. The jack works well in itself but because it jacks the whole side of the car up, and also if the car is not absolutely on a level ground it will twist off / round off the square jacking point or sill panel Actually a square shank.

65T1-28.jpg

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The caboose on this "train wreck waiting to happen" display of dangerous OEM jacks goes to a post war Morgan automobile... Need I say more.

 

Be safe and go buy a small hydraulic jack for your trunk... they come with nice carrying cases too.  If you have any photos to add to this short history on auto jacks please post away.  Happy Motoring...!

 

 

Morgan($123).JPG

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