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The 7 Most Dangerous & Unlucky OEM Jacks


Wowabunga
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On 11/12/2019 at 9:51 PM, 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

 

 

All of these are widow makers. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Roger Walling said:

They do indeed make very good jumper cables.

 Just touch the bumpers of the two cars together and place the jack on top of the positive battery terminals and you are go to go!

 

 Note, does not work well with modern plastic bumpers.

 

I've seen this done with older cars that have steel bumpers for ground continuity, but they used a coat hanger between the positive poles.  Instructions: get cars close, insert coat hanger between positive battery posts of the two cars, stand back, nudge cars together until sparks noted at the bumper, attempt to start stalled car.

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I bought an '86 Jaguar XJS V12 that the owner claimed had a a bad relay that was very expensive (about 40 bucks). Snaked up through the console was a piece of 12/3 Romex with the wires stripped back a couple of inches. There was a glove on the passenger seat, just one, for the right hand. He told me to be sure to wear the glove when I pinched the wires together to start it. Yes, they got hot too. I am pretty sure the wire and the glove is out there in my souvenir drawer.

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8 hours ago, padgett said:

"attempt to start stalled car" - you left off "watch coat hanger turn cherry red".

I didn't get to see what actually happened to the coat hanger.  I was next door on my front porch waiting for the next command: "Hey, hold my beer and watch this".

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I recall in the mid-late 1950s, a neighbor using two (2) bumper jacks,, on the front bumper of his 1952 Nash Ambassador,  and nothing else but the hand brake operating on the rear wheels.

He had a scissor jack to support the inline 6-cylinder engine while he removed the Hydra-Matic transmission.

 

First the transmission fell on his chest, and then the Nash fell off of the jacks as they both went sideways, regrettably crushing him in the process. 

His widow had the Nash towed to a junk yard in Avanel, NJ.

 

For many years thereafter, I only used my dad's tripod screw-type bumper jack with three legs angled to the surface, (and wooden boards under the legs if not on concrete), which actually pulled the car slightly toward the jack. I also bought him a new one for his car.

 

It was similar in style, but much heavier built than this photo:

 

Image result for tripod screw type bumper jack"

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Well I don't have any of the jacks shown here , but I am happy to say I do have a excellent original Chrysler pedal car like the one picture that the little kid is working on.

Possible future plan is to take the trunk off my 1930 Packard touring and then put the pedal car in its place on the trunk rack and strap it down . 😊 I told my son I would do that and he didn't seemed to be to amused.

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On ‎11‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 10:51 PM, Wowabunga said:

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

One of my favorite stories, told to me by my father about the 'old days' with his '41 Super Sedan was putting it up for the upstate New York winter in his father-in-law's large garage out back of the house.  He would drive it into the garage, getting it as parallel as he could with the back wall of the garage, and then jack the car up by putting a standard bumper jack on the rear bumper.  Claimed what he would do is then simply kick the Buick off the jack, towards the wall and then repeat that until the car was up against the wall.  For once, bumper jack instability worked to his advantage, although I have a hard time figuring out how that would work with the Buick jack shown in these pictures.  I do note, however, that he never told me how he would then get the car out in the spring... . 

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How about one more for the road.  I've watched parts vendors describe the flat horizontal surface area of the standard bumper jack as "The Shelf" or as some people call it "The Perch".   This is the part that slides and rests under the bumper.

 

The 1948 Studebaker Commander came with the factory jack as pictured below.  It doesn't have a "perch" or a "shelf" rather by golly it has in my opinion what amounts to nothing more than "A Slippery Slope".   To the benefit of the Studebaker Engineering Department they did put a nice little nipple in the middle of their slippery slope that matches up perfectly with a hole somewhere in the bottom side of the  bumper.  Skiing in the French Alps comes immediately to mind.

 

Now as far as that shallow, poor fitting, ill fitting and very much lacking base plate goes... and I really don't even want to go there.... but it's my calling:  I nostalgically reminisce back to my childhood toys and those catchy Tv commercials:  "Weebles Wobble but They Don't Fall Down...!"  This jack will not stand upright on it's own no matter how hard you try it just wobbles and topples over.

 

48_StudbakerCom_Weeble.jpg

Edited by Wowabunga (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is probably safe but certainly is the worst jack that I have ever had to work with since my 1953 Buick bumper jack. Two Hyundai Sonatas '07 170,000 Kms and '08 79,000 Kms and the first flat on a non antique car since 1972.  Our Sonata now has a real floor jack in the trunk.

Or maybe could it just have been old age?😀😀

page.h68.jpg

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  • 1 year later...


I’m 52 now, but I can remember when I was a little boy, I was in foster care with this black family (the only white kid in the house-go figure). One particular day, I was riding around in a car with the black kid who was the biological son of the woman whose house it was, and some of his friends, and the car had a blowout on one of the rear tires. (Passenger side, I think.) I don’t remember what kind of car it was, but this kid and his friends were using this bumper jack under the back bumper of the car to try to raise it up enough to remove the old tire and mount the spare. And I’m standing there on the sidewalk watching them doing this. All of a sudden, without any warning whatsoever, the car fell off the bumper jack, and the bumper jack shot out and hit one of the black kids in the face HARD, and he hit the deck, bleeding all over the place. And I remember that the thing it reminded me of (and still does) was the day that 

the assassination attempt on President Reagan occurred (1980, I think), and James Brady also was shot and was bleeding pretty profusely as well. So back to the bumper jack incident, I don’t remember if the kid who was hit by the bumper jack pulled through alright or not (I hope he did), but from that day forward I swore to myself that I would never, ever use those things myself, or be anywhere near anyone else who was using one. Bumper jacks are about the most dangerous ways there is to lift a car. Whoever invented those stupid things ought to have the dog piss choked out of him!!!!

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I had one too many close calls with a typical 50s-60s bumper jack, just one time was enough to convince me to find a better way to jack up my old cars in the event of a flat tire.

 

My '59 Chevy I found a tripod jack that is somewhat safer than the factory bumper jack. The other old cars I went to the you pick it parts yard and found several newer screw jacks for pickups (more lift) and added a 12"X12" plywood base to the bottom and a adaptor to to the top to fit the jacking point of the car it is with.

 

 

 

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When I was a kid barely of driving age, I worked in a gas station on weekends and was trying so hard to learn how to work on cars. I was desperate to be like my Dad. And I had often noticed that my Dad would stop and assist anyone broke down on the side of the road who really, really needed help...such as old folks, ladies, or anyone who had little chance of helping themselves (In the day WAY before cell phones). Therefore, when I finally was able to drive, I would often stop and see if I could help someone who needed assistance. 

 

I clearly recall one day stopping when I saw two elderly ladies with a flat tire, standing outside their car and looking both bewildered and frightened. They were parked facing uphill on a long hill in an urban neighborhood. When I asked if they needed help they said something like, "Oh, yes, PLEASE! We have a flat, and don't know what to do." This was my chance to be helpful and kind to someone who knew less than I did about automobiles...like my Dad would have done. I got their bumper jack out of their trunk, and loosened all the lug nuts, then put the bumper jack on the left rear side of their car, and began the slow process of jacking it up. Instantly I saw that the car was going to roll downhill right over top of that flimsy jack...and me! A wiser, more experienced person would have stopped and made a phone call, to get professional help. But instead I told the lady to sit behind the wheel and hold the brake pedal down firmly, to prevent the car from trying to roll down hill. She did, and then I re-positioned the bumper jack and tried again. It worked. I jacked it up just barely high enough to switch tire/wheels, quickly put back on the lug nuts, and tightened a couple of them. Then put the car back down on the ground. I told the lady to continue holding that brake pedal, until I was satisfied that the lug nuts were sufficiently tight. I put the flat tire and the jack back in her trunk, I said goodbye. The lady insisted, even demanded to pay me for my service. But I refused. I told her I wanted to be like my Dad and help people. She and her companion couldn't believe I wouldn't accept payment, but I was firm. They said many grateful things, and then drove away.

 

For that one moment in my teenage life, I felt sorta like the image I held of my Dad...like a real man.  

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1 hour ago, lump said:

For that one moment in my teenage life, I felt sorta like the image I held of my Dad...like a real man.  

 

I think this was the best comment LUMP I've ever read on this forum.  A huge thank you for the great read...!!!!!!!

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On 6/2/2021 at 1:30 AM, Wowabunga said:

 

I think this was the best comment LUMP I've ever read on this forum.  A huge thank you for the great read...!!!!!!!

Thanks, Wowbunga. Very kind. 

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Worst jack I ever encountered was one from a 1967 Corvair. It was a factory scissor jack. It couldn't even hold up a car as light as a Corvair. It collapsed on my legs, but didn't injure me. I was young and it taught me to ALWAYS use blocks or jack stands WITH the original, factory jack. A floor jack and stands is the best combo.

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30 minutes ago, Roger Frazee said:

But you'll risk dying of old age before they arrive.

     What's the hurry?   A friend of mine had his Model A Ford fall on him 10 days ago, resulting in a compound fracture of

     leg and ankle.  It will be three months before he can stand on it.

     The Model A was on jack stands and his phone was on the work bench.   Alone in the garage, he was pinned for an

     hour before he could pry the car off his leg and pull himself across the garage to the work bench and his phone.

     He did get a ride in an ambulance and a helicopter for 75 miles to the hospital.

     He's home now and real sore but alive and regretting his mistakes.  We'll fix the Model A and get a promise from him

     to not work under cars alone without a phone.  At 73, we may not get much more in promises, he has multilple A's and

     T's that he has been his own mechanic on for over 50 years.

     It only takes a split second to have an accident, then how much time you saved is no longer important.

 

 

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A little over 20 years ago I was involved in a volunteer project to jack two steam locomotives (weighing 188,000 lbs and 144,000 lbs respectively) out of the mud they had settled into since being abandoned in 1933. We were using four 60 ton, hydraulic bridge jacks with the system pressurized by a small gasoline motor. On site we found a nice thick metal plate which was perfect for fitting between the jack and the frame of the locomotive. One day during a lift there was a very, very loud bang as that plate exploded with tremendous force with fragments flying and bouncing all over the place. As it turned out it wasn't steel it was cast iron. Fortunately no one was hurt especially since we were in a very remote area accessible only by logging roads followed by a long boat ride.

 

I guess the point being that jacks can hurt you in more ways than one.

 

img012.jpg.363309c58d3fcbe7945f0babb11e0a40.jpg

 

 

img011.jpg.1a01c7293540b70858b59f26e16c9554.jpg

 

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12 hours ago, Terry Harper said:

A little over 20 years ago I was involved in a volunteer project to jack two steam locomotives (weighing 188,000 lbs and 144,000 lbs respectively) out of the mud they had settled into since being abandoned in 1933.\

 

 

So did they restore the trains...???  Or scrap them..?  Neat story.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/12/2021 at 9:44 AM, Terry Harper said:

They are owned by the State of Maine and are preserved onsite. We simply rebuilt the roadbed beneath them. 

MAP.jpg.3ab91b9f72331f03a37f2910bda48fb1.jpg

 

img013.jpg.f5d1d8ebd7dc8a3914a594d5a25a2664.jpg

 

After.........

img017.jpg.948ab9cc5b09a2e5be3aa7dc3a5e98ed.jpg

 

img018.jpg.27a2022f894286d353192ca1aca087f6.jpg

 

Wow. Fascinating story!! 

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On 6/11/2021 at 5:20 PM, Terry Harper said:

A little over 20 years ago I was involved in a volunteer project to jack two steam locomotives (weighing 188,000 lbs and 144,000 lbs respectively) out of the mud they had settled into since being abandoned in 1933. We were using four 60 ton, hydraulic bridge jacks with the system pressurized by a small gasoline motor. On site we found a nice thick metal plate which was perfect for fitting between the jack and the frame of the locomotive. One day during a lift there was a very, very loud bang as that plate exploded with tremendous force with fragments flying and bouncing all over the place. As it turned out it wasn't steel it was cast iron. Fortunately no one was hurt especially since we were in a very remote area accessible only by logging roads followed by a long boat ride.

 

I guess the point being that jacks can hurt you in more ways than one.

 

img012.jpg.363309c58d3fcbe7945f0babb11e0a40.jpg

 

 

img011.jpg.1a01c7293540b70858b59f26e16c9554.jpg

 

 

 

Wow! I have moved some really heavy stuff using combinations of jacks, rollers, boards and ramps. But----YIKES!

 

One of my fun times with bad jacks happened about 45 years ago. My to-be wife and I had been out on a dark winter night, and were headed back to her home. Cutting across an old two lane road in the middle of nowhere (love those old two lane short cuts!) I picked up a nail in the right rear tire of our 1952 Chevrolet. Although I usually carry one, for some reason that night I didn't have a flashlight with me. Not a street lamp for miles, on a sloping shoulder on the side of the road, near total darkness, I proceeded to change the tire by Braille. I carefully placed all the needed items behind the car, and took a guess on the angle to push the car somewhat uphill on the slope. My guess missed by a bit, and as I was loosening the lug nuts, the car began to slip downhill sideways. Having the good spare out behind the car, near the jack, I moved quickly and slid the spare tire under the rear of the car. I repositioned the jack, with a bit more side push, and carefully jacked the car back up again. Very carefully finished changing the tire totally by feel.

Loads of fun! Changing a tire in the middle of nowhere in near total darkness with a ratchet bumper jack on a sloping gravel shoulder!

 

My other close call with bad jacks, happened a couple years before that one. I was spending the day with one of my longest time best buddies, helping him with some work on his model A. He needed something from a fellow he knew in one of the clubs he belonged to (I didn't know him), so we drove modern over to the other fellows house to get what was needed (he was expecting us). We parked in front of the fellow's house, and walked up the driveway toward his garage where he was working under his car which was up on jacks (rear wheels off!).  As we got close, the car began to slowly slide sideways, he still under it! The rear wheels were leaning against the wall right there, so I quickly grabbed one and slid it right under the differential housing. As he climbed out from under, he commented "Well, I'm glad you decided to stop by?!"

 

Well built ratchet bumper jacks can be alright. If used properly and careful precautions taken. 

Edited by wayne sheldon
I hate leaving typos! (see edit history)
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