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Local newspaper lists a man dies after car slips off jack. I guess it still happens. You all be careful now


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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Local newspaper lists a man dies after car slips off jack. I guess it still happens. You all be careful now

This is always on my mind when I get under a car.

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I never lost a close friend to this sort of accident. However a couple people I had met did die this way. It happens way too often. I won't again this time tell the story of when a close friend and I went to borrow a club tool from someone my close friend knew. Fifty years later I still get a shiver down my spine when I think about it.

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Friend of ours was working on a '65 T Bird.  Being short of stature he was laying across the grill adjusting the carb and decided to see if it would fire.  Unbeknownst to him the neutral safety switch had been disabled.  The engine started and the Bird was in gear.  Our friend rode it thru a fibreglas garage door, across a parking lot and into the rear of a roll back, badly breaking his hip.  Lots of way to get hurt around old cars.  Most involve carelessness.

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As a teenager, we had a mutual friend who tinkered on his cars, no money of course.  We stopped at his place to find him under his '60 Falcon, front jacked up on a post bumper jack in the middle, both front wheels off, no blocks or wheels under the body, reefing on a bolt, the car swaying back and forth on that post jack.  Yelled at him to get out from underneath, ran and pulled him out from under.  He was mad, thought it was perfectly safe.  He did get some block afterward once we explained if it fell on him, no one would hear his cries, that he would die under the car.

 

A few years later, he came by complaining his shoulder hurt.  He said his then current jalopy he was working on jacked up and unblocked, fell off the jack, pinned him for about an hour before he could wiggle out from under during which he had almost passed out.   Some folks have to learn the hard way...

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1 hour ago, Restorer32 said:

Friend of ours was working on a '65 T Bird.  Being short of stature he was laying across the grill adjusting the carb and decided to see if it would fire.  Unbeknownst to him the neutral safety switch had been disabled.  The engine started and the Bird was in gear.  Our friend rode it thru a fibreglas garage door, across a parking lot and into the rear of a roll back, badly breaking his hip.  Lots of way to get hurt around old cars.  Most involve carelessness.

 

Sorry about your friend. Do you know if the car went into reverse? I don't know if your friend's accident was a result of this, but it's a well known design flaw that 4th generation T-Birds will have gear selector detents wear out, allowing the car to slip from park to reverse while idling. This worn part is the reason many/most 4th (and maybe 3rd) gen. T-Birds need the selector pulled up or jostled in order to start. This is something all owners should be aware of. If the part can't be repaired (it's hard to get to) then the parking brake should be set during idle and - more importantly - the steering wheel should be swung over to the right (a standard feature on these cars.) This should keep the car from being disengaged from park. 

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1 hour ago, JamesR said:

This worn part is the reason many/most 4th (and maybe 3rd) gen. T-Birds need the selector pulled up or jostled in order to start.

All Fords....of that era. Even when watching the FBI show you see them pull up on the gearshift to start the cars.😉

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Just last weekend at the racetrack the old Ford wrecker dropped out of park and was going driverless backwards thru the pits.

I saw the whole thing happen but was a ways away.

A quick thinking athletic guy jumped in and saved the day.

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Many years ago,my next door neighbor always worked on his POS car in his front yard so the front porch light would shine under the hood so he could see.His wife beats on my door"the car fell on Steve! Help me lift it up!" His head was under the frame,mashing his head into the grass and dirt.Had it been on hard dirt or concrete,it would have killed him.We got him out from underneath the car and thankfully,he wasn't hurt,just shook up.I had told the dumb bastard several time to get on my concrete drive to work on it.I had jacks,jack stands,ramps,drop lights,tools,any thing he needed to do it safely.He never took me up on it.

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Several years ago I was driving my 72 Olds Cutlass up on my car ramps when the left one collapsed! Thank God I wasn't under the car changing my oil when it happened. I failed to notice that the road being crowned had put all of the car's weight on the inside leg of the left ramp with the outside leg hanging in the air, and it just couldn't take it! Dodged a bullet!

In another act of stupidity, I had jacked my 70 Superbee up with a bumper jack to change the rear brakes. As I lifted the drive wheel off, the car coasted back, kicking the bumper jack out and jamming it's base between the pavement and the rear, preventing me from jacking it up again. I had to hammer on the base with the jack until I freed it up!

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I had my car fall off its jack as well.  I was working on car in the dirt and the jack sank into the dirt.  The car layer over pinned me under a desk, it's a good thing I'm small.  I too used jack stands but will remember to work on cement of floor.

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