Wednesday 23 April 2014

Jacking Supports

As you would expect, the car doesn't have dedicated jacking points, it's just a case of picking some part of the chassis and using that. Unfortunately,the chassis is made from circular stainless steel pipes, so any time you put the jack underneath you run the risk of the car sliding of the jack. 

It goes without saying that I don't undertake any work on the car without using axle stands or wheel ramps, but after I had the car slide off the jack twice while lifting it up to put the axle stands in, I decided I needed to do something.

The front is fine, as there is a flat stainless steel cover on the front cross member so by putting a piece of 2"x4" on top of the jack I get a very stable platform to put the axle stands on.   

You can see the block actually has 2 heights, one 2" thick and one 4" thick as I cannot put a fully extended axle stand underneath in one go.  Using the 'single' 2" height I can put the axle stand underneath with the locking pin in the lower hole.  Then using the 'double' 4" height part I can then move the locking pins in the axle stand to a higher hole.  Also, with the handbrake on the car is very stable and unlikely to fall off the stands so that is the front sorted.  

But the back is a totally different situation, there is nowhere logical to put the jack that isn't very risky, and having the handbrake on has no effect as the wheels are in the air.

Eventually I figured out I could use a similar system by jacking the centre of the car using the same wooden support.

 And then putting the axle stands onto the chassis.

 Unfortunately it still looks a bit dodgy and I can see that the car might still roll off the axle stands.

So I decided to build another wooden support to make it perfectly safe.
 So now we have the main jack on a 2"x4" with ends to stop it sliding sideways (and note the trusty single/double height 2"x4" tool as again it has to be raised in stages).  

And then the axle stands on the chassis but to be extra careful I have permanently mounted a pair of exhaust brackets just behind the axle stand so the car cannot slide off.   Ridiculously over-engineered of course, but I feel much happier when I am underneath the car.

I also decided to do a practice tyre change in the comfort of the garage rather than wait till when I have to do it for real. 

I had been carrying one of these bottle jacks around in the boot, but had never actually tested it.
The front is very easy as you can just jack up the lower wishbone.

The back was again different as there is nowhere logical to put the jack.  Just lifting the chassis does not get the wheel off the ground, and the gap below the trailing arms is too low to get the jack in.  After getting some advice off the forum I decided there was no safe option and I would have to get myself a small scissor jack that would fit under the suspension unit.   

So it was out with the bottle jack and in with the scissor jack. 

Job done.

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