Jacking up the car to work underneath

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Caterham Kid
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Jacking up the car to work underneath

I need to get underneath the car to drill out 3 or 4 broken rivets and re-rivet the floor pan on the driver's side. What is the best and safest way to jack up the car?

I have 4 axle stands but it is stated that you shouldn't use 4. I have done so in the past just to get the car up high enough to get a drain pan underneath so I can carry out an oil change etc but not sure it would be safe enough for anything else. Would it be safe to put the car up on 4 wheel ramps instead? What other options are there?

Any advice would be gratefully received!

 

sforshaw
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In the past I've raised the rear of the car onto the top level of a pair of ramps, applied the handbrake and then raised the front onto axle stands, very stable.

However when I did my rebuild a couple of years ago I invested in a pair of mobile axle stands ... really wish I'd done it years ago! Particularly if you're working in a confined space it helps that once the cars on the stands it can be moved around quite easily. Definitely recommended.

Stu.


 

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ScottR400D
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I’ve always put mine on 4 stands but my floor is pretty level. The only reason to recommend 3 is for stability. 

I jack mine up at the rear unser the A Frame/de Dion joint,  and put stands at the outer ends of the chassis rail just behind the de Dion. Lowest hole in stands.  

Then I jack up the front, under the cruciform, with a wooden spreader on the jack, and put stands under each end of the central tube there. 2nd position on the stands. 

Then I jack up the rear again to lift the stands to the next position. 

If I wanted it higher I’d do it one hole at a time, alternating front/back, because I’ve found that if you get the angle of the car too high on the jack the stands at the other end may tilt a little. Depends how easy your jack rolls. 

Wrightpayne
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I've always used 4 axle stands but as Scott says you have to keep an eye on the end already up when lifting the opposite end.

This is my sequence, as I struggle to get the jack and two axle stands under the front.

1) Jack the rear up, each side in turn, using the forward / outer A frame location point and put a bit of 9x2 under each rear tyre. 
 

2) At the front position the jack under the towing eye, at 90 degrees to norm ie in line with the radiator, and lift it up. Put axle stands under thicker centre tube of crucifom using a bit of carpet / cushion floor as chassis protection. Lower onto stands slowly as chassis moves in an arc and axle stands may need repositioning. (Also why I raise the front first)

3) At rear, position jack under diff (the 2" joist under the tyres enables this)and raise it slowly keeping an eye on the front stands. I try to apply a bit of forward pressure to the jack so it moves rather than pulling the body. Position axle stands under dedion or rear transverse chassis rail outer edges (NOT the one with the ally skin attached!!)

Regards

Ian

Caterham Kid
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Thanks very much for all your responses. It gives me confidence I can safely use 4 axle stands. 

However I should have mentioned that my garage is too small to do this so I have to do it on the drive which has a very slight slope. Would that be an issue?

I might pick up some wheel ramps and go for the ramps at the back and axle stands at the front option.

 

 

 

 

blueyedbiker
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Engine crane's handy for lifting on to stands, saves the faff of jacking.

MADMALC
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Do be careful using 4 axle stands especially if you are going under the car or using 'force' on components. In reality it is NOT safe practice so do it at your own fully assessed risk.

If you do go ahead then leave the jack under and slide the wheels under there as well just incase.

R.I.P. SLR No.27.

sforshaw
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Not all axle stands are equal but if you draw an imaginary line between from the top where the car will sit to the midpoint of two of the feet, that's the line which if tipped beyond vertical would cause a disaster, ie. NOT to the foot itself. The higher they're set the worse it'll be. DEFINITELY NOT SUITABLE FOR A SLOPE.

Stu.

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Caterham Kid
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DEFINITELY NOT SUITABLE FOR A SLOPE

Not even a slight slope? 

sforshaw
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That's your call!

Stu.

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Caterham Kid
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Ok, having asked around as well as on here it would seem that 4 axle stands is not advised especially with a very slight slope. Advice seems to be ramps at the rear with Axle stands at the front with a single axle stand leg pointing forward (direction of slope). I don't actually have to go under the car but I do need to fit a drill under.