Home » It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Let’s Talk About How We Get Cars Up In The Air

It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Let’s Talk About How We Get Cars Up In The Air

Wrenching Wednesday Lifting Vehicles
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Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
16 hours ago

I usually use speed bumps/humps, ramps, flat bed tow trucks, bridges/flyovers and Nike Air shoes to get my car in the air. Sometimes I like to take it to the Air and Space Museum, although there’s really nothing there…
“the dipstick if your car has one”
This made me cringe…

Memphomike
Memphomike
20 hours ago

Non-pro tip: save big cardboard boxes to lay on in the driveway.
Another non-pro tip: keep lots of Absorb or cat litter handy, modern low-viscosity oils are a mess.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
1 day ago

Eight years back I bought and built a Menards – design it yourself on the computer – garage with their 11% rebate system. The rebate then was used for finishing the electrical and insulation, etc. it was probably only $1000 extra to go from a standard 8 foot ceiling to an 11 foot ceiling. Five years later I put in a two post lift after, like an idiot, doing all sorts of jackstand shenanigans, and had the rear of my V slip off and the jack went through fuel lines and messed some stuff up. It makes everything way easier, and you can store a car on it for winter , as long as you exercise the lift weekly. Making sure you have enough height is key. I am 6’ 2” so I can stand under it for the most part sometimes having to spread the old legs a little bit.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
1 day ago
Reply to  CTSVmkeLS6

Thought I’d mention that for very low cars like my basket case 97 turbo neon, I still have to jack it up and put it on car dollies and roll it in position or else the lift can’t get underneath it. Small concessions for glory!!

Dolsh
Dolsh
1 day ago

Really seriously considering the purchase of a Quickjack. Not sure how good they are though…

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
1 day ago
Reply to  Dolsh

Depends… I’ve found them more annoying than a jack and stands 3/4 of the time. Super handy if you’re working on the front or back 20% of the car, but if you’re doing anything in the middle the only way to get there is to slide all the way in from the front or back to get to work in rather than reaching in from the side.

Chri$
Chri$
1 day ago
Reply to  Dolsh

I bought a pair about 2 year ago. Then I sold them and got a new pair that was 6″ longer (I believe), because the first set wouldn’t comfortably reach to the lift points on my 2021 Model 3 or my 2018 C63S. Since the re-buy they’ve been great. They’re a bit heavy and I can’t fathom why they made the hydraulic hose stick out the FRONT of the wheels, so when you are pushing it the hose gets snagged on everything, but they’re worth their weight in gold. They took a wheel rotation on my Tesla from an hour job to a 30 minute job (including set up and tear down), and for the longer term projects, they are steady as a rock. My C63S has been on them in the elevated position for 3 months now. I highly recommend a set if you can’t put in a post lift.

Also used them to hold up a donor car while it was striped. A bit hard to get to the middle of the car, but not impossible.

Last edited 1 day ago by Chri$
Dolsh
Dolsh
22 hours ago
Reply to  Chri$

This is kind of the job I had in mind – most wrenching seems to be swapping tires around, and it seems like Quickjack would help with that a bunch.

Sayhota
Sayhota
21 hours ago
Reply to  Dolsh

have the 7000lb new version. Works great for my Mk7 golf, NA miata, 2016 Honda Fit and 2006 Porsche Cayman. On the Golf, need to make sure you jack so the overhang (top side of the quick jack) is at the rear otherwise it could tip. All the other cars it doesn’t matter. One pain is getting the undertrays off the Cayman can’t be done with the quick jack so it’s always double duty. Don’t have a usable garage space so pull them out to the driveway to work. Zero regrets on the purchase.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 day ago

My RAV4 has a central jack point for the front. In the rear it gets lifted by the control arms.

Haven’t yet lifted the Model Y yet. I do have the jack pad adapters for the inevitable Fluid Film application.

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
1 day ago

For those complaining about not being able to put a stand in after you jack up a car check out one of these:
https://www.powerbuilt.com/products/2-ton-u-jack-floor-jack

Tarragon
Tarragon
1 day ago

OK, that’s cool. Thank you

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
1 day ago

My wife’s wheelchair-adapted van is a challenge because the floor has been lowered, and that means that the factory jack points are either gone or rendered completely useless by the plastic lower body cladding that’s now in the way. The only way to jack it is by getting under suspension pivot points where everything is reinforced and already carrying a significant amount of the car’s weight — which isn’t possible without low-profile jack, which I’ve been meaning to get a hold of. So, I have to drive it up on ramps, get a jack under it. and then lift one corner at a time until I can place stands at safe locations. Lots of “jacking around”.

Of course, my old jack is now leaking and won’t lift much weight any longer, and really isn’t worth repairing since what I really need is a modern low-profile/high lift model. Time to go shopping, I guess.

Just last weekend I had to lift the rear end to inspect the brakes, which had started making noise on right-hand turns. Odd, since the brakes don’t have that much mileage on them. Anyway, this time since the regular jack is acting up, I had to dig out an old bottle jack formerly out of a Discovery I, which did the trick once the van was backed a third of the way up the ramps. Bottle jacks are common, but this one is kind of unique — it’s a compact bottle jack with a considerable amount of lift due to a telescoping shaft, and it’s got a rather high weight capacity for its size since it was expected to jack up a Land Rover that’s probably loaded with gear.

Oh, and the brake noise? The tires were replaced last year, and the tire guys must have banged the dust shields while taking off the wheels because the tops of both were nearly rubbing against the rotors. One was particularly close and was brushing it on right turns as the van shifted against bearing runout. A minute of prying them back with the Big F-ing Screwdriver™ and all was back to normal.

(The Big F-ing Screwdriver™ is an old, beaten-upon, large (around 12-inch long) Snap-On flat screwdriver that was left in one of my cars by a shop in the early 90s. It had clearly lived a hard life when I found it, and it’s continued to serve as a prybar and chisel for tight places far more than for turning screws for the past several decades. And it keeps coming back for more. Frequently used alongside its companion tool, the Big F-ing Hammer™.)

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 day ago
Reply to  UnseenCat

Ha! I too have a Big F-ing Screwdriver that I use solely to work the valve on the jack. It’s not as large as yours, but it basically serves only that purpose, rarely driving screws…

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
1 day ago

This was a great wrenching topic!

I have gotten several good ideas & leads from it.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 day ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

Me too. The big one being I just ordered some rubber jack pads as yeah, I’d been guilty of jacking the crap outta my pinch welds.

ClutchAbuse
ClutchAbuse
1 day ago

For oil changes in my K5 and WL, I just drive up a set of ramps. For work where I need to take the wheels off, I lift them with floor jack and a some 3D printed pads I came up with so I can slide the jack stands under.

My XJ Cherokee is tall enough that I only need to break out the jack if the wheels need to come off. I just lift it from the pumpkin in the back or the center of the front axle and then lower the axle onto jack stands.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 day ago

I hate hate hate lifting the Z4. It’s a matter of using wood to make a low angle ramp to get on the regular ramps to get to the front jack point in the center of the car. After that it’s stands under the side rails.

The truck has only been ramps except for a little bit of single-replacement wheel replacement game around a flat and the spare last year.

The bike got the ratchet strap ‘n’ ladder treatment for a recent oil change. I’ll get stands when I’m working again.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 day ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

I feel the same way about my Porsche. Turns out there’s not enough room on the front jack points to raise it and get stands under there; the only way to do the fronts is to jack the rear as high as you can and then put the stands on the front. My jack is fairly small/low profile, so I can’t go as high as I’d like.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 day ago

Does bringing it to my local shop count? I have other things to with my time. 🙂

Bucko
Bucko
1 day ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

Since this is the Wrenching Wednesday feature, I’d say bringing your car to a local shop does not count.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 day ago
Reply to  Bucko

That’d be a great topic for Money Monday though

The Pigeon
The Pigeon
1 day ago

2-ton Harbor Freight jack and some jack stands. I have some ramps also, but haven’t quite used those yet as my last oil change happened during some more professional transmission repair that I couldn’t handle myself.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 day ago

My driveway is sloped so I built ramps from lumber scraps and leftovers to level vehicles out. I have a 2×4 with marks for each spacing between wheels for each vehicle. I needed this for my Prius, but comes in hand for my ’64 F100 coach-built crewcab when I installed disks in front.

As for lifting an entire side for wheel rotation, I place a different 2×4 under the sill seam, and lift with a floor jack.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
1 day ago

When I retired I knew I’d be doing a lot of auto stuff so I bought a different house where I could build a well insulated and heated building tall enough to have a 2-post lift. It’s a great thing to have when you’re old (76) and working on cars. Kept me in the game, and hopefully for another number of years.
The only drawback is it makes you a little too popular with friends and neighbors and I don’t like to let anybody work in there without me being around.

Fuller Name
Fuller Name
1 day ago

Although I couldn’t read the article, I read most of the comments up to now and I wanted to share this. I’ve worked on my cars sparingly over the years (decades, I guess) but still consider myself a novice. I recently took my car to a shop here in Austin where you can rent the use of a lift. It was a two hour minimum at $30/hr and they even provide the tools. It was fantastic other than being really hot and humid that day. I have some tools, a jack, and jack stands at home but an overburdened garage and a slanted driveway make it tough to do anything. I got several things done that day (lower control arms, motor mount, oil change) but I still need to go back again to do the one thing that kind of started all this. I’ve been putting it off but I still need to change out the power steering pump and high pressure hose.

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