It happened again. Another eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette fell off a lift at a dealership. Previously reported by Carscoops, video footage of the incident was uploaded to YouTube by user Jason Grubb, and it’s pretty hard to watch. Not only does the rear of the vehicle come crashing into the shop floor, the right rear lift arm tears through the composite coachwork like a Kurosawa film. This isn’t the first time a C8 Corvette has fallen off a lift, and I doubt it will be the last either.
Every car has specific lifting points, areas from which a car is designed to be raised. BMW likes to used plastic or rubber pads, most body-on-frame trucks have lifting points located on their frames, and some automakers are particularly stingy when it comes to lifting areas. However, lifting points take into account a vehicle’s front-to-rear weight balance, structural strength, and underbody surface orientation with the goal of the safest possible lifting experience. Most C8 Corvettes have around 40 percent of their weight over their front axles and 60 percent of their weight over their rear axles, meaning the car should be positioned further forward on a lift than most front-engined cars.
According to the owner’s manual, the C8 Corvette’s rear lift points are just in front of the rear arches, behind the extreme rear edges of the side vents. Just by watching the footage of this latest fall incident, it seems obvious that the rear lift arms aren’t in that position, but instead farther forward on the car. Proper lifting procedure may have prevented this incident from ever occurring.
Weirdly, this isn’t the first time GM technicians have allegedly had difficulties raising mid-engined cars. The Pontiac Fiero used rigid cooling pipes that ran along the sills, since the engine was behind the driver and the central tunnel was filled up with fuel tank. If the car was lifted from the wrong spots, lift arms or jacks could crush the cooling pipes, starving the engine of coolant.
With a little more care and attention, this latest Corvette lift incident may have been prevented. I love the access and convenience of two-post lifts, but raising more than a ton of vehicle is serious business. It’s all too easy to damage a vehicle or cause harm to human life in a moment of carelessness, so proper checks go a long way. If you’ve never used a two-post lift before, here’s what to do: Locate and use the manufacturer-approved lift points, raise the vehicle just barely off the ground, and rock it to ensure it’s not going anywhere. If it’s staying steady on the lift arms, continue to raise the vehicle until it’s above the nearest lock to your preferred working position, then bleed pressure in the hydraulic system until the lift is sitting firmly on the locks. Working on cars is fun, but it’s important to be safe so you can continue to wrench in the future.
(Photo credits: Jason Grubb/YouTube, Chevrolet, Pontiac)
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