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Discussion Starter #1
We all know it's stupid to work under a car without jackstands, right?

So I go out to look at my friend's Escort that won't start today. When you crank it, it makes a high pitched whine that sounds like the starter spinning without engaging the flywheel. I look under the hood and don't see it, so I decide to take a look underneath. I look inside - its in park - good. I procede to forget the fact that 1) its an automatic so she doesn't have the e-brake on and 2) its front wheel drive.

So we jack up the front of the car. I look at it and say "I don't really want to go under there without jack stands." Then I think out loud "Well, I'm not going to touch anything, just gonna look real quick -- it'll be fine."

I get underneath, look around a bit, and spot the starter. The next thing I know the oil pan is sitting on my chest and my friend is screaming "Oh my god are you alright?!" It had rolled forward off the jack because the rear wheels were of course spinning freely without a brake or drivetrain holding them in place. I yell at her to go get some help, while taking short gasps of air that I can fit in my lungs.

She runs over to my dorm room where about 5 people are sitting around playing Tetris, where she very calmly asks for help. You know -- not at all like "HEY JARED IS STUCK UNDER A CAR!! GET OUT HERE NOW!" Finally (after what seems like 20 minutes -- maybe 1 minute actually) she finds someone who slowly walks over to the car.

"DUDE, HURRY UP, I'M UNDER HERE!!!" Together they lift the car up just enough for me to get out with a torn, filthy shirt, the outline of an oil pan on my chest and stomach and a sore leg which I can't explain.. I think I was concentrating too much on breathing to notice anything else.

I'm now deathly afraid of lifted cars and I won't be going anywhere near one without jack stands ever again. Please, learn from me.
 

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that just fricken sucks!!!!! i understand how you are now afraid of a lifted car....well its good to hear you are ok!!!! not something i want to experience
 

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Yeah, that's always scared me a bit, just the idea of it happening. Since it's happened to you, I'm not suprised at all that it would be a scary thing. Luckily for me, I can fit all the way under the WRX up to my knees, without it lifted in any way. There are some perks to being a smaller guy:)
 

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thats one of my biggest fears
 

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here's another tip.

i had a friend's truck up on jackstands in my driveway this past weekend.

we swapped out his exhaust as planned, but when we put it back down, we realized that the jackstands had buried themselves in the asphalt.

:mad:

man that ticked me off.

i'm welding plates on the bottom of them now.

trip.
 

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That sucks dude.
Me and a friend were having a debate between jack stands and ramps the other day. He uses ramps and swears by them and I've just started working on cars and just have the old jack stands my father used to use when he would fix our cars. I hate being up under there too.
 

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Sears are having one of their million-a-year sales events, and jackstand/floor jack sets are very reasonably priced for equipment that's at the very least adequate enough to keep the car off the ground safely.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't remember ever going under a car that wasn't properly supported before that. I don't mind ramps or jackstands -- they both do their job. Ramps are more convenient but most of the time if I'm jacking the car up I'm taking the wheels off anyway. I've got a lift I can use most of the time which makes everything so much easier.
 

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LtTripMD said:
here's another tip.
i had a friend's truck up on jackstands in my driveway this past weekend.

we swapped out his exhaust as planned, but when we put it back down, we realized that the jackstands had buried themselves in the asphalt.

man that ticked me off.

i'm welding plates on the bottom of them now.

trip.
I put a piece of plywood underneath my jackstands when I work on asphalt.
 

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After putting my jackstands in the wrong places I can't figure out where to put them. I jack up the car using the plate under the engine, but the stands can't be put there (since the jack is already there) or near the sideskirts. I wish the car manufacturer would put a little plate stamped with "support here" at appropriate spots. I won't do any work under the car since I am scared of using just the jack.
 

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the front jack point i have always used is right behind the front wheels next to the side skirts. its after thoes hollow flat peices of metal (dont know what they are called).
this is a good lesson to come out unharmed from because you will never forget how scary that is.
dont have too much confidence in jack stands some are very unstable and the higher you make them the less stable it gets. i always make sure to give the car a good shake before i go under so i have confidence its not gonna fall on me.
good post.
 

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Wow, I missed this post way back. I never get under a car without jack stands and some type of wheel chock. I also try to keep the jack underneath the car somewhere just in case the stands fail. When I was 15 years old and working at a bodyshop/tow-yard I witnessed one of the workers legs get crushed when a F350 Dually sling truck fell on his legs and pulverized them. The picture of his bone protruding through his skin is forever burned into my brain so I don't skimp on safety. Lifts make me terribly nervous. I've seen cars fall off of them. I feel better about the jack and stands.
 

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Trainrex said:
Wow, I missed this post way back. I never get under a car without jack stands and some type of wheel chock. I also try to keep the jack underneath the car somewhere just in case the stands fail.
I always jack the car up, then let it back down until it comes to rest on the jack stands. Then, I give the jack an extra pump so that the load is shared between the jack and the stands. :thumbup:
 

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Fixxxer said:
I always jack the car up, then let it back down until it comes to rest on the jack stands. Then, I give the jack an extra pump so that the load is shared between the jack and the stands. :thumbup:
exactly :thumbup:
 
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