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Author Topic: Car Ramps?  (Read 1150 times)
Ben
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« on: January 10, 2017, 01:25:57 PM »

Can I get some recommendations on good car ramps?

I've decided that since it's so easy to change the oil on my new F-150 that it would be embarrassing for me not to.  laugh

While I can get underneath with just enough room, I thought it would be nice to get an extra six or so inches of clearance to get some elbow room. Plus maybe with a set of ramps I'll be more inclined to change the oil on my 4Runner, which requires a lot more time underneath to remove skid plates and such.

Anyway, I did a quick Amazon search, and maybe  I was using the wrong terms, but there wasn't a big selection. I figured there would be pages, but there was maybe two pages, and some of them seemed geared towards low slung sports cars.  I want something that will hold up a truck. I saw some plastic ones that got four star reviews into the thousands, but when I read the bad reviews, they involved the ramps collapsing when a car drove on them. More than one review like that makes me leery. I plan on sticking jack stands underneath for backup, but you still have to slide underneath to place them. Smiley

On the one hand I don't want to cheap out, but on the other hand I don't want $200 ramps if they are not necessary, otherwise it's too much of a recovery cost and I might as well work with the tight squeeze under the truck and keep taking the 4Runner to the dealer.
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HankB
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 01:48:48 PM »

You'll be crawling underneath - how much is your life worth?

Some folks have recommended ramps from Harbor Freight, but I've read some sage advice that one ought not trust Harbor Freight stuff on anything that will endanger your life if it fails.
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cordex
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 01:50:41 PM »

You'll be crawling underneath - how much is your life worth?
A lot more than I'd ever spend on car ramps.
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Ben
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 02:14:21 PM »

You'll be crawling underneath - how much is your life worth?


Hence the "I don't want to cheap out". I just don't want to pay more because something looks pretty. I'll pay for safety.
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BobR
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 02:36:13 PM »

When I was looking at car ramps the Rhino Ramps seemed like the one to buy based on reviews of owners. They aren't the cheapest nor are they the most expensive.

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charby
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 03:16:07 PM »

Floor jack and couple jack stands.

Ramps scare the hell out of me.
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Ben
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 03:26:14 PM »

Floor jack and couple jack stands.

Ramps scare the hell out of me.

I've never used ramps. I would have thought the opposite - good ramp safer than jack stands. I have a killer Costco floor jack and good jack stands (welded them myself out of pig iron!). Smiley

Maybe I don't need anything more than I have.
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charby
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 03:31:36 PM »

I've never used ramps. I would have thought the opposite - good ramp safer than jack stands. I have a killer Costco floor jack and good jack stands (welded them myself out of pig iron!). Smiley

Maybe I don't need anything more than I have.

Seen folks drive off them and damage their undercarriage. I have seen a ramp after it collapsed, it happened when no one was under the vehicle.
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RoadKingLarry
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2017, 04:19:26 PM »

Floor jack and couple jack stands.

Ramps scare the hell out of me.

I love my ramps, use them all the time.... for working on the riding lawn mower.
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2017, 05:01:52 PM »

Seen folks drive off them and damage their undercarriage. I have seen a ramp after it collapsed, it happened when no one was under the vehicle.

I had the opposite -- I had a Cherokee up on jack stands. My driveway isn't asphalt, it's gravel. In summer, when it's dry, it always seemed firm and solid. I jacked the rear axle up, put the stands under it, and left it for several hours. I came back to find the left rear brake drum (with the axle and vehicle still attached) sitting in the dirt. The jack stand didn't fail -- the ground supporting it failed.

I use steel ramps. I don't trust plastic. That said, a good friend is a professional VW tech (shop foreman), and he uses plastic.
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zahc
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2017, 05:21:01 PM »

The paranoid use redundant methods: jack stands plus wood blocks or similar as backup.

I have plastic ramps I bought at O'Reilly whenever I needed them. Pay attention to the weight ratings and you will be fine. I actually trust the cheap plastic ones more than some of the cheap metal ones I have seen. Its hard to evaluate metallurgy and weld quality; they could be made out of random metal melted down with whatever they threw in the pot in China and welded together with bad welds;how would you know?
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charby
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2017, 05:25:17 PM »

I had the opposite -- I had a Cherokee up on jack stands. My driveway isn't asphalt, it's gravel. In summer, when it's dry, it always seemed firm and solid. I jacked the rear axle up, put the stands under it, and left it for several hours. I came back to find the left rear brake drum (with the axle and vehicle still attached) sitting in the dirt. The jack stand didn't fail -- the ground supporting it failed.

I use steel ramps. I don't trust plastic. That said, a good friend is a professional VW tech (shop foreman), and he uses plastic.

I've had jacks drop sink in the mud, especially on heavier stuff like farm tractors.
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2017, 05:27:49 PM »

I saw a set someone made from a 12x12 timber. They cut a long angle up to a flat spot. Those will never flatted out.
Kind of like this but solid log. These would be easy to make as well.

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zahc
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2017, 05:32:35 PM »

I had ramps made from single pieces of pine log left over from a log cabin. The grain naturally ran lengthwise. When I drove the car up onto it one day, there was a piece of gravel right under it, and the ramp split lengthwise. So yeah... redundant methods are in order when crawling under large hunks of steel.
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2017, 05:47:59 PM »

Seen folks drive off them and damage their undercarriage. I have seen a ramp after it collapsed, it happened when no one was under the vehicle.

What kind of ramp?  Not one of the plastic ones, I take it?

Rhinoramps seems like a good type.  They stack up to a lower profile than mine do.

In order for the plastic ones to fail, you're looking at a lot of ribs having to go.
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charby
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2017, 05:52:35 PM »

What kind of ramp?  Not one of the plastic ones, I take it?

Rhinoramps seems like a good type.  They stack up to a lower profile than mine do.

In order for the plastic ones to fail, you're looking at a lot of ribs having to go.

Metal ones, it was back when I was in high school. I can't remember if it was a friend or his father that it flattened on.

Every discount store had those old sheet metal riveted ones for sale back then.

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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2017, 06:12:13 PM »

I drive up the ramps then set floor jack for backup


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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2017, 07:13:50 PM »

The Rhinoramps are the ones that have gotten bad reviews...this was covered in a thread on another forum I am a member of recently. I've heard that the earlier ones were good and that the newer ones are the ones that have issues.


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Pine is not an acceptable cribbing material. We strictly use oak and it gets tossed when the blocking gets damaged.





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Ben
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2017, 07:28:58 PM »


Pine is not an acceptable cribbing material. We strictly use oak and it gets tossed when the blocking gets damaged.


At the risk of sound like KD5 Jr...  laugh

If a guy only wanted a few inches of lift, would something like a good quality three foot long 2x12 with a two foot long 2x12 screwed and/or glued on top of it not be pretty darn sturdy (given it was on a flat concrete surface)?
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2017, 07:48:52 PM »

... I have a killer Costco floor jack ...Maybe I don't need anything more than I have.

(phrasing?)
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2017, 08:21:49 PM »

I don't use ramps.  Nothing against them, but I've found jackstands more versatile.  Maybe I'll get ramps when I have more storage room to spare.

I agree on redundancy.  I usually re-position my jack and leave it (touching, not taking any weight)... just in case.

I'm not sure how I feel about plastic ramps.  *I* wouldn't get under them.  I'd be concerned about how age impacts their strength.  This is not a problem with metal that hasn't obviously corroded.

I'd also agree with the suggestion to watch your weight specs.  Being made of stamped sheet, it's hard to say how much extra capacity is designed in before yield.  I'd consider buying the next size bigger then intended use.
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wmenorr67
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2017, 05:19:30 AM »

This makes me think that a business model I've thought of that would be nice to try, just need $$$$$.

Open up a DIY auto repair shop, like the ones you see on a military base.  Have 4-5 bays, a couple with lifts, and then rent them out for a few bucks an hour.

Have a bunch of common tools and then a few of the more special ones that someone might need.
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« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2017, 05:37:13 AM »

^^^I would think that the liability insurance for this would be extraordinarily expensive. 
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wmenorr67
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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2017, 07:09:10 AM »

^^^I would think that the liability insurance for this would be extraordinarily expensive. 

That is the major drawback I see.  I have thought about inquiring but without any $$$$ to start no reason to even try at this time.
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2017, 07:18:07 AM »

^^^I would think that the liability insurance for this would be extraordinarily expensive. 

Those businesses have existed in the past.

Chris
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