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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the past year I've made leaps and bounds in my car repair knowledge and I've come to the point where i need to be able to raise my car off the ground and work under it. The obvious decision that came to mind was to purchase some jack stands. However I was discussing this with my father and he is of the opinion that jack stands are dangerous. He instead believes I should use ramps of some kind. I'm not convinced. He also doesn't think I should spend much money on this, suggesting that I nail some progressively smaller blocks of wood together as a kind of ramp. I have no intention of paying mechanics to do all my repairs for the rest of my life. What are your opinions on the safety of jack stands? (It's not like I've got the cash to drop on a huge lift)
 

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Jack stands are plenty safe if you have high quality stands and you use them properly.

First get some good brand name stands, (I have Craftsman) and make sure that the load rating is much higher than what you will use them for. (again, I have 3000 lb rated stands)

To use them you want to block the wheels that will be on the ground firmly. Set the E-brake if you are lifting the front of the car. When you have the car on the stands, rock it to make sure that it is sturdy. If the car rocks at all, reset the stands!

The ramps are nice for things like oil and tranny fluid changes, there is less stress on the car because you aren't lifting the car from a small part on the frame. The problems with the ramps are that you can only lift the car as high as the ramps are. You cant remove the wheels to do brake or suspension work. And lastly the ramps are not as flexible (regarding hight and portability.... not flexible in the literal sense) as a good jack and jack stands.

That is just my $.02

Brad
 

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as long as you use a little common sense,jack stands are plenty safe(ever watched how a commercial airplane landing gear is serviced??they use a a helluva jackstand)just get a quality pair that is overrated for your car's weight like 3k(2 1/2 tons) or bigger
 

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ponykiller said:
as long as you use a little common sense,jack stands are plenty safe(ever watched how a commercial airplane landing gear is serviced??they use a a helluva jackstand)just get a quality pair that is overrated for your car's weight like 3k(2 1/2 tons) or bigger
3,000 lbs is 1-1/2 tons
 

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mrjackson2000 said:
ponykiller said:
as long as you use a little common sense,jack stands are plenty safe(ever watched how a commercial airplane landing gear is serviced??they use a a helluva jackstand)just get a quality pair that is overrated for your car's weight like 3k(2 1/2 tons) or bigger
3,000 lbs is 1-1/2 tons
:oops: :oops: :oops: my bad must not be getting enough coffee
 

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IMO jack stands are safer than ramps, when used on a sturdy (concrete) level surface, and placed in a good location under the car, for the front I like under the subframe, under the rad support near where the subframe connects or under the pinch weld behind the front tire, the latter being that the pinch weld is strong and the rocker is not rotted. For the rear I like the area just in front of the rear tire on the pinch weld or just to the inside, there is a rather large flat area that is perfect for jackstands. The pinch welds I am refering to are the same ones that the factory jacking instructions refer to for jacking points.

I don't like ramps due to the fact that they are usually quite unstable, even when used on level concrete, especially with any home made ones I have seen, is too easy to drive too far off the other end, when trying to get the car just to the top, especially when you have to give it a good amount of pedal to get the car up the ramp. I have seen a few actually colapse, both home made and store bought ramps.

Also make sure you get a good quality jack, to get the car up to teh point where you can get it on the jack stands. ;) The factory tire changing jack is not good enough for this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Any recommendations on where to buy chocks for the tires that aren't jacked up? Or do you just stick a piece of wood on either side of the tire? I find this to be particularly important because my e-brake doesn't work right now.
 

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I know this may sound kinda odd, but go to the wreckers, look for any S-10 Blazers or S-15 Jimmys, some pick-ups as well. Look under the jack stowage covers and you should see a pair of wheel chocks in there, might take looking in a few of them. I have a couple, and they work well.
 
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