Wheel Jacks

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Wheel Jacks

Postby Elanlover » Mon 10.07.2006, 19:59

Ok, this may not be the place for this particular silly question but...........


I'm about to acquire a set of wheel stands so i can do some work without killing myself. These would be "Axle Stands" (as per the pic below).



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So here's the dumb question. Where would I locate the stands on the car for best support and minimal damage? Sorry, but I'm a jack stand virgin and just want to make sure I'm not damaging the car.

Thanks all!
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Postby F1 LOTUS » Mon 10.07.2006, 20:37

Probably best to check the illustrations in the service manual?
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Postby paulrwebster » Mon 10.07.2006, 21:05

I had a jacking incident on Saturday.
On an S2, there is only one jacking point on either side of the car. When jacked up, both wheels on that side of the car leave the ground, which I have always thought to be a bit precarious.
The owners handbook contains the wonderful advice to "chock both wheels at the end of the car opposite to the wheel being changed" which doesn't really work when the whole side of the car is up in the air.
Anyway, I took a front wheel off and shoved it under the brake disk as a security precaution. I then heard the car creaking and it started to sway and lean on my "safety wheel". I held on to it and noticed that my jack was sinking into the hot tarmac on my drive. I ran around to the other side of the car and managed to chock the rear wheel from both sides (one side is not enough when half of the car is in the air). Anyway, this stabilised the car and I managed to get the wheel back on.
The moral is, so your jacking on a concrete surface if possible, and chock those wheels!
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Postby Elanlover » Mon 10.07.2006, 21:06

Hi Brian, actually, I had a look in 3 of the manuals and couldn't determine the best spot. This isn't for the jack (whose jack points are documented). I'm assuming I'll jack the car up and slide an axle stand under the car (somewhere) then repeat on the other side.

I reviewed the Elan M100 Service Manual v6, Elan M100 Training Course Notes V4 Chassis & Suspension v6 and the Elan M100 Service Manual v6 but couldn't seem to find anything useful. I admit I could have easily missed it (its a lot of pages to review). If you know what manual its mentioned in I'll be happy to re-read it. I'm thinking this needs to be a point other than the jackpoints though siince the jack will be occupying that spot. The rear of the car could prove interesting to deal with. Where do you put axle stands when there's no axle?

Unless people are supporting their cars to work under them in a different fashion once they're jacked them up (2 jacks???)?
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Postby paza1 » Mon 10.07.2006, 22:01

Just in case you haven't seen this http://www.lotuselancentral.com/repair/jackpoint.htm hope it helps
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Postby Nige » Mon 10.07.2006, 22:16

2 jacking points each side on an S2 same as an SE/NA as per the link above. However the S2 jack is different (nicked from an Esprit I think) I prefer the SE/NA jack as it locates more positively. Never had an issue with both wheels on the jacked side lifting clear of the ground on the S2 until I fitted a rear strut brace, even then some contact is usually maintained.
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Postby dans » Mon 10.07.2006, 22:36

Have to admit that I still don't have full confidence on where to locate axle stands..... the manual images are less than clear to me.

If anyone has any pics that would be handy. Front and rear as well
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Postby Doug » Mon 10.07.2006, 23:12

Blair,

top tip is to put a 3/4" socket in the floor jack cup and use it to bridge the nipple under the car at the jackpoint--this way nothing can touch and DAMAGE the surrounding structure--which can happen if you don't use the socket!

Also Rhino Ramps (common US brand) are plastic ramps you can drive up -- these are very helpful and worth looking into. You can put a woodblock at the base of it to be sure the front bumper doesn't scrape the ramp as you start to drive up!

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Postby Andy C » Tue 11.07.2006, 01:53

I have become quite expert at getting my Elan up on jacks over the past few months. This is how I do it.

Using 2 x trolley jack - one under each front outside jackpoint (with a socket placed as Doug posted). Jack up each side slowly keeping them as level as possible easy with 2 people .. or alternate a few pumps either side if on your own - remember to chock your rear wheels front and back ... and make sure the handbrake is on. If you don't have 2 trolley jacks, the same can be achieved with using the std jack in place of one of the trolleys .. just be bloody careful when jacking with this standard unit .. it is very easy for the car to move and slip off.

Place your jack stands underneath the front inside jack points (bolt heads)position b here. The use of a correctly sized socket is a good idea if you can get enough height with your trolley jacks .. alternatively I use a small section of channelbar to spread the load over the 2 bolt heads. Drop the side jacks and marvel at the front up on jackstands. Being the paranoid person that I am, I leave the trolley jacks up and holding some weight whilst the car is on stands.

I havn't tried to raise just one side on jackstands .. but I would not think that it would be overly stable. I also have not tried to raise the rear end up and place on stands .. but I imagine a similar system will work.
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Postby Doug » Tue 11.07.2006, 02:19

excellent, Andy. I also can point out that after I got Big Dave M's rear strut bar in place, if I jack up only one front side the same side rear wheel will come off the ground at about the same time and thus there is not need to use the rear jack point--you use the front one which raises the whole side and then you can work on whichever area you need, or even rotate tires on one side with a single jack! Before the rear strut bar the car would twist a bit and did not raise up so eloquently!
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Postby Elanlover » Tue 11.07.2006, 02:24

Andy C wrote:
Place your jack stands underneath the front inside jack points (bolt heads)position b here. The use of a correctly sized socket is a good idea if you can get enough height with your trolley jacks .. alternatively I use a small section of channelbar to spread the load over the 2 bolt heads. Drop the side jacks and marvel at the front up on jackstands. Being the paranoid person that I am, I leave the trolley jacks up and holding some weight whilst the car is on stands.


Perfect, that's what I was looking for. The standard jack points I know of. The inside ones I simply couldn't see in any manual. Its probably there and I just got blurred vision looking at so many pages.

Your typical axle stand isn't going to work given the shape of the piece the car rests on. I'll have to see if I can get something with a "flat" jackpoint and throw a socket piece in there as Doug has suggested.

Thank you everyone!
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Postby Doug » Tue 11.07.2006, 02:42

you can put a small piece of wood between the jackstand and inner jackpoints to avoid scratching and distribute the load evenly, but just be careful to place it so it is stable.
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Wheel Jacks

Postby algirdas » Tue 11.07.2006, 06:01

Dear Elanlover:

This is going to have LEC-ers rolling in the aisles around the world-this is how I raise my car: First, I made a set of blocks out of walnut and drilled relief holes in them to take the place of the 3/4 socket. I then place them on the first two of the three trolley jacks that I use. I place the trolley jacks under the front "a" positions and, much like Mr. Andy C, raise the car slowly and evenly (rear wheels chocked and handbrake on) and then place axle stands under the front "b" positions. I then slowly lower the car onto the front axle stands and leave a bit of tension on the front trolley jacks (just in case). If the front tires and wheels are coming off, then I slide them under the car with a folded up wool blanket on each wheel (again, just in case).

Second, I then go to the rear with the third trolley jack and a 2 by 4 inch piece of wood to tie in both rear "c" positions. From the center of the rear of the car, with the 2 x 4 on the trolley jack and under the channel that forms the rear "c" jack points, I slowly raise the rear of the car until I fit the jack stands with the appropriate walnut blocks under the rear "a" jack points. I then set the car down onto the jack stands and make sure all four stands are sitting squarely on the garage floor and bearing the weight. I then go around to each corner of the car and gently grab the fender/wing and put SLIGHT pressure on it to see if the car moves at all. If it moves, I stop eveything and see where is the problem.

I leave all of the trolley jacks in place as long as they do not get in the way.

An alternative that I am going to use is to start to raise the front of the car as described above and once it is high enough, slide a pair of bottle jacks under the front "b" jack points and let the bottle jacks take over. Once high enough, I will put a pair of jack stands under the front "a" jacking points.

A brief word about trolley jacks-try to find the ones that have the ability to open and close the hydraulic valve by simply twisting the handle and make sure they can open and close the valve with the handle all the way down and almost all the way up. Hein Werner is the brand, from my experience, that is regarded as the Cadillac of floor jacks. Best place to find them since they tend to be a bit on the pricey side are at shops that repair and rebuild floor jacks. They often have rebuilts available for about half of the $300 retail price (or less). Werner is also a quality tool. My friends have bought well rebuilt units and have had no complaints.

The floor jack that you posted above is like one of my three and the separate handle has its plusses and minuses. Having to take your head out of whatever it is that your are doing in order to take the handle out and put it on the the valve to close it and then put it back in to pump the jack and then take it out again in order to release the valve etc. etc. can get pretty annoying. At least it does so for me since I use one such floor jack myself. If you can find a reasonably priced jack that has hydraulic valve control ability through an attached handle, go with it as long as you can control the valve from pretty much any handle height or angle (those with u joints). The ones that have interlocking gears at the base of the handle often won't work well when the handle is at its extremes.

Another thing to look for is minimum saddle height. Our cars are low so the lower the minimum saddle height the better. But that also makes the jack a bit more expensive.

Last, buy a quality floor jack. It may cost you more now, but it is something that you will use for many, many years. Some of my jacks are over 30 years old. Plus they have many other uses around the house as well. I've used mine to hang kitchen wall cabinets.

And above all else-safety, more safety and even more safety! Andy C writes about being paranoid about jacking up his car. That is good paranoia to have. Having a car drop on you is not the sort of thing that will contribute to your having a "good day". So be paranoid when taking a car up off of the ground (unless you are behind the wheel driving it in which case it is okay to do. Just don't drive off of a cliff-that is not ok to do. But if one's mother-in-law were to drive off of a cliff in one's Elan, I think I would be left with mixed emotions at best.).

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Algirdas

PS Mind you, I am NOT paranoid, but why is it that everytime football players are in a huddle they are talking about me? :shock:
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Postby paulrwebster » Tue 11.07.2006, 12:21

Nige wrote:2 jacking points each side on an S2 same as an SE/NA as per the link above. However the S2 jack is different (nicked from an Esprit I think) I prefer the SE/NA jack as it locates more positively. Never had an issue with both wheels on the jacked side lifting clear of the ground on the S2 until I fitted a rear strut brace, even then some contact is usually maintained.


Not on mine. The owners handbook (1994 edition) states "A single jacking point is provided on each side of the vehicle, just behind the front wheelarch, and should be used to change either front or rear wheel."
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Postby Specky » Tue 11.07.2006, 19:10

Andy C wrote:Place your jack stands underneath the front inside jack points (bolt heads)position b here. .


This was me the other day.. or my interpretation :shock:

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Postby Doug » Tue 11.07.2006, 21:04

looks like someone stripped your car in the car park, Dave! :shock:
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Postby Specky » Tue 11.07.2006, 21:11

Doug wrote:looks like someone stripped your car in the lot, Dave! :shock:


Teach me to visit Manchester... I had only stopped @ the lights for a few seconds.. :shock:
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Re: Wheel Jacks

Postby Doug » Tue 11.07.2006, 21:34

algirdas wrote:This is going to have LEC-ers rolling in the aisles around the world

PS Mind you, I am NOT paranoid, but why is it that everytime football players are in a huddle they are talking about me? :shock:


:smt043 Bravo!

another strange thing I get to think about (be it I am under a car or up in the attic or such) is: what am I going to do and how is this going to look if "the Big One" hits while I am doing this . . . . (earthquake that is for you flatlanders)
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