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Thread: Must read before performing maintenance on your car!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Lebanon, OH

    Must read before performing maintenance on your car!!!

    Christian Richard Klorczyk

    This is a story about the life, and sad death of Christian Richard Klorczyk, who died far too young. RIP Christian and prayers to your Family and friends. Let this forever be a reminder to all of us who DIY.

    Christian Richard Klorczyk

    Christian Richard Klorczyk Slideshow

    Safe Jack points. Please review the following thread prior to performing maintenance under your car. Assess the risk, and if you don't feel safe, take it into the shop.

    Safe Jack Points

    Near Miss - Good Data

    Jack Stands

    Others feel free to chime into this thread and add safety tips that aren't stated in the other four threads above.

    Be safe Fella's
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Atlanta, Georgia
    May he rest in peace.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Jupiter, FL
    A note on jacking the car up. You have to trust your equipment. And that being said, here's a comparison I found that sheds some light.

    Part 1:
    Part 2:

    You have to understand that before you get under the car, the ONLY thing keeping you alive is the jack/stands holding it up. If possible, slide the wheels under the car as well alongside the stands to further protect yourself. And once you get the car all set and up on stands... Stand up and push on it, try to rock it/push it... If it falls off the stands, GOOD... It happened while you were NEXT to it, not under it cranking on a big ratchet...

    Be safe everyone.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    The Windy City
    Yeah I honestly think about this every time I get under the car. Gotta be safe or else pay for someone who will be to do it for you.
    Call me Seth
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    South Central PA
    Quote Originally Posted by UdubBadger View Post
    Yeah I honestly think about this every time I get under the car. Gotta be safe or else pay for someone who will be to do it for you.
    X2 every time

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Very sad story.

    I hate getting under cars. It didn't bother me at all when I was younger but the older I get the more anxiety it creates.

    I just recently decided to retire all of my ratcheting jack stands and replace them with the pin type. I don't believe that the ratcheting type are inherently dangerous, I just don't personally feel comfortable with them as none that I have seen have any type of visual indication that they are properly locked.

    To expand on that. They all use the same basic design where a cam is attached to a lever that locks into place into teeth in the center post. To unlock you push the lever down, but notice that doing this also raises the center post slightly. This is the built in safety as the weight of the car is actually keeping it in the locked position. If you have a 4000lb car on 4 of these stands that's 1000lbs per stand. Just eyeballing it the levers are generally about 3x the length of the cam which would give a 3:1 mechanical advantage but you would still need 333lbs of force on the lever to raise the car and unlock the center post. That's a lot of force and pretty unlikely to happen by accident. Unfortunately, there's one other possibility that's the reason I don't like them.

    On virtually all of them, the teeth on the center post are flat on the face, and if you play with them a bit you can get the cam to wedge onto the face and end up with a cam lock where the weight of the car pushing down tries to rotate the cam but because of it's shape it just wedges tighter and tighter. In this scenario it will support the weight of the car and appear to be stable but it would take very little force on the lever to release the cam and the car will come crashing down.

    If you do use these type of stands, please inspect them carefully. I've tried this on a variety of brands and with a little fiddling I can get any of them to do this but some are much more prone to this than others. The ones I have at my house are the aluminum ones from Harbor Freight. Even though they are cast aluminum the face of the teeth and the cam itself were machined to a smooth finish which greatly reduces the possibility of this happening.

    I'm still sticking with the pin type though as I can visually see that the pin is correctly placed.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Ocean County, NJ
    Quote Originally Posted by wsmeyer View Post

    I hate getting under cars. It didn't bother me at all when I was younger but the older I get the more anxiety it creates.
    100% this.

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  8. #8
    What a sad story. Always a dangerous thing getting underneath all that weight. I always double the jack stands that I feel are necessary when I'm under a car. That way if one goes the other will hold the car up. This can be with a floor jack and pinned jack stand, or two pinned jack stands. If you have a ratcheting one you should get the ones with the pins as well...that is what I have. I also use the 6 ton jack stands, way more than i need but also beefier...which I like. When I put Lucy up in the air to do any work underneath I don't even need to extend the stand, which I LOVE cause there is nothing to fail unless the welds come apart on the stand itself.

    The guy I learned all my mechanic stuff with years ago had a best bud that the same thing happened to. He was using a scissor jack. All those scissor jacks and tire changing CRAP that you get with your car is just that, CRAP! Only use that stuff in emergency situations and don't get under the car if at all possible.

    Like it was stated earlier, if you're nervous pay a shop. Money is but a tool to get something done. You can make more money but you can't get your life back.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I always put at least (1) wheel under the car when its on jack stands.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Quote Originally Posted by CERF04ZHP View Post
    I always put at least (1) wheel under the car when its on jack stands.

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    Yep. I always throw the rear wheels under

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