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4/26/15 3:07pm - Original Message: 'ramps vs jack stands'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 831
So I've always wondered what would happen if one wheel got off a little or I drove too far when using ramps.  Yesterday I found out.  Until yesterday, I had always used my wife as a spotter but she was gone when I wanted to do my oil change.  I checked multiple times for proper alignment, but the driver's side must have got off kilter - I think it skidded on the concrete a bit.  I think it's a bit more challenging to get up on the ramps with a manual trans.  Well I ended up with the ramp on it's side underneath the lower control arm.  When it happened it looked like at least some of the weight was bearing on the tie rod, but an inspection did not show any damage or bending and it drove fine - didn't seem to affect the alignment at all.  Oh, and I ended up completing the oil change, but I decided to go with jack stands in the end.  Wink

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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4/26/15 4:55pm - Reply: 'Re: ramps vs jack stands'
Redwingvette Lifetime Member
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Waterford, MI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Red coupe

Joined: 9/13/2002
Posts: 1675
That's just down right scary. I have never been a big fan of ramps for that reason. I can never find a spotter and they do skid if you don't have something under them like a rubber pad.
 
Even my 4 post lift would skid when I would drive the car on and off it until I bolted it to the floor.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to brag but just wanted to make a point.
Jack stands work the best if you have them placed correctly.
Just glad no one got hurt.


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Brian - NCM Lifetime Member
          
73 coupe L48, Flat-top pistons, Performer RPM Heads, Crane Cam and roller rockers, Holley 650 vac sec. Performer intake,
3.55 gear BTO 200-4R trans,
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4/26/15 7:00pm - Reply: 'Re: ramps vs jack stands'
Vman73
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Gig Harbor, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1973 L82 4 Speed Coupe - Very original, well documented driver/survivor. 2016 Bend Regional NCRS Top Flight.

Joined: 10/2/2014
Posts: 362
+1 on the jack stands, I owned a set of ramps for about a year and they ended up in one of our rummage sales. Took up too much room in the garage and they never seemed to work out that well. Also make sure you're using some decent quality jack stands that are HD enough for your car. I see too many people using the $19.95 specials from the local auto parts store. Mine are HD and my wife still gets nervous when I'm under there with all four corners off the ground. Glad too hear you didnt get hurt or wreck anything !!

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John Sigmund
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NCRS Member 61302
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4/26/15 8:05pm - Reply: 'Re: ramps vs jack stands'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2376
I remember as a kid my dad driving up on those steel ramps. They would skitter along as he tried to run the car up them. Then I remember a friend of mine drove his car up steel ramps and one collapsed. So I myself have never been a fan of ramps. 

Until these came out. http://www.raceramps.com
My wife bought me a set awhile back. I must say these things are awesome. They are not cheap, but I never had one budge even on a smooth finish concrete floor. I can confidently pull my car up on these without any assistance. I was also impressed that even after 11 months of my vette sitting on them while I was doing my LS engine swap there was no deformation of them. I still use jack stands when doing certain things that require clearance around the wheel areas, but these are great for the typical oil change or under car repairs.  


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GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
TKO500 5 spd.
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'69 "N11" Sidepipes
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Born 8/1981
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4/26/15 10:39pm - Reply: 'Re: ramps vs jack stands'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
I have all three. 
Jack stands
I built a ramp that takes the complete car 18 inches of the ground (makes it easier to wax and work under. 
I also have a set of metal ramps. 

The secret for the metal ramps is to keep the from sliding.  The way I do this is I took a 1/2 plywood cut it 2 inches wider than my ramps and 12 inches longer than the base.  I screw a 1*1 across one end of each board.  I put  the ramps on the boards.  Your tires will go up on the board before they hit the ramps.  Your car holds the ramps in place. 

I even made a couple of guides that keep the spacing of the ramps correct so I do not have to worry about them being to far or not far enough apart.  So all I have to do is drive it up on them.

Same thing works for the big full car ramps I built.

By the way I had a friend of mind spin a ramp up under his car so that the frame was on the ramp and the tires hanging.  Not a good thing to do.


|UPDATED|4/26/2015 8:39:39 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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4/26/15 10:49pm - Reply: 'Re: ramps vs jack stands'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 831
Yeah, I'm probably done with the ramps for awhile.  I might get rid of them, but they don't take up much space in the shop since they're behind it.  If I decide to use them again, I will do something along the lines of what you did, Gilbert, but now that I have a big long handle floor jack, there is not much more time involved to just put it up on stands.  And I have two sets of decent quality 3-ton craftsman stands (still made in China, though Angry) so I think that's going to be my MO for now.  Thanks, all.  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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4/26/15 11:34pm - Reply: 'Re: ramps vs jack stands'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 869
TTIWWP




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4/27/15 9:16am - Reply: 'Re: ramps vs jack stands'
manchestershark Lifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.

Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 1900
Ouch Well, I have a set of ramps, steel. I ONLY use them to hold the car up. NEVER drive up on them. I also have a three ton floor garage jack. I use it to raise the car, then use the ramps or jack stands to hold car up. I have four sets of jack stands, so the ramps are the last act to use.

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4/27/15 12:39pm - Reply: 'Re: ramps vs jack stands'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19457
The problem with most ramps is the angle of attack is too steep, regardless of what they are made of. The race ramps Sarge mentioned are great...they are much longer, and have a lower initial angle on them. The only problem with those is being able to roll around under the car while on them. Since they are longer, they take up some of the real estate you need to crawl around on.
The trick to using a regular, steel ramp is to use a length of wood, or rubber fastened on the front edge....something that the tire can roll  up on BEFORE it gets to the ramp itself. Once the weight of the car is on that, it will hold the ramp(s) in place while you ease up on them. A piece of plywood, or tire tread/rubber belting works well, in most cases. If your garage floor is smooth(ie; slick), you might still have a problem, no matter what. The bestest solution is.....a floor jack and stands. Yeah, it's more trouble and time to do it that way, but....how much is your life worth? Thumbs Up

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Joel Adams
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