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Discussion Starter #1
I recently built some wooden wheel cribs and thought it would be worth sharing here in case someone hasn't seen these before. They are a fairly common way for shops to get cars up in the car when the suspension needs to be loaded under vehicle weight and a 4 post lift isn't available. They are more stable than jack stands of a similar height because the car is much less likely to slide off. I built them because I wanted the suspension loaded while installing weld-in subframe connectors and I needed room under the car to work.

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It was a lot of cutting, drilling, and screwing but I think they are going to come in very handy.

I built mine 14x16in 8 layers tall. It tooks 64 cuts from 11 2x4s to make a set of 4 wheel cribs 8 layers tall, plus 224 #10x2-1/2 screws to put them together. A simple saw stop made the cutting go quickly. I cut 3pcs of each size from each 2x4. Predrilling and screwing took quite a while. If I had a larger framing nail gun I think that would be the way to do it much faster. Cost of wood and hardware was about $60 from the local box store.

Getting the car on and off of these takes some care. I start by lifting the front of the car onto jack stands, then I get the rear of the car onto the wooden wheel cribs, and finally I return to the front to get the front onto wooden cribs. These are right at the limit of my jack working height, especially up front where I have to jack from the frame and the wheels droop. Out back I jack from the rear end so it's much easier. Once the car is up on the stands it's very stable and easy to access things underneath.
 

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If ?? you would have had two jacks you could have picked the front by the lower control arm it would have made doing so a little easier and safer to lift. Just a 2cent thought.
 

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really good idea , Clint . . . . . Thank you for posting . . . . . jim
 

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I guess it's risk versus reward. I accidentally pushed a car off stand once and knocked my Dad out! Be careful under there.
 

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Holy......!! Blyoth!

Man, the nightmares that can happen with our cars off the ground when we don't have a proper floor-lift available to us......

Quick story (slightly off topic, sorry): A buddy shared his terror with me from his experience and it scarred the bejeasus out of me. Is it true? I have no idea but no reason not to believe him and it continues to make me over-cautious.

Single at the time, late one evening he lifted his p/u truck with a hydraulic jack & removed both rear wheels. He then placed 1 small HF stand under the axle and slid under. Short version of events - floor jack dropped, stand broke and upset but somehow snagged itself just before the spare tire crushed his chest. He was stuck under the spare unable to turn his head and only able to take-in small breaths. Had his mobile in-pocket but it was on the side he couldn't see and as a smart phone, no tactile buttons to "feel-out" 9-1-1.

Unable to see his phone, he eventually tied it up by whatever he was inputting and had to endure the entire night under that truck barely able to breathe. Early next morning his neighbour came out and he managed enough of a sound to attract her attention. She didn't know what the noise was but could see the lights he had on. Her husband eventually rescued him.

He told me about the despair he went through throughout the night - a powerful enough story for me to take as true.

To this day I double-check, double-support, rationalize my safety precautions and sometimes I even wait an hour after lifting before going under. But that's me.

Maybe we should have a "Don't do this at home" Section?
 

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I did that and built them on top of my wheel dollies so I can move it around. View attachment 406554
Hi Paul . . . . . where ya been . . . . . Hope all is good around your area ?

and, I noticed yours is on those "dollies" .


Burce . . . . . . . . take it 'easy on th' ol' man . . . . .

Tim , I have one of those "Fall off the jack" stories" , too .. . . . . . . ( maybe later , but true story
that happened too me . . . . a really long time ago ) . (just - can't fix stupid ) .

really good 'pictures' - - - - - keep 'em coming . . . . . . . jim

"BIG wooden blocks , work good too . . . . and, don't give . . . . (check the
'wheel blocks' ) .




jim
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I appreciate all the shared stories on vehicle lifting safety. Safety is one of the reasons I built these wheel cribs; I feel they are significantly more stable than jack stands at a similar height because they have a wider footprint and the wheels are "chalked" into them. Jack stands tend to have a slip surface between the vehicle frame and the stand which can lead to them shifting around. Working with a car lifted is a common need and it can be accomplished safely, but you need to be very careful.

I can not stress enough the importance of having a stable platform to hold the vehicle AND having backup measures in case something fails. For example if you have a car on jackstands with the tires off, you can lay your wheels/tires under the car to serve as stops in case the car comes down. Whem I'm using my wheel cribs, I will also have jack stands under the car as a backup.

I live in CA where earthquakes are a possibility. Last year a man was killed under his Jeep during an earthquake because it came off the blocks. For that reason I will be using straps through my wheel cribs over the tires to make sure the car can't shift off of them in a good quake.

Jim I see in the photo above you have stacked a few layers of wood on top of one another. Wood to wood can form a slip sheet, so if you are going to do that please make sure the wood is screwed together. Also pay attention to the height/width aspect ratio. The blocks in your photo are fairly narrow compared to the overall height. Also it looks like your wheel chaulks are relying on friction on top of the board - those might just slip out if the car tries to scoot around. I would suggest screwing all that stuff together at the very least
 

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This is another one of those lessons I learned from the mechanic I worked for as a young kid. Knowing where to place jacks and jack stands when lifting and supporting a vehicle.. And chalk the wheels.
 

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All very good points , Clint , thanks for the up-date . . . . . jim
 

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What kind of stand did you push your car off of?
Well I am embarrassed to say but mind you this was almost 30 years ago. Dad and I used to buy Novas for $500 or less fix them up and flip them. We put the front tires on some cinder blocks no scotches. Dad was underneath trying to hook up the shift linkage and I was on top leaning on the front of the car. He some how clicked it into neutral an off she went. The suspension was so wore out it took a pretty good bounce on Dad's head. I'm looking down at him. He is staring straight up but you could tell he was not seeing and blood was trickling out of his forehead. I could have made a NASCAR pit crew look bad how fast I got the floor jack under there and drug him out. When he got out into the open air he come to. You live and you learn!
 

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There is a house about 1/2 mile from me with two cars that have been on jack stands what seems like forever. I don't know if they run a daycare out of that house or just have a million little kids but there is always a handful of kids in the yard. Funny how stuff like that worries us more as we get older.
 

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Ive been a fireman for 23 years. In that time ive pulled 2 guys out from underneath cars they were working on. 1 survived with only a scratch, the other didnt make it. Even though its not department issue, for years now I carry a 3 ton floor jack on the truck for just in case. Yes we have hydraulic powered rescue equipment but sometimes throwing a jack underneath can be done super fast!

Obviously, I try to make everything super safe when im working under a car. I will be making similar cribs to place between my dollies and tires when i weld in my subframe connectors.
 

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Holy......!! Blyoth!

Man, the nightmares that can happen with our cars off the ground when we don't have a proper floor-lift available to us......

Quick story (slightly off topic, sorry): A buddy shared his terror with me from his experience and it scarred the bejeasus out of me. Is it true? I have no idea but no reason not to believe him and it continues to make me over-cautious.

Single at the time, late one evening he lifted his p/u truck with a hydraulic jack & removed both rear wheels. He then placed 1 small HF stand under the axle and slid under. Short version of events - floor jack dropped, stand broke and upset but somehow snagged itself just before the spare tire crushed his chest. He was stuck under the spare unable to turn his head and only able to take-in small breaths. Had his mobile in-pocket but it was on the side he couldn't see and as a smart phone, no tactile buttons to "feel-out" 9-1-1.

Unable to see his phone, he eventually tied it up by whatever he was inputting and had to endure the entire night under that truck barely able to breathe. Early next morning his neighbour came out and he managed enough of a sound to attract her attention. She didn't know what the noise was but could see the lights he had on. Her husband eventually rescued him.

He told me about the despair he went through throughout the night - a powerful enough story for me to take as true.

To this day I double-check, double-support, rationalize my safety precautions and sometimes I even wait an hour after lifting before going under. But that's me.

Maybe we should have a "Don't do this at home" Section?
Amazing how things change it a split second! Another inch lower and no breathes! Scary stuff!
 

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Scary stories but makes you think of some of the dumb (instead of correct/safe) stuff we've done. But, I have a question? Why is it Dad that is always UNDER the car. If my boys did that to me, they better hope it's terminal because they are immediately Out of The Will!
 
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