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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. Just purchased a 1988 Silver Spur that needs a few jobs done when it (he/she?) gets home this week. I currently have some 3.5 ton jack stands and a trolley jack but am looking for some nice wide ramps that will hold its (his/her) weight successfully. Does anyone have any recommendations on the best ramps for the job?

Thanks all.
 

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Also become familiar with the jacking points underneath. Damage can be done if the wrong spots are selected. I have a Youtube video covering this.

 

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Hi,


Not sure why you want 'wide' ramps as it would prevent good access underneath if protruding inwards.


If you are asking about the drive on type they only need to be wide enough for the tyre to sit on.


Most DIY home type usually have a SWL of around 2000kg. Given the car weight is spread roughly over each wheel (not quite depends on front/rear weight distribution) but certainly well within what you would need.


That said I NEVER ever drive up or drive off these sort of ramps. I have seen cars driven over the edge or the ramps sliding along the ground as the car tries to rise up them. Worse case I have seen them even flip up underneath and damage the body work when cars even driving off them.


I do use them however but jack each wheel up individually and then slide the ramps underneath. Again still belt and braces and place axle stands as well. Pointed end always inboard along sill length and wheel chocks slid on ramp underneath tyre.



If you get four of this type of wheel ramp and do them individually like this you can get some reasonable space underneath the car and then still jack up and remove any wheel and place an axle stand then on the ramp in place of the wheel.



When not having the luxuries of access to proper garage lifts ie 2 poster or 4 poster this is the only way I will work underneath any car especially when they are between 2-3 tonners.


Take note at all times of wraithmans jacking points though for trolley jacks again seen a lot of damaged cars underneath from using wrong areas.


All the best....and keep safe.....




Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses folks. These helped a lot (as did the YouTube vid Wraithman). Excited to find out what state she's in once I can get underneath properly.
 

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Hi Windy+,


Probably worth starting a post on what to look for as weak areas can be model specific and similar owners know the points.


Obviously for me I don't own your model but know the rear spring seats are a weak point on this model, then obvious things like any leaks, quality of hyraulic hoses and pipes, condition of brake discs and pads, exhaust mounts etc......but perhaps many more others will focus you into.


Enjoy..... and keep your back warm if lying on the ground.


Steve
 

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Regarding the last post. The 2 post lift pictured is a POS due to the fact the posts are columns of sheet steel that have been formed to create a channel for the lifting carriage to ride in. Also the lift appears to have released from the ground for some reason which I suspect is incorrect anchors. The only anchors to use are wedge anchors in at least 6" of cured concrete. You can google the amount of force needed to pull out a 3/4" wedge anchor ..it is insane. Also, wedge anchors should not have epoxy within the hole and the hole itself must be vacuumed for debris.

Here is a link for the Mohawk lift which are best in the business and not often found in repair shopd due to the fact they are 2.5x more expensive than others. The US Govt and many state & commercial shops use them. The important part is the "Channel" that the lift carriage rides in, in this case fork lift channel. The lift is 3/4" steel all around. No hoses or cables.

 

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I don't think that the collapse of this lift has anything to do with the construction of that lift itself. You can see that the anchors had been pulled out of the ground and looking at the slab itself, it looks like it's made from asphalt and not concrete.

In the case of channel thickness. It depends on the lifting mechanism that's used. Some use cable mechanisms that float within the channel and have no sideways force at all. In which case the channel thickness is not as important as those that use hydraulic rams on each side.

The same guy who installed this lift probably owns this caravan.

 

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If your lift post buckles.....or uproots....it's over.
 

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If your lift post buckles.....or uproots....it's over.
Yep, but channel thickness is not the issue here. I have a Rotary 2 post lift from 1982 that belonged to a friend of mine that used it in his Mercedes Benz shop from 1982 until it blew it seals sometime in 2008 when i bought it. I had the seals rebuilt and a new hydraulic pump installed and it has functioned perfectly since. It will lift just about anything that I own, except for my old dually which requires different arms to get it around the cab and onto the frame. It uses hydraulic rams at each post to raise the car and the posts require a fork lift to move them around due to their weight.

For the dually, I bought a Challenger 12000lbs 4 post lift. It will lift a 1 ton pickup without issues. It uses cables that float within the channels as I described. The force is a downward force and the channels act as a box section. There is no pivot force on the channels as there are on my 2 post lift which uses rams. As a result, it does not require 1/4" thick steel channels. It is 100% safe and there is a 0% chance that the channel will buckle.

The beam on top that runs from the front to the back where the hydraulic ram and locking mechanism is, probably weighs as much as a car.
 

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The 4 post is definitely a different design vs the 2 post in regard to "pivot pressure of a 2 post) vs the different load bearing characteristics of 4 colums.
With a 2 post, I'll go with the strongest build possible....and found it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Frightening stuff going on out there! Thanks for the feedback. Think I'm going to try a pair of ramps combined with axle stands (with blocks of suitably sized and shaped wooden blocks per the manual) at the same time, with a trolley jack as a backup simultaneously, depending on what I need to get to underneath of course. If anyone's had experience with this type of combination failing I'd love to hear.

Like the idea of starting a new thread on the specific weak spots for my model (Mark I Silver Spur), but will try to do a little interweb digging first so I don't overload the forums with silly newbie questions. Looks like I've definitely found the right place to start here though!
 

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I currently have some 3.5 ton jack stands and a trolley jack but am looking for some nice wide ramps that will hold its (his/her) weight successfully. Does anyone have any recommendations on the best ramps for the job?.

I used to like Rhino Ramps heavy duty model (see:RhinoGear 11912 RhinoRamps MAX Vehicle Ramps - Set of 2 (16,000lb. GVW Capacity) ), but don't so much anymore since they've gone to what I call the "pylon" design, which can be seen in the photos. With this design the load bearing is strictly beneath the central pylon and you need to have the wheel centered on the ramp (which you should do, anyway) with the weight borne by that pylon. The fact of the matter is that this is easier said than done. This design also tends to slide (as all will) when you attempt to drive on unless you have placed a rubber mat (I actually use a piece of old inner tube) under the forward end to keep it from skidding as the weight transfers as you slowly go up the ramp. I used these for years with all my vehicles, including the RRs, until I one day had my own stupid accident when trying to put the truck up on them. If you look at all the negative reviews for these, particularly the ones with photographs showing the failures, to a one they show that the individual using them simply did not follow the explicit instructions for doing so. The majority of collapses clearly show that the weight of the vehicle was either far to the inside or outside edge of the wheel platform, rather than the load bearing pylon, or, even worse, placed forward where all the downward pressure was on the stop lip that's meant to keep you from driving off the ramp, but never meant as the spot where you stop and leave the vehicle in position to work under it. The instructions are very explicit that wheels must be centered on the ramp horizontally and the tire brought to rest on that load bearing pylon at the center of the deck.



I actually replaced them with Harbor Freight ramps that I like much better (see:Pittsburgh Automotive 13000lb. Portable Vehicle Ramp Set). Although they're not as convenient for stacking, they definitely have what I consider to be a much better load bearing design that allows for safe variation as far as "precision of stopping location" on the tire deck. These have a lower weight rating but are still way more than sufficient. Their design is remarkably similar to the particularly ill-named, Black Widow PSR295 Set of Two Plastic Car Service Ramps,which shows the design of the underside in one of the photographs and how the weight gets widely distributed across a number of supports. The little rubber feet along the length of the ramp also keep it from slipping as much, but are still no substitute for a rubber mat beneath, in my opinion.



I always use a rubber mat beneath any ramp and also get the car nearly where I want it to be, and wedge the thin end of the ramp beneath each wheel before ever driving on to them - slowly. The accident I had was the result of not heeding my own standard practice and trying to get up the ramp a bit too quickly, and overshooting the stop. Not good and lesson learned.


I kept SRH33576 up on these for several weeks once in the driveway without issue. I once had access to a very heavy duty Rotary 2-post lift when I needed it, and could probably still impose upon its owner were I to need it again, but for most of the tasks I semi-routinely need to do under the car the ramps work fine. I also have jack stands, and use those when I know in advance the car will need to be elevated for an extended period, and in the case of those, since I work in my driveway, they each get a plywood square placed under the legs to distribute the weight. I once failed to do that during the summer, and noticed after a day or two of high heat outside that one of the jack stand legs was slowly being pushed into a specific spot in the "tar and chips" (which, by the way, had been set for years) and knew:


a) That was not safe.


b) That could not ever be allowed to happen again.


I am a big believer in safety first when working under any vehicle. That being said, I don't use jack stands with ramps for things like oil changes as time has shown me that when ramps are used within their load rating and as directed they are every bit as reliable as my jack stands have been.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Brian. That's great info. The Pittsburgh Ramps look way better than the ones I've been targeting so I think I'll go for those instead. Thanks for this recommendation (and the rubber mat tip)!
 

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I have lots of experience with plastic ramps, and how to destroy them with your own stupidity! That's one of the reasons I want to reach out and throttle a very great many of the reviewers for same, because they either cannot or will not acknowledge that their own actions, that directly contravene the use instructions, are what are responsible for the failures. I think this set I have is my third, it might be my 4th, and all prior failures were the direct result of my doing something I should not have done (and none occurred when the vehicle was sitting up on the ramps having gotten there in the manner prescribed and resting where prescribed). One resulted from overshooting the stop, luckily in a truck, which made extricating the resulting mess far easier, and the other by having the edge where the stop is located resting right against a curb when going on to the ramp, which, when the ramp moved slightly as they invariably will, caused the front edge to be driven into the concrete and cracked. Both entirely bone-headed actions for which I have only myself to blame.



My favorite "idiot review" was one I saw several years ago where the person reviewing showed that they had placed the ramps on a rocky (not even gravel, but a jumble of rocks in what was clearly a wash area with clay all around it) surface and complained that they were defective when they tipped over and collapsed. It's like trying to erect the Empire State building on a 5-inch deep sand bed and expecting it to stand.


I still think that the folks at Rhino were insane to change their design to increase convenience of storage, as the stacking feature is nice, but make these ramps far more susceptible to failure based on how they will almost certainly be subject to use. Their older design, which was quite different but not stackable, was definitely less susceptible to actual failure from anything less than 100% perfectly proper use. In a product like this attention to natural human vagaries of attention to detail makes sense from every possible perspective.
 

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I had the harbor freight ramps about 15 years ago and would bulge a bit under the weight of my Mercedes Benz 6.9, which might or might not have a heavier front end than a Rolls Royce. I threw them out for that reason. I'm not suggesting that they would be a problem today as they may have made several revisions over 15 years.
 

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I have driven hundreds of lesser cars up onto small metal ramps in years past. Here's a tip for anyone driving onto this type of ramp. As guyslp said, place a rubber mat under the lower end to prevent slide away. (A problem with rear wheel drive vehicles and helps to prevent front wheel drives spinning the ramp backward). Open the driver's window, open the door slightly, put your elbow on the door top and stick your head into the open window aperture, you should now be able to see the progress of the front wheel. (It's a bit diffucult to explain in words).
 
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