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Please, be careful!

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by MSiege, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. MSiege

    MSiege Silver Level Sponsor

    I've been working on little sports cars in my garage for a long time. I've had lots of them (too many by some accounts) and done all kinds of work. I'm no pro but I have some experience and know-how. That didn't help me when I ignored common sense, safety and timing. Part-way under my Alpine, adjusting a jack stand, and bam, it came down on me! Not much fun scrambling away, cut, bruised, with a broken collarbone, and shaken up. It's never happened to me before and it's no fun at all.

    No one likes telling embarrassing stories about themselves but please, next time you are enthusiastically rolling along on a project under your car; stop, take a breath and remember this story! The car is fine, I'm recovering and my car project will continue but it's a perfect reminder to all of us to slow down and think twice about what you're doing and how you are doing it.

    Ok, so a kind of funny aspect to this. After follow-up x-rays four days later, two doctors asked me to describe what happened. First question they each asked? - "Wow, what kind of car was it?" Kind of fun describing an Alpine they had never heard of. Glad to be alive to tell the story.

    Best to everyone, be safe...
  2. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Always thankful for those friendly reminders!

    I had a high school buddy that built VW Bug's for off road running. He lived in Ft Worth, TX. One day his wife came home and discovered him trapped under one of his VW Bug's.... it had fell off the jack stands and crushed his head.

    Tragic ending to a man that had many, many experiences with the Automobile.

  3. hartmandm

    hartmandm Moderator Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks for sharing. Get better soon.

    I start with an assumption that the primary support will fail and use backup supports as well. E.g. If a job can keep the wheels on the car, then I use wood platforms under the wheels as the primary support and use jack stands for the backup. If jack stands are the primary support, for example when wheels are off, I use another set of jack stands as backups.

  4. Alpine66

    Alpine66 Donation Time

    Glad you're ok
  5. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Diamond Level Sponsor

    WOW! Thanks for sharing this as a reminder to us all! Glad you are (reasonably) OK.
  6. Ken Ellis

    Ken Ellis Donation Time

    Glad it was just a minor disaster. Had a VW fall off stands when I was a kid. Balance and suspension loading vary quite a bit once you drop out the engine. Oops.

    Years back, one of our members had a jackstand under a Suburban fail and come down on some of him. He was pretty beat up for awhile.

    Hope your recovery is speedy.
  7. 65beam

    65beam Donation Time

    Someone should have told the old guy in Dayton about the hazards of jack stands. He's as bad as Joel Griffin. 110_0387.JPG
  8. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    Jack stands are not a good solution. Unless special efforts are made, you end up with steel on steel, a very slippery condition, sometimes with very uneven contact pressure. I always try to keep two wheels on the floor, that does wonders to even out the contact. If that proves to be impossible, I try to wedge the stands into place so they cannot slide out of position.

    Like every thing else in life, it all works great until it no longer works.

  9. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Diamond Level Sponsor

    I have two sets of wheel ramps that I use anytime I am doing work that doesn't involve wheels or suspension. Instead of driving on them - that always seems to me more trouble than it is worth - I jack up the car and put them under the tires, with the two sets facing in opposite directions. I feel a lot safer under them than under jack stands.

    When I do have to use stands, I always try to leave the floor jack in place. While you should certainly never rely on one, I figure it provides some level of failsafe if the stands fail.
  10. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Been there, done that, removing the starter on the road in Hope, BC in 2011. But note I DID put the wheel and tire where it would keep me from being crushed, only bruised, if the jack failed Pulling out the Starter in Hope, BC.jpg

    I got smarter when I re-installed the replacement starter and drove one wheel up on a high curb to allow me to work.
  11. volvoguys

    volvoguys Diamond Level Sponsor

    Propped truck.jpg
    Then there's this guy ……….
    BERNARD ROSE likes this.
  12. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    One of the things I suggest after putting a car up in the air - Give the car a good hard shove from all 4 sides. If it sits rock solid you are good. If you look at the situation and are hesitant about trying the test shoves, you need a better setup.
  13. 65beam

    65beam Donation Time

    Jean bought this kwik lift about this time last year. It comes in handy for cleaning or under car work. She bought the jack bridge also which allows us to raise the car even higher and use the stands made like ramps. It can be taken apart by pulling the two pivot pins at the front and the bar at the back for raising it with a floor jack. PTDC0248.JPG to set under the wheels.

    Attached Files:

  14. oLD lIMEY

    oLD lIMEY Donation Time

    Worked in shops for 40+ years, seen several cars come of hoists luckily no one ever killed but very unnerving. Like mentioned when i put the Alpine on stands i give it a shove from all corners.
  15. 65beam

    65beam Donation Time

    Notice that even though the back legs are down I set stands under the rack.
    Acollin likes this.
  16. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    Yeah that's what I was taught, and if you look at it and think that you are hesitant to give it that test shove, you REALLY need a better setup.
  17. mamoose124

    mamoose124 Donation Time

    I have been thinking of purchasing a Quick Jack (BL - 3500 SLX) to raise my SII when I need to get under it. Have any of you purchased this or similar portable stands for yoiur Alpines?
  18. Mike Armstrong

    Mike Armstrong Bronze Level Sponsor

    Back when I was new to the Club and just starting to work on my Alpine, I think it was Series 6 that reminded me to use something along the lines of a ‘dead mans stop’, ie, putting something large and solid under the car independent of jacks or stands so that if all else fails at least the ‘entire’ vehicle would not flatten me (suffocate), (which I’ve had the misfortune of actually seeing in my past career). People would ask me what that solid piece of tree trunk was doing wedged under my lifted car, I remember replying once saying ‘oh that, it’s just keeping an eye out for me’.
  19. pruyter

    pruyter Donation Time

    I always tuck the spare wheel as an extra safety item under one of the sills when the car is lifted on stands.


  20. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

    Me to. When I was jacking the rear up on the diff to get a bit more height. I had put two axle stands under in readiness in rough position once it was up to where I wanted it. Jack slipped off the diff ( I was using a 2x4'' wood block not the cup of the jack (idiot!). The whole car dropped with me under it. Lucky that one of the stands caught the handbrake assembly and saved my bacon. The only loss was a mangled linkage and a bruised shoulder. I was in a closed garage 100ft from anywhere and no-one around.

    I remember that 'special' feeling lying there for a split second in the silence that followed when I realized what had just happened. I squirmed out from under pretty quick.

    Lesson learned...

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019

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