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Whose bright idea was this?

  1. Jul 14, 2008 #1

    lisab

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    Yesterday, my hubby and I were out running errands in the pickup. We somehow ran over a big piece of metal and blew out a front tire.

    No problem, we're not totally mechanically incompetent. We get the spare tire out, loosen the lug nuts, jack the truck up...and it's just barely high enough to pull the flat off. But we were nearly 20 cm too low to put on the spare. Even with a block of wood under the jack, there wouldn't be enough clearance.

    I can't believe we had to call a tow truck to lift up the front of the truck so that we could change the tire!

    The tow truck driver said he sees it all the time - the jacks that come with trucks often don't lift high enough. What a waste of an otherwise beautiful afternoon :mad: !
     
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  3. Jul 14, 2008 #2

    Astronuc

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    Re: Who's bright idea was this?

    I've had a similar experience, but it was because of the terrain, not the jack. One thing you could do is in addition to jacking the frame, one also jacks (or pries) up the suspension.

    For someone else who had a similar problem, I just gripped the frame (wheel well/front fender) and lifted it until we got clearance.

    I'm sure the truck was made in America - and the US automobile manufacturers haven't done so well. IMO - it's poor management.
     
  4. Jul 14, 2008 #3

    lisab

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    Re: Who's bright idea was this?

    Much as I hate to say it, I wouldn't buy an American car or truck - I've had too many bad experiences in the past. It's a Toyota...which makes me really surprised, since their overall quality is excellent.
     
  5. Jul 14, 2008 #4

    berkeman

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    Re: Who's bright idea was this?

    Another possible cause is if the truck had larger tires on it than the original factory tires. I run a couple sizes bigger on my Suburban, for the extra ground clearance. Pretty sure my jack still works (I've used it 4-wheeling), but I think I'll double check after reading this thread. Thanks.
     
  6. Jul 14, 2008 #5

    neu

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    Re: Who's bright idea was this?

    Buy British
     
  7. Jul 14, 2008 #6
    Re: Who's bright idea was this?

    I've run across this problem numerous times, mostly with Fords. Almost every factory bottle jack i've seen doesn't have enough reach to lift the vehicle high enough to get the new wheel and tire on. With my Ranger, I completely ditched the factory bottle jack and carried around a Honda scissor jack. The scissor jacks collapse lower and extend higher.

    The Ford engineers get a D-. :tongue:
     
  8. Jul 14, 2008 #7

    Monique

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    Re: Who's bright idea was this?

    I once faced the problem that the jack didn't fit underneath the car (a bmw), the bodywork was in the way so that it would be damaged if you tried lifting the car. We had to call for help, which was a complete waste of money.
     
  9. Jul 14, 2008 #8

    BobG

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    Re: Who's bright idea was this?

    That works for a car, which is more likely to use the frame jacks. The jacks for trucks or Jeeps are usually for the axles, which usually works a lot better. In fact, even off-roading, the bottle jack is usually safer and more effective than the high lift jacks you can buy. The high lifts have to lift the frame until the suspension can't extend any further; then finally start lifting the axles.

    Getting bigger tires than the standard model definitely can cause problems, especially for trucks. Their standard size is usually a little undersized unless you plan to never leave the road. Even then, the small tires look so silly that a lot of people get bigger tires just for aesthetic reasons.

    The shocking thing is how many people never use their jack until they have a flat on the side of the road. I can never wait that long. I have to try the jack out right away, kind of like opening Christmas presents on Christmas Eve because you can't wait until Christmas morning.

    Don't you rotate your own tires? I would have figured you'd have noticed the first time you rotated your tires.

    I run into that problem with my daughter's Nissan. The clearance is so low that I like to put it on jack stands before trying to work underneath it. Her frame jack doesn't lift the car high enough to get it onto the jack stands and my Jeep's jack won't fit under her car. I wind up having to jack up her car with her jack to fit my jack under the axle and then using my jack to get it high enough to put the jack stands under it.
     
  10. Jul 14, 2008 #9
    I carry 1/2 ton jacks in all of my cars and trucks, because i had one really bad experience where the car fell off the jack while I was on the side of the expressway.
     
  11. Jul 14, 2008 #10
    That's one thing i've always been paranoid about. I couldn't count the number of times i've been under a vehicle with my nose touching the undercarriage, wondering if it'll be my last time. I have to have at least two jack stands under it or I won't even think about crawling under one.
     
  12. Jul 14, 2008 #11

    lisab

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    Under a car on jacks? That seriously gives me the creeps just thinking about it :eek: . I'm a bit phobic about being under large objects...
     
  13. Jul 14, 2008 #12
    I still remember the exact day when that fear started. I was swapping out the exhaust manifolds for a set of headers on my first car, a 65 Impala, and didn't have two jack stands handy. All that was available was the jack I had and one jack stand. Well, I just HAD to have the headers on by that night because I talked up a race with a friend and his Chevelle and I didn't want to have any excuses for loosing, if I did.:biggrin:

    I had the jack stand holding up the passenger side and the jack its self holding up the drivers. At one point when I was wrestling the exhaust onto one of the headers, the jack must have been slowly collapsing and made the car shift a bit which made the drivers side jack stand sit at a slight angle... with only two of the four feet touching the ground! At that instant it suddenly hit me that I was about to be crushed by a 4,000lb lead sled. I wormed my way out from underneath it then recovered from the heart attack about a minute or two later.
     
  14. Jul 14, 2008 #13

    lisab

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    :eek: <**SHIVER!!**>
     
  15. Jul 14, 2008 #14

    Moonbear

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    Wow, I've never run into a problem like that before. Of course, I've never owned a pick-up either. My parents always have had pickups, but since my stepdad was a mechanic for 20+ years, we had a garage full of jacks and jack stands of assorted shapes, sizes, styles, etc. It wasn't until I was moved away from home that I had to face the challenge of figuring out how one of those jacks that comes with the spare tire works. We always used to just toss those aside and use one of dad's jacks.

    When I got my first car, I got a lug wrench as a gift to go with it...I was told never to trust the cheap ones that come with the car. :rolleyes:

    I wonder if they just have one size jack they sell with all the cars/trucks, and while they fit a car, they don't work for the trucks, or maybe only work with those dinky half-sized spare tires and not a full spare? I never considered that the jack that comes with the car might not be sufficient to change a tire. Now I think I need to head out to the garage and test mine before I wind up with a flat and if it's not sufficient, time to buy a new one!
     
  16. Jul 14, 2008 #15

    Astronuc

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    When I have a car on a jack, I'll chock one of the wheels, and if I work underneath, I'll check all the wheels on the ground so that the car does roll either way. I've seen more than a few jack collapses - but it hasn't happened to me.
     
  17. Jul 14, 2008 #16

    wolram

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    One trick i learned was to possition the spare under the car while taking off the flat, then if the jack does slip the car will not hit the ground.
     
  18. Jul 14, 2008 #17

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, we always chocked the wheels if someone was working under a car. But, for roadside emergencies, that's not always an option. There's only so much "stuff" one can carry in the car before it gets to the point you can't fit the luggage in anymore. Nonetheless, we never set off on a long road trip, or actually, even relatively short road trips (anything more than an hour driving...where you couldn't easily find a friend, neighbor or other relative to come fetch you if you got stuck), without a fairly large toolbox in the trunk (yes, filled).

    One of my neighbors (when I was a kid) was replacing the transmission in his truck. Something slipped...or maybe it was a chain on the block and tackle that snapped...I wasn't there, so some details of the story aren't clear. He ended up with the transmission on his chest. Of course, while his buddies were trying to get it back off him, and he couldn't breathe or talk from the weight, that's the moment his wife chose to walk outside to check on progress and pretty well freaked out when she saw him under a transmission, red transmission fluid all over him (that she thought was blood) and when she tried talking to him, he wasn't answering. Of course nobody else was answering either, since they were frantically getting a transmission hoisted off his chest. He ended up pretty lucky, nothing but bad bruises in the end (and a very bruised ego I think). I think it took his wife longer to recover than it did him...she forbade him to do anymore transmission work.
     
  19. Jul 14, 2008 #18
    I was changing a tire a couple months ago and forgot to put on the brake. The jack tilted over and I dropped my car. Fortunately I only bent a dust plate or something (the car squeaks louding when I make left turns now).
     
  20. Jul 14, 2008 #19
  21. Jul 15, 2008 #20

    ~christina~

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    I don't drive but I remember that a few years ago I was in my family car when there was something on the highway inside a tunnel. We went over thebusted the trunk open in the back of the object. The car flew over the object or something to that effect and Toyota. (I don't know how that happened) Everything, including library books became strewn all over the tunnel. We didn't notice untill we got to our destination and we weren't about to go back and retrieve the books in the tunnel either.
    We had to pay the fines of course. It was a close call.
     
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