Lotus Elan

Working under the car

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Mon May 29, 2006 10:27 am

The time has come around again, to do a greasing job, oil change & general check under my Elan. I use a small trolley jack which just fits under the car & 4 axle stands so that all the wheels are free to rotate when the car is off the ground. To get the car up high enough to be able to work comfortably with a grease gun is quite a time consuming job. The trolley jack gets the car just high enough to get the axle stands on their lowest setting under the car. After that I have to use a succession if wooden blocks between the jack & the car to move the axle stands up a notch or two, each time going from front to back & so on.
It always seems to me that I spend more time getting the car off the ground & back on the ground than the time I actually spend working under the car.
Do any of you have any special tricks in getting an Elan off the ground or should I spend more time under the car to make the effort worth it? :lol:
One of these days (when I win the lottery) I will buy one of those ramps as previously mentioned in another thread
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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon May 29, 2006 10:49 am

3 options come to mind

1. Build a pit in the garage to work under the car while it sits on the wheels. I did that when I built my house.

2. Get a jack that can get the car up high enough to work under in one go. That is what I use when I dont use the pit.

3. Verkaufen sie den Wagen und haben sie mehr Spass....

the last suggestion is my wifes !!!

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Mon May 29, 2006 1:22 pm

Hi Rohan,

thanks for the tips!

1. Yes a pit that's what I will do when I move back to GB. I'm renting my garage here.

2. I keep looking for a trolley jack with greater lift but they all seem too tall to fit under the car when in a closed state.

3. F?r deine Frau:- Ich habe mit meiner Ex-Frau viel spa? gehabt, bin aber schon lange los von ihr; jetzt bleibt mir viel mehr zeit um mein Auto zu genie?en!
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PostPost by: dougweall » Mon May 29, 2006 7:09 pm

Wandering on the subject a little of jacking up your car.

I bought a 2 ton jack from Machine Mart here in the UK, which fits under the car no problem, I think I got one that has the lowest height possible.

http://www.machinemart.co.uk/product.asp?p=020110280

Then I purchased a lifting beam from Screwfix to lift the front up evenly.

http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro ... 1&id=40383

Lift the pad of the jack to remove it and the beam fits the hole ok.
I have yet to figure out a similar method for jacking up the rear end, maybe it would be best to drive it up some low ramps and then jack it from there to get the rear wheels free.
:wink:
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PostPost by: gwnorth68 » Mon May 29, 2006 10:00 pm

Back the Elan up on 2 ramps (steel ones are common, mine are recycled black tire rubber), then jack the front under the front crossmember (put a board or something compliant on top of the jack so you don't brutalize the vacuum tank). Then , after putting jackstands at
the corners of the front xmember, scurry around to the back and jack the whole rear up on the end of the frame, using a u-shaped piece of wood to straddle the exhaust pipe. Support on jackstands under the a-arms or under the bottom of the uprights.
I've made a set of movable fixed height stands on casters (one for each corner) that enable the car to be moved around (slowly and carefully) during the long cold Canadian winter. This makes room for the snowmobile, etc.
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PostPost by: kayenney » Mon May 29, 2006 10:35 pm

CAUTION. Be very careful when using a pit. They frequently become oxygen deficient and, literally, a death trap! Always use a powerful fan to thoroughly ventilate - better yet, never use a pit.

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PostPost by: twincamman » Tue May 30, 2006 2:48 am

they also tend to explode ---- pits are illegal in Ontario -- :shock: -ed
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PostPost by: ianf » Tue May 30, 2006 9:18 pm

D J,

I am also saving for a lift. I use 2 trolley jacks one each side (under the sill ends) and two wooden blocks per corner (all wheels onto one high then 2 high ) then onto 4 car ramps. It takes about 10 minutes to get the car in the air and greasing, all oil changes, engine mountings etc etc are possible.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed May 31, 2006 9:57 am

I am glad I dont live in a "nanny state" like Ontario. The risks of working in a pit are substantially less than the risks in working under a car with any other method of support such as jacks, axle stands lifting frames etc.

Use common sense such as ensuring good ventillation and you have no problems and are in reality safer. Incidentally because my pit in in the side of the hill I have a low level drain / vent that ensure heavier than air fumes can escape out naturally without forced ventillation.

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PostPost by: M100 » Wed May 31, 2006 10:29 am

Incidentally because my pit in in the side of the hill I have a low level drain / vent that ensure heavier than air fumes can escape out naturally without forced ventillation.


...and the snakes can pay the occasional visit to liven things up. Hope you've got grilles on the vents - or some bicycle clips :D
Last edited by M100 on Wed May 31, 2006 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: elandoc » Wed May 31, 2006 10:34 am

I wouldn't bother about the snakes. Martin. The spiders here are big enough to lift an Elan by themselves
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PostPost by: M100 » Wed May 31, 2006 10:50 am

I can quite believe it although global warming seems to be making the spiders much bigger in the UK nowadays. I had a scary experience by nearly treading on a huge Brown Snake close to the beach in Townsville back in the early 90's, if that wasn't bad enough I followed it up by sitting on a deserted rock in the Olga's and being joined a few seconds later by a spider who thought I might make a tasty lunch.
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PostPost by: elandoc » Wed May 31, 2006 11:03 am

Ah! "Pom noisette"...perfect spider food
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed May 31, 2006 11:49 am

Years ago a garage owner friend of mine in England had to provide a second method of getting under cars (MOT requirement).
Already having a hydraulic ramp, he decided to dig a pit. Having done that he lined it with a welded up steel plate liner & cemented it in around the sides.
Not really needing the pit but space being precious, he parked his XK140, which he was going to restore one day! (Heard that one before?) over the pit.
After several days of non-stop rain (England!!!), he opened up the garage one morning to find that the XK had levitated by 2ft.
Several weeks later the ground water level had dropped enough to enable him to lever it away from the car & then drill a few holes in the bottom.

To everybody, thanks for all the tips & especially the entertainment from the antipodes.
I'd really like one of those Elan lifting spiders. Do you think I could feed them with Germans or have you trained them only to eat Brits, we're a bit thin on the ground around here!
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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed May 31, 2006 11:51 am

M100 wrote:
Incidentally because my pit in in the side of the hill I have a low level drain / vent that ensure heavier than air fumes can escape out naturally without forced ventillation.


...and the snakes can pay the occasional visit to liven things up. Hope you've got grilles on the vents - or some bicycle clips :D


Of coarse he's got bicycle clips, I wouldn't drive my Elan without them!
John
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