Stanchions instead of a pit

Safety racks instead of stumps and bricks

It’s been more than 10 years since I dismantled my first car, and I’ve already talked a lot about how it all started. I had no tools at first, I used one set of wrenches which was enough at the beginning. Hammers, crowbars, old Soviet vice, and a bunch of old wrenches and sockets that I inherited from previous car owners.

When you work in not very good conditions, you gradually get used to it, and you don’t notice the inconveniences that many people find unbearable. For example, I used to work in the same garage, dismantling about 8 cars in 24 square meters and eventually cutting them into pieces. Yes, it was cramped and uncomfortable, but I didn’t complain then. The main thing was that there were customers, business went on and slowly it was possible to develop, buy the necessary tools, to invest in the development of their disassembly.

Over time I bought a decent jack, which you can see below in the photo (he was used a lot and needs to be replaced or a good revision):

Ombra jack - about hundred cars were disassembled with it.

From the tools also added a little bit, then some remover bought, the power tool for more convenient operation.

But one little thing I never even thought about before, I somehow did not take care of in time, and as it turned out, in vain. Before, after jacking up the car, in order to insure myself, I used to put some bricks, or stumps available in the garage, or other odd materials which could help in this case.

But all this was not always convenient, and it was not safe either. And just recently wandering the expanse of sites with tools, came across special devices, so-called safety racks, which just the same and are needed to substitute a car after raising it with a jack.

Place only under the stiffener - so as not to damage the sill, and use additional spacer, if necessary - each car is individual in this regard

To put only under the rib – so as not to damage the sill, and to use an additional spacer, if necessary – each car is different in this respect

How to drill a windshield, video

The price was low at the time, about 1000 rubles apiece, so I decided to order a couple at once, and if I knew how cool this thing is, I would have ordered 4 at once. The ones I liked were from Nordberg, specifically the N3003E model with a maximum load of 3 tons.

Nordberg safety support N3003E

Why did I like them so much? Well, first of all, very stable construction, obviously it will be more reliable than the hand-held materials I’ve described. On the bottom there are 4 legs, which are standing firmly on the surface:

solid support with the floor surface

On top, where there will be a stop under the machine, also quite a wide grip, though, not without minuses.

safety cradle installation

The first order in which I received 2 of these stands, there were no rubber spacers, and I didn’t even know that these stands were sold with them until my second order arrived, where these rubbers were already put on top.

rubber pads on the top

Can’t say that the quality of the rubbers themselves is top notch, and after a few cars they are pretty shabby, but better than no rubbers at all. In time you should think of something more durable and of high quality.

the quality of rubber pads could be better

As for the height, it is adjustable, and the maximum as far as you can set the machine is 445 mm, and the minimum height is 285 mm.

minimum and maximum installation height

The locking takes place thanks to the toothed surface of the central post, and the insurance is carried out in two ways. The first is by means of a lever, which is simply lowered down, but for a proper fixation it is necessary to use the second method – a special metal stopper:

stopper - inserted and locked inside

I tried to put the whole car on these supports and after that I disassembled it. It stands firmly, no problems were found during use. In general, for my money this option is great.

Since this is not an advertisement of a certain brand, but a personal review, I don’t encourage anyone to buy exactly Nordberg and this very model N3003E, because there are lots of analogs on sale.

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Wooden stands instead of the pit in the garage

There is often a need to get under the car. For example, to change the oil. But not everyone has a pit in the garage. I don’t have one either. So you need to use a safe way to lift the car and fix it in that position. It is very dangerous to get under a car that is standing only on jacks! Most often people use special racks, like in the picture below.


Even these ramps are popular (at least in America):


But it seemed to me safer to make wooden racks under wheels. Most of the information on this topic I found, again, on American sites. At the end of this post I have provided links to the most interesting articles.

Advantages of wooden coasters: 1) Safety. Some people use bricks, which is highly discouraged, because at any moment, a brick can fall apart and you will merge with your beloved car into one. Wood, on the other hand, will start to crunch before it breaks. That is, more often than not, there will be some indication that something is wrong. The likelihood of the car slipping off such stands is very small (if safety precautions are followed). 2) The ease of making the stands. 3) The relative cheapness of this option.

But there are some disadvantages: 1) You cannot remove the wheels. 2) Wooden stands take up quite a lot of space in the garage.

It is interesting to note the fact that approximately the same stands are used by American firefighters when they need to secure a heavy object (such as a car). Only the firefighters use separate wood cribbing so they can build different stands:


My version of wood cribbing looks like this:

If you forgot your keys in the car


Now I’ll tell you how I made these coasters. First I chose a type of wood, larch. This species has a number of advantages: it is quite hard (close to oak), not very susceptible to rotting and has a reasonable price. Then I bought 3 boards with dimensions of 50mm x 100mm x 6000mm. Right at the market they sawed them to me 1.5 meters long, so it would all fit in the trunk of my Passat. I decided that my stands would be 350mm x 550mm x 220mm (WxDxV). Assembly diagram in 3 steps


On top I screwed 2 sheets of plywood, 10mm thick each (there were unnecessary pieces in the garage). The scraps from the boards I inserted into the holes in the top of this whole structure for extra strength of the top layer. I screwed all the boards together with self-tapping screws.




The car is placed on the stands in the following way: first the front end and then the rear end of the car (or vice versa). Many cars have points that can be used to jack up the whole front or rear end at once. On my Passat there are no such points, so I first lift the front end from the right side, and then from the left. The same is done with the rear. When I lift the right side and then start lifting the left side, the car’s suspension tends to “pull” the wheels together. For this reason, the stand on the opposite side from the lift begins to lurch and can tip over. This is dangerous! Be careful and control this situation! Then you have to go back to the left side again and correct the stand:


Be sure to use the wheel chocks when lifting the car!


This is what the Passat looks like with the front end jacked up. There’s plenty of room to work. It is not afraid to get under such car.

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