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 Scissor jacks - safe?

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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Scissor jacks - safe?   Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:21 pm

If you've ever had a car with no central jacking point, you'll know the problem of wanting to use the same point for lifting and supporting. Surely then, there's something to be said for scissor jacks - they lift and support in one. They also slot into the sill pinch nicely rather than crush it (like trolley jacks do). The design is simpler making them lighter, cheaper and more reliable compared with conventional hydraulic floor jacks (?). My only reservations are that 1) they have limited load capacity (typically between 750 and 1500 kg), but using multiple jacks would alleviate that by sharing the load, and 2) the base plate is often small giving less-than-reassuring levels of stability.

Is using four scissor jacks to lift a car off the ground a good idea or just Darwin Award potential?
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TechSupport
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PostSubject: Re: Scissor jacks - safe?   Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:11 am

I would say Darwin Award potential? I use a 3.5 ton trolley jack which I bought off the bay and having several cars with different heights it works a treat Thumb a couple of pumps and its up, I don't like Scissor jacks and have never felt that they are very safe.

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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Scissor jacks - safe?   Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:40 am

You'd need a much wider base-plate than a standard jack has, but I suppose that could be welded or bolted on fairly easily.

I'm thinking of making some large ramps from some scaffolding someone carelessly left lying around.

I've always been a bit scared of driving off the end of ramps, but I'm thinking if a can arrange a winch or pulleys, I should be able to avoid that risk.
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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Re: Scissor jacks - safe?   Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:28 pm

Could put a stop bar at the end of the ramp. Like this...

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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Scissor jacks - safe?   Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:21 am

Still looks a bit dodgy to me. Never used them, but I'd be concerned it'd flip +/or I'd burn the clutch trying for a smooth and gentle takeoff. Its not always convenient or possible to run the engine either.

If I actually get around to making any (probably won't, since I don't really have storage space) it would have a back-stop, but I still think I might attach a winch or pulleys to it and pull the car up the ramp.
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PostSubject: Re: Scissor jacks - safe?   Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:35 pm

Well, I used to have a set similar to the ones pictured. They were probably the sturdiest support device I owned. The biggest problem was the ladder design. The wheels would get stuck on the bars meaning you had to either get a run-up or rev the nuts off it. Sheet metal over the bars would resolve it.

Winching's not a bad idea. Should make it more fool-proof plus less strain on the car. But, will add extra cost and wake the equipment less mobile. Setting up the winch and connecting cables will take longer than just driving it on, too.

This is my current set-up.

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Pro's
- You can tilt it
- You can get all four wheels off at once
- You don't need engine power

Con's
- It was expensive
- It's f'ing heavy and takes up storage space
- Cant access mid-section
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Scissor jacks - safe?   Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:20 pm

That looks pretty useful, but beyond my DIY capabilities.

I've seen plans somewhere on the internyet for a see-saw arrangement with a central support, made of plywood with 2X4 framing. Can't find it now.

Think you were supposed to be able to drive it to the balance point and then you could lift the back by hand and prop it up if you wanted it horizontal.
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