Jack stands or vehicle ramps?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Gorilla97, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Gorilla97

    Gorilla97 Junior Member

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    I personally use jack stands when I need to get under a car, but I see lots of people using vehicle ramps as well.

    Since I'm going to be changing the engine oil and transaxle fluid this week I figured I'd ask what your preference is.
     
  2. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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    I found them to hard to drive up since my garage floor is epoxied and they slide.. safest is jack up car and then place ramps under wheels.. but I'm sure it's hard to get the car high enough to do that.
     
  3. pjc

    pjc Member

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    I use ramps with some 2x8s in front of them to avoid the ramps scraping on the plastic body pieces. I have a lip in the concrete right at the entrance to the garage door that serves as a backstop to prevent the ramps from slipping forward.
     
  4. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Oh, I don't know, just how much do you care about your life?
    Is it worth a couple of extra bucks, mine is!
    Ramps are safer!

    If they slide on the concrete floor, get a 2" threaded coupling, drill two holes in the floor just large enough to fill the hole with the coupling. When proper depth is achieved, tape over the bottom of the nut so epoxy will not fill the nut, put some epoxy in the holes you drilled in the floor, insert nuts. There should be just enough epoxy so a little will ooze out, trim while still soft flush with the floor. At the ramps drill a hole each, put ramp end with hole over nut in floor, insert bolt. ramps are now locked to the floor!
     
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I haven't ever seen a newspaper article describing that someone was injured or died because of a jackstand failure.

    But if you are worried about it, place the hydraulic floor jack as a supplemental aid to help the jackstand on the side of the car you are on.

    There are many routine services where it is not practical to use ramps. For example, any service where you need to remove the tires: brakes, suspension, etc. So you shouldn't be afraid of jackstands, just learn to safely utilize them.
     
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  6. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    I prefer ramps, but when I can't use them, I use stands.
     
  7. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    +1

    SCH-I535
     
  8. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    As Patrick mentioned above, it depends on the task. Changing oil I use ramps. Rotating tires I use a hydraulic jack and jack stands. For changing transaxle fluid I use ramps on the front and jack stands on the back to level.

    All of the above can be used safely.
     
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  9. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    To change the oil, I just drive the right front tire up on the curb. That adds about 5 or 6" clearance, which is enough to drain the oil and get at the oil filter. I've got jack stands, ramps, and a big hydraulic jack. But why bother when the curb works fine?
     
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  10. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    All well and good in warm and sunny California! :)

    I have both and it really depends on the job what I use, but would mainly use the axle stands as they're easier (I also place the wheels under the cills just in case and also leave the hydraulic jack in place)
     
  11. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    Ramps for everything except when the wheels need to be removed (tire rotation, brake work, axle, suspension, etc.).
    I use 2x8 boards to extend the ramps, just like pjc said earlier to avoid hitting the front bumper cover.

    Most folks who DIY eventually buy ramps and jack stands.
     
  12. Indy John

    Indy John Member

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    The center lift points, front and back, make jacking with a floor jack easy, and there are multiple points that work well with jack stands. That said, I prefer ramps for oil changes, and I opted for a set of "Race Ramps" - light foam material with a built-in grainy texture that makes them (in my experience) impervious to slipping. Mine are 8" lift, adequate to clear the oil change service flap. Race Ramps are also available in 10" lift. Their light weight and easily on-end storage make them a worthwhile investment IMO. I also sprang for a matching pair of 8" tire blocks for the rear that can be inserted after jacking. They make the car level for tasks such as changing tranny fluid.
     
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  13. Gorilla97

    Gorilla97 Junior Member

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    A little pricey but they look great and made in the USA! Nice choice.
     
  14. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    The Race Ramps are better, because they have more clearance than the Rhino Ramps. They ARE worth the extra cost.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    I've tried ramps, decades back, but got disenchanted, went back to floor jack and jack stands.

    Especially if you're in an enclosed garage, floor jack and jack stands are easier to use, no need to start up the car, no back and forth driving (in limitted space). And for tire rotations or brake jobs, ramps are not an option.

    The main negative with jack stands for me was the funny feeling I'd get, underneath, looking up at a ton or two of unforgiving steel...

    I finally smartened up: I was on the lookout for about a year, then one neighbour cut up a tree on their property, and left a bunch of tree trunk sections out on the lawn, up for grabs. I picked up one that's about 12" dia by 12" long. Before I crawl under I push that under first, under a main cross beam just aft of the engine bay.
     
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  16. Takeshi_Ito

    Takeshi_Ito New Member

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    Depends on the task. I prefer jack stands though. Used it more often than ramps due to space limits. Takes a while to set up though.
     
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  17. stonerider

    stonerider Junior Member

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    Does anyone have pictures that show points under the body where you place the jack? The only one I know is the rear center upside down tower.
     
  18. goldfinger

    goldfinger Active Member

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    Had a cheap stamped ramp collapse when I was a kid. Drove my brother's 70 cuda onto ramps, was just about to head under and it dropped. We had used these a hundred times. Makes me feel sick. Just make sure you buy good ramps if you go this route.
     
  19. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

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    Yeah,

    The worst ones were those one piece stamped steel arched ones with on cross bar supports.
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Put a chunk of wood thicker than you under there. Tree trunk section or similar. Then if somebody's weld happens to fail you've got insurance.
     
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