Jack Stands (height for getting under car)

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Old 05-25-18, 06:25 PM
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Jack Stands (height for getting under car)

So, I have a 2007 Honda Civic, and I am wanting to install a trailer hitch soon. This means I'll have to get underneath it.

I've been looking around, and it seems in addition to wheel blocks, I'll need jack-stands for safety. But looking around, it seems the most common stands only go up to 16" or about there. Is this really efficient to get underneath the car for work?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 05-25-18, 11:38 PM
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A hitch? On a Civic? Well, anyway...

16" under the control arms where the shock mounts or at the jacking points on the side should be more than enough. Raise the control arms 16" and the bottom rear of the body will probably be 30" in the air.
 
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Old 05-26-18, 06:28 AM
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I use ramps.
Are you installing a 2" or 1 1/4" hitch?
 
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Old 05-26-18, 07:45 AM
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Hitch receiver can be used for light object carrier. A bicycle, for example. Even Civic has towing capacity.
 
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Old 05-26-18, 04:33 PM
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it seems the most common stands only go up to 16" or about there. Is this really efficient to get underneath the car for work?
Is a Honda Civic,
you use your left hand to lift up the car and a wrench in your right hand to work on the car.
Stop by the local rugby club, bet a few blokes they can't lift it up 3 feet in the air while you work on it.

When I was a kid, my Dad had a sears lawn mower, and a 1976 Honda Civic.
To work on the lawn mower, I'd grab the front cowl and lift the lawnmower up 90 degrees so that it was sitting vertically on it's tail, which made changing blades on the lawn mower easy.
To work on the Civic, I'd do almost the same thing, just to 45 degrees, but it got heavy after a while, so I'd set it on jack-stands.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 04:02 AM
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Are you installing a 2" or 1 1/4" hitch?
Just a 1 1/4" hitch. Mostly for going around to pick up peg board, and drywall. The odd small machinery as well. So I want an 8' trailer.

Another thing I've noticed, a lot of the jacks only go up to 14", which seems silly. Really, I would assume that's mostly just for being able to change a car tire? I've heard of people putting blocks of wood on their jacks to raise a car higher, that just sounds way too dangerous.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 04:27 AM
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Not all floor jacks are the same, if I'm not mistaken mine has about a 17"-18" height BUT the jacking points along with where you set the jack stands often sets the majority of the vehicle higher off of the ground. And if you need much more than a foot or so - it probably needs to go on a lift.
 
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Old 05-27-18, 04:35 AM
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Ramps for the rear wheels would be much more safe to use than jack stands for what you want to do.
You will potentially be exerting some considerable force on the fasteners when installing a hitch and there is a potential for an improperly placed jack stand to slip.

You might also find that unless you are removing a transfer case or transmission being closer to the bottom of the vehicle while on ramps would make for easier working because you will be closer to what you are working on.

Safety first!
 
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Old 05-27-18, 06:22 AM
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For safety, i'd suggest raising the car *just enough* to provide the additional access you need, rather than assuming you need the max extension of the jack stands.

As an alternative idea, i replaced the catalytic converter and exhaust tubes on an older Honda. To get the crawl space under the car i used a floor jack to lower all 4 tires onto solid 4x8x16 concrete blocks. The additional 4 inches was enough to provide crawl space- not convenient, but safe.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 08:14 AM
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I've placed 2x12s on the ground and had the jack rest on those.
I'll put one hockey puck on the top of the jack to protect the metal on the jacking point and give an additional inch of height.
With the 2x12 and the puck that's over 2 additional inches.
I'll then put either a stack of boards or a jackstand under another support area just in case.

The main thing is to make sure this is all done on a hard flat surface, I've seen cars roll backwards, or forwards, toppling the jack/jackstand over.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 10:52 AM
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The hockey puck would be an opportunity for slipping and you will not see that "trick" in any instructions on using jack stands.
Also, you can't really rely on another jack stand as a back-up because a vehicle falling off jack stands would likely roll the stands.

Use something solid as a safety net like two stacked spare tires.
I use a 24 inch wide firewood chopping block that would stay put if the unthinkable happened.

Use the stands as intended and put up with any scratching!
 
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Old 06-14-18, 11:32 AM
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GregH is right, one important detail when using the puck is that my jack has a rubber surface that it rests on and 4 "teeth" surrounding it so it doesn't slide off the jack surface.
In that scenario, again on a flat surface, the weight of the vehicle squeezes the puck down. I've never had one move.

And just so there's no confusion, the hockey puck is never place on a jack stand, only within the cup of the jack itself.
 
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Old 06-14-18, 06:54 PM
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Some tips

Using concrete blocks is not recommended, they can crumble or shatter under stress. Probably ok under the tires, but better to use some 2 x 6 or 2x12 boards. Might be better to get a set of ramps...

http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/attac...n-img_1049.jpg


Generally do not go any higher than needed to crawl under, height means instability. I leave a jack in place, as well as the jack stand or two so there is redundancy if something fails. Being on a flat concrete surface is essential. Watch out for asphalt driveways, they are very soft especially when hot and will cave under the weight of a jack stand.
 
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Old 06-23-18, 08:41 AM
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Just use ramps, a lot safer and quicker than jacking up and then placing stands. I've used these home made ramps from 2x6 lumber for years.



And if you have a choice among hitches, get the 2 inch. Much stronger and even if you don't tow at the rated capacity, much cooler looking.
 
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Old 06-23-18, 11:09 AM
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Following up on a reply that disappeared last time..


If you don't have ramps, check around the local industrial parks for free pallets.
Many medium to small businesses set them out, free for the taking.



Get a crowbar and a hammer, remove the nails, and you'll get three 2x4s and about eight to ten planks from a pallet.


Get a saw, cut the wood in half, nail them together into a wooden ramp.
 
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