Near Death Experience - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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From a previous thread of mine regarding Oil Pan gasket change on a 327 I got a tip to jack the motor up within the engine compartment after removing the engine mount brackets. While this turned out to be the only options besides a engine hoist it caught me by surprise.

I had my car jacked up on both sides under the subframe and it was blocked with two jack stands. I thought this was enough but it was not. When I started to jack the motor up to the point to get enough clearance to block the motor mounts with 2x4 wedges the pan started to colaps on the left side (pop). This shifted the weight of the motor to the driver side and the momentum pushed the block in to the frame and pushed the car off the stands. The driver side jacke punctured a hole in my drivers side exhaust. Now I have to replace it and figure out how to fix it to drive to the muffler shop.

Thank goodness I was on a crawl board with good wheels and a quick escape route that was preplanned and unobstructed in the event of a mishap. I am always paranoid about the car falling on me and keep those images alive in my brain. I believe that a healthy respect for these things is rooted in the fear that it might happen.

I now have my car on those same two jack stands and I have placed wheel ramps under the front wheels to prevent and side to side movement. I have also blocked the back wheels.

20 bucks to save my life. I think it is worth it.

I am posting this just to provide a reminder of what can possibley happen. Stay safe and enjoy your ride intact.

PS. I got the oil pan off but it has to be replaced.

Thanks

Tom
San Diego, CA
67 Camaro RS Clone
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 10:22 AM
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Ouch! Glad you're OK!

You jacked the engine up by the oil pan? I think I would have jacked it up under the balancer, but that would probably cause some kind of crank damage, or maybe let the engine roll one way or the other.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 10:22 AM
 
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I don't know how many times I've mouthed about throwing some tires and some wood cribbing under your car to keep just such a thing from happening!! My great big old L/60's and some loose 2x4's worked dandy for this stuff.......

And as a side note I always SAID "BE CAREFUL"!!!

And before I ever crawl under her, I give her a good sideways SHAKE!!!

Glad everything turned out OK even if it probably scared the h-ll outta you!!

pdq67



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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 10:25 AM
 
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Back again!! That ain't half as bad as falling through some scafold boards in the dark inside a tall furnace tower and grabbing for pipe and boards as you go down...

Been there, done that.. I had ta stop and calm down before I went back up again.... IN THE DARK!!!

pdq67



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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Whoa, talk about thinking its all over. I'd be asking myself if I were dead or not and where I went if that had happened to me and it was that dark.

Thanks

Tom
San Diego, CA
67 Camaro RS Clone
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 11:36 AM
 
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Next time you try to change the oil pan gasket, make sure the car is secure first, then place a square of 1/2 inch plywood on top of a 2x4 and place that on the jack. Jack under the bottom of the oil pan. You won't cave it in because the plywood spreads the pressure out. Remove the motor mount bolts and raise the motor slowly. Check the exhaust and the distributor after each pump or two so you don't bind anything up. Once you have some clearance, place a six inch 2x6 vertically between the mounts and the frame brackets and lower the engine. The mounts will bite into the wood and the engine will not go anywhere. I have done this about 10 - 15 times and not one mishap. Again safety is the key to being around to enjoy our cars.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 11:37 AM
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Lost a friend two years ago when the local police car he was replacing the tranny in fell on him. He didn't block the back wheels and when he took the driveshaft off kabboom. He knew the proper way but was just in a hurry I guess. I still miss him.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 11:40 AM
 
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I agree with pdq67.When i have to get underneath my cars i use 6"x6" block cribbing under the frame or wheels and jack stands if possible and set parking brake.YOU CANNOT BE TO SAFE
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 04, 04:09 PM
 
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Guy's way back when I was a teenager, I lived around a small town on a farm. And after I got older and started on the RR, Mom moved off the farm to a bigger town that is 9 miles down the road.

Long story short, I heard about a younger guy I didn't go to school with that moved into the neighborhood after we had left. Anyway, they told me later that he was pulling something out from under a car in a barn lot, be it mufflers or tranny??

The folks staying on the place went to town that Sat. afternoon and several hours later came back and went to check on him b/c his car was still there.. They found him pinned, and crushed to death with dig/claw marks in the dirt around him where he had tried to dig himself out from under it as it was pinning him harder!!

I have never forgotten that!!

And that's been almost 40 years ago!!

Work careful on our old cars so you can live to drive them!!

pdq67

PS., I think the barn lot was on my old H/S Music Teachers place too???



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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 04, 02:25 AM
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I was in the Vol.Fire Dept. for 6 years and have a few not so fond memmories. One that fits here was a call for a man pinned under car. When we got there we had to jack up the car and pull him out. He was doing a brake job on his car. The car was on a bumper jack (of all things) and the wheels were chocked. I guess he pulled too hard on something and the car came down sideways. He lived,minus both legs(one at knee, other at mid-thigh).

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 04, 10:23 AM
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Here's a two-dollar tool to jack up the engine without damaging the pan (or having it collapse as you described); the base is a 2x6 and the sides are 1x6, just wide enough to snug up against both sides of the pan, and the side pieces are 1" taller than the height of the pan so it picks up on the pan rail, not on the pan.

Made it years ago for jacking up C1 Corvette engines while changing the water pump (the front motormount on C1's is sandwiched inbetween the water pump and the block), and for holding up the back of the engine when doing tranny/clutch work.


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 04, 03:27 PM
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John:
Is it possible that you give us the demensions of that niffty homemade device. I am going to be pulling my power steering bracket and that looks like exactly what I need.
Thanks!

Dan
'68 Convertible
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 04, 08:42 AM
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JohnZ has the right idea, and thanks to his design I was able to fabricate a similar unit for lifting my motor. No real need for exact dimensions, just slide under the car with your tape measure to get the right height on the side pieces, cut a notch to clear the dipstick tube, nail them together and get to jacking!

p.s. Always shake test your car (side to side & front to back) when it is on stands before you crawl underneath it. Be sure to put in some emergency stops- most anything that will not compress works. Did I say "be sure to put in some emergency stops"?


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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 04, 12:47 PM
 
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Have you ever tried to weld-up a pin hole in an oil pan while still on the engine, full of oil?
I have a buddy that tried this very thing, he suffered second degree burns to his face and hands when the oil pan blew off the engine.
The most important thing you can do is THINK before doing something, for most of us this is still just a hobby.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 24th, 04, 01:20 PM
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Injuries are not just from the car falling on you. When I was a kid in New York I worked at a gas station on weekends, mostly in the winter when it was cold if I remember. A guy came in one morning and asked if he could jack up his car on the side of the garage to fix something. Sure...
Several hours later I saw the guy was still in the same spot as last time I looked and it was 0 degrees or so out, I go up to the guy and he is in distress. The blanket he was laying on had a triple hook fishing hook that went through his ear and neck and pinned him down. With the barbs on the hook he could not get free. Poor guy, the fire department had to "unhook" him and send him off to the hospital for frostbite.

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