DIY: My Solution for Getting my 6MT Car Onto Four Ramps, Without Undue Clutch Wear - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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My Solution for Getting my 6MT Car Onto Four Ramps, Without Undue Clutch Wear

I have the attached wooden ramps, made principally out of 2 x 4's on-edge and 4 X 4's (two are shown in the photo - but I have a total of 4 of them).

I want to be able to get the car sitting on a set of four of these... but as I have a 6MT, I do not want to be hard on the clutch, in trying to climb all four at once. Only want to climb two at a time. Further, as the car is low - you can see that the portion of the car in front of the front wheels... would foul the ramps (as do the rocker panels)... hence the dunnage I have used to first stage the front wheels... higher.

The second graphic I attach shows what I am planning to make using laminations of 3/4" plywood. I am also planning to make an extension to the taller wooden ramps...

It is all calculated to save my clutch and my rocker panels. To be sure, it is not ideal... and it takes a long linear distance - but it is relatively cheap, uses what I already have... and it is my solution for not causing damage to the car when lifting it.

Oh, why do I want to have the car on four equal-height ramps? i) 'cause I want it to be level for fluid checks and fluid change-outs (for the manual transaxle); and ii) I use two pieces of 4" wideflange beam (i.e. wide-I-beam) with a centrally-placed hydraulic floor jack - to place the vehicle onto four jackstands (for wheel removal, etc.). I use one transverse beam at the front (picking-up the front jacking points) and one at the back (picking-up the rear jacking points). I cannot get said wideflange lifting/support arrangements into place without an elevated, level car..

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Cdn17Sport6MT
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:55 PM
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That truly required some analytic thinking and planning. Bravo!

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Kind of you to say so .

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 11:36 AM
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To be honest, for that trip up the ramps, a bit of practice is what will save your clutch. I have a classic car that I used to keep in a garage that was 24" of the ground. I had aluminum ramps for that garage that were only about 9' long. This made for quite an exciting trip into the garage. However, as I got better at the process, it was mostly uneventful. I suspect after you do yours a few times, you'll be able to do it with minimal slipping of the clutch. You might also consider some bump stops on the end of your ramps to avoid driving off them (or perhaps as a warning you're at the end).

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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I find that the lack of a hand-operated emergency/parking brake a real hindrance in doing this maneuvre. Believe me when I say that bucking four inclines at the same time versus two is a helluva lot of difference.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 05:39 PM
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Jack stands.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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I have some 'real stout and well-adjustable jackstands and for sure, I do use them - but I am a bit fussy about where I jack the car (and I don't like using my floor jack on a single corner which torsions the structure... yeah I know, on the road, when driving, that can happen).

The rear of the car when it has independent suspension (e.g. for many front wheel drive cars) or whenever there is NOT a live axle I can centrally jack on gives me the most trouble for jacking. That's why I have a rocker panel-to-rocker panel section of 4" wideflange beam, with in my circumstance, a short section of 13/16" round barstock welded onto the flange at the middle of the beam... which then gets inserted- / takes the place of my floorjack swivel-pad. That allows me to lift an entire end-of-vehicle without tweaking the chassis. The pick-up points are exactly where the factory recommended lift points are... and the rubber-lined wooden pads I use for some of my cars have a dado cut to miss the rockerpanel pinchweld seam. In the case of the Mazda, I will use totally flat fir (semi-hardwood) pads, and these will bear on the folded-over portion of the rockerpanel flange.

Sorry, more detail than you needed / wanted .

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:29 PM
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I bought a Quickjack for my 6 MT and am loving it. It was a pain to get it up on ramps.
Jim
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT View Post
I have some 'real stout and well-adjustable jackstands and for sure, I do use them - but I am a bit fussy about where I jack the car (and I don't like using my floor jack on a single corner which torsions the structure... yeah I know, on the road, when driving, that can happen).

.
I have the same apprehension in using a jack then putting the jack stand on each corner. At least when you are changing tires, you lift it only just above the ground that the new tire will have sufficient space.

But when you want to lift the car all the way up to whatever height using a jack in a corner one by one, there is a danger of "twisting" it. I know at least one guy who did it and later had water leak on his windshield.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thx for the feedback. I'm not totally surprised re the windshield leak.

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