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Old 06-02-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
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homemade car ramps

how hard would it be to make these out of metal?

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i got the metal from our ag shop because they have alot of left over from the metal fabrication class and he's told us whoever gets it first can have it. and me and my dad got it, all of it. not gonna be ag classes next year cuz they r tearin down and rebuilding it. ill probably put somethin on the sides with cinder blocks for extra outside weight from it bowing in, and nar the rear put braces the cant bolt up so i can remove it and put it in the front if i have to work near the rear. i dont count on it being moved any unless i can make it into like a ramp/trailer and put supports under it when its not being hauled. ill also have some anchoring system so it doesnt move any while some1s driving up on it

btw, if i only had wood i choose this over these corvette ramps:

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Old 06-03-2009, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: homemade car ramps

What kind of metal did you get from the ag shop?

If you got a bunch of angle iron and some expanded metal, you can build something relatively easily, depending on your fab skills and tools at hand.
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:44 PM   #3
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Re: homemade car ramps

Wow...

I don't know if I could trust the wood ramps even if they do look sturdy. I mean, what if it was raining and they got all wet. You might look at it and think it looks dry so you drive on it, and all of a sudden it starts to warp and bend and eventually fall apart because the wood will be weakened when it gets wet. After all, wood is a very pourus material. This wouldn't be good for the car on the ramps, or for the person under the ramps. Even if you live in the desert where it almost never rains, you still have to worry about the sun drying out the wood and making it warp and what not. If you look at the third picture of the ramp the ******* is on, you can clearly see it bowing under the weight of the car. Would you honestly be willing to crawl under it and start wrenching after seeing that?

The other thing to consider is the amount of space something like that would take up no matter if it is wood or metal. Yeah when your not working on the car you can put the put the ramps on the stands, but then you have to consider weight. Neither of those wood lifts you posted pictures of look anywhere near light. The one in the first picture would probably take at least 2 people to move each individual piece of it. The only way this seems practical is if you have a lot of spare room indoors where this could be set up.

Ok, now for you metal idea. Granted I could see it in action first, I would probably be way more willing to crawl under it. If built properly, it would probably weigh less and be stronger then the wood. The space it would take up would still be the same, but at least you would be able to keep it outside without much to worry about. Just use some RustOleum paint or something and the rust shouldn't be too much of an issue. The other thing I like more about the metal would be that you dont really have to worry about bolts. Partially because you could weld a lot of it, and partially because you wouldn't have to worry nearly as much about bolt holes being elongated and the bolts eventually falling out as the case would be for the wood.

Do you have the space for this and the welding experiance to make this not only work, but be safe as well? I mean your going to have well over 3,000 pounds sitting on this with you laying right under it. If you feel confident in your abilities, I say go for it. Otherwise, I would say stick with the trusty jack and jack stands.

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: homemade car ramps

thats pretty cool!

one idea to make it easier to move would be spring loaded casters.
they are spring loaded to hold up the weight of the ramp or whatever, but as soon as you put any more weight on them, they collapse in, and the car is sitting on solid ground.

if you have never made something like this before, id start small
start with regular ramps
once you are confident that they are sturdy, start planning bigger and bigger ones.
keep your basic principals in mind
triangles are stronger than squares
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
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Re: homemade car ramps

The ramp with the vette on looks like it would work fine. The first pic looks WAY to tippy, not something to risk a life over. I would drill some holes in the concrete and cut some metal rods to slide through the wood into the concrete, preventing any sliding issue.

Or you could do what we're doin to our shop. Cut a 4'X18' rectangle out of the floor, dig the dirt out, form it up, pour the concrete, and viola you have a drive over pit.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:24 PM   #6
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Re: homemade car ramps

I built a set of whatever you want to call them so i could gain more head and arm room under the car well working on various things. i built them to fit a set of rims and to keep them from sliding around with a lip around the entire wood base.

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Old 06-03-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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Re: homemade car ramps

the wood system would work, use the bracing like the stang one has, use 2, 2x16xhow ever long stacked on top of each other and there you go

heavy equipment trailers just have 2x16 and they haul more weight than a car weighs

better yet you can use the 4in thick wood thats on 18 wheeler low boys

another strong wood is the wood they use in the floors of 18 wheeler trailers, its a hard wood, and it holds up to FORKLIFTS

use good trated wood and it would last a while to

metal would be nice, as long as you got the ability to work on it

fueledsouls idea is the best IMO, it may not be as easy to get your car on it, but its small, easy to store, easy and cheap to make
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:11 PM   #8
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Re: homemade car ramps

My home made ramps......You could drive an 18-wheeler nose on mine & they'd hold!
http://www.austinthirdgen.org/forum/...=3373&hl=ramps

I've cut the ends to 45s, to ease getting up on each step, plus cutting the front, top of the stop to a 45, to give an inch more footing for the tire on the top level. Some day, I'm gonna give the top later a "dimple"/groove for the tire to stop in, giving the last level a secure stopping point.
Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 06-04-2009, 11:27 AM   #9
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Re: homemade car ramps

I made the wood ones off of stephens models. They work great! I got some pics of them in my progress thread below in my sig.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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Re: homemade car ramps

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I made the wood ones off of stephens models. They work great! I got some pics of them in my progress thread below in my sig.
In my pic, you see 2 vertical stops, but in the diagram only 1.

I initially made them as 2, 2 layer ramps that I stacked. I ended up taking 1 stop off (the top layers) and making it into 1 4 layer ramp.

Heavier, yes, but oh well. It was easier to move 1 heavier thing than to stack 2 lighter ones.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:32 PM   #11
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Re: homemade car ramps

Mine are very similar to stephens.
I have also bought a few 8' long 2x8's. Then cut them in 2' long pieces. Jack up the car and put the 2x8's under the tires. You can put the car as high as you want it, and you have the weight on your suspension.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:47 PM   #12
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Re: homemade car ramps

The ones in the first pics look WAY better than the ones with the vette. Do I see pressboard in the vette pic? Why...?

If you get treated lumber, rain wont bother them. With all that reinforcement, they wont come down very easily. And they aernt going to tip. The vette ones look "tippier" than the mustang ones. I see carrige bolts and lots of support. That thing was built strong.

I wouldnt make these out of metal. You'd still need to do a ton of bracing. By the time you beefed them up using scrap metal they're going to weigh a lot. And you better paint em...or else you'll have rusting all over the place in no time. Even if you keep them inside a grage.

All that said. I dont see why the mustang has to be up so high. Not saying its a bad thing...I wish mine were alittle higher, but not that high. Here are mine. They've served their purpose a bunch of times now. They cut down the amount of time needed to get the car in the air by a lot. Especially if Im not doing front end suspension work.

Pretty close to what Stephen has. Just longer. Got diagrams and lots of pics if you page through.

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/fa...ork-great.html (Wooden ramps... Work great!!)


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Old 06-04-2009, 03:24 PM   #13
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Re: homemade car ramps

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Pretty close to what Stephen has. Just longer. Got diagrams and lots of pics if you page through.

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/fa...ork-great.html (Wooden ramps... Work great!!)


J.
You Post editor you.....

The ones I posted above are Version 2.0 (as indicated by the title in the thread link). Version 1.0 were built around 2003 or so, when I was married & had 2 lowered 3rd gens to deal with. Jack stands got old.

AND...You posted yours 2 years after mine so who got the idea from who?
http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/po...03-post10.html

I probably got the idea SOMEWHERE. Probably off another autocross guy at the time. Never said it was MY ORINIGAL idea.....


Original Post:
"Pretty sure stephen stemed his idea off these Got diagrams and lots of pics if you page through.

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/fa...ork-great.html (Wooden ramps... Work great!!)


J."

Just busting your *****. Like I've said before.....There are very few ideas these days, short of LS engine/IRS stuff.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:32 PM   #14
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Re: homemade car ramps

Oh yeah....To help space them apart perfectly....

Put your car on them & get them set just right. Now cut 2-2x4s to the perfect length between them.

Use those 2 boards to space them right & you'll always get them just right every time afterwards. Put the car up, pull the spacer boards out & they are outta your way.

Your full length ones look good, but how do you get in from the side? You can't.

Can just cut the middles out, making them 3 pieces each? Drive up, pull the middles out. Do your work, slide the middles back in, then back off them?

I can't imagine having to store those monsters!
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:07 PM   #15
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Re: homemade car ramps

Haha...hey atleast I edited it like a minute after I posted it. How the heck did you even see the old post? I got you confused with a guy over on Tech that built a short set off of my long set. I certainly dont think Im an innovator with these things either haha. The only reason I even posted about em was because I think most people rule out wood as a material to build a nice set of ramps.

As for side access...I dont really need it. I just roll in fron the front or back. I havent run into a situation yet where they've kept me from doing what I needed to do.

However, if I do need to get in from the side, I just jack up the front corner, pull the ramp, put a jack stand in and do what I have to do. Its really not too big a deal. If I need quicker and easier access...Ill save up for a lift. haha.

What you suggested about the spacing is pretty much what I do. Its not too hard to line em up. And if you are off a hair, it wont hurt anything. It would have to be really screwed up to have one of them tip over.

As for storing them. Youre right. That is kind of a pain. I usually slide them between my shed and garage. I stack one upside down on top of the other so they make a long rectangle. Right now, they are stacked under the passenger side of my 87. The car isnt sitting on the ramps at all even though it looks like it is. Like this...

Click the image to open in full size.

I used treated lumber, so they havent really weathered too bad. Few little cracks here and there. And the bottom board has a bit of a curve where nothing is screwed in, but it flattens out with weight on it.

J.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:23 PM   #16
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Re: homemade car ramps

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Haha...hey atleast I edited it like a minute after I posted it. How the heck did you even see the old post?
J.
Magic dude....Magic!

I used treated lumber too, but mine stay in my 3-wall car port, so really only get wet from humidity, never direct water.

If I need the whole car up, I drive up on mine, then use the floor jack to get the rear up & slide my 2 jack stands under the car. I had 4, but 2 have gone MIA on me.

With the 275s & 285s (soon to be 315s), I'm wishing I had used even wider wood. Might be time for Version 3.0. Taller? 2-piece? Trying to come up with enough changes to warrant calling them 3.0, not just 2.1

I've been thinking square aluminum tubing, for weight savings, yet strong.
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:33 PM   #17
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Re: homemade car ramps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
My home made ramps......You could drive an 18-wheeler nose on mine & they'd hold!
http://www.austinthirdgen.org/forum/...=3373&hl=ramps

I've cut the ends to 45s, to ease getting up on each step, plus cutting the front, top of the stop to a 45, to give an inch more footing for the tire on the top level. Some day, I'm gonna give the top later a "dimple"/groove for the tire to stop in, giving the last level a secure stopping point.
Click the image to open in full size.

they look like the boards you used to use in a motorhome to level it up at a campsite before the automatic hydraulic jacks came out..........but it works
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:54 PM   #18
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Re: homemade car ramps

One night when a buddy and I were riding around in my old car and an exhaust hanger broke and it started dragging. We had a coat hanger to tie it up with but we couldn't get underneath the car because the guy before me lowered the car. We were right by a Dodge dealership that happened to have an empty display ramp. So I drove that POS onto that ramp and we fixed my exhaust. It was arguable one of the scariest things I have ever done because it was the type of stand that tipped as you drove up it.

With the current state of the economy just hang around a Pontiac dealership and see if they will sell u one of those stands.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:05 PM   #19
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Re: homemade car ramps

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With the current state of the economy just hang around a Pontiac dealership and see if they will sell u one of those stands.
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:09 AM   #20
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Re: homemade car ramps

hahahah... I like that idea...
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:52 AM   #21
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Re: homemade car ramps

at my old job we used three 4x10 pressure treated one 12 foot one 10 foot one 8 foot and chain sawed the end diagonally. great for dropping the tranny with a floor jack. also would make putting in sub frame connectors a snap. and you can use just two for oil changes and anything that dosnt need a lot of wiggle room. i live in a rain forest and they sit outside. it went from hot to wet to freezing back to wet to hot with no problems for the two years i was there. lot harder to run off with than jackstands.

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Old 06-15-2009, 01:35 AM   #22
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Re: homemade car ramps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff91RS View Post
One night when a buddy and I were riding around in my old car and an exhaust hanger broke and it started dragging. We had a coat hanger to tie it up with but we couldn't get underneath the car because the guy before me lowered the car. We were right by a Dodge dealership that happened to have an empty display ramp. So I drove that POS onto that ramp and we fixed my exhaust. It was arguable one of the scariest things I have ever done because it was the type of stand that tipped as you drove up it.

With the current state of the economy just hang around a Pontiac dealership and see if they will sell u one of those stands.
Funny you posted this. My friend called me up a few days ago to tell me he had found one of those things for sale for $600. It was the drive up type with removable ramps, and didn't pivot. He was at a used car lot that was in the process of liquidating all of their inventory and assets in order to close down.

Id like to have this set-up, but it is out of my current price range by about $575!!
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:29 PM   #23
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Re: homemade car ramps

Quote:
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AND...You posted yours 2 years after mine so who got the idea from who?
http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/po...03-post10.html

I probably got the idea SOMEWHERE. Probably off another autocross guy at the time. Never said it was MY ORINIGAL idea.....
heh, nice... I had a set that were almost identical that i posted pictures of at one point... of course, I left them at my dad's house when I got married 10-1/2 years ago, so that was a while ago... though that was probably to one of the original f-body mailing lists before most of the web forums even existed and the pictures were probably hosted on my own server which is long gone at this point (I believe I got rid of it in '98 or so...)

I've been using rhino ramps (plastic) since then, but miss the wooden ones. As long as you're willing to deal with the weight, they're nowhere near as prone to sliding around as plastic or steel ramps, and you can make them exactly as steep as your car will tolerate (my '83 TA at the time was lowered pretty close to 3" in the front, had right around 2" ground clearance from the K-member to the ground, no commercial ramps cleared).

As far as wood vs steel... most things have enough compressive strength that if you just put a pile of it under a tire it will hold, decent grades of construction wood, carbon steel and aluminum all have about the same yield strength/weight, so if you build a structure strong enough to hold a car they'll all weigh about the same unless you resort to a more expensive alloy of steel/aluminum or some hardwoods...

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