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Re: wishbone pivot bushes

Phil Payne writes: 

> I use 5-ton truck ramps - not so steep.  The ur-quattro's front air
> dam fouls all the 'car' ramps I've seen.

There is, of course, no law (at least in California) stating that you
must *drive* a vehicle onto the ramps.  On some occasions where
clearance was tight but I needed to get all the way under a car safely,
I've jacked the car up in the air, then placed the ramps under the

Needs what the blokes down at Phil's local would probably call a
stonking great jack, though, or a suitable extension (such as a stonking
great hunk of lumber) to raise the car high enough to clear the ramps
with the suspension at full droop.  But for removing the transmission
from (say) a Sixties-era Alfa Romeo coupe, for instance, this is an
effective way to get the car high enough for the owner/mechanic to crawl
under the car, lower the transmission and crawl out with it.

It'd be just the thing for torquing pivot bushes in situ, as well.  (In
fact, I have vague memories of doing this exact trick when I rebuilt the
front end of my MGB in, oh, 1990 or thereabouts; the uprated MGB-V8
bushes that I installed were metal/rubber composites and also required
final torquing under load.)

Be careful, of course, to center the wheels on the ramps as you lower
the car, and make sure the car is stable on them.  The friend who taught
me this trick makes a point of going around the car after it's in place
and shaking each corner, very hard, before crawling under it.  I, for
one, am particularly paranoid about working that far under a vehicle,
and don't generally like to have anyone working "topside" while I'm
below, if there's any way around it.  (Ask my wife about the time I was
replacing the clutch hose on my Midget while she was trying to
wire-brush rust off the brake box.  It's a wonder we didn't end up on
the Jerry Springer Show after THAT adventure.)

On the other hand, putting a car on ramps has been tested in a
6-point-something earthquake: same friend had her TR3 up on stands this
way at her home in Aptos, California during the 1987 earthquake (Aptos,
for those out of the area, is something like 3 to 5 miles from the
epicenter).  It stayed up.  

--Scott "Just don't ask her whether it's running yet" Fisher