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T4 2.5 TDi 2003 SWB
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guy's.


As there's no workshop or working safely on your bus section, thought I would post in the wheel section as this seems relevant to jacking up your vehicle. I do own 3 Tonne axle stands but don't rely trust them, nor do I like the idea of ramps as it's quite easy to over-drive the ramps, that would be a major disaster.

As I need to get under my van for some inspection work ( and maybe some repairs ), I need to do this safely ........ so I came up with the idea of building some 'cribbing blocks'. Much safer than breeze blocks that I've seen other people use. I know breeze blocks seem tough enough, but you go and put over two tonnes on them, and they could crumble.


So if it helps anybody, here's how I made mine .......... I was given some off cuts by a builders merchant that were 60mm x 70mm, ideal for the job in hand. I cut 18 lengths to 230mm then glued and screwed them together 'Jenga' style ! If any of you have ever played that 'Jenga' game before, you'll know just how solid that structure is. And then I just topped the top off with a square section of 22mm MDF as a 'spoil board' as MDF is very dense so won't split >>




If you assemble it criss-cross fashion, the wood grain strengthens the structure even more, and by making three different sections you can also make the cribbing block adjustable hight wise. Here you see it with the middle section removed. Each section is glued and screwed together, which gives each section immense strength, and when they're interlocked, there's no chance of them slipping >>




Cribbing block in situ ........ the main reason why you should build one in sections is, lifting the van' front end is different from lifting the rear ........ only two sections are required to lift the front. But my van is lowered, so yours will be different, so if you decide to make some of these, just remember ........ if you need to go higher, make the foot print bigger, like cut each section length to maybe 350mm >>




And because of the suspension travel on the rear, the rear has to be jacked up higher needing that extra section >>




I've only made one cribbing block for the moment as I just needed to remove my Borbet's for refurbishment, but I'll be making another one soon, so I can comfortably get under my van >>





In some of those shots you will have noticed that I have side bars on my van, this is one of the issues of jacking-up a T4 with side bars, as the side bars are bolted to the jacking posts. I can just get away with lifting the van with my rocket lift trolley jack, but once the cribbing blocks are in place I can release the hydraulic jack a little. And remember, never get under a vehicle with just a trolley jack supporting it's weight !





TURK
 

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T4 2.5 TDi 2003 SWB
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4,717 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, that's a 100% failure ! 100 views and not a single response ! :*

......... and I got to say, that it doesn't surprise me I: As an ex- 'Health & Safety Officer' I know how boring health and safety, and PPE is regarded. People just don't think that it'll happen to them, but let me tell you, it does !



Never mind, thought it may of been interesting to jack a vehicle up in total safety.








TURK
 

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I was going to say something but you sometimes get a little upset so I didn't bother. I shouldn't have bothered being bothered because you've gotten a little upset anyway.

Nice blocks :D
 

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T4 2.5 TDi 2003 SWB
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
'A little upset' ! ......... LOL:

Na, I don't get upset, I leave that for the weak I: I do get Peed off though :cool: going through the trouble of taking pictures, editing, uploading and writing the howto ....... and no so much as a thanks !

Then I get sarcastic !


Maybe I should just stop posting rubbish and concentrate on making headlights :*

Anyway, at least over a 100 people looked, and they may of learned something. So the next time they're under their van pushing and pulling with all their might at their torsion bars and looking at their dodgy axle stands, and then their van comes crashing down on them, they can then think back at these 'cribbing blocks' while they're pinned to the ground.



Thanks for the nice comments about my blocks mate, glad you like em ;)






Oh, almost forgot .......... I'm curious to know what happened in Waitrose ! :D





TURK
 

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Personally I reckon the hydraulic jack is safer than the blocks you've made, they look too tall for the base width as you have them on loose uneven gravel.

Ramps would have been safer too! who's ever 'over driven' a ramp????

Personally I do believe you over think problems :*
 

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2011 Kombi Camper conv. T5.1 140
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thanks for posting.. sometimes the value of what you do isn't recognised... the difference is you do it! Thanks againT:
 

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Turk,
Pictures are worth a thousand words and for many just seeing a safer way is enough to set them on the right road.
I do something similar but with some nice 8 x 5 inch off cuts about 24 - 30 inches long that I've had in use for some 40 years now; and as mentioned the higher the lift the wider the base.

Only additional comment I would make is the need to lift on a level surface as its so easy for things to move / slide especially if lifting two wheels. I have a block paved drive and discovered last year just how slippery that can be.

Thanks Jon
 

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Turk,that seems a lot of hard work when a sensible set of ratchet axle stands will do the job.


Feel more confident with stands,put in the right position then they are solid.As for rampsT:Lined up properly they are an easy solution,never had a problem.That has now fooked that:D
 

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basic question maybe but first time Ive read this post, just want to confirm / clarify where the safe points are to support front/ rear with the axle stands when the trolley jack pad is occupying the jacking points shown in the manual. E.g. at the front, there's not quite enough room to get the jack pad and axle stand side by side comfortably, though I have done it. So, where else at front and rear can I place axle stands for security with the jack in place ? cant quite work it out from Turk's pictures where he has placed his blocks.
sorry if question is rather noddy/ basic, just want to be safe !

incidentally, ive seen some big / tall axle stands, for trucks and the like isuppose, is there a limit how high you can go ? as e.g. the trolley jack can be raised to make it lift higher using wood/ blocks under it, so you can lift it in stages. would love a proper lift of course (what wekend mechanic wouldn't) ....in my dreams maybe !
cheers
 

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basic question maybe but first time Ive read this post, just want to confirm / clarify where the safe points are to support front/ rear with the axle stands when the trolley jack pad is occupying the jacking points shown in the manual. E.g. at the front, there's not quite enough room to get the jack pad and axle stand side by side comfortably, though I have done it. So, where else at front and rear can I place axle stands for security with the jack in place ? cant quite work it out from Turk's pictures where he has placed his blocks.
sorry if question is rather noddy/ basic, just want to be safe !
cheers
Campernologist,

I've struggled too with the problem of a trolley jack occupying the space where you would like to place an axle stand. I've now switched to using and 8 tonne bottle jack and find that at the front I can lift with this at the outside end of the chassis lifting point and have enough space to place a 2T axle stand at the inside end. At the rear I tend to lift the whole back end by jacking under the towbar cross beam before placing axle stands under the swing arm pivot mounting points. This has worked well for me, although I do find it necessary to lift in two stages if needing to get to the highest setting of the axle stands.

Personally I would rather use specifically designed, tested, and load-rated items such as axle stands or ramps than a home-brew effort made of wood. Each to their own, of course.
 

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thanks for that bodfish, I havent got a towbar like you but I had a peek under and it looks like there's a chassis member / box section at the back. At the front, I will look at the bottle jack but nicklouse says the subframe, which looks pretty substantial ?
 

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Good idea Turk, big chunky blocks of wood. When I jacked up one side of the van from the side and placed an axle stand on the main chassis and then moved over to the other side to jack up the van, I noticed that the trolly jack would not move in on my rough concrete drive as it lifted, but the axle stand on the other side would start to tilt a bit as the jack was pulling the van side ways. Now I place the jack on 18mm piece of plywood as a smooth surface and it solved the problem.
 

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T4 2.5 TDi 2003 SWB
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys for the comments T: some good responses and some utterly ridiculous ! who on earth would even consider working under their van with just a hydraulic jack ! I also think that my point was actually missed ........... I said I didn't trust my little axle stands. If you own axle stands like Burridge has then fair enough ( but I still don't trust them ). It's the tiny footprint of the top of the jack that makes them unstable, and also the not so safe 'ratchet type' jack without the locking pins that's the problem.

Take a look at this >

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNGkvruDAR0&ab_channel=TheWreckingYard


The other problem you'll encounter that has been mentioned is, if you need to lift the entire front end. You have to lift one side first then the other, but the entire two tonnes of your van will have to pivot on the top of the axle stand you already have in place, thus moving the centre of gravity of the vehicle over to one side.

The cribbing blocks I made are an alternative, you do what you feel safe with, as for me, I feel much more comfortable knowing I have hefty wooden blocks supporting my van over my head. As the construction of the blocks are all interlocking there's no chance that they will come apart or even slip, and if I want to lift the other side of my van to position another cribbing set of blocks, there's no chance the they will topple over.

Assumptions have also been made that my choice of placement of the blocks wasn't too good .......... that particular place in the carpark is dead flat level, the loose chippings are only on the surface in patches on a very hard compacted surface. Anything else and I would be putting myself at risk, and my recommendation for cribbing blocks would be a wast of time !


There is a reason that the cribbing blocks can't be too big, and that is, the lack of space for lifting and safely positioning the blocks. As you're lifting your van via OE jacking posts with your trolley jack, you obviously can't place your cribbing blocks there also, so the only secure place left is the chassis itself. Of course it would be nice to have two foot square cribbing blocks, but because of the lack of room under there, there's not too many places where the van's chassis is accessible.




Anyway, I think this post has served it's purpose, as a safer alternative to those poxie axle stands ( of the Halfords variety ), shame some people chose to make things a tad personal, I'm not the subject here ......... cribbing blocks are I:






TURK
 

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Much is often made about jacks, stands and lifting points but of course it all matter what surface youre doing it on.

Assuming a strong enough surface and the need to lift evenly, and a strong enough jack then a jacking beam is a good consideration for lifting evenly.

You could go with the subframe points, or use pinch weld adapters at the original locations.

For example : http://www.sgs-engineering.com/tj3b-3-ton-trolley-jack-and-jacking-beam
 

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nice jack that mindriot, Ive looked at the SGS stuff before and looks v good kit for the price, good reviews too. am seriously considering getting one of these. however do you / does anyone else think you could get this far enough under to reach the jacking points at the front / rear and then still be able to operate the jack handle ? I guess once the vehicle is lifted an axle stand under each end of the beam would then sort it, if there isnt space e.g. on the OE points next to the jacking beam pads, although this would mean leaving the jack in place, unless it separates from the beam (looks like it does) ? could you safely lift the whole front by the subframe using such a beam ? the subframe is a bit further forward hence easier to access from the front and would also leave the OE jacking points clear for axle stands.
 

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Much is often made about jacks, stands and lifting points but of course it all matter what surface youre doing it on.

Assuming a strong enough surface and the need to lift evenly, and a strong enough jack then a jacking beam is a good consideration for lifting evenly.

You could go with the subframe points, or use pinch weld adapters at the original locations.

For example : http://www.sgs-engineering.com/tj3b-3-ton-trolley-jack-and-jacking-beam
I think the -100mm lowered suspension, deep front splitter and side bars may all get in the way for that one to work ;)
 

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nice jack that mindriot, Ive looked at the SGS stuff before and looks v good kit for the price, good reviews too. am seriously considering getting one of these. however do you / does anyone else think you could get this far enough under to reach the jacking points at the front / rear and then still be able to operate the jack handle ? I guess once the vehicle is lifted an axle stand under each end of the beam would then sort it, if there isnt space e.g. on the OE points next to the jacking beam pads, although this would mean leaving the jack in place, unless it separates from the beam (looks like it does) ? could you safely lift the whole front by the subframe using such a beam ? the subframe is a bit further forward hence easier to access from the front and would also leave the OE jacking points clear for axle stands.
Stands onto that beam is a bad bad idea.
 
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