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Getting off the ground (2) ...! - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/ICE/HVAC & Other - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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dave elite

Getting off the ground (2) ...!

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Hello - and sorry for the other post, my browser session on my laptop didn't work very well with the forum's editor software, and I couldn't see anything I typed. On this PC I can type, but can't edit the original post, so I'll have to start again...!

Anyway, I've just aquired a Lotus Elite 503 / 1980 model. It's my second lotus, I used to own an Excel celebration 1991 J Reg. I'm besotted with the Elite, and find it fantastic fun to own and drive. It's certainly my intention, where possible, to do my own maintenance, and with this in mind I wanted to use the forum for a bit of advice on getting the thing off ground!

The owner's manual identifies the jacking points (infront of the rear wheel arch, and behind the front arch), but my concern is where to put the axle stands to support the rear? What I know of the chassis makes me wary of the area immedediately around the jacking points as it may be subframe/body shell only at that point an unable to take the weight. Equally, I'm not keen using the rear suspension struts. It's been a long time (20 years!) since I had cars on stands etc... and I don't want to risk getting this bit wrong! If anyone can offer some advice on safe axle-stand points, I'd be grateful. (PS I know it sounds obvious to say "axle", but they're not easily accessible with the suspension struts where they are).

Thanks - obvious for those that know I'm sure, but it would be nice to be sure before I start!



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when i put my Eclat on axle stands i put a piece of wood between the stand and the body.1:to spread the weight.2:to increase the surface area that is being supported,hopefully making it more stable.

This gave me the confidence to crawl underneath the car.

Try it....6 x 4 inches or slightly bigger should be fine.


Edited by Kimbers
Post tidied

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well, apart from the first bit he typed : "hhhhw

  • ........[*]" thats just nonsense.
Edited by Dunc

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axle stands front and rear should be placed on or near the hub carriers, they are after all axle stands. if you have a trolley jack lift the rear using the diff casing and the front using the front cross member.

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If you are very new to jacking, here are some other standard tips:

1. When using a trolley jack on a front chassis box section, don't jack directly onto the metal - it will usually bend the box section. Instead use a large and thickish piece of soft wood on the top of the jack to spread the weight over a larger area of the box section, ideally reaching the front and rear edges. This way you should avoid damage to the chassis metal.

2. When jacking the first axle, use chocks on the other set of wheels to ensure the car doesn't roll away as you jack it up.

3. When jacking the second axle, watch that the first set of stands doesn't start to tip onto two legs.

4. With low cars like the Elite and standard trolley jacks, getting the jack under can be hard, and you will have to use a less than idea jack position to allow use of the handle - e.g. under wheel arch. First off, jack the car up enough to get some bricks or breeze blocks under the wheels. Then take the jack out and reposition properly. Also watch the angle of the trolley wheels before you take the load - the trolley will naturally move a little as the arms sings up and if the wheels are sideways, it prevents the correct movement.

5. When jacking up very high, do the job in two stages. Don't try to get one axle all the way up to the height you want, while the other axle on the ground. Get the stands in under both axles at half-height, then raise each end again.

6. Never, ever, ever, ever work under a car on a trolley.

7. Before getting under a car on axle stands, push and pull the car's bumper hard and see if you can knock it over. Oh yes, really! It won't fall if you've done the job right, and fixing a bent car is a lot easier than fixing you.

8. If you are new to the game, leave the wheels on if possible and put bricks under them, so that the maximum distance the car can fall is smaller, and you might not get completely crushed.

In general, axle stands correctly used are very safe indeed.


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