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Triumph TR6 - Getting underneath

How do you guys get your TR's off the ground enough to work on the underneath? I'm serious. I've owned Land Cruiser FJ-40's, pickup trucks, etc, but the TR-6 presents a dilemma. I'd like to tackle a couple of optional projects under there, but just changing oil and lubricating chassis is painful and problematic. At rest, so to speak, I can barely get my arm under there. 4.5 inches ground clearance. I have put it on jack stands, but that only gets it up to about the level of my stock Nissan 4x4 truck, certainly not enough to work comfortably or get any leverage. Any tips, short of installing a lift (I wish)or digging a hole in the concrete floor? I'm hesitant to jack it further off the jackstands, for fear the whole thing will tilt off and crash. Am I missing some simple, brilliant idea?
Karl Prager

Floor jack and jackstands, and those jackstands seem to have gotten shorter over the years too! In addition to the normal floor jack, we have been known to use a long reach floor jack that goes up higher and we use taller/heavier duty jackstands. In gaines us maybe another 4 to 6 inches, which is more significant than it sounds. In any event, short of a lift or a pit, there is no good comfortable way to work under one of these things.
SteveP

Yup - at least 2 jack stands is standard. But the drive-up ramps work well, too, - at least for the front. I've driven up on ramps and had the rear on stands so the whole car was elevated.
Brent B

Karl,
I fear it's crawl on your belly (or back). But if God (Triumph) had meant for TRs to drive off-road, .........!
Have you tried a 'crawler'? One of those low trolleys on wheels? Having a comfortable rest for the head is a great boon.

But secure yourself! A pile of two or three wheels under there forming a short safety tower will hold it up if wrenching on a stubborn nut destabilizes the axle stands. If you want real security, make up a similar pile of 4x2s, made like a log cabin and screwed together.

Happy crawling!
John

JohnD

when my TR was up on stands I also used a pair of concrete building blocks as a safety...one on end for the front and the other to the rear. I also left my hydraulic jack raised just under the front rad cross member.
Steven

I just have to chime in here and say don't trust those concrete blocks for this. You basically have a hydrated ceramic cement with some form of aggregate. Ceramics are rather stong in compressive loading, but extremely weak in tensile loading. If the blocks are used to provide support, the overall load is compressive in nature, but there are localized areas of tensile loading. Ceramics have essentially no elongation as they fail (there are certain exceptions to this such as the Corning developed CASII/Nicalon ceramic matrix composite), making the failure catastrophic in nature. Take it from a real live degreed Ceramic Engineer and former professional student with another engineering degree that as much as I like ceramic materials, this is an application where they are out of their element. The bottom line is that if it fails, it fails all at once and you are in a world of hurt. I like one of unofficial mottos for this type of application, "Make it real, make it steel." The wood isn't really a bad choice, but if you can get them in your hands, go for the jackstands and take the time to set things up right.

I typically go with four jackstands for short times in the air, but will go with six (two at front suspension pick ups, two ahead of rear suspension pick ups, and two on frame rails behind rear wheels, anal retentive I know) when it will stay up there for a while. It can take a little shimming with some sheet material, but if you have good heavy duty jackstands and have everything leveled out, the vehicle is extremely stable on the stands and I have never even come close to rocking one off no matter how hard I tugged, beat, pulled, pushed, etc.
SteveP

Karl

6 ton stands TSC wherever farm type should give you about 24 inches plus a hardwood 4/4 block for distribution. Heavy metal on this car is 16 gauge. Reasonable price. Standard jack won't lift that high unless you have extended so you may have to double lift with blocks. It sure won't fall off.

I use fridge cardboard instead of my rollers on the cars works way better unless on sloppy floor. And there more than happy to get rid of it.

As far as leverage goes. This car has all fine thread. Buy a compressor good CH so called 4.5/5 will do. Impact gun and air ratchet. Unless you happen to enjoy turning bolts forever. You will never be happier.

Unless you have 35 mudders on that nissan you should be OK. If not, knock off the beer and chips.:) On second thought Nah put in the lift.

Bill



Bill Brayford

I seem to be corrected by everyone these days suggesting my answers are wrong. In reference to the concrete blocks I suggested there use ONLY as a back up.

My main support is 4 jackstands located on the frame as close to the wheels. And before anyone further corrects me, I relocated these on to the trailing arms and lower wishbones if I am doing body work as the gaps would be consistant as if the car was on the ground.

IN ADDITION TO ABOVE: all me anal, but I double up on the jack stands but they are slightly lower than the main supports as a safety. I prefer to have 4 real contact points then 5, 6 or 7 as you can never get equal pressure on each no matter how much shimming you play with and you risk an unbalanced rocking action. With the full weight on 4 points there is little chance that it will get knocked off...think of the analogy: that the pressure on a womans thin heel on her shoe has about the same lbs/in as an elephant on his one foot. While the surface area on the pad of the elephant is way more stable, that is why the jack stands tapper outwards.

In reference to the concrete blocks I place one in front and one in back as the 3rd safety in case all else fails and if the car falls. I never suggested that the blocks be used inlieu of proper steel supports.

One final point: make sure the stands are used in pairs, on a level surface. The surface must be hard, ie reinforced concrete and never use the stands on asphalt alone If you have no choice then make some 16'"x16" 7/8 plywood as a base pads for the stands.

Yes my precautions might be excisive (8 stands 4 in contact and 2 concrete blocks front and back as final safety) but I am one of the few survivors that live to tell about a car coming down on me. This occurred when a car rolled back on me when it was on ramps as I was tugging at a part. The parking brake did not hold and the momentum of it pushed the rear wheel wedge blocks. I took the full weight on my chest and luckily I turned my head sideways as it came down avoiding it being crushed. Luckily the car was light ie a Renault 5 but to this day I live in fear when crawling under a car. I WILL NEVER USE RAMPS AGAIN.
Steven

I use jack stands with 2x6's under and I also use additional supports when I will be under the car for a period of time. 2 stands fron 2 rear. I also use ramps with mine to do the odd oil change and/or I back it on to them to begin the jack stand process. When raising I use a very solid 4x4(wood not vehicle) across the frame front and rear one end at a time to get it up to about 20" off the ground. I use additonal support ie: jack or solid wood blocks because I have discovered that the 1972 TR6 is just marginally outside of my bench pressing capabilities, with or without pints of guinness applied.
Regards, Keith
12" of fresh fluffy outside makes me wish I had a ski rack for the little beast.
K.B.Dixon

Bill,

Those 6 ton stands are indeed what we use if we want those extra inches, we use a long reach/long frame jack instead of the regular floor jack. One other thing, hurrah for air tools, they do make life much easier than sitting there turning that thing all day long. I have gotton spoiled by them and it just wears me out when I have to actually do all the turning myself.

Steven,

I picked up on the fact that it was a back up with the blocks. However, there are still plenty of folks out there who may be tempted to use blocks as a support. My goal was to dissuade them, no slam at you intended. Actually it makes me feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only anal retentive one out there. On the ramp front, I hate the things too, but there is one place where they are handy on the IRS TRs. If you tighten up the trailing arms in the pivots with the suspension unloaded you will likely have fouled up the camber in the rear. If you don't have a pit, then the ramp allows you to get under the thing with the rear suspension loaded so those pivots can be tightened up. But even then it is chock things up and try to have someone in the car pressing on the brakes when under there, then it is get under, get it done and get out, no dillying around. Glad you were Ok after your incident.
SteveP

Its also always a good idea to assume that the chassis etc might collapse. There has been at least one tragic death here when rotten TR metalwork defeated axle stands.
P H Cobbold

HEY GUYS - THANKS A LOT!!!!

I was able so show my wife all of the concerns about lifting up a TR-6 with out a lift, and she approved my getting a nice, safe, 4-post lift!!!!

Of course, it'll be around the year 2005 before I've saved up enough money to get it, but I owe each of you one weeks time on the lift after I get it.

Again, Thanks.
Bob

This thread was discussed between 07/02/2003 and 10/02/2003

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