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Author Topic: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?  (Read 17520 times)

jamesbehave

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floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« on: September 15, 2009, 07:57:28 PM »
So I've got a nice old AmGen that that needs a big'ol water tank put in. I'm going to have to lift the bus some to get the frame welded in- now I've been seeing all sorts of enormous numbers like $1500 for a 10ton floor jack and at the other end of the spectrum $50 bucks for a bottle jack....
the only bus I've ever owned prior to this was a 1979 vw bus, so this is a whole new world....
any ideas or advice for a jack???
thanks in advance ladies and gents!

1joester2

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  • Apeo - forever in our hearts. New dog: Duh Kooky
Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 08:46:24 PM »
I have a 20ton bottle jack for my Class C.

Last road service I called in, the guy who came to the rescue had one similar to this .

Being pneumatic, you just squeeze the trigger and watch it jack. No good for on the road type use unless you have a compressor, but in a garage.... I can see this thing being used.

I have no garage and a too small compressor or I would already have one.
Common sense to many of us is, unfortunately, the higher education some strive to attain.

Joe and Carol
2001 Coachmen 220RK W/GM 7.4 Vortec

John From Detroit

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 11:11:57 AM »
I have a collection of jacks,, Mostly bottle but in the towed I have a low-capacity floor jack.. This one is absolutly fantastic for changing tires... ON THE TOWED. however if I tried to lift the motor home with it it would more than likely blow it's seals at me...That's if I'm lucky (It has about enough lift to pick up the tire... NOT the axle, but the TIRE, and rim)

If I need to pick up the Motor home, one corner at a time I use one of these:

Jack from harbor Freight

I just plug it into my air compressor and a couple of tanks of air later.. I slip a jackstand under the axle

If you are going to use one of these either lay plank under the wheels and lower it back down, or use jack stands.. I can not stress this enough.

(The last time I picked up the rig with this jack it slipped.. No injury, No damage, but if I'd not used proper safety measures.. The outcome would not have been ncie at all.. The outcome.. Re-positioned the jack and success the 2nd time)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

mayfair

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 11:44:06 AM »
I wouldn't jack it at all

It sounds like you're going to be doing some work under there, and there isn't a jack in the world that I'd trust to lift and hold my - whatever - while I'm under it. The only way to jack it safely and work under there is to also have jack STANDS in place. They too have to be rated to carry the weight though.

What I'd do instead of a jack it is to drive your rig up on ramps ( correctly sized ). Your rig will still be evenly supported and will be much safer. The ramps will lift your rig up about a foot - about the same as a jack. You can get some nice plastic style ramps just about anywhere. I've even seen them at Walmart.
1999 24' Prowler bunkhouse

towing with ...

1998.5 Dodge Ram 4X4 with a Cummins Turbo Diesel

1joester2

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  • Apeo - forever in our hearts. New dog: Duh Kooky
Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 06:13:40 PM »
The target vehicle is a full sized bus as I understand it. Those ramps don't stand a chance.

You are absolutely correct about jackstands though, even if you ramp. A failed ramp will give you about 1/4 second to get out from under the vehicle. I saw one fail, and thank God nobody was under it. We were taking a lunch break at the time and the vehicle was extremely unstable on the remaining ramps until we got the jack out. We used the stands with no ramps after that.

FWIW it was a 1972 Chevy 4X4 Pickup and were changing out a bad transmission.
Common sense to many of us is, unfortunately, the higher education some strive to attain.

Joe and Carol
2001 Coachmen 220RK W/GM 7.4 Vortec

John From Detroit

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 01:07:13 PM »
One of the things I love about my Damon is that most of the "Under" jobs, I can do with no jacks, stands. or ramps at all.

Even at 330 pounds (Which is more than I now weigh) I was able to crawl around under it with the rig sitting on the ground, Jacks retracted.

Handy when the blasted chassis battery needs cleaning
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

jamesbehave

  • Posts: 2
Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 04:53:25 PM »
You are correct in that I need to do work underneath, to be specific:

I need to get a water tank under the bus - a 210 gallon

I would with out a doubt be using stands, I have just seen crazy prices on floor jacks and was hoping there was a cheaper way to get equipped with some kind of jack for this work and incase I ever needed (when I need) to change a bad tire.
Thanks for everyones input and keep it coming.
-James
P.S. anyone have anything bad to say about "Shur-flo" pumps?


seilerbird

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 05:09:40 PM »
Personally I would pay someone else to put in the water tank and not mess with it myself. I would consider it money well spent, and probably cheaper than buying jacks and stands.

1joester2

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  • Apeo - forever in our hearts. New dog: Duh Kooky
Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2009, 08:37:30 AM »
It's all a matter of preference. Some of us like to get dirty and some do not. Most DIY people enjoy the challenge of mind and muscle.

The hardest I was ever involved in was putting a Ford 5.0 in a 1974 Mazda RX4. What a screamer.
Common sense to many of us is, unfortunately, the higher education some strive to attain.

Joe and Carol
2001 Coachmen 220RK W/GM 7.4 Vortec

wackymac

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2010, 07:44:40 PM »
The hardest I was ever involved in was putting a Ford 5.0 in a 1974 Mazda RX4. What a screamer.

1joester2--My hardest install was 350hp 327 and a TH400 in the middle of a 1958 VW Bus.  I didn't use any jacks.  Put the engine and transmission thru the side doors with a forklift.  13.29 @ 106 mph with 4.56 gears.  Put 110,000 miles on it in 12 years.  It was my family car.  Used it to tow a Chevy V8 powered sand rail.  Rail and trailer weighed 2000 pounds.
2002 Fleetwood Fiesta 31H, 2001 F53 Ford chassis
2002 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab 2wd
2 cats:
10 year old red mackerel tabby with white, male, 26#,  leash trained--Rusty
10 year old black and white DLH, 14#, female--Penny
Home base---Ocala, FL

PancakeBill

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  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
    • WorKamping in Yellowstone
Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2010, 07:56:57 PM »
Some places will rent the gear, look around.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

John From Detroit

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  • ^My New Home^
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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 07:42:14 AM »
Re Floor jacks or bottle jacks.. It is a matter of clearance.

Now.. If I blow a back tire on my Motor home there is room enough for a 12 ton air/hydraulic bottle jack under the spring bracket

But if I blow BOTH tires on the same side ... I'm not sure there would be enough room for the bottle jack.

That's your consideration,  If you are talking about changing tires do you have room to slide the bottle under the lift point and does it have the lift range you need (Floor jacks often have a greater lift range)

I carry both, in fact I think I've 4 jacks in this unit  One floor, and 3 different size bottle jacks for different jobs.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

brens

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 10:19:06 AM »
Oh I thought you said a Bottle of Jack ;)
Curt & Brenda
2007 Winnebago Sightseer 29 R
2012 Jeep Wrangler

John From Detroit

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2010, 12:05:18 PM »
For most folks.... if trying to pull a 22.5" XRV off a motor home...... That might just be needed Curt.

NOTE: I have pulled a 22.5XRV (Thankfully not mine) turns out I have the needed tools and mooseles, ur, mucles.   I can tell you loading that flat into the owner's Tacoma for transport..... Took all I had.

(At that weight I turn down assistance because the load is not one that lends itself to team lifting easily (Without a sling) and I really do not need a pair of hands I can not control directly.... Thankfully I do have the training to do that kind of lifting.. Still.. I maxed out on the job)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Harveyj

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2011, 08:14:20 AM »
A bit different approach.....know anyone with a pit ?
2003 Winnebago Minnie 29B
Boise, Idaho

34footer

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2011, 01:50:15 PM »
Make your own ramps.
http://www.ehow.com/how_5619072_make-own-auto-ramps.html
Same basic idea, but all materials have to be larger.
BUSNUTS do it this way.
J
1988 Pace Arrow, 34 feet, Chevy 454
                       So Cal

Tony_Alberta

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2011, 02:22:40 PM »
I wouldn't jack it at all

It sounds like you're going to be doing some work under there, and there isn't a jack in the world that I'd trust to lift and hold my - whatever - while I'm under it. The only way to jack it safely and work under there is to also have jack STANDS in place. They too have to be rated to carry the weight though.
As a young man Dad worked for an uncle logging in winter in Manitoba.  This would've been a family operation so everyone would've been brothers, uncles, cousins or second cousins.  He saw a guy doing some repairs under the blade of a bulldozer when a hydraulic line burst.  The blade fell basically squishing the guy in half. 

catblaster

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2011, 02:44:38 PM »
Can you dig a hole, put the tank in, drive over top. That won't help with space need for welding but it can get the tank under or out.  Get more involved...dig a trench with sloping bottom. Tank in deep end, drive over top. Attach cable to tank and move forward until tank is elevated back up to ground level....then get a jack. OH heck that's where we started..Sorry :o
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor

RnMAdventures

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Re: floor jack or bottle jack or better idea?
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2011, 12:00:32 AM »
So I've got a nice old AmGen that that needs a big'ol water tank put in. I'm going to have to lift the bus some to get the frame welded in- now I've been seeing all sorts of enormous numbers like $1500 for a 10ton floor jack and at the other end of the spectrum $50 bucks for a bottle jack....
the only bus I've ever owned prior to this was a 1979 vw bus, so this is a whole new world....
any ideas or advice for a jack???
thanks in advance ladies and gents!

When I was working on my 4104 I made a pair of wooden ramps to drive it up on to work on it. That would raise it up about 12 inches. I'm not that familiar with the American general buses, but there is a process to blocking a bus up, which you should consider if you plan to use a jack. I used a 20 ton bottle jack for mine.

Mike & Rosemarie + 4 (+2 on thier own)
1964 PD4106 Bus Conversion

 

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