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MG MGA - Jack bar for rear axle

Has anyone ever fabricated a bar to help make jacking up the rear axle safer and to spread the load better?
I have had to have my MGA up on axle stands quite a few times recently and a couple of times it has threatened to fall off the central trolley jack that I use.
I have always used a trolley jacking under the centre of the axle with some thick rubber on the jacking pad to protect the axle drain plug. (I always use axle stands once the car is jacked up)

I have thought of fabricating a box section bar with a cradle at each end which fit under the axle to support it at 2 points. (A 3rd cradle could perhaps also be fitted in the centre?)
This cradle would allow a much more stable ( and safer?) way of raising the rear of the car.

I have taken a picture of my very rough sketch, does anyone have any constructive criticism?

(It could turn out to be quite heavy and so I think I would have to use straps or strong bungy cords to lift each end of the bar up to the axle in turn)

Cheers
Colyn


Colyn Firth

Sounds a good idea but I always jack wheels up individually.
Paul Dean

Sealy make one which has adjustable width and adjustable height pads on each end,and fits into a trolley jack, last time I looked they were about £30
Andy Tilney

I use a bit of hardwood (formerly a window sill) with a hole drilled in the middle to allow for the plug and chamfered(?) inner circumference to the hole to allow for the swage(?) around the socket.

It spreads the load and provides a wide stable platform for the jack saddle.

But I still don't like the idea of raising the back of the car with this method.
Nigel Atkins

One issue I can see is clearance under the centre of the axle. Would you still have room to get the jack under it?

Edit: Another possible issue would be that the support might rotate, tipping the car off the jack.
Dave O'Neill 2

Good point David, I'd forgotten I have a low wotist jack, I had to to get under my ARB at the front.

I used to also drive on to some big blocks of wood with a slope that my mate gave me before that I had some very heavy metal risers can't remember if they had a flat platform or not now only that they were very heavy.

I can remember jacking, this Midget I think, up and putting the rear on axle stands to find the front dipped so much I couldn't get the jack under the front so I had to lower the back and start at the front.

I dislike axle stands and ramps but it was so much hassle borrowing a mate's lift and I once used a pit to discover it was basically an unlined rectangular hole in the modern built garage of a modern built property but I should have known as they were farmers. All the oil stained rags and paper I was going to bag up and take away but they said to just throw in the oil drum caldron, imagine the smoke, poor neighbours.

Nigel Atkins

Colyn

If it's anything other than one wheel off the ground I use my hoist. Much safer than hotch potch homemade non-tested equipment.

Steve

Steve Gyles

I am looking at the idea of a 2-post lift Steve but they are a expensive solution and, so far, I have always needed to spend the money on some other part of the car. The best price I have seen yet for one is about £1100
But the last two incidents were no fun at all, my car seems to be heavier on one side than the other at the back, there is a definite tilt to one side when I lift it from the centre of the diff with the trolley jack and this is what causes the instability.

So maybe the 2-post lift option may well be the safest.

I did look at the Sealey jacking beam Alan but they are now listed at about £90.

I will keep looking for now, thanks everyone for the feedback.

Cheers
Colyn

Colyn Firth

Colyn
If you took out all the spare parts I absolutely know for certain you have stored away in the boot, the car would be very much lighter and the problem might be solved!

I have never had a problem jacking up from the centre, but as you are concerned, and it appears with justification, why not simultaneously also use jacks by the wheels at either side.

Graham V

Colyn
I like the idea you have but it could be a tiddle messy getting in under there to make sure the saddles are in the correct spots
How would a larger dia./ deeper bowl on the jack go with your rubber pad in the bottom

willy
William Revit

Sorry, only very slightly off-topic! Steve, which is that scissor jack? Looks nice and minimal in size. Any drawbacks? Access ok to underside bits and pieces, etc? Any thoughts to impart?
Bruce.
B Mayo

Bruce

Avoid my one like the plague. Looked good in my original analysis. I only discovered the pitfalls after I had purchased. It is too wide to easily push under fore or aft, ok from the side. Fortunately in my case I had the WW mod on standard axles that slightly increased the track width so I can push it under from the rear.

That said, it works ok off my substantial (200L) air compressor. Any smaller and it would struggle.

To overcome the problems, including storage, I built wooden ramps either side on which I permanently park the car.

Steve



Steve Gyles

I'm seriously looking at buying one of these 2-post lifts, this is a short post lift that will fit in my garage (fortunately I had it built with extra height)

https://www.automotechservices.co.uk/products/230sp-3-0t-capacity-short-2-post-lift/

It is a fair amount to spend but it may just extend the time I can work on the car for a few more years.

(Also, I'm fairly sure that I can modify it to use as a human hoist to get me out of the car when the doctors tell me that my "back-legs" have finally gone! :^)

Cheers
Colyn


Colyn Firth

Colyn. Where will you put the 4 lifting points under the A once you get the 2 poster?

It looks as if it will give a lot better access to the underside than the scissor type.

To add to your flippant comment I am surprised my MOTer hasnít suggested using his lift to get in and out of my A as he always moans about it!

Paul
Paul Dean

Paul,
the extending lifting arms pivot at points on each lifting post and have pads that adjust for height so that you can place them at the front and rear of the side chassis rails without fouling the sills (rockers in US speak).
I would speak to Bob West to ask him about the best position for the pads before I used it for the first time.

My garage is only just wide enough to fit the short-post lift and so I would have to re-mount the lifts control-box on the garage wall well forward of the lifts moving parts for safety reasons.

There is a narrower version of the short lift available but the wider one would give me more space to work around the car.

I also quite like the idea of leaving the car up on the lift when I am away from home for a while, it would certainly make it much more difficult to steal it!

It is still all at the "consideration" stage at the moment though.

Cheers
Colyn
Colyn Firth

Paul

The chassis has 4 suitable lifting points for my ramp above. The back 2 near the rear door post. the front 2 where the chassis turns inwards by the front door post. The lifting pads are slideable within slots on their swinging arms, and are individually adjustable for height by screwing up to make initial contact. Bit of time needed for the initial set-up then up with the lift for an inch or 2. Check all 4 points in good contact for safety then continue the lift. My style of ramp gives good access at both ends but not brilliant for my old decrepit spine in the middle amongst the 'scaffolding'.

Steve

Steve Gyles

Colyn, I don't know what's available in the mother country but here in the colonies I purchased and installed a Danmar MaxJax two-post lift that accommodates my 10' ceiling clearance. It bolts to the concrete floor (needs 6" on concrete for a good anchor) easily and is nominally portable. It lifts the car only 48" but that is sufficient for most work that I do on the car. It has no problem lifting my TD, my MGA or my MGB. All have good solid lifting points on the frame and the arm extensions are easily long enough to reach the proper lifting points. A two-post, four point lift certainly gives the best access to all the underside stuff on the cars. Rated capacity 6,000 lbs.

I'm looking at a catalog that shows the lift on page 19: www.gesusa.com. That's not where I bought my lift but the catalog just happened to arrive in the post yesterday. Price for the lift $1,899.

I'm just a satisfied customer.

Jud


J. K. Chapin

Working in comfort. Jud

J. K. Chapin

Love the rocker Jud,
now I finally understand exactly what you North American MGA guys mean when you say you are working on your "rockers" :-)

The Danmar lift looks really neat Jud and the price translates to around £1500.

I see there is no connection between the 2 posts, how do you raise the two sides evenly?

Cheers
Colyn

PS (Also, do you know Ken Doris who I think also lives in SC ? He is hopefully still coming over here in July to spend some time driving with a group of us in our MGAs)
Colyn Firth

I know ken only through correspondence on this BBS. We're each at the far ends of South Carolina and, even though it's a relatively small state, that translates to over 200 miles. We've probably been to some of the same car shows but haven't had the chance to meet.

The lift uses a single fairly big hydraulic pump through a balancing valve and out through a hydraulic hose to each side. Prior to use one bleeds the hydraulic cylinders (similar to bleeding brakes) to release any air and the arms lift together and level. The attached picture shows the lifting arms raised after bleeding.

I think I purchased mine by contacting DanMar directly on line.

Jud


J. K. Chapin

Colyn I was just browsing lifts and came across this website from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE Gov website) which might be useful if you are considering buying one. http://www.hse.gov.uk/mvr/topics/fallofflifts.htm

John
John Francis

Thanks Jud,
the Danmar doesn't seem to be available over here just now but I have made a note of your model as it does have some advantages over the one I was looking at.

Thanks John for the "heads-up" on the safety issues involved, very interesting.

Cheers
Colyn
Colyn Firth

This thread was discussed between 23/04/2019 and 28/04/2019

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