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Old 03-09-2006, 01:53 PM
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Jacks, Jack Stands, Chocks and Ramps

I am having trouble understanding exactly where and how I should be jacking and supporting my 82 300TD. I have searched through the previous posts and gotten more information - unfortunately, I am still not clear and this is probably the item that it is most crucial that get right.

I could ask my local mechanic but he would just laugh at the thought of a mere mortal (as opposed to a mercedes diesel mechanic god) trying to work on such a complex machine as MB diesel. At least this mechanic is better than the schizophrenic one that would let me watch and ask questions while he worked but grabbed my breast, rambled on about a drug addict he was in love with for eight hours straight and bent my right wheel strut while improperly jacking my car. I know these are useless details but maybe my effort to learn how to work on these things will be amusing to you as you answer my admittedly simple question.

In the user's manual, there is information about using the jacking holes where the original manufacture included jack goes. Unfortnately, there is nothing about where I should then put the jack stands. I have jacked a Mazda truck and a '93 Saturn but it was more clear to me on those vehicles where it was safe to put the stands. Everything seems so curvy under my benz and this weekend, I had one of the jackstands tip, before I was under it, while I was jacking the other side. My neighbor who was working with me was stumped as well. I have read that I should put them under the frame rails but I am unclear about what the frame rails are. Are they the long rectangular (3"/7cm wide and 2"/5cm high) pieces that run along the bottom side of the car or are they the sort of indented area between the doors and this long rectangular piece? I know that I need to put wood in between the stands and the vehicle.

Today, as an alternative approach, I got a set of ramps and chocks but the ramps just slide forward on the cement in my driveway when I try to drive up on them. The instruction manual says to not block the front end of the ramp as this will cause them to crumble under the horizontal pressure as I drive up them. Instead, they slide along and scar the cement of my rented driveway and make the most hideous screech I have ever heard (which is considerable since I make a living working with computer music which is full of screeches and groans).

So, please, I know this is a stupid question but I would not be asking if I was not clear. This is the first time I have posted here but I have used the information in this website to do various repairs (the ones that didn't require getting Under the car). Pictures would be incredibly helpful - I would even be willing to send you chocolate chip cookies in exchange for some clear pictures. (it is a small price to pay for a working vehicle and an unsquashed head)

In summary:

1) Where do jack stands go on a 300TD?
2) What am I doing wrong with the ramps?

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Old 03-09-2006, 02:08 PM
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Supporting your MB

You have a valid question. First, the jack stands. Personally, I would recommend using the intended locations. You can accomplish this in two ways. One, put a suitable pipe or rod into the jack point and put the jack stand under the said pipe/rod. The second option is to place the jack stand directly under the jack point, and use a piece of wood between the jack stand and the body of the car. This will spread the load out so that you don't dent in the subframe. Method one would put the load exactly where MB engineers want it, and method two is a little more feasible for those with out a scrap pile. Of course there are other locations one could use, but the methods decribed are the easiest to see/ understand.
Oh, by the way. The ramps are really designed for front wheel drive vehicles, and instead of the wheels actually gripping the ramps and pulling the car up, you have to rely on the friction between the ramp and the ground to get a rwd car up on them. You could always jack the car up and then use the ramps, but if you've got jack stands thats the way to go.
For Sale: 1982 MB 300TD
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:18 PM
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First of all, thank you for your quick reply.

Second, some questions:

Method 1 would require solid steel bar, right? I might have some pipes in the pile in my closet but nothing solid.

Method 2 - would the wood and jack stands go directly under the edge of the body or should they be placed a couple of inches under the car in that indented area near the jacking holes?

Thanks again,
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:22 PM
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yes, use those thick rubber pads to support vehicle with jackstands. many years ago I discarded the ramps I had. I think they are dangerous. I will not use them. With the vehicle on jackstands, chock the rear wheels and give the whole car a mighty shake. If it falls, you won't be under it.
'82 300SD - 361K mi - "Blue"

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Old 03-09-2006, 02:34 PM
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by rubber pads, do you mean that long rectangular piece? it just occurred to me that that is what you might be talking about because it is kind of rubber coated.

i had been confused when people mentioned rubber pads because i was think of something that was maybe 6" long, not 4 feet long. my car has the long rectangular thing but no little pads.
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Old 03-09-2006, 03:26 PM
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I use ramps under my 300SD all the time. I feel they are safer that the stands for work that doesn't need the wheels removed. I sometimes need to block them to get my car to go up them. i usually try to block the back of the leading edge and not the upright part although I have had to do that at times. The idea of putting a rod in the jacking point and putting the stand under that sounds good and I think I'll try to find some rod for that in the future.
1983 300SD
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Old 03-09-2006, 03:32 PM
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One thing should should never, ever use is cinder blocks. They can shatter for no reason while working under the car.

I never thought twice about doing that till 2 years ago....when not just one but two shattered one right after the other. While I was under the car. Luckily I had stacked wood as a backup which saved me....when working on a friends Ferrari. I went home and got rid of the cinder blocks I had used for that. Did it for 30 years...won't ever do it again.
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by boneheaddoctor
One thing should should never, ever use is cinder blocks. They can shatter for no reason while working under the car.
Sorry to hear that you almost got burned by that one, but glad that you're around to warn others. I thought this was pretty common knowledge.
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:47 PM
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When driving up the ramps don't use the brake pedal or you'll push the ramps around. I usually use the handbrake when driving the front wheels up the ramp, with the brake pedal as a backup.

If you use the pipe method, be sure you're using an adequate piece of pipe. If you're not sure, don't do it. Also, keep the jackstands right next to the car, not out on the pipe. I wouldn't suggest this method unless you really know what you're doing.

Jackstands with short sections of 2x4 on top are what I prefer, good 1-piece ramps with chocks/brakes are better still IMO, especially for those who are learning.

- Jeff Miller
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:09 PM
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We had a freind who worked on cars for years. One day he used cinder blocks because they were close by. Wife found him that evening under the car. Not a good way to go.
76 300D 130K "Stella" (Sold )
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:10 PM
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Where do you recommend putting the jack stands?

Perhaps, I will going up the ramp without braking. Seems with an automatic, that might be hard.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:12 PM
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I chose the heavy duty nylon ramps. The regular duty nylon holds more than the steel, but I opted for the 12000 pound capacity just in case I get a truck or if I need something to wedge under the house.

You're not thinking of using ramps and stands together? That's a tricky one.

I had the problem of the front ramp skidding out when putting it up on the garage floor. I threw down an old persian rug and they seem to grip to that real nicely! That's what I call wrenching in style.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:16 PM
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I will only be using racks or stands, not both. Today, I don't need to remove the tires so that is why I was going to try a ramp. In the future, I will have to so I wanted to know where to place the stands.

Thanks for all of your help.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:17 PM
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With the automatic, use the handbrake while driving up the ramps. Keep a steady foot on the accelerator, pull and release the hand-brake to control speed, be careful.

Doesn't work as well on a 124.

- Jeff Miller
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:32 PM
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I was trying to get up on ramps one day but I kept pushing them around. After a while a neighbor came out and told me the shroud was hitting the ramp before the tires could get a grip.

Of course you can't see that from inside the car.


1984 300SD Turbo Diesel 150,000 miles

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