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  #1  
Old 10-31-2005, 09:11 AM
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jack questions (maybe dumb, maybe not)

Hi everyone.

Just got my '91 300SE on the road this weekend for the first time! The car had been sitting unused in a garage for about 4 years and with some help of this forum, I was able to get it up and running without much stress.

I finally dug into the trunk thinking I should know how to change the tires and I must say I do not like the jacking system!

Here are my questions.

1. The jack "pole" seems to go in at an angle. Is this right? I would think that the jack should have 100% of its base on the ground flush, but when you insert the "finger" part of the jack into the hole in the car, it is at a pretty good angle. Is this right? What is the point of that?

2. If you are jacking the car on anything but cement, all of the car's weight is focused on one relatively tiny point at the base of the jack. Does anyone use something to disperse the wieght at all? Lets say you had to change a tire on a gravel or dirt road, I imagine the jack would disappear into the ground before it lifted the car! I'm thinking a piece of wood or something, but again, maybe there is a good reason that I am not aware of.

Any thoughts/tips/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 10-31-2005, 01:14 PM
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Yes, it does sit at a seemingly precarious angle -- that's normal.

I have a 12" block of 2 x 6 that I carry in the trunk to use as a footing under the jack. I even use this on concrete, because it makes the jack more stable (less likely to slip).

Jeff Pierce
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2005, 01:38 PM
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the only place

i would use a block would be on soft ground or hot asphalt. when the car is up in the air, the jack is straight.

tom w
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2005, 01:42 PM
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Thanks guys....I just never saw a jack system that works at such a weird angle. I thought that maybe once it jacks up, the base would pivot or straighten out somehow, but apparently its normal. Those nutty Germans.

I will also include some wood to put down as a base for the jack. Rather discover all of this now than on the road with a flat!
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2005, 02:18 PM
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Don't forget wheel chocks too. This jack is notorious for allowing the car to roll of it especially with the rear wheel jacked up. Ask me how I know
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2005, 02:49 PM
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HA! Same thing here! I jacked up the rear driver-side, (tire was still on - I was just testing how it all worked) marveled at the weirdness of it all, and I noticed that the car started to "fall" back! I was able to support it by holding the jack straight, but how on earth could this be deemed a safe system to change a tire?

My old, cheap Nissan has a simple little jack that cranks up, and supports the car wonderfully. This big, supposedly well designed luxury car has this cheesy pole thing, that hooks in crooked, needs a piece of wood under it, and oh yeah, bring some wheel chocks so the car doesn't collapse on you! WTF????

I'm thinking of buying a cheap hydraulic jack to keep in the trunk just in case. It seems like a real PITA and unnecessarily dangerous to change the tires which is a very basic thing.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2005, 04:17 PM
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I actually had the wheel off when mine decided to roll back.Bent my rear disc dust protector, nothing serious, but its a lesson well learned! I now keep a cheap hydraulic jack at home for tire rotation duties Feeble attempt by mercedes to reduce weight and space if you ask me, almost as dumb as having a spare wheel that uses different lugs like they did on the C class
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2005, 06:40 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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these jacks

are the standard in europe. most everyone uses them from ferrari to fiat and everything in between. they can be tricky.

tom w
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2005, 07:03 PM
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I've owned German vehicles since a 1970 VW Beetle, and they all have jacks like this.

Applying American car experience to German vehicles will get you nowhere, as they are apples and oranges.

This post reminds me of the Czech Brothers on Sat. Nite Live saying "look at that thing, what is that thing?"
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2005, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris
I've owned German vehicles since a 1970 VW Beetle, and they all have jacks like this.

Applying American car experience to German vehicles will get you nowhere, as they are apples and oranges.

This post reminds me of the Czech Brothers on Sat. Nite Live saying "look at that thing, what is that thing?"

Really wow! 'scuse us for not owning a bunch of german cars. Sorry for painting mercedes with a bad brush. Just because all Europe uses it doesn't make it any less of a stupid design. IMHO that is.
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2005, 10:31 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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well

you are entitled to your opinion.

the jacks are an aquired taste, but they work well within their limits. they are lightweight and last forever.

i used to have a bmw motorcycle. 72 r60/5 the type with the cylinders that stick out at 90 degrees to the chassis. it had a side kickstand that when extended was invisible because it was under the center of gravity of the ,cycle where it belonged. the stand was spring loaded so when you stood the bike up it withdrew. all the professional cycle testers loved to bad mouth the side stand because of the infernal side stand that sprung up. i guess they were used to the kind you have to kick up. and perhaps they stood the bike up and then tried to set it back down on the side stand and the bike fell over. who knows?

the point is that the side stand was spring loaded because it was out of sight and with a spring loaded design it kept one from having a bad accident from leaving the (invisible) side stand down. it was a well thought out safety feature. but the test guys were used to harleys (perhaps as an example) so they thought it was stupid.

my point is if you understand how the jack works and accept that it is not anything that it isn't it will work fine for you.

or you could carry a twenty pound floor jack around with you.

good luck either way

tom w
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2005, 11:57 PM
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Wink

I have never had a flat! What is a jack? Where is it located on the car?
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2005, 12:18 AM
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I think that wheel chocks should be a requirement when using this type of jack. Even on level pavement. There was a guy selling nice folding MB ones on eBay but I got cheapo plastic ones instead.
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2005, 01:40 AM
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Hey...Its interesting to hear about the intended logic behind the design, and I'm sure the Europeans have lots of luck with it - I just don't like it compared to other jacking systems I've used. I understand how it works, and I understand what it does - I just don't like it.

I just wanted to find out if I was missing something. I'm not. Its a stinky setup. So, I will add some wood, add some wheel chocks and hope I never need to use any of it.

Thanks all!
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2005, 07:02 AM
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Talking Much Ado about nothing

I have used the Mercedes jacks on 4 that I have or do own and never had a problem. Wheel chocks or one such item may be good to add stability, but if you put the car in Park, set the emergency brake On -- and jack up the car properly,there is no real problem! It seems to be more of a case that people who are not used to the design think there is something wrong with it because it is different!?

These jacks work just fine in any instance. If you are using the American type of jack with a long base, it can have the same problems on a soft surface that the German one can -- sinking into the surface. Also, the American design has relatively weak side bars and can twist and collapse if the weight is not properly distributed. Both jacks are fine for their purpose.
Just learn to use them as intended.

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