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Author Topic: Any recommendations on jack stands and air jack to lift bus?  (Read 3119 times)
belfert
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« on: June 08, 2012, 11:41:23 AM »

I am looking for a 20 ton or so air over hydraulic jack and 20 ton or so jack stands for jacking up my bus.  Most of the jack stands are imported unless I want to pay big $$ and I'm not sure there is much difference.  Is the Harbor Freight 20 ton jack any good?

Any recommendations here?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Len Silva
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 11:56:27 AM »

My personal opinion only....I am cheap and would use the imported jacks IF you can operate them remotely and never be in harms way while jacking.

I would not use cheap jack stands under any circumstances. Railroad ties or other hardwood cribbing would be my only choice.

I have seen jack stands break, fortunately with no harm done but it could have been a tragedy.  Every jack stand in the shop got cut up and thrown in the trash that day.
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 12:14:38 PM »

I have the very heavy duty jack stands from HF and I am impressed with them.  Obviously, they work well on concrete, but any other surface would require a cribbing process.

When I put the bus up in the shop, I use the bus mounted hydraulic jack/cylinder system that I fabricated.  I then put jack stands in critical locations.   

The cylinders have about a two foot stroke.  Rather than run them all the way up (I like to have the bus quite a ways off the ground to service it), I put short pieces of railroad ties with a steel plate between the tie and the cylinder rod.

When I let the bus down last time I heard a pretty loud noise and thought the cylinder came down pretty fast.  Turns out that the wood block split (even with a pretty big steel plate - probably not centered a good as it should have been).

In any case, my reason for this story is to caution folks to be very careful to make sure the wood blocks are in good condition!!!!

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 12:21:41 PM »

Harbor Fright's bottle jacks work fine for occasional use, and like anything made in the Socialist Workers' Paradise I derate them by half, in other words I use a 20-ton jack for a maximum of 10 tons.   I wouldn't trust any of my HF jacks for their full rated capacity, but the 12- and 20-ton jacks lift my 26,000 lb bus with no problem.

I agree, some "affordable" stands look like a problem waiting to happen.   I had the local lumberyard cut some 6 x 8" fir down to 2' lengths, and they are perfect under the tires when I lift the bus.   I also bought some 12" squares of 1/4" steel plate to put under the jacks to spread their load.

John  
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 12:34:00 PM »

Wood cribbing seems like a good alternative.  I'm not sure I would use railroad ties as the ones most of us can buy are on their second or third use.  Railroad ties are more suitable for landscape use than holding up a bus I think.

I doubt all imported jack stands are bad.  Norco makes them in both the USA and imported versions.  The only difference is the country of origin.  Everything else is the same.  The part number has an i appended when it is the imported version.  A company like Norco or OTC would be accepting a lot of liability if they sold imported jack stands that would collapse under load.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 12:50:16 PM »

I have had an air over hydraulic jack from HF for 5 orn 6 years and have not had any trouble with it. I do but air oil in in almost every use. I only use it on the bus so the use is not that much. I use wood blocks. We had some heavy timbers at work and I have some 12X12's that work well.

I have used what we learned at the Bendix class often and it is coming in very handy as I am putting  ABS disk brakes on the 15 I am building.
Wayne
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luvrbus
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 05:39:51 PM »

I am not a H/F type but to prove a point a friend was here for a couple months had 4 12t HF stands to prove a point (like I do sometimes) he let me put one in my press damn if it didn't take 49,210 # before it bent it never broke only bent at the top and his 20 ton 50 dollar HF jack worked as good as my $550 american made jack how long one will last I don't have any idea I know he has had the HF jacks for awhile
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 05:18:04 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 06:08:27 PM »

I have used what we learned at the Bendix class often and it is coming in very handy as I am putting  ABS disk brakes on the 15 I am building.

Are you doing something special to reinforce the axles to handle the disk brakes?  The Bendix trainer said specifically not to retrofit air disk brakes to drum brake vehicles as the different stress points could break things.  I would love to have air disk brakes for better stopping, but it would never be worth the time and money to convert.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2012, 07:27:51 PM »

I've got 2 air over Hydraulic  20 ton HF and they work very well and you can put a longer hose on them so you don't have to be under the bus to use it. I shove it under with a rod and pump it up with the compressor. I then crib under the supports with 4x4 Pressure treated on top of 3/4 inch ply pads 2x2 foot.

Another company that makes good ones is "Torin" I think it is called.

Dave5Cs
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2012, 08:26:46 PM »

The backing plates and parts I have were sold to Eagle for use on an Eagle. As far as the rest of the suspension I am not doing anything else. I guess the ABS will but more strain on things but I would feel better with brakes that are much better than stock brakes. I will not make a habit of seeing if the ABS works. I only hope the one time I need it they stop me better than the stock brakes. I also hope I never have to use them to there full potential. The one place I hope the ABS help is the boggie axle. I always have them adjusted where they should be and with the proper weight, but I have slid the tires and flatspotted two tires. That puts a guy in a catch twenty two, if you back off the brakes  to save the tires you mite not live long.

Wayne
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2012, 08:36:02 PM »

I bought and used two 20 ton jack stands and two 20 air over hydraulic from HF to do my engine/tranny swap. They worked very well and was impressed that the hydraulic jacks have not drifted down under load. You can't beat the price and the jack stands are pretty stout.
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2012, 10:30:53 PM »

Does Harbor Freight sell 20 ton jack stands?  I don't see them on their website.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2012, 07:00:11 AM »

These are made in China but nice stands I have 4  made by  Advanace TooL  model ATD 7449  22 tons I payed 150 bucks for all 4 from a local tool shop in Vegas he made me a deal so he said ,I bought the pin type because for some reason I don't trust the claw type jack stands
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2012, 07:10:31 AM »

Brian, I looked at my HF jack stands and they are rated at 12T.  I think that is the largest set they sell.

The way I use them, they are probably at about 60-80% of capacity.  I feel fairly safe, as I leave the hydraulic cylinders extended.  While they no longer "support" the load after a bit of time (try to start out with the cylinders supporting most of the load), they would "catch" the bus if one of the jack stands failed (unless the hydraulic hose failed).

I always try to have two forms of support when I am under the bus.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2012, 07:17:36 AM »

My apologies, they are 12 ton. I'll be quiet now!
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.
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