Pan’s Engine Bay Refresh

Discussion in 'How To' started by PanZer, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. JamesLey

    JamesLey Sponsor

    I wouldn't jack up the van on the gearbox. I tend to either jack up on the end of the torsion tube where the cover plates are if I'm only lifting one side, or if I'm lifting the whole back end (e.g. engine out) will jack in the centre of the torsion tube.
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  2. ...and though I've done it, this is norty too.

    Those chocks - they are not chocks, put them back in the van and find something trianguler - ish to kick in under the front wheels. :)

    The best arrangement I managed and liked was a 3T trolley jack (resistant to falling over), and a length of 8" x 4" that happened to be the width of the van. On top of that I put small blocks to be under where the rear outrigger meet the main chassis and jacked in the middle. The extra length of the 8" x 4" was needed for steering it into position along with the jack handle. That also left the torsion tube clear to put stands under.

    I've always had a dislike for bottle jacks - too much wobbly potential, trolley jacks go with the flow - it's the wheels. :)
    Iain McAvoy and PanZer like this.
  3. You might struggle to get it all the way up in one go (oo-er!) depending how high your jack goes. Plenty of wood blocks and making sure everything is sturdy will help do it gradually
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  4. Don’t like the idea of a bottle jack for anything but a emergency and they aren’t very stable either end
    PanZer likes this.
  5. Thanks for the replies guys.

    Usual case of plenty research and then, when you come to the task, a lack of practical experience unearths everything you hadn’t considered.

    Level-ups back in the bag. I could get these (advertised for long-term use and put sandbags in front of them)...

    I figured that even though bottle jacks aren’t preferred, they are considered fine for emergencies - thinking used twice in a garage would be ok.

    However, I now realise that everyone was probably (unstated) referring to lifting just one wheel up rather than the whole front or rear.

    In the absence of a caber sized lump of lumber to toss (ho ho) underneath, I read on Samba that a bottle jack is ok used here...

    However, what if I ditched the rubber pad (thought it would reduce slippage and worst case puncturing anything) and placed the grooved saddle (35mm wide) of the jack just-off-centre on the torsion tube (10cm away there is a weld that the perpendicular groove would clear) and lift from there?

    I only have to raise it 3cm (5cm maybe if off centre) for each adjustment of the axle stands. I can do this safely from not underneath it.

    I guess the concern with bottle jacks is wobble. This thing is a beast though. Wide base (17x16cm) and squat (can put it on a non-slip mat). If I see it veering off vertical I can stop, let it down, adjust accordingly and try again - i’ll be in no hurry.

    Sorry to be a pain but i’m trying establish techniques to use in-the-field (so to speak) for when I live in the van.


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  6. I just use the trolley jack under the gearbox front mount and then axle stands under the axle tube; I don’t use chocks, but the garage floor is level. Some use a different method and live to tell the tale. jenga1.jpg
  7. I routered recesses in the rubber cap to fit over the gearbox nose bolts...

    ...nice fit.
    Will cautiously give this a go. Have to wait for the chocks though.

    If it scares the bajeepers out of me, plan B is to ask the guy next door if he has a decent trolley jack. He has one of these:

    I’d be surprised if he doesn’t!

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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
    Popsy likes this.
  8. 20 years design engineering plus 8 years full time jacking up T2's...

    Do you realise if you firmly chock the wheels before you lift like that, the jack must tilt over as it rises?
    If you chock only in front of the wheels, the wheels will move away from the chocks.
    If your jack is to remain upright, the front wheels must be allowed to roll towards it - trigonometry.
    I've said the same thing three different ways there.
    All this is just worry free and dandy with a trolley jack in at 45 degs. The cup on the trolley jack is designed to kind of stop things slipping off it too.
    Cut to the chase and ask your neighbour, he'll probably volunteer to give you a hand too, I would. :)
  9. I lift mine under the mount on a trolley jack in a sloped rough car park, chocks in front (anything I find lying around). I would not EVER EVER EVER trust a bottle jack like that. Dicing with disaster IMHO. They have their uses mainly that they are compact for the ton lift but I don't think this is one of them. High enough to get the engine under you will be pooping your pants. Yeah, I've done it a few times one side at a time in stages...then I got a trolley jack.
    matty and PanZer like this.
  10. I've done that too. :thumbsup:
    77 Westy and PanZer like this.
  11. Ha ha i’m sure you have.
    Images like that, and watching others, made it look simple.

    My maths (which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny) went as far as this diagram:

    My initial thinking being that raising it at 4cm increments (drop on to axle stands, adjust bottle jack, adjust stands) doesn’t solicit much forward movement (yellow). Maximum lift in one go with my setup (purple) is 1.2cm forwards (enough for pant pooping). Extreme example (green) is 5.5cm.

    No, don’t read anything in to all that! Just trying to visualise as I heed your warnings!

    The guy next door is keen to see the van, but i l’ve told him he can’t until it’s at least partially put back together - hope he is fine with a blindfold.

    If you came and helped i’d never let you leave!! I make good tea there is that.

    I can always ask the engine builder or welder to come round with a trolley jack. Lots of options. Just want it high enough to take the wheels off, get rid of rust underneath and paint.

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    Popsy likes this.
  12. Just be aware and be safe. :thumbsup:
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  13. Hi Panzer , I can’t remember where you’re based , but your more than welcome to borrow a trolley Jack (I’ve got two )

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  14. That’s a very kind offer. Thank you. I’m in Surrey - near Guildford.
    Hopefully one of the 3 guys I could call on will assist me...which might reduce the stress too. Failing that though

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    paulcalf likes this.
  15. @PanZer, I'm round the corner from you in West Byfleet. I have a trolley Jack and a motorcycle jack that I'm happy to lend to you. I'm currently planning to put my engine back in next week. So depending on need and timing, the option is there if you need tools or help.
  16. I had my bus up on stands yesterday and it was a bit of a bottler at times for me too. it was fine in the end though. Your work looks mint mate - a new career beckons :)
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  17. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
    If nothing else though, i’m simply too slow to do any of this professionally.

    I’ve managed to delay getting underneath it again by working on the roof once more. Friend popping round Monday to pop it on with me. Hopefully get it finalised enough to be water tight and secure for when I finally get out the garage. Hoping there will still be sunshine by then.

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