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My daughter is driving my 87 Sundance now so I bought a car on Carvana. The front bumper is inches off the ground. I'm going to have to build a sequence of ramps to get the car high enough to even begin to go up my ramps. Is this my future with this modern car? Looking under the hood it looks impossible to work on. Also dumb thing you have to remove this large under carriage plastic panel to get at the oil plug and filter. My wife's Jeep has one but you can get to the filter and drain without removing it.
 

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The Patriot? I have used small planks of scrap wood (1x6?) to build drive-on 'steps' to raise a vehicle incrementally.
The plastic belly panel should be a quickie.
 

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For my wife's former Journey (she totaled it in December :() I had to do as Imperial suggested. I have ramps but put 2x4's in front of it to raise the front so the valence wouldn't scrape the ramps. I imagine I'll have to do the same for her "new" '14 Equinox. No need to so for my Ram - it sits high enough not to be a concern. :)

My daughter's '12 Sonata has under engine panels but there are openings to access the oil filter and oil drain plug.
 

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My daughter is driving my 87 Sundance now so I bought a car on Carvana. The front bumper is inches off the ground. I'm going to have to build a sequence of ramps to get the car high enough to even begin to go up my ramps. Is this my future with this modern car? Looking under the hood it looks impossible to work on. Also dumb thing you have to remove this large under carriage plastic panel to get at the oil plug and filter. My wife's Jeep has one but you can get to the filter and drain without removing it.
What kind of car???
 

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. . . .My daughter is driving my 87 Sundance now so I bought a car on Carvana. The front bumper is inches off the ground. I'm going to have to build a sequence of ramps to get the car high enough to even begin to go up my ramps. Is this my future with this modern car? . . . . .
Attached image is a photo of homemade ramps for a low clearance, front overhang vehicle. If you make the ramps sufficiently long and shallow angle with the horizontal you should be able to get under front wheels of any automobile.

Long Low Ramps Low Clearance Vehicles.gif
 

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My 84 Daytona Turbo Z has too low a clearance for ramps. I jack up each side and slide ramps under the front wheels when I need to get the car up that high. It's a pain, but no other way to do it.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Car is a 2015 Elantra. Yes I am inclined to do what Bob Lincoln does just jack each side up then fit the ramp under the wheel one side at a time. I done the same with cars that have failed starters and can't be driven up ramps so not as nice as a quick ride up ramps but at least it can be done.
 

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My buddy had a metal ramp fail years ago... I never use them.

Give me solid jack stands any day!
 

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The new jack stands seem only to have a ratchet lever that could potentially slip and let go. I prefer the old ones that have a pin through the tube at 3 separate heights. No way to accidentally release them.
 

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If you frequently work on and/or service many family/friends vehicles and really enjoy wrenching (aka saving big $$$$), it might be wise to do like I did.....purchase a drive-on hydraulic hoist. I am on my second one (gave the first one to my Son and went without for about 2 years....never again though), and they work great for engine work, wheel/brake/suspension work, etc. I've even done transmission work by putting it on the hoist backwards (not suppose to do this) and using jack stands for additional support. I can get a vehicle about 3 feet off the ground in about 30 seconds. The cost of the hoist isn't that bad, but, IMO, you really need to be doing most or all your own work to make it worth while. I paid about $1200 for the first one about 23 years ago and the most recent one cost about $1500. It beats jack stands, floor jacks and/or scissors jacks by about 1000%, is a huge time saver and a whole lot safer.
 

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Have you looked at Rhino Ramps? I was needing a low profile for my convertible and these worked very well.
I picked up a set of those about 7 years ago and use them yearly. They work great and are designed to fit under a low front clearance. They have a 17 degree angle and are rated at 16,000 lbs. (8 Ton), 36” long, 12” wide, with a 8 1/2” lift.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
A friend has a Quickjack. He showed me a picture of his car on it. I asked him why one side was tilted and had he been under the vehicle with the jack tilted sideways? I wonder what the earthquake rating is? they probably don't sell them in Ca. Anyway thanks for the tips here. I alternately jacked up both sides the other day to change the oil. The plastic panel no problem. Weighs nothing. 6 bolts and 6 plastic clips. I am still concerned about jacking it as high as I did. I jacked each side high enough to fit my ramp end support section under each wheel. Theses cars don't have steel frames. Jacking each side that high had both of the wheels off the ground. Any chance this could damage the cars structure? I might cobble together some wood and make an ramp path to get the car up to the ramps. I don't know how to jack up the side at the pinch point and also place a jack stand since the jack is in the way?
 

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Gee, all kinds of opinions. First, I have a set of metal drive on ramps, they aren't real good for low clearance vehicles, but when I bought them I was mostly working on RWD US built cars. I have two floor jacks, one is a low profile long reach that goes up quite high, the other an aluminum lightweight NASCAR style clone, it works well on lighter cars, or on rear ends of FWD cars, I have one of the Pneumatic one end frame lifts which won't go under low vehicles but is fantastic on my truck.

Jack stands, I have six 5 ton ratchet style and two 3 ton square base pin style, all are US made and the 5 ton ones are very sturdy. I like the ratchet as they can be quickly pulled up, latching confirmed and then set the load on them. to drop them for ease in removal, just lift the latch handle with the load off, and they are down. I try to avoid anything "made in China" for supporting things, particularly if I am going to be under them. My former business partner had his 1957 T-bird in my garage with a set of the 3 legged Chinese stands under the rear axle, when he went to raise the front, one of them got loaded wrong and collapsed, puncturing the gas tank (mostly full at the time). He came in the house, lit a cigarette and told us what happened. Lots of oil dry, and air everything out till the fumes were gone.
 
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Im quite sure that you change the filter from above and you just need to get the oil out.
- get an oilcahnger, electrical or vacum ( i have a handpump vac one.). Then you suck the oil out by the dipstick hole.
The Engine should be hot or atleast semi hot since Cold oil takes a long time to get out. Its a very Clean method and the amount of oil thats left in the pan is marginal.
 

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I change the oil on my Patriot all the time. I don't ever need to take that plastic belly pan off to do it. There's two holes in it. A big one for filter removal and a smaller one for the drain pan plug.
I went to a local oil change place once, due to the horrible weather and they never took it off either.
I use Rhino Ramps, but I've done it with the Patriot on the ground also, no problem. I'd rather the belly pan, as it keeps some of the water/dirt out of the engine bay.
 

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Attached image is a photo of homemade ramps for a low clearance, front overhang vehicle. If you make the ramps sufficiently long and shallow angle with the horizontal you should be able to get under front wheels of any automobile.

View attachment 22139
That way a lot of work. Very nice job. I agree with you, angle is everything on cars today. Very low profile jacks that they make today are also excellent. To bad most have a 12-14 ' lift height.
Ed
 

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Im quite sure that you change the filter from above and you just need to get the oil out.
- get an oilcahnger, electrical or vacum ( i have a handpump vac one.). Then you suck the oil out by the dipstick hole.
The Engine should be hot or atleast semi hot since Cold oil takes a long time to get out. Its a very Clean method and the amount of oil thats left in the pan is marginal.
Personally I try to discourage people from using the what I call " only get maybe 4 qtrs. out of 5 and leave the crude in the bottom of the oil pan" tools unused. They make great brake fluid revivor or drainers however..
Ed
 
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