Bottle jacks vs trolley jacks.Going to attempt fluid and filter changes

Started by gf, 16 October 2012, 11:44 PM

gf

Never done this before, and am thinking about safe jacking of a car for starters, and proper tools. Chocks and a good jack.
Just wondering -What are the pros/ cons of trolley jacks vs bottle jacks?

TJ 450

I find trolley jacks a lot easier to use, and they have a larger footprint as well.

A set of jack stands wouldn't go astray either.

For the chocks, I just use old house bricks.

Other important tools for working on these cars are 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19mm combination spanners and fully featured socket sets 1/4" and 1/2" drive (you could get away with just the latter). Also, a set of metric hex keys, plus inhex sockets up to 17mm wouldn't go astray in the long run. Sidchrome offer a good compact set.

Last but not least, a 1/2" drive torque wrench, even if you'll only use it on the wheel bolts to begin with.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

gf

Thanks for the reply Tim!Ok ill go the trolley jack. yep jack stands a must! got a good  set of hex keys and spanners. The torque wrench i still need, and an oil filter wrench, 

gf

Thanks major tom! Super shit auto it is then :) Think you mentioned on an earlier post 6.9s dont like sitting pretty? do you dangle your car off 4 stands museum style?

oversize

Primarily I use 3/8" drive as it's far more useable in tighter confines.  And if you buy quality stuff not only will it be strong, but last for decades.  Snap-on's my tool of choice, but I also use Sidchrome for larger stuff...

Oh and if you get a trolley jack with a low profile, it'll be far more useful than a bottle jack
1979 6.9 #5541 (Red Bull)
1978 6.9 #4248 (Skye)
1979 6.9 #3686 (Moby Dick)
1978 6.9 #1776 (Dora)
1977 450SEL #7010 white -P
1975 450SEL #8414 gold -P

John Hubertz

No question about it - for jacks use trolley jacks.  The bottle jacks have too small a contact point and it is too easy to damage whatever spot it is you choose to jack from.

I use some heavy plastic ramps I bought a couple of years ago at Wal-Mart; I like the convenience and they are light enough to hang on the wall when finished.
John Hubertz
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
(Hunter S. Thompson) 

1977 450SEL (Max Headroom)

Tony66_au

Steel ramps, 4 ton Axle stands (The ones with the ratchet) and 2 ton screw axle stands.

buy a quality trolley jack with a low entry point and high lift, the smaller cheaper units are not much chop and dont have enough lift to really do the job properly.

Buy a set of large rubber wheel chocks as bricks (Really Tim?) skid on concrete when pressure is applied whereas chocks use the weight of the car to stop sliding as evidenced by the fact that properly placed chocks cant just be kicked out from under the tyres once used.

Id also keep handy an array of pine 2 x 4 in 6 to 12 inch lengths for a friction bed and to protect the jacking points and spread the load a bit especially when it comes to taking the load of a transmission or engine to change mounts or provide access.

I have also found that using 2 OEM jacks will do a reasonable job of raising the bum or front of a car IF you chock both sides of the tyres staying on the ground and make it far easier to get your Benz in the air.

TJ 450

I've never had an issue with bricks, as I make sure the car has been rolled onto them, but I'm sure the rubber chocks would be better.

A nice piece of timber would work well too.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

Beastie

For a while there, Mercedes-Benz actually made a special wedge-shaped device which could be used as a chock for their large flagship models. I don't see why it couldn't be used on older models such as the W116. They're probably only fractionally better than a brick tbh, but here's some info on them: Link
1979 280SEL

"She's built like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro."

TJ 450

1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500

gf

Thanks for the replies guys! Think I know what Im looking for now! Steel ramps- I really like the concept but im such a shit parker I think Id risk actually driving over the top of them! Some one told me with the Wood blocks to go for thick ply- in case the wood splits?

oscar

I couldn't use ramps.  The first lot I tried to use were work ones that used to hold up F250s, so strong enough but too damn tall.  Body work front and back would threaten to hit the ramps before the tyres made contact.  Smaller ones there would slide and ones I looked to buy just didn't seem strong enough.  So I went trolley jack and 4 x 4tonne jack stands below.  When I do oil the whole car goes up and I go right under to look at other things.

I agree bottle jacks are a waste of time, not secure enough nor high enough..  Prior to the jacks I'd use two OEM jacks up front and chock rear wheels with a long bit of timber, trans in park and park brake on.  The thing you have to watch out for with trolley jacks and jack stands is placement so you don't damage the underbody.  Steel rolley jacks with a cup like the one below can be savage on the square channels underneath the car.  I use timber in the cup with sometimes a rag on top folded to avoid damaging the front square channels.  For the rear I position the cup over the sub frame mount bolt thing, man I've forgotten what they're called.  The front stands I put at an angle where the yoke is attached via kingpin to the body.  The rear stands I put either on a laterally positioned square channel or directly on the bolts and plate holding the rear torsion bar in place. I've got a 280S in the air at the moment and might take photos to see what you guys think of stand placement but that has worked well for me.

Oh and if you got the dough, buy an aluminium race style trolley jack.  So much lighter and easier to use, plus have flat pads.  Kinchrome ones start from around $300 I think.

1973 350SE, my first & fave

gf

Thanks oscar! The little details will definately help! Im much happier to buy a product someone has tested already and recommends. photos of the car jacked up would be great! 300 bucks for a good jack if i were to use it every few months wouldnt be a big expense at all!

Casey

Quote from: gf on 17 October 2012, 12:48 AM
Thanks for the reply Tim!Ok ill go the trolley jack. yep jack stands a must! got a good  set of hex keys and spanners. The torque wrench i still need, and an oil filter wrench,

Mercedes don't need oil filter wrenches, you'll waste your money. Instead they use canisters so you can make a huge mess of oil all over yourself. Buy some nitrile gloves instead.

gf

Oh thanks casey! Best thing about working in a hospital is unlimited free nitrile gloves!