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Discussion Starter #21
A friend of mine had a guy that was using his shop and was cutting off an exhaust in my friends body shop with a torch. He hit the gas line. Burned down the whole body shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
This happened about 4 weeks ago to a good friend of mine. Make sure young children aren't around. My buddies 5 year old son (who is a little heathen anyways) decided it would be fun to play with daddies jack while dad and grandpa were under the car taking the safety chains off that were holding it on the trailer. Luckily neither were seriously hurt but they were both pinned between the car and trailer for a couple minutes while "mom" had to figure out how to work the jack.
Yikes! Daddies little helper!
 

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Hardwareguy's Shop Rules (aka horse sense!)


Do not dump oil....recycle it.

Work with a friend if possible.


Drain the air compressor tank! A rusty tank is a time bomb.
. :D
i am surprised you are the only one who said work with a friend. i have herd so many times someone getting hurt working alone, getting a motor or something on their limbs or body, and cant get help. its a good idea to have help, or someone to check on you every so often, and know where you are and what your doing. it could save your life...
 

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Discussion Starter #24
i am surprised you are the only one who said work with a friend. i have herd so many times someone getting hurt working alone, getting a motor or something on their limbs or body, and cant get help. its a good idea to have help, or someone to check on you every so often, and know where you are and what your doing. it could save your life...
Peer checks are great but most of my friends (that are available on a regular basis) I think are more hazardous than I like, to work around.
 

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  • When helping with a frame off restoration
  • And it's really hot
  • And you're shirtless
  • Using cup wire wheel on frame
  • With sweaty hands
  • While working on a tight portion
  • And straddling the work
It is possible that:
  • The wire wheel catches
  • Runs along the workpiece towards you
  • Narrowly misses your privates
  • Gets a grip on your stomach
  • Tears its way up to your chest
  • Where does the hokey pokey
  • And finally stops
Even after the initial pain subsided, I could hardly even breathe for a week!
 

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One thing I do is after the car is up on the jack stands is I bump or shake it a bit to make sure it is not going to fall while I'm under it trying to loosen a bolt or something. if it seems even slightly unstable jack it back up and reset the stands. same goes for at the junk yard to.
-X2, same with ramps as well. Bounce the front end, rear end, and shake the car side to side.
-X2 on wheel chokes.
-Only work on level ground, found that out the hard way. I forgot liquid runs downhill and had the drain pan in the wrong spot.(Not so much as forgot, but didn't realize I was on a slight incline)
-Wear gloves when necessary to help protect hands, although sometimes it may be better without. I'm always banging up my hands when even thinking about working on my car.
-When working on your black car in the summer, don't rest your arm on the paint, it is HOT.
 

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Peer checks are great but most of my friends (that are available on a regular basis) I think are more hazardous than I like, to work around.
I'll come up and work with you Doug.

Seriously though I always work alone. Someone else may be around somewhere, but not out in the garage/driveway working with me. Nobody has the patience to deal with my car habit that much.
 

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when i did the conversion on my car i actually lifted the whole car and supported it with 3 2x6's (plenty of strength). the problem was when we went to pull the subframe out with the engine and transmission we used a chain hoist with a steel cable to the car, the cable had a plastic sheath around it then bolted back to itself with the regular cable clamp, well turns out the plastic sheath doesn't have the same strength as the steel. it tore away and the car fell on top of the engine barely missing my arm. moral of the story, don't use steel cable with a plastic sheath.

edit, we used the hoist to lift the car and get the subframe out underneath.
 

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... the cable had a plastic sheath around it then bolted back to itself with the regular cable clamp, ...
Using a cable with a plastic sheath is OK. Forgetting to remove the sheathing under the clamp, is not. As you have discovered, the sheathing is NOT load rated.
 

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when i did the conversion on my car i actually lifted the whole car and supported it with 3 2x6's (plenty of strength). the problem was when we went to pull the subframe out with the engine and transmission we used a chain hoist with a steel cable to the car, the cable had a plastic sheath around it then bolted back to itself with the regular cable clamp, well turns out the plastic sheath doesn't have the same strength as the steel. it tore away and the car fell on top of the engine barely missing my arm. moral of the story, don't use steel cable with a plastic sheath.

edit, we used the hoist to lift the car and get the subframe out underneath.
This is more from a safety standpoint...IMO...it is not advisable to do a bottom swap without an actual automotive lift.

Ive seen/heard of many other methods that have worked but IMO endanger the car and the owner too greatly. If you dont have an actual automotive 4 post lift, pull it out of the top! You are messing with way too much weight, and there is way too much at stake.

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#1 safety rule in my book: Common sense.

...dont smoke when you are messing with gasoline.
...dont turn the open flame shop heater on when you are messing with gas.
...dont use a floor jack alone to support a car while you are under it.
...dont leave the air compressor on/plugged in after you are done
...flammable items do not respond well to being torched/heated...plastic, gas lines, etc etc
...wear safety glasses when working with anything that is spring loaded, or can shoot sparks/particles...
...dont work on the car while its running
...clean up spilled fluids
...check your work
...If it can cut you, pinch you, burn you, break you, shock you, dont put your fingers/hands/feet/legs in it.
 

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This is more from a safety standpoint...IMO...it is not advisable to do a bottom swap without an actual automotive lift.

Ive seen/heard of many other methods that have worked but IMO endanger the car and the owner too greatly. If you dont have an actual automotive 4 post lift, pull it out of the top! You are messing with way too much weight, and there is way too much at stake.
at the time, i figured it would be easier to take it out the bottom. it was my first major car repair, and my dad basically said it was my job, he'd help when i asked but it was kind of a pride thing. all would have been fine if we hadn't overlooked the cable, it actually held the front of the car for about a minute before slipping through the plastic.
 

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Common sense.
Thats it, if you don't have it don't work on a car or leave the house for that matter, it will make everyone elses life so much easier.

So far I have made it with only cuts and I have done nearly everything you can imagine.

Properly placing a car on jack stands the most important thing (althought I have broken that rule too)

Think about where you are putting your fingers, spinning fans, between a motor and trans during install.

Be careful when using a torch or any open flame, watch where the fuel line runs and look out for plastic and rubber
 

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More Safety Tips

Here are a few more safety tips to add to what has already been mentioned.

I'd first like to agree with another poster that you should have a fire extinguisher nearby when doing repairs. I also carry a small one in the car along with other emergency supplies.

1. If you are alone when working on your car, keep a cheap cell phone that you wouldn't mind damaging in your front pants pocket. This is just in case of an accident and you are hurt and need to call for help. You can also put a small loud whistle in a pocket to call out to your neighbors (not around your neck where it could get snagged).

2. Don't work in a locked or close garage if you are alone. At least leave the garage door unlocked and up a bit, so people can get to you if there is an accident.

3. The cylinders in Chinese floor jacks are not the best quality and can release quickly when lowered or even fail in either direction. When jacking or lowering the car, keep all your body parts out from under the car in case this happens. Stand in back of the jack and not on the side. If you can afford it, buy a good heavy-duty floor jack from Carquest or NAPA.

4. Redundant safety: It is possible for jack stands to fail or slip, especially cheap ones. You are putting a lot of faith in the guy that welded them. If they do fail, you can be severely injured or crushed to death. So I sometimes use two sets of stands. One set with flat pads takes the load on the frame where hydraulic lift pads would go (see Haynes and Chilton manuals) and I have another smaller back-up set. The smaller set has a notch in the saddle, and I put them just under where the stock scissors jack would fit on the vertical lower body edges just in front/back of the wheels per the owners manual. The same thing can be done as a backup when using ramps, however, this could cause damage if you forget they are there and drive off the ramps. (You can tape a note to the steering wheel.)

When using jack stands, I leave the wheels when I can if I am under the car, so I can also put some thick boards wrapped with duct tape just under the tires.

This way if the car drops, I've got a redundant back up to allow me some time to hopefully get out. If you must be under the car with the wheels off, you can still stack some more wrapped boards up just under the wheel drums or rotors (again not taking any load).

Obviously you want to always use a level hard concrete surface for raising the car, and firmly chock the wheels that are on the ground. Don't put jack stands on asphalt on a warm day or they will sink in.

5. Use a good, low creeper under the car in case you need to get out fast.

6. Always disconnect the negative cable on the battery when working to prevent you from shorting out the battery. I have a rotary battery cut-off switch mounted on the negative terminal for doing quick jobs. (Yes, I know this requires the transmission to "re-learn" and deletes your radio pre-sets, but a dead battery is more of a hassle.) Remove all jewelry - watches, rings, neck chains etc. to prevent any electrical contact or getting a finger or wrist snagged on something or the chain getting caught. Wrap up long hair.

7. Use mechanic's gloves to protect your hands. Use Nitrile gloves when working with chemicals . Use a good 3M or other brand particulate dust mask when working on brakes, not a cheap paper one. Use an organic vapor cannister mask when doing touch up spray painting. Always use safety glasses or even a face shield depending on what you are doing. You can easily damage your eyes or be blinded by a flying part or by auto chemicals.

8. As my old shop teacher said, don't pull any tool toward you when loosening parts, cutting, or scraping things. Always push it away in case it slips or a part breaks. Save yourself strain and use Liquid Wrench or other penetrating oil overnight to loosen parts. If you are very careful, moderate heating with a propane torch while tapping the part lightly with a hammer can also loosen rusted parts so they are much easier to break free without strain. (Obviously stay well away from the fuel lines and gas tank.)

9. Think twice about using manual spring compressors. They can be very dangerous. If they break or slip, the compressed spring can kill you. While I have used them, I have heard so many horror stories that I now think it is better to let a mechanic deal with high- compression springs. Most shops have very large heavy-duty spring compressors that are much safer.

10. Rust and bushing rot are your enemy and are unsafe. They can cause driving accidents when parts fail. When you or your mechanic are under the car, check for rust & deterioration in your brake lines, axle boots, fuel lines, steering/suspension/frame parts and bushings, engine & transmission mounts, and in the main frame members. On the Intrepid (per a TSB), you or your mechanic must periodically check the inner tie rod ends for wear and play in the steering. They are bolted to the center of the steering rack. If they are worn excessively, they can cause a dangerous loss of steering control.

If the car is still fairly rust free, you can use Rustoleum to paint the frame and suspension parts after cleaning and wire brushing. Lightly rusted parts can be primed with Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer and bare metal with their Clean Metal Primer. Armor-All can be used to coat the non-wear surface of bushings that are still in good shape after washing to prevent deterioration. But be aware that this is a very messy and tedious job.
 

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See if you can guess the safety tip generated by this picture:

 

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Yes, well I was hoping that more people would had a chance to "play", but yes, you guessed it. He accidentally lit off an acetylene tank leak in his truck by lowering the electric window.

A couple of interesting things:

  1. The guy was INSIDE the truck when it went off and lived! (He lost hearing in one (the inboard?) ear.)
  2. How clean it burned. Not a single scorch mark, just instant outward pressure!
  3. This was with the doors open. Imagine what it would have looked like if the doors weren't opened!
:poopoo:
 
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