Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lifting Your Evora onto Floor Stands

Mid-engined cars usually require the rear of the car to be lifted to conduct typical maintenance like oil changes.  If you don't have a lift, then reversing the car onto ramps is the technique many people utilize.  This of course is a sketchy proposition.  We have come up with a simple and safe way for you to lift your Evora and place it onto floor stands.

Suggested tools:

Step 1: Place the niftyLIFTY onto your floor jack

Step 2: Position the rubber pads of the niftyLIFTY at the seam between the rear difusser & undertray

Step 3: Lift car until higher than flatJACKS

Step 4: Place flatJACKS in one of two positions:
  • Position1: under the niftyLIFTY as shown below

  • Position 2: under the chassis where the lower control arms attach to the chassis

We like this position best
note location carefully

We like the Position 2 best as it gives you full access to the rear diffuser if you plan to remove it.  This make muffler changes or inspections a much easier process.  Of course sometimes Position1 is best if you simply need to pull the wheels, etc.

Lifting a car is dangerous - especially if you plan to work under it.  We assume you understand the basics of floor stand placement and use.  Working on your car can be rewarding - just use the right tools to ensure you don't get hurt.  

Watch our video below to see us lift an Elise and the an Evora:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Placing your Alfa 4C onto 2 or 4 Floor Stands

Working on a car can be dangerous when it gets lifted.  We like to place our cars securely onto floor stands whenever we need to get under a car.  This blog shows how to safely place an Alfa 4C onto four floor stands so that you can easily pull all wheels and/or work under the car.  This is especially convenient with brake jobs, oil changes and mechanical inspections - especially before AND after your track/AutoX events.  We also show how to place the car safely onto two rear stands.

Suggested tools:

Placing the car onto 4 Jack Stands

Step 1:  Jack the car from center jack pad that is located on the chassis
jack from the center pad that is located on the chassis (small red rectangle)
drive rear tires onto wood to raise car 

  • The center pad is rear of the front pad
  • Use a low-profile floor jack or drive the rear car tires up onto pieces of wood to provide clearance for a normal floor jack (as shown)
  • We use a small piece of wood between the floor jack and the chassis - we like being sympathetic to our babies...and the rubber pad fell off our jack years ago. 8^)

Step 2: Place a flatJACK under the rear jacking point and one under the front jack pad

rear jack point -  car is NOT resting on stand
front jack pad - car is not resting on stand

  1. The rear point is ribbed and in-line with the arrow molded into the side sill
  2. The front point is pad molded into the chassis and is in-line with the arrow molded into the side sill.
  3. Lower the  car onto the stands slowly

Step 3: Lift the opposite side of the car from the center jack point

Left side is elevated and resting on floor stands
  • Carefully lift from the center jack pad
  • Lift the car just enough to clear the flatJACKS (floor stands)
  • Slide the flatJACKS into position
    • rear jack point and front jack point
    • slowly lower car onto floor stands

Step 4: Remove car from floor stands
  • Reverse the above process
Placing the car onto 2 Jack Stands

Most maintenance tasks required usually only need the rear of the car lifted and placed onto stands.  We do NOT recommend attempting to place the 4C onto 2 front stands as the car will not be stable.  It is safe to place the 2 stands on the rear of the car.

If you follow the above Steps 1-3, you can safely place your 4C onto two rear stands.  The process below shows a quicker process to placing the car onto 2 rear stands but requires our 4CLIFTkit - or your own DIY version(see previous blog).

Step 1: Install 4CLIFTkit

Step 2: Place floor jack under diffuser at the seam with the undertray
  • Lift carefully

Step 3: Place floor stands under rear jack points
  • remove the floor jack

Step 4: Get to work!

These are a couple of safe ways to get the 4C onto stands.  Use the safest method possible.  I can't over stress the need for you to be safe.  All of the above assumes you are working on a flat stable floor and you know how to use the tools/methods described.  If in doubt, call us, your mechanic or a trusted friend!  

Inspecting your car before and after your driving events is critical.  Light-weight cars are a joy to drive on track but track use will quickly loosen joints.  These loose joints must be caught and tightened otherwise parts may begin to fall off your car...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jacking Up The 4C

One of the first things we did when we got our Alfa 4C was to assess how to jack the thing up without jacking it up. Upon pulling the diffuser and engine tray, it became apparent that like the Lotus, there is not a real good way to jack up the rear of the car without destroying something. The way the diffuser and engine tray bolt up to the car leaves an air gap between the thin pieces of metal and the structure of the rear subframe. If you simply put a jack on the diffuser and lifted the rear of the car, you would successfully lift the wheels off the ground only after you crushed the diffuser and engine tray...
Luckily, I have no pictures of Alfa damage.
So here is a picture to remind you to pay attention to how you lift your car!

The solution to this problem is a simple one, all you need to do is fill in the gaps between the panels and the subframe. We happened to have some stuff laying around the shop to prototype this concept. The first air gap is about 0.25" between what I will call the subframe extension bit for lack of the official term. This plate is bolted to the subframe and by way of rivet nuts, provides the places for the diffuser and engine tray to bolt to. We cut out a 5" x 5" square of 0.25" plastic to take up this gap.

Here you can see the 0.25" piece of plastic we placed between the subframe and the plate.
It sits flush once put in place properly.

The second gap is between the engine tray and the plate pictured above. This air gap measures about 0.125". We cut a 2"x 9" rectangle from some 0.125" plastic and used some double sided tape to fix it to the engine try. 
The black part is the piece we added.
Everything bolts back together just like stock and you can not tell this stuff is there. However, now you can jack up the rear of your car easily.  Our flatJACKS are the perfect way to then stabilize the car so you can safely work on it.

As indicated by the above picture, we will make a kit available for those who want to do this mod. We posted the details in this blog for the DIY crowd to make their own.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

White Rascal Update #7: Becoming an ArtCar

The White Rascal is now mechanically running and sporting a new tune.  The mismatched bodywork was screaming for some attention.  We contemplated getting a quick paint job or have the car wrapped.  We posted up a pic on our Instagram account and one of our old partners in crime, reached out to us.  Neil painted our original ArtCar and was interested in taking on this project.

Neil has been pursing painting and has built up a cool collection of work.  See it on his: website.  He has been venturing into a new style that I really like.  He sent me a very cool rendering of what he would like to do and I was immediately stoked.  See the teaser below.  Follow our Instagram for more teasers.

We struck up a deal and I trailered the car to his studio.  So in a couple of weeks, we should have our new ArtCar v2...