Car maintenance can be a challenge at times, because a lot of the critical parts can only be reached from underneath the vehicle. Most professional shops have some kind of lift, but for someone taking care of a car at home, the problem of getting under the car can be a serious challenge --- unless you have a set of auto ramps, which you can either purchase or make yourself.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 28-feet of 2x10-inch lumber
- Tape measure
- Marker or pencil
- Wood glue
- 3-inch wood screws
- Rail tie (optional)
- Chainsaw (optional)
Measure and cut the wood pieces for your ramps. You need two each of: 24-inch planks; 36-inch planks; 48-inch piece of wood; and 60-inch planks. You also need two pieces about 2-3 inches high to act as stoppers at the tip of each ramp.
Take one of the 60-inch planks and align one of the 48-inch pieces along its top edge and sides. Glue the two planks together in this position, where they will make up the base of the ramp.
Drill four pilot holes into the planks to prevent the planks from splitting when you insert the screws. Then, drive in the screws.
Repeat steps 2 through 4 for the 36-inch, then the 24-inch pieces of wood, and finally the stoppers (which only need two pilot holes and screws each). When complete, you will have four steps leading to the stopper for each ramp.
Leave the glue to dry overnight before using the ramps.
Cut two 2-foot sections of rail tie using a chainsaw. Mark a top edge on one of the cut ends.
Measure and mark one side 18 inches from the bottom edge, then draw a diagonal line from the mark to the bottommost corner of the piece.
Repeat on the other piece of wood.
Cut the triangular chunks out of the wood with the chainsaw.
Cut a 2- to 3-inch piece out of the cut-offs for the stoppers.
Glue, drill and screw the stoppers to the top of the ramp, so that the car will roll up the ramp and stop at them.
Leave the glue to dry overnight.
Rail Tie Design (Alternative)
Tips and warnings
- If your car has low ground clearance or a long nose, you may want to make your ramps longer. Use 36-feet of wood, and make the steps 18 inches long instead of 12 inches.
- In a pinch, the spare tire from your car can be used as a car ramp. Use it as you would a regular ramp: place it in front of the tire and carefully drive onto it.
- Do not use ramps on an uneven surface.
- Make sure the car is secured on the ramps before crawling under the car.
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