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Cinder Blocks to support a vehicle and a Near miss. by Jims88
Started on: 10-09-2014 11:06 PM
Replies: 9 (631 views)
Last post by: Jims88 on 10-14-2014 09:16 PM
Jims88
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Report this Post10-09-2014 11:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jims88Click Here to Email Jims88Send a Private Message to Jims88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I didn't know it at the time.

That using Cinder Blocks is a very poor choice to support a vehicle and they cannot be trusted

After doing a search on the topic, I learned a lot of valuable information about what makes them so unsafe.
Here are a couple of examples.
a) Failure to set them on a flat hard surface. Can cause uneven pressure points leading to failure.
b) A bolt head on the bottom of a frame member being lowered on to a cinder block, causing an uneven pressure point leading to failure.
c) Not setting them in the correct orientation, laying them on there side. Holes must be vertical as they would be set on a block wall.
d) Unseen internal casting flaws.
f) Rough handling before they were purchased, causing cracks.
g) Bad material batch when casted.
h) They fail with no warning into a pile of rubble.

Like I said, I didn't know any of this at the time when I purchased 4 Cinder Blocks, to provide a flat level surface to perform a rough alignment on my Fiero.
Not to mention at a cost of $1.08 a piece what a deal!

So I got everything set up. Fabricated some leveling jack screws, attached them to the cinder blocks and leveled everything up.
Jounced the suspension a few times, made a rear camber adjustment and called it a night and posted some pictures.

Lucky for me!..... It wasn't long after I posted, I received a PM from a concerned forum member who shared his observations about my......... "set up."

I had placed the cinder block on it weakest side and converted it into a truss with the jack screws
With no support in the center, the majority of the stress was on the thin horizontal sections of the block.



The cracks beginning to form on the Cinder Block.
It could have collapsed at any time with out warning!




So back to home center for a 4x6x8 and a 1x8x8.




I'm eating crow, but if it prevents someone from getting injured it's worth it!
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Report this Post10-09-2014 11:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jims88:

Lucky for me!..... It wasn't long after I posted, I received a PM from a concerned forum member who shared his observations about my......... "set up."


Glad to hear that a PFF member saved your bacon. So who was it? He deserves some credit.


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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post10-10-2014 09:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Concrete blocks are made from aerated concrete to save weight. As such they are full of air spaces and do not take well to the slightest side to side loading. SOLID blocks of wood while softer (and compressible to a point) is the far safer bet for support but steel is still the best. IMO, short of a lift, steel ramps are the way to go

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Kitskaboodle
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Report this Post10-11-2014 01:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KitskaboodleClick Here to Email KitskaboodleSend a Private Message to KitskaboodleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
In theory, yes steel is stronger and safer but in reality some of the steel ramps I have used in the past were down right dangerous!! Dang things have a very nasty tendency to move or "scoot" while you are driving your car up them.
Personally, I like using Rhino Ramps. Plus, they tend to have a long, gradual incline, which helps a lot if your car is lowered.
Kit

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Alex4mula
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Report this Post10-11-2014 01:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Alex4mulaClick Here to Email Alex4mulaSend a Private Message to Alex4mulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have used cinder blocks but not in that direction. I used them with the holes in vertical position. The way you used them is the worst case and weight was in weakest point. Wood is definitely better and lighter to handle/move around.
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sco77
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Report this Post10-11-2014 01:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sco77Click Here to Email sco77Send a Private Message to sco77Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I trust solid wood the most, so for best safety I think combination of solid wood and jack stands.

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theogre
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Report this Post10-11-2014 03:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Alex4mula:
I have used cinder blocks but not in that direction. I used them with the holes in vertical position. The way you used them is the worst case and weight was in weakest point. Wood is definitely better and lighter to handle/move around.

Doesn't matter.
Concrete does not handle uneven or spot loads. Even solid blocks won't take that. Concrete on soft or uneven surface under them, including top post above, is very bad and then put a load w/ small area in contact is good way to kill people.

 
quote
Originally posted by sco77:
I trust solid wood the most, so for best safety I think combination of solid wood and jack stands.


Sorry but Wood can fail too. Example: Wood can split easy if loaded on end grain. There are rules to support loads w/ wood for good reasons.

I cover some item in my Cave, Safe Jacking

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Spoon
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Report this Post10-13-2014 06:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpoonSend a Private Message to SpoonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Big difference between cinder blocks and cement blocks. Around here homes are not allowed to be built using cinder blocks however cement blocks "which look the same" are legal. Not sure if I can even buy a cinder block anymore.

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-cinder-blocks.htm

Spoon

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Report this Post10-14-2014 11:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Spoon:
Big difference between cinder blocks and cement blocks. Around here homes are not allowed to be built using cinder blocks however cement blocks "which look the same" are legal. Not sure if I can even buy a cinder block anymore.

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-cinder-blocks.htm

Many people called cinder blocks are really cement blocks or vice versa...

Yes, cinder blocks are weaker then cement blocks but does not matter much in this thread. Both can and will fail often will fatal results.

Also and More bad news...
Rotors and lugs can bend, crack or even break when loading like above. You could find that takes small effort to "warp" a rotor when loading on edge.
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Jims88
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Report this Post10-14-2014 09:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jims88Click Here to Email Jims88Send a Private Message to Jims88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:


Also and More bad news...
Rotors and lugs can bend, crack or even break when loading like above. You could find that takes small effort to "warp" a rotor when loading on edge.


Thank you for mentioning that theogre, I will check my rotors for run out and look the rotors over before I mount the wheels.

[This message has been edited by Jims88 (edited 10-14-2014).]

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