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Old 02-27-2013, 09:39 AM
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Leveling a car...

Is there some magical "plane" for fore and aft leveling or are all cars different? I had no trouble leveling my Rambler side to side, but had a real hard time finding a reference point for my level front to back. I ended up using the inside of the door jamb where the trim plate fits (minus the trim). This seemed to be the best compromise as far as my "eye" could tell...



Russ

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Old 02-27-2013, 09:54 AM
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please don't get under that
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by gearheadslife View Post
please don't get under that
Hello? There are 4 jacks and a double-ended rotisserie there. I could drive into it at 20 MPH and not not it over. Please stick to the question asked!

Russ
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:07 AM
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Russ, it looks crazy flimsy at first look. Knowing it's bolted to a rotisserie isn't real clear when first looking at it, and honestly that rotisserie doesn't look real strong either. But don't get mad at someone concerned about your safety. We have had some smart ars comments about safety lately that are a little dis-concerning. There is always room for talk on safety, and anyone who gives advice is thinking about nothing but the horrible thought of seeing a fellow forum pal being hurt.

Getting back to your question, there are control points all over the car, usually suspension mounting points are the best. But on that regard why do you need it perfectly level? Most of the time you want to measure things against the car it's self, not the earth. Let me put it this way, our $30K laser measuring system first measures where the body is in relation to the earth and then uses that info to tell you were all the points are related to each other.

Brian
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:52 AM
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Here is a neat tool for such a thing.



It has an adjustable level. Where ever the car is at, you can put put this on a known straight part of the car, then set the level to it. You now have a tool to gauge other parts of the car.



Generally what you do is level or measure the "Box", that being the all four torque boxes on the body. This is on a unibody locations under each corner of the passenger compartment, usually where the front of the rear suspension mount, and the where the rear of the front suspension or sub frame mount. It is often a "jack point" like area near those mounting points. I can look under my Rambler and see the best place for you, my 59 has the same plateform under it as yours does I believe.

Brian
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:56 AM
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I don't have the luxury of a frame machine or even a lift, and back problems limit what I can do compared to a "normal" person. I figured my garage floor slab is pretty flat, so I can reference all my dimensions from that. My problem was finding a "known straight part of the car" to actually put a level on from front to back. The frame rail, lower rocker, window sill, trunk floor, floor pan, etc are all at different "inclinations". I ended up using the door sill as it seems to be the best compromise between all the other points I've tried. Since my stands are under these torque boxes, I think I'll measure the heights of the stands just to see how close they are. BTW, that rotisserie was built by a mechanical engineer. I got it for $300 after he finished using it. The smallest material used is 1/4" and the connecting tubes are 1 1/2" pipe (I had to lengthen them with some 1" pipe inserts). Much better than using a pair of HF engine stands as I've seen some on here do...

Russ
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:21 AM
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Looking at that first picture, it doesn't look very safe, we aren't saying anything in regards to that other than be careful. We would hate to have your wife post a note saying you had been hurt or dead. I am telling you, I know TWO people, we are talking two people I had sat down at a meal with who died under cars, it is no joke.

Do your measurements to the car it's self, do not go off the floor! Measure within the car, it's that simple. The measurements you are getting that are all different are likely because of what you are measuring from, the floor.

Let's look at how that floor was done.........










Yeah, that's a perfect thing to measure something I want within an 1/8" like a suspension mount on my hot rod.

Get the car level at those torque boxes then measure off the car.

Brian

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Old 02-28-2013, 06:47 PM
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Sorry if I sounded like a smart ars about the floor, but I wanted to make the point clear. The floor is not what you want to measure off of.

Brian
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:24 AM
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The easiest way to level a car is with a water level....which is simply a long plastic tube(clear)filled with water ,with corks in the ends to keep the water in...You raise the car to the working hight you want and fix one end of the hose to any corner of the car but that end will stay there the other end goes to the other three corners(one at a time)water seeks its own level so when you take the corks out of the ends the water will be the same level at both ends just raise or lower the car to where the water level says to ,It's simple and ez...and extremly accurate....forget about using a 4' level for carpntry work because a car is about 15' long so if your levei is of a little, lets say an 1/8 inch at 4', thats a 1/2" off at 16" ....
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:11 AM
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I think you are on the right track by using the rocker panels for a reference point. Are you building the frame? That is one SWEET car by the way! One of my favs!!
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S10xGN View Post
Hello? There are 4 jacks and a double-ended rotisserie there. I could drive into it at 20 MPH and not not it over. Please stick to the question asked!

Russ
wasn't try'n to be a wise-a
but I've seen to many of those stands fold..
and frankly..
if you trust the rot so much why the stands. and vic-a-verca??
if you can stand on the tube running from one rot to the other and it moves more than an inch.. it's not as strong as you think
the one I used was 1/4" thick tube 3" and the other tube that when into it was 1/4" 2.5"
1" tube ..???
good luck be safe..
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panhead1961 View Post
I think you are on the right track by using the rocker panels for a reference point. Are you building the frame? That is one SWEET car by the way! One of my favs!!
Thanks, it was on my short list and available at the right time.

The whole point of this thread was to FIND a spot or spots on the car where I could determine "what is" level fore/aft. As stated, the door sills are a compromise that pretty much averages out all the other places I tried.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheadslife View Post
wasn't try'n to be a wise-a
but I've seen to many of those stands fold..
and frankly..
if you trust the rot so much why the stands. and vic-a-verca??
if you can stand on the tube running from one rot to the other and it moves more than an inch.. it's not as strong as you think
the one I used was 1/4" thick tube 3" and the other tube that when into it was 1/4" 2.5"
1" tube ..???
good luck be safe..
No sweat! After working as a refinery "grunt" for 35 years, I was continually beat over the head with "safety first" numerous times every working day. Safety is my middle name! Besides that, having a blown out back makes me think of every move I make before making it. The rot has a degree or two of slop where the pin fits in the headstock, which makes the car rotate a bit when crawling around in it. I wanted the jack supports so it would not move even 1/64" when crawling in it. I've actually crawled around inside (a different car) without the stringers in place, just using the end pieces, and didn't feel in danger. On this one, the front mount is very solid but the rear needs 2 more support bars before I'd even consider removing the stringers.

Russ
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:01 PM
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Not knowing any better when I started, I leveled my cab at the door window openings. Laid the level on the window openings (minus glass and trim) fore and aft and across. Right or wrong, that's where she sits.

Garage floors are NOT level. They're poured to drain out. They'll be high at the inside wall and low at the garage door. This slant is purposeful; snow, ice, and rain water on your car will hit the floor and drain naturally towards the garage door. Anything else and you'll have an indoor lake.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:41 AM
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I dont understand the reason for finding level ? what are you planning to do ? I Have as jig I built with jacking bolts i level/square the jig. tack the car,body,or sub frame to the standoffs. Measuring off suspension points to be sure the car is level to my jig.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:49 AM
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I realize my floor isn't perfect and I won't actually be using "it" for measurements. I just want a stable platform that will allow my car to be "level" as the world goes. Since it's sitting on jacks that are sitting on the floor, well, that's the best I can do with what I have to work with. Sorry if some of you geniuses are offended by my redneck means. I don't normally have thin skin, but this thread has degenerated so far from the original question...

Russ
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