mechanics creepers



mechanics creepers

Postby grumpyvette » June 22nd, 2010, 12:23 pm

one of the first tools most guys buy is a mechanics creeper,because they usually find it keeps them off the wet ,cold, rough, filthy or oil covered concrete surface thats all too common in many garage work areas, and lying directly on the floor under a car tends to let your shirt and hair act like a mop that collects crud and lying on rocks and greasy parts can be a P.I.T.A. if you've got a decent welder you can save yourself some cash buy building yourself a custom mechanics creeper, for about the cost of a cheaper one and build a far more satisfactory design.
keep in mind you don,t want to be working under any car that's not 300% securely supported, because your butts on the line so make darn sure you use several decent jack stands on a level concrete floor and never use just a floor or bottle jack to support the car, taking a few extra minutes to use 4 12 ton jack stands rather than rushing the job could easily save your life.
one factor you'll want to look into is how much under car clearance your working with and the surface your rolling on, most of the cheap creepers have flimsy caster wheels that break or get jammed easily, having a set of 4 of the 12 ton jack stands allows you a great deal more clearance under the car than the common 3 ton jack stands and provides both more stability and a larger safety margin.
on the first notch the 12 ton stands hold the cars frame about 22" from the floor allowing decent work clearance,under most cars while providing decent safety, if you need more theres an extra 10" in the stand adjustment

some careful measurement and fabrication will allow a decent welder to build a very serviceable mechanics creeper, but if your just looking to buy one shop around , a good one might cost over $100 but it should last many years

they commonly range from cheap crap that falls apart in under a month in most cases,

Ive seen several cheap red jack stands, that used to be sold at auto parts stores for under $20 a pair, that looked very similar to these slightly improved designs fail over the years

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if you don,t have a lift,and use a mechanics creeper do yourself a HUGE FAVOR and buy and use four of these 12 ton rated, jack stands,or something similar to use on a solid concrete floor

http://www.vulture.com/2012/12/human-hoist.html

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=969

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1260

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=672

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26&p=34&hilit=jack+stands#p34

http://metalgeek.com/static/cope.pcgi

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to slightly better quality versions
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read these related threads

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=969

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=672

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=98

If your on a fairly limited budget like most of us,working under a car SAFELY starts with a set of 4 decent jack stands and a FLAT CONCRETE FLOOR and a decent floor jack, IVE rarely seen a year go bye without hearing of someone being crushed when a car fell on them, obviously you'll never want to work under a car supported by only a floor jack, or jack stands on asphalt or dirt

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-jac ... 34924.html


are you not going to feel like a moron if the car falls on you or one of your friends (providing you live of course) from use of some cheap bargain jack stand, when for a few dollars more you could have had substantially larger and stronger and much more stable stands, that were far harder to tip over due to the size of their base and design, under the car your working ons,frame?
guys get killed all the time because they fail to think things thru, you can,t use jack stands on dirt or even most asphalt because the jack-stand feet sink and the car tilts
but its silly to think how little extra expense it takes to save a life

Image

http://www.creepex.com/indexEN.html

now heres a TOOL that at first glance may seem silly, BUT the more I look at this the more I think its a good idea , after thinking about it it makes perfect sense.....its a creeper with a built in safety roll cage to prevent getting crushed if the car did fall
one more reason in and endless list of why you need a DECENT WELDER and some WELDING SKILLS,..... a short trip to the local metal supply store, a few quality casters, and a free weekend could result in a custom version magically appearing in your garage for WELL under $200, but having a nice chrome /padded ,pro made version will look nicer
I just can,t tell you how often a decent welder comes in handy around the shop

This is the picture they show on how it can protect you.

Image




Unfortunately some of us are shaped like this.

but thankfully ,beer guts
Image

are generally flexible enough to survive a few minor/limited impacts with a cars underside, or many of us would be dead by now, but Ill be building a 19" clearance model If I weld one up, simply to take full advantage of the 20" plus under the cars frame with the 12 ton jack stands


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IF you would rather spend time bench pressing your car or truck occasionally and don,t mind loss of a few fingers or a broken leg or back, .....follow this numbskulls example a good yank on a wrench, a friend leaning on the truck, a stiff breeze, ETC. and hes going to be in a world of trouble
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby grumpyvette » February 2nd, 2011, 6:17 am

one of the common problems guys have is theres just not enough clearance under the car to use a creeper when you use the typical crappy 3 or even 6 ton jack stands, If found 4 of the HF 12 ton jack stands were a huge improvement over the smaller stands when accessing the area under the car and have used them for years before I had a lift installed

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-jac ... 34924.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-inch-cas ... 38709.html

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3-or-4 casters at about $6 each

or
http://creepersweeper.com/

if your going to fabricate your own creeper Id suggest starting with 3-or-4 of these reasonably priced casters
you could just use a 3/4" thick sheet of plywood about 5ft x 2ft in size and add a foam pad to get a very serviceable dirt cheap version with 16 1.5" carriage bolts and nyloc nuts to secure the casters,or weld up a custom design,
and finding a local metal supply for some 1.5" 1/8" wall , box steel, or if youve got a tig welder 2" aluminum angle, that could be used ,should not be a challenge. a single piece 18'-20ft long, round tubing or box tubing should be sufficient, think it thru, most places that sell metal will cut it to your length specs for a minimal charge
an old patio lounge might be a good source for a pad,you might be amazed at what some thought and ingenuity might produce
the key here is both having sufficient room under the car to fit both you and the creeper, and your skill and ingenuity of designing the creeper

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http://www.harborfreight.com/16-ton-hyd ... 35336.html

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http://www.mygaragestore.com/detail.aspx?ID=54

http://www.mygaragestore.com/detail.aspx?ID=98
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http://www.mygaragestore.com/Garage-Sto ... Seats.aspx

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/KPS-K ... /?rtype=10

http://www.creepex.com/indexEN.html

http://metalgeek.com/static/cope.pcgi
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby grumpyvette » September 28th, 2012, 10:08 am

If your a bit older and you have a back that thinks leaning over an engines a less than ideal way to spend the day you can reduce lower back stress several ways, this reminds me of one more in an endless list of reasons that owning a welder and having some fabrication skill, and thinking things thru, rather that always relying on only what you can easily purchase in tools or parts is a huge advantage in this hobby.
one guy I know purchased a used engine crane at a yard sale , then after careful measurement he shortened the vertical and moveable crane support boom components and welded on a spare mechanics creeper he had on hand, too make, a custom tool,he had fabricated an adjustable height gurney like support, he could lay on, over the engine compartment, it looks like crap, BUT DARN,ingenious crap , and if he knew how to weld and fabricate and paint a bit better it would be a great LOOKING tool, but no matter its looks, its a real pleasure to work on and makes it far nicer & easier on your back, after thinking about this a bit I think ILL build one also!
just picture the black mechanics creeper welded to the upper extended crane boom, so that you can comfortably lay on your tummy fully supported over the engine with a place to rest your forehead and the boom adjustable to match the height over your engine


http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200517532
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http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... 638_357638
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http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200581023

http://www.amazon.com/Whiteside-Manufac ... B004K77VD8


http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... a=&cm_ite=
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http://www.autotoolexpress.com/ovencrto.html
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http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/4020.pdf
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby grumpyvette » June 8th, 2013, 6:08 pm

I spend several hours today on my back, in a drive way helping a neighbor replace a defective starter, which required loosening the headers and exhaust to get access.
BTW laying on a 4ft x 6ft square section of old shag rug sucks, compared to having access to a good easy rolling padded mechanics creeper ,but it beats the hell out of lying bare concrete

now the job should have taken less than an hour or two at most but this guy didn,t have a floor jack, didn,t own decent jack stands or decent wrenches, and wanted to get the tools required as hes starting to rebuild the car, and wants to learn how its maintained.
so much of the time required was spent buying tools and a replacement starter, and diagnosing the problem. now the amazing thing is we spent about $400 on tools and replacement parts and that was still less than the dealership quoted him to do the job, and after we finished he owned 4 jack stands, a floor jack several dozen wrenches and had gained a good deal of experience, so it was hardly time wasted

Im a big fan of having 4, 12 ton jack stands, support the car while I use a mechanics creeper, but remember I do a great many more repairs than the average guy, and I can see where the 6 ton rated stands that cost a good deal less might be a better choice if your rarely going to be working under the car or do more than oil changes
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http://www.harborfreight.com/6-ton-jack ... 38847.html (6 ton)

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-jac ... 34924.html (12 ton)


HE ALSO NEEDED A DECENT LOW COST FLOOR JACK
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http://www.harborfreight.com/low-profil ... 68049.html
[b]multi meter

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http://www.harborfreight.com/lcd-automo ... 95670.html
so we picked up this one, while Im not all that impressed with its quality it worked, at least this time , so I guess we will see how long it lasts[/b]
like I said he just started into working on cars so he didn,t have any wrenches, so I had him buy these as a starter set.[/u][/b]

http://www.harborfreight.com/11-piece-m ... 47067.html
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http://www.harborfreight.com/11-piece-s ... 44718.html

http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Catal ... 0150597188
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related info you might want

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=339&p=415&hilit=+label+tools#p415

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=3283&p=8681&hilit=+label+tools#p8681

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=834&hilit=tool+list

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=4069&p=10827&hilit=tool+list#p10827

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby grumpyvette » November 20th, 2013, 12:24 pm

Id like to get some of you gentlemen' s thoughts and hopefully some diagrams posted of ideas on how to build/fabricate a custom built, combination folding mechanics creeper that has a section that folds up to be a rolling mechanics seat that has at least two or three different heights, so that you have a tool that allows you to use it as both a flat on your back mechanics creeper and something that can be quickly converted into a seat you can use for operations like brake jobs where you need to support your butt on a rolling stool or support at lets say 10", 16" and 20' heights as a seat yet still folds flat as a traditional creeper?
please post your ideas As I want to build something similar and the more intelligent, well thought thru sources of input on the design, the better!
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obviously something similar too these creepers pictured above, could be modified,or designed, rather easily too included a fold up, adjustable height, seat section, located for easy access and good stability ,if a bit of engineering thought was used, in there basic design

RELATED INFO
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26&p=34&hilit=jack+stands#p34

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=672&p=929&hilit=jack+stands#p929

Image
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-1-2-half ... 41524.html
Having a design with ,three or four, out lying swivel casters , with the mechanics support platform located a bit lower to maximize under car access while used as a creeper, like both the pictured creepers above have in their design, with swivel wheels with at least a 200 lb individual capacity ,with at least 3' wheels to allow it to move easily on concrete in any direction would be good, Ive found that casters rated at less capacity or those with smaller diameter wheels don,t tend to last long in service
yes i have and own a good lift but Ive found I use the lift and the 12 ton rated jack stands almost equally as often because many jobs are far easier to do rolling around , on the smooth concrete while either sitting or flat on your back (especially if you either have a tray for tools or some one to hand you your tools)rather than standing under a lift
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby 87vette81big » November 20th, 2013, 5:00 pm

I like the Gurney style creeper idea Grumpy.
For me I would prefer lower profile.
Sneak under big pickups more easily without raising the truck up higher to work.
To make folding would require a strong locking hinges.
Or a Cantalever hinge.

Really like the topside creeper idea.
Be grear on late model Ford 6.0 L V8 Diesel truck repairs.
Need Roundstock tubing & Square tubing stock...
Scetch out.
Plan more.
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby Indycars » November 21st, 2013, 4:43 pm


To me it seems cumbersome to drag around the creeper with a seat on it, but maybe I don't understand where you are going with this.

But I do have one suggestion anyway. Could you salvage an adjustable seat off a stool and weld some round tubing on the creeper to accept the adjustable seat. Then just drop the seat into the tubing when needed. You might want some kind locking pin to keep the seat in place while you are using it.

Rick
Too much is just enough!!!

- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby grumpyvette » November 21st, 2013, 5:14 pm

Indycars wrote:
To me it seems cumbersome to drag around the creeper with a seat on it, but maybe I don't understand where you are going with this.

But I do have one suggestion anyway. Could you salvage an adjustable seat off a stool and weld some round tubing on the creeper to accept the adjustable seat. Then just drop the seat into the tubing when needed. You might want some kind locking pin to keep the seat in place while you are using it.



no!
I must not have explained it well!
I am looking to have the creepers design so that the basic support surfaces fold up in some way to form a seat surface.
I wish my computer graphic skills were better!

something not as elaborate as this linked power chair below,but the concepts I,m looking for will be a fold up simpler version, something you manually change or configure and adjustable in several configurations/heights
http://www.vulture.com/2012/12/human-hoist.html

n
sturdy roller caster base to weld up my own custom version... if you have interesting ideas please post pictures[/b]
Image
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that makes a decent seat but it will not convert to a creeper or have different height adjustments and I,m sure that can be done, look at the power chair link
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby 87vette81big » November 21st, 2013, 5:16 pm

I think Grumpy wants to Create, Fabricate, Invent something New. Rick.
I get the same Itch at times.
Grumpy is Head Lead Engineer.
Rest of us are Engineering Support Team.
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby 87vette81big » November 21st, 2013, 5:39 pm

When I have some free time soon Grumpy I will scetch out a few ideas.
Been working on your request in my head.
Nothing as comfortable as a Summer time Hammock tied between 2 trees.
Why I like the Gurney style Creeper. Fit all different body shapes & sizes.
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby Indycars » November 21st, 2013, 7:05 pm


So you are thinking of something that you would have to get off to adjust or will it adjust on the fly???

Rick
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- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby grumpyvette » November 22nd, 2013, 9:47 am

Indycars wrote:
So you are thinking of something that you would have to get off to adjust or will it adjust on the fly???



just something basic that can be easily adjusted manually once your off it, into the required configuration
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby Indycars » November 22nd, 2013, 12:08 pm


Why not start with a lawn chair that already is adjustable and add wheels. Might have to remake the legs such that they are short but with a reasonably wide stance. That is, if you are not trying to use materials that you already have in the shop.

http://www.amazon.com/Strathwood-Anti-G ... B008YRJSTU

LawnChair.jpg


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- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby grumpyvette » November 22nd, 2013, 12:24 pm

that idea has a good deal of potential, thats why I started this thread, section and asked questions, theres always things I didn,t think of and ideas you gentlemen may have missed but as a group we will tend to get better results.
the best way to proceed, is to both get as wide of an idea base as possible and think thru options before jumping into the fabrication stage of development, and that idea has merit!
I just need to figure out how that can be done so it both folds flat enough to use as a creeper and still has the ability to become a sturdy seat support




"how do you get the HF 12 ton jack stands under the vette?, my floor jack won,t lift that high (20")"



GOOD VALID QUESTION!, PROBABLY WE SHOULD discuss it

If your going to work under your car I hope you support the car safely, some of you might think Im old fashion but some repairs (even thou I own a LIFT) are easier to do with (4) 12 ton jack stands and a mechanics creeper, but for your own safety ID STRONGLY SUGGEST you buy and USE 4 of these 12 ton jack stands and work on a LEVEL CONCRETE FLOOR when ever you can, yes IM well aware that you can buy smaller ,less expensive jack stands, how much is YOUR LIFE WORTH!, if its worth a couple hundred dollars, and a few minutes of your time, to keep from being killed or crippled for life I figure its worth the time and money
most common floor jacks have a max lift height between 18"-22" I have a pair of 3 ton floor jacks,that originally only lift to 20" and thats really too tight to clear,
your surely not alone in having too lift the car in steps to place the taller 12 ton jack stands or similarly tall jack stands that allow full access under the car.
now in my case I found the darn floor jack won,t fit under the corvette as it sits on the shop floor unless you use some careful planing first, I drive the vette up on plastic rhino ramps to get the necessary clearance, I place the first floor jack and lift the front K-member and place the two front 12 ton jack stands on the frame near the a arms on the frame, I then remove the front floor jack and place it and my second floor jack under the rear side frame behind the doors on each side, I jack each side up a bit, then swap to the other side in several stages IF im alone, (naturally if I have help both sides get jacked up at the same time)untill its high enough to place each of the two or four remaining 12 ton jacks into place under the frame.
now a bit of info Ive installed 1 3/4" thick rubber pads that are approximately 4" in diam. on both my floor jacks to both get the necessary lift and protect the frame from scratches these are made from thick sections of earth mover or dump truck tire tread rubber I found at a dump

Image


RELATED THREADS
http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26&hilit=corvette+jack+stands

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=297&hilit=garage+security

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=290&p=22467&hilit=intake+airfoil#p22467

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=641&p=26207&hilit=58mm#p26207
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby Altered76 » November 22nd, 2013, 12:52 pm

Not sure I like it I think someone needs to send me one :lol: Supposedly the price is around $1000.00 :cry:

Image

http://www.technewsdaily.com/15917-the- ... video.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOKWher7 ... e=youtu.be
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Re: mechanics creepers

Postby 87vette81big » November 22nd, 2013, 5:00 pm

Well Altered solved the problem.
Too complex & costly for me.
For all car guys blue collar too.
Onto other thoughts......
Koolest thing I came up with this year was & built was the custom 1 off Dual Stealth 340X2 C4 ZR-1 Fuel pump with hand bent 5/8" 304 Stainless lines.
About 70 -80 hrs into that project.
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