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Old 10-21-2012, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sad Day for my Elise *Updated with pics*

So I was working on my Elise today changing the oil when tragedy struck. The Rhino Ramps slipped while I was backing onto them and the car went over the backstop. They punched through the rocker panels when it hit the ground.

I am hopeful that it missed the frame and it will be a more or less simple repair. Either way when I go back tomorrow to get it towed to the local Lotus dealer (thankfully I have one nearby) I will take my camera and get detailed pics (my cellphone sucks and won't take pics anymore; I hate Verizon). Let this be a warning to any others new to Rhino Ramps, be careful. I even had a spotter and managed to do this. Once the techs get a hold of it and inspect it I will update with their findings. I would rather this not end up being one of the instances where someone's trying to buy a salvage title and half the forums say it was fine and half say the frame was damaged so I will be sure to post the exact words of the technician as well as pictures of the affected areas once it is on their lift and dismantled.



Here is the damage. I took lots of pics. It's easily evident that the frame was not involved, so I'm in a much better mood today. Hopefully I will have it back soon. Yet again I can't say enough good about Euromotorcars in Bethesda MD or Jamie the head of the Lotus showroom there, the service was excellent and Jamie went above and beyond to make this easy for me.






















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Last edited by theyoyomaster; 10-22-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Stephen,
Sorry to hear the bad news. It's good that no one was hurt. I hope it all works out for you.


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Old 10-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about this mishap.

I normally ask my wife to watch me back up on the ramps. However last week I didn't bother and all went well.

In future I will ensure there is someone around.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about this mishap.

I normally ask my wife to watch me back up on the ramps. However last week I didn't bother and all went well.

In future I will ensure there is someone around.
There was someone behind me spotting me but there wasn't anything they could have really done. The shop floor was a bad texture for them so they were slipping a little bit. We stopped, realigned them then chocked them under the wheels, but I had no feedback from inside the car to tell where I was in the process. I've never used them before; always had access to a lift but no longer have it so I broke down and got the ramps after trying half a dozen other things. With more experience with them on better surfaces I imagine this would have been nothing but it was the worst case with little practice and it just went very wrong very fast.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by theyoyomaster View Post
There was someone behind me spotting me but there wasn't anything they could have really done. The shop floor was a bad texture for them so they were slipping a little bit. We stopped, realigned them then chocked them under the wheels, but I had no feedback from inside the car to tell where I was in the process. I've never used them before; always had access to a lift but no longer have it so I broke down and got the ramps after trying half a dozen other things. With more experience with them on better surfaces I imagine this would have been nothing but it was the worst case with little practice and it just went very wrong very fast.
I've always used mine on an asphalt driveway. The rubber on the ramps seems to hold but I've always felt as though it might slip.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I tried to get Rob's Europa on some plastic ramps. Don't know if Rhino brand.

Those things kept sliding forward on a typical concrete garage floor. (Req'd 2nd gear start.)

The rubber pads on the undersides were patently too small.

OTOH, my ancient steel ramps never budge.

On the plastic ramps, depending on construction:

I'd either add a lot more rubber, or
Attach a piece of plywood to each, or
Attach both to a long piece of plywood, tying them together. (this could be adjustable for > 1 car.) This would be the safest choice.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by glb View Post
I tried to get Rob's Europa on some plastic ramps. Don't know if Rhino brand.

Those things kept sliding forward on a typical concrete garage floor. (Req'd 2nd gear start.)

The rubber pads on the undersides were patently too small.

OTOH, my ancient steel ramps never budge.

On the plastic ramps, depending on construction:

I'd either add a lot more rubber, or
Attach a piece of plywood to each, or
Attach both to a long piece of plywood, tying them together. (this could be adjustable for > 1 car.) This would be the safest choice.

I'm in the military and most bases have shops where you can use lifts. My base closed their shop and I've been trying the various other shops around. Long story short I gave up and bought ramps to use in a regular bay. I'll just drive the extra 20 miles and use the lift next time.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a steel ramp collapse while a previous car was on it (the car was light and way way below the rating of the ramp). I have been a jackstand only user ever since.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Get Jim's rear "Jack Helper" and use it to lift the rear and set the wheels down on the ramps. It works a treat.

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/...er-sale-59868/

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/...-helper-42441/
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Get Jim's rear "Jack Helper" and use it to lift the rear and set the wheels down on the ramps. It works a treat.

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/...er-sale-59868/

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/...-helper-42441/
Will do. Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hopefully this will help others to know not to use these horrible devices.

Ramps are a disaster waiting to happen. Don't be lazy, get a set of jacks and jack stands and do it right.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hopefully this will help others to know not to use these horrible devices.

Ramps are a disaster waiting to happen. Don't be lazy, get a set of jacks and jack stands and do it right.
I had jacks and jackstands available, I had no honest way of reaching the rear jack points since they are under the diffuser. If I am missing something please let me know but I had only ever used a lift that picked it up by the wheels up until this point when I no longer had that option. I then went to the next best way to lift it by the wheels to remove the under-tray and get at the jack points.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about your mishap. Hope you can fix it.

For oil changes and brake fluid changes, I use four rhino ramps and use the B jack point to raise each side, slide ramps under the front and rear wheels, and then raise the other side and slip ramps under those wheels. That provides easy access to the engine service panel, diffuser, and underside of the engine and tranny.

For suspension or brake work, I use jack stands with hockey pucks (attached to the stands with countersunk fasteners) for nonskid and damage free contact.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadDad View Post
Get Jim's rear "Jack Helper" and use it to lift the rear and set the wheels down on the ramps. It works a treat.

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/...er-sale-59868/

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/...-helper-42441/

This is very good advise, not to mention you can lift the rear in a small
garage without having to drive on the ramps.



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Old 10-21-2012, 06:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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All ramps are not equal.
Race Ramps cost more, but they do not slide like the plastics ones.
Night and day difference!
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by theyoyomaster View Post
I had jacks and jackstands available, I had no honest way of reaching the rear jack points since they are under the diffuser. If I am missing something please let me know but I had only ever used a lift that picked it up by the wheels up until this point when I no longer had that option. I then went to the next best way to lift it by the wheels to remove the under-tray and get at the jack points.
Why not just remove the rear diffuser and bottom panel first and then jack up the car? That's what I do every time. It's a slight pain but doesn't really take all that long.

edited to add....that really sucks and I feel your pain. My car is currently all disassembled and has been unusable for basically this entire driving season. I feel your pain.

Last edited by Deja Vu; 10-21-2012 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Very sorry to hear about this!
Can you explain in more detail how this happened? Did the car slide sideways off one ramp, or both; or did it go over the end (but how?)
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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wow, sorry about the car.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about this. I use Rhino Ramps too, but I always just jack my Elise onto them. No worry of slippage.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow, sorry to hear about this!
I always use the Rhino ramps and never even thought about the ramp possibly slipping when driving up.
So the torque from the wheels just basically "shot" the ramp out towards the front while you drove up?
I had the little rubber feet fall off a couple of times when moving the ramps around in teh garage but never thought of what could happen.
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