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What a hydraulic jack failure looks like!!

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Hello All. I’ve changed my oil a few times now since I got my Elise (a year and a half now!! Wow that was way too fast!) and done it quite successfully. But today there was a hydraulic jack failure where my baby came crashing down stuck to the “diffuser” shield as I was repositioning the jacks. Hydraulic fluid everywhere. Thank goodness I didn’t destroy anything underneath!!! Not happy but I still have my pretty face! Ha!!!

Now I have to go look for a replacement shield. Does anyone know where I can get one? I don’t even know what it’s called. Is it for aerodynamic or a shield?

I banged the metal back and stuck it back on until I can get a-replacement. Like you all said maybe it’s time I get some rhino ramps or a larger house with a four post life! Thanks everyone for the well wishes and reminders!!

NEW EDIT:
Question what is everyone using to lift their Elise? Are you removing all of the panels to lift for the oil change? Are you still using a hydraulic jack?

Thanks everyone!!!


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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hi Paul,
Sorry to hear about this mishap. What a nightmare, but at least you were no injured. May I ask what jacking point you were using when this failure occurred? I am curious because I would like to avoid something like that happening to me.
Hi Paul I have posted the nifty jiffy bar made for Elise along with a cheap low profile hydraulic jack phillpsburgh which is harbor freight brand trying to place my jack stands. Now in hind sight is always 20/20, I’m going to buy the gorilla ramps to jack up the car and place the ramps underneath so even if there was a failure it wouldn’t have come crashing down. Stupid me. I was so mad. It happened pretty fast. People forget that stuff like this is always dangerous.
I do it myself because I can’t trust the garage lifting the car up in the right points but of course me doing this to it is not better. Lol. Thanks I was not injured but my ego is. Sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
How on earth did that happen? I suggest paying to have a shop do the work or learning the proper way to lift/support the car for an oil change before you seriously injure yourself.
I’ve done the oil change myself like 5 other times successfully. The hydraulic jack failed. Fluid everywhere. Came crashing down as I was placing the jacks underneath the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thanks for sharing. It is not always easy to go public about your failures, especially in this day and age of the social media effect of trying to highlight how perfect we all are. This serves as a great reminder to all and could just save some ones life.
Thanks I don’t take myself too seriously. I can run with the boys. Well I can see if I did something stupid. I can’t help for tool failure. But it was harbor freight quality. I’ll have to invest in a better hydraulic jack or find a sugar daddy. Hahahaha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Thanks for posting. It is always interesting to see what can go wrong. I hope you get your baby fixed up nicely.

I saw someone selling a diffuser on this site a few months back for around $100.

For what it's worth I normally back my car up onto two plastic ramps for oil changes. The ramps are rated for about 3 or 4 times the actual weight of the car.
David I’m not Nader i can’t go in reverse real well let alone up a ramp! Ha! But hindsight is always 20/20 I’m going to buy those gorilla ramps after I jack up the car I’ll set them on the ramps. Still need to buy a nicer jack. Thanks for the note I’ll take a look for selling parts. Now I know it’s called a diffuser.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Your lift looks pristine compared to my HF. I've used under water, in saltwater, under houses, submerged in mud and besides running low on oil never failed me fingers crossed. Between my 1.5HF and my 4T porta power from HF they paid for themselves 1000X over.
Dude would love to see that jack then. Im still a girl. I still wipe down all of my power tools and equipment and put it in my craftsman tool chest (Navy)! So yes mine still looks new!!! Lol! Thanks for making me feel better!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Mai that is crazy, glad you are okay other than some damage to the diffuser. Lucky me I've always had access to a four post lift, those hydraulic jacks always made me a bit nervous. Now's a good excuse to get a flat diffuser and do an above diffuser exhaust :p
Ha! Well not all of us have a four post lift. If I ever get a small house and build a huge 6 bay garage and get a Maserati too.
Hmm I’ll have to research what a flat diffuser is. But if they were a good thing wouldn’t Lotus have those put on instead?
Thanks. I’m still around to bother you all lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
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View attachment 1324630

Floor Jack and 4T porta power snapping sistering floor joists into place ten years ago. I don't cut corners literally like all others . This hydraulically rams each joist into place raising the house as I go from one end to the other after completely replacing the main beams damaged by rot and termite companies. One year dry out before work after soda blast and property regrade.
Omgosh I think I have the same jack!!!
Ooo I like the doliies!!! Does those insulation sheets hold the weight?? Wow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Sorry to hear of the failure. But, glad to hear it was only damage to a replaceable part and no one was hurt.

If you are just doing an oil change and wheels are staying on, could you use ramps to avoid this in the future? Or, if you do not have ramps or room to store them, you could use a jack to lift the car and then place stacked boards (cut down) under the wheels as a back up measure.

Hiope you get it fixed up quickly.
Hi. Thanks. Yes I was repositioning my one jack stand when the hydraulic jack failed. I’m looking at getting the gorilla ramps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Mai Mai, did you get under the car whilst it was supported only by the jack? Please don't do that. Possible serious injury, death.

I put mine on low angle ramps (Rhino) to change oil. Jackstands work too.
Thanks Kevin. No thankfully. Though I have a PhD I do some stupid things sometimes. But not putting my head under the car. I was on the side which is almost just as bad.
Yes I was repositioning my jack stands when the hydraulic jack lift failed. Sigh. Thanks again for the concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
She will maybe tell us how this happend, but I guess the design of the "Nifty Lifty" and the hydraulic failure lead to this.

Others members had already concerns about using this adapter.



Bolting the "Nifty Lifty" on the jack, could be an improvement...
Hi yes I noticed that too but it couldn’t have been the bar when there was tons of hydraulic fluid too.
I was thinking of getting a welder to weld that on. Im definitely rethinking the set up for next time and maybe getting the rhino ramps!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
YIKES, its called a diffuser and lots of aftermarket one out there. Look for a Diflow.

You have lifting points on either side, NOTHING IN THE MIDDLE! That's not a hydraulic fail, that's a human fail!!!!!!!
Hi I used a niffy jiffy bar made for the Elise with the hydraulic jack. Lifts the back end at once so I could place my 1 Ton jack stands. Thanks for the di flow info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
At the leading edge of the diffuser, not just in front of the exhaust cutout, and the panel and diffuser should be removed to use it securely as shown in your pic. I also believe you are supposed to raise it from the other rear lift points and then position the jack stand there.

With the diffuser still attached you are just aiming/“hoping” you have the jack in the proper location unless you use the nifty lifty, which ensures it is lined up with that beam while proving proper support to it despite the diffuser being in place.

A google search will turn up a pretty good guide/reference on properly lifting the car and using those points.
Hi Mark!! Thanks. Yeah I’ve done this about 5 times oil change Already with the niffy jiffy which has the alignment. I read the manual where the lift points are. All good reminders. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Did you have the front wheels chocked? If you weren’t using a nifty lifty, that is not the proper location/way to lift the back end. To me it looks like the jack may have just been under a small portion of the cross member and the car shifted forward, leaving nothing but the diffuser to support the weight of the car.

Also, make sure you rely on the jack to only lift the car - jack stands should be used to support the car as soon as possible after it is lifted.
Yes thank you for the reminder. Yes i chocked both front wheels front and back. And yes was repositioning my jack stands when it fell. At least my head wasn’t crushed. Lol one less lotus member. Hahahaha. Sorry bad joke but I was smart about it knowing the dangers. Thank you for the concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Looks like a good wake up call to start doing things properly.

1. Lift from the correct place
2. Don't get under the car without jackstands

I'm confused how this even happened, how is the jack up in the air stuck in the diffuser through the exhaust outlet?
Mark hi. Thanks for the concern. Yes I’ve done the oil change many times before. I used a niffy liffy bar made for Elise using the hydraulic lift to lift the back end it has two points as per the instructions. and was in the middle of repositioning the jack stands. I had chocked both front wheels. The jack failed and car came down with it stuck there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
In the middle of a lightly stressed, mostly concealed flat panel like that, I'd just rivet on a new piece of aluminum after hammering the edges flat. Maybe some epoxy to for extra bonding and to smooth out the edges and a little paint if cosmetics are important.

If one was to continue lifting at that location, perhaps the repair piece could incorporate some sort of doubler or a leveling/locating depression for the jack. Glad none of the body shell got hit!
Thanks for the advice. No that piece usually don’t get touched after I place the jacks. I’ve done 5 oil changes already. This time was just bad luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
The jack punctured just in front of the exhaust cutout, but we don't actually know where the jack was located when he was lifting the car - we only know where it ended up when the car fell. The diffuser looks bent between the main mounting bolts, so I assume the jack was on the subframe through the diffuser. Not the best idea, but also not necessarily a contributing factor here (again, we don't really know much about what happened, only what the OP has said). I used to lift mine using a rubber pad on one of the bolt heads and never had issues.
Yes I used the niffy liffy where the rubber matched the bolt heads but I saw someone posted others having issues with that bar. Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
But this was centered not on the bolt heads. She didn't state if using nifty lifty but if it was just on the diffuser that is so wrong and dangerous. It only takes minutes to drop diffuser and belly pan to get access to subframe. So many options this just wasn't one of them.
Hi I updated my post. I used the niffy liffy bar and used jacks. It fell when I was repositioning one of the jacks
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I had something similar happen with a jack helper/nifty lifty. But it wasn't a jack failure. It was because I didn't properly chock the front wheels and the car rolled a bit and the jack shifted off the helper and destroyed my diffuser. I stopped using the jack helper after that.

But this looks like a pretty similar accident.
Thanks I thought the same. But the big rubber chocks I used two for each wheel. Yeah I may stop using that bar. Thank you.
 
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