HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, Safety Safety Safety ! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; The notes about the batteries are UNDERSTATED. The batteries in our cars have more energy in them than the average ...
The notes about the batteries are UNDERSTATED. The batteries in our cars have more energy in them than the average hand grenade PLUS toxic acid. Seeing someone short one out with a wrench or jump start improperly scared the crap out of me, because I have seen one explode recently, killing a man in the process. A melted ring or watch is trivial in comparison.
Great stuff! I laughed so hard remembering the school of hard knocks I've been though.
Keep your hands OFF the radiator cap until the engine is cold or you'll learn what doctors call debriding....
Alway disconnect the Negative terminal on the battery first. Especially when your mechanic partner is in front of a airbag inside the car. He/she can learn how fast the trip from the front to the back seat can be otherwise.....
I still don't trust cheap jack stands. Even on the flat concrete at the shop I've seen cars roll. Remember who's going to be under a car when buying jack stands and always keep a jack under it as well.....
Seriously be safe.
Automobile(s): 1990 Cadillac Sedan De Ville, 1970 Cadillac Coupe De Ville
Re: Safety Safety Safety !
Awesome post and very good information. Safety and prevention should not be taken lightly.
My story, when I was about 17-18...
Owned an 88 LSC Mark VII and needed to change the rear brakes, so I removed both tires and had it on jack-stands (on a slight hill). Well, the jack-stand tipped and my car fell to the ground and missed my leg by about 2 inches. I almost threw up immediately from envisioning what a 4000Lb car would do to my shin falling from almost 2 ft. From that day on I make sure I'm on completely level ground and inspect the jack-stands numerous times to make sure everything looks good. I also throw my tire/rim flat underneath whatever part of the car I'm working on, just in case anything happens I still have some sort of delay or cushion.
Never think your above safety, "tough guys" get hurt too...
I'm new here, but I really appreciate the safety message, there are a ton of professional mechanics hurt each year, and many more do-it-yourselvers. Lets be safe, no matter how great your Cadillac is it's worthless without it's owner to appreciate it!
Here's another addition relative to jack stands: make yourself plywood squares that should always be placed under the feet of the jackstands. They should be about 1" wider than the total footprint of the feet on all sides.
Ideally, if the only place you're using jack stands is on a perfectly level correctly poured concrete floor, this should not be necessary. However, how often is this actually the case? I do most of my work in my driveway if I'm working at home and that driveway is asphalt. Regardless of how level and how well-cured that asphalt is, the weight of a car on the tiny points of jack stand feet results in digging in. This would be fine if the digging in were consistent under all feet, as though they were resting on foam, but it isn't. Those stands could topple and/or your car slide off/drop even if one just shifts enough to allow a major weight shift. Using a plywood square allows the feet to dig in to the plywood in a very regular way but then distributes the weight across a huge, flat footprint rather than three or four very small points.
This has the added advantage of preventing the occasional chipping of your nice concrete surface if you're working on one.
Also, as dumb as it sounds, if your car is up on stands, always give the thing a very good shove to test its stability on those stands every time before you start a session where you'll be crawling under it. You'll be much happier, though you won't be happy, if you knock it to the pavement yourself due to any stability issue than you would be if it were to fall on you.