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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-06-2010, 10:50 AM
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Cool DIY - Homemade Wooden Ramps For Your Car

DIY - Homemade Wooden Ramps for your car

1. Wood.
I took this picture, but then I ended up buying the 2x8-8FT wood. Feel a little better with a wider ramp. Cost: $6.06 each.





2. Handle:
I got 2 of the little white ones. $2.29 each. I'm going to screw them onto the second 'step', to make it easier to carry. It should make it so that standing upright, with arms strait down, the ramps will make it off the ground.



3. Cut:
I had the guy at Home Depot cutting the 2 pieces of wood for me. Length are 12", 18", 24", 30", and there is a leftover board of about 11.5". You could add 3" to each piece if you prefer: 15", 21", 27", 33". Total = 96" = exactly 8' which is the full length of the wood. I went with the smaller ramp, because I live in an apartment building, and space is a factor. I also will need to carry them down to my underground parking garage, sometimes put them in my trunk.... If you live in a house, by all means, go for the longer ramp. The other reason is that I want the extra 2x 11" pieces to be used either as an extra height on top of the top board if I need that extra height. I can use it a stoppers for the rear wheels, use them to balance my car if I am on an uneven ground.. Etc.


4. Picture without flash.
One of the mods in OT said that the above picture is not lively as the bottom pictures that have more warmth. So this is for you LTS.


5. Drill and screw.
I drilled 2" holes and then used 2.5" screws. Start from the BOTTOM second top step. This way all the screws will be hidden at the bottom of the ramp, making the ramp looking "cleaner".


6. Keep attaching the pieces from the top down. I was using this battery operated screwdriver - this is a piece of s**t made by Black and Decker, that is going back to Home Depot for a money back. I could only do 5-6 screws before the battery dies. I recharged again overnight, and the next morning was the same thing. I took the screw bit off the driver and put it on my drill and used that to screw. Don't even think of doing this using a hand screwdriver.


7. Almost there....


8. Done.
You see the extra 11" piece I have for each ramp.


9. Next: Painting. I want to paint this, so that in case I have oil spill or dirt staining my ramps, I will be able to easily wipe them off. Then, attaching the handle. Then, attaching a stopper at the end. I have 2 pieces of 4x4 cut diagonally, making it like a small triangle, that I am using as a stopper. Maybe I will attach it, maybe not. Live dangerously.

mw
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Last edited by MatWiz; 07-06-2010 at 12:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2010, 10:51 AM
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:58 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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MatWiz,

Couple of suggestions:
1. 2x6 lumber is too narrow.
2x10 is better. "10" in the lumber world means 9.25 inches in width = 235mm, which fits the E39 tire and many light trucks, van tires.
So for practical purposes, 2x10 is good for many vehicles.

2. You need a "stopper" at the end of the ramp, otherwise, very easy to drive "over the cliff" LOL.

3. Your top "landing piece" is simply too short = dangerous!

4. Three (3) layers is good enough. The problem with 4-layer wood ramp is that it will hit the front bumper (unless you have long pieces).
I also have a separate 4th piece (to be placed at the bottom of my 3-layer ramp) that I leave out and use it only when I need it.
FYI, the dimension of my wood ramps is here (see pic for dimensions):

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Old 07-06-2010, 12:55 PM
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Hey cn90,

You posted before I had a chance to finish putting in the text..

What gave me the idea of doing this: About a month ago, they were making this movie in East Village in Manhattan. With Kate Hudson. I walked along the sidewalk where they had all those caravans hooked to a tractor trailer. All the tractors had their rear axle wheels on these wooden ramps. (I've no idea why ). They were 2x6, 4 plates high. I figured if they can support a tractor, good enough for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
MatWiz,

Couple of suggestions:
1. 2x6 lumber is too narrow.
*** yeah, I figured that, and got the 8" wide. 10" would have been too heavy and big. I don't have a house garage. 6" was good enough for the movie tractors, so I see no problem with the 8".

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
2x10 is better. "10" in the lumber world means 9.25 inches in width = 235mm, which fits the E39 tire and many light trucks, van tires.
So for practical purposes, 2x10 is good for many vehicles.

2. You need a "stopper" at the end of the ramp, otherwise, very easy to drive "over the cliff" LOL.
*** Yes, I saw the picture that Bluebee posted.... I'll just be careful. This is one of the reasons that I left the steps at 90 degrees, unlike yours. I will have a very clear feel when I go over each step, so I know exactly where I am on the ramp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
3. Your top "landing piece" is simply too short = dangerous!
*** It is 12" long. I can still place a piece of wood at the end as a precaution, but I don't want to screw one permanently. I am confident that I can stop at a 12" 'landing board". Secondly, I will always use a stopper at the rear wheel to stop me before I go overboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
4. Three (3) layers is good enough. The problem with 4-layer wood ramp is that it will hit the front bumper (unless you have long pieces).
I also have a separate 4th piece (to be placed at the bottom of my 3-layer ramp) that I leave out and use it only when I need it.
FYI, the dimension of my wood ramps is here (see pic for dimensions)
*** Actually for me, 3 is too low. I have a lowered suspension, so I need the extra 1.5" and maybe even another 1.5" with the extra piece of board that I have left over. In fact, I measured, and the way I built these ramps, there is 6" long before each step, so it's 12" before you go to a 3 boards high. This is why my incline is more moderate than yours. I can not fit 3 boards underneath my bumper!

So my ramp's measurement are perfect for a lowered car.

mw
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Last edited by MatWiz; 07-06-2010 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:14 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
.....I am confident that I can stop at a 12" 'landing board". Secondly, I will always use a stopper at the rear wheel to stop me before I go overboard...
LMAO, I now use 2 x10 and longer board but FYI a few years ago, I used 2x8 and shorter top landing piece, EXACTLY like yours.
With this 2x8 board, every journey up this 2x8 short board is like a trip up Mount Everest, very scary.
Then I decided to go to 2x10 and longer board, it is a breeze then.

FYI, this is what I used to have!!! Basically no room for error going up the staircase!!!
http://bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/189240

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:26 PM
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do you really need chalks for the rear wheel if the front are the ones that you will be raising? the rear has the parking brakes.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
*** Yes, I saw the picture that Bluebee posted.... This is one of the reasons that I left the steps at 90 degrees ... I will have a very clear feel when I go over each step, so I know exactly where I am on the ramp.
You mean this?

It's an example how NOT to drive your car up (and over) ramps!



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Old 07-06-2010, 01:38 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HW View Post
do you really need chalks for the rear wheel if the front are the ones that you will be raising? the rear has the parking brakes.

FYI "chock", not chalks.

Anyway, as a rule if you raise the front, chock the REAR tires, both front and back sides of the REAR tires.

The reverse is also true, if you raise the rear, chock the FRONT tires, both front and back sides of the FRONT tires.

PS: FYI park the car on a slight incline, apply hand brake (gear in neutral) and see if it holds your car, you will be surprised after 10 years, the parking brake is close to useless. I posted a Parking Brake Overhaul DIY last year.

Last edited by cn90; 07-06-2010 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
You mean this?

It's an example how NOT to drive your car up (and over) ramps!



Yes. This one.

It hurts me every time I see this picture. Looking at this ramp, compared to mine, yours are more steep, and they are also smoothly going upward. So you don't really have an indication where you are on the ramp, and you also need to press the gas pedal a little more. Makes it harder to stop in time. Is that what happened? What can I learn from this?

mw
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Makes it harder to stop in time. Is that what happened? What can I learn from this?
Yup. I couldn't tell where I was until I was already over the edge.

In fact, I wasn't sure WHERE I was even when I was OVER the ramps; so I just kept my foot on the brake for fifteen minutes and called a neighbor over who told me where the ramps were (I was afraid they were on sheet metal).

I actually held the car on the falling edge of the ramps for a little while as it rolled another inch or so when I finally let up on the brake (with the emergency brake pulled as hard as I could) when I finally got out of the car.

Ummm .... What you can learn is (a) don't use this type of ramp, and, (b) if you do use this type of ramp, open the windows and get a spotter.

PS: I chock both wheels, just in case; but only after I get OUT of the car off the ramps (which might be too late).

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:58 PM
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Sometimes a $5 mirror at Walmart can be used instead of a "spotter".
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:05 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Matwiz,

One day you move to a real house, you can do this:

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Old 07-06-2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Matwiz,

One day you move to a real house, you can do this:

what's inside of that chip board structure
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Matwiz,

One day you move to a real house, you can do this:

Now, THOSE ARE SERIOUSLY NICE RAMPS!!! Hmmm...
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Sometimes a $5 mirror at Walmart can be used instead of a "spotter".
GENIUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


mw
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Matwiz,

One day you move to a real house, you can do this:

Buy an old Corvette?

mw
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Matwiz,

One day you move to a real house, you can do this:

Looking at the placement of those two metal ramps under your two wooden planks I imagine the flex was a little too hairy. BTW how do they attach to the boxes?
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:26 PM
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MatWiz,

If you had let me know, you could have used my ramps!
That said, a nice woodworking project.
I expect it will be painted by some cat named Max, in enamel, just to keep up with your NYC brethren.

There, now when I ask Cam about the 'Vett Ramp", I won't be threadjacking.

Cam, what about the ramp?
Where's the DIY with the sick pics and text?
And just to be fair, Matt, I have always suffered from ramp envy, and Cam's ramps can clearly help me over that.

Mahalo!

T. the Hb.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haolibird View Post
MatWiz,

If you had let me know, you could have used my ramps!
..........
Where are you? You are on the other side of the country from me. No?

Guys, can you give me ideas of the paint? What color should I paint them?

mw
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:27 PM
haolibird haolibird is offline
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Battleship grey.

I could have FedEx'd my $30.00 ramps to you for $29.00.

See?
I learn stuff from you!

Aloha!!
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Where are you? You are on the other side of the country from me. No?

Guys, can you give me ideas of the paint? What color should I paint them?

mw
Never paint these wood ramps, the paint will chip off and it will look much worse.
Leave it alone. It is just a piece of wood that may be stained with oil, rubber from the tires and 99% of the time sitting in the gaage far away from human view.....

And this comes from a wood worker, I have been making home furnitures etc. as a hobby for 30 years.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:50 PM
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To the OP, I would want the bottom couple of boards extending at least 8" in front of the "stop" in order to add some stability. If one where to get to the stop suddenly, you could tip the thing forward...
Note that even metal ramps do not end abruptly at 90 degrees, they have a slope to them forward slightly, again for stability.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Never paint these wood ramps, the paint will chip off and it will look much worse.
Leave it alone. It is just a piece of wood that may be stained with oil, rubber from the tires and 99% of the time sitting in the gaage far away from human view.....

And this comes from a wood worker, I have been making home furnitures etc. as a hobby for 30 years.
Why would a paint chip off? People paint wood all the time?

It is just going to be a mess if I have oil running on the floor, going to the ramps, and then I have to carry these upstairs to my apt. It's not like I can throw them somewhere in the corner of my garage, unfortunately they need to go in my tools closet with some other stuff, in a very tight space.

mw
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:10 PM
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O Man. I just want say this is reall cool. If I had a bigger house, I would like to consider this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Matwiz,

One day you move to a real house, you can do this:

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Old 07-06-2010, 06:11 PM
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My insane method...





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