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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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  #51  
Old 09-12-2010, 06:10 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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I just found another use for my car wood ramp: my push-type (walk behind) lawnmower oil change!

For a long time, I always turn my lawn mower on the side to access the bottom drain plug, change the oil etc.
Very often, I run into issues of oil sucked into the combustion chamber (b/c the lawn mower is on the side), then I have to remove the spark plugs etc.
Then blue smoke on start-up!

Now I push the lawn mower on the wood ramps so it can stay upright. Then change the oil w/o any problems!
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  #52  
Old 09-12-2010, 07:05 AM
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agent15 agent15 is offline
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I just built a set of ramps yesterday based on your design, cn90. They'll be great for the pending oil change(s) and ambient temperature sensor replacement. Thanks for the great idea. I had not seen this thread before this morning (I have your oil change thread bookmarked), though just like the OP I had the friendly folks at Lowes do my cuts for me. By the time I figure in tax and the cost of the drywall screws I already had, my total investment ends up being less than $15.
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  #53  
Old 09-12-2010, 07:24 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent15 View Post
I just built a set of ramps yesterday based on your design, cn90. They'll be great for the pending oil change(s) and ambient temperature sensor replacement. Thanks for the great idea. I had not seen this thread before this morning (I have your oil change thread bookmarked), though just like the OP I had the friendly folks at Lowes do my cuts for me. By the time I figure in tax and the cost of the drywall screws I already had, my total investment ends up being less than $15.
Yeah,

I have had these wood ramps for over 10 years and have been through 100 oil changes etc.
They virtually last forever.
You feel secure under the car using wood ramps. They are simply rock solid and safe.
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  #54  
Old 09-12-2010, 07:33 AM
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agent15 agent15 is offline
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One thing I'm going to try is spraying the bottom of them with Plasti-Dip for some additional non-skid adhesion.
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  #55  
Old 09-12-2010, 08:41 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Leave it alone, all that spraying stuff will come loose and look ugly.
It won't skid.
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  #56  
Old 09-12-2010, 09:42 AM
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Since this thread has been revived, I feel obligated to post the final pictures of this little project. Now painted RED hot. LOL. And I changed my mind about the handles. Turned out, that I would not be able to fit my fingers into the handle to hold it. I mean, there is not enough room there to be able to bend your fingers to hold it. So I changed it to these chains. Still from Home Depot. 60 cents for both of them.



Driving up the ramps is easy. Just have a hand mirror out the window as you drive up, to see where you are. (Another genius idea from our CN90... LOL ).





mw
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Last edited by MatWiz; 09-12-2010 at 11:15 AM.
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  #57  
Old 09-12-2010, 10:06 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Nice red color!!! I like it!

For people who use wood ramps, always chock the REAR tire on both the front and back part of the REAR tire to prevent the car from rolling. Two (2) bricks or wheel chocks from Harbor Freight will do it:

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  #58  
Old 09-12-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Nice red color!!! I like it!

For people who use wood ramps, always chock the REAR tire on both the front and back part of the REAR tire to prevent the car from rolling. Two (2) bricks or wheel chocks from Harbor Freight will do it:
Yes, I completely agree. You can't see that in the picture because it wasn't my intentions to show the chocks, but there is another triangular cut 4x4 piece right behind the rear wheel. So essentially I have 3 chocks in that picture, but only 2 are seen.

That picture was 5 minutes before I did my oil change. With my lowered car (Dinan), and the 4 levels ramp, I still had only about 3" space between my chest and the car. And before anybody asks, no, I don't have boobies.

mw
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  #59  
Old 09-12-2010, 12:11 PM
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With my lowered car (Dinan), and the 4 levels ramp, I still had only about 3" space between my chest and the car. And before anybody asks, no, I don't have boobies.
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  #60  
Old 09-12-2010, 07:58 PM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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For anyone reading this thread and considering the stack o' wood versus the plastic ramps, if you have any basic wood working skills at all, do the stack o' wood. I had a set for several years, complete with the end stop and carry handles. (The second plank from the bottom was offset toward the from of the vehicle and had two holes with some rope between them as a handle.) They were fine, although a little heavy to lug arround, but who cares, they never really have to go very far. Then I received a set of heavy duty plastic ramps (rated high enough for use with my truck) and I threw out the old wood ones. I wish I had kept them.

The wooden ramps were nice because you could distinctly feel each level as you went up, so you knew when you were approaching the top. They inherently seem more substantial than the plastic ramps that can deform slightly under certain circumstances. I once lowered the front of the car onto the ramps after being jacked from the center support, and the suspension travel caused the ramps to flex outward. (I drove down them right away rather than work that way.) I've also seen them deform when trying to brace them from the back wall of the garage to keep them from sliding.

And speaking of sliding, yes, both types will slide given the right circumstances. The plastic ones seem to slide no matter what once you are halfway up and the weight of the car shifts more towards the main part of the ramp and off of the rubber "no skid" pad under the nose of the ramp. With the wooden ramps, the sliding seemed to be hit and miss, depending on how dirty the garage floor was. Loose grit and dirt on the smooth concrete floor of the garage seemed to make for a sort of ball bearing or dry lube effect.

One plus for the plastic ones is definitely the weight. They are light enough to store on most any shelf, and they even have holes molded in them where you could just hang them on the wall for storage.

Anyhow, now that I've tried both, I wish I still had the old wooden ones.
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  #61  
Old 09-13-2010, 06:39 AM
bmw_jeff_325i bmw_jeff_325i is offline
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Matwiz,

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

I hope those 2 x 12's are at least 12" O.C. vertically.
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  #62  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:12 AM
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4 wheel platform



I need to get the car up high enough to drop the tranny with a tranny jack.

anyone have any other designs like this?
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  #63  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
My insane method...





This is how I do it, I've found that reverse up the ramp is pretty predictable and the ramps dont hit the rear bumper like they do on the front. I chock the rear wheels on the ramp, park, handbrake, then jack up the front using the jack point, jackstands and you are done... stable and portable when you need to put things away.
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  #64  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
That's why the prevalence of wood ramps!

Here's another set of home-made wooden ramps that a BMW owner uses:

I've thought about this setup, I guess my only concern is that you spin the rear tires as you go up the rear ramp, changing the positioning of the front, etc. This would be a quick and dirty and likely safer way to do it vs. jacking up one end or the other. Anybody tried four ramps with three layers each, wonder if the rear ramps will fit under the sills...
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  #65  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
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
The wood you're intending to paint is framing lumber which has a tendency to shrink/check/split/etc.

You could split an old sheet to cover the ramps when in use, just be sure if you spill any oil that you don't ball-up the material and toss in a corner...spontaneous combustion (ask me how I know )
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  #66  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:11 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooray! View Post
I've thought about this setup, I guess my only concern is that you spin the rear tires as you go up the rear ramp, changing the positioning of the front, etc. This would be a quick and dirty and likely safer way to do it vs. jacking up one end or the other. Anybody tried four ramps with three layers each, wonder if the rear ramps will fit under the sills...
Hooray,

That red car is mine LOL, and yes I have done it many times: all 4 wheels on the wood ramps as shown.
The rear tires clear the ramps easily.
One downside with this technique is chocking the wheels is tricky!
You can see I placed some bricks there but if you do this, I'd suggest using a long ramps for the rear so you can place a wheel chock behind the rear wheel (the front of the rear tire is blocked by the "stopper" anyway).
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  #67  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:11 AM
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E36 Phantom E36 Phantom is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooray! View Post
I've thought about this setup, I guess my only concern is that you spin the rear tires as you go up the rear ramp, changing the positioning of the front, etc. This would be a quick and dirty and likely safer way to do it vs. jacking up one end or the other. Anybody tried four ramps with three layers each, wonder if the rear ramps will fit under the sills...
I have the opposite problem - when using ramps on a smooth concrete garage floor the front wheels just push the ramps forward (plastic rhino ramps) even with rubber stoppers underneath. However, backing up them is fine as the rear wheels pull against the ramp which counteracts the natural pushing away as you go up, and it stays in place and you can drive up easily. Its the only way I can get ramps under the car in my garage.

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You're a derbanana
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  #68  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:14 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
plastic rhino ramps...
Your problem is right there: plastic!
Use wood ramps and never have to worry about it because wood ramp is heavy and does not slide much.

Your other option is to place a rubber mat (like the floor mat) under the plastic rhino ramps to prevent skidding.
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  #69  
Old 01-05-2011, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Your problem is right there: plastic!
Use wood ramps and never have to worry about it because wood ramp is heavy and does not slide much.

Your other option is to place a rubber mat (like the floor mat) under the plastic rhino ramps to prevent skidding.
Actually my wood platform for my bike slides just as easily, even with the bike on it. And I like the rhino ramps a lot.

The rubber mat is a great idea....I put that under my kitchen rug and it hasn't moved an inch...I'll try it in the garage.

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You're a derbanana
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  #70  
Old 01-05-2011, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Hooray,

That red car is mine LOL, and yes I have done it many times: all 4 wheels on the wood ramps as shown.
The rear tires clear the ramps easily.
One downside with this technique is chocking the wheels is tricky!
You can see I placed some bricks there but if you do this, I'd suggest using a long ramps for the rear so you can place a wheel chock behind the rear wheel (the front of the rear tire is blocked by the "stopper" anyway).
Too funny, I think you are right, a longer "top" platform on both ramps would give you room to put chocks without requiring the extra 2x4 stopper which would not fit under the sill. The other option would be to make a pyramid ramp for both ends, if you overshoot, you simply drive down the other side!

Quote:
Originally Posted by E36 Phantom View Post
I have the opposite problem - when using ramps on a smooth concrete garage floor the front wheels just push the ramps forward (plastic rhino ramps) even with rubber stoppers underneath. However, backing up them is fine as the rear wheels pull against the ramp which counteracts the natural pushing away as you go up, and it stays in place and you can drive up easily. Its the only way I can get ramps under the car in my garage.

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I found the same thing with my old set of Rhino ramps so I bought a new set during a sale at PepBoys. The new ones do not skid or "push" with the front tires (maybe softer rubber blocks on the leading edge) and backing up onto them has always been easy. For non-level work like oil changes, the ramps are a snap. For doing "level" work like ATF, raising the other end (front or rear) is the PITA, I like the idea of the four wooden ramp approach, drive on, drive off (no jacks) and nothing to fall off, but I like the 6" the Rhino ramps give me vs. 4-4.5" with the wood ramp approach to still fit under the sills. Now I'm thinking about the pyramid ramp approach, could even be a steep 4" stagger on the far side, but enough to not cause you any body damage if you screw up!

.
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  #71  
Old 12-13-2011, 11:32 AM
MrTrouble MrTrouble is offline
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look at what i made..............a trip to the store:


lol...:d
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  #72  
Old 02-03-2013, 12:06 PM
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Here are home built 'car ramps' that most of us would probably NOT trust, but here they are nonetheless:


Of course, that looks dangerous above - but - apparently, even the professionals have mishaps:
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-03-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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  #73  
Old 02-04-2013, 11:34 AM
s2kpunisher s2kpunisher is offline
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Careful there buddy!
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  #74  
Old 02-04-2013, 01:03 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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There's an easier way.




And when you're done just simply store it out of the way.

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  #75  
Old 02-04-2013, 02:44 PM
Pablo_El Pablo_El is offline
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Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
There's an easier way.




And when you're done just simply store it out of the way.


$2000.00 shipped vs $100 bucks and some labor.

If only they were reasonably priced ($500 :P)
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