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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. Something happened to me yesterday that I would like some education on. I went Discount Tire to have a set of wheels that I was looking at test fitted. The service technician drove the car over the lift. Everything seemed fine. He then started opening my doors, unlatching my t-tops, and popped my hood. He saw the weird look on my face and proceeded to explain to me about how there was a Corvette that suffered damage before by cracking and this is the procedure that his manager insists on for all Corvettes. Well that blew me away but I let him proceed. they put blocks under the frame rails and proceeded to lift slowly. To my surprise I was like WTF:surprised Looking at the car from a side view you could see the door gap widen between the door and the front quarter panel and if you look in the space there was some kind of separation. If you follow the window frame rail down where the hood comes over it's like there was this big gap. They put a jack under the front just to make me feel better because I was tripping out thinking that the car was gonna break especially after what they told me. When the car was on the ground all was normal. Does everyone experience this and how do you even put it on jack stands? I was gonna do some work on the car on my own, but this has me kind of nervous. Thanks for reading my long post and thanks for any input on this matter.
 

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:laughing:

It's normal. :thumbsup:

C 3's flex.

It's smart to remove your T tops when lifting or jacking the car for this reason. If not, they could be flexed or stretched and crack.

I never open my doors prior to lifting the car though. Just remove the tops.

I saw a picture somewhere where a C3 broke in half on a lift. :thud: It had a rusty frame though. :devil:


It's a good thing your local Discount Tire knew their Vettes. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
:laughing:Thanks for the info man.:laughing: I almost crapped in my pants.:thud: You know I was really impressed that they knew that about the car. I thanked them very much for taking the time to do it right. :thumbsup: Does anybody put subframe connectors or any other structural enhancement on them, or does everyone just live with it?
 

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First I'm impressed that Discount Tire knew to do this. I used to be a store Manager with Super Shops Automotive Performance Center some 17 to 18 years ago and we did the same thing using floor jacks and jack stands since we didn't use lifts. Doors opened then closed to the first click, hood popped, back hatch if it has one and t-tops or targa opened. Even if we were only doing a test fit on one wheel or a front clearance test for a large tire we did this to cover our ass.

Too often a problem may roll into your shop that you don't know already exists and if you don't take the proper percautions they will blame you and even if you do everything right some deceiving people will blame you for something you didn't do looking for a handout.

I still do this with my car in my garage everytime I need to lift her. One time I forgot and needed to get in the car and the door wouldn't open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. This is really good info to know. I am so glad I wasn't dealing with someone who didn't know. I swearl you learn something new everyday with these cars.
 

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I see the promotion of another old wives tail...:rolling:
 

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First time I ever heard of a C3 flex.. I thought C4's flexed...

:huh:
 

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I'm with Ivan. There may be a certain amount of flex (especially the front clip) but you don't have to worry about your car breaking in half on the lift unless your frame is so rusty it's being held together by the paint. Sure, it may be possible that there would be enough flex to add a stress crack or two, but don't go overboard. I'd rather have the doors and tops installed to add a little rigidity and end up with a few tiny cracks.

They may flex, but don't let it scare you. :thumbsup:
 

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When I worked at the local Chevy dealership in the late 70's, we NEVER took special precautions with Corvettes. When I worked at a smaller garage, we didn't do anything special there, either.

I've heard the same mythology surrounding the C4 - that if you don't open all the things that will open, pour chicken blood on the floor, and say the proper incantations, then the car will somehow break when put on a lift (or jacked up).

I used to jack up my '65 at one corner or another all the time - as long as I could get proper support for the jack (ie, on the frame), then it was fine.

If the Corvette, with it's full frame, is liable to break, then how have all those unibody cars - with absolutely NO frame - managed to survive all the repairs they've had to go through?

Steven
 

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My car is super solid on a lift the doors close and open just fine. never had any kind of issue and i leave my tops on but there fiberglass
 

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I'm with Ivan. There may be a certain amount of flex (especially the front clip) but you don't have to worry about your car breaking in half on the lift unless your frame is so rusty it's being held together by the paint. Sure, it may be possible that there would be enough flex to add a stress crack or two, but don't go overboard. I'd rather have the doors and tops installed to add a little rigidity and end up with a few tiny cracks.

They may flex, but don't let it scare you. :thumbsup:
:agree: One thing I will say is that if you open your doors while the car is on the lift make sure you close them carefully. Good chance that it might not close correctly due to flex. This I have personally experienced.
 

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:agree: One thing I will say is that if you open your doors while the car is on the lift make sure you close them carefully. Good chance that it might not close correctly due to flex. This I have personally experienced.
Do you experience this kind of problem if the car is not parked on a flat or level surface? If there is that much flex when put on a lift, it would also seem likely that you would experience it on other occasions as well.

Steven
 

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Not really. Think about the unsupported weight when your car is on a lift. Everything from 6" behind the front tires forward, including the engine, is hanging out there. Even if you're parked unevenly, all four tires are still on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of you guys information. I don't want to be too overdramatic on this. It was just shocking to me that the front end flexed that much. My frame is solid so having this conversation with all of you makes me feel much better in knowing that nothing unusual is going on. That was my main concern. Thanks again as always for your advice. :thumbsup:
 

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Thanks for the head-up, I never heard of that one.

I'm just getting ready to do some work on my C3

up on the lift. I'm going to check mine out.
 

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Putting it on a lift will put less stress on the body than driving one wheel up on a 6" curb. Check your owners manual on how to change a tire, do you have to open all the doors and take the tops off??? You car has a box frame that supports the car from 4 1/2" bolts on each corner. I don't think the frame is going to flex to much from jacking it up.

If a mechanic told me he had to open the doors and pop the tops to jack it up. I would run not walk away from his shop, because he doesn't know hes ass from a hole in the ground.


The vette is build just like any other car on the road, same engineering. if any thing the fiberglass body is stronger and more forgiving to flex than sheet metal.

I think these old tales of vettes breaking were all started by jealous mustang owners that just got blew off the road.:rolling::rolling::rolling::rolling:
 

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...First time I ever heard of a C3 flex.. I thought C4's flexed...
A C4 will flex less than a C3; C5s and C6s even less than the C4.

The C3 was originally designed to have a one piece targa roof. While testing the top, it was learned that if the body had a small amount of flex in it, it was difficult to get the top on or off. The answer was to install the T-bar and use a pair of tops instead of one.

Difficulties with the targa top and the subsequent decision to go to t-tops delayed production of coupes until after January 1, 1968. All of early '68 production was limited to convertibles.

:thumbsup:
 

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Mike, you never cease to amaze me with your useful historic tidbits. Thanks for the info :thumbsup:
 

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I cannot see the flex from a lift being that stressful on the frame, if so why would you ever want to take it on the road? if it brakes on a lift then something was wrong and I rather have it break there than when im doing 120;)

I imagin the flex would be more in the fiberglass than the frame itself.
 
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