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Homepage. This page: A cautionary tale about working under a V8 Ford and relying on its hydraulic jacking system.

Car drops onto the mechanic underneath - a lucky escape.

This particular story sent in by Roy, one of a number that now appear in the motoring memories section, has a funny side to it but could so easily have been disastrous. If you just rely on a hydraulic jack to keep a car in the air, this may just get you to re-consider:
Ford V8 Pilot similar to that in this story
"In the mid fifties I was an apprentice mechanic at a Ford dealership in my home town of Leicester. It was not long after the war, so most of the senior mechanics had been in the thick of it with R.E.M.E and the like, the lucky ones were rebuilding their lives again in civvy street.
One such character was working under the rear of a V8 Ford Pilot. For anyone that knows the vehicle will tell you it was a beast, I remember well that the distributor had two sets of cb points and it was not easy to set these up, I think Iíve still got the callouses on my hands from sitting on the wings and grinding engine valves in situ as it was a sidevalve V8, anyway no matter. This vehicle had its own hydraulic jack system which could lift all four wheels off the ground simultaneously. This system seldom worked and was unreliable. We were instructed not to use the car jacks but told to use the very good Epco jacks and axle stands supplied by the garage. However this 'brave' man decided that he knew best and proceeded to jack up the vehicle using its own jacking system.
He was sitting under the offside rear wheel with his legs astride and under the vehicle working on the brakes when the jacks failed. The car crashed to the floor and completely crushed his right leg. Pandemonium broke out as someone phoned for an ambulance whilst the others were trying to drag him from under the car. It was really horrible, until we suddenly saw that he was beaming from ear to ear. "Whatís the matter with you lot?" he said, "Iíve still got my other leg". He then proceeded to unfasten his crushed artificial limb and climbed out from beneath the vehicle - apparently he had lost it in action a few years earlier, good job it wasnít the other leg as legally he wouldnít have had a leg to stand on (sorry). There are many such stories in circulation with regard to artificial limbs, glass eyes and the like, but this is a true tale, I know because I was there!"

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