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Old 07-29-2016, 02:26 AM   #1
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Moved house, have gravel driveway. Ideas?

So I've just moved into a new home yesterday and I'm super excited.



The driveway is massive and I have plenty of space to work on the car. The only down side is that it's gravel. As it's a rental property, I can't change it. Well, permanently anyway.

Tips for working on a car on gravel? I'm worried that it's going to be a pain when it comes to lifting the car, etc. First thought was to have a big piece of tarpaulin that I pin to the ground before working on it (easy to find tools, etc).

Any help would be much appreciated
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Old 07-29-2016, 03:16 AM   #2
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Ply board?
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Old 07-29-2016, 03:22 AM   #3
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Pave it all.... problem solved.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:24 AM   #4
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Depending on how thick the gravel is, you'll need something like plywood to dissipate the force when jacking up the car. You might use a large piece of cardboard under your work area so you can find anything that drops and you don't scoop up a bunch of gravel in your pants when you crawl under it.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:31 AM   #5
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Plywood is good for staying off the ground and not losing nuts or bolts that drop on the ground. Be very careful lifting the car or using jack stands though. I suggest using the largest paver(flat cement square) that you can find. You want a thick paver because thin ones will break easily if too much pressure is forced on them. I would also use a scissor or bottle jack over a floor jack and flat bottom jack stands if you can. Be very careful whatever you end up doing. I had a car almost fall on me because the jack stands had shifted. The jack stands were on plywood and had started to break through the plywood. I was replacing the rear axle on a car and the car started to move. I did the fastest crab shuffle in my life and not a second or two later after getting out, the whole car came falling down. I make a habit of placing a wheel or something solid and big under a vehicle when I'm working on them.
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Last edited by itsnotanova; 07-29-2016 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 07-29-2016, 05:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddyonine View Post
Ply board?
Yeah was thinking something like that, but may use stone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCactus View Post
Pave it all.... problem solved.
"As it's a rental property, I can't change it."


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Originally Posted by husker boxster View Post
Depending on how thick the gravel is, you'll need something like plywood to dissipate the force when jacking up the car. You might use a large piece of cardboard under your work area so you can find anything that drops and you don't scoop up a bunch of gravel in your pants when you crawl under it.
Going to use tarpaulin instead of cardboard. I can use tent pins to pin the corners down and drive onto it. Also water proof if it's rained the day before

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Plywood is good for staying off the ground and not losing nuts or bolts that drop on the ground. Be very careful lifting the car or using jack stands though. I suggest using the largest paver(flat cement square) that you can find. You want a thick paver because thin ones will break easily if too much pressure is forced on them. I would also use a scissor or bottle jack over a floor jack and flat bottom jack stands if you can. Be very careful whatever you end up doing. I had a car almost fall on me because the jack stands had shifted. The jack stands were on plywood and had started to break through the plywood. I was replacing the rear axle on a car and the car started to move. I did the fastest crab shuffle in my life and not a second or two later after getting out, the whole car came falling down. I make a habit of placing a wheel or something solid and big under a vehicle when I'm working on them.
Thanks for the advice man. I think separate paving stones for the jacks may be the way to go then. I haven't looked properly yet but it depends how deep the gravel goes, I may be able to shift a space out of the way so that the axle stands/jacks are on solid ground. But yeah, I've no idea what's under the gravel yet.
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Old 07-29-2016, 05:26 AM   #7
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You don't want your Porsche car to stand over this 24/7. Not exactly the best for a car like yours.

Look up "driveway protection mat" in your are and see if you can find one that sell those. Often offered in strong/thick composites and relatively cheap. Cut ground humidity and others, make working on car easier, keeps the land free of petroleum also. All good reasons.

Might not work for jack support, but certainly make life easier for both you and the car.

Nice pebbles, driveway, and little place you got there none the less
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:01 AM   #8
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To build on itsnotanova's idea of using pavers, would the owner mind if you excavated the gravel in one section, brought in some sand, level & tamped it, and placed the pavers over the sand....keeping it relatively flush with the gravel around it.

This makes for a pretty robust, non-permanent parking/work area. And I would still use some 3/4" - 1" plywood squares under the jack stands and floor jack to spread the load a bit.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:29 PM   #9
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This

For $200 you could have a nice place for your car...when you leave take them with you. These are not hard to lay down

Shop Gray Square Concrete Patio Stone (Common: 12-in x 12-in; Actual: 11.7-in x 11.7-in) at Lowes.com
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:12 AM   #10
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Was looking around for cat videos on YouTube and ran across this one. I'm not sure what type of grating this is, but maybe this might work for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei_9KbopUaw

ETA: It looks like this might be the type that gets laid down first and then the gravel is poured over it so maybe it's not the best solution.

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Old 07-31-2016, 06:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsnotanova View Post
I was replacing the rear axle on a car and the car started to move. I did the fastest crab shuffle in my life and not a second or two later after getting out, the whole car came falling down.
Whoa... way too close. This is one of my nightmares. I am very claustrophobic as it is, so anytime I am under a car I have a couple backup systems. I did a simple oil change on my daughter's car so I just had one side jacked up with a floor jack. I put a jack stand under the car next to the floor jack as a back up. When done I found the car was sitting on the jack stand. The floor jack had failed..... a seal had given way.

Sorry for getting off track.
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Old 08-01-2016, 01:40 AM   #12
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I always put an axle stand and a wheel under the car just in case. Freaks me out...
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:29 AM   #13
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May I ask what rents go for in that neck of the woods?
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:56 PM   #14
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I grew up in a house with gravel driveway (in Devon). Always made sure I had a BIG magnet. Once those pesky nuts, washers, etc fall on gravel they just seemed to vanish, magnet was the only way of finding them!
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