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Old 05-13-2019, 09:31 PM
JimMac JimMac is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 67
Default Single person RV-12 jack system

Here is my solution to jacking up my RV-12 when I have no help. I made two identical stands like this. (See photo below). The pad on top was not yet permanently tacked down when this photo was taken. The horizontal 4x4 is 25 inches from the ground and 26 inches wide. Here is the procedure: Place one stand under the belly between the steps. Jack up the stand with the small hydraulic jack until the base of the stand is high enough to slide the two loose 4x4’s under the stand bases. Release the jack pressure.
Since the main landing gear is still on the ground, the plane is stable roll-wise, so there will be no tendency for the plane to roll off to the side of the single jacking point as the stand is being raised off the ground. The top of the hydraulic jack fits into a 1 inch hole in the center of the vertical 4x4 to keep the jack from slipping out of place.
Now place the second stand into its proper jacking position under the bulkhead near the wing trailing edge. Jack it up until it is high enough to place the two loose 4x4’s under the base feet of the stand. Release the haudraulic jack pressure. The wheels will clear the ground by about 2 inches.
The front jack stand is supporting the plane stable enough in roll that there it will not roll to the side off of the single jacking point.
This seems to work well for me. I welcome any critiques on the design.

I could have used a 2x4 instead of the 4x4 on top of the stand to make it a little lighter.

Jim McCarter
Madison, AL
RV-12 N864RV 90 hrs TT

Donation Made for 2019

Last edited by JimMac : 05-13-2019 at 10:30 PM. Reason: To add additional explanation.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 1,648
Default Curious - - - - -

Was your main purpose to be able to change tires etc. ?
John Bender
Flying RV-12 - Serial #120036
Paid in May ( 5-2020 )
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:42 AM
John-G John-G is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 668


Nice job! I like the stand design a lot!

Only thing I would consider adding is a couple of pins that would prevent the stand from sliding off the 4x4 bases should there be a side load from some unexpected source.
RV-12 Wings, Empennage, Fuselage, Finishing, Avionics and Powerplant kits all completed
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:48 AM
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tomkk tomkk is online now
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Port Orange, Fl
Posts: 928

Looks like it would work great. I've just never had occasion to jack up both sides at the same time.
Port Orange, Fl
EAA #51411
RV-12 N121TK ELSA #120845; first flight 06/10/2015; 700 hrs as of 02/2020
RV-12 N918EN ELSA #120995 Eagles Nest Project; first flight 05/18/2019
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:35 AM
DHeal DHeal is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 906

Should work great but I have taken a more minimalistic approach. One HF hydraulic wing jack stand at the appropriate tiedown point to change each main gear tire, check landing gear bolts' torque, etc. When I need to work on the nose wheel I use a floor-mounted hard point or weight to pull down on the tail tiedown point to temporarily lift the nosewheel off the ground. Works for me. I have a pair of heavy-duty fuselage stands but have never found the need to use them.
David Heal - Windsor, CA (near Santa Rosa)
EAA #23982 (circa 1965) - EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor; CFI - A&I
RV-12 E-LSA #120496 (SV w/ AP and ADS-B 2020) - N124DH flying since March 2014 - 930+ hours (as of July 2020)!
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:36 PM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,232

Sure, but that does not satisfy the desire (need?) to have all three wheels off the ground and wings off for the condition inspection. I suppose it's not an actual requirement, but it sure does make things easier and quicker to be able to get at everything at the same time.

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:52 PM
JimMac JimMac is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 67

OK, everyone has made some good points. I’ll try to explain what led me to this solution. I needed to do a complete brake and wheel bearing job so I wanted both wheels off the ground while I did all this work, including replacing brake fluid and testing the whole system for leaks and proper brake pad movement.
1. Cost was a consideration with me. These stands were inexpensive to make. Rather than use 4x4’s I could have made the whole stand out of 2x4’s and doubled them wherever I thought they needed to be beefier - like the vertical legs. That would have lessened the cost a bit. Also, the Harbor Freight jacks are inexpensive. And you might could get by with only one.
2. I had tried the “Weights pulling down the tail” method using concrete blocks on a mechanics crawler, but I found it difficult to manage it alone. It’s easier to just slide the stand between the foot steps and jack it up.
3. Earlier I had tried to make a cheap hydraulic lift for lifting under the wing tie downs.
(A) I never came up with a good design that precluded the tie down ring from slipping off the jack.
(B) I just didn’t like the idea of that much weight pushing down on the aluminum threads that the rings were screwed into. Maybe I’m just being silly about that.
4. When both stands are in place holding the plane off the ground, there is a lot of downward force on those loose 4x4’s under the feet of the stand. It’s difficult to even kick them out from under the stands. However, a couple of 1/2 inch dowels in each one that protrudes about 1/4 or 1/2 inch and that mate with holes on the underside of the stand bases would make it more secure. I have no concern about the wind blowing the plane sideways since I’m in a hangar.

I appreciate everyone’s comments. I just wanted to throw this out there as “Yet Another Jack Idea” to be critiqued. I have found this design to be convenient and easy for one person to manage.
Jim McCarter
Madison, AL
RV-12 N864RV 90 hrs TT

Donation Made for 2019

Last edited by JimMac : 05-14-2019 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Add a sentence
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