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People Lifting Cars off others

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New User

Nov 25, 2013, 5:35 AM

Post #1 of 4 (1106 views)
People Lifting Cars off others Sign In

Hi all,

I am not a real car enthusiast, and haven’t even owned one in the last 15 years, but was wondering if you would let me pick your brains for a while.

There is a discussion in another forum (not related to auto repair) about stories of people lifting a car that from someone trapped underneath. Most people are saying that people get almost superhuman strength in these situations, but I was wondering if the suspension system may play a role here. Adrenaline may increase your strength somewhat but I doubt it is enough to lift half the weight of the car.

Obviously suspensions are complex and vary from model to model, but does anyone know how much the upwards force of the springs in the suspension system would assist in this?

Do the dampers work against the springs making it more difficult?

Does it matter much if it was an old car with leaf suspension or a newer car?

Any insight anyone could give would be much appreciated.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 25, 2013, 6:29 AM

Post #2 of 4 (1090 views)
Re: People Lifting Cars off others Sign In

The suspension may assist in the first inch or two that the body moves but something trapped under the car will not be released until the entire weight of the car is lifted off whatever is under it so, not I don't believe that stuff unless we are talking about a Mazda Miata or something lightweight like that.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Nov 25, 2013, 5:03 PM

Post #3 of 4 (1067 views)
Re: People Lifting Cars off others Sign In

I've seen a person (big mofo) lift the back of a compact car, but haven't seen someone lift the front of a car with the weight of the engine and all that. Just make sure you have good quality jack stands/ramps and use them properly. Don't ever get under a vehicle supported by a jack alone or use lumber or cinder blocks.

Curb weight of a MX-5 is somewhere around 2,000 lbs. World record dead lift without assistance is 1015 lbs, so it is possible. But once you lift the car up what are going to do with it?

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Nov 25, 2013, 5:09 PM)

New User

Nov 26, 2013, 2:21 AM

Post #4 of 4 (1057 views)
Re: People Lifting Cars off others Sign In

Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.

Given that most of those who supposedly had a car lifted off them had minor injuries, I am guessing that there was not a lot of compression in most cases. An inch or two may be enough to free some of them.

Probably a combination of slightly increased strength due to adrenaline etc, mechanical advantage, and exaggeration. I think even honest people can get their stories wrong when looking back to a time of panic.

If anyone has more insights it would be appreciated.

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