☰ MENU

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage


Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

FEATURE ARTICLES

Novel uses of ratchet straps in a car restoration shop - Page 3

After trying several other unsuccessful methods to pull the ends of the anti-sway bar closer together (such as jacking the suspension up higher), we realized that there was no easy answer to our problem. The ends of the sway bar were going to have to be pulled together or it wasn't going to go into the holes.

We spiral wrapped an axle strap around each end of the anti-sway bar, leaving the threaded section of each end exposed. That was because it's the threaded sections that go into the holes. Next, we took a 15-ft. ratchet strap and shortened the length in half by pulling half of it through the slot in the ratchet mechanism. Then we hooked the ratchet strap to the two axle straps and cranked until the ends of the anti-sway bar moved closer together.

We spiraled an axle strap around each end of the front anti-sway bar, but left the threaded section uncovered so it could slip though the attaching holes. A ratchet strap was then shortened up and hooked between the axle straps.

We spiraled an axle strap around each end of the front anti-sway bar, but left the threaded section uncovered so it could slip though the attaching holes. A ratchet strap was then shortened up and hooked between the axle straps.


Once the ratchet strap was hooked between the two axle straps, the ratchet mechanism was cranked to bring the ends of the anti-sway bar closer.

Once the ratchet strap was hooked between the two axle straps, the ratchet mechanism was cranked to bring the ends of the anti-sway bar closer.


This photo shows how much the ratchet strap was shortened up to fit between the two axle straps at the ends of the anti-sway bar.

This photo shows how much the ratchet strap was shortened up to fit between the two axle straps at the ends of the anti-sway bar.


When using a strap to pull a car onto a trailer, only about a foot of webbing will wind onto the ratchet mechanism before the roll is too large to wind more.

When using a strap to pull a car onto a trailer, only about a foot of webbing will wind onto the ratchet mechanism before the roll is too large to wind more.


Short axle straps with rings on both ends are a good way to attached ratchet straps to objects. Clothespin helps keeps strap roll out of the way.

Short axle straps with rings on both ends are a good way to attached ratchet straps to objects. Clothespin helps keeps strap roll out of the way.


If you do this, wear heavy work gloves. Pulling the ends of the bar together puts tremendous pressure on the ratchet strap. If the ratchet mechanism releases too quickly, the strap might "slap" your hand. Wearing the gloves will protect your hand in the unlikely case that the ratchet releases too quickly.

Another job we have used ratchet straps for is to yank a car onto a trailer. This is not the best way to do this job, but if you don't have a winch and you have a couple of ratchet straps, it can get the job done in an inch-by-inch way. You can only crank up a foot or so of strap in a typical ratchet mechanism, so that's why you need to have a couple of straps to load a vehicle using this method.

You need to have a way to hook one end of the straps to the trailer. E-track on the trailer floor works well. You can also hook the straps to the railing at the forward end of an open trailer. Attach the first strap between the car and trailer and move the car a foot. Then attach the second strap and move the car another foot. Use the first strap again for the third foot. Slowly, but surely, you'll get the car up the ramp and onto the trailer. Then, you will be able to push it.

There are probably dozens of other ways that ratchet straps can be used around a restoration shop. If you've come up with some creative uses for ratches straps, add them to our Forum. Our readers appreciate the tips.