Solutions!  Reverse Car Parking Stop

Yeah, I know, most of the world doesn’t like or use the parking brake any more.  Yet, some of us still prefer a manual transmission for the driving experience — and rely on the parking brake.  So, what happenswhen someone does not set the brake completely?  My wife found the truck had rolled down the hill (slowly, fortunately) and into a city park.  That was the catalyst for a new roll arresting car parking stop.

Like many in Colorado, our home has a sloping driveway.  Not a huge slope, but enough.  Though we have a good size garage, the truck scrapes the door top when pulling in, so unfortunately, the truck gets to live outside.  My son’s car also gets to live outside — and it also parks on the sloping driveway.

OK, I’ll admit it.  The garage is also the workshop, so most of the time only my wife’s car gets a space inside.  And, she deserves it.

Why The Need For A Car Parking Stop?

Clamping the Car Parking Stop with WeightsWhile we love the beauty and simplicity of a manual transmission, the one annoying problem is the lack of an easy way to secure it.  I’m not sure the history, or why it’s not also in manual transmissions, but the Park function of an automatic is the one piece I’m jealous of.

Parking brakes are notoriously poor in design, and engine compression is not robust for many situations (like parking on a hill).  So, how does the car stay put?

We found out just how unreliable the situation can be one day when we found the truck had rolled away on it’s own.  Apparently the brake was not set sufficient, and overnight the car rolled slowly down the drive, into the street, then into the city park.  Time for a reverse car parking stop to cover our user error.  We don’t want that again.

Reasoning, Experiment, and Design

Welded Steel Triangular TubeNormally a car parking stop is in front of the wheel — like in parking lot.  The stops, or bumpers, or barriers, are there to position the car so the driver knows when to stop.

So, should we do one in reverse?  To do that, the car must first drive over it, and each time it leaves, it will drive over it again.  That means the parking stop must be strong to handle repeated driving over.

Laying a 2×4 across the drive works mostly, but it is not quite enough to keep the truck there by itself.  We need something a little taller.  Additionally, the wood is a little to light, and it tends to move around, and we can’t depend on it.

As an experiment, a simple piece of steel angle was tried, and it worked.  After several drive overs with the truck, the angle no longer was at 90 degrees.  Since the point of experimenting is to learn, the experiment was very successful.  First we know the 3″ L-Angle works, and second, we now know the steel angle by itself will gradually flatten out.  Of course we could go to thicker, heavier angle, but how much more?

Like many things, in this case we decided to just sidestep the issue of thickness and make a triangular tube.  See the image (upside down for construction).  This is effectively a gusset — the same thing as we recommend for strengthening a trailer.

Building the Car Parking Stop

Setting Up To Weld The StructureThe design and the build are super easy.  Just lay the flat piece of steel into the open side of the L-Angle, then weld.  Stitch weld along the sides every 6″ or 8″.  That’s it.  For reference, this is 3″ x 3″ x 1/4″ Angle with a 3″ x 1/8″ Flat piece inside.  It is 18′ long to cover two car positions.  The weight is sufficient that it doesn’t move around on the driveway, then placing one edge in the seam of the concrete helps too.

The only trick with construction is making the 2 pieces stay in place, upright.  In the photo you can see adding a couple blocks on either side of the angle held with a large clamp makes a good cradle.  A few small clamps keep the flat piece from moving while welding.

You might think just setting the flat stock in is enough, but it’s not.  Welds are funny because they make things move.  In this case, the welds are using a MIG style welder with 1″ to 1.5″ stitches.  One fun aspect of this project came because my sons wanted to help weld.  Since it’s just a bunch of steel on the ground, and because the welds are not seen, it’s a perfect place for them to learn and contribute.

Turns out a fun experience for all of us as they did most of the welding.  You can see in the photos that they are OK, and it all works.

With this car parking stop across the driveway, cars parking there won’t roll back.  While it’s enough to keep things from rolling — even when in Neutral and no park brake — it’s also not too high to simply drive over it.  Problem solved.

What Are Your Solutions!

The Car Parking Stop In Use On The DrivewayThis Solutions! category of our “Mechanic’s Tips” library is for you.  We want to see your fun solutions as well, so please take a minute, get a few photos, and tell us your story.  Use The Customer Page to Submit.  You don’t have to write a long story, just write a little about how you solved something in your shop.  This is a DIY site, after all, and we’re way more interested in the solutions than in the writing skills.

You submit it, then we’ll share it just like this car parking stop.  We’ll give you credit too.  For more inspiration, follow the links and we’ll show you more.  Thank you for visiting.

No one has share their thoughts...be the first!

No one has share their thoughts...be the first!

Leave a Comment

We Found These For You . . .

Article
Which Welder To Buy?
I’m looking to build one of your trailers, but I need to know which welder to buy?  What type, and do I need 110 or 220 volt?  What about other projects from your site that may pique my interest?

Read The Article

Article
Drill Fixture Zoom In
Oh, I need to drill a bunch of holes, all the same, in 8 parts.  What a pain!  And, I need to cut these other 5 pieces all to match.  What a hassle to measure, mark, and cut each one!…

Read The Article

Article
Trailer Wiring For Breakaway Kit
What in the world is a Trailer Breakaway Kit?  If you pull a “larger-ish” trailer, you should definitely know, because it’s a legal requirement in many jurisdictions.

Read The Article

Article
Thread Tapping Straight
A Tap and Die set is a near must for a DIY fab shop.  While the thread creating functions are pretty easy to visualize, sometimes getting the tread to start straight and run true is a different matter.

Read The Article

Product

An excellent DIY small trailer project.  These 4 x 8 Utility Trailer Plans sport 2000 lbs. capacity.  The trailer will work hard, yet always be nice to work with.  And, tow it with a smaller car.

Article
Custom Changes To The Plans
I can’t find quite the right plans for the trailer I want to build.  Can I make changes to the plans at Mechanical Elements to fit my needs?

Read The Article

Article
A Story Of The Right Tools
Fun side story about finding the right tools for a do-it-yourself (with a friend) in automotive repair. This story is not about building great new Do It Yourself projects, but it illustrates the need to have (borrow, or rent) the…

Read The Article

Article
Timbren Axle-Less Trailer Suspension
Customer Question:  “What do you think about the Axle-Less trailer suspension?  Is it good?”  Can I use it with the Mechanical Elements trailer plans?  . . .  You ask (actually a few of you are asking) and pointing to

Read The Article

Article
Folding Trailer Tongue Finished
Intrigued by the cool potential of saving storage space, increased security, and removal of a shin knocker to step over, this new folding trailer tongue adds greater utility to a trailer.

Read The Article

Article
All Thread or Threaded Rod
You can use threaded rod (often called All-Thread) for a million things.  Make a long bolt, or just the right size fastener.  It’s also good for special brackets if you weld to it.  And, if you’re not careful, you can…

Read The Article

Article
May Is Build Month - DIY Plans Sale
May, the time of new flowers after April showers, is also the time for building that project you’ve been stewing on over the winter.  Spring has sprung, so it’s time to make it happen.

Read The Article

Article
Applied Force vs Movement With Shop Tools
Is there anything more annoying (painful and frustrating) than busting a knuckle when working on things in the shop?  To many of us, blood sacrifices are just part of getting a project done, but it doesn’t have to be that…

Read The Article

Product
4' x 8' - 3500# Torsion Axle Trailer

Fully Engineered Blueprints are just the start with these Torsion Axle Utility Trailer Plans.  With the deck a little larger than tradition, you can put true 4' x 8' cargo inside!  Up to 3500 lbs.

Article
Engineered Trailer Plans Are Not Free Plans
It’s a big dilemma.  Why buy trailer plans (or crane plans or whatever) when you can get free plans?  Some websites have free plans, other places charge.  So what’s the big deal? 

Read The Article

Article
20ft Deck Tiny House Foundation Trailer Plans
There’s an old song comparing the wise man and the foolish man.  It might just be talking about a tiny house foundation!  Goes something like this:

Read The Article

Article
Nuts and Bolts Project Fasteners
Ever wonder why fasteners like nuts and bolts are so expensive?  You would think something so standard and manufactured in such high volumes would be cheap, but in most places, they’re actually pretty expensive.  Why?

Read The Article

Article
Plans In Metric
Virtually everything on the internet is by definition “World Wide”.   Even though Mechanical Elements (Synthesis Engineering Services) is physically located in the USA, we have a world audience, so it’s a fair question

Read The Article

Article
Spring Foot for Gantry Crane Safety
Nothing ruins a pleasant day quite like a goose egg on your head, or a throbbing finger pinch.  Avoiding those things (and, of course, the much more disastrous potential events) is the context of this gantry crane safety article. 

Read The Article

Article
Clamps and Drills Access and Storage Solution
Storage space is a high priority in my shop.  Maybe in yours too?  It’s not that there is not enough space, it’s the prime space where tools are super accessible for any moment

Read The Article

Article
Walking Beam Trailer Suspension With Twin Torsion Axles
Plans are now available for the Twin Torsion Axle Walking Beam Trailer Suspension.  This was introduced on a build early in 2018, with posts about the trailer including a video of the suspension in action.

Read The Article

Leave a Comment