Puzzler: Would anybody really let the air out of the tires to lower the truck?

I just can’t imagine anyone would do that if all it accomplishes is lowering the front end a little. If the truck is too high, wouldn’t an experienced mechanic needing to change the water pump simply put a small bench or stepladder there in front of the truck to stand on?

I’m not saying letting the air out of the tires wouldn’t help, but just can’t imagine anyone actually doing that when a stepladder would work as easily, and has more flexibility in the amount of extra height you can achieve.

Have you ever spent hours standing on a step ladder reaching over into an engine bay? Deflating the tires till they are flat is a very useful tactic. And I have the wheel mount steps and mechanics stools readily at hand but they are more painful than dropping the vehicle.

Oh yeah. Actually just as common is to jack up the front of the truck, remove the front wheels, and let it down (almost) to the hubs. A stepladder may work, but your toolbox/cart/workbench are still on the floor. Like Rod said, try leaning over while standing on a stepladder for an hour or two at a time. Yuck.

Why not just give the job to a taller mechanic?

My ego wouldn’t let me hire someone taller…

Here’s the big truck specialist?

old school trick. really smart

Ok, I’ll defer to the experienced – people who’ve actually done it – on this one.

But doesn’t flattening the tires stress the tire’s sidewalls? I can’t see how it would be good for the tire’s lifespan to purposely allow the full weight of the truck to rest on flattened tires. And setting the car on the hubs seems like it might damage something even more expensive to fix than the tires.

The reason I ask is because I have a 1970’s Ford 4x4 truck – you may have read my post here about my problem w/a stuck brake bleeder screw on that truck. I have replaced the 4x4’s water pump 4 or 5 times. The biggest problem has always been to remove the fan. There’s very little clearance between the fan and the radiator, and it’s a knuckle bruiser using just a simple box wrench. And the other problem for me is toremember which bolt went where; it seems like all the water pump bolts are different lengths. Other than that, replacing the water pump it is a piece of cake. For height, I just used a stepladder and never noticed this to be a problem. Maybe the letting the air out of the tires technique makes more sense on a bigger truck though.

After one of the top water pump bolts is properly installed and run finger tight the others are inserted and the correct location determined by the depth at which the threads engage. But after a few dozen of them have been replaced the process becomes quite matter of fact. One mechanic could R&R a Winsor timing chain in less than an hour on trucks w/o AC. We always installed a new water pump with a chain and that did save a few minutes.

I have a '75 ford pick up and a bad back. I often back the rear wheels onto ramps when working on it. much more comfortable than using a step stool and leaning over

Long as you don’t drive on them deflating the tires won’t hurt.

@asecular not only does it tilt the truck it lowers it as well. the added weight on the front shocks lowers it a bit and the front of the truck is about 2ft in front of the front tires which are the fulcrum. I have not measured the height difference, but I will. it is significant. about 5" is my guess. it also gives me a much better angle, making me lean over much less. much, much easier on my back. try it! it only takes a minute and very little labor. I also put the ramps on 2x12 boards to keep them from sinking and gives me a bit more lift in the back and drops the front a bit more too

and the springs and shocks are old too, so that helps

Comparing the distance from the center of the front wheel to the grill at the front and the bumper at the rear will indicate the relative drop at the front compared to the lift at the rear. If the rear is raised high enough the front bumper will be on the ground and most adult men would have no problem working on the front of the engine.

yeah, I was talking about the distance my front grill drops, about 5", but I did not make it very clear