I've been meaning to post this for a while but wanted to offer some guidance for those of you in the build process who are starting to move your frame on and off of jack stands. It should be a simple task but isn't always on these cars.
4- jack stand
2- hydraulic floor jacks
1- piece of 2x6
The process I generally use is to get the front end up first. While I have jacked the rear up first, it makes it much harder to get the jack under the front. I haven't found a floor jack that is low enough to clear the oil cooler opening on the front end so I place a small hydraulic floor jack under the right wheel and raise it about 5-6". Next I use a short piece of 4x6 (that is normally used to block the front wheel when I am parked) and place it under the frame so that I can lower the jack and move it to the center frame crossmember (the big one just under the rad support). From here I use the smaller jack again to raise the entire front end high enough to get a set of jack stands under the frame. It is important to push them back as close to the vertical frame members as possible.
Using my 3.5" high Craftsman "big" hydraulic jack I now center the jack under the differential and raise it to allow me to get jack stands under the axles.
VERY IMPORTANT POINT
WATCH THE FRONT JACKS CAREFULLY while you do this!! As the jack is raised, it will pull the car back. The frame actually slides across the front jack stands and during my first attempt at this I noticed that they had slid so far that the frame almost slid off!
This is the reason that I don't raise the rear high enough to slide the jack stands under the frame.
When I need extra clearance for a crawler (for dropping the pan for example), I first move the big jack back to the front so that I can not only raise the jacks but also, reset them further back on the frame so that they can't slide off. Next, I move the big jack to the rear where I now have enough room to slide the jack up to the rear frame support and jack it to the point where I can slide the jack stands under the frame at the same height as the front.
To lower it I have to reverse this process.
While this is a little time consuming it is the only way I have found to raise the car up safely. I must admit that seeing how easily the frame slid across the jack stands scared me pretty bad. The darn thing almost fell off so I have resigned myself to always doing the lift in two steps. While the big jack has wheels (and is designed to roll forward instead of pulling the frame back), reality is that the car is so light that the path of least resistance is to slide.
Hope this helps some of you and would love to hear from others on approaches they have used.
I do almost the same thing, the back goes up last, but I always put a piece of wood between the jack stands (and the jack lift pad) and the chassis, it helps prevent deep scratches in the chassis members and provides something with a higher cooeficent of friction so there isn't nearly as much tendancy to slip at either the jack or the stand.
I also keep the wheels on my jack in good working order, and insure that there isn't anything on the floor that would prevent them from rolling.
I always make sure the jack moves in resposes to the arc of the lifting pad, insuring that the jack stands stay where I put them under the chassis.
Lastly, I do the back and front in stages when I need to extend the jack stands, so there isn't as much tendancy for movement due to the arc of the lift pad. When extending the jack stands, I either put a wood block on the jack lift pad, or some shoring under the jack, to keep the movement, due to the arc of the lift arm, at a minumum.
Note that the same principles of insuring the jack can move is as important in the lowering pricess as it is in the raising process.
JMHO Regards, Rick.
Driving a car like this is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.
Because I experienced the reported issue, I switched to huge pieces of wood instead of jack stands. I also lift the car side to side. The car rails "roll" across the first set of wood blocks as the second side is raised and don't exert any side force on them. I also place the blocks (I'm estimating that they are about 4"x12"x12") on a slight bias so to get as much resistance to tipping front-to-back as well. Just one more way ...........
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I have eliminated the problem by riveting a piece of very dense rubber sheeting under the very front 10" of the 4" frame rail. It makes a small patch that the jack can grip. Problem solved. I would include a pic but my Dell crashed Monday and i'm not fully back.
I always jack it up about 1/2-3/4 of the way and put wood blocks in. Then once all the blocks are in place, finish raising it. This way, it dosn't slide as much as you aren't going as high and if it did slide off, the blocks would be there to catch it.
Everybody here has got a great perspective on jacking the car up. Making sure the jack rolls is critical to prevent the car from moving on the jack stands. Safety is job one.
I have a set of race jack stands left over from the race car that I really like. We used them for years because in a lot of paddocks the asphalt or dirt was uneven and some of my crew guys were a little inexperienced to say the least. Speed can seriously hurt someone if the car falls off the jack stands. I don't always use these in the garage but sometimes they are just right for certain projects. They are extremely stable, and you can get them in steel or aluminum. A little pricey, but hey, what's your ass worth. Spend money on good tools and safety not on bling.
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FFR Challenge car #4182SP Carbed 302, Holley 600CFM, E303 cam, T5, 3 link rear-3:55, Levy wheels, Kumho tires, Fire Safe fuel cell, Griffin race radiator, ISIS wiring system, MSD 6ALN NASCAR ignition, 85 Mustang distributor,
I usually drive the car up on my service ramps first, then raise the back from the side as there is plenty of room to get the jack into the center of the rear. If the jack doesn't role it only moves the back of the car over slightly which isn't a problem. Unless I'm working on rear suspension I support the back by the axle. If I'm working in the front and need the ramps out of the way its simple to jack the car by the front cross member and slide the stands under the frame.
MK3#5902 picked up 1/13/07, 88 donor 306 w/b303 EFI purchased 3/31/07,first start and gocart ride 9/20/07 color- Ford Performance White w/ True Blue Metalic stripes. Inspected and registered 7/31/08
Because I experienced the reported issue, .....The car rails "roll" across the first set of wood blocks as the second side is raised and don't exert any side force on them. .......
I can see that the main chassis rail will roll slightly as the opposite side is jacked up, but I don't see where you don't exert any side force by doing so.
As the jack is raised the lift arm goes thorugh an arc. If the wheels on the jack don't roll to compensate, the you will get a side force that will either cause:
1) the chassis to skid across the wood,...
2) the wood block to tip sideways, or...
3) the outer end of the jack will lift, which could cause the load to fall off the front.
Driving a car like this is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.
Also... the frame is very rigid, and if your garage floor is not level, the frame can sit on just 3 jackstands and you won't see it. then you can possibly move the loose jackstand by accident. the car will stay where it is until you lean on it, and then guess what happens... Don't ask me how know this....
302/345hp Cobra intake, GT40 heads, T5Z, 4 point rear with 3:55 gears, Koni front & Carrera rear coilovers, Forest green body & white pearl stripes, Tan interior, Custom wood dash & Console with instrument cluster, Tan Soft Top, GPS Speedo, Heater.
This is a good reminder subject. I usually jack one side at a time and put my lowest stands under the frame. Then jack the other side and put my taller stands there. Then back to the first side to go a bit higher to level the car and adjust my shorter stands to match the taller set. A couple of weeks ago i noticed the jack pad was sliding out from under the frame rail as the jack went up. I immediately dropped the car back down and oiled the wheels. As I reset the jack I found that the real cause was a 2 inch piece of 14ga wire that had been a perfect chock for the front wheel on the jack. I was glad i was watching the jack pad as I was pumping the lever.
FFR 5353K,351/400hp,TKO 500, 3-link w/3.08 and Truetrac, Koni DA coilovers front and rear,APE hardtop,Forte front and VPM rear swaybars
I bolted a couple of 2x12's together and drive the front on them, then the jack fits with no issues, then I jack up the back from at an angle on the pumpkin. I've been doing it this way for 8 years now with no issues at all.
i noticed the jack pad was sliding out from under the frame rail as the jack went up. I immediately dropped the car back down and oiled the wheels.
My aluminum racing jack has a single long roller on the front, rather than wheels..I thought that may have been the issue.
I wondered what might help the jack roll better, to prevent this issue..So is just a good lube that is needed?
Ron and a couple other guys hit on the importance of making sure the jack can roll, if it can't then its the jack stands that have to move which is bad. Not only making sure there is nothing blocking the wheels, but a lot of jacks the front wheels don't caster at all, so it is important to have the jack oriented the right way so that the jack can roll.
MKIII Roadster #5835; IRS, Team III Wheels, Kuhmo XS Tires
Anderson Performance 408 Engine; Levy G-Force T5 rebuilt by Hanlon Motorsports
Engine Installed July 4th, First start July 5th 2009
Metal Morphous paint completed on November 20th, 2010
Titled and legal July, 2011
I used a jack to lift vehicle up enough to put stands under frame for using hoist. On front I usually come from the side instead of straight under nose. I can lift both sides due to frame strength and balance.
For storing over winter I put car on stands under frame. I made my own stands out of wood scraps of 2" X 4" and a piece of 4" x 6" in a fashion that gives a wider footprint on ground and contact patch to frame. Less chance of slipping on frame and smooth concrete. I don't trust metal stands just for that reason
i have a pc. of aluminum beam about 7ft long slide it under at the front cross tube basically i use it as a lever just enough to slide my floor jack in at the center crank it up and put the stands under @ the 4" tubes each side. then work to the rear just by the end of the exhaust on the chasis and slide the jack in pump it up then install stand move to the otherside.
i know someone will choime in here and say i just use my 4 post lift under it
"Torque is the grunt
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MK3.1 #6945 her name is Buffy
p/u 04/04/09 roller 08/27/09
start-up Pearl Harbor Day 12/07/10
go-cart Memorial Day 2011
body on 11/11/11 Veterans Day
all legal except paint 02/12/12
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