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Floor Jack and Jack Stand support points?
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Perales
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Floor Jack and Jack Stand support points? Reply with quote

Please forgive such a simple question but I can't seem to find a satisfactory answer and logic fails me.

When using a floor jack (not the emergency road side jack) and jack stands, placement is of course critical. However, they obviously can not be put in the exact same locations. The jack, to lift the vehicle and the stands to support when working. It would seem that the ideal location would coincide with the vehicles jack mount holes (blue arrows) but this certainly won't work for both at the same time (unless of course you can slip the jack out really fast while you replace it with the stand Shocked. )

Would some kind person modify the image below and place some nice colored dots exactly where the jack (for lifting) and the stands (for supporting) would be ideally (or practically) located. I am one of those people who needs a visual reference.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by Perales on Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When using a floorjack, I put it in the middle of the subframe and jack from there. Then there's room on the sides for jack stands.

I never just use jack stands. At a minimum, I put a stack of wood "chunks" under centre of sub frame AND use jack stands on each side. If entire Vanagon up, I use 4 jack stands and wood under each "corner" beside each jack stand. I have chunks of 6x6" cedar, and wood "chunks" made of 2 pc's of ~1' long 4x4" fence post side by side with a 3/4" plywood piece on top to hold them together. If that makes sense. Gives about a 7" wide by ~ 1' long base. I made several.

Bottom line. Chock yer tires, put the brake on, car in gear, keys out of ign. and never work under a jack of ANY kind. My personal pref is to have a backup support WITH jack stands.

Of course YMMV, and do so at your own risk Wink

I'm sure there's lots of info in the archives on this topic. Smile

Cheers,

Neil.
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Perales
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if I understand you correctly....Confused
The green squares ABCD are where you would place the Jack Stands?
and as for the floor jack...(yellow dots )
I assume that position "1" is for the rear
and is it "2" or "3" for the front?
or am I wrong altogether????

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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rs4-380
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can put the jack stands and or jack under the lower a-arms, either up underneath the pivot or pretty much underneath the springs. If the van is solid there should also be no problem putting either underneath the pinch rails (rockers panels).
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Perales
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am bringing this up again because I would like a simple answer.
Are the yellow dots # 1 and (which one) 2 or 3 (in the above image) suitable and safe floor jack support locations?
Or is this a recipe for disaster?
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FNGRUVN
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Perales, I don't think any of the box tubing is strong enough to hold up the van without bending/denting. I always put the floor jack under one of the rear trailing arms(right under the spring) and jack up one side at a time and put the jack stand at the point where the trailing arm attaches to the body(at the front). If you angle the stand slightly, it won't get in the way of the arm when you let the jack down on the stand. For the front, I put a block of wood on the floor jack and jack up the entire front using the crossmember and put the stands under the forward section of the main frame. I wish I could show you on your picture,but I don't know how. I'm an idiot when it comes to computers.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it is worth, I have jacked and/or placed jackstands at A,B,C and D as well as 1,2 and 3 and have never had any problems with any of those locations. All of those locations are VERY strong.
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FNGRUVN
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was assuming at least A and C weren't strong enough due to the fact that mine has a dent there from the PO. Who knows, maybe they dropped the van down on the jack stands too hard. I'll try it next time I put it up in the air.
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boulderdrop
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Perales : Thanks for this post man. I'm a visual person too and needed to lift my van to work on ... everything.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It's over-kill, I know.. but I like over engineered solutions when it comes to me under something.

I'm using 4x 6-ton jack-stands from Performance Tool (Big Wheel in Seattle) with a lift height of 15.5" to 23.75".

I've got stands at Points:A,C... as well as two on each side of Point:2 and a floor-jack just touching at Point:3. That little black on the far right isn't doing anything, just sitting there out of the way.

The rear is lifted to 18" and the front to 19" (I'm on a nose-down slope).

My floor jack couldn't get the chassis lifted high enough in the back, but the stock side-crank jack works great at the hole-slot-lift-points on A and C. Made me really appreciate the simplicity and small-size of it.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the rear of the van, I place the floor jack at point 1, front of the van gets point 3. To be clear, point 1 is the very center of the round transmission mount when the trans is installed. I pretty much always place jack stands at points A,B,C and D so that they cradle that cross member. If I am only lifting one corner, then I jack up just inward of the point A, B, C, or D where I then place the stand. Always use a piece of 3/4" plywood under the jack and stands if working on any gravel or dirt situation. I pretty much never jack up on the suspension components (unless jacking on them serves a functional purpose with the procedure I'm currently working on) and I wouldn't use jackstands on them. Sometimes access to the van itself is needed (e.g. pump the brakes, engage the e-brake, etc...). Having a jackstand under one of the control arms or trailing arms could shift when getting into or out of the van and the change of weight on the suspension. I usually leave the jack loosely just under the jacking point of the end I'm mostly working on. Do not use any additional support points, but I always give the van a good shake before getting under it. I have never had any mishap or damage to a vanagon using that approach and I have jacked up many vanagons and many different times.

Last edited by ?Waldo? on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When ever I lift at the front jack points (B&D) or any frame member in that area it throws my front doors out of alignment.

When I open the door while jacked, they slip down 1/16 or so, and then go back to normal when I let the jack down.

does this happen to everyone?
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vwgrl1999
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a spectacularly helpful topic! Thanks all!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hero419 wrote:
When ever I lift at the front jack points (B&D) or any frame member in that area it throws my front doors out of alignment.

When I open the door while jacked, they slip down 1/16 or so, and then go back to normal when I let the jack down.

does this happen to everyone?

I haven't paid attention to whether or not it happens on my van, but I've noticed it on other cars. I don't think it's abnormal.
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Robw_z
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I am not certain of the cause, but I believe jacking at point "3" caused my spare tire tray to jam against the front under the rad support. It isn't a catastrophic jam but it doesn't drop like it should, and the hinges of the tray are on the subframe at point "3" and it is obviously not as it was from the factory in my case. Only the PO knows.

-Rob
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rs4-380
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hero419 wrote:

does this happen to everyone?


pretty much par for the course on a 20+ year old car, especially if you are lifting one side (or end) at a time.

You should see it when I lift up one corner of my 30 year old convertible. It has the structural rigidity of a wet noodle, sometimes you can't even open the door.
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fixedgear
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

99% of the time I only want to lift the front or the back. I haven't had a need to get the whole van in the air. The stock emergency jack will get one corner up almost as fast as a floor jack, and allow lots of room to install the support jack on A, B, C or D. Crawling under the van to centre a floor jack at 1,2 or 3 ruins my Armani suit. Also, the swing of the floor jack handle is limited. I used a 2 x 6 block with the floor jack and still managed to dent the hollow tube edges on #3. Lastly, lugging my floor jack out to place it is alot more effort than using the emergency jack which weighs next to nothing. If your a Republican, and own a garage, this may not be a concern.

The only down side may be if the ground is soft, in which case I drive forward 3 feet.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

95% of the time when I want my van up a bit, I just drive it up on a few 2x6's. A few seconds and it is done. I have jack stands, but their use is really a rather rare occurrence. I can't remember ever having the van on four jack stands at once.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful. Thank you. Lifting my '86 Westy this weekend to drop out the fuel tank. Definitely do not want to get squashed.
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SCM
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hatterasker wrote:
Very helpful. Thank you. Lifting my '86 Westy this weekend to drop out the fuel tank. Definitely do not want to get squashed.


FYI, you don't need a ton of room under there to remove the tank. WildThings 2x6 idea might work for you. When I did mine I used a set of ramps that were maybe 6 or 8 inches tall and they worked great.

There was a fair amount of pushing/pulling on things to get my new tank up into place and the thought of not having any air space between my tires and the garage floor gave me the heebie-jeebies.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCM wrote:
the thought of not having any air space between my tires and the garage floor gave me the heebie-jeebies.


Same here. The guy up the thread puts blocks of wood all over and around as back up, so I will do the same.
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