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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
gonna' take all the wheels off to refurb. i have never had the car completely off the ground before.

it is not exactly clear from my shop manuals where to put the jack stands.

any advice would be appreciated-
 

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I jack mine at the front tork box placing a jack stand under the front frame rail. And on the back under the rear axel pumpkin placing jack stands on each side under axel.
 

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I don't remember where I placed them on the front, but I will ditto on the rear next to the pumpkin :smoke:
 

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I have been meaning to build a special deal for the front as there are not any real good spots. To many thin spots that could damage something if you aren't careful. I usually pick it up on one of the lower control arms but you need to hit it such that the jack won't slip off - my floor jack has a cupped spot that helps. Some of those racing jacks are flat and a bit tricky - plus you can't get it under very far to get enough stroke to operate the stupid thing. Always - Always - Always use a jack stand!! Chock the wheels front and back too. I got some of these awesome little wheel chocks with one of my jacks that fold flat and tuck in just about anywhere - love 'em! I keep those in the trunk. Another thing I have done is used a bottle jack with some well placed wood blocks that I have augered a hole into the block to keep it stable.....worked pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Want to make sure i am clear - all four wheels will be off at the same time. are those spots still good for that?

also, some english for us novices would be appreiciated - pumpkin and tork box? i do know what the lower control are is though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
okay, i get the pumpkin now. so for the rear, both sides of the pumpkin on the axle where the welds are? the question remains, where do you jack up the rear so you can get a jack stand at next to the pumpkin?
 

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Because you are removing all 4 wheels at the same time is is best to place your jack stands on the body. That way the suspension is unloaded and it will be easier to remove and replace the wheels. In the rear place the jack under the "pumpkin" and jack from the middle of the rear axle. As soon as you can place a jack stand on each side of the car under the rear frame rail near where it ends at the body under the rear seat. Lower the jack slowly and when the car is stable in the rear with the wheels about 1-2 inches off the ground move to the front. I would probably place the jack on the lower control arm (that is the metal piece attaching the bottom of the spindle to the body). I would place the jack stand under the front frame rail near where it comes to an end under the break pedal area, this is the torque box area. Again you want to lower the jack slowly and check the placement of the jack stands before allowing the full weight of the car on the jack. Only attempt this on level ground. If this is done on good level ground with a good jack stand properly placed the car could stay there like that for years. It would be a shame but it could be done. Hopefully this helps.

David
 

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To jack up the rear place your jack directly under the pumpkin, otherwise known as the center section. When you place your jackstands under the rear axle place them as close to the wheels as possible, not toward the center near the pumpkin. You want the stands to have a wide stance, not a narrow one. Wide makes the car much more stable.

For the front I generally use the crossbar that is just behind the oil pan. You do need to be a bit careful to not have the jack under the oil pan when using this method. If you follow your framerails back when they drop down at the firewall that is where the torque box begins. It is a part of the frame that extends from the framerail to the rocker panel. I generally place my stands under the framerail in this area.

Something else to keep in mind, you may need to take the car up in steps. Jack up the front and place stands, then jack up the rear, place stands, rejack front, raise stands, rejack rear, raise stands. If you have adjustable stands and you try to place them as high as they go right away you will most likely have trouble jacking the opposite end of the car as the jack may not fit under the car without damaging the valance panel. Once you have the car on stands and before you take any of the wheels off I always give the car the shake test. Just shake the car around a bit just to be sure thsat the stands are properly seated. Good luck.

Randy Goodling
CCOA #95
 

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I'll often put my front jackstands right where the lower control arms are bolted to the frame. Right above is where the engine mounts are so this way the entire weight of the engine is sitting on the stands as opposed to the weight of the front 'hanging' when you place the stands at the torque box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
this has been educational for me, thanks for all the input. still not sure about what/where everything is - torque box, front rail, etc. i have owned the car for over thirty years and done a lot of maintenance during that time. never got the car down to the frame though so i don't know much about that.

definitely some different opinions. most say, for the rear, jack up at the pumpkin and put the stands on the axle, as far toward the wheel as possible. but the manual says put the stands no further than one inch from the weld next to the pumpkin. i guess it is not an exact science!

i was not so worried about the car falling on me. i just didn't want to have it up for several days while the wheels get refurbished, and have the stands in a bad place that might cause frame damage over time due to too much weight being unevenly distributed.

one thing is for sure - my floor jack is inadequate. it is not long enough to reach the pumpkin AND get the lever past the bumper so you can get some decent travel.

i know - sounds like another Viagra joke!
 

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Billy,

I have my '68 up off all 4 wheels right now... Put it up yesterday. This is what I do--and tomorrow, I will take pictures for you with my jacks in place and where I place my stands and post them:

First, I never jack my car(s) up with one jack! I have two floor jacks that I use simultaneously. If you are going to work on your car, go buy another jack to use; I like the the low-rise models.

You also need to buy two sets of jack stands! A car should never be left up on jacks--especially with the wheels off!!!

I wheel the jack in the center of the back of the car and put my jack right in the center/bottom of the differential case/pumpkin/rear-end oval/round thing that hangs down low on the rear axle. There is a nice, flat place that perfectly fits the round plate on the floor jack. I look from the rear, then go and look to the rear from in front of a tire to make sure it's centered before I lift the car. I often (usually) work on gravel, so the jack won't roll and placement is very important--but you should look from at least two directions/angles, anyway, before you lift the car. You will be partially climbing under the car on the jack and you need to be as safe as possible. I then lift the car from the center section and check the jack placement a few times as I go up. Once the wheels are as high off the ground as I like, I take my two jack stands, place a rag on the top, and center them on the axle to either side of the pumpkin--not in the center between the wheels and the pumpkin, but more out--toward the wheels. Make sure there isn't a stray brake line there. Rise up the jack stand top portions to almost touch the axle housing and put your rag on top. Slowly lower your floor jack and make sure the stands are centered with the tops on the axle housing and that all four feet of each stand is flat on the ground.

Next, take a jack to either side of the car and aim them under the front portion of the door. Look underneath--you see the floorpan, and the frame rail segment (the long, tubular square chunk of metal that hangs down lower than your floorpan and runs parallel to the edge of the car). You will see the back end of that frame rail segment--follow it forward. It will meet an almost flat piece of metal that attaches the outside edge of the car to that rail; this piece of metal is roughly 18" wide and 12" to 18" long. This flat metal piece is joined to the floorpan with a small wedge of metal and on the driver's side, there is a metal line that goes inside (the gas line). This is the torque box. I place my floor jack on the torque box, where it meets the frame rail--there is a reasonably good place there that is flat. I situate the opposite jack on the opposite torque box (1968 and up) and I lift each side a few pumps of the jack and go back and forth, lifting the car fairly evenly. This tends to keep the feet of the jack stands you've placed on the rear axle housing flat on the ground.

I place my front #2 jack stands forward on the front frame rails. Look underneath the front bumper--you will see the radiator support, which is a solid piece of metal running from on side of the car to the other that the radiator is bolted to or affixed in with clamps. From the center of the car, on each side, looking at the radiotor support, you will see flat/tubular pieces of metal that run up the this support and are welded on. NOT the flared metal pieces that are hollow on the bottom--what you want to use look similar to the frame rail beneath the floor pan you where jacking to. I place each jack stand as far forward as possible, behind the radiator support, but on these front frame rails. I place rags on them as well and very slowly lower each side down, onto the jack stands--watch that these sit flat and are supporting the frame rails evenly.

Many of my cars have sat for months to years like this, while I work on brakes, wheels, whatever. And it gives you a wide-based stance such that the car is very solid and not tippy. If you are going to do work on your cars, you need to have the proper tools (jack stands and floor jack) for your safety, and for the safety of your car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
for those who have replied and prefer jacking the front at the torque box and putting the jack stand under the front frame rail -

when i jack my car up there, by the time the tire is off the ground, the front frame rail is nineteen inches high. my jack stands are only eighteen inches fully extended.

do you have special, tall jack stands, like maybe for an SUV? thanks-
 

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Here is jacking up the Cougar. You see the frame rail/floorpan, and the square, angled thing is the "torque box." I place the jacks at the back of the torque box, where it meets the frame rail--one on each side and jack up each side a little bit and go back and forth as said earlier, until it's as high as I want.





Then I place my stands on the chunks of wood and slowly lower each side a little bit at a time while it settles. Sometimes, when it comes down, the jacks are no longer centered on the frame rail piece up front, so I have to go back up little to adjust things. Remember to put the wide part of the jack stand top across the frame rail to kind of cradle the rail.




These are my normal jack stands and chunks of wood, but I "loaned" them to my husband to store his Fox away from the mice over winter--I like these better:



After I'm happy with the front of the car, I jack the car up by the pumpkin/differential housing/rear-end:




Then I place the jack stands under the rear axle housing. I usually put something under the wheels when I do this--and you can see ramps in my pix if you look closely, since I'm kind of vulnerable under the car and relying on the jack only to keep me safe. If I don't have ramps, I'll throw some old wheels and tires under the car laying on their side in case it falls--I will likely crap my pants but won't be crushed and killed.


 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks for the photos. that is what i thought you were talking about. i see you have the front stands on some four by stock. that makes sense. two stock only added an inch and a half. kinda' makes that stands a little vulnerable at the top edge of their range.

why do you like the blue stands better than the red ones? they look fairly similar.

thanks again for taking the time to snap the photo and then post it. much appreciated!
 

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thanks for the photos. that is what i thought you were talking about. i see you have the front stands on some four by stock. that makes sense. two stock only added an inch and a half. kinda' makes that stands a little vulnerable at the top edge of their range.

why do you like the blue stands better than the red ones? they look fairly similar.

thanks again for taking the time to snap the photo and then post it. much appreciated!
The stands are the same--I just like the big 2" x 8" chunks of wood better. Stacking them would give the same effect. The tall chunks I have under the front of the Cougar are just barely wider than the stand bases and I don't like that as well.
 

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does any one know about the 68 mercury park lane == this mercury is the first vehicle that is not unibody but the frame rails do not appear to run from the front to the back == we will be installing new exhaust and gas and brake lines == thanks for any help == there are some areas but they do not appear to be strong enough to support the 4000+ lbs this thing ways == thanks for any help
 

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Something must be wrong with my car. When I supported the front of my car with stands under the radiator area my door jamb alignment was off. But went back to normal with the wheels on the ground. I was to scared to leave it like that for long periods of time.
 
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