Question about safety of lifting a car


#1

Hello

I’m a very very safe person when it comes to lifting my car. When I go under it I’ve always got wheels under and the jack in place and use locking stands.

I wanted to ask questions before trying on my own just to clarify. I’m trying to lift the car higher, almost to the max of the jack stand to make it easier for me to fit when on my rolling creeper, before I used cardboard so could fit but now it’s to tight.

What is the best method to achieve high lift on jack stands? Lift front and rear to the usual height and go back and forth between both? I did try that but at one point on side wasn’t touching the stand anymore, not sure because of body stiffness or maybe my concrete garage has a very slight angle in it?

What method do you use?


#2

Before I got my lift, what I would do is jack the vehicle up as high as it would go by the floor jack, and place the jack stands.

Then if the jack stands could go higher, I would place a wood block on the jack and raise the vehicle higher. But do this one corner at a time.

Be careful enough, and you can raise a vehicle high enough to remove a transmission.

Tester


#3

What is the reason you need it so high ? I am thinking that it might be better to have someone with a real lift do the repair. Might be cheaper than a hospital trip.


#4

It’s just if I lift the front to much I don’t think I could fit the jack in the rear under my rear jack point that’s why I was doing it this way.


#5

I explained it in my OT… so I can fit under the car with my creeper.

Hospital trip? Hahaha, it’s nice to see your replies have not changed. I’ve lifted the car several times without safety issues. I just want it a bit higher that’s all.


#6

The way I was lifting it now I get on the 4th teeth on the ratchet jack stand, which isn’t very high.

You used to do it one corner at a time?


#7

If I needed extra lift, I’d use either bigger ramps or I’d put layers of plywood under the ramps I have.

You could use a floor jack to reach maximum height before placing jack stands under the designated lift points designed by the car maker, but ramps would be more stable.


#8

I think I haven’t explained myself properly sorry!

Like right now how high I lift it is on the 4th teeth of the stand. I could jack the jack higher but when I do I then can’t fit the jack in the rear jack point.

And lifting the car while it’s on 2 jack stands seem… kind of sketch. I just wanted to know if people usually do it that way and it’s fine? In my head what I can see happening is the car tipping the other way.


#9

Have you considered pulling the rear of the vehicle onto ramps and then jacking up the front end on jack stands?

The problem is that, when you go high, the first jack stand starts to tip when you jack up the other side, so you’re better off respecting the limits (or losing some weight?).


#10

You probably have 4 ton jack stands.

I have 6 ton jack stands.

Big difference as far as height.

Tester


#11

Oh I see what you mean.

And then once the front is lifted lift to rear to equalize front height and place stands? Only issue with that is my jack might not fit either on the sides or front.


#12

If I want all four corners lifted I do it like Tester suggests, but instead of one corner at a time I lift both front wheels by jacking under the engine cross-member. Toyota engineers must have figured out that is the balance point, as it jacks both right and left pretty equally. Then I do the same on the back lift both rear wheels at the same time. If lifting the front on your causes makes it difficult to get to the rear jacking point, start at the back instead of the front maybe. On sedans there’s usually less overhang at the front than the rear.

If I want to jack higher than the jack will go, I lift it in increments; e.g. partway the first time, place on jack-stands, then jack it again using a wood block spacer between the jack and the jacking point, similar to Tester’s suggestion above.

I expect you already know that the higher the lift, the more unstable it is.


#13

If you can manage it, it would afford you more space.

If you can’t find a crossmember for your floor jack on the front end, you’ll have to find another contact point for your floor jack, but the important thing is to leave the designated jack points for your jack stands.


#14

Yeah that way would definitely be the easiest if I can get it to my preferred height in one go.

I suppose I’ll try again to see if I have clearance.

My official rear jack put is the rear differential, so that’s why it’s a bit tight.


#15

The only time I use my creeper anymore is to sit on while doing brakes. I much prefer not lifting the car as high and using a large sheet of cardboard to slide under.
If I need to lift the car higher, I prefer leaving 2 wheels on the ground if I can. I have not done my own exhaust work in almost 50 years because there is a great local shop the does it almost as cheaply as I can buy the parts.


#16

I too have retired my creeper, because I wore it out and because a flattened cardboard box works just fine.


#17

I nearly always jack from the pinch weld at the side of the car. Jacking about 1/3 back from the lifting point just behind the front wheel. It is a very low point so I can lift it quite high with my jack. I can’t access the front of either of my cars, and the back of one. My truck can be jacked from any side so whatever is needed.

I install the jackstands at the lift points front and rear and do the same for the other side. That can get the car pretty high. If I need more, I add a wood block and lift each side again. I don’t use a creeper because of exactly the problem you have - I don’t fit. Instead I own a mechanic’s mat. A 2x4 ft vinyl fold-able mat.


#18

Get a low-profile floor jack. Arcan makes a good one, and you can often find it at Costco for $100. The down-height is low enough that you’ll be able to get it under the car even when the front is lifted up. You can see the typical height difference here:

And the modern low profiles are even better:

because the body doesn’t start rising until you get to the rear of the jack, so it’ll go farther under the car before hitting something.


#19

Another poster said awhile ago that besides the official jacking points, jacking anywhere along the pinch welds is ok for most cars. Apparenlty that pinch weld area is reinforced and very strong. Please clarify re: “1/3 back”? Do you mean 1/3 of a foot back from the jackstand point?; i.e. 4 inches?


#20

Raising jack stands beyond their designed height is not safe. Try using 4x4 lumber under the frame in a tic-tac-toe pattern. They provide a solid base and can be raised 4 inches at a time. My dad did this when he raised our house from ground level up 7 feet. I used this method to change a starter, but I only raised the front end.