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Jackstand Points

Jackstand Points

Paul Gover and Steve Chatman

Where and how is a XJ best supported by stands for prolonged periods?

The "official" stand points are the jacking points at the front and rear ends of the sills; they're the metal plates with a pin about 1/2" by 1/2" sticking down.

Paul uses axle stands, and turns the post in the middle upside down. That lets the pin sit inside the tube, rather than on the U-shaped cradle on the other end.

If that is not possible with your stands, then a wooden block with a hole drilled for the pin, makes a good supporting shield.

Always follow manufacturer's directions.

Beware: the rear jacking points tend to suffer from rust; lower the car onto the stands gently and listen for tearing noises. If it looks dodgy, it's a welding job; not too expensive.

You can also get a tearing noise as you drop the rear of the car onto the stands if your rear subframe mountings are gone (as the car tries to drop the subframe for you!). In which case you obviously need to replace the subframe mountings.

All locations are prone to slipping when the car is lifted one side at a time or when each end is lifted and no location makes slipping impossible. Remember that your car is probably like Steve's in being coated with oil underneath. One tempting location prone to slipping is the rear wishbone.

Do not trust the supports until the car is level front to back when lifting front and rear or side to side when lifting one end and don't completely trust the car not to fall then or ever.

Always give the car a good shake before going under. Not some gentle push and pull either. Depending on the job, you may be applying 200 or more foot pounds to some location or find yourself kicking or hitting with a BFH.

Try to leave the jack ready to catch the load (near contact with a suitable jacking point) with the valve in the closed position for lifting and also use some other device as a backup to catch the load if it were to fall due to earthquake or something exceptional. Steve has an old granite block that is heavy as hell but helps give him a little more piece of mind. Note that cinder block is not suitable as it can shatter under load.

Have someone handy just in case things go wrong. If you were to survive the initial incident, you would need help lifting the car. While the thought is horrible, be certain that everyone in your household who is physically able can operate the floor jack. A telephone might be useful to have within reach.

Properly supported, the car is relatively safe for months or years at a time.

Always be careful and keep you wits about you. This is one of those times when your life clearly depends on your own judgement.


The official lifting points when using a garage jack are under the center of the front cross-member, with a block of wood to prevent damage, and using a stout block of wood across the tie plate under the differential (final drive), with reliefs cut for the turned-down edges of the tie plate. Steve's block is made of two layers of 3/4 inch plywood with smaller pieces at each side to create the relief.

A final note: If you don't have a floor jack /garage jack, then buy one. If you don't have good jack stands of appropriate rating, then buy at least two. They are too useful and too cheap not to own a set. Steve guarantees that they will be some of your favorite tools.

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