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Alternative way to jack it up

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,116
4,733
MA, NH
I'm probably gonna get lamb basted for this but here goes.

I have a pet peeve of jacking up unibody cars from the body on ONE corner.
This is a HUGE amount of stress.

What can happen when you twist a uni-body is a weak spot weld might let go and you end up with a squeak.
A squeak that you will have to tear apart the car to find.
One other concern is the all glass roof might get slightly twisted when jacking up a corner.

A lot of folks argue that the body is twisted like this all the time.
No, the body is never twisted like this.
If you go over a bump, curb or a pot hole the suspension adjusts, NOT the body.

Now the model 3 is noted to have a very rigid chassis and my paranoia may be way out of line.
But I'm not taking any changes on any car.

Besides, it way easier to jack up as I suggest. 2-3 pumps (after contact) and the tire will be 1/2 inch off the floor.
The suspension is what takes a POUNDING. I put the jack under one of the strongest points of the suspension.

If you lift a car from the unibody it should be TWO or FOUR points. Not ONE.
Both Front, Both Rear, Both Drivers Side, or Both Passenger Side.

For that reason I ALWAYS try to lift from the suspension.

A lot of people freak out about this, I'm sharing what I do with MY CAR and not recommending anyone do anything.
You do what you want with your car.

I've done this for 25 years and it has never come close to causing any issue what so ever and there is nothing special about the model 3 that changes my way of doing things.

You NEED a narrow jack that can get close to the tire to do this. A wide stance jack will NOT work.

There is also one catch. In the rear the ideal jack point is covered in plastic.
I just let it go. One side was perfect. The other size I hear the plastic cover crack a little (I don't care, it's fine).

Advantages:

Quicker
Don't have to jack so high up (if something goes wrong, and it always can, less is better)
No twisting (less risk of squeaks, leaks or cracks)
No special body adapters needed

Disadvantage

Rear cover may crack.
Need narrow jack

Front

45604496542_a67497577f_b_d.jpg


Rear

30714156277_fd1801889e_b_d.jpg
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,116
4,733
MA, NH
If you are unfamiliar with the various ways lifting a vehicle can go wrong, please follow your owners manual and not a random post on an internet forum.

If you are unfamiliar with the various ways lifting a vehicle can go wrong, you should probably not be lifting a vehicle or listening to anyone online for advice.

One other thing I really like about my method is the car stays almost perfectly level.
This avoids pushing the car in ANY direction as it does when you jack it up from the body because you have to lift the body by the corner until the suspension is fully extended. Then you lift it another 1/2-1 inch.

If you want to do suspension work or prefer use the unibody, use TWO jacks and ease it up one jack a few pumps at a time. This would avoid twisting and also meet the recommended method in the manual. You still have to jack it up pretty high to fully extend the suspension. Which can sometimes be a lot on some vehicles. The less height the better. The less twisting the better.
 
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coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
On a similar note I had a heck of a time (stressful) getting ours on the frame lift to switch to winter wheel/tires (I had a gallery at the auto hobby shop). The marked spots are tiny, I used hockey pucks... I only lifted it high enough to swap out the tires (and back on ground ASAP) but now wish I would have lifted it high enough to see the differentials (if they are even visible). Although I don’t recommend it and would not want to try it, most cars can be jacked up under the differential(s) then Jack stands can be placed under the jack points.

I am not a professional mechanic. I work on my own vehicles because I enjoy it and can. Also I have had terrible experiences with dealers messing things up, sub (my) standards work, doing unnessary repairs, and inflating the number of hours a job takes.
 
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coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
This is from the owners manual. The issue I had was was that the jack points are much smaller than the shop lift feet.
 

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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,116
4,733
MA, NH
This is from the owners manual. The issue I had was was that the jack points are much smaller than the shop lift feet.

Note that it talks about MULTIPLE LIFT pads.

That is a procedure for a full shop LIFT Using LIFT points.

What’s the procedure for jacking up ONE wheel?

Are you assuming it’s the same?
 

coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
Note that it talks about MULTIPLE LIFT pads.

That is a procedure for a full shop LIFT Using LIFT points.

What’s the procedure for jacking up ONE wheel?

Are you assuming it’s the same?
I had mine on a shop lift when I changed out the tires so all four wheels off at once. It’s crazy the manual dosnt address jacking up one wheel at a time. Anyone near a service center that could ask them?

With talk of putting strain and twist on the frame when jacking up one wheel. I would think there would be way more strain on the frame durring daily driving.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,116
4,733
MA, NH
I had mine on a shop lift when I changed out the tires so all four wheels off at once. It’s crazy the manual dosnt address jacking up one wheel at a time. Anyone near a service center that could ask them?

With talk of putting strain and twist on the frame when jacking up one wheel. I would think there would be way more strain on the frame durring daily driving.

Like I said most people / shops wouldn’t blink an eye at just jacking up a corner from the body. I just don’t like doing that. And this is how I jack up almost any car. It’s quick, easy, doesn’t need a tall jack. Some cars it’s hard to see and needs a super low jack. And you do need to be careful you are in the right place.

When I put my snows back on I might Video it.
 
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coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
891
608
Alaska
From ^^^ thread. It’s jacked over that high to get both wheels off the ground. He is doing a complete hack job as should have a jack stand under the other jack point
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,116
4,733
MA, NH
From ^^^ thread. It’s jacked over that high to get both wheels off the ground. He is doing a complete hack job as should have a jack stand under the other jack point

I don’t know what’s going on in that picture. But seems awfully high and appears to be just one wheel is up.

I always jack up only what it needs.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,116
4,733
MA, NH
I made a Video of jacking the car up from the lower control arm. You can see how uneventful it is.
I was gonna use this as an emergency jack for in the car and realized if I have a flat it won't be low enough for the body jack point or the lower control arm. So it's gonna go back for a simple scissors jack.

But I though I'd show simple it is jacking up from here.

 

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