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proper way to Jack Up An Escort ZX2


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Ames
Anonymous Poster
radeeoh@sbcglobal.net

Jun 29, 2007, 11:36 PM

Post #1 of 4 (6706 views)
proper way to Jack Up An Escort ZX2 Sign In

I have a 1999 Escort ZX2 and I want to rotate the tires and I will be using a Floor Jack. I attempted to do this today and the owners manual says to place the jack (OEM jack) in the slot next to the door. I assume the front of the door for a front tire and the rear of the door for a rear tire. I really did not see a slot in the front rail and the slot in the rear rail did not really look like a slot, but just a slight indentation. My concern is that jacking this coupe up by the frame rails, which I also assume is the proper way, looks rather flimsy to me and I don't want to collapse or disfigure the rails. I plan to use a rubber pad on the jack plate. I want to raise one side at a time using a jack stand and the Hydraulic jack in combination. Anybody raised a ZX2 this way and do you risk messing up the frame rails?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 30, 2007, 6:04 AM

Post #2 of 4 (6702 views)
Re: proper way to Jack Up An Escort ZX2 Sign In

This is very important and not discussed well in owner's manuals but all I've see are pretty clear on how to use the jack the car came with and where to place it.

Those indents in the frame rail for the car's jack are strong spots for jacking a car up. With floor jacks, most won't fit right in that spot exactly so you must use judgement that it is strong there for jacking up. That's fine and discussed for jacking up one wheel just to replace it with a spare tire but lacks after that.

You will find that in order to place a jack stand you need yet another spot that can bear the load safely so that you have both for security or you can then move the jack to the next and so on if you want all four wheels up.

IMPORTANT!! Always do this on concrete that is level and smooth enough for wheels of jack to roll easily even with weight on them. It gets more important!! When you go to jack up another wheel the first one is now stuck in place by either a jack or stand and when you jack up elsewhere the jack must be able to roll on the floor while jacking or it can slip or the original stand may fall over!! This goes on wheel by wheel as you jack up the car which can tilt such that placing the jack is difficult. Always use judgement and be ready to cease if in doubt of anything. Leave car doors shut while jacking up a car also. body can torque such that closing the door can chip up paint or really damage the door.

THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT THING TO LEARN THAT I WILL SUGGEST GETTING ADVICE FROM A PRO AND MARK THE LOCATIONS WITH A TIRE MARKER FOR FUTURE USE. THERE ARE SPOTS WHERE YOU CAN GET BOTH FRONT WHEELS OR BACK OR ONE SIDE UP WITH ONE SPOT. THERE ARE TOO MANY DIFFERENT CARS/VEHICLES AND VARIOUS CONDITIONS OF THE VEHICLES AND THE FLOOR OR SURFACE YOU ARE WORKING ON TO EVEN START TO EXPLAIN THEM ALL.

This was one of the most intensely covered part of my training now a long time ago. Strong spots are generally in front of rear wheels and behind front wheels. Some vehicles have strong frame supports under the engine that can lift the whole front and some have axles in the back that can lift the whole back. If in doubt - don't!

You were worried about marking the car by jacking it up. It's near impossible not to make a mark or even a slight ding in strong areas without the most relentless care and use of wood, rubber products and so forth that minimize these marks. It's actually safer not to use other than the metal cup of floor jacks in most cases.

In all cases, asses the condition of the car for serious rust that can render a good spot unsafe and look to avoid all wiring, brake lines, fuel lines, fuel filters, driveshafts steering parts etc, etc. Yes it's that involved!

This is not to scare you into not trying and doing this but to warn you to do it right. It's done all the time all over the world. It's your life that is getting under a vehicle so use all good judgement and back up stands.

______________________________________________

Three times in my career a car has had a problem while lifting it. 1. The drive on ramps collapsed like a soda can on one car - I wasn't under it. 2. Ramps again - the car rolled off and out the garage door with me under it and missed hurting me or the car as it went out into the street and harmlessly stopped!! (now that's luck!) No more ramps ever for me. 3. Jack stands (cheap) but rated for the load I was using collapsed but slow enough that I could get out in time. Bet every mechanic has a story to tell about this stuff and hopefull all are here to tell and warn about it.

Be Safe,

T



Guest
Anonymous Poster

Jul 1, 2007, 10:27 AM

Post #3 of 4 (6700 views)
Re: proper way to Jack Up An Escort ZX2 Sign In

Thanks Tom for the advice. I was in doubt, so like you said I stopped what I was doing. I am used to working on cars with frames. Uni-bodies can be a challenge when it comes to lifting them without commercial equipment. I was surprised to hear that you had trouble with ramps collapsing. I have used ramps for years, but I always put jack stands under the frame on each side just in case a problem could exist. You are also right about the body flexing when jacking up one corner of the car at a time.The ZX2 is a front wheel drive and lifting up either end is also problematic. I don't like using the jack that comes with the car. The floor jack is much more appropriate. Its to bad the auto manufactures couldn't put stronger lift points on these uni-bodies for pepper tree mechanics like me. Thanks again for the tips and I think I will forgo the lifting of this coupe myself and let a professional do it. I will just do the simple stuff such as changing the oil and flushing the cooling system. Bob Ames. Southern Calif.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 1, 2007, 7:14 PM

Post #4 of 4 (6692 views)
Re: proper way to Jack Up An Escort ZX2 Sign In

My rant was to alert you and readers who will find this thread. Just learn the right way for the car you are working on and a decent floor jack beats the heck out of what comes with the car.

The ramps I had were not the most expensive and I have seen better looking ones. BTW -- they squished with my 1973 Cadillac CDV - first year for the 5mph bumper law and that car probably weighed 3 tons!! No joke, Just those bumpers weighed a lot vs the year before,

T







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