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Jacking car up by front cross member
#1
I have used the cross member several times, the one "under the engine" to jack up the front of my car. Why is this bad? I have seen many people do this over the years. I did weld in sub-frame connectors, does this help in this department? It seems like a very substantial part of the front of the car. And you lift the weight of the engine with it, so it can't be engine weight?
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#2
Nothing wrong with lifting the car there. What makes you think it's an issue?


[+] 1 user Likes Hemikiller's post
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#3
The Ford manual does not say to jack there. That area is not made to support the weight of the car on a jack and yes it will bend it. I have an almost rust free California car and even when I lift with two post lift using the Ford recommended lift points with block under the front upper control arms the body bends enough that the doors will not close.
It was common for people to do that but for sure not correct.
Windshields have cracked from improper lifting of a unitized chassis. Sub frame connectors do very little to strengthen the body the cross section is too short. A roll cage from 6 to 10 point is only real way to beef them up.
When they were raced you could order the car with sealer delete from factory they would go in and MIG weld panels to beef them up. That was when you had to race what came from the factory.
The guy I use to use for frame work always had cars in his shop that looked fine but the chassis was twisted so far you could not do a front end alignment and he would pull them back. He did lots of highway patrol cars from just crossing the median and twisting the bodies our of shape. They are very weak.
I wold never do it but if you want to bend it go ahead it is your car you can do what you want.
The lifting info is one of the first items in the Ford manuals. They considered it very important.


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
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#4
I worked at a regional auto parts store back in the early to mid 1980's that also did service. I did tires on an ancient tire changing machine, batteries, oil changes, tune-ups, brakes, etc. because it was more fun than standing at the parts counter waiting on people. During the off hours (and sometimes during work), I had my own cars on the lift. I had the keys to the place so it was awesome. I had cars on the four-arm hydraulic lift probably hundreds of times, and I saw this effect many times on 60's and 70's cars. On quite a number of cars if the door was left open you couldn't close it, or if it was closed and you needed to reach in for a switch, etc. you could not open it. The cars of that era were like limp noodles compared to the extremely rigid cars of today. Those cars were meant to last a few years until the owner traded for the next one, and then the older car was bought by someone who couldn't afford new or to the crusher/junkyard. I'd imagine you are flexing the unitized chassis even when using a jack under the differential or from one of the four corners of the car. Granted, when I would see this occur with a car on the lift (unable to open or close doors), it would always return to normal when the car was back on the ground. I even saw one of the techs on Graveyard Cars jack up a Challenger or Cuda under the front K-member just enough to be able to check some steering-related items. I think this sort of thing occurs very frequently, and the fact is that people need to work on their cars and get them off the ground in order to do so.
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#5
(09-13-2018, 08:32 AM)Hemikiller Wrote: Nothing wrong with lifting the car there. What makes you think it's an issue?

+1 I have jacked my car from the engine cross member hundreds of times, no issues.

73 conv. 460, D0VE large valve heads, Performer RPM manifold, Voodoo 227/233 cam, Holley 950 HP carb, C6 trans, 3.25 trak-loc.
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#6
(09-13-2018, 03:54 PM)TommyK Wrote:
(09-13-2018, 08:32 AM)Hemikiller Wrote: Nothing wrong with lifting the car there. What makes you think it's an issue?

+1 I have jacked my car from the engine cross member hundreds of times, no issues.

Same here.

'73 Grandé H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

'73 F code convertible. Bright red. Needs total restore. (IE HOT MESS)

- Jason
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#7
runninpony 
I don't always jack my car up...but if I do, it's under the engine cross member!

Old Mustangs never die, they just go faster!
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#8
(09-13-2018, 03:54 PM)TommyK Wrote:
(09-13-2018, 08:32 AM)Hemikiller Wrote: Nothing wrong with lifting the car there. What makes you think it's an issue?

+1 I have jacked my car from the engine cross member hundreds of times, no issues.

Like sex with no protection. Your car do what you like. If you want to keep it in good shape it is not recommended. Why would you jack your car up hundreds of times? You are making it sick.


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
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#9
I've jacked mine under engine crossmember several times, too, but I always use a 12" to 18" piece of 2x4 between the jack and crossmember. Keeps the prongs on the jack pad from digging into the metal and distribute the load a little more.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#10
(09-13-2018, 02:44 PM)Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs Wrote: The Ford manual does not say to jack there. That area is not made to support the weight of the car on a jack and yes it will bend it. I have an almost rust free California car and even when I lift with two post lift using the Ford recommended lift points with block under the front upper control arms the body bends enough that the doors will not close.
It was common for people to do that but for sure not correct.
Windshields have cracked from improper lifting of a unitized chassis. Sub frame connectors do very little to strengthen the body the cross section is too short. A roll cage from 6 to 10 point is only real way to beef them up.
When they were raced you could order the car with sealer delete from factory they would go in and MIG weld panels to beef them up. That was when you had to race what came from the factory.
The guy I use to use for frame work always had cars in his shop that looked fine but the chassis was twisted so far you could not do a front end alignment and he would pull them back. He did lots of highway patrol cars from just crossing the median and twisting the bodies our of shape. They are very weak.
I wold never do it but if you want to bend it go ahead it is your car you can do what you want.
The lifting info is one of the first items in the Ford manuals. They considered it very important.



Oy, just lift the car under the crossmember and be done with it. Seriously though, if we can't use that crossmember, tell me where we're supposed to jack? And yes, I'm another Mustang owner that's been jacking his car all wrong since '88.

The suspension loads are carried through the shock towers. Lifting by the member is still placing the loads in the same relative location, just not at the top of the tower.


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