I am doing a hub seal replacement on my old Landrover. Sadly I screwed up the new seal by putting it on too far, and then by trying to tweak it back out I wrecked the tension spring inside the seal.

It'll be a couple of days before the Landy specialists are open and I can get another seal.

The upshot is that I can't put the roadwheel back on because the whole rotating bits are in pieces.

Should I reassemble the bearings and the brake drum and the other lumps of steel, fit the road wheel, and lower it down? Or can I leave the vehicle on the jack for a couple of days?

For safety I've put the roadwheel on its side under the chassis rail.

The jack is a screw-type from a toyota 40 series, not a scissor jack and not a hydraulic jack - ie you have to turn the handle to raise and lower it.

Vehicle is parked on a level concrete pad on private property and there's no significant risk of pushing it over.

Question is similar to Leaving vehicle on 4 jack stands several days but its about ONE jack not four jackstands.

Edit - yes I could go and buy jackstands. That's a good solution, but the question was specific about a jack and its ability to bear load for a long time.

I wouldn't carry jackstands on an off-road trip - they'd be at home in the garage. So one of my background thoughts is always "can I do this repair with what I carry normally?" I always carry the jack.

Here's the stub axle in the wheel well - there is nothing there that can hold the road wheel and nowhere to attach the wheel. The big black circle is the backing plate for holding brake shoes.

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Final summary

The vehicle stayed on the jack for 5 days. Here's the jack that did it:

enter image description here

It is rated for 0.7 tonnes so 700 kilograms and held the front axle at the leaf spring plate. The road wheel, FWH and drive plate, brake drum and shoes were all removed, saving maybe 40-50 kilograms.

So it was fine for me, but YMMV. I would not have done this if there was any slope, or risk of being pushed off. The tyre was under a chassis rail as a secondary safety.

At NO POINT did anyone get underneath

  • To clarify, there is no question of anyone going under the vehicle for any reason while the jack is in place.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 8:22
  • The right-side's Free Wheel Hub is engaged, transfer case is in 4 Low and the gearbox is in reverse, and the handbrake is on. The left side FWH is in pieces.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 8:23
  • 2
    Put it on jackstands and you'll be fine. Not on the jack itself. If it falls off the jack, it's a pain to get it up again, and you'll probably damage something.
    – PeteCon
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 18:39
  • You should not be doing the work in the first place without jack stands
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 3:29
  • 1
    You dont I hope live in an earthquake prone part of the world.li
    – Autistic
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 5:34

4 Answers 4


Leaving the car jacked for a long time is very risky: remember jacks are designed with systems for lifting and lowering a load. Some use hydraulics, other a screw type system but all of them works under a lot of stress because the huge load they need to handle.

They should be solely used only for lifting, then use a jack stand to do the load support job. Jack stands are the safest option: they don't have any system that can yield down with time.

I have seen and even had hydraulic jacks that after a few minutes under load they started to low down because the internal rubber seals were gone!

  • 1
    While I agree that you should use a jack stand, I don't really think that a screw-type jack can fail if the load is static. After all, what process would cause it to fail given a static load? A dynamic load such as when raising up the vehicle is a completely different matter. However, this applies only to screw-type jacks, and hydraulic jacks are obviously more convenient. Also, consider that the load can be guaranteed to be static only if the car is stored behind a locked door. So, the conclusions is still the same: use a jack stand.
    – juhist
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 20:04

There's a difference between a jack and a jack stand. I've left vehicles on jack stands for days, even weeks, but a jack, regardless of type, is prone to failure: they are designed to raise and lower, not to hold.

A jack stand on the other hand is a solid piece of metal and is designed to hold. If you don't have jack stands, I strongly recommend you acquire some (at least a pair, preferably 2 pairs). When I expect to leave a vehicle up, I like to have it (ideally) up on 4 jack stands (so that the vehicle is rather level), or at least up on 2 jack stand (i.e. the entire front is up: I have this weird theory that cars don't like to be twisted by having just one corner up in the air).

Finally, you shouldn't have been working under your Land Rover without at least a jack stand. But good call on sticking the wheel on its side under the frame, I do that too in case something tips over.

  • 4
    I'm not working under the vehicle while its on a jack! Despite owning a landy older than myself I'm not completely potty. This situation has arisen because I had to remove the road wheel and all the parts that hold the road wheel. I've never needed jackstands in the past, because working under a series landrover is simply a matter of lie down and roll over till you get under the right bit. Jack stands have simply never been needed before.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 8:20
  • 3
    @Criggie - Jack stands aren't needed until the first time it falls off the jack ... then it's too late. Your body does not need to under the vehicle for you or a bystander to be hurt because the vehicle slipped off the jack for some reason. tlhingan's advice is spot on. Not only should you not leave it on a jack for days, you should be using a jack stand to begin with. Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 11:00
  • @Criggie Using jack stands has nothing to do with being potty or not being potty, it only has to do with being turned into a pancake or not being turned into a pancake.
    – tlhIngan
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 2:22
  • 1
    @tlhIngan Noone is under the car - there is no risk of becoming pancake.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 4:01

Having had several land rovers, if your jack is under the spring plate then it should be fine and not slip. If you have a couple of solid blocks then put them under the axle as well and lower down to the blocks to take the load off the jack.

  • 2
    This is really bad advice. While the jack by itself may hold the vehicle nearly every time you put it under a vehicle, it only takes once for something to go wrong and then it's all over but the crying. A jack is for temporary use. Advising someone this is safe is worth a very infrequent downvote from me. Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 11:03
  • 5
    the blocks take the load and not the jack...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 18:14
  • 1
    I have also shoved a low wooden workbench under the front bumper as a just-in-case, a secondary backup after the roadwheel under the chassis rail. In a series LR the front bumper is completely capable of load bearing.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 22:24
  • 2
    The front bumper is actually classed as the first cross member and is more than strong enough. People who have actually had one know how strong !! You say old - is it a series 1 2 or 3 ?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 0:46
  • @SolarMike its a 1973 series 3 SWB, mongrelised with a Holden 6. More info at criggie.org.nz/landrover
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 4:27

For extended time or to work underneath, you need jack stands or wood blocks. Hydraulic jacks can leak down with time , and if they leak only once - it does not matter that it never leaked before.

  • Fair point. What can you add about screw jacks?
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 21:30
  • 1
    Screws are fine for lifting but then I let the load down onto stands or blocks. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 0:29

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