I am trying to change the water pump /timing belt on my VW Beetle.. small motor. I have read several ways to position the jack while removing the motor mount, but no definate answer about using a block as stationary support. ... Should the block go ON the Jack or UNDER the Jack?

3 Answers 3


Generally you put the block on top of the jack - This means the weight of the engine is spread of the relatively large area of the block, rather than the much smaller area of the head of the jack, which helps to protect the rather fragile, thin metal of the sump.


That will depend on the jack - if it has a large pad that won't damage the engine and the block is large in area and stable then the block can go underneath.

If, however the jack has a "pointy plate" then you need to protect the engine / sump with a block so as not to poke a hole in it.

As always, the idea is to stay safe so a jack and block underneath AND a sling above - the engine won't be damaged landing on fingers...


The "right way" would it to lift the engine, there ought to be some designated lift points.

Most of the time people (including me) do not have the means to lift the engine and thereby need to improvise things.

A popular, albeit dangerous and therefor discouraged, technique is to support the engine on the oil pan, where a strong wooden block helps to distribute the pressure from the jack across the entire oil pan surface.

There are several dangers there:

  • The oil pan could be too weak, resulting in severe engine damage.
  • The engine could tilt inside the engine bay, resulting in damages or injuries.

Hope this helps

  • On some cars you have to provide the lifting rings by using sensible attaching points.
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:24

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