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I wanted to get a trolley jack and a pair of axle stands so I can do work under the car. It has pinch welds all along the sills, and looking at the Ford manual and the Haynes book, that is where I should be jacking and supporting it. The Haynes manual says to use a block of wood with a slot in it to locate on the weld.

But my question as a person new to this, is where should I be putting the weight, ie. is it right for a block to be fitting around the weld and lifting by putting the stress on the main structure either side of it? Especially as the integrity of the metal is probably ok but might be slightly questionable.

The original scissor jack is in a U shape, with the outside part of the U lower. It fits perfectly around the pinch weld, with the inner part touching the metal, and the outside not quite touching.

I see a lot of videos of people using hockey pucks with slots in them. Some don't even have a slot and just lift on the weld itself. Not this exact car, but still on a pinch weld. I'm worried how much rubber or wood might deform or split, especially as a slot would need to be a good 2cm or more deep, so you end up with two tall sides with only a small flat bit connecting them at the bottom.

And axle stands are shaped unlike the jack saddle, so how would you make sure that wood or a rubber puck stays safely in place on them?

I haven't bought anything yet, so here are images of the factory jack and how it fits:

Factory jack outside

Factory jack inside

And this is what the jack and stands I was probably going to go for are like:

Jack

Stand

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! May 11 at 1:11
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    If you cut a slot in a piece of wood, make sure that the slot is cut across the grain, so that the wood doesn’t split in half.
    – HandyHowie
    May 11 at 7:32
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    With wood I'd be concerned about it slipping off the jack. You can buy ready-made pinch weld adapters, might be the way to go.
    – GdD
    May 11 at 7:46
  • Thank you for the welcome and the answers. I found out a way to avoid the pinch weld in the end - I just don't trust it in the state it's in. Luckily the jack puts the weight on flat metal next to it, so I could lift on that with a block of wood.
    – andy29
    Jul 14 at 2:29
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Every contemporary vehicle which I have had to elevate had the body style shown in your images. The jack mechanism also matched the pinch weld for each vehicle. Additionally, for an electric vehicle which had to have the battery pack dropped, the lift points matched the design you've noted and the DIY method was indeed a hockey puck with an appropriately sized slot.

If you consider that you are spreading the load over a much larger area by using a wood block or hockey puck with a slit, the benefits compared to attempting a lift on a much smaller cross section pinch weld should be clear.

One could crush the pinch weld if the weight is excessive on the point of lift, while a spread-out force is less likely to do so, especially if the factory lift points are used, as they can be reinforced on the other side of the metal.

The jack stands are another complication, however. The slit hockey puck is going to take pressure from below in a less than spread-out manner, but certainly more spread out than the stand taking the load from the very edge of the rail-like underbody.

Consider also that once the vehicle is lifted, the jack stands can be placed on a suspension member or more substantial surface than the vehicle edges. This eliminates the worry of balancing the puck on a stand while lowering the vehicle to the stand.

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  • Thank you. In the end I settled on using the crossmember to lift at the back, stands on the suspension, and next to the wheel arch at the front, stands where the suspension arm attaches. I used a block of wood on the flat areas where the jack puts the force, but I put no weight on the pinch weld.
    – andy29
    Jul 14 at 2:27

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