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View Full Version : Jacking up front end (.....for "Dummies")



Rekabeduts
12-12-2004, 04:01 PM
This may seem like to silly question to experienced Stude mechanics, but I'm venturing under my Hawk, I mean really under my GT Hawk, for the first time to do some work on the starter, oil pan and other things, in my own garage. Since I'm going to jack up about 3500 pounds over my head and put the front end on jack stands for the 1st time, I'm thinking the best place to put the jack (a rolling jack) is under frame rail just ahead of the main crossmember and before the rail turns upward, then place a jack stand under the flat part of the crossmember as close to the outside as I can before the crossmember turns up by the body support. Then do the other side. My frame is pretty solid, although I want to avoid flexing some areas such as the body supports. I'm thinking I may put a small board between the jack stands and crossmember/rail. The other place to lift the front end level may be the front crossmember but I think I'd get less flexing with the main crossmember. Am I figuring this out okay? I may be over cautious but I'd appreciate some advice if it appears I'm wrong. Oh yeah, and I do know to disconnect the battery before removing the starter motor, but that's may be another post (I think I should remove wiring connection before unbolting the starter, and propping something under it to catch it.)

Thanks!

Sonny
12-12-2004, 08:32 PM
Hank,

The best place to jack the car up in the front is right dead-ass in the middle of the wide, heavy front crossmember, (right on the steering trunion "cap" that extends from the bottom, and you can use a piece of wood there if ya like), and put the jack stands right under the lower control arms, right near where the shock mount is.

The best place to jack the back is right directly under the "punkin", and put the jack stands outboard, under the axle tubes. Oh, jack and support the rear end first. Unfortunately, on our Studebakers, putting jack stands under the frame anywhere should be a very temporary thing. If you plan on storing your Stude with the wheels off the ground, do it just like I described or you can permanently "crink" it.

As far as dropping the starter, there is no power to the starter unless the solenoid is energized, (as when you turn the key to the run position), so there's no worry about arching and sparking when you disconnect the wire from the starter. Pop the starter wire off, (only one), the two mount bolts and it'll fall right in your lap! Hope this helps....


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Rekabeduts
12-12-2004, 10:35 PM
Sonny,

Thanks for the tips. One question, regarding jacking the rear end "first"...I was planning on only jacking up the front end, and not the rear, to remove the starter. It would probably be up in the air for an hour or so (I also plan to change the oil at the same time). Are you saying that would be a risky idea? I would probably use the jack stands just on the front for the full 21 inches they give. Should I put another set of jack stands under the rear also, first?

Thanks,

Sonny
12-12-2004, 11:54 PM
quote:Originally posted by Rekabeduts

Sonny,

Thanks for the tips. One question, regarding jacking the rear end "first"...I was planning on only jacking up the front end, and not the rear, to remove the starter. It would probably be up in the air for an hour or so (I also plan to change the oil at the same time). Are you saying that would be a risky idea? I would probably use the jack stands just on the front for the full 21 inches they give. Should I put another set of jack stands under the rear also, first?



Oh no, you won't need any stands in the rear if you're just gonna be working under the front. I was just telling you what the best way to totally raise and support your car up is, (in case you were ever interested in doing that). It's perfectly safe to jack up just the front and rest it's weight on jack stands under the lower control arms for as long as you want.

My point was IF we have to jack our Studebakers, it's best to support them under a suspension component and to make it a point to do it that way when ever you can. Our frames flex readily and any long term storage, with a jack stand under the frame rail, body mount area, even a cross-member, (especially if it were sitting uneven), could damage the frame.

I totally avoid jacking under the frame, (or as much as humanly possible), and it's just become "second nature" for me. I've started a job, (like something that should be as simple as changing brake shoes), had to do a lot more work in the area, or need parts, and the car has to sit on the jack for a day or more. So, I always jack it up like it'll be there for a while, PLUS, it's much safer.

What Ever you do, don't jack the car in the middle to raise one side! I always lift the rear first, then lift the front, Think about it this way, (and watch as you jack a car up), the jack is actually applying a "pull" towards itself as you are raising the car, so if you put the rear end on stands first, you won't have to put it in neutral before you raise it and if your floor jack is able to roll freely as you raise the front, the back axle tubes just "roll up" on top of the stands as you raise the front, making it safer to raise.

I would put the car on jack stands, front and rear, to change a starter. It's just so much easier to get under it and around under it, for us old fellas, but you don't have to do it that way. Although I would put a good "chock" or something behind the wheels on the opposite end if I had it jacked up at one end only.


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Roscomacaw
12-13-2004, 01:51 PM
Rek,
I agree with most of what Sonny says although I've never had any lasting consequences from jacking a Stude no matter where I supported it. The frames of these Studes flex every time you drive them! And the factory supplied bumper jacks to work with. What could be more "tweaksome" than jacking by the rear bumper[?]
The main trouble spot with the frames is with the front crossmember. It bears alot of weight from above and below. This has caused cracks around where the spring pockets intersect the frame rails. There and also at the top of the spring towers where the upper A-arm bolts to it. There's been a few cases where that upper A-arm has literally torn loose from the spring tower. Probably because the bolts got loose but it's possible they just bowed to the stresses of years of pounding. Take a flashlight and inspect these areas closely when you venture under to tackle that starter.;)
As Sonny said, there's no power to that starter unless someone turns the key. So I don't think it's that big a worry in that respect. I WILL say that the exhaust pipe on that side can play hell with holding the starter captive once you get it loose! Especially if someone had the exhaust replaced and the exhaust guys didn't flatten the header pipe a bit to let the starter slip by. I have encountered this myself and know of others that have too!:( BTW, the heads of the starter bolts take a 5/8ths wrench or socket. The nuts however are 11/16ths. Good luck!:D

Miscreant at large.

Sonny
12-13-2004, 02:48 PM
quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

<snipper>

.......What could be more "tweaksome" than jacking by the rear bumper[?] <and a bit more snipper>

Miscreant at large.


Leaving it hanging on the bumper jack for a while. ;) 'Member I said, "any long term storage". I've just gotten into the habit of trying eliminate as much "tweak" and stress to those ol' rivets and welds as much as possible. [^] In fact, a few weeks ago I jacked the ass end of my '60 Lark hard top up and put jack stands under the frame, just forward of the rear spring front bushings, to put that 44 Dana in. Do I need to tell you how hard it was to get the doors open? [:I] Passenger door, almost impossible, drivers door, just difficult but it wouldn't fully latch when it was closed. It was fine once it got back on it's wheels, but as I was sayin', I would never leave it like that for any length of time. Our frames made to flex yes, hang in a tweaked position for an extended period of time, no, (even a spring takes a "set" after a while ;))

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

GTtim
12-14-2004, 09:39 PM
All good advice, but Sonny touched on one of the most useful things to remember. That is when the Stude is on the jack or stand and you have to get to the inside, open the door carefully but never, ever let the door slam shut or you risk breaking the door latch, been there done that.
Tim K.

Transtar60
12-14-2004, 10:04 PM
I have one thing to add. Even tho theres no power going to the starter with the key off, as MrBiggs and Sonny point out, a good safety habit is to remove the ground cable from the battery before starting any work on electrical components or in the engine compartment.

Safety First
Live to drive.

Sonny
12-15-2004, 12:12 AM
Right on Charlie! I forgot to mention that. It's something I just do automatically, good, cheap insurance! Thanks!

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

larkvalley
12-16-2004, 06:17 PM
All excellent points gentlemen,just remember,safety and common sense first.
I had a neighbor a few years who had an old brand x that weighted in at 4200 lbs.

He jacked up the car from the front without any chocks behind the rear wheels,using cheap jackstands in the front,this was to keep the car secure by the way! You can guess what happened next,the car rolled of the jackstands onto my neighbor.
Luckily the couple next door head the screams and pulled the car off him with the help of a few guys.

This was done when no other family members were present,an ambulance was called,outside of a few cracked bones and scrapes he was ok.

The moral of this true story is never take your safety for granted,follow all safety procedures when jacking,securing, using power tools,chemicals,etc,even charging a battery can severely damage a human being!

Last point I would like to make is never "rush" a job,plan your projects in advance,make sure you have the parts and tools you need before you begin!

Charlie

DEEPNHOCK
12-23-2004, 07:20 PM
I always stay off the steering cap.
Jeff






quote:Originally posted by Sonny

Hank,

The best place to jack the car up in the front is right dead-ass in the middle of the wide, heavy front crossmember, (right on the steering trunion "cap" that extends from the bottom, and you can use a piece of wood there if ya like), and put the jack stands right under the lower control arms, right near where the shock mount is.

The best place to jack the back is right directly under the "punkin", and put the jack stands outboard, under the axle tubes. Oh, jack and support the rear end first. Unfortunately, on our Studebakers, putting jack stands under the frame anywhere should be a very temporary thing. If you plan on storing your Stude with the wheels off the ground, do it just like I described or you can permanently "crink" it.

As far as dropping the starter, there is no power to the starter unless the solenoid is energized, (as when you turn the key to the run position), so there's no worry about arching and sparking when you disconnect the wire from the starter. Pop the starter wire off, (only one), the two mount bolts and it'll fall right in your lap! Hope this helps....


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com


DEEPNHOCK@worldnet.att.net
'61 Hawk
'37 Coupe Express
http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock

Sonny
12-23-2004, 07:34 PM
quote:Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK


I always stay off the steering cap.
Jeff

DEEPNHOCK@worldnet.att.net
'61 Hawk
'37 Coupe Express
http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock


No guts, no air medals! [8D]

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Rekabeduts
12-24-2004, 09:10 AM
What about placing the floor jack under the flat part of the front crossmember, right in front of the steering cap, with a small wood board to distribute the stress?

Sonny
12-24-2004, 09:49 AM
In a word, no. :) (Not enough contact area there, too easy to slip off)

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Roscomacaw
12-24-2004, 10:16 AM
Rek,

Please. Sonny and I didn't just start playin' with Studebakers a month ago. I've been driving and restoring Studebakers since '73. I never really kept track of the numbers but I think I"d be conservative in saying that 50+ have passed thru my life since I got interested in them. (Come to think of it, 50's a REAL conservative number!);)
BE SAFE - jack on the steering pivot. You CAN'T hurt it. And you can't hurt your Stude by simply jacking it up. That is, unless you jack it with a piece of wood on the front edge of the front crossmember, it slips off and the pad of the jack tears the hell outta the bottom of the radiator and maybe the pulleys on the front of the engine.:(

Miscreant at large.