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Where to jack the car up from

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  • Where to jack the car up from

    I finally got my t-bird today

    Now the fun really starts, along with lots more postings on here I suspect ... so sorry in advance.

    My car has come with a jack. It looks correct and has the attachment for the back bumper at least. However I think I will be using a trolley jack as the bumper one just doesn't look that safe. I will of course be chocking it and potentially using axle stands too.

    Where is it safe to put a jack underneath ? I will need to jack it to lift all 4 corners, or perhaps the front or rear etc.

    Thanks again for all your help guys.

  • #2
    Where to jack the car up from

    Dave, I am going to let our terrific techies advise you as to where best to jack the car up. I will suggest this to you though. Whenever you have the car parked, pull the emergency brake on... These old Tbirds have been known to slip out of park and into gear. People have had their cars damaged by the car rolling back on them, damaging the garage door if it is down or partially down, or going down the driveway and into the street. So as a safety precaution, I ALWAYS pull the emergency brake on, when in Park and chock the wheels when I am working on the car. My driveway is also on a bit of an incline.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781


    • #3
      Hi Ray,

      Thanks for that. Over here you fail your driving test if you don't use the hand brake, plus my old dad would bend my ear if I didn't put it on even at traffic lights lol.

      I have to push it hard up into the P or it just clicks when I turn it over so I guess a steering column rebuild is on the horizon.

      I too plan on making some nice wooden chocks... something like they used on WW1 biplanes


      • #4
        Here are the recommended body jacking points. Just be careful not to hit the brake and fuel lines.

        Attached Files
        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

        Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695


        • #5
          Get yourself a good floor jack- Costco sells one of the best made for $100. Then some good jack stands. Cut blocks from 2x3 lumber to cushion the top of the stands.

          Jack the front from the front cross member, the round one behind the radiator support. place the stands under the front torque boxes.

          Jack the rear under the center of the differential. Place stands under the rear torque boxes.

          Be aware that these cars are unit-chassis, and very rigid. So if you have a slight dip in your concrete floor the car will actually sit on three of the four stands.


          • #6
            It's not a good idea to lift from the center of a differential. If the axle tubes are rusty, they will give out.

            The only time I use a bumper jack is when NO other option is available. I use a two-ton floor jack or scissors jack. Bottle (hydraulic) jacks usually have a very small base, so I don't use them either.

            Squarebirds have a unibody construction but they still have a front sub-frame and a rear sub-frame with two rocker channels in between. Look at your suspension. The front springs rest in the frame rails and the rear springs also attach to the frame. Use the frame to lift the car and put your jack stands under the frame. As an alternative, you may use the area just under the springs to jack up the car. Just make sure your jack cannot slip.

            Whenever I pull an engine, do front suspension work or when I get under a car (any car) it will be on quality jack stands. Before getting under there, give the body a good shake like your life depends on it, because it does.

            If the frame is in decent shape, I place my jack stands as far apart as practical to get the most stability. I call this area, 'the platform'. Think of an elephant standing on a small stool as opposed to him standing on four legs spread apart. Rollerbladers often widen their platform by leading one skate far ahead of the other, and they never fall.

            Thunderbirds are very heavy. Respect that and always stay safe. Feel free to ask questions or to clarify the Shop Manual. - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca


            • #7
              I'm assuming this car has a Ford 9" rear, which is heavy gauge all welded steel, legendary since it is basically unbreakable. Why wouldn't you jack the rear from it's center? If not there, where?