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Old 08-05-2001, 04:14 PM   #1
josh93sc2
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Default How to jack-up a Saturn?

Okay, this is probably the most basic question I can ask, but just to be sure I'm not damaging my car: do you place the jack directly on the vertically-descending lip of material running parallel and distal to the long axis centerline of the vehicle (i.e., "interior" to where the body panel is screwed-in underneath the car)? My Chilton's manual seems to imply jackstands are placed on the body paneling itself, exterior to where it's actually screwed into the vehicle. Does this photo show the correct placement (oriented back towards right rear: 93 SC-2), or do the jacks rest against the flat surface as opposed to the lip?
Thanks!
Josh

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Old 08-05-2001, 04:58 PM   #2
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Yeah, you use that lip. If you are worried about dinging it, you can always place a chunk of wood (a 6 inch length of 2x4 is great for this) on the jack, underneath the car.

BTW, nice Dunlops.

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Old 08-05-2001, 06:32 PM   #3
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I use the bottom of the strut mount personally.

Kerry

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Old 08-06-2001, 12:57 AM   #4
SpeedPlayer 97sl2
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Right in that location, on the underside of the black plastic rocker panels should be these little "pads." I can't see one in your picture, so I'm not sure if the 93's have them. My 97 basically has a cut-out in the rocker panel that exposes the structural rail of the car. I place my jack so that it jacks up on that pad. My car has the lip too, but I don't trust it to bear all that weight. So in your photo, I would slide the jack outwards a couple inches and place the jack so that it makes contact on the flat black plastic surface (between those two little nodules molded into plastic). That's a solid place to jack up the car. I use a hydraulic 2-ton floor jack accompanied by jack stands. ALWAYS use jackstands in conjunction with regular hydraulic or mechanical jacks whenever you plan to work underneath your car (i.e. changing the oil). You never know when those jacks might fail -- very rare, but possible. You can put those jackstands also underneath the flat black plastic rocker panel, or you can place it further in along the horizontal frame rails. I'll admit, the Saturn manual and trunk sticker are kinda vague as to exactly where underneath the vehicle to place the jack. It's best just to use common sense, tap around the underbody, and see where it seems most solid and stable.

Sidenote: in non-emergency situations, and if you're not using your car's emergency jack, it's good to use something like a small 2 x 4 block of wood between the jack and car. It'll help disperse the load over a wider area underneath the vehicle so there'll be less stress on the contact point.

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Old 08-06-2001, 01:39 AM   #5
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Always try to jack the car up at the specified points on the side rails. As for supporting it with jack stands put them under the lip as close to the jack points as possible or under the car on a solid frame rail or a solid suspension member. Never rely on a jacking device to support the car with you under it.

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Old 08-06-2001, 09:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
SpeedPlayer 97sl2 (08-06-2001 01:59 a.m.):
Right in that location, on the underside of the black plastic rocker panels should be these little "pads." I can't see one in your picture, so I'm not sure if the 93's have them.
His car does have them- you can see the "pad" thingy directly underneath his jack. You can just make it out from the shadows created by the flash (you can see the edges).

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Old 08-06-2001, 01:19 PM   #7
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What about the frame rail? Is it a good location to put on the jack for either front or rear wheel replacement?

Of course I'm not talking about the exact middle of the rail, may make the car tip to either front or back side......hazard spot to use in jacking......

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Old 08-06-2001, 06:59 PM   #8
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using the bottom of the struts sounds like a good idea, if you're using a proper floor jack. If the car needs to go on jack stands, the frame rails on the edge of the car are a good bet.
BTW, if you are going to do any work on your car at all, you owe it to your self to get a good floor jack. They can be had for as little as >$50 to many hundreds of dollars (for 15lb, all titanium NASCAR jacks).

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Old 08-07-2001, 07:22 PM   #9
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for emergency jack provided by saturn, use the lip as you have shown in your photo. however using a jackstand/floorjack on the same area can actually crush that lip (happened to me with a jackstand). floorjacks/ jackstands can be placed on the frame rail instead with a piece of wood to prevent damage to the underbody coating. another pointer when you are replacing a flat tire using the emer. jack, place the replacement tire under the body near the jack so in case the emer. jack gives way, your car would not crash down to the ground.

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Old 08-11-2001, 06:29 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of your help! This board is really great, I wish I knew enough about cars to help others here.
Josh

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Old 08-13-2001, 11:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
therapist (08-07-2001 08:22 p.m.):
for emergency jack provided by saturn, use the lip as you have shown in your photo. however using a jackstand/floorjack on the same area can actually crush that lip (happened to me with a jackstand). floorjacks/ jackstands can be placed on the frame rail instead with a piece of wood to prevent damage to the underbody coating. another pointer when you are replacing a flat tire using the emer. jack, place the replacement tire under the body near the jack so in case the emer. jack gives way, your car would not crash down to the ground.
Happened to me too. In fact, I was dumb enough to try it again on the other side, and bent that (it worked so well on the one side, I just had to see ...). I now have two nicely bent portions of lip on either side of the car - Lord help me if I ever need to replace the plastic under the doors.

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Old 10-27-2004, 07:18 AM   #12
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I can't say I trust that lip very much seems like it can bend real easily I know it's meant mainly for stability and not to support the cars weight entirely but still. In the few times i've jacked my car up i've tried a few methods, my 2 ton floor jack pretty much sucks it's only good really for lifting the car up enough to get my 12 Ton Bottle Jack under there (that puppy goes up pretty high and can lift a delivery truck so I know it's sturdy). The problem is the contact point, I haven't tried the piece of wood yet but I may have to as my Bottle Jack keeps making indentations in the undercoating and I worry it may mess the body up. The floor jack works ok where the jack supplied by Saturn would normally go as it has a small enough saddle with groves that it won't damage that lip but the bottle jack is another story it's saddle is pretty much flat and would crush that lip in no time. If anybody here has used one of these bottle jacks i'm just curious is the rocker panel near the lip (not on it) the best place to use this jack or would the frame rail a little furthur in work better? I don't notice a frame rail on the back so i've used the rocker panel there no problems yet :o: but on the front I see one bout 6 inches in from the rocker panel although I dunno how strong it is. Jacking up these unibody cars and placing stands under them can be chore, my bottle jack was mainly bought for our Van which has a complete frame but it's the only jack I have that goes up to a descent height. I'm not exactly small.

Last edited by SL1Joe; 10-27-2004 at 07:23 AM..

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Old 10-27-2004, 08:49 AM   #13
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If you can slither in there somehow the rear of the engine cradle is a good spot for jacking. This leaves the front of the rocker panel free for jackstands. The wheel gets in the way going in sideways but a long jack can make it from the front.

If one jacks a few inches toward the rear on the rocker so there's space for stands under the front door hinge, it works but the car creaks and complains more.

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