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This weekend I swapped my wheels for the first time for Sunday’s autocross and I used the exact same jack pints I had used on my SES when I rotated tires, on the pinch weld in the area that appeared to be the most reenforced, about 4-6” from the wheel well. Both times when lowering the rear wheels I heard a loud pop but I could not figure out if the sound came from the jack, the fiberglass rocker panel or somewhere else. Has this happened to anyone else? Am I perhaps not using the wrong jack points? I think I might buy a low-profile Harbor Freight aluminum jack to replace my existing Craftsman floor jack to try and reduce the probability of interference between the rocker and the jack.
 

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Are you talking about the area near a bolt? if so I used those and had no issues.


This weekend I swapped my wheels for the first time for Sunday’s autocross and I used the exact same jack pints I had used on my SES when I rotated tires, on the pinch weld in the area that appeared to be the most reenforced, about 4-6” from the wheel well. Both times when lowering the rear wheels I heard a loud pop but I could not figure out if the sound came from the jack, the fiberglass rocker panel or somewhere else. Has this happened to anyone else? Am I perhaps not using the wrong jack points? I think I might buy a low-profile Harbor Freight aluminum jack to replace my existing Craftsman floor jack to try and reduce the probability of interference between the rocker and the jack.
 

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This weekend I swapped my wheels for the first time for Sunday’s autocross and I used the exact same jack pints I had used on my SES when I rotated tires, on the pinch weld in the area that appeared to be the most reenforced, about 4-6” from the wheel well. Both times when lowering the rear wheels I heard a loud pop but I could not figure out if the sound came from the jack, the fiberglass rocker panel or somewhere else. Has this happened to anyone else? Am I perhaps not using the wrong jack points? I think I might buy a low-profile Harbor Freight aluminum jack to replace my existing Craftsman floor jack to try and reduce the probability of interference between the rocker and the jack.
I encountered same when swapping wheels (stock summer to winter--I'm making the spring switch this weekend). Never did isolate the source of the noise. Had forgotten it of late until I ran across your post. Now I'm going to stare at the ceiling for a bit tonight before I fall off to sleep. Thanks for that. ;)

And based on your description, we were using (at least approximately) the same jack points. I used my Arcan XL 20 floor jack. I searched around under the car for a good bit looking for the best jack points, and was never completely satisfied.
 

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I prefer to use a middle side jack point and raise both wheels at once. I'm using the pinch weld described above. No issues.

At first I was worried about the side skirt, but it clears fine. Even Dave's fancy extended CF setup clears.

I use a heavy duty 3 ton dual piston jack that I can operate with a couple fingers on my left arm! :)
 

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This weekend I swapped my wheels for the first time for Sunday’s autocross and I used the exact same jack pints I had used on my SES when I rotated tires, on the pinch weld in the area that appeared to be the most reenforced, about 4-6” from the wheel well. Both times when lowering the rear wheels I heard a loud pop but I could not figure out if the sound came from the jack, the fiberglass rocker panel or somewhere else. Has this happened to anyone else? Am I perhaps not using the wrong jack points? I think I might buy a low-profile Harbor Freight aluminum jack to replace my existing Craftsman floor jack to try and reduce the probability of interference between the rocker and the jack.
After cogitating about this for awhile, I'm going to postulate a possible cause of the popping noise, and you can tell me if it might be so.

When using a floor jack, the lifting arm moves in an arc. In order to compensate for this, you'll normally notice that the jack rolls along on the floor. In the event that the jack is unable to roll, the arm will still be moving in an arc and the point of contact at the underside of the car will be forced to slide on the welded rib instead. You hear the popping while going down (and not up) because typically you go down much faster.

Does that sound like a good theory, or what? :)
 

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Middle jack point??!! I don't think there's any such thing on my car...
Not an official jack point, but one I've used on many unibody cars! Basically use a soft surface like wood or rubber and find a good spot along the seam. Totally safe. My jack has a removable cup with a flat rubber insert. My preference is to change one side at a time, but I've done front/rear two-at-a-time, too.
 

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To find the 4 "approved" jacking points, one can look at the service manual OR look at the yellow placard attached to your car's jack. I will try to post the picture from the service manual tomorrow.
 

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To find the 4 "approved" jacking points, one can look at the service manual OR look at the yellow placard attached to your car's jack. I will try to post the picture from the service manual tomorrow.
Oh yeah, this is not "approved". It works great and doesn't harm the car. I just work faster this way.
 

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I was just over at Harbor Freight and I think I'm going to buy their smallest aluminum jack.

Its rated at 1.5 tons, 3 3/8" low profile and 27 lbs. The pump has dual pistons and right now its on sale for $89. On the 21'st, I can get 20% off of that. The only down side I can see is the maximum lift is a little less than their bigger models.

For working fast, a lighter jack is going to be easier to move. If I can get it to do the middle jacking point that cuts the moves in half. Less weight to move half as often seems optimum to me.
 

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Same here. While I like the idea of the convenience of a middle jack point, I'm gonna trust that the engineers at Ford designated the best/safest spots and those are the ones indicated in the manual, above, etc.
 

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Same here. While I like the idea of the convenience of a middle jack point, I'm gonna trust that the engineers at Ford designated the best/safest spots and those are the ones indicated in the manual, above, etc.
That's totally a fair conclusion if using OEM (or similar) tools. I'm using an extra wide platform that distributes pressure evenly over a much wider patch. This wasn't a tested condition by Ford.

One other thing I look for is the presence of soft and hard lines (carrying fuel, hydraulic fluid, etc).

This is safe under the conditions I've described.
 

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This is great and all, but what if you want to raise the car and put it on jack stands? If you lift at the factory recommended lift points, where do you put the jackstand once the car is in the air?
 

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This is great and all, but what if you want to raise the car and put it on jack stands? If you lift at the factory recommended lift points, where do you put the jackstand once the car is in the air?
Great point! I'm only doing this for field-expedient track-side wheel changes! :)
 

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This is great and all, but what if you want to raise the car and put it on jack stands? If you lift at the factory recommended lift points, where do you put the jackstand once the car is in the air?
On the front, I use the bolt heads that fasten the engine sub-frame.
On the rear I use the frame that acts as the anchor for the swing-arm pivot point.
 
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