How to safely and quickly lift your C5 without using jacking pucks
By Mark Vaquer
If you’re like me, having to go through the process of using ‘jacking pucks’ can be a pain in the butt. This is something that I dreaded doing even before I acquired my Z06. Lifting your car in order to change your oil or remove your wheels shouldn’t take hours. By using this alternate method of lifting your C5, you can lift your car as needed, with simple garage tools in under 20 minutes! Many modifications & routine maintinance can be performed using this lifting method. There will certainly be instances where you will have to resort to the tried & true ‘jacking puck’ method, but for many lifting requirements, this much quicker ‘alternate method’ will work just fine with a minimum of time & effort.
To lift your C5 using this alternate method, you will need the following:
- An adequate heavy duty floor jack (2-3 ton minimum; this method doesn’t require an expensive ‘low profile’ floorjack)
- 4 - 3 or 4 ton capacity quality ‘4 point’ base jackstands
- 2 pieces 2 X 6 X 25 inches wood or very hard, dense plastic
- 4 pieces 2 X 12 X 16 inches wood or very hard, dense plastic (Treated exterior wood works best)
Begin by setting a single 2 X 12 X 16” piece of wood in front of each tire, front & rear. Do not set the wood right against the tire; set it about 4 or 5 inches in front. Make sure that these pieces of wood will not slide when you begin to drive the car up & on them. The best possible way for this is to have the car on a large piece of carpet. This is the way I do it & I’ve never had a problem with these pieces of wood moving or slipping when driving the car onto them.
Get in the car. Slowly drive the car up & onto the blocks. You will need to give your car a small ‘running start’ to get on the blocks. If you hit them & the car doesn’t go up on them DO NOT try to force it! If you do this, you will ‘flip’ the rear wood blocks up with enough force to hit & possibly crack the fiberglass underneath. Let the car back up and drive just a touch faster until the car is on the blocks. This may take a couple of times (similar to the ‘rocking technique’) but the car will easily go up & onto these blocks. Once the car is on the blocks, & before going any further BE POSITIVE THAT THE EMERGENCY BRAKE IS ENGAGED & THE CAR IS IN GEAR (or in ‘park’ for automatic C5’s). Also, if you’re going to be removing one or all of your wheels, be sure to break the lugnuts loose before lifting the car. Here is a picture of what your car should look like when it’s up & on the blocks.
Once the car is safely on the wood blocks, take your floorjack to the front of the car & center a piece of 2 X 6 X 25” wood on the lift.
Move this combination under the front end. You will see that the lower air dam will touch the piece of wood
Reach under and pivot the lower air dam out of the way just enough to move the floorjack with the wood past it. Once past the air dam, position the jack/wood under the front aluminum cross member taking care to not let anything touch the fiberglass leaf spring. Raise the floorjack until the wood makes contact with the cross member. At this point, look and check that the wood and floorjack metal lift pad are centered under the cross member. When they are, lift the car to the desired height. Be very careful to not hit the front fascia with the floorjack handle while raising the car.
After you’ve lifted the car to the required height, move the 2 jackstands into place under each side of the wood being sure to leave enough space in the middle to allow you to remove the floorjack from under the car. When you lower the car onto the jackstands be sure not to let the car down too fast & hard! If you do this, the wood could possibly split! Let the car down slowly & gently onto the wood. Lower the floorjack & remove from the front of the car.
Move the floorjack around to the rear of the car & repeat the same procedure as above. Move the floorjack with the 2 X 6 X 16” wood under the rear cross member, again taking great care to not let anything touch the rear fiberglass leaf spring.
Once you’ve centered the floorjack/wood under the rear aluminum cross member, raise the rear of the car to the desired height.
Again, move two jackstands into place on each side of the wood. Lower the car gently onto the jackstands. Now you can either remove the floorjack or leave it in place to add some extra safety
This is a front to back picture of the rear of the car fully lifted with the floorjack left in place for added safety. Note that nothing is close to the fiberglass leaf spring.
Now the car should be fully lifted off of the ground. There is no metal touching the aluminum cross members, only wood. The car will be very sturdy lifted in this manner and can be left like this for days if needed. This entire operation should take less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Initially it will probably take longer, but once you’re used to it, you’ll be surprised at just how little time it takes to completely lift the car. You can actually change your oil & filter in less than an hour lifting the car in this manner. You can also lift just the front or just the rear using this method. One thing to be aware of; if you’re going to lift the rear only, you still need to drive the car onto all 4 woodblocks. If you don’t, you can lift the rear high enough to where the front fascia will actually touch the ground! I’ve been lifting my car using this method for over a year with great results & no damage. I don’t even own a set of ‘jacking pucks’; I still haven’t had a situation arise where I need to purchase or make a set!!
Disclaimer: You perform this operation at your own risk. I make no claim that the information contained in this article is accurate, complete or that it will not damage you and/or your automobile. The information contained herein is strictly for educational purposes, intended for Z06Vette.com/CFiveVette.com forum members & is only from my personal experiences. Remember to use common sense when lifting any car and crawling beneath it. Always make sure that it’s properly and securely supported with the proper equipment and always on level ground, preferaby on a concrete surface, and NEVER on dirt or grass!