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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!
 

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Thanks for the information on lifting the ZO6 that I just purchased last month. I always cleaned the undercarriage when I went to the car shows,but this car is readly low to the ground. This looks like a very save method.
 

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Thanks for the information on lifting the ZO6 that I just purchased last month. I always cleaned the undercarriage when I went to the car shows,but this car is readly low to the ground. This looks like a very save method.
Congratulations on the Z and welcome to :z:
How 'bout posting up in the appropriate Grandstand sub-forum and tell us about your ride? :idea:
Enjoy! :jammin:
 

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Nice little article. I have been wondering how I was going to get mine up on the ramps to change the oil. Now I have the perfect way to get there. Good work.
 

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just bought my first 02 z last october, amazing. as far as lifting it i took some 2x 12's, cause i run 345's and slammed on stock bolts, cut 20 degree angles on the front edge and put another 2x12, with same angle 14" back- so they are stacked and a total of 30" long. line all 4 behind the tires, if your slammed you know what its like in the front, rock the car slightly and she'll ride up 1 stage, becareful and go up another stage. plenty of jack room. cost 20 bucks versus custom ramps and lo pro jack. you can get a jack anywhere under this car and not hurt the rockers
 

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This is a great post! I just bought a Z and I've been wondering what the best way will be to get it jacked up for servicing. I might lower it some day in the future too, so this post is full of good info.

Thanks dascrow!
 

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I'm not sure I understand why jacking with pucks takes you hours. The process you describe, in fact, looks like it takes quite a bit longer to do than the process I use. My process:

1) I reach under the car and insert/turn/lock the jacking puck - 5 seconds
2) Slide jack under puck - 10 seconds
3) Jack car - 30 seconds

Since the chassis is quite stiff, you only need to lift at one point on one side to get the entire side off the ground. Very "F1-ish", in fact. I typically jack and the front since that end of the car is heavier. Once the front wheel is more than about 4" off the ground, the rear wheel comes up as well. With my floor jack fully extended, I have about 12" or more under each wheel on the side being lifted.

Sure, if it's been lowered at all (my C5 is at the bottom of the stock bolt travel), a standard floor jack won't get under the car, pucks or no pucks. But "low profile" floor jacks do the trick nicely and (at least the one I bought at local car parts store) aren't any more expensive than a standard jack. Mine even has a nice rubber "jack pad" rather than the steel cup so common on a normal floor jack. My low profile jack gets under the car even with a puck (clearing by mere fractions of an inch, but clearing just the same).
 

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I'm not sure I understand why jacking with pucks takes you hours. The process you describe, in fact, looks like it takes quite a bit longer to do than the process I use. My process:

1) I reach under the car and insert/turn/lock the jacking puck - 5 seconds
2) Slide jack under puck - 10 seconds
3) Jack car - 30 seconds

Since the chassis is quite stiff, you only need to lift at one point on one side to get the entire side off the ground. Very "F1-ish", in fact. I typically jack and the front since that end of the car is heavier. Once the front wheel is more than about 4" off the ground, the rear wheel comes up as well. With my floor jack fully extended, I have about 12" or more under each wheel on the side being lifted.

Sure, if it's been lowered at all (my C5 is at the bottom of the stock bolt travel), a standard floor jack won't get under the car, pucks or no pucks. But "low profile" floor jacks do the trick nicely and (at least the one I bought at local car parts store) aren't any more expensive than a standard jack. Mine even has a nice rubber "jack pad" rather than the steel cup so common on a normal floor jack. My low profile jack gets under the car even with a puck (clearing by mere fractions of an inch, but clearing just the same).

:yeadog:

I bought 2 craftsman low floor jacks for about 100 each so I can do l/r front or l/r rear (for swaybar/shock/brake work).

That takes maybe an additional minute for the other side.


Safe, fast, ez. Toss some jack stands under for safety.

When I do wheel changes street/track I also jack the side of the car up with one jack (BMW works the same way).

Not that the op has a bad idea, but speed wise it's faster with low floor jacks.
 

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It's so great for newbies like me that all of these old posts are still around for us to refer to and learn from. Great stuff! Thanks!!:gjob:
 

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Great post! One of the biggest issues I faced when I bought the car was jacking it up. I'll have to try this out the next time im turning wrenches.
 

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Good sharing.
 

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Goo d post, but jacking pucks can be easily replaced with skid rails or rocker panel savers. They are always there working to save the panels from damage by speed breakers. One can jack up from side either front or rear.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to describe all this with photos and all. What a super job! I normally do everything myself but was contemplating having Belle Tire lift my 02 Z06 to replace my tires. I decided not to take the chance. This is really great! I normally use a jack each side at the puck locations. But this looks super! I can appreciate people using a single jack for speed, but I'm a little too fussy for that! Thanks again brother!!!! :gjob:
 

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This is a great post and seems like a simple method to get the car up off the ground once the main problem is solved - getting a standard floor jack to fit under the car.

However I've searched many of the posts here and still can't find the answer to why jack stands can't be used under the frame rails, even with jacking pucks. "RocketSled" mentions lifting the whole side of the car off the ground using one of the jacking puck locations.

The car doesn't know if there is a floor jack or jack stand under it so if you can't put a jack stand under the jacking puck locations, what are they for? If the frame is stiff enough to lift it from a jacking puck location, what is the fear of letting a jacking puck sit on a jack stand? Nearly every photo I see of a vette on a mechanic's lift, it is being supported by four arms under the jacking puck locations.

Is GM simply trying to prevent the liability of the car slipping off the somewhat small lift point and either damaging the car or causing serious injury to someone under the vehicle?

My engineering mind can't seem to find the logic in this.

Lifting and Jacking Locations

 

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I guess that it would depend on the contact patch area of the jack stand to the jacking puck. Most 2 post lift arms are flat and make a solid contact with the jacking puck whereas most jackstand contact points are not solid and flat like the lift arms. Probably for safety reasons.
 

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I put skid rails on both sides, forget jacking pucks. Too much trouble. Put jack stands under cross arms for safety
 
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