The MGA With An Attitude

At 09:04 AM 6/20/2009 -0600, Brion Shimamoto in Connecticut wrote:
"My question is about jacking points using a floor jack. Is it ok to place the floor jack under the differential? And under the front, is it ok to raise the car by placing the floor jack against the wide cross-brace that is in front of the engine"?

Yes on all counts. You can jack the rear under the differential. When I use the floor jack in back I move the handle slightly to one side so it does not hit my trailer hitch. Watch the head room and try not to dent or scratch paint on the fuel tank.

You can jack the front under the frame cross member. When jacking in front, be sure to hook one ear of the jack cradle behind the cross member so the jack cannot slip off the front and smash the radiator. When I use the floor jack in front I turn the steering all the way to one side and place the jack at an angle with the handle just in front of the tire within the wheel arch opening to have high space for handle motion.

As long as the frame is solid you can also jack under the side of the frame to lift one side of the car, two wheels at a time like this:
side jacking the MGA
Place the jack under the frame a few inches aft of the front door post to lift both tires off the floor at the same time. Exact location needed for the jack will depend on what kind of front sway bar is installed (if any). Stiffer front sway bar lifts the front tire sooner, in which case you can place the jack a littler farther back.

For changing a tire you can jack up one wheel (as noted in the Owners Manual), and be sure not to get yourself under the car while it is on the jack. For doing anything else under the car, jack up one end or one side, and always use jack stands in pairs either 2 or 4 stands.

For best access to everything underneath, it works well to place the stands under the outside frame rails, below the doors. If you think the stands will be in your way there, you can place them under the front A-arms, directly under the coil springs or as far outboard as possible, under the leaf spring front mounting point, under the leaf springs very near to the axle, or under the rear axle tube anywhere along the length with both stands equal distance from center.

After placing two stands, when jacking up the other side or other end of the car, be careful to allow the floor jack to roll freely in an orthogonal direction, straight fore/aft, or straight sideways. If the jack rolls in a diagonal direction, or if you rotate the jack when it is raised, there is a chance of pushing the first two jack stands off center, ending up unstable on two legs. Once you have the car sitting firmly on two or four stands, give the car a good shake to be sure all legs of every stand are firmly in contact with the floor, an it's not moving anywhere.

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