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Discussion Starter #1
I was home recently and my son and I jacked up his Malibu to replace his bad rear rim/tire. He brought out his Harbor Fake 80 lb steel floor jack - but we ended up just using the car’s scissor jack because I couldn’t see any way to use the floor jack without causing damage to the car! Looked first at the standard jack point just in front of the rear wheel (where the cutout is for the scissor jack), but it looked like the cradle on the floor jack would’ve crushed all that plastic underneath! Then I thought - under the strut, but the jack ended up too far underneath to operate the pumping handle.

What I’d really like is an adapter that fits over the floor jack cradle that has the head of the scissor jack on it - so it fits in the cutout without touching all the plastic around it.

I know they also make those “pucks”. Is that what everyone uses? On my cars I always put a 2x6 wood block on top of the cradle before jacking up - and I can usually reach a suitable jacking point without causing damage, but this Malibu looked different to me.

How are you 2008 owners using your floor jacks?
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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On my 2011, I use an aluminum racing-style low-height jack with a rubber insert in the cradle's cup. I can jack up the front and rear with it to change the oil, do the brakes, or anything else.

I agree that it's a bit of an issue with finding a good spot, but even with my car being lowered 1.4", it is not an issue. I got the low-height jack specifically because of lowering it, but I would probably have gotten it even if it wasn't; the car is that low already!

I've considered getting a puck to use on the factory jack points, but I haven't needed it yet. You do need to consider where you jack, though. What appears to be a frame member up front adds strength to the car but it can't be used to jack it. I tried once and it started to bend or crush, so I picked a better spot. I use the hard frame members up front that surround the engine bay, and in the back I jack it up on the suspension pivot points.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
On my 2011, I use an aluminum racing-style low-height jack with a rubber insert in the cradle's cup. I can jack up the front and rear with it to change the oil, do the brakes, or anything else.

I agree that it's a bit of an issue with finding a good spot, but even with my car being lowered 1.4", it is not an issue. I got the low-height jack specifically because of lowering it, but I would probably have gotten it even if it wasn't; the car is that low already!

I've considered getting a puck to use on the factory jack points, but I haven't needed it yet. You do need to consider where you jack, though. What appears to be a frame member up front adds strength to the car but it can't be used to jack it. I tried once and it started to bend or crush, so I picked a better spot. I use the hard frame members up front that surround the engine bay, and in the back I jack it up on the suspension pivot points.
Yeah - we were trying to jack up the rear because it was his rear passenger rim that was bent. So I was trying to reach the suspension components - because there didn't look like any place else, but the jack had to go too far under the car where you could no longer operate the jack!

THAT was the problem - in the rear. Not the front.
 

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About 30 miles south of Boston. I'm originally from where I sent him - because things weren't happening for him where he was (with me). Got all that? LOL!
I think so ...

You're from there where he is, which is not where you are and where he was until he went where he is and where you used to be.

That sound right?

:D
 

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Yeah - we were trying to jack up the rear because it was his rear passenger rim that was bent. So I was trying to reach the suspension components - because there didn't look like any place else, but the jack had to go too far under the car where you could no longer operate the jack!

THAT was the problem - in the rear. Not the front.
I always jack my 'bu's on the torque box inboard from the front pinch weld spot when using a floor jack. Floor jack will get both wheels off the ground if it's big enough of a jack.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I always jack my 'bu's on the torque box inboard from the front pinch weld spot when using a floor jack. Floor jack will get both wheels off the ground if it's big enough of a jack.
I can't picture this, but I'll try to remember that on my next trip.

I "advised" my son to buy the aluminum Harbor Fake floor jack, but somehow "aluminum" turned into "steel", and now this ridiculously-heavy thing has to be lugged out of the basement every time he wants to use it! The good news is: it's probably "big enough" to jack up the entire front-end?
 

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Right behind the front tire pinch weld spot inboard a bit you'll see the square frame looking area. I also use the rearward front cradle mounting spot on vehicles that have that like my old rusty Sables that didn't have any solid pinch weld jack points left. I hate using the pinch weld point, it's there for roadside flat changes only IMO.
 

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I'd love to have something like either one of those, but for the few enough times (thankfully!) that I need to get under my car, my low-profile aluminum jack and heavy duty jackstands are just fine.

However, if someone is giving them away . . . . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Repairman54 - I think I saw the jacking point you're talking about ... I thought about jacking there, but after those boxy-looking "rails" failed me, I couldn't try another thing without positive identification. I'm gonna have to snap some pictures and post them here to verify where it's safe to use a floor jack on this vehicle! I've never owned a car that was this much trouble to lift with a floor jack.

So we ended up using the scissor jack yet again ... in the biting cold ... the whole thing was a major ordeal. But that's par for the course here.

htm565: which one of those attachments goes over a floor jack cradle to convert it into a pinchweld lift point? I see things that look like what I'm thinking of, but can't see how they'd securely attach to the cradle of a floor jack! Wish I had a welder and actually knew how to weld ... I'd just make the darn thing! It would just be a square box that drops over the circular cradle and has the top of a scissor jack welded to it. That's it! Maybe it would swivel, too .. I don't know ....
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Ohhhh yeah!! I remember seeing those “pucks” in the past! Thanks for the reminder. I got so mad with the darn floor jack fiasco and having to use the scissor jack again that I didn’t think of those things!

Also found the “manual” for the HF floor jack. Looks like the part that my son said “fell out” is just a “set screw” that you put in after inserting the handle. So I guess the handle stays on all the time with this wretched jack? On my Craftsman aluminum jack you can remove the handle and reinstall easily because the “set screw” is spring-loaded. If you try to do the same thing on this HF steel jack it’s a PITA to line up the center hex piece in the bore so that it goes into the hex hole in the bottom of the handle (allowing the handle to fully seat in the bore) ! The hex piece in the bore keeps falling off-center and lying against the sidewall of the bore! Maybe this is yet another HF product that requires some “customization” so the handle can be removed and reinstalled easily each time?

Don’t like this HF steel jack: WAY too heavy, and now this handle “issue”. This thing has to be stored in the basement and carried to the street. If the handle stays on it’s a pain bringing it through the basement entryway.

Should’ve gotten the aluminum jack like I suggested...
 

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I've never had luck with Chinese jacks. They all leak down slowly including 2 cycle jacks. I have a aluminum Crapsman that leaks down but my 40 yr old steel 1.5 ton real Craftsman works like the day is was new and that has see a ton of work with many curbside clutch and trans. changes and other work back in the day. Handles on all my current jacks have a flat blade style center connector so no issues removing/installing the handles. My Costco Arcan brand 3.5 ton china jack has been good for 10 yr. now. It's heavy but the old Craftsman wasn't big enough to lift my Yukon or Tahoe on one side. If I were to buy another aluminum jack it would be a brand name, you get what you pay for quality wise. I never jack any of my vehicles on the pinch weld, I use the ''box" section just behind where the front cradle bolts up to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The “box” section worked. You know - that area didn’t look any more substantial than those box “rails” further inward that I had tried earlier (that you apparently cannot jack up on), but I guess it is! And it’s not flat, either ... but just used a wood block like always.

And was able to put the jack stand on the pinch weld right beside the floor jack, so that was good!

Speaking of Chinese jacks that leak - I’ve told this story before and it still amazes me: my Crapsman aluminum jack was purchased at Sears close to 20 years ago now. I rarely used it at first because it was easier just to pull out the scissor jack. Then the scissor jack collapsed one day right before my eyes! Learned my lesson there: only use scissor jacks on the road during emergency situations. Overusing them around the house will cause them to fail. They only have a fixed number of times you can use them before that female threaded block gives way.

But once I started using the Crapsman regularly, I noticed it would leak out every time! Really pissed me off - since it had only been used minimally up to that point.

I started experimenting with it and found that if I locked it closed after each use - it didn’t leak fluid! I had been leaving it “open” after each use!

So now the Crapsman Aluminum jack I used to hate ... I now love! Works great every time and I don’t have to pour fluid in it every time I use it - like I used to!
 
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