The rear suspension middle crossmember is nice and strong, lets you jack up the whole rear end.
In the front, the suspension points right behind the air dam and next to the tire are nice and solid. Unfortunately, if there are any centrally located jack points in the front, they are hidden by the underbelly pans.
I'm a newbie at this, but that's what I used to get my '87 on jack stands this week.
Porken was only kidding when he said they were factory. In fact the factory didn't expect any owners to work on these so they gave us a jack that is more likely to damage your paint than lift the car.
If your goal is to actually work on the car though, I would highly recommend a set of Ken's (Porken's) liftbars. I got a set last year after I'd done the MM/pan gasket, as well the exhaust work and clutch work. If I had known how much easier and more stable they are than just using jack stands I would have gotten them the day I got my car.
If you just need to do some work right away, you might do the old 'ramp on a 2x10' technique. Lay out some 2x10s (5' is long enough) and put a block on the end of each to keep your ramps from sliding, then drive the car up on the 2x10, and then onto the ramp. It should give enough clearance to keep the spoiler from grinding and also get it high enough to work on what you need.
You are probably scratching your head over the "how do I put a jack stand where the jack is?" conundrum.
For front end work I jack up at the factory jack point, then put axle stand under the front suspension 'skid'.
I also made up a pair of timber ramps according to instructions on someone's 928 website (sorry forget which one). You nail together several layers of 2 inch thick timber and cut a 45 degree bevel at leading edge of each one.
Have no affiliation but I like the look of the ramps especially designed for low clearance spoilers, and the two part design that lets you work from side once car up on the ramps. I will probably buy myself a set soon to replace the timber ramps as the ones fron raceramps apparently have zero tendency to slide and they are higher (10 inch) than mine.
4 jacking points, two on each side, just look under the car from the side, rectangular brackets easily visible.
Jacking procedure from manual:
- Jack up from rear side jacking point.
- Put jack stand under front jacking point.
- Lower jack.
- Repeat other side.
- Put jack under rear traverse bar, under the gearbox, there is a flat section where you can put the jack; jack up the rear end.
- Put jack stands under rear jacking points.
An alternative, which I have found to be appropriate myself, and, seemingly confirmed as 'good practice' by others here:
- Jack up front from the front lower a-arm front mounting bracket.
- Now you can put jack stands under front jacking points.
The problem with this method is to get a jack under the front spoiler and reach the a-arm bracket - is is too low for most jacks.
Solution is to jack up using another jack, on the front side jacking point, then slide the jack under.
(I am by no means to be considered an expert on this, though I believe the information I present here to be true - please do follow sound advices from others in here, who has more experience and knowledge).
Re: Raceramps: O.K., I have the two piece race ramps. bought them after trying the Rhino ramps with boards underneath, but they still hit the front 's' spoiler early; I would have had to make multiple board 'steps' for that to work, it just seemed easier to buy the longer incline raceramps. And the race ramps are made of some type of solid material, and it's quite lightweight, easy to carry and store up high. The 's' spoiler just about grazes the raceramps too, but no signs of serious scraping. I like being able to remove one piece of the ramps.
Question; with the lift bars on an early '86, can I lift with the jack in the middle of the bar, and put them up on some type of solid box? I worry, because I can imagine the car sliding off or tipping jack stands if I'm doing something like my wheel bearings, and putting a lot of torque on that wheel bearing nut.
"Don't try to understand women. Women understand women, and they don't like them".
with the lift bars on an early '86, can I lift with the jack in the middle of the bar, and put them up on some type of solid box? I worry, because I can imagine the car sliding off or tipping jack stands if I'm doing something like my wheel bearings, and putting a lot of torque on that wheel bearing nut.
The early jack points are small and round; the early bars are much more stable than using stands alone. The bars fit up into the oddly shaped front jack point, and have a third locating/contact point next to the seat belt bolt.
Folks drop their entire drivetrain while up on the bars!
.... I worry, because I can imagine the car sliding off or tipping jack stands if I'm doing something like my wheel bearings, and putting a lot of torque on that wheel bearing nut.
I did a thumbnail calc a while ago where I decided that 175 lbs of lateral pressure is enough to push the car off of the small stands at full extension. Upgrade to the larger-footprint 6T stands and that number goes way up at the same height. Using Ken's bars gives about three more inches of clearance with the same rollover pressure available front-to-rear.
Some other good news--
Do the high-torque tasks on the rear wheel bearings before you lift the car at all, or after you lower it to the ground again. Otherwise, apply your heavy wrench forces down or up, so the stands are not interested in rolling.
'89 S4 Auto, black
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Free advice and shared experience, with absolutely no relationship to your real-world conditions. No warranty of any kind expressed or implied. Use at your own risk.