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slowguy
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've read a fair amount on this site about how to use a floor jack to lift a Mini using the plastic jacking blocks provided. At autocross events, however, I''ve noticed that folks using floor jacks to lift up the entire side of a Mini to change wheels. I don't think they're using the usual jacking points.

The floor jacks I've seen seem to come in two variations. The cheaper type has a round lifting head with a rim that's about 2 inches wide. The rim doesn't run continuously around the head, but has 4 cutouts. The more expensive type (typically billed as a "racing" jack) has a wider head with a shallower rim and sometimes a pad on the head. I've seen both types in use.

The questions: if I wanted to use a floor jack but not the usual lift points (1) where could I lift the Mini without doing something stupid like punching a hole in the floor and (2) do I need a fancy racing jack to do it?

Thanks, and I'd ask the folks I've seen doing this but for the fact that I'm out of action for surgery and won't be back to any autocross events until late September.
 

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Mini Mod
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9,227 Posts
tirpitz said:
I've read a fair amount on this site about how to use a floor jack to lift a Mini using the plastic jacking blocks provided. At autocross events, however, I''ve noticed that folks using floor jacks to lift up the entire side of a Mini to change wheels. I don't think they're using the usual jacking points.

The floor jacks I've seen seem to come in two variations. The cheaper type has a round lifting head with a rim that's about 2 inches wide. The rim doesn't run continuously around the head, but has 4 cutouts. The more expensive type (typically billed as a "racing" jack) has a wider head with a shallower rim and sometimes a pad on the head. I've seen both types in use.

The questions: if I wanted to use a floor jack but not the usual lift points (1) where could I lift the Mini without doing something stupid like punching a hole in the floor and (2) do I need a fancy racing jack to do it?

Thanks, and I'd ask the folks I've seen doing this but for the fact that I'm out of action for surgery and won't be back to any autocross events until late September.
Use the normal lifting points.
What works best is if you cut a small block of wood to set inside the lifting block. Makes using a standard floor jack easy. Somebody here cut a block that fit around the outside of the lift point. Worked well since they had one of the rubber pads on the jack head.

If you're on level ground(you should be) you can lift the entire side of the MINI using just the front lift point. I do it all the time. Make sure your boot doesn't have any weight in it. At an auto-x I'm thinking it wouldn't.
Make sure you remember your torque wrench and if you have a cordless drill bring it. Speeds things up nicely.
 

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slowguy
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I'll give that a try. I was just a bit leery about using the normal jacking points after hearing some stories about them failing.
 

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UberGeek
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850 Posts
tirpitz said:
Thanks, I'll give that a try. I was just a bit leery about using the normal jacking points after hearing some stories about them failing.

I'd go with using the normal jacking points - I have and everything was fine.

Of course, to minimise the risk of falling, you need to ensure you do things correctly, such as:

- chock the wheels on the other side to ensure the car doesn't roll
- put the car on axle stands whilst you work; never rely on a jack on it's own

-Lee
 

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339 Posts
The front jacking point works fine for changing both tires on that side of the car at the same time. Just be sure that whatever jack you use is contacting the plastic jacking point evenly on all four sides of the plastic. DO NOT try to lift on only one side of the plastic jacking point, this may cause the entire plastic molding to pull loose from the unibody. The jacking point is only attached to the unibody with a plastic rivet.
 

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147 Posts
That plastic jack point is not securely attached to the car. If the jack cannot roll easily perpendicular to the car as it is raised, the plastic piece rotates out. Some people on this forum have done a job on the side of their car when it fell. At autocrosses, most time the small wheels on a jack will not roll very well on the asphalt.

For autocrosses I used to use the stock jack, but it takes a while and a lot of turning of the crank. I now have a hydralic double sissors jack that I found at JC Whitney for about $40. I modified the lifting head by shortening it a bit and it fits the bare seam just behind the plastic piece perfectly. This is a very strong point. It is quick and very very stable. The front point works for both tires very well.
 

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slowguy
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Interesting about the scissors jack. I'll look into that. I've also been using the stock jack, but it's a laborious process.
 

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Mini Mod
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9,227 Posts
I'll second the hydraulic jack. The head on mine fits right up inside the jacking point.

Make sure the collapsed height will fit under the car
 

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1,064 Posts
the problem with using the jacking points is that your jack is right where you want to place your jack stand. What I do is lift just aft of the front jack point on a boxed-out section of the chassis just inboard of the skirts, using a 4 x 8 x 1 plywood pad, then set that side of the car on two jack stands i shaped to fit into the jacking point cavities.

If I just want to lift the front, there is a suitable round rim centered under the subframe where the jack will lift the entire front, both sides, then you can place stands into the two front jacking points.

unfortunately, there dosen't seem to be a sutable centered lifting point at the rear subframe. I keep telling myself I will make a jack bracket to work at the rear...
 
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