Pelican Technical Article: Jacking Up and Lifting the Boxster on Jack Stands Wayne R. Dempsey
Time: 20 min
2 ton jack, jack stands, jack pad tool
986 Boxster (1997-04) 987 Boxster (2005-08)
Stack the wheels under the car as an added safety measure
Starting point for all work underneath the car
Check front & rear suspension bushings
This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster. The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
Check out some other sample projects from the book:
About one third of all tasks that you need to perform on your Boxster require it to be raised off of the ground. Simple enough for the experienced mechanic, the procedure of lifting a 3000-lbs car can be a bit unnerving for the amateur. In this chapter, I'll start out by showing you the best places to jack your car up and how to support it while you're working on it.
First, let's talk a bit about safety. Haphazard use of a floor jack can result in some pretty significant and expensive damage to you or your car. Before you begin raising the car, make sure that you have the wheels of the car blocked so that it can't roll. It's also wise to have your parking brake on as well, and the car placed in first gear. You should always use jack stands in pairs to support the car: not simply the floor jack. Even if you are only lifting the car up for a few minutes, make sure that you place an emergency jack stand loosely underneath the transmission, motor, or rear differential just in case the floor jack fails.
Before you attempt to begin jacking up the car, make sure that all four wheels are carefully chocked, and that the car is on a level surface. Keep in mind that if you raise up the rear of the car, the emergency brake no longer works (it works only on the two rearmost wheels of the car). If you place the car in park (automatic transmissions), it will only lock the rear wheels as well. Place a few 2x4 pieces of wood in front of each of the wheels to make sure that the car will not roll anywhere when you lift it up off of the ground.
The ideal place for jack stand supports is right underneath the four standard factory jack supports. Except for the emergency back up jack stand mentioned previously, I don't recommend that you place the jack stands underneath the engine, or transmission, as this can lead to instability.
I typically like to jack up the front of the car first. Use the reinforced area of the chassis shown in Figure 1. If you don't have a soft rubber pad or spare hockey puck for your jack, then fit a rolled up newspaper in-between the jack and the car to avoid damage to the undercarriage of your car. Lift up the car slowly. It's perfectly okay if the car tilts while the wheels on the opposite side are still on the ground. Depending upon where you placed your jack, both front wheels may come off the ground, or both wheels on one side of the car may come off the ground. Lift the car up only enough to get the jack stand underneath while it's set at its minimum height. Place the jack stand securely under the factory jack support area, and slowly lower the car. If your car is spotless, I recommend to placing a little bit of newspaper between the jack stand and the car to avoid scratching or scraping the underside of the chassis.
If you are lifting the front of the car, then place a jack stand under the front reinforced plate, lower the car onto the jack stand, and then repeat for the opposite side of the car. Then jack up the rear of the car in a similar fashion using the jack point shown in Figure 2. Jacking the car up from this point will typically raise the entire rear of the car, allowing you to set both rear jack stands in place at the same time. Set the height on the jack stands to be the same as the ones for the front. With the car supported on all four jack stands, you can carefully repeat the whole process to raise the car higher if needed.
Safety is of paramount importance here. Never work under the car with it suspended simply by the jack - always use jack stands. Always use a backup jack stand wherever you place your primary jack stands. One tiny flaw located in the casting process can lead to a jack stand breaking - and having the car fall on top of you. If you are going to remove the wheels from the car, be sure that you loosen the lug nuts before you lift the car off the ground: otherwise the wheels will spin and you will have a difficult time getting the lug nuts off. Take the wheels and stack them in pairs underneath the car: this is an added measure of safety in case something fails.
Once you have the car up in the air and supported on the jack stands, position the jack under the engine without lifting it, and push on the car and see if it is unstable on the jack stands. If the car moves at all, you do not have it properly supported. It is far better for the car to fall off the jack stands while you are pushing on it, then when you are underneath it. Really try to knock it off the jack stands: you want to make sure that it's perfectly stable. Set the floor jack underneath the engine or transmission while you're working as yet another backup support. Again, it's a wise idea to set up a spare jack stand or two as a precautionary measure against one of them failing.
When you are ready to lower the car, be aware of where you are placing your floor jack. Sometimes you will not be able to easily remove the jack when the car is lowered, or the jack handle may crush or damage part of the chassis something else on the way down. Proceed very slowly and also be aware that some floor jacks release very quickly. Also be careful to place the car in gear, or to engage the parking brake before you lower it. The car may have a tendency to roll away right after it's put back on the ground.
There is a reinforced area of the front chassis that makes for an excellent point to jack the car up with (yellow arrow). If you place your floor jack under this section, then you will be able to fit your jack stands in the standard factory jack support areas (green arrow). In this photo, the front of the car is on the left.
Jacking up the rear of the car can be easy: if you have a long-reach jack. My preferred spot is the rear suspension mounting point: it attaches the suspension to the chassis and is very strong. Avoid lifting the car using any part of the engine. Place your jack stands under the standard factory lift points (shown in Figure 3).
The best place to support Boxster with jack stands is under the factory jack support areas. These four spots on either side of the car have metal cup pieces that act as locators for professional-style hydraulic lifts used at repair shops. Placing four jack stands at equal height on either side of the car like this creates a very stable platform for the car.
Based upon my extensive search for the perfect jack, I must recommend the DK13HLQ from AC Hydraulics. This jack is the best that I have ever seen, and is exclusively available at PelicanParts.com. Manufactured with the highest quality in Denmark, this floor jack satisfies all of my requirements, and has more than earned its place in my garage. With a minimum height of only 80mm (3.1”), the jack will easily fit under any of my lowered Porsches. On the other end, the jack has an unusually high lift of 735mm (29”) that enables you to raise your car up onto floor jacks in one swift motion. Combine that with the easy-to-use lift foot pedal, and you have a superior jack that's perfect for any car enthusiast, regardless of which car they happen to own.
Or give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Comments: My987 has plastic aerodynamic trays which need removing ,cant do that till car is in the air and using the alternative jack points would break the trays .Not sure the 987 has the same points as the 986
June 6, 2013
Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sometimes you can use a jack extender to get the jack past the body trim without hitting it. Check to see if there is clearance once an adapter is used. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Comments: The Bentley Service Manual says to "position floor jack under rear axle support in center of car" on page 03-4. Is there a reason you don't recommens this approach for lifting the rear of the car?
April 17, 2012
Followup from the Pelican Staff: The lift position in the article states to place the jack where the suspension mounts to the chassis. As stated that is a reinforced area and you are directly lifting the chassis. Jacking on other areas could damage suspension components and put stress on your engine and transmission mounts.
Comments: I just discovered this site and have instantly added to my favorite list. The articles are clear, concise and the photos are perfect. This makes it very clear what projects I will be doing and which the shop will get. Thanks!
February 25, 2012
Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank You for the positive comments. Hopefully we can help with all of your repair projects.
Denny at Pelican Parts
Curt from Kansas
Comments: Ray, what did you use to modify the top of your jack stands?
THanks, Curt from Kansas
Comments: Yikes, I'd be a little leary of using standard bare metal jack stands at the factory jack point positions without some sort of positioning tab to align with the corresponding hole in the pick-up point. I've modified all of my jack stands as well as my hydraulic floor jack with locking tabs for safety purposes.
November 10, 2011
Followup from the Pelican Staff: That's a good idea. In general though, the standard jackstands are very stable and don't have issues locking into the jack points. I personally prefer the flat-top jackstands that have hockey puck type tops on them. - Wayne at Pelican Parts
Wayne at Pelican Parts
Comments: This is a test comment on this article.
February 20, 2011
Followup from the Pelican Staff: this is a test followup - Wayne at Pelican Parts
Check out some other sample projects from the book: