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Jacking Up Your Mercedes-Benz W123
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up Your Mercedes-Benz W123

Steve Vernon

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

2-ton jack, jack stands, wheel chocks

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W123 (1977-85)

Hot Tip:

Stack the wheels under the car as an added safety measure

Performance Gain:

First step for all work underneath the car

Complementary Modification:

Check front & rear suspension bushings

About one-third of all tasks that you need to perform on your Mercedes-Benz require it to be raised off of the ground. While simple enough for the experienced mechanic, the procedure of lifting a 3,000-pound car can be a bit unnerving for the amateur. In this project, 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 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 car on a frame rail just in case the floor jack fails.

Before you attempt to begin jacking up the car, make sure that the two wheels you are not lifting 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, so place a few 2x4 pieces of wood in front and behind 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.

If you are going to be working on your car I recommend you do not use the Mercedes-Benz supplied jack but invest in a proper garage jack. The best jack I have ever found is the DK13HLQ from AC Hydraulics available at Pelican Parts. 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 inches), the jack will easily fit under any of my vehicles. On the other end, the jack has an unusually high lift of 735mm (29 inches) 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.

Remember to always check the structural integrity of the vehicle you are lifting; if the vehicle has rust or frame damage do not attempt to lift it or get under it until you have it checked out properly. Stack the wheels under the car as an added safety measure if you remove them.

Buy and use a good jack and proper jack stands.
Figure 1

Buy and use a good jack and proper jack stands. This is the best jack I have ever used and while you do not need to purchase this jack you should never use the jack provided with the car unless it is in road side emergencies.

Whether your car is in show condition or not is no reason not to scratch or mar the paint on the underside.
Figure 2

Whether your car is in show condition or not is no reason not to scratch or mar the paint on the underside. I like to place a hockey puck between my jack and jack point to avoid the metal on metal contact. The only time I might not use this is when lifting by the front center cross member if it is oily and greasy and then I don't mind the metal on metal to make sure the jack does not slip.

When you are lifting the front or rear make sure to chock the wheels you are not lifting.
Figure 3

When you are lifting the front or rear make sure to chock the wheels you are not lifting. Remember if you lift the rear of the car, the parking brake will no longer have any effect on holding the car.

The original jacking hole is only supposed to be used in road side emergencies and not used to lift or support the vehicle (red arrow).
Figure 4

The original jacking hole is only supposed to be used in road side emergencies and not used to lift or support the vehicle (red arrow). You want to support the vehicle by the frame rail and as close to the front suspension pick-up points as possible (yellow arrow).

Place the floor jack under the front of the vehicle and make sure it is on the cross member (red arrow) and that you are not attempting to lift the vehicle by the oil pan or a suspension component.
Figure 5

Place the floor jack under the front of the vehicle and make sure it is on the cross member (red arrow) and that you are not attempting to lift the vehicle by the oil pan or a suspension component.

Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stands at the two front frame rails as close to the front as possible (red arrows, where the lift pads are).
Figure 6

Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stands at the two front frame rails as close to the front as possible (red arrows, where the lift pads are). Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands until the full weight of the vehicle is supported. Check that the jack stands are not tilting or moving when the vehicle is lowered. If you are only working on the front leave the jack in place as extra protection.

The rear is the same; you do NOT want to lift the vehicle from the emergency lift port (red arrow); this is only to be used in case of road side emergencies.
Figure 7

The rear is the same; you do NOT want to lift the vehicle from the emergency lift port (red arrow); this is only to be used in case of road side emergencies. You will want to place the jack stands on the suspension pick up points just in front of the emergency jack opening (yellow arrow).

Place your floor jack under the rear differential and lift the vehicle from this point (red arrow).
Figure 8

Place your floor jack under the rear differential and lift the vehicle from this point (red arrow).

Once you reach the desired height, install a jack stand at suspension pick up point (red arrow).
Figure 9

Once you reach the desired height, install a jack stand at suspension pick up point (red arrow). Slowly lower the vehicle onto jack stands until the full weight of the vehicle is supported. Check that the jack stands are not tilting or moving when vehicle is lowered. You can leave the hydraulic jack under rear differential for added support.

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