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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up Your W124

Steve Vernon

Time:

20 minutes20 mins

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

2-ton jack, jack stands, wheel chocks

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1990-95)

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 the ground. While simple enough for the experienced mechanic, the procedure of lifting a 4,000-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 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, 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 the ground.

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.

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 vehicle 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 than 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 lowering your vehicle, raise it up off the jack stands, remove the jack stands from beneath the vehicle and slowly lower the vehicle to the ground. Make sure all your tools and parts are clear before you lower your vehicle. 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 or 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 making contact with the ground.

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. While you do not need to purchase this jack, you should never use the jack provided with the car unless it is in roadside emergencies.

Just behind the front wheels are indentations in the rocker panels (red arrow, one on each side).
Figure 2

Just behind the front wheels are indentations in the rocker panels (red arrow, one on each side). Just behind the indentation is a pad that should be used for lifting the vehicle (yellow arrow). The green arrow indicates the pop out cover for the roadside jack. This should only be used in emergencies and not for regular maintenance or work on your vehicle.

This photo illustrates the reinforced area (red arrow) that the jack is lifting from.
Figure 3

This photo illustrates the reinforced area (red arrow) that the jack is lifting from. Once the car is lifted you can place your jack stands under the frame rail (yellow arrow) to support the car. You can see that the wheels are chocked (green arrows).

You can also lift and/ or support the front of the vehicle from the rails (red arrows).
Figure 4

You can also lift and/ or support the front of the vehicle from the "rails" (red arrows). There is a lift pad on the front cross member (yellow arrow) that can also be used for lifting the car. Use caution when lifting from the center of the cross member as the vehicle can be tippy; do not get under the vehicle until it is safely supported on jack stands.

Just in front of the rear wheels are indentations in the rocker panels (red arrow, one on each side).
Figure 5

Just in front of the rear wheels are indentations in the rocker panels (red arrow, one on each side). Just behind the indentation is a pad for lifting the vehicle from. Again the access panel is for the emergency roadside jack and should not be used for maintenance or regular work on the vehicle.

There is not a frame rail area on the rear of the W124 to safely support the vehicle from so most people will lift the vehicle from the differential in the center (red arrow) and place the jack stands under the pads in front of the rear wheels (green arrows).
Figure 6

There is not a frame rail area on the rear of the W124 to safely support the vehicle from so most people will lift the vehicle from the differential in the center (red arrow) and place the jack stands under the pads in front of the rear wheels (green arrows). Use caution when lifting from the differential as the car will not be stable until you get jack stands under the pads.

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Comments and Suggestions:
TonyC124 Comments: Tip for those like me who may be wary of jacking up the rear end by the differential.
1 Jack the car with trolley jack or similar at the rear strong point to the height you want for a stand, BUT position the jack as parallel to the car as possible rather than perpendicular. Of course make sure you chock the FRONT wheels.
2 Slot in the emergency jack from the boot into the lift point and set it just to take the weight of the car off the trolley jack - work carefully.
3 Drop the trolley jack and replace with a stand under the mount point.
4 lower the car by the emergency jack on to the stand.

Hey presto - car is on stand without touching the diff!
July 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
TonyC124 Comments: Nick - I need to jack up the back end of the car so I can change my flexdiscs, but of course I can't jack up from the lift pads as I need to put stands there. I'm a bit concerned to jack up the car from the diff. I ask because I see the diff is in turn mounted to the rear framework with bushings - can they take the load on an angle? Just want to be sure before I give it a try. If not though - where else?
June 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is a suggested jacking point in the article. The bushings support the weight of the vehicle as is, the suspension sits on the rear end. If everything is in good shape, I wouldn't worry. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Left Coast Geek Comments: a hard rubber Hockey Puck makes a great jack pad. I get a few from the used sports good stores.
March 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, they do. Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
gerryreggea Comments: Hi ,
Newbie here from Kenya.. I have appreciated this site with good illustrations too with all information of what i need to learn about the W124...Thank you. I am currently in France for studies and yet to buy my first Mercedes lover a W124 after years of research and savings Still a student.I am thinking of buying a 1993 coupe with 117k kms on it or a sedan with 116kms but its abit costly, all cars seem to be well maintained as here in France cars are controlled.
I would like for some tips on what to check before purchasing and TO DO things after purchasing the car.

Thank you.
February 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your best bet is to have a mechanic perform a prepurchase inspection. If you don;t have that option or you want to look yourself, inspect the suspension, engine for leaks, brakes and tires. Have the vehicle scanned for fault codes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Claude Comments: thanks for the article and pictures. I'm wondering if I should attempt to lift my car being there is rust around the rubber pad area
January 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: First check if the rust is all the way through. if the panel is soft and crumbles, it could fall off the jack stand. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tai Comments: I am in Taiwan.I have never seen so wonderful site!
October 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tim Comments: Excellent Site . Thank You , Tim
December 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Tue 6/27/2017 03:05:48 AM