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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up Your Benz

Steve Vernon

Time:

20 minutes20 mins

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

2-ton jack, jack stands, wheel chocks

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W203 (2001-07)

Parts Required:

jack stands, jack

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 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 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.

Jacking up the front of the vehicle

When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the front of vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the lift pad at the front section under the vehicle, you will see a lift pad in the center of the engine tray that is used as a lift point.

Raise vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack and vehicles position. Watch that the lifting pad and jack are properly aligned on the vehicle.

Once you reach desired height, install the jack stands at the jack pad locations to support the vehicle. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands until full weight of the vehicle is supported. Check that the jack stands are not tilting or moving when vehicle is lowered. You can add a second jack stand under steel box section of body for added support.

Jacking up the rear of the vehicle

There is not enough room to jack up and support the vehicle in jack pad area at the same time. When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the rear of vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the center of the rear differential. Raise the vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack and the vehicles position. Once you reach the desired height, install a jack stand at each jack pad location to support the vehicle. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands until the full weight of the vehicle is supported. Check that jack stands are not tilting or moving when vehicle is lowered. You can leave the hydraulic jack under the rear differential for added support.

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 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.

When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the front of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the lift pad at the front section under the vehicle.
Figure 1

When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the front of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the lift pad at the front section under the vehicle. You will see a pad in the center of the engine tray that is used as a lift point. Raise the vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack and vehicles position. Watch that the lifting pad and jack are properly aligned with jacking point on the vehicle.

This photo shows the lifting point or pad in the center of the engine tray (red arrow).
Figure 2

This photo shows the lifting point or pad in the center of the engine tray (red arrow).

Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stands at the two front jack pad locations to support the vehicle.
Figure 3

Once you reach the desired height, install the jack stands at the two front jack pad locations to support the vehicle. 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. You can add a second set of jack stands under the steel box section of body for added support.

There is not enough room to jack up and support the vehicle in the jack pad area at the same time.
Figure 4

There is not enough room to jack up and support the vehicle in the jack pad area at the same time. When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift the rear of the vehicle, place the hydraulic floor jack under the center of the rear differential. Raise the vehicle slowly while monitoring the jack and vehicle position.

Once you reach the desired height, install a jack stand at each jack pad location to support the vehicle.
Figure 5

Once you reach the desired height, install a jack stand at each jack pad location to support the vehicle. 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.

This photo shows the car on a lift.
Figure 6

This photo shows the car on a lift. You can see the four support locations (yellow arrows) as well as the center of the differential (red arrow) that you would use for lifting if you where using a floor jack.

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Comments and Suggestions:
spatlese44 Comments: This is a very nicely done article, but my CLK320 doesn't have the center jacking point in the engine bay. It's a real puzzle. I use the lower control arm and do one side at a time, which is less than ideal. Any ideas would be appreciated. I've had it for a while now, so the answer might finally be to get a different car.
August 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Let's see what other Pelican community members have to say.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
greatfulinternetuser Comments: Thanks! I've found two of your guides really helpful! You'll be my new parts supplier from now on.
September 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
whatamidoing Comments: This site has been so helpful

In jacking up you Mercedes do these photos and instructions apply to a 2000 E320 sedan. the car IS NOT A 4MATIC.
November 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the chassis jack points are very similarn - Kerry at Pelican Parts  

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