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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up and Supporting Your SL

Ken Freund

Time:

10 minutes10 mins

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Hydraulic floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 450SL (1973-80)

Hot Tip:

Avoid working on dirt or other soft surfaces

Performance Gain:

Ability to service components beneath vehicle

Complementary Modification:

All under-car service & inspections

In order to work under the car, it's often necessary to raise and support it safely. Although the original-equipment tire changing jack can be used in a pinch to raise the vehicle to place jack stands underneath, we recommend using a hydraulic floor jack. These can lift both wheels of one end of the vehicle at once, and make it much easier to raise the car.

Park the vehicle on a flat, hard surface; smooth concrete is preferred.

Place the automatic transmission in Park and fully engage the parking brake.

Chock the wheels at the opposite end of the vehicle from the one being raised.

To raise the front end, place the jack lifting pad under the center of the crossmember that is part of the front subframe. If there is oil and grime on the bottom surface, wipe it clean first. It's easy for a jack pad to slip off when lifting if the surface is slippery.

Raise the jack until the car is high enough to fit the jack stands under it. Place the jack stands, one on each side, on the built-up section just inboard of the jacking point on the outside of the body (see photos).

Warnings: Jacks can fail or slip at any moment and the vehicle can fall straight down or off to a side without warning. This may result in serious or fatal injuries. NEVER place any part of your body under the vehicle in such a way that it could be crushed if the jack fails. Always assume that the jack may fail at any time when working with it. Always use quality jack stands that are rated for more weight than the load to be placed on them.

Working on soft or uneven surfaces is dangerous because the jack or jack stands may slip or sink in and tip. If working on asphalt pavement, place 3/4-inch thick pads of plywood (which are larger than the jackstand base) under jack stands to prevent stands from sinking into surface. Whenever possible, leave the jack in place while the vehicle is supported by jack stands, to provide a secondary means of support in case a jack stand fails. Always have an assistant nearby when working under a vehicle. Do not allow anyone inside the vehicle while you are working underneath. The parking brake and transmission Park function both affect the rear wheels only. If the vehicle is raised without the tires being chocked, the car may roll and slip off the jack or jack stands.

Chock the wheels at the opposite end from the one being raised.
Figure 1

Chock the wheels at the opposite end from the one being raised.

Pump the jack up until the car is high enough to place the jack stands.
Figure 2

Pump the jack up until the car is high enough to place the jack stands. Note the location of the jack pad under the front subframe crossmember.

Place the jack stands under the reinforced chassis section inboard of the front external jack points (hole in rocker panel).
Figure 3

Place the jack stands under the reinforced chassis section inboard of the front external jack points (hole in rocker panel).

Note placement of jack stand on reinforced floor section (front).
Figure 4

Note placement of jack stand on reinforced floor section (front). Place jack here or slightly aft of this spot, not forward as it may slip on rounded portion. Repeat on other side.

To raise the rear of the car, place the jack pad centered under the differential housing.
Figure 5

To raise the rear of the car, place the jack pad centered under the differential housing. If there is oil and grime on the bottom surface, wipe it clean first.

The rear jack stands get placed just inboard of the external jacking point.
Figure 6

The rear jack stands get placed just inboard of the external jacking point.

The mounting point for the rear subframe is a strong place for the jack stand.
Figure 7

The mounting point for the rear subframe is a strong place for the jack stand.

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Comments and Suggestions:
SkywaysOzone Comments: I see you have a flat topped stand for the back. I'm buying jack stands soon. Do you recommend buying one set of flat top for the rear and standard v-shaped for the front?
August 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Flat tops work well for European cars due the factory jack points being flat or square. V-style works well on pinch weld jacking points. Purchase what is best suited for your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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