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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 09-05-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
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Front Jack Point Question

I've been used to jacking up the front of the car at the **** that protrudes from the frame member to the rear of the middle of the front bumper. I was using a floor jack that has a cupped saddle that the **** sort of fits into, but when the car is raised high, it doesn't fit very well. I just bought a harbor freight aluminum floor jack (2 Ton largest they sell) which has a square flat saddle. This will not work on the ****, however further backward (toward the rear wheels) on the frame member from the **** there is a flat horizontal portion where I would like to put the jack saddle. Is that a safe point to jack the front from ??
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlestek View Post
I've been used to jacking up the front of the car at the **** that protrudes from the frame member to the rear of the middle of the front bumper. I was using a floor jack that has a cupped saddle that the **** sort of fits into, but when the car is raised high, it doesn't fit very well. I just bought a harbor freight aluminum floor jack (2 Ton largest they sell) which has a square flat saddle. This will not work on the ****, however further backward (toward the rear wheels) on the frame member from the **** there is a flat horizontal portion where I would like to put the jack saddle. Is that a safe point to jack the front from ??
If your talking about the **** to the front of the cross member that holds the 2 front and rear motor mounts, then yes this is fine. Even with the flat saddle on the jack. Jack it up as high as you need it to go and put 2 jackstands underneath the car. This is the fastest and safest way to raise the entire front end.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:00 PM   #3
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Fsm Picture Here

Click the image to open in full size.

I would be lifting approximately where the red arrow points. The circled area has the ****, actually a small pyramid of metal. But that section is on a down slope. The red arrow area is flat and parallel to the ground.

BTW, I bought the Harbor Freight 4000 lb "Lightweight low profile" jack (http://www.harborfreight.com/rapid-p...ack-92782.html) but when I got it home, I discovered it weighs 45lbs, maybe more than my two ton steel Sears jack. Since I have to lug the thing out from the basement to the driveway everytime I use it, I'll probably return it and get the next jack down which weighs 35lbs (http://www.harborfreight.com/rapid-p...lue-40105.html) .....
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:19 PM   #4
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I tried jacking from where the red arrow points last week, and watched the cross member buckle a bit -- so, didn't proceed.
Using that "nub" in front of it is tried-&-true method though.

Thanks for posting that diagram -- been wondering about jacking on the rear beam axle for a while now!
Didn't want to throw that thing out of balance.

gr
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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Didn't realize it was dangerous

Hmm, then it is a bad idea to lift at the flat portion of that support member.

Lifting the nub with a cupped floor jack saddle is not the greatest because as the jack is raised the cup tends to grab at one edge of its circumference on the nub which is far from ideal. Well I was looking for an excuse to return the floor jack with the rectangular saddle, I guess I will have to get the lighter and cheaper model with the cupped saddle.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlestek View Post
Hmm, then it is a bad idea to lift at the flat portion of that support member.

Lifting the nub with a cupped floor jack saddle is not the greatest because as the jack is raised the cup tends to grab at one edge of its circumference on the nub which is far from ideal. Well I was looking for an excuse to return the floor jack with the rectangular saddle, I guess I will have to get the lighter and cheaper model with the cupped saddle.
The jack saddle should have a very slight pivot so in effect it adjusts itself to have a better contact patch with the nub. (or any spot you jack it up for that matter)
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:35 AM   #7
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Not with this jack

The jack I have may have a pivot, but the saddle is flat and square:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:37 AM   #8
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I have the same type of saddle on mine. Question for you, do you use jackstands?
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:47 AM   #9
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Yeah, I use jackstands. I have some Allied ones, but see that Harbor Freight has some that fit with rubber pads they sell.

BTW, so how/where do you put your flat jack saddle when you lift the front????

Since the jack weighs 45lbs and I have to lug it up from the cellar everytime I use it, I was going to return it and get the next jack down, the 3000 lb with cupped saddle. I know the front wheel design is not as good, but it weighs 35lbs.
Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by charlestek; 09-07-2010 at 06:52 AM..
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:03 AM   #10
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I jack it from the pyramid shaped nub behind the front bumper that nissan's diagram specifies as the proper jack point. Im letting you know that its safe to jack it from that point. Jack it up, then put jack stands on the 2 side jack points that nissan also shows in the diagram. Dont lift it from the flat spot. Put the saddle right on the pyramid.

The car will not buckle, it will not slide off. This is the safest way to jack the maxima up other than using a lift.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:08 AM   #11
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I would think the pyramid would be precarious concentrating all the weight on the small tip of the pyramid pressing into the flat saddle......
My old jack has a pronounced cup so that the pyramid fits somewhat into a well from the cup.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlestek View Post
I would think the pyramid would be precarious concentrating all the weight on the small tip of the pyramid pressing into the flat saddle......
My old jack has a pronounced cup so that the pyramid fits somewhat into a well from the cup.
This is what the pyramid was designed for, as is the jack. This is common knowlege. And its on paper straight from Mr. Nissan himself. I dont understand why this concept is so hard to grasp.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:34 AM   #13
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Sorry

Don't mean to sound dumb, but you would think it wouldn't work too well as below:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlestek View Post
Don't mean to sound dumb, but you would think it wouldn't work too well as below:

Click the image to open in full size.
Look at it again. Its not a perfect triangle. Its more of an isosceles trapezoid. Meaning, the bottom doesn't come to a point.

Click the image to open in full size.

Just imagine this upside down.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:55 AM   #15
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Ok, if it works for your jack, then it should be fine. My experience with the old jack is that as the jack is raised, the cup pivots so that the walls of the pyramid are caught on the lip of the cup, which I never liked. Enough of a discussion. Thank you for all the detail.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:44 AM   #16
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Wow, great discussion here. I never had any issues with the jack points.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:13 PM   #17
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Wow, great discussion here. I never had any issues with the jack points.
Nor has 99% of other folks on here...
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:21 PM   #18
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:52 PM   #19
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I've owned 3 Maxima's over the last 15 years. I've always jacked them up right in the middle of the engine mount bracket or whatever it's known as using plain old cup saddle jacks. I've never had a problem and I've done it 100 times by now.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:17 PM   #20
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Ghost Rider seems to see the cross member buckle when you jack on the flat portion, behind the nub. I wouldn't make such an issue if my old jack didn't start to screech when I lift it high and the saddle cup is scraping on the edge.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:18 PM   #21
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behind the nub

I understand exactly what he's talking about. Putting a rounded numb on a flatish surface is far from instilling confidence. I've tried behing the nub, but put a 2x4 between the jack and the beam to spread the load out over a greater surface area. Seems to work ok... Just about to try it again.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:29 PM   #22
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Ive been wasting so much time jacking the left side then the right side, thank god for that diagram
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:53 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essential1 View Post
Look at it again. Its not a perfect triangle. Its more of an isosceles trapezoid. Meaning, the bottom doesn't come to a point.

Click the image to open in full size.

Just imagine this upside down.
Your diagram makes sense but you're taking it out of context. You have the rear wheels holding the car from going side to side. So when you lift the front it has nowhere to go but up and not side to side. I'm about to buy myself a nice aluminum jack because I have a bad back and a lowered car and to answer your question you have to do a bunch of research reading reviews because a lot of them fail from cheap Chinese manufacturing. They like to copy other products but use cheaper materials causing it to fail. One thing nobody mentioned is that the lower radiator support is prone to rust and when I watched my friend try to jack up his G20 you could hear and see it cracking so check that before jacking and keep an eye on it. My max has rust there too and it looks bad but it's still strong enough so don't be afraid just be smart. After I jack the car up and start lowering it down on the stands I like to leave the jack engaged the slightest bit so that you have extra support rather than just drop the jack and leave it only on stands.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #24
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CHECK YOUR LOWER RADIATOR SUPPORT FIRST BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO LIFT THE CAR ON THAT JACK POINT!!! if its rusted you will be in for a treat
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:41 AM   #25
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CHECK YOUR LOWER RADIATOR SUPPORT FIRST BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO LIFT THE CAR ON THAT JACK POINT!!! if its rusted you will be in for a treat
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As far as the jacking point, I've always Placed my floor jack on that nub. As well as stands on the sides. Can't cut corners on safety, especially when you're going to spend a good amount of time under the car.
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