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HOW TO JACK THE C6

rear jack

Introduction Supplies Clever way Jack Locations The Quick Way Jack Choices Specifications Photos - front jack low profile Rear Jacking



Special Update

The AC Hydraulics DK13HLQ jack is now very hard to find in the USA. Due to the weak dollar, and the site of manufacture, which is Denmark, the jack has become so high-priced that few distributors will carry it. See the "jack choices" section for my latest updates of good jacks for your C6.

I'll keep a lookout for a good jack that meets our corvette requirements. ** Please let me know if you find a GREAT jack, so that I can update all the other drivers here !

INTRODUCTION

There are a few barriers to jacking up the C6.
  1. You only have a 5-inch ground clearance. As a result, you cannot get most jacks far enough underneath the car to reach a proper jacking point. You also cannot simply drive up onto standard wheel ramps that you might find at your auto parts store.
  2. You have tires that are 245 mm wide. That's 9.6 inches. Simply too wide for most wheel ramps out there. If you're going to buy ramps, be sure to double check to see that the c6's wide tires will fit.
There are then four ways you can approach the car to get it up high enough to do your work underneath.
  1. The quick easy way: jack it up straight from the front, with your jack dead center. You are assured of stability and safety
  2. Jack from the side. The disadvantage is that your jack pod might slip off the jacking puck. I've never been comfortable doing it this way, although many other drivers do it routinely.
  3. Use two jacks to jack simultaneously from both sides, using the jack puck locations.
  4. Drive up on ramps. This is fast and easy, but you run the risk of driving crooked and falling off the ramp, or overshooting the end of the ramp. And ramps do take up quite a bit of space in the garage, so this is not my favorite.

I'd certainly suggest you choose option (1) above. Then you can either use the "Clever" way, or the "Quick $ way". The quick $ way is to buy the AC hydraulics DK13HLQ, or the Omega 29023, shove it under the car, and be done in 30 seconds. The problem is that the AC Hydraulics jack costs > $575. The Omega 29023 is probably the single best choice for now, as it is easily available, and costs only $260.

When shopping for a jack, make sure it can meet all the spec requirements to get under that front cross-member. The Omega 29023 is the only one I know of for now. But please let me know if you find another jack that can jack the C6 from the front without using wood blocks or ramps. I'd love to keep this page updated with best jack information.

Your other option is to spend $50 on a two-ton jack from Walmart or NAPA, and use the clever method shown below. But I frequently want the car up to clean the wheels and wheel wells, so investing in the $$$ jack was well worth it to me.


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SUPPLIES

Here are some supplies you might need. Your ic needs depend upon which of the above methods you choose to lift your C6.

Elite Engineering Jack Puck Jack pucks. These hook onto specific locations on the Vette, and protect your rocker panels from damage by the jack. Don't lift without them. If you lift from the front like me, the pucks will be held by your jack stands as they support the car.
NAPA 5202007 jackstands NAPA #5202007 Two-ton jack stands. $20 / pair.
2 X 10 lumber 2" X 10" lumber. You'll want to cut it into 4 sections about 2' long each, one for under each wheel.
wheel chocks NAPA # BK 7303998 Wheel chocks. The ones I have are NAPA #BK 7303998. You'll want to have at least two pairs of these, to chock both the front and the rear of the wheels that you're not raising.

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The Clever Method

Credit for this method goes to 97vette.com. The basic idea is that you cannot slide your standard jack far enough under the nose of the car for it to reach the front cross-member, so you need to drive the car up on blocks of wood first. The advantage of this method is that it allows you to use a cheapy $40 jack to get the job done, without having to pay several hundred more for a true low profile jack.

Drive up on a 2x10 instead of the 2x4 shown here First, drive up onto your sections of 2X10. This picture shows me using a 2X4, and that's just not the best way to do it. Use a 2" X 10" or 2" X 12" plank, and cut it into at least 2 pieces. You'll drive up on these in order to get the car high enough so that you can get your standard jack under the front end.
wheel properly chocked Be sure to park the car on a perfectly flat surface. NO HILLS! Turn the engine off, set the emergency brake securely. Then position your wheel chocks around the two wheels that will stay on the ground (in this photo those are the rear wheels that need to be chocked.
Proper Jack Points on the Corvette Now review the proper jacking locations on the C6.
  • Blue contact points are where you can insert your jack pucks. Do NOT try to lift the car without pucks at these locations. You will ruin your rocker panels.
  • The purple is where I use a single jack to raise the car - front or back- in just a few seconds. Click picture for high resolution diagram (167 Kb).
jacking on the front crossmember Here's where I lift the C6. This corresponds to the purple location on the diagram.
jacking locations Here the different locations are shown.
  • The "owner's manual" locations correspond to the red dots on the diagram.
  • My jack is supporting the car a the front purple location on the diagram.
  • The point labeled "B" is further back and almost impossible to reach. This is shown in the diagram as the solid green bar.
Puck slots locations Here's the front right insertion slot for the jacking puck. There are four slots like this on the car, in the locations indicated in my diagram. This is where I support the car, using jack stands, after I've raised it.
front on stands Here's the C6 now comfortably resting on the jack stands.

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THE QUICK $ WAY - GET AN EXPENSIVE JACK !

First see the important update above. The DK13HLQ may no longer be available in the USA.

The "clever method" works, but it has some drawbacks. It takes a lot of steps to get it done. You'll probably have to reposition your 2X10 pieces of wood several times to get the car positioned correctly. The car might drive completely over one piece of wood, so you'll have to get out, reposition, and try again. Most importantly, if you you're using this method, you really cannot chock the wheels properly (while the car is up on the wood), which means you have seriously compromised your safety.

If you just buy a true "low profile" jack, you can avoid all these steps and get the car up in less than 30 seconds. This means that you do not have to drive up on wooden planks - just throw the jack under the car and pump it up.

I bought the AC Hydraulics DK13HLQ jack, and could not be happier. Unfortunately this jack is hard to find, and even if you find one, is rather outrageously expensive. I'll try to post up any jacks that I find out about - with the requirement that they have a low enough profile, and long enough reach to be able to jack the car from the center, as pictures below show (see specifications, below). This is really the best way to get the car up in less than 30 seconds. No repositioning - less than 10 pumps on the jack, and it's perfect every time.

JACK CHOICES

Finally, visit this excellent post at Corvetteforum. It is a legendary review by "Vet" which directly compares the DK13HLQ and the Omega. If the link or pictures go down, download this pdf version.


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SPECIFICATIONS

Here is the short list of requirments you should look for, before laying down any cash for a new jack:

What you need in a jack for the C6:
AC Hydraulics DK13HLQ ($800)Omega 29023^ ($349)
Capacity:3000 pounds (1.5 ton)*2900 pounds4000 pounds
Minimum height of jack≤ 5-1/8" **3.1"2.5"
Reach32" minimum32"ND
Frame Length(will be slightly longer than reach, so definitely do not buy jack with length < 32")37"42.5"

*Since the weight of the C6 is approximately 3247 pounds. Of course, the jack in reality will never be supporting the entire weight of the car, but may have to support half of this weight. Also note that the rated weight allows some extra safety tolerance. It is likely that this jack would fail at twice its rated capacity, not AT the rated capacity.

** This is not necessarily the maximum height of the jack - see below

ND = not disclosed. The Omega jack has a base length of 42", but I don't know how much of that length will actually fit under the C6. Note that the DK13HLQ boasts a frame length of 37", but in reality has only 32" of reach. So you have to be careful and never assume that frame length and reach are equivalent.

^ : As far as I can tell, the Omega 29023 and the Blackhawk 29023 are the same jack.

Front Jacking - Low Profile Jack

measure of reach This is what they mean by the "reach" of a jack. You do need exactly 32" in order to reach the front cross-member of the C6 without resorting to using pieces of wood, etc, that we used in the "clever" method.
jack positioned With the AC Hydraulics DK13HLQ, the long reach makes it easy. Here the jack is in perfect position to lift by the front cross-member.
jack clearance

The AC Hydraulics DK13HLQ fits nicely under the low clearance of the C6. With the front airdam completely folded up, you have only a clearance of 5-1/8"

It is OK that the maximum frame height of this jack is 6-5/16", since the highest part of the jack does not need to go under the lowest clearance point.

This picture shows the jack ready to go - it does not have to go any further under the car than this to reach that front cross-member.

front up Just 10 quick pumps on the handle, and the car is up. No wood, no repositioning. No hassle. Perfect every time!
front up, side view

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You'll want to talk to some guys on your favorite bulletin board and verify that a specific brand and model of jack will truly work, before you buy. But at least I can absolutely verify that the DK13HLQ is perfect.

REAR JACKING

rear crossmember Looking in from the rear, identify the rear cross-member, pictured here with asterisks on it.
apply jack here Here's a close-up view, showing the triangle shape that you'll see in the middle of the cross-member - apply your jacking pad directly to that spot.
rear jack in place The AC Hydraulics jack in place. The long reach makes it simple to get to the rear cross-member.
rear jack in place Final view. Note the location of the jacking pucks, which I use to mount the jack stands.

Also note that once I have the car up on the jack stands, I still always leave the jack in place anyway, as a safety. You can't be too careful.


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