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Captain Obvious

Stronger Lift Pad Locations To Prevent Frame Rail Damage

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I have to get my 77 inspected by the state annually, and whenever it goes up on the lift, the underside takes some damage. It's not all crushed in bad like many Z's out there (yet), but I would really like to prevent future damage if I can. Even the FSM indicates the use of the front frame rails on the floors as the "proper" lift point, but they clearly are not up to the task. They simply cannot take the load.

So is there a different support option that is stronger than the frame rails? Is there a tested modification that can be made to prevent future damage?

Is there some sort of option or product that can be installed to provide better or stronger lift points? Like welded in flat pads designed to be used as lift points?

I've got about six months to come up with something before it has to go on the lift again.

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I don't know of a product currently on the market that specifically addresses that issue. I think your best bet without going full custom would be some bad dog frame rails, maybe with a little extra reinforcement in the lifting area.

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38 minutes ago, Captain Obvious said:

I have to get my 77 inspected by the state annually, and whenever it goes up on the lift, the underside takes some damage. It's not all crushed in bad like many Z's out there (yet), but I would really like to prevent future damage if I can. Even the FSM indicates the use of the front frame rails on the floors as the "proper" lift point, but they clearly are not up to the task. They simply cannot take the load.

So is there a different support option that is stronger than the frame rails? Is there a tested modification that can be made to prevent future damage?

Is there some sort of option or product that can be installed to provide better or stronger lift points? Like welded in flat pads designed to be used as lift points?

I've got about six months to come up with something before it has to go on the lift again.

at the front, engine cross member? Rear - Diff mounts?

Edited by Jason240z

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Would the inspection place be willing to use pads like these on the arms to lift the car in the same places where you would locate the jack to change a tire?

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3 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

So is there a different support option that is stronger than the frame rails? Is there a tested modification that can be made to prevent future damage?

Is there some sort of option or product that can be installed to provide better or stronger lift points? Like welded in flat pads designed to be used as lift points?

I've got about six months to come up with something before it has to go on the lift again.

Somebody out there, maybe gnosez, used to sell a weld-on plate for that purpose.  @gnosez

I've thought about making a sort-of clip-on rail protector for use in the garage.  Of course, it would be just a simple load distributor, but I'll bet you could work one up that might even fit in the tool boxes behind the seats.  Pop them out whenever needed.  3/16" steel or aluminum would probably be sufficient.

You could also just hand the guy at the shop four pieces of wood and ask him to put them on the lift pad.

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It is a nice toy store. Fortunately it's far enough away that I don't go there often enough to deplete my parts budget.

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Hockey pucks!  No... not an expletive but an answer.  I have a set of four hockey pucks with a slot milled thru them to fit the body weld at the jack points.  Useful for the floor jack, a lift, jack stands, ...etc.  A cheap solution.

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Thanks for the input guys.

I made a set of wood blocks and told the guy who does my inspections that I would like him to use them, but I'm not sure he does. He doesn't like them and he thinks I'm being a neurotic worrywart about the car. It also takes extra time to get the wood blocks out and install on the car. Time is money, and he's a professional. I can take all the time I want in my own shop, but he's on the clock. Plus, if anything ever happened, it's a liability issue. Were these wood blocks OSHA approved? But before any of you suggest "Well then you just need to find another shop!", there are good points to the relationship I've fostered there and I would hate to see that relationship go away.

@gnosez, Here's a pic of your second gen jack plates, but I'm not sure how they would be installed. Do you have a pic (from the underside) of these installed on a car:
jackplates.jpg

Also, other than cost, is there any reason these couldn't be applied in two locations on each side for use with a typical garage lift? By that, I mean, instead of being single point jack points, is it practical to do something like that in four locations to pick up the four arms from a lift?

Also, what about years compatibility? I know much of the unseen sheet metal on the 77 and 78 cars is different than everything that came before. Have you tried these on the final years of first gen Z's?

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Captain, my Captain...sometimes I worry about you.

There is only one way to install these which is to take the "L" lip of the plate and place it along side the rocker lip as shown in the picture attached. The 45 degree angled other side sits against the floor.

You can attach more than one per side and we recently made a 30 inch version for a guy with a homemade convertible 280Z.

We have sold over 200 sets for owners of 240, 260 and 280s and none have been returned due to fitment issues.

The one in the picture is being held on with a rare earth magnet.

jack plate.jpg

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I have wondered about having a tag hanging down saying jack point or maybe just an arrow.  My current 240 needed a BFH to push the floor back down from a previous lift that used the floor under the feet as the jack point in the front.

Edited by Mikes Z car

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5 hours ago, gnosez said:

Captain, my Captain...sometimes I worry about you.

There is only one way to install these which is to take the "L" lip of the plate and place it along side the rocker lip as shown in the picture attached. The 45 degree angled other side sits against the floor.

 

I understand completely. Most times I worry about me too. :)

Thanks for the additional description. I guess the part I wasn't getting is that the solid bar stock is simply a spacer to fill the gap between the plate ans the floor. Got it.

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IMG_2739.jpg.jpegImage1511858323.645663.jpg

This 260z has them on the side, I was speaking to the gentleman in the hat in one of the photos, he owned/raced [i forgot to be honest ;( ] this 260z, he stated that the lift point on the side allows for jacking a whole side with a single point.

I always wanted to know where the plates should be installed. Do the bad dog ones latch onto the old frame rail?

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They weld to the rocker lip and floor.

You could also weld our frame rails over the existing ones to add a 13 gauge piece of steel and use those as jack points.

All this said being a uni-body, if the floors or rockers are rusty then nothing you weld to them will be structurally sound.

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My car is not rusty, but it is painted. My only problem with the welded in stuff is I know I'll have to sacrifice paint.

So, if one were to use a pair of these per side as lift points, how far fore and aft would one put them? Center them on the original jack notches? Put them as far fore and aft as possible?

The farther apart they are, the more stable, but I don't wonder if the rockers are stronger at the notches. I also wouldn't want to interfere with the front fenders in the event that they ever had to come off.

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