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Need help changing wheels... 101 questions


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1. What's the fastest and safest way to jack my car up to change all 4 wheels using a standard floor jack?

2. Are jack stands involved? Is it reasonable to change two wheels on one side of the car at the same time by jacking the rear (on one side) and placing a jack stand under the front jack point on the same side?

3. Do I need a 996 specific jack pad? Any good tips on where I can order one other than the dealer? Are there 996 specific jack stands?

Sure, I could use the factory jack and change the wheels one by one. But I'm looking for some tips from you guys on how you change your wheels quickly, efficiently, and safely.

Thanks for the help... NICE SITE, Loren! :cheers:

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I put my cab up on 4 jack stands all of the time to take all 4 wheels off.

Spring_cleaning1.sized.jpg

I have one of the Harbor Freight Aluminum "racing" Jacks, and 4 Sears Craftsman jack stands. BTW the Harbor Freight jack is made in mainland China, and is a damm good jack. The same jack is also available from Griots (for $300 more) or Kragen Auto Supply (for $30 more).

The process I use to get the car up in the air is:

1. Jack car up on one side using rear jack point. Get car up hight enough to place jack stand 1 on front jack point. set the jack stand so that it points port/starboard.

2. Do the same for the other side. Now you have the front in the air.

3. Place the jack in the center of the rear of the engine where the 2 halves of the crank case come together. NOT on the sump cover. here is a picture of the bottom of the engine where you can see where the halves join

DCP_1166.sized.jpg

4. Jack the car up from there slowly until you can place the other 2 jack stands on the other jack points. These stands point forward/aft.

5. I stick a long wood clamp between the brake pedal and the seat to lock the front brakes so I can loosen the wheel bolts. You could also loosen them before you jack the car up.

6. The last thing I recommend if you are really anal about the condition of the inside of your rims is to place a towel over the rotor and caliper so that when you take the wheel off, you don't bang the inside of the wheel on the brakes or suspension.

Taking the car down is the reverse of the above. Please note that after you take the rear jacks stands off, and then the first of the front stands off, the car will still stay in the air with both front wheels off the ground. When you jack up the other side to take the last stand off you are also pushing the car down on the other side first before the car goes up in the air on the side you have the jack and jack stand. :D

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Here's what I use. It's a jack pad from Pelicanparts.com ($50) that fits in the slots in the body where the factory jack goes. It has a rubber pad to protect the car. If you place this at the rear jack point, and use a floor jack, the stiffness of the 996 body makes it easy to lift one side of the car and get both the front and rear wheels on that side off the ground. Repeat on the other side and you've done all four wheels quickly and safely. I wouldn't crawl around under the car without jackstands, but for just changing wheels this works great.

jack_pad_late.jpg

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Guest Guest

OK, so I am not the expert, but here is what I know (or think I know):

1. Never use the engine to lift the car. It is not designed to do so and you are using the engine mounts to lift the entire car. Loren taught me so.

2. When I change a wheel, I only jack the car up just high enough to just get the tire off the ground. No worries about bumping wheels to rotor, and frankly a whole lot less effort to position the wheel if I need to lift it up only a half inch or so off the ground.

3. I pause briefly while jacking the car to break the lugbolts free, just before the wheel is free from the ground (so it does not turn and is not carrying much weight). I tighten the lugbolts while the car is in the air, and then also pause as the wheel is being lowered back down (tire touching so it does not turn, but not yet carrying the entire car weight) to torque to spec.

4. The orient express is one very, very, very clean car.

5. The JackPad unit is great!!

Doug

'02-C4s

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Thanks!

More questions for you...

1. Do you want all 4 off the ground at the same time (like for brake bleeding, etc.)?  Or, are you just changing tires?

2. Do you have aerokit flairs on your rockers (it makes a difference)?

Loren,

1. Initially I'm going to just swap wheels, but it would be nice to have all 4 wheels off the ground at the same time for "future projects"... :D

2. No aerokit flairs.

TIA!

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Here's what I use. It's a jack pad from Pelicanparts.com ($50) that fits in the slots in the body where the factory jack goes. It has a rubber pad to protect the car. If you place this at the rear jack point, and use a floor jack, the stiffness of the 996 body makes it easy to lift one side of the car and get both the front and rear wheels on that side off the ground. Repeat on the other side and you've done all four wheels quickly and safely. I wouldn't crawl around under the car without jackstands, but for just changing wheels this works great.

Mike, nice advice. I previously checked out the part you posted. Pelican was out of stock... :huh: You method sounds nice and reliable.

Could I also use this method to get all 4 wheels off the ground at the same time safely? Meaning, jack up the left rear (slide left front and rear jackstands in), then jack up the right rear (slide right front and rear jackstands in)? I'm a little worried about the car tipping since I've never done this before, except on my Sentra when it really didn't matter! Hahahaha! :clapping: I'd really like to avoid using the engine as a brace.

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I put my cab up on 4 jack stands all of the time to take all 4 wheels off.

Spring_cleaning1.sized.jpg

I have one of the Harbor Freight Aluminum "racing" Jacks, and 4 Sears Craftsman jack stands.  BTW the Harbor Freight jack is made in mainland China, and is a damm good jack.  The same jack is also available from Griots (for $300 more) or Kragen Auto Supply  (for $30 more).

The process I use to get the car up in the air is:

1.  Jack car up on one side using rear jack point.  Get car up hight enough to place jack stand 1 on front jack point.  set the jack stand so that it points port/starboard.

2.  Do the same for the other side.  Now you have the front in the air.

3.  Place the jack in the center of the rear of the engine where the 2 halves of the crank case come together.  NOT on the sump cover.  here is a picture of the bottom of the engine where you can see where the halves join

DCP_1166.sized.jpg

4.  Jack the car up from there slowly until you can place the other 2 jack stands on the other jack points.  These stands point forward/aft.

5.  I stick a long wood clamp between the brake pedal and the seat to lock the front brakes so I can loosen the wheel bolts.  You could also loosen them before you jack the car up.

6.  The last thing I recommend if you are really anal about the condition of the inside of your rims is to place a towel over the rotor and caliper so that when you take the wheel off, you don't bang the inside of the wheel on the brakes or suspension.

Taking the car down is the reverse of the above.  Please note that after you take the rear jacks stands off, and then the first of the front stands off, the car will still stay in the air with both front wheels off the ground.  When you jack up the other side to take the last stand off you are also pushing the car down on the other side first before the car goes up in the air on the side you have the jack and jack stand. :D

Orient, thanks for the post! I'm going to check out those Sears Craftsman jackstands. They look real sturdy. Much appreciated...

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RJ,

I think both Orient Express's post and Mike in CA posts cover most of it. I would add the following;

1. The jack pad Mike suggests is great for non-aerokit cars but will not work on aerokit cars (it is too wide and will crack the flair). There is a smaller one that uses less surface area that works better on aerokit cars (in case you are thinking of adding the side skirts).

2. I don't think it is a good idea to lift the car by the engine -- too much stress on the engine mounts. Use the jack points or the hardened area just to inside (center of the car) of the jack points.

3. Buy good jack stands that can carry the weight and have locking pins... it's your car... and your life! ;)

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Could I also use this method to get all 4 wheels off the ground at the same time safely?  Meaning, jack up the left rear (slide left front and rear jackstands in), then jack up the right rear (slide right front and rear jackstands in)?  I'm a little worried about the car tipping since I've never done this before, except on my Sentra when it really didn't matter!  Hahahaha! :clapping: I'd really like to avoid using the engine as a brace.

I’ve had all four wheels off the ground a couple of times, but I have to admit it makes me a little goosey, and I don’t do it unless I absolutely have to. I just have this nightmare scenario in my head about the car falling off the jacks :oops: while I’m horsing it around….I should probably see someone about this professionally. :(

The method I described works great for two wheels because most of the weight is at the rear of the car and the stiffness of the body means you don’t have to lift the rear wheel off the ground very far to get the front wheel to clear too. It will work for getting all four wheels off the ground, using the sequence you described, as long as you make very sure the car is stable on the jacks and place the jackstands in the hardened area that Loren describes in his post, preferably with some kind of protection for the body. Of course the ideal place for the stands is right at the jacking point, but that’s pretty hard to do since the jack is already there and lifting under the engine also scares me.

Thanks to Loren for the upgrade on the Pelican pad re: aerokit cars. Not having an aerokit, I wouldn’t have thought of that!

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I had a lot of hesitation about using the engine to lift the car up for the back stands, until I talked to several Porsche factory mechanics, and a few racers. They all use the same place on the engine to lift the car for placing the stands, and have never had any problems. As long as you do not leave the car in that position without jack stands on the rear jack points, there is not a problem. If you have a jack with a long arm, you can also use the lower engine carrier cross member as a jack point. The key point is to place the jack on the crankcase seam, and not the sump cover.

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One last thing is for the jack stands, I have dipped the "business" ends in something called Plasti Dip. This stuff is a rubber coating that protects the car from being damaged by the jack stand. You just dip the end in this stuff the same way you coat a candy apple. you dip, let it set up for a minute or 2, then dip again, etc, until you have the thickness you want. I bought these cans at Harbor Freight, but I am sure you can get it at hardware or hobby stores.

plastidip1.sized.jpg :clapping:

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Don, I have heard of this piece which helps you center and load the wheel.  What is it and where can I find it?

TIA! ;)

I had a friend mill the heads off some 9/16" bolts. The milled down end fits in the bolt hole, and I center the wheel over those.

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RJ,

I was removing my race tires (on the Carrera wheels) this morning and thought I'd take this shot to illustrate my point about lifting both wheels on one side. Unfortunately the contrast isn't too good in this pic, but both tires clear the ground by 2-3 inches. That you can do this from the rear jack point without having to raise the car to an unsafe height is a testament to the stiffness of the 996 body shell.

On%20jack.JPG

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This is how I do it to remove the wheels. Even on a Boxster the door works just fine while the car is in the air.

Then, my Boxster friend wanted me to replace fuel filter on his car. I jacked up the drivers side high so I could slide under the middle of the car. Wish I had a picture as I thought if I jacked it up more it would roll. Jeff

jack6_001.sized.jpg

jack4.sized.jpg

jack5_001.sized.jpg

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Thanks, guys!

Mike: Kinesis K28 with Porsche center caps? SWEET! What tires are you running on the Carrera 18s?

Tool Pants: The little yellow adapter... was that from Pelican Parts? Is there really any advantage to the larger black jack pad that Mike posted earlier?

I have some Fikse Profil 10s on the way with Bridgestone S-03 rubber. I was going to slap some Michelin Pilot Sport Cups on my Carrera 18s and use them as my track abuse set! :thumbup:

I changed the offset about a 1/2 inch front/rear on the Fikses to give a slightly wider stance while still sticking with OEM size rubber. I wanted to be able to swap rubber back and forth between wheel sets, since I'll eventually track the Fikses. Plus, I'll always be able to find good quality tires in OEM sizes...

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Mike:  Kinesis K28 with Porsche center caps?  SWEET!  What tires are you running on the Carrera 18s? 

Thanks RJ! The fact that the Kinesis wheels would take the Porsche centers was one thing I liked about them.

You'll love the Michelin Sport Cups. That's what I'm running on the Carrera wheels. I've run two events on them now and on a 1 minute autocross course (depending on layout) they're good for at least a couple of seconds over my S03's which had pretty darn good grip for a street tire on the track. The S03's and your Fikse wheels will be a great combo for the street. Enjoy! :thumbup:

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OK, so the next time I jack up my car, I'll have the aerokit sideskirts on the car. ('01 model, cup aerokit). I have the same yellow with UHMW jack pad as shown in Jeff's boxter lifting pics above. Will that pad work with those side skirts or do I need something better?

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  • 3 weeks later...
...  If you have a jack with a long arm, you can also use the lower engine carrier cross member as a jack point.  The key point is to place the jack on the crankcase seam, and not the sump cover.

Hi, I am also wondering why one would not use the lower engine cross member as an additional jacking point for raising the rear of the car and putting jackstands under the rear jack points. I don't have a diagram of the suspension to look at. But it seems that there is a "solid" connection between the carrier and the suspension and the body of the car. If in fact jacking here doesn't introduce any extra stress on the engine mounts, then this seems like a much better way to go than the other alternatives I have seen described.

It's very curious that Porsche hasn't made jacking the rear of the car easier to do. Is the 996 different than other 911's in this regard?

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