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Old 01-04-2002, 10:44 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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The proper way to put a car on all fours?

I am going to change the differentail fluid in my 124 diesel and will need to put the car on four jack-stands. What is the proper way to do this, I have always had either one side or the other on stands, but not all four.
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Old 01-04-2002, 11:28 PM
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Front is easy.

For the rear, jack up the car at the differential and then put the jack stands under the rubber pads below the jack holes.

Several of us have done the tests. If you just want to fill the differential properly, you do not HAVE TO have the car in a perfectly level situation. You can park the car on a slight slope (front higher) and drive the car up to a pair of ramps in the rear. Fill the differential and you will be surprised how much it takes. Exactly the capacity about 1.2 qts.

If you take a look at the pic, the extra fluid in the lower portion of the plug compensates with the lack of in the higher portion of the plug. The result is that the fill capacity does not have too much to do with whether the car is level or not.

I have done differential fluid changes 8 times on MBs this way and it always takes what the capacity is.
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Old 01-04-2002, 11:33 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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Wow!! That was very scientific explanation!!
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Old 01-05-2002, 12:34 PM
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Be careful with the jackstands and those little rubber pads. Most jackstands have a rather narrow contact surface, and if in raising the car, the relationship between the stand and the pad is disturbed, the pads can slip off the jackstand. Always do the front first (most weight). Use care in placing the jackstands and avoid the heartbreak of the body getting damaged by slipping off the jackstand.
Jeff Lawrence
1989 300e
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
No matter what you fix, there will always be something else to fix..
"Warranty" is just another way of postponing the inevitable.
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Old 01-05-2002, 01:05 PM
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If you are uncomfortable with the thought of putting the car up on four
jackstands, then just raise the rear end. You don't really need the front
up to fill the differential. Put blocks around the front wheels so that they
cannot move and also place your floor jack under the car somewhere as
a third "safety point". Sometimes I will even place my second set of
jack stands under there somewhere (not touching, but close) to add to
my level of comfort.

I also usually remove the rear wheels and place them under the car stacked
so that if it does fall, it will have to crush the jack and a pair of stacked
wheels before it gets me. It's sort of a belt and two pair of suspenders approach.

I replaced the diff fluid on my 1984 300SD two weeks ago (as part of the
procedure to replace both rear trailing arms) and did exactly what I suggested above. I think the capacity for my car is 1.1qts, and I used Mobil 1 75w-90 gear oil (synthetic) which is excellent and reasonable at about $6 per quart.

Good luck!

Chris Blanchard
1984 300SD 148k
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Old 01-05-2002, 01:23 PM
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In my opinion, to put a car up on four jackstands to change the differential oil is an extreme safety risk with essentially no benefit.

The differential fill capacity is not even remotely critical. It's just something you want to get reasonably close.

All I did on my W124 was partially jack up the one side where the fill plug is located. The wheel didn't need to leave the ground.

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Old 01-05-2002, 06:39 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your input, the rear end fluid is tonights project, once my son goes to sleep!
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:30 PM
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Be sure to remove (or loosen) the "fill" bolt FIRST!!! If you remove the drain bolt, and then cannot break the fill bolt loose, you have a bit of a problem.

Don't ask me how I know this
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:44 PM
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Can i use mobile 1 75w-90 in my 89420sel?
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Old 01-05-2002, 10:15 PM
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Well, I am all done. I jacked the car up on one side and had it tilted so that all of the oil was drained out. I then filled up the rear with oil until it dripped out. I then lowered the car so that it was level and let the rest of the excess oil drip out. I then raised it up again and tightend the top plug. Voila, I am done!

PS-I just got a Craftsman creeper as a gift from my in-laws, it certainly made the job easier!!

Last edited by CJ; 01-05-2002 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 01-06-2002, 03:02 AM
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I had my car up on two at the rear today while inspecting the rear end of my car.

I put some blocks in front of the front wheels of course. I jacked it up, put the jackstands under the rubber jack point area, and lowered the car. I gave the car a good shaking, and it didn't budge, solid as a rock.

I then put the jack under the differential, and raised it until it was relieving a little pressure off the jackstands, but sharing the load. Again, I gave the car a good shaking to see if it was solid, and it did not budge, and was solid as a rock.

I proceeded to rock the wheels, lift up and down on them, and got a good feel for the fact that my suspension appears to be pretty solid, no play I could find really. Rubber all looked good.

Visual inspection showed it was dirty. Rear shocks had a bit of moisture on the lower shafts, probably leakign a bit, and ready for replacement soon, but car does not have excessive bounce, returns to normal pretty much as normal.

I did find that it appears my tires in the rear are getting bad, I will replace them soon, within the next couple of months. I will be able to get at least another 3-5k out of them if not more, but will replace them sooner.

All in all, pretty eventful day, I even got to mess around and tweak with my brothers range rover idle, as it was whacked all out, I returned it to factory settings, and smoothed it out from there, car seems good now... I hope.

I also removed my rear filler plate on the trunk, and buffed it up nice, also removed my trunk handle which has been painted, and stripped it, sanded it, and am priming it to give it a new fresh clean coat, it had some bad touch up work done to it. I found out the the real color fo my car is that mid greyish color, code 199, and my car has been painted, but its all good, I love the black paint I have.

SOOOOOOO..... Back to the point of all this.. heheh

I say make sure its solid on the jack stands, put the wheels under it, and keep the jack with some tension, and it should be fine.otherwise get 4 ramps, put the fron on the ramps, then jack up the rear, and it put it on rear ramps. with jackstands, and the jack all in place, it would be plenty safe I would think.

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