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Old 04-19-2013, 03:50 PM   #1
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Default Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

What is the proper front cross member to jack the entire front end of a 2003-on Chevy van? There is one crossmember that is about inline with the wheels and then anther cross member closer to the front of the vehicle. Perhaps both are strong enough.

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Pete
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

According to GM, neither is an acceptable lift or support point. The darkened circles are the GM lift points from the service manual.



That said, I know that a lot of shops lift by them, maybe because that has always been a lift point in the past. Perhaps the frames have been lightened a bit, they are full of cut outs. GM wants you to lift by the lower control arms, but the wheels of the floor jack hit the tires, keeping the jack from getting to the right place on the arm.

I do lift by the front crossmember, and have lifted by the rear one, but I always use two jacks, with one on each side, to get to the strong part of the frame where it bends up.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

I will use the 2 jack method then.

What's your thoughts on jacking under the differential? The manual shows it is OK but I wonder with all the extra weight that a class B has, I am at about 6000 lb on the rear axle.

Pete
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

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Originally Posted by peteco
I will use the 2 jack method then.

What's your thoughts on jacking under the differential? The manual shows it is OK but I wonder with all the extra weight that a class B has, I am at about 6000 lb on the rear axle.

Pete
2006 Roadtrek 210P
I lift with a single jack under the pumpkin all the time, and put stands under the tubes or right under the spring perches. It works very well.

One thing that I have learned lifting this very heavy (compared to what I am used to) is lifting an entire end at a time, rather than a corner (like with a lower control arm or at a rear spring perch) works best. If you have it on stands on one end, and try to lift a corner on the other end, you stand a serious chance of it twisting on the stands and tipping them. Lifting the whole opposite end puts everything straight and inline and everything stays stable.

I usually do the two jack routine in the front, and put it on stands on the frame behind the front wheels (the shown spots). I then do the back with a single jack in the center of the rear end and put it on stands under the tubes or perches. If I need to go higher I go back to the front and do it in steps, front and then rear.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

Just recently added some 3T jack stands (for the trailer, it's gone, they're not) and a 3T heavy duty floor jack.
So, to recap....

Front end lift: You use two floor jacks to lift the front end, and then put the jack stands under the frame support points behind the wheels? What capacity are the jacks and stands? Can you probably get away with lifting with a single floor jack from that front cross member, long enough to place your jack stands?

Rear end lift: Single floor jack under the "pumpkin", and then add the jack stands under the axle support points? Same capacity floor jack and jack stands?

Is that diagram for your year? I have the 2002 and wonder if the frame has changed much.

Roadtrek has sure cluttered up the exposed frame surfaces towards the front of the van with their stuff, at least on my year and model. There aren't many obvious, easy access support points left on my frame.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

The jacks I use are 3.25 ton, which is big enough to use one for the rear pumpkin lift. The point of using two jacks is to prevent bending the front crossmember, so time really isn't the issue.

Putting the stands where you mentioned is where I put them. You have to turn the front ones 90 degrees from where the would usually sit, so they don't straddle the frame, and may make some small dents in the frame. No choice because of the tanks being there.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

Perfect, thanks for the advice. All your jacks, floor and stands, are 3.25T? Just want to verify that. I'm using 3T HD (all steel construction, no aluminum). My 3T floor jack seems to have no problem raising either end on it's own.
I know what you mean by tanks and so on, making you increase your level of creativity underneath these things.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

The stands are 3 ton. A 2 ton jack will even lift the back if the tanks and fuel are low or empty, especially if it is on the front stands already, as the engine weight will reduce the lift weight of the rear.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

Copy that.
Just wanted to make sure I had the numbers correct.

If you were going to rotate your tires, for example, would you lift the rear, or front, first to get all 4 corners of the van off the ground? Would you set the parking brake and chock front wheels, then lift the rear end and position the jack stands?
Then (very slowly and carefully) raise the front end with 2 3.25T floor jacks? I was able to lift the front end on mine with my solo 3T HD floor jack from that center point that's not recommended. I was just thinking that I have jack stands with built in 3T bottle jacks. I'd just need to lift the front end with a floor jack far enough to position them at the support points, and then could raise the van farther with them.

Or, would front first be better?
Or, just don't lift the whole van at once? Let a dealership do something like that?
Interested in your thoughts on something like this. I pretty sure you've probably done this more than once.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Copy that.
Just wanted to make sure I had the numbers correct.

If you were going to rotate your tires, for example, would you lift the rear, or front, first to get all 4 corners of the van off the ground? Would you set the parking brake and chock front wheels, then lift the rear end and position the jack stands?
Then (very slowly and carefully) raise the front end with 2 3.25T floor jacks? I was able to lift the front end on mine with my solo 3T HD floor jack from that center point that's not recommended. I was just thinking that I have jack stands with built in 3T bottle jacks. I'd just need to lift the front end with a floor jack far enough to position them at the support points, and then could raise the van farther with them.

Or, would front first be better?
Or, just don't lift the whole van at once? Let a dealership do something like that?
Interested in your thoughts on something like this. I pretty sure you've probably done this more than once.
I usually lift the front first, so the rear is lighter when I go there, but it doesn't really matter all that much. If you do lift the rear first, you might have trouble getting the front jacks under the front, if you have the bumper covers.

Chocking wheels is a very interesting issue, that I tend to take a somewhat unconventional view on, if you are using floor jacks. By design, a floor jack doesn't lift straight up, as the pad moves toward the handle as it goes up. If you are lifting the front, and have the parking brake set, the van isn't going move, so the jack has to roll to stay under the pad. Sometimes the jack doesn't roll very well due to the caster wheels being turned, rough floor, piece of debris under the wheels, etc. If the van can't move and the jack can't move, all the stress goes to trying to slide the lift pad on lift point, and possible slide off. It it is already on stands on one end, the van can't move, so the jack has too. This is the area that you have to be the most careful and make sure the jack is free to roll, or you can pull the van and tip the stands. I saw a friend of mine do this on a gravel driveway (no rolling there), and he had two of the four legs of the stands over 1/2" off the ground, before he caught it. For that reason, I usually don't block or use the brake at all on level floors, and if I do block, it is only the away side of the opposite end tires, so the van is still free to move toward the jack, in case the jack doesn't roll properly. LOTS AND LOTS of folks take issue with this and say you should always block everything up tight, and I agree if you are using a bottle or scissor jack. Just not with floor jacks.

The same issue is present if you use a floor jack from the side of the vehicle. At that point, the jack has to be able to move, as the vehicle can't, so you have to have a smooth floor and easy roll.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

Here's an image of the 1999 Chevy Express / GMC Savana 3500 van lift points:



Just posting it here to keep all this info together. This should apply to the 1996 to 2002 vans.
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File Type: jpg 1999 Chevy Express 3500 lift points .JPG (88.7 KB, 1261 views)
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Here's an image of the 1999 Chevy Express / GMC Savana 3500 van lift points:



Just posting it here to keep all this info together. This should apply to the 1996 to 2002 vans.
I guess that pic definitely confirms that they took out the crossmember center lift with the redesign. Thanks Marko, I had never seen one from that era to confirm it before, only what I had been told. Mike would also be able to lift in the middle if he wants, as he has a 2002.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Front Crossmember Jack Point on Chevy Class B?

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Here's an image of the 1999 Chevy Express / GMC Savana 3500 van lift points:



Just posting it here to keep all this info together. This should apply to the 1996 to 2002 vans.
I guess that pic definitely confirms that they took out the crossmember center lift with the redesign. Thanks Marko, I had never seen one from that era to confirm it before, only what I had been told. Mike would also be able to lift in the middle if he wants, as he has a 2002.
I guess I can lift from the front frame cross member. That simplifies lifting for me, which is nice since I had the front end up yesterday with a single point 3T floor jack under it. It seemed solid.
I agree about chocking the wheels while using a floor jack, and was watching for movement of both the jack and van yesterday. To allow movement by the floor jack or the van towards each other as I jacked up the van, I only blocked behind the rear wheels, to prevent the whole setup from rolling backwards. I figured, like you, that they could draw closer to each other as the jack's arm rose and pulled itself towards the rear of the vehicle. I suppose you could block in front of the front wheels, if you were to start lifting at the rear, to keep the whole thing from trying to creep forward.
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Old 09-13-2016, 04:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
I usually lift the front first, so the rear is lighter when I go there, but it doesn't really matter all that much. If you do lift the rear first, you might have trouble getting the front jacks under the front, if you have the bumper covers.

Chocking wheels is a very interesting issue, that I tend to take a somewhat unconventional view on, if you are using floor jacks. By design, a floor jack doesn't lift straight up, as the pad moves toward the handle as it goes up. If you are lifting the front, and have the parking brake set, the van isn't going move, so the jack has to roll to stay under the pad. Sometimes the jack doesn't roll very well due to the caster wheels being turned, rough floor, piece of debris under the wheels, etc. If the van can't move and the jack can't move, all the stress goes to trying to slide the lift pad on lift point, and possible slide off. It it is already on stands on one end, the van can't move, so the jack has too. This is the area that you have to be the most careful and make sure the jack is free to roll, or you can pull the van and tip the stands. I saw a friend of mine do this on a gravel driveway (no rolling there), and he had two of the four legs of the stands over 1/2" off the ground, before he caught it. For that reason, I usually don't block or use the brake at all on level floors, and if I do block, it is only the away side of the opposite end tires, so the van is still free to move toward the jack, in case the jack doesn't roll properly. LOTS AND LOTS of folks take issue with this and say you should always block everything up tight, and I agree if you are using a bottle or scissor jack. Just not with floor jacks.

The same issue is present if you use a floor jack from the side of the vehicle. At that point, the jack has to be able to move, as the vehicle can't, so you have to have a smooth floor and easy roll.
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