Jack your car

Unsure how to jack your Morris Minor up? You’ve come to the right place.

Most Minor owners do not use the manufacturer recommended jacking points because if there’s any corrosion you don’t know about the jack could go through the car. It’s known in Minor circles as a very effective way to test the integrity of your inner wings, sills and rear chassis legs. This guide will give you safe places to jack.

First things first. Obviously you need a jack. Forget those silly scissor jacks that are typically found in car boots. If you want a small jack to carry around with you for emergencies then buy a bottle Jack.

Minor 1000 jacked on chassis leg (highlighted in red). Axle stand placed just behind it for safety. They can also be placed with jack where axle stand is and vice versa.

For maintenance at your home I strongly recommend investing in a good quality trolley jack. These are safer and easier to use. I personally use an SGS trolley jack, which came bundled with two axle stands for £42.99. Without the axle stands it’s around £20. They’re rated at 2 tons and the Minor weighs less than a ton, so it’s more than enough. They’re made in Britain and came with a two year guarantee. That said any good quality piece of kit will do.

Jacking from the front

  1. Put your car in gear and make sure the handbrake is on. The Minor is rear wheel drive so having the car in gear will stop your car rolling if the handbrake fails (or isn’t very good). If the handbrake doesn’t work you can chock the rear wheels, car in gear, but be careful when jacking.
  2. Place the jack under one of the front chassis legs. These run either side of the engine underneath the car. They should be structurally sound (solid). If there are holes in them do not jack your car here (instead use the side of the centre crossmember, if it’s solid, or the front suspension).
  3. Place a piece of hard timber between the jack and the chassis leg. The timber acts as a cushion and spreads the load out over a wider area. This minimises the risk of damage to your car.
  4. Taking care not to pinch any pipes or cables that may run along parts of your chassis leg, begin to jack the car up.
  5. Once at your desired height it’s advisable to place an axle stand with timber cushion underneath the chassis leg. This will save your life if you’re under the car and the jack fails. I find it easiest to place the axle stand under towards the front of the chassis leg.
  6. Lower the car very gently until it is just resting on the axle stand, then leave the jack in place so that it is still bearing most of the weight. Alternatively, lower gently until the car is resting on the axle stand and you can then repeat the process on the other side if you wish to get the entire front end up on axle stands.
  7. Before removing the wheel or beginning work on the car give it a push to make sure the car is safe to work on and isn’t going to drop.
  8. Never work under a car that is only supported by a jack!
Doris resting with an axle stand under her chassis leg.

To lower the car it’s a simple case of jacking the car back up so you can remove the axle stands, then lowering until the wheels are back on the ground.

Jacking the car at the rear

The same principles as above apply but place the jack under the rear axle and chock your front wheels so the car doesn’t roll.