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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning to replace my rear brakes and rotors tomorrow of a 2014 Dodge Caravan SE, but got stuck today on trying to figure out a safe way to jack the rear up. I have a 3 ton floor jack that I got at Harbor Freight that jacks up to 19", and standard 3-ton (combined) jack stands. I did searches here and elsewhere for the safe way to jack up there rear, and found that the question has been asked but the answer doesn't seem very clear. The outer pinched edge where the scissor jack goes I saw isn't recommended, right? When I looked under mine, I found that one of those pinched edges in the rear has already been bent, had the paint scraped, and is rusting, I guess from whatever mechanic didn't do jacking carefully.

I took a look under mine trying to find the other spots posts have mentioned. There were only two areas I could find that seemed to possibly make sense, both of them were inside of the pinched edge and ahead of the rear wheels/axles.

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Are either of those spots usable for the jack stands? Are there any tips or tricks to doing this? I saw some people have needed wooden blocks, I do have some wood lying around.

I also had to get a few replacement wheel lug nuts because I find that shops have turned some of the OEM wheel lug nuts to mush and I'll need to fight to get one of them off.

Thanks for any help with this!
 

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When working on a car, my preference for jacking points is always part of the frame.

If using the frame isn’t conducive or will give the car unstable balancing when tested in a jack stand, I then use the pinch welds to both jack up the car and to rest on the jack stands. I will also use two jack stands in the event the weight of the car compromised one.

One jack stand bears the car’s weight while the other is ~1/2” lower than the other to minimize the fall distance if the weight bearing stand breaks.
 

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I used jack stand on the curved portion of heavy steel in your 1'st picture. I lowered the van so jack stand bore 95% of the weight, leaving vehicle jack in place on pinch weld, when I replace rear wheel bearing and brakes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks - sunvanse, do you mean at the same point where the vehicle scissor jack is supposed to go? I went out and positioned the top of the jackstand there to check, as shown. I just want to make sure that it doesn't crumble like I've seen others say, especially since the top of the jackstand isn't flat.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When working on a car, my preference for jacking points is always part of the frame.

If using the frame isn’t conducive or will give the car unstable balancing when tested in a jack stand, I then use the pinch welds to both jack up the car and to rest on the jack stands. I will also use two jack stands in the event the weight of the car compromised one.

One jack stand bears the car’s weight while the other is ~1/2” lower than the other to minimize the fall distance if the weight bearing stand breaks.
Thanks for the tips, I was planning to use two jack stands that are together rated for 3 Tons, and do one wheel at a time so I could adjust them as you note. To make sure I'm clear, you think it is fine to put that pinch weld spot where the scissor jack goes on a jackstand with it's concave top?
 

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Thanks - sunvanse, do you mean at the same point where the vehicle scissor jack is supposed to go? I went out and positioned the top of the jackstand there to check, as shown. I just want to make sure that it doesn't crumble like I've seen others say, especially since the top of the jackstand isn't flat. View attachment 57904
No, the heavy iron bracket that holds the swing arm in your 1st picture, plus I keep vehicle jack in place for extra stability, after lowering it so jack stand bears 95% of the weight.
 

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I jack on the axle, one side at a time and put the jack stand on the brakes in your first picture. I’ve also used the jacking point from the owners manual as the spot for the jack stands, but I don’t like doing that. I prefer solid metal, like part of the frame.
 

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In your first picture, the inverted triangle is evident for a hoist point. The opposite side of that same bracket will have one as well. So, that's a good place for your jack.

Avoid the pinch weld area as it's going to bend over, most likely, if there's a jack failure. The pinch weld area is designed for the jack that comes with the vehicle, it will eventually rust from misuse by Shops and collapse due to corrosion inside the rocker panel..

So you need to find a spot along the subframe or axle for the jack stand.

Note: If you jack the front up enough, the rear will come off the ground (depending). An old brake pad helps with weight distribution
 
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In your first picture, the inverted triangle is evident for a hoist point. The opposite side of that same bracket will have one as well. So, that's a good place for your jack.

Avoid the pinch weld area as it's going to bend over, most likely, if there's a jack failure. The pinch weld area is designed for the jack that comes with the vehicle, it will eventually rust from misuse by Shops and collapse due to corrosion inside the rocker panel..

So you need to find a spot along the subframe or axle for the jack stand.

Note: If you jack the front up enough, the rear will come off the ground (depending). An old brake pad helps with weight distribution
The inverted triangle on top of the letter "t" of word "the" in 1st picture? That's where I placed my jack stand without knowing that's where it belonged. Thanks for pointing that out. Agree that other than the factory jack, nothing else should be used on pinch weld and bottom of rocker panel. My 2001 had a spare tire, but at the end, if I had a flat on the side of the road, the factory jack would be of no use due to the rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. Here is what I've ended up doing: I use the floor jack on a wider part of the axle, and then can put a jackstand in that spot ahead of the axle with the inverted triangle. Then I go back and forth side to side with the floor jack to get jackstands on both sides progressively high enough without feeling like the car is too unstable. Still makes me nervous but so far so good.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. Here is what I've ended up doing: I use the floor jack on a wider part of the axle, and then can put a jackstand in that spot ahead of the axle with the inverted triangle. Then I go back and forth side to side with the floor jack to get jackstands on both sides progressively high enough without feeling like the car is too unstable. Still makes me nervous but so far so good.
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I hope this helps anyone trying to locate the "correct jacking" points on these vans. I did not find any marking on the rear jack points on the rear springs. I used a "jack pad" on the jack and piece of 2x4 on the jack stands. I suggest staying on the main springs as much as possible. A very lousy set up for sure. You can order jack stand pads also for the weld points.
 

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This picture that I have now seen many times while looking for jacking points for a 5th gen van is NOT correct. It is for a 4th gen van. The way to tell is simple ... look where the spare tire is ... on a 5th gen van, the spare tire is MIDSHIPS ... not at the rear.

I eventually found the lifting point on the metal bracket with the triangle symbol. and jacked on that with a trolley jack and put a jack stand behind it in the well from which that piece was formed and bolts to the body
 
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