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Discussion Starter #1
I am still not sure where it is. After a quick look under the van, I saw a steel bar between the engine block and the radiator. There is also a hook mounted on the bar pointing down. I thought any place on the steel bar beside the hook would be a good jack point. Am I totally wrong? Please inform. Thanks!
 

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The '01 Service Manual describes the hook as "the front jacking bracket" on page 1-13 and "towing hook" on page 1-14.

hachiroku, The hook is pretty sturdy. I don't think that there's any reason why you need to use a block of wood, unless you want a little more lift.

Mel
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hook

Mel - the hook is never referenced in 2002 manual. Only topic dealing with jacking point is when changing flat tires on page 342, where only the 4 jacking points on the side by the wheels are marked on a diagram.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to you all, ready for 1st oil change.

Mel - I was reading the OWNER'S manual, not the service manual. Sorry.

Anyway, thanks for all of you for confirming the hook as the jacking point. I will follow the advice and use a block of wood to provide some cushion for the 1st oil change next week after 10 months and 3800 miles. Thinking aloud, I may also place wood between the jack stands and the van - I will check the shapes to see if this makes sense.

For what its worth, I will be using Castrol CT 5-20 to follow the book as well to prepare for the winter in the northeast.

Oh, just thought of this - would it make sense to rotate the tires at this juncture?
 

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I would think twice about placing wood between the jack and/or stands. Wood can split and fail without warning. Using the jack and stands as they were designed is your safest bet.
 

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Re: Thanks to you all, ready for 1st oil change.

brownbear said:
... Oh, just thought of this - would it make sense to rotate the tires at this juncture?
You could rotate the tires if you wanted, but I don't see the need. If you're going to change the oil regularly at ~3800 mile intervals rotating the tires with every other oil change is sufficient.

vquan makes a good point about using a wood block. Just use the jack.

Consider using some anti-seize compound on the screws holding the brake rotors to the hubs when you rotate the tires. Others have reported problems removing these screws when it they needed to turn the rotors (please, no discussion about on-the-car vs. off-the car turning here) due to corrosion. I did this on the front of my '01 with no difficulty. It's nice to know that there won't be any problem when/if the need arises.

Mel
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is a torque wrench necessary for oil change/tire rotation?

When tightening the train plug or wheel nuts, do you guys use a torque wrench? Or do you just tighten until it feels right?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
torque follow-up

For that matter, does anyone know off-hand what the torques are for the train plug and for the wheel nuts? Thanks!
 

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Re: Is a torque wrench necessary for oil change/tire rotation?

brownbear said:
When tightening the train plug or wheel nuts, do you guys use a torque wrench? Or do you just tighten until it feels right?
Torque it. Wheel nuts I beleive are 80lb. Not sure about the drain plug. Invest in the Helm manual(www.helminc.com). Comes in very handy.
To each his own on the wooden block.Have been doing it for years on different cars, different jacks. No problem whatsoever.
:)
 

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Rob's right; invest in the Helms. They're both very useful.

The torque spec for the drain plug is 29 lb-ft, but I just tighten it by feel. I do use a torque wrench for the lug nuts, 80 lb-ft.

Mel
 

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I'm not a big fan of the wood block trick. It seems pretty dangerous to use a standard chunk of wood. If it splits, the jack may shift, at the very least it'll let the van fall hard metal on metal. Some folks use hockey pucks, maybe plywood would work ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
cushion material

How about a couple of layers of cupboards duct-taped to the jack and the stands where contacts will be made? This seems to be a compromise between wood block or nothing. I think I am going to try it.
 

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I do not understand why anyone feels they need something between the jack cradle and the lifting loop. The steel loop sits in the cradle of the floor jack just fine and ANYTHING put in the cradle would seem to me to be counterproductive and/or dangerous. No damage will be done to the van by using the jack and stands just as they came.

Jerry O.
 

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Nothing comes between my jack and lift points, either. I could see putting something very thin(1/4 inch) to try to conserve any finish that is on the lift points. On the other hand, these points are in full air 5 inches from the pavement. I figure they are getting continually pummeled by road stuff anyway.
 
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SuperDad said:
Nothing comes between my jack and lift points, either. I could see putting something very thin(1/4 inch) to try to conserve any finish that is on the lift points. On the other hand, these points are in full air 5 inches from the pavement. I figure they are getting continually pummeled by road stuff anyway.
Man, oh man, I've got to say again. A one-dollar hard rubber hockey puck will save the finish AND will provide enough grip that slipping of the part of the jack is totally a non-issue. The hockey puck will deform enough to spread the weight out also, and there's no danger of it splitting.

Just think, you're lifting the heavier, front end of a vehicle with a contact area no more than one-quarter by one-quarter inch. If the front end is 60% of 4400 pounds and your contact area is one-sixteenth of a square inch, you're looking at 42,240 pounds per square inch of pressure on that towing hook. Ouch!

Wayne Lim
 
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Wayne Lim said:
Man, oh man, I've got to say again. A one-dollar hard rubber hockey puck will save the finish AND will provide enough grip that slipping of the part of the jack is totally a non-issue.
Yeah, but what's the big deal about the finish? Who the heck cares? It'll eventually get scratched anyway.
 
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02-RRP-EX said:
Yeah, but what the big deal about the finish? Who the heck cares? It'll eventually scratched anyway.
I haven't noticed that stuff directly under the car gets that scratched up. Your tires throw stuff directly to the rear mostly, with only occasional rocks and pebbles going sideways. To have a car in front throw up something that you run into with the towing hook seems pretty implausible. Now, if you're running five feet behind another car at speed and they're throwing up gravel, then yeah I can see how stuff can hit the undercarriage.

Anyway, I'm well old enough to remember when cars would rust away, so I guess I'm scratch-adverse.

Wayne Lim
 

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I used pieces of old carpeting on the tow hooks until I realized it made no difference. I still use the carpet when I put jack stands on the 4 jack points because I wouldn't want that area to begin rusting.
 
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