How to Safely Lift an S197 Mustang with a Jack and Jack Stands

How to Safely Lift an S197 Mustang with a Jack and Jack Stands

Last Updated August 8, 2023 | Meghan Drummond

Most people aren’t lucky enough to have a lift in their home garage. That makes using a jack and jack stands the next best thing for working on your S197 Mustang.

To avoid damaging your Mustang, you’ll need to use the right jack points. These are the spots where a jack can be used to safely lift your Mustang. Because jack points are a little different for each generation, make sure you’re using a guide that’s specific to your Mustang. This guide is for S197 Mustangs, or the ones produced between 2005-2014. For the newer S550 Mustangs, check here.

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2005-2014 Mustang Jack Points

While your Mustang’s manual provides a list of recommended jack points, there’s no substitute for experience. Depending on what modifications you’re installing, you may want to shift your jack points accordingly. The diagram below highlights the jack points for the S197 Mustang, but we’ve provided some other tips below.

Diagram showing side front and rear jack points for S197 Mustangs

Side Jack Locations

On the side of your S197 Mustang, you’ll notice a couple of small arrows. These arrows are designed to indicate your factory jack points. These are the best places to lift from for minor repairs, like flat tires. A piece of wood or jack puck can reduce the chance of damaging your rocker panel while lifting from these points.

A lift positioned under the arrow on the side

The factory jack points are fine, especially for flat tires. But if you’re going to be lifting your Mustang for more extensive modifications, then you may want to invest in a good set of jacking rails. Jacking rails make it so that you can use a jack anywhere along the rail.

Jacking rails take a lot of the guesswork out of jacking up your Mustang, and provide support to your chassis.

Jacking rails installed on an S197 Mustang

Rear Jack Locations

If you need to lift the rear of your Mustang, then the best place to put your jack is the differential. Try to center the jack on the pumpkin as much as you can and avoid placing it on the back edge near the cover.

Lift positioned under differential

You can place your jack stands right on the rear axle tubes to keep the car safe and sturdy.

Jack stands positioned on rear axle of S197 Mustang

Front Locations

Though you’ll see a jack location in the front along the pinch weld, it’s better to use the actual frame. This provides a much stronger support.

An S197 being lifted by the frame instead of the pinch weld

If you choose to use the frame rail to jack your Mustang up, then your jack stands will go on the K-member. You can also do the opposite and jack up the K-member and put your stands on the frame rail.

If you have a heavy-duty aftermarket radiator support, then this is an ideal jack location for the front end of your S197 Mustang. Radiator supports have a lot of benefits on their own, so they’re worth looking into. Especially if you’re already thinking about putting in a new radiator.

Lift on an aftermarket radiator support for S197 Mustangs

Invest In a Good Set of Jack Stands

When using a jack and jack stands to lift your Mustang, make sure to invest in a high-quality set. A bad set of jack stands could result in injury, or even death. For more info on picking the right jack stands, check out our jack stand guide.

With a safe set of jack stands, a high-quality jack, and knowledge of the right jacking points, you’ll be ready to tackle any mods or maintenance tasks on your S197.

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This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.