Jacking up your S550 Mustang is a little different compared to previous models. The S550's independent rear suspension (IRS) limits the number of jacking points a bit. To compensate, Ford reinforced the pinch welds so you can use them for more than just emergencies. Follow this guide and you'll have your Mustang off the ground in no time.
Best S550 Mustang Jack Points
Depending on your project, you can use either the side, front, or rear jack points. Use the diagram and video below to identify which points will be best for you. As always, give your car a couple of shakes once it’s up on the stands to make sure it’s safe to work underneath it.
Side Jack Locations
The pinch welds beneath the rocker panels are the best spots to lift the sides of your S550 with a jack. If you’re having a hard time finding the cutouts where the lift spots are located, look or feel for the small arrow on the underside of the rocker panels. These indicators mark the most secure parts of the pinch weld, making them the ideal lifting points.
Front Jack Locations
There are a couple of ways to lift the front of your Mustang. The first is using the pinch weld near the front of the rocker panel as a jacking point. The jack stands can then go on the K-member.
Another option is to lift your S550 from the front of the K-member. You could then use the pinch weld slots at the front of the rocker panels or the K-Member for your jack stands. However, the K-member is sturdier than the weld.
Pro Tip: The low profile of the S550 can make it challenging to get your jack underneath the K-member. If you don’t have a low-profile floor jack, a workaround for this is to grab a 2”x10” length of lumber and cut it into four roughly 18” pieces. You can then pull the car up on these planks for an extra 2” of clearance to fit the jack.
Rear Jack Locations
Despite the introduction of the IRS system, you can still use the differential housing to lift your car. Be sure to position your jack squarely on the flat part of the housing. You can place your jack stands on the rear pinch welds with the small notch cutouts. The rear pinch welds are also strong enough to serve as a jacking point. If you choose to use the welds to lift, the subframe will be the best spot for your jack stands.
You can also use the point on the subframe at the front of the rear cradle (shown in the image below). If you use this spot as a jacking point, your stands will go on the rear pinch welds with the small notch cutouts. But, for projects that need the suspension supported, you’ll want to lift from the differential and use your stands on the subframe instead.
Protecting the Pinch Welds
While the pinch welds are reinforced, it’s never a bad idea to add extra protection. The options listed below will help keep your pinch welds safe from damage or bending.
Jack Pads - Using a jack pad will help to distribute weight on the pinch weld. They’re also typically made of rubber, absorbing some of the pressure that would otherwise be on the weld. If your jack pads tend to slip while you’re lifting your S550, a set of mag pads could be a better option.
Mag Pads - Mag pads are jack pads with the addition of two magnets that stick to the pinch weld. Rather than sitting on the jack as a traditional pad does, mag pads stick to the weld. This provides a secure point to lift your car. Just be sure to check whether the set you want fits your vehicle. They're often vehicle and year-specific.
Jacking Rails - A set of jacking rails will provide you with a secure location to lift the sides of your Mustang. They install easily and will also add structural support to your car. But, we don’t recommend using the jacking rails as a place for the jack stands. They're too centered on the car and could compromise stability. Instead, use the jack rails to lift the car and place the stands at the indicated points on the pinch weld.
Basic Safety Recommendations
Safety is an area where you shouldn’t try to cut corners to save money.
Invest in a Solid Set of Jack Stands
If your jack and jack stands are rusty or wobbly, it’s time to replace them. This equipment should be rated for your Mustang’s weight, which at the base model is around 3,520-3,800 pounds (or 1,600-1,720 kilograms).
If you’re going to be using the pinch welds for the jack stands, be sure to get a pair with a deep “V” seat. This will allow the pinch weld to sit at the bottom of the “V” while the arms at the top support the underbody sheet metal.
Only Lift Your Mustang on Flat Ground
Make sure your Mustang has as much support as possible. The jack and jack stands should only be used on solid, level ground.
Engage the Parking Brake or Use Wheel Chocks
Engage the parking brake and lift the front before you lift the rear. If you only need to lift the back, invest in a set of wheel chocks for the front tires. This will prevent them from rolling since the parking brake only runs to the rear wheels.
Other Lifting Options
Lifting your Mustang with a jack and jack stands is the simplest way to go about the process. But, there are a few items that could make your job much quicker and easier.
You can lift your ride by driving onto a set of ramps and stopping the opposite tires with wheel chocks. Using a combination of ramps and jack stands to lift your S550 is another option. Just make sure you leave room for the tires on the ramps to move forward while you lift the other end.
Investing in a lift will eliminate the need for jacks, jack stands, and ramps. Not to mention you’ll no longer have to worry about potential pinch weld damage. However, a car lift is the most expensive option, and they take up a good bit of space.
Make Working Under Your S550 More Comfortable
Consider picking up some equipment to make working under your car a bit easier. A track mat will protect your back while you’re lying on the floor of your workstation. You could also get a creeper seat so you can roll yourself under the car without your back touching the ground.
However you choose to approach lifting your S550 Mustang, be safe and smart and you should be fine!
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.