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"Jacking blocks" and the NEW plastic rocker covers...

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Mike500, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    When I got my Prius v early last month, I studied the owner's manual religiously, looked at the jack and the "pinch weld" jacking area at the four positions on the bottoms of the rocker panels.

    It appears that the supplied jack accomodates the "plastic" rocker panel outer covers that newer modelToyotas have been supplied with.

    Eastwood makes a "pinch weld" adapter for a standard floor jack. After examining it's construction, it would damage the expensive rocker panel cover that lists for over $300 in the Toyota parts inventory. Using a similar square steel tube, I had milled a slot into it similar to the slot on the Eastwood adapter. Since I was going to use my Harbor Freight aluminum racing jack, the post on the Eastwood adapter wouldn't work anyway.

    Using the slotted square tune, I discovered that the FRONT of the pinch weld section is higher by about 6 mm than the inner section.

    Then, again, the Eastwood adapter would crack the plastic rocker cover's edge.

    After 5-6 trials and errors, I finally milled adapters out of Delrin acetal copolymer blocks that fit perfectly, allowing me to used my Harbor Freight aluminum racing jack and also regular ratcheting jack stands, without damaging either the pinch welds or expensive plastic rocker covers.

    I am considering the making of several of these for sale, since the "rubber blocks" that Toyota recommends in their factory service manuals do not completely address the issue.

    Since the Delrin is quite expensive, I'm considering using a composite of aluminun rectangular tubing and flat bar.

    If anyone knows any other solutions, I would be really interested.
  2. syscon

    syscon Member

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    Can you post some pictures how the spot looks like? We might figure out other solution.
  3. Wanderer

    Wanderer Hybrid neophyte

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    About what size are the final products? I had considered using a hockey puck but haven't tried it yet.

    Thoughts? W
  4. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    Sure, I'll ty to take a few pictures in the next couple of days. I went wild and made a bunch of extras from the piece of black Delrin that I had laying around in the shop. I'll probably post them for sale on eBay in a week or so.

    I am retired from the aerospace industry and make things like this and sell them to supplement my hobbies. A few decades of experience in making service tools in the industry helps.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    I though long and hard for about a couple of weeks on this project. The slot needs to be about 1/4 inch wide and about 7/8 inch deep with a 1/4 inch "ledge" that's about 3/8 inch wide to fit into the space between the edge of the "rounded" fold in the sheet metal and the plastic rocker cover. The corners of the slot are either chamfered or rounded to contact the "radius" of the sheet metal. I made them three inches long and about 1-1/2 inch wide, although 2 inches would be enough, since that's the amount of contact on the factory scissors jack.

    I chose delrin, because it is extremely rugged and often used in drive gears. Most plastic gears, often errounously referred to as "nylon gears" are really made of Delrin, because of Delrin's strength and rigidity and high compression strength.

    Most of the plastic items, including the HDPE materials that they are making car ramps like Rhino Ramps are mostly air. They are molded with wals of thicknesses of 1/16 to 1/8 thick with a box truss structure like for strength.

    The Delrin blocks are much stronger; at least twice as strong as HDPE, and the thinnest part of my blocks are at least 3/8 inch thick. Overengineered? Maybe; but they will NOT LIKELY fail and will probably outlast the car.
  6. anewhouse

    anewhouse Member

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    I'd be interested to see the jacking blocks if you decide to post them on ebay.
    But is there a reason you can't use the central jack points on the front and rear? I was just reading my manual (picked up my v-three tonight!), and they give specific instructions for "positioning a floor jack" (p367 in my manual).
    Please forgive my ignorance if I'm missing something, but when would you want to jack from the rocker panels instead of these central jack points?
    Andy
  7. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    Send me a PM. I have 8 available, other than my own set. Each is cutom individually machined and checked on all four jacking points of my own Prius "v" to make sure that they are a perfect fit. They are made so that you'll never damage the expensive plastic rocker panel covers.They are made of very dense and durable black Delrin. They are $25 for the first delivered and $20 for each additional until they are sold.


    Given the time spent acquiring the Delrin and the machining involved, it was only economical for me to make them for sale, because I had to purchase the quantity of material to make my own.

    The central jacking points need to be rasise very high to get the "unsprung" suspension components, including the wheel up high enough to change the tire. If you are jacking the front, the jack gets in the way for oil changes or work on the bottom engine cover, You cannot remove the bottom engine cover completely, if you use the central fron jacking point.

    My jacking block is flat on the bottom and is 1-1/2 x 3 inches long with the long part running along the "pinch weld." This is the perfect size for a flat top aluminum racing jack and it will also fit in the "dip" of the saddle of the standard ratcheting top jack stand.

    The smaller narrow "ledge" fits between the rocker and the edge of the plastic rocker panel cover.

    It means that, with four, you can put the car level on all four jacking points and safely remove all four wheels.
    This would be very advantageous in changing transmission fluid or any other application that requires the car to be level.

    As with working on a car, I'd be very careful for safety reasons.

    I have attached a photo.

    Attached Files:

    ericw28 likes this.
  8. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I wonder if these would work identically on the regular gen 3 prius. I know when I changed my tires a few weeks ago, I jacked it up pretty far using the center jacking point, but they aren't dead center either. One end always ends up a tad higher than the other, and I wasn't overly thrilled with using just the jack supporting the car.
  9. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    If the plastic rocker "rolls" under the rocker and leaves a gap of less than 1/2 inch between the edge of the plastic and the "curve" of the "pinch weld" area, this would be the same. The outside edge of the jacking point is about 3/16 inch or 5mm higher than the inner jacking pad area on the rocker.

    The supplied scisssors jack is a "universal" one and does not fit perfectly. I've made a "no damage" adapter that. too.
  10. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I'll have to take a look when I get home. I don't anticipate ever using the scissor jack, but never say never :). I always use my floor jack - I think it's the same HF one you had in your picture in the other thread.
  11. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    The first adapter I made was like the one that Eastwood sells for the "pintle" mointed jack cup. I found that the inside surface of the pinch weld was lower than the outside. it did NOT work.

    I then milled the delrin block and tried it on the jacking area, milled a little more "here and there" and then got it to fit with each arm contacting both the inner and ouiter surfaces of the pind welded jacking area.

    Then I checked it on the other three other jacking areas and milled more off the block in certain areas, until it fit all of the jacking points.

    Using the original as a "model," I made the others. Each of them was tested just like the first and tested to see if each worked, which they did.
  12. anewhouse

    anewhouse Member

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    Sure, I'll take one. Look for a message.
    Thanks!
    Andy
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