GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

The J-cars are supplied with a scissors jack for changing tires. This jack engages in notches behind the front wheel and forward of the rear wheel under the rocker flange. This jack is satisfactory for its intended purpose, changing tires. It should NOT, nor should any jack, be used to support the car while you crawl under it and work. To do so is to recklessly jeopardize your life. Whenever it is necessary to get under a car to perform service operation, always be sure that it is adequately supported using jackstands at the proper points. Always block the wheels when changing tires. Never crawl under the car when it is supported by only the scissors jack.

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Fig. Fig. 1: A rolling floor jack is probably the easiest type of jack to use

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Fig. Fig. 2: You can raise the front of the vehicle using a jack at the engine cradle crossbar

Once the jackstands are in position and the vehicle's weight has been lowered onto them, shake the car a few times before crawling underneath to make sure the jackstands are securely supporting the weight.

The car may also be jacked at the rear axle between the spring seats, or at the front end at the engine cradle crossbar or lower control arm. The car must never be lifted by the rear lower control arms.

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Fig. Fig. 3: After raising the front of the vehicle, ALWAYS support it using jackstands

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Fig. Fig. 4: View of the proper locations for the jackstands on the front of the vehicle

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Fig. Fig. 5: Proper jackstand location to support the rear end of the vehicle

Service operations in this book often require that one end or both ends of the car be raised and safely supported. The ideal method, of course, would be to use a grease pit or hydraulic hoist. Since this is beyond both the resource and requirement of the do-it-yourselfer, a small hydraulic, screw or scissors jack will raise the vehicle sufficiently for almost all procedures in this guide. The rolling floor jack is probably the easiest and most convenient of these to use. But the vehicle must still be supported by at least two sturdy jackstands if you intend to work under the car at any time. An alternate method of raising the car would be drive-on ramps. When using ramps, be sure to block the wheels which remain on the ground. Spend a little extra time to make sure that your car is lifted and supported safely. Remember, the car you are laying under weighs at least 1 ton.

Concrete blocks are not recommended for supporting a vehicle; they may crumble if the load is not evenly distributed. Boxes and milk crates of any description must not be used.

It is imperative that strict safety precautions be observed both while raising the car and in the subsequent support after the car is raised. If a jack is used to raise the car, the transaxle should be shifted to Park (automatic) or First (manual), the parking brake should be set, and the opposite wheel should be blocked. Jacking should only be attempted on a hard level surface.