Ford F150 F250: How to Jack Up a Truck

Learn to jack up your F-150 or F-250 Super Duty easily and safely with this guide.

December 15, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014) and F-250 (2005-2014).

Putting a vehicle on jack stands is the first step in several automotive procedures. It's simple, but there're a few pitfalls that could potentially be dangerous. The spare tire jack that comes with the truck should only be used on the jack points highlighted in the manual, but the rules are a little bit different if you're planning on using a real jack.

Materials Needed

  • Spare tire jack
  • Bottle/Floor jack
  • Jack stands

About Jacks and Jack Stands

All F-150s come with what's called a scissor jack. This lifts a truck by turning a screw and lifting the truck that way. While light, inexpensive, and useful for changing tires, they have a very low weight rating. F-150s and F-250s typically weigh more than two and a half tons, making the scissor jack woefully inadequate for other purposes.

Instead, investing in a bottle jack or a floor jack is a good idea. Bottle jacks are more compact but less stable due to their small bases. Floor jacks are easier to use and more stable but tend to cost more overall.

Jacking Up the Front End

The easiest and safest way to lift a truck is by jacking it up via the frame rail. The frame is the large, ladder-like, metal structure underneath the body of the truck. There are rails along either side that stretch the length of the vehicle. To lift the front end of the truck for a tire change or any other work, place the jack underneath the frame rail. Increase the height of the jack until the vehicle is at the desired height. Then, place a jack stand underneath the frame rail. Lower the truck on the jack stand and remove the spare tire jack.

Figure 1. Lift via the frame when raising the front end.

There are a few more options when using a full floor jack or bottle jack. Lifting via the control arm mounting point works, too. It's not a "Ford approved" jacking point, but it is strong enough to support the weight of the truck. Other sections of the front crossmember will work, too. Just keep in mind that the lifting points should be stable. This is why lifting via the actual control arms is not recommended.

Figure 2. Recommended points for lifting on the crossmember.

Place jack stands under the frame regardless of how the truck is jacked up.

Jacking Up the Rear End

There's one correct way to lift the rear end of a truck using the spare tire jack. Place the jack underneath the rear axle on either side. Lift the truck by lifting the rear axle. Then, support the vehicle by placing jack stands underneath the frame rail. Repeat this on the other side of the vehicle.

  • Figure 3. Do not lift with the differential while using a scissor jack.

  • Figure 4. Lift using the axle.

An easier way is to lift the rear of the truck off the ground via the differential. This will lift both sides of the truck simultaneously and evenly. easier way to lift the rear-end of the vehicle all at once. The spare tire jack does not have the weight capacity for this. Only use a floor jack or a bottle jack.

Warning

Do not use the spare tire jack to lift your truck at the rear differential housing. It does not have the weight capacity for this lift point.

Place the floor or bottle jack underneath the rear differential housing and lift the entire rear-end of the truck that way. Place jack stands underneath the frame rail. Lowering the jack will also lower the axle until it reaches the bottom of its suspension.

Figure 5. Lift via rear differential.

Featured Video: How to Jack Up Your Truck

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