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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How to Lift The Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth

Fiat 500 Abarth on Stands


If you like to work on your car, you may have noticed your Fiat 500 or 500 Abarth presents some challenges when it comes to putting the car up on Jack Stands. Getting a jack stand under the front is not a problem, the procedure is similar to other cars, the issue is in the rear. Due to its diminutive size, the location where you jack the car up is also the place where you need to put your jack stand.

Fiat 500 Jack

This isn't a problem if you are just jacking your car up briefly to change a tire. The jack supplied by Fiat is sufficient for that. If your car didn't have one, they are easily purchased at your dealer or an online Fiat specialist.

The Fiat owners manual has detailed instructions on how to use the standard scissor jack and below is the official video that demonstrates the jack's use.



If you intend to do any work more involved than changing a tire, you need to put your car up on sturdy jack stands. Tire changing jacks are not meant to be used while servicing your car and can slip or just break. This happens a lot more than you would think so don't take a chance. Never put your body under a car supported by any jack, even if it is a hydraulic floor jack.

How to Put Your Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth up on Jack Stands


Location
Here is where you place your jack stand on the Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth:

Fiat 500 Jacking Points

Position 2 is were is where you place your jack stand on the Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth. At the front, it is the chassis reinforcement leg. The rear is on the pinch weld seam that runs along the bottom of the rocker panel. The location, depending on your model, is noted by an arrow stamped into the rocker panel or sideskirt.

Fiat cautions the following:

CAUTION:
Do not position hoisting device on any suspension component, including the front or rear suspension crossmembers. Do not hoist on the front and rear bumpers, the lower radiator crossmember, or the front engine mount.

Do not attempt to raise one entire side of the vehicle by placing a floor jack midway between the front and rear wheels. This practice may result in permanent damage to the body.

When placing hoist lift pads, use care to avoid contact with the body side sill and body cladding.*

Also Note: The hoisting and jack lifting points provided are for a complete vehicle. When the engine or rear suspension is removed from a vehicle, the center of gravity is altered making some hoisting conditions unstable. Properly support or secure vehicle to hoisting device when these conditions exist. Failure to follow these instructions may result in serious or fatal injury.


Fiat 500 Front Jacking Point

The location in the front to place your jack stand is this chassis reinforcement leg.

Note: Do not allow the hoist lift arm (3) to contact the rocker panel or sideskirts (2) or damage to the vehicle may result.

Fiat 500 Rear Jacking Point


The green arrow marks the "pinchweld" on the rocker panel.


Note: Do not allow the hoist lift arm or lift pad to contact the the rocker panel or sideskirts (1), the rear suspension (2), or underbody protection (3) or damage to the vehicle may result.



Fiat 500 Jacking locations


The pinchweld seam is used for the supplied Fiat scissor jack and where you need to lift the car. The picture above is for the European 500 but the jacking locations are similar if not exactly the same for the NAFTA 500.

You can use a floor jack with jack pad or some thick card board to protect the body of the car, however, a v-cut pinchweld pad would be ideal. Cars equipped with side skirts pose a concern because there isn't much room between the skirt and the pinchweld and if the jack's lifting pad presses against the side skirt it will be damaged. Improper lifting is the main reason for a side skirt on a Fiat 500 separating away from the body.


Pinchweld pad

Now the question is can you get one of the v-cut pinchweld pads like the one below in there without damaging the sideskirt? The taller and narrower pinchweld pads work better than the shorter ones because the sideskirts are very close to the front pinchweld. You place these pads on your floor jack.

Jack Stand Pad

The jack stand pads like the ones below will protect the body of your car. If you are buying jack stands, get the narrowest heads you can find as the space is tight on cars with sideskirts.

The Easy Way to Put Your Fiat 500 Up on Jack Stands:


Disclaimer:
Below is how I lift my Fiat 500 Abarth and 500 Sport. The information provided worked for me and is provided for entertainment purposes and I can't guarantee it will work for you. Lifting your car is a task normally performed by professional, competent mechanics. If performed incorrectly, it can cause serious injury or damage your car. DO NOT attempt this procedure if you're not comfortable assuming these risks yourself.

Fiat 500 Rear Jack Position


The Fiat 500 is designed to be lifted by professionals with garage lifts, so a do-it-yourselfer can run into trouble getting the car up on jack stands due to the limited space and jacking points. In the front, the car can be jacked on the pinchweld with the appropriate pad or the chassis reinforcement leg under the floor, so that is not really a problem. The rear, however, is tougher because there is only one lift point.

The above picture shows the rear pinchweld area where you lift the car. The problem is this is also the place where you need to put the jack stand to support the car. You can't work on a car supported by only a jack so you need to put the car on a jack stand, but how do you do it when the jack is there?

Here is how I do it:


Make sure your car is on a firm, level surface and you should block the wheels on the opposite side of the car so the car doesn't roll.

Jacking up Fiat 500 Abarth

Get your floor jack and two jack stands ready. You'll be jacking the car up on one side.

Fiat 500 Abarth Front Jack Point

Place your floor jack at the front jacking location indicated by the arrow. I didn't have a pinchweld pad handy so just used thick cardboard to protect the body.

Fiat 500 Jack Stand Position

Jack the car up on the front pinch weld with a floor jack. When you lift the front high enough the rear will come of the ground. Remember to lift at the arrow on the sideskirt or rocker panel. As mentioned above, DO NOT lift the car in the center of the rocker panel or you may damage the car's unibody. Have a jack stand handy and slide it under the chassis reinforcement in the front. Keep jacking the car until the it is high enough so you can slip a jack stand under the rear pinchweld.


Fiat 500 Rear Jack Stand Position

Go to the back of the car and place your jack under the pinchweld where the arrow on the sideskirt or rocker panel indicates. Use some padding between the body and the jack stands / jacks to protect the body. The jack pads on my stand was too wide and contacted the sideskirts so I used thick cardboard which will also work.

Now lower the car slowly while constantly going back and forth checking the alignment of the front and rear jack stands. This is the most critical part so take your time. The jack stands must remain stable and not tilt. In the rear, the stand must not get hooked on the sideskirt or it can put pressure on the fasteners and pop it loose.

Once the full weight of the car is on the jack stands continue lowering the jack slightly more and you can leave it under the car for added security. Leaving a wheel under the car is also not a bad idea for added safety.

This procedure will easily raise the car so you can get one side up on stands. You can get both wheels up if you want or just the front. If you just need to do the rear, you can still do it this way as it keeps you from jacking on the rear axle beam, which is less stable.



Images: FCA, internet and Author
Reference: FCA

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