DIY floor jack saddle pad?

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9
Location
Socal
So I just bought a 3 ton low-profile floor jack from Harbor Freight because I needed a jack (my set was stolen for the second time) and they had it on sale. The steel saddle has ridges on the outside and I just don't see how they expect people to use it to jack up cars without needlessly gouging up the frame rails. Harbor Freight photo: I would like to have some sort of rubber pad on the saddle. I know Prothane makes floor jack pads but I just don't want to spend $15+ on something that looks like a few cents worth of material. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what I can use to make my own saddle pad? Ideally I'd like to make a circular pad about 1/4" thick made out of some dense rubber-like material to sit in the saddle. Thanks
 
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JHZR2

Staff member
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45,622
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New Jersey
Lots of folks make them from hockey pucks. There's also a guy on eBay that casts them from urethane.
 
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17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
I bought a special floor jack pad from NAPA to go on my floor jack saddle, but those "castle peaks" on the saddle cut right through it after awhile. Lately I've been using 6''x 6'' squares of 1/2'' plywood that I made, but they get destroyed after one use.
 
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1,491
Location
iowa
I have had many floor jacks, and and use them daily. The first thing I do is ditch the too thin rubber pad, and simply cut a circle out of plywood. Just soft, and stiff enough, and lasts quite a while.
 
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1,723
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted By: Brandon04GT
I've read about the hockey puck method online. What's the point of cutting a groove in the middle?
I believe it's the edge where the double folded lip of metal of the vehicle's frame rails can sit in without the metal lip being crushed or bent.
 
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14,810
Location
Illinois
All jacks have that. My floor jack was loaned to someone and in transporting the pad fell out and lost. So I made a new one.
 
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283
Location
Michigan
I have the same jack. I bought the NAPA pad that was mentioned in a previous post. It's bigger than the jack's saddle but there are concentric circles on one side that I held a box cutter against while rotating the pad. Cutting at a slight inward angle, resulted in a exact fit for the HF jack. I glued it down with silicone adhesive and it's been perfect.
 
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Messages
1,648
Location
VA
I wouldn't recommend the Prothane pad--it is sturdy but slippery. I used one once, and instead of the jack rolling with the car as I lifted, the jack point slipped on the pad material. I just realized I have some pieces of truck mudflap that would be the right thickness and aren't slippery.
 
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1,115
Location
midwest
I use newspaper or cardboard folded to at least a half inch thick. It s cheap, reusable, flexible, won't split, and doesn't slip. I can't find anything better at any reasonable price.
 
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3,431
Location
USA
I use a hockey puck. I don't even bother to cut a groove in the puck.
Originally Posted By: sicko
I believe it's the edge where the double folded lip of metal of the vehicle's frame rails can sit in without the metal lip being crushed or bent.
On my vehicles, the hockey puck alone has enough give to prevent it from damaging the pinch welds. Cutting a groove in it wouldn't do anything beneficial on any of my vehicles. I think the real idea behind the groove on jack pads is that they bypass the pinch weld and lift on the rocker itself. But that wouldn't be a benefit on a lot of vehicles. On several of my cars, there is a reinforced spot on the pinch weld itself made for lifting. The rocker panel isn't made for lifting on my vehicles. Here's a pic showing what I mean. A single hockey puck isn't thick enough to cut a deep enough groove to accomplish this.
 

Brandon04GT

Thread starter
Messages
9
Location
Socal
I've never jacked up my cars from that area before...I'm kinda wondering why people chose to? I just jack from the flat areas of the frame rails normally behind/in front of the control arms.
 
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: Brandon04GT
I've never jacked up my cars from that area before...I'm kinda wondering why people chose to? I just jack from the flat areas of the frame rails normally behind/in front of the control arms.
On many vehicles there is a reinforced place on the pinch weld that is the factory-recommended lifting point. On some vehicles, including my Miata, the frame rails near the center of the car are quite delicate in spots and using them to lift the car can damage them. Parts of the frame rails on my Miata are bent up from people incorrectly using them as a lift point. It all depends on the vehicle in question.
 
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