Before putting 4000 pounds of 31 year old Toledo steel above my head for the first time I really needed the correct locations for a 2-post-lift pad placement points on a CJ-7. I like who I am and I have some plans for the next 30 years or so and really didn’t not want to be that guy who squashed himself in his own garage. It happens.
I have seen two jeeps on their sides at dealerships after falling off lifts, countless other lift fails, and have seen CJs put up in the air at least four different ways. I have had a couple of cars in the air since building the garage, referencing their owner manuals for lift placement, but not the Jeep yet. Again, I didn’t want to be the guy that drops his 4X4 pride off the lift in his own garage. I started doing a little research and asking questions.
After a fairly fruitless internet Search, I called the company that built my lift (it is a Rotary Revolution RPT10) and they referred me to the The American Lift Institute (ALI) manual that came with the lift. The 2016 version of the manual only goes back to 1991 for most vehicles and when I called them, there was no answer that they could give me. They referred me to “a local Jeep dealer.”
I dropped in the one nearest the house and there was not an “old-guy consensus” on how to life a CJ: on the frame behind the shackle mounts, on the shackles, on the spring plates, on the axles, etc… My Chilton and Hayes manuals have nothing and I am still trying to source a good 1986 Service Manual (can’t find anything in the downloaded ’82) and would love an original Owners manual. I went by a 4X4 shop a bit ago and the tech there said “lift it on the shackles…” and posed it as sort of a question. I walked away swiftly.
So, relying on Cunningham’s Law, I asked the internet via the JeepForum if anyone had some documentation on where to apply the lift arms/pads on a CJ-7 frame and where the balance point/center of gravity of the vehicle was to put in-line with the lift posts? I got some helpful suggestions and a couple answers that were on the edge of trolling, but the general consensus from CJ owners and mechanics on the forum was to follow the guidelines for the 1991 Jeep Wrangler and their frames, suspension, and balance points are very similar: The lift pads are placed under the frame (centered on the pads), directly adjacent to spring hangers/shackles. Sounded reasonable and sound, so I decided to go with that. The balance point/CoG is between my dash and the bottom of the steering wheel and that point goes on center between the the posts of my symmetrical lift.
I went ahead a couple weekends ago and decided to put it up and do a little general maintenance. After everything checked out – raising the Jeep 6″ off the ground and giving it a serious shake on all 4 corners, raising it up and down a few times, I spent 30 minute for full oil and filter change. I lubed all the zert points on the drive-line and chassis while I was there. No squashing of falling Jeeps.