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Old 09-10-2018, 11:00 PM   #1
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Repairing rusted out jack point.

I have an 03 Focus SE that has the usual rocker panel rust. I Thought the jacking points were still solid and the back of the passenger rocker panel just simply was going to need plated, already got a patch panel and planned to weld it in this past week end.

I got the car inspected on Friday, but didn't notice until yesterday when I was going to cut out the rusted section of the rocker and repair it, that apparently when they lifted the car at the shop it crushed the jack point where it is rusted out.

Has anyone built new jack points on the pinch weld seams? or plated the seams to increase it's strength? I seen they make jack rails for the much newer mk3 Focus, has anyone fabbed up a set for the ol' MK1 Focus?


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Old 09-11-2018, 07:32 PM   #2
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Learn to jack somewhere else, I never use the OEM jack points, too weak even when new.They gradually cave in little by little even with normal use.

Plating does NOT increase literal strength whatsoever, it just makes the same weakness part go longer before corrosion damage occurs.
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:19 PM   #3
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Recomendations for other places to jack the car up?
I Agree the factory jack points are pathetic.
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:20 PM   #4
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Under the front main subplate is fine but you have to go deeper under the car. Back, use the subframe but be careful, not much jack placement space, or use the radius (strut) rod box inboard of the normal rear jack point.
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:55 AM   #5
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My mechanic wouldn't pass my car because the pinch weld and rocker were so rusted out that he said he couldn't jack it.

They make a product called jacking rails (by STEEDA) for the mk3 focus that are just a few bolts to install and they run the length of the pinch weld. Unfortunately, they don't make anything comparable for the mk1s. So, I fabricated my own and I think mine are quite a bit beefier than even the STEEDA ones. I used 1x2 steel tubing that is 1/8 inch thick and made custom welded mounting plates at the ends. Now I can jack anywhere between the wheels near the old pinch weld locations.

So, if you don't have the capacity to weld, perhaps you could show the STEEDA rails to a fabricator and have some made. They'll have to take some measurements and figure where they are going to bolt on to make them and since it will be a one-off, it might not come cheap. I used a combination of existing hole locations and a few drilled holes to mount the rails at the ends and also used self tapping screws every foot or so along the length.

I have a replacement rocker to fix those too but it is not on yet. The added benefit of the new jacking rails is that I will have something solid to weld the replacement rockers to whereas before everything was so far gone in some areas that there was nothing left to attach to.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:33 AM   #6
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Those are a take off from the Kenny Brown rails for the foxbodys from yrs ago, which also used w/ his super subs & matrix braces to tie it altogether...
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:03 PM   #7
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You have any photos of the rails you built?
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbertv2 View Post
You have any photos of the rails you built?
I meant to take some but did not. I'll be doing some more work on this vehicle soon so I will try to take some pics while at it. The rocker panel on one side is pretty shot and I have a replacement to install and since the pinch weld area was pretty far gone, the new jacking rails will act as a solid place to connect the new rocker. I was just putting on some new front rotors and jacking is so much easier with the rails on it. Nice being to have lots of solid jacking points and places to put a stand.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:53 AM   #9
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Finally got a chance to take some pictures of the jacking rails I made for my 03 Focus. The pinch weld areas were pretty rusted out, especially on the driver's side. My mechanic wouldn't pass me on a safety inspection without addressing this issue and it was hard to find many places to jack the vehicle up to work on.

The rails run right up against the inside of the pinch weld seam and to get some good support, I added a diagonal strut at the front. In part this was to get to a solid area for bolting. This strut and the rail at the rear also have gusset plates welded to the rails for bolting. I used some 3/8" bolts that I was able to thread through existing holes in the frame and also used some self tapping bolts both in the gussets and along the length of the rail.

Not sure why the uploaded pictures are upside down and sideways but you get the idea. First one is a close up of the front. Next is looking towards the rear (note that it gets tucked under a brake cable housing). The last one is looking at the front where you can see both the long rail piece and the diagonal strut.

Repairing rusted out jack point.-jackrail01.jpg

Repairing rusted out jack point.-jackrail02.jpg

Repairing rusted out jack point.-jackrail03.jpg

Last edited by IrishBrewer; 11-28-2018 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 11-27-2018, 04:47 PM   #10
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That would certainly be better than it was...........I myself would likely screw it down a few more times down the length to prevent bar warping away from rest of car; it would make the jacking even more solid too.
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