Lifting up the 124 Spider

The “Mazda” OEM scissor jack, that in some markets may be located in the right-side trunk compartment, but is not provided as standard equipment here in the U.S. (gram strategy? – we get a tire repair kit with a 12-volt air pump and a can of sealer instead), incorporates a slot to surround the frame rail to concentrate the load away from the seam.  If you are considering adding the jack and mounting it in it’s dedicated spot, read more about that here.

According to both the User’s Manual and the Owner’s Manual for the 124 Spider, the car lifting location points are marked on the side skirts with the ▼ symbols.  I have yet to find those, but there are some “bumps”, as revealed in the Hoisting Locations diagram at the end of this article.

To lift up the vehicle at the official jack points (~6 inches in height) using a trolley jack with a flat metal pad, it is best to use frame rail protector of some sort (shown below is the slotted solid rubber Jack Pad Frame Rail Protector that I recommend) since the crushing weight of half the car would tend to distort the sheet metal rail.  I was going to select one made of polyurethane, but many reviewers stated that they appeared to flex too much and thought they might fail in short order.  

I had originally purchased a 2-ton jack that was 5½” high and it was barely able to get under our low Spiders (and mine is stock), let alone have enough clearance to use a jack pad.  So back it went, and in it’s place I looked for a “Racing” jack, which implies a low clearance.

I recognized the jack shown in the photos above that another forum reader used for his MX-5, because it is very similar to one that I ended up buying at Harbor Freight .  Their Pittsburgh 1½-ton “Rapid Pump” aluminum racing jack  (shown below; I got it for $59.99) works perfectly, as it is only 3½” high at its lowest point and the 3½” wide pad accommodates the slotted 3″ diameter Jack Pad perfectly!

harbor freight jack


Note that Flyin’ Miata (their photo shows the underside of a 124 Spider Classica) has chosen different vehicle lift locations that are probably more representative of how typical service garages will raise our vehicles.   



courtesy of Fiat Service Manual (although they actually just copied from Mazda’s Service Manual)
WARNING: 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.
CAUTION: Due to variations in hoist design it may be necessary to use the secondary lift points to avoid damage to the body or trim parts.

Jacking & Hoisting Locations

jack points

red = jack locations with slotted pad    ⚫ light blue = 2-post hoist lift with arms    ⚫ dark blue = jack stands, after lifting with jack

NOTE: To prevent obstruction between the jack body and front bumper when the jack body is inserted, use a low floor type jack.

A hoist with asymmetrical hoist arms can not be adjusted to a position which will allow the hoist adapters to engage the service hoisting locations on the down standing weld flange (1) on the sill at both the rear and the front of the vehicle. Therefore, the secondary service hoisting location will need to be used at the front of the vehicle. The secondary front service hoisting location is the front torque box.

When properly positioned, a floor jack can be used to lift the vehicle and support the raised vehicle with jack stands.

A floor jack or any lifting device must never be used on any part of the underbody other than the described areas.

8 thoughts on “Lifting up the 124 Spider

  1. Pingback: Splash Guards / Front License Bracket | 21st Century Fiat 124 Spider

  2. Not really a question related to how to jack up your vehicle, but I couldn’t find another category exactly matching what I’m going to ask you.

    As discussed previously, the North American 124 Abarths are stripped of quite a few components. One of the most expensive ones to add back in is the Record Monza exhaust system. It comes stock on the European version, but here, I will end up paying close to $1800 CAD to purchase it from MOPAR and have it installed. Before I spend that kind of moola on a replacement exhaust, I have a simple question. Have you or anyone you know gotten this installed, and are there any audio samples you know of that compare the stock NA Abarth exhaust to the Record Monza MOPAR upgrade?

    The only reason I ask is that I used to own a 500 Abarth, and I miss it’s snappy, snarly exhaust notes. I find the 124 a bit tame for my liking. I’m not wanting something that competes with my neighbour’s Harley, but something with a bit more “throat” would be nice.


    Best regards and thanks,



    • Cal, I have no experience with the Record Monza exhaust system. I agree that the exhaust is very quiet in my Classica, but I plan to simply enjoy it. So just having an exhaust shop deleting the muffler for less than $100 won’t do it for you? 😉

      There seem to be many YouTube clips of the exhaust sound


  3. I’ve got my new low profile jack and slotted rubber pad (my trusty old 2 ton wouldn’t fit under.) and I’ve Identified where to place the jack. But once I have one corner up and one wheel off to get at some stuff that will involve some pushing pulling and prodding, I’m not clear where a fixed single jack stand would go to back up the jack safely. The Mazda pics point at the 4 jack points and 2 center spots pretty far in from the front and rear. Besides solid stands, I have a scissors jack and a 2nd slotted pad available. (I’ve been lifting the same 1980 TR for 37 years and it has more obvious big steel places!)


    • Since the formed hollow steel frame members don’t protrude like most cars, it may be best to use your spare pad (ignoring the slot) in conjunction with your jack stand…

      to simulate what most shops will be doing with their vehicle lifts (note their lift points).


    • Although that video is a nice review of an oil change, I saw nothing in regards to raising the vehicle at the lift points (this was a drive-on lift). Perhaps you meant to link to a different video?


  4. I want to resume this 3d because even if there are many posts on the web related on where to place jacks stands when the car is raised including here, I am still quite doubtfull on HOW to raise the car to place the 4 stands on their positions. The front and rear center crossarms are the identified points, ok. Even that, it looks not that obvious: 1) some bad accident happened while lifting the front, the jack pad slipped out from the crossarm , the car fell and the damage on the drivetraion was around 4000 US$ . Searching the Miata forum is a very, very painful experience. 2) to raise the front of the car from the crossarm to get enough clearance on the front corners to position the jackstands , requires a lot of nose up. ( haven t made any measurements but the jack under the car needs to extend its arm more than 40 cm/ 1 feet and half I d say). You place then the 2 front jack stands sort of wedging them in : they lay on the edge of their pads. After that you move back and start raising the car from the differential or the back cross arm levelling the car. At this point the front stands will start to get all the car weight on their pad surfaces. There s a moment where a lot of weight is placed on a very small surface of those fron stand pads . It is also a very unbalanced moment . This makes me uncomfortable and that s why I am asking opinion on my possibly wrong assumptions. The other method to fully raise the car , it would be by raising the car from one side at the time and by the rails . To act quickier and be able to place at the same time the front and rear stands per side on the corners, you need to raise the car from the rail center that is not supposed to be “reinforced”. Point is that the jack while raising its arm, tends to applly not only a vertical force needed to raise the car up but also an horizontal force that scould cause the metal of the rail to bend ( many disasters as well in this compartment have happened as well) . a Third option would be to raise each one corner at the time by raising the car from the reinforced rails points ( as described on the manual as well), place a stand just behind and so forth on all 4 corners. Even that will leave me doubtful because you ll have the car on stands on one side, very umbalaced, than on 3 stands …simple question is how do you raise the car safely using a jack and 4 stands. thanx.


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