Lifting up the 124 Spider

The “Mazda” OEM scissor jack, that in some markets is located in the right-side trunk compartment (along with a spare tire in the bottom trunk cavity) 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.

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 them.  See the diagrams at the end of this article for Mazda’s recommended lifting locations.

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.  

By the way, I recognize the jack shown in the photos above, because it is very similar to one that I bought at Harbor Freight in place of a 2-ton jack that was 5½” high and barely able to get under our low Spiders (and mine is stock) and there was no clearance for a jack pad.  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.   ⇓


Since the Fiat 124 Spider Service Manual* published by Mopar’s Tech Authority is of no use regarding vehicle jacking and/or lift-up positions (the simplest maintenance procedure of all and the $135+ manual states “WORK IN PROGRESS”), here’s an excerpt from Mazda’s MX-5 manual instead…


Jacking Positions


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


Vehicle Lift-up Positions

Front and rear
  • Both sides of the vehicle, on side sills around pinch welds.


*   If Mopar would like to make available to me a revised CD copy of the Service Manual that is truly ready for publication (there should not be “WORK IN PROGRESS” statements throughout a released document, especially when complementary updates are not included in the purchase!), I’ll revise my critique 😉

[UPDATE 4/24/2017]
Tim H. has just advised me that Mopar/Tech Authority has announced that after having been made aware that the CD wasn’t yet ready for distribution back in late February and pulling it from their site, they have made the completed edition available once again, with the same part # 81-270-17084-CD.   Thank you Tim.


5 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).


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