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Old 09-12-2003, 01:46 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 10119
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Default 4 jackstands = chassis flex

This happened a few weeks ago, and I thought I'd finally share this with the S&M group here.

I had my car up on 4 jack stands, on a level surface (my garage). I was bleeding my brakes and changing my tranny lube. I went into the passenger front door to grab my owner’s manual to triple check how much MTL to use (3.7Q), and when I closed the door, it made a funny "clunk". I opened the door again, closed it and heard it again. After trying it a few times, I realized that the lower portion of the door was now rubbing/clunking against the bottom of the doorframe! I'd never noticed this before, so I got little freaked out when I realized that it was probably related to the car being up on stands, and I thought I had bent the door frame somehow.

After I got finished with the lube change, I lowered the car and tested the door again. Now that it was down on all 4 wheels, the door closed normally. Whew!

I'm not sure there's much else to say about this. I don't plan on opening the passenger door again with the car up on stands, but I do need to open at least the driver’s side door (because I remove all 4 wheels when I bleed my brakes, and need to get into the car to get to the brake pedal). I assume this happens because the car is suspended from a point more "inbound" than the wheels and there's some flex, although I also thought the Impreza chassis was extremely rigid, etc.

Anyone notice this before?
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Old 09-13-2003, 12:00 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 24827
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Michigan
2008 Kia Spectra


I've noticed the same. When trying to close my passenger side door, the window doesn't fit right. It doesn't fit underneath that little tab along the window trim.
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Old 09-15-2003, 04:09 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 8165
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Diego
2001 RS 2.5
Asspen White

Default same

Just today I jacked up my car on 2 jack stand in the front. Passenger side door opened and closed and that side window wheather strip tip thing blocking the glass from closing!
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:39 PM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 6072
Join Date: Apr 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Torrance or Redlands, CA
01 Silver 2.5 RS
04 Silver WRX STi


You can easily see that the chassis flexes if you put a jack stand on any corner of the car. Look down the seam where the front door and rear door meets.

Those who thinks that our chassis are rigid enough that it doesn't need any bracing should think otherwise. No matter how rigid a chassis is, it will still flex.

Strut tower braces will help side-to-side. A cage will help in all directions.

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Old 09-16-2003, 11:18 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 36545
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Square One

Hmmm...if the flex is relatively that much than it could be possible to set a reference on a jackstand and measure the flex, then install a strut bar and remeasure...see if it makes a noticable difference on the stand. If it does it likely helps on the road as well.
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