How to Jack Up a Chevy Astro Van

by Russell Wood

When it comes time to do almost anything to your Chevrolet Astro van, you have to jack up the vehicle. Whether it's changing the oil, the tires, a ball joint or a shock, getting your van in the air sometimes needs to be done often. Although it seems like it would be common knowledge, how do you properly jack up your Astro without damaging the vehicle -- or yourself -- in the process? If you know where and how to lift, you can get this done yourself with no worries at all.

Lay down in front of the vehicle and locate the engine crossmember. The Astro van has a subframe that supports the front suspension and the engine, and the engine is held by a large, thick crossmember that goes across the width of the vehicle. This is the best point to place the jack to lift the vehicle.

Slide the jack under the vehicle and position the head of the jack below the middle of the crossmember. Then turn the jack handle to the right to tighten the jack, and pump the handle until the jack head contacts the middle of the crossmember.

Stand up in front of the van, then pump the handle until the Astro is at the height you want it to be. Place the jack stands just behind the front suspension, and lift the adjustable end of the jack to touch the frame or come very close.

Turn the jack handle to the left just slightly to slowly lower the vehicle onto the stands. Once the jack has compressed all the way, the front of the vehicle will be on the stands.

Slide the jack underneath the rear of the vehicle and center it on the middle of the rear axle. This is the large, round object in the middle, typically called the "pumpkin." Turn the jack handle to the right to tighten the jack, and pump the handle until the jack head contacts the middle of the pumpkin.

Stand up and pump the handle of the jack to lift the vehicle. Once the vehicle is positioned where you need it to be, slide jack stands underneath the axle and lift the adjustable stand to the point where they contact the axle.

Turn the jack handle to the left to lower the vehicle onto the jack stands. Once the jack has compressed all the way, the vehicle is officially on the stands and jacked up.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.