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jack/lift point repair

northern piper
10-12-2011, 06:04 PM

On my 2000 windstar 3.8 the front lift points are badly rusted. I do all my own maintenance and have noticed over the past 2 or 3 years the deterioration.

I had the van in for the front sub frame recall today and asked the service manager about it. (Well, my wife took the van in; it's hers. He just steered her towards sales...:disappoin) Anyway, I'm thinking that others may have seen this sort of wear and rust and am wondering what people have done. I'm really hoping someone has done some welding to repair this section and I can copy it...but that's maybe a pipe dream.. but hey, I'm a windstar owner...I have to dream sometimes right?


10-12-2011, 09:19 PM
piper -

Do you use the sill lift points, designed to work with the spare tire jack - or the lift points further under the van?

I've noticed that the sill lift points on my '00 have deformed over the years - so I avoid using them now.

Thankfully, I don't have much rust under my van, though there was enough that I needed the front subframe recall fix.

northern piper
10-13-2011, 05:00 AM
ya, I use the points further onboard from the rocker panel. I'll take a picture of it.. trouble is of course, in order to see it properly and take a photo you really need to be under the van but that means lifting it up which means using the lift point.... bla....

The point sits about 8 inches in from the rocker panel, is approximately 4 inches square made out of ~1/8" sheet steel. The lift-foot from my lift (a Mohawk 2 post 10,000 lb) is actually larger than the point on the van so it's not the lift at all...

The rear points are much more stable as its the attachment point for suspension/axle components.

At this point I can't afford to replace the van simply due to the fact that Ford has poorly designed this area of the van to collect water.

I think I'm going to have to take a closer look at this whole thing.


northern piper
10-14-2011, 07:16 AM
I have to say that I'm surprised that more people don't have this problem. I'm gonna crawl underneath this weekend and take a cast of the lift point. Fortunately in my profession I have access to the fiberglass casting bandage that's used for broken arms, legs etc, so it'll give me a great impression of what I need to weld up as a reinforcement. I'll take some photos and share once I'm done.


10-14-2011, 07:30 AM
piper -

Interesting use for casting materials!

10-14-2011, 07:38 AM
My son once had an Escort that was so rusty I was afraid the grandkids were gonna drop out thru the floorboard. He added plywood inside to help cover some of the holes. To jack it up, we added a length of 2x10 board to spread the load so the jack would not go up thru the thing. He finally gave it up when the top of the strut broke loose and punched a hole in the hood.

Yes, he is cheap!

northern piper
11-07-2011, 08:15 AM
so after a bit of research I've located a replacement part number from Ford that is the section of underbody I need. Trouble is, the part is obsolete in Canada. Does anyone have any suggestions for a source of body (sheet metal) components in the US? Rockauto etc don't stock parts like this. I tried but as I'm in Canada they don't have "international" shipping. So much for free trade :screwy:

The part I'm looking for is Ford # 108A53, a front floor side member reinforcement.

11-07-2011, 08:25 AM
I tried searching on my favorite Ford parts sites - and that part number doesn't show up.

It's shorter than I expect a full Ford part number to be. It didn't even show up on for me... Is there more to the part number?

northern piper
11-07-2011, 09:09 AM
Hi Phil

I know it's kind of an oddball number. If you go to this page

and then click on "view image" then 4 door, you'll see an exploded view of the floor components. The section I need is the 108A53. The part is probably part of a bigger number but that I can't find. My local Ford confirmed the part number is right, it's just not available in Canada. I'm hoping that one will be floating around somewhere in the US and I can get it shipped.

Thanks for looking!

northern piper
11-07-2011, 05:43 PM
Here are 2 pictures of what I'm faced with. These are from the driver's side. It seems like this spot is a huge catch can for water, sand and therefore rust. If you look closely you can see how the segment where it attaches to the rocker panel is completely rotted away. I'm thinking I'll have to custom make a flat section which would be for the lift point and then weld to the rocker on the outside, frame on the inside of the van.


Fwiw, the passenger side looks pretty good overall.



11-07-2011, 08:07 PM
Man that's a lot of corrosion!

Any chance somebody close to the border with Canada can buy it and ship it for you? I would if I could but we are WAY too far from each other LOL.

I tried searching by part number or name but nothing showed up; how about if you try searching I think they ship internationally you might want to contact them.


northern piper
11-07-2011, 08:33 PM
thanks for that Oscar! I don't know if the part even exists now. I called a place in upstate New York that claims to have "every" part and they too said it was obsolete. I think I'm gonna be welding some new 14 gauge sheet in the near future. Call me crazy but I just somehow thought that these parts would be available... likely if they were $400+ each I'd find 'em!

11-08-2011, 08:32 PM
You're very welcome!

Good luck with it man, I really hope you fix this soon and everything goes smooth. I look forward to see a picture of the job once it's done.

Best regards,


04-01-2012, 04:51 PM
Hi northern piper,

how far have you come with your work on the windstar jack/Lift points?
I would like to know and seen how you have solved this problem.
Post a few pictures.


northern piper
04-01-2012, 08:22 PM
I ended up making a paper template of the part and having a local sheet metal shop fab up one for me. They made it out of 14 gauge material and I painted it with zero rust, then slipped it over the existing (lol) jack point. I used self tapping screws to attach the new section directly over the old. If it had been any other section I would have cut the bad out and weld in the new. The trouble was that as this is a lift point, I had to do the work while the van was on ramps at the front. I have the luxury of a 2 post Mohawk lift and it just killed me to have to lay on my back to do this repair. What resulted is quite sound. I have to change winter tires in a day so I'll take some shots of what I did once it's in the air. I didn't when I actually did the repair.

04-01-2012, 10:27 PM
I have to say that I'm surprised that more people don't have this problem.

Out of curiosity I looked at mine and there is no rust there. Maybe this happened to you due to frequent use of that lift point? I usually use asphalt padding at the contact point to prevent the top of the jack shaft from denting the steel.

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