So, I stopped at Arby’s last night for a delicious turkey reuben, and paused a bit in the parking lot to read another chapter A Patriot’s History of the United States. Around 11 p.m., I pulled away, only to find that my rear left tire had gone completely flat.
No problem, right? So I thought.
I pulled out the (inadequate) jack and got down to business. Because the tire was utterly devoid of air, I had a hard time putting the jack under the axle tube, so I put it under the frame, instead. Big mistake. I got the Grand Cherokee jacked up and the deflated rubber remove, just in time for the moon to shift phases and push the vehicle off center.
The car came a-tumblin’ down, grinding the rotor into the hard asphalt.
Irritated but undaunted, I tried again. Same result.
Turns out, the physics of the factory-supplied jack are such that it doesn’t quite raise things high enough from the frame, but the device itself is too bulky to put under the axle tube when the wheel is off. As such, I had to hoof it on foot to Meijer to buy a new jack.
Mission accomplished. Sorta.
The new jack’s reach was an inch too short of what I needed. No matter how I finagled it, I couldn’t swap out the jacks properly. The new one had only a 13-inch elevation, which even on the frame wasn’t enough clearance to get the factory jack under the axle.
So, back to Meijer. This time, I bought a small floor jack. That, with its braces, was enough. Properly jacked, I was able to install the spare with no problem.
Of course, it wasn’t until I tried to drive away that I realized how much damage I had done to the steel shroud protecting the rotor. The mile-and-a-half drive from Arby’s to the garage was quite … loud.
So, this morning, I jacked it back up, pulled off the tire, and grabbed the pliers and screwdrivers. After manhandling the shroud back into position, the car drives quietly and properly with no sign of damage or impairment to performance.
All it took was a grand total of three hours of my life that I’m never getting back.