Jacks can be a confusing aspect of motoring even for people who have been around vehicles for a while. This is because there are several types of jacks each suited for a specific purpose, and it is not every day that a car user will need to use a jack.
In this article, we explore transmission jacks. We look at how they operate, who they are best suited for, then make a review of several models in the market to help you make an informed decision should you decide to purchase one.
Like their name suggests, transmission jacks are used to lift vehicles via the transmission rather than the conventional through the axis or chassis way. Now, ‘transmission’ is a common term used every day in the motoring world, but we’ll define it once again for the benefit of the few who may not have it clear.
Transmission is the machine that controls how power is applied within the vehicle’s system. In the simplest of terms, it refers to the gearbox. This may vary a little depending on where in the world you are though. While in the US the definition of transmission stops at gearbox, the UK uses the same term when talking about the gearbox and the entire drivetrain.
As the definition may thus suggest, transmission jacks are suitable for people who require to service vehicles’ power systems. This is a quite detailed area of service, and will mostly include people working in commercial garages. It is not, however, uncommon to find people who do their own vehicles’ servicing from home.
Let us now look at five transmission jack models and see how they compare against each other.
- 1 Torin TR4053 Pedestal Transmission Jack – 1/2 Ton – Best non-commercial home-use jack
- 2 Goplus New 1100 LB 2 Stage Hydraulic Transmission Jack – Best heavy duty jack for cars and light trucks
- 3 Torin TR4076 Roll Under Transmission Jack – 1000 lbs. – The Home service jack
- 4 Iglobalbuy 2 Stage 1100lb Adjustable Height Hydraulic Telescoping Transmission Jack With Pedal 360° Swivel Wheel Lift Hoist – Best Jack for small vehicle transmission installation/removal
- 5 Sunex 7793B 1/2-Ton Telescopic Transmission Jack– The regular servicer’s handy tool
- 6 Considerations When Shopping for a Transmission Jack
- 7 Conclusion
Torin TR4053 Pedestal Transmission Jack – 1/2 Ton – Best non-commercial home-use jack
The Torin TR 40 53 pedestal is a 0.5 ton (1000 lbs) capacity transmission jack used to remove both manual and automatic and manual transmissions for servicing. It is made in China; 26 by 16.1 by 7.5 inches in dimension and 75 lbs in weight. It has an adjustable saddle that allows it to accommodate different transmission sizes, which can then be chain tilted to any direction- front, back or side-to-side. Once set on the saddle, there is a release valve that allows smooth lowering. There are also safety brackets and safety chains to control the removal. The jack is made of tough steel with a finish of dipped enamel.
The base is made of four steel arms extending out in a rectangular shape, with movable 3-inch steel wheels attached to each arm. The wheels are set on ball bearings and designed to swivel through 360 degrees, easily rolling under the hoisted vehicle.
The Torin raises to a height of between 49.6 and 68.7 inches, for both in and above ground transmission removals. The delivery is in a box package, which contains the individual parts and assembly instructions. It retails for $138.23 on Amazon with free shipping included.
Goplus New 1100 LB 2 Stage Hydraulic Transmission Jack – Best heavy duty jack for cars and light trucks
GoPlus is an 1100 lb capacity transmission jack, also capable of handling removal from automatic and manual transmission vehicles. It uses a hydraulic system to lower transmissions, with a foot controlled release valve, which has a control spring attached. The spring causes the lowering to halt when the foot is taken off the pedal. It comes with a 31-inch safety chain.
With a lift range of between 33 and 70 inches, the GoPlus allows for all settings of transmission lowering no matter what surface you are working from. The saddle is adjustable for use on different sizes of transmissions.
It weighs in at 110 lbs, which means it is quite a heavy jack. The weight can be attributed to its stainless steel body, which consequently makes it very sturdy and comfortable on the job. It is one of China’s products that really surpasses expectations. There are four steel arms that form the base, each with an attached wheel that swivels for 360 degrees.
The hardware is delivered in two boxes, one for the main parts and the other containing assembly fasteners and smaller parts.
The foot operated pump is a genius element of design. In a world that does not give enough focus to the importance of feet in vehicle repairs, despite their key role in driving, an accessory with foot operated parts comes as a gift. The pump allows the mechanic to work from a natural position. It also leaves both hands free to work on other areas during the lowering or lifting process. The pump is also two-step, allowing for a smooth lowering to comfortable height. The spring control that halts the lower when the pedal is released affords you the luxury of doing everything at your own pace.
Torin TR4076 Roll Under Transmission Jack – 1000 lbs. – The Home service jack
Another product from Chinese manufacturer Torin, the TR4076 Roll Under is a hydraulic transmission jack capped at a capacity of 1000 lbs. It sits on a rectangular base that runs along the length of the chassis, with a 31.5 by 18.1 by 9.1 inches dimension. The raising panel sits atop this base to work in a scissor-like movement, controlled by a cranking lever that extends outside its base on the opposite side. The base sits on 360 degree swivel steel wheels.
The Roll Under weighs 78.3 pounds, and works from an 8.66 inch clearance to a maximum height of 22.64 inches. It is a strong stainless jack that fits in well for its class, albeit not so well in industrial capacity as the manufacturers claim. A few users have actually described it as ideal for ‘Backyard servicing.’
There are two swing arms around the lifting saddle, used to adjust and fasten it. It comes with a safety chain and an overload system
Iglobalbuy 2 Stage 1100lb Adjustable Height Hydraulic Telescoping Transmission Jack With Pedal 360° Swivel Wheel Lift Hoist – Best Jack for small vehicle transmission installation/removal
The Iglobabuy is an 1100lb capacity hydraulic powered transmission jack meant for use on automatic and manual powered vehicles. It is made of heavy duty steel, fitted with adjustable saddles to accommodate different sizes of transmissions. The jack’s dimensions are 31 by 26 by 38 inches, with a weight of 78 lbs. It sits on a four leg base, whose arms extend out from a central shaft and have steel swivel wheels attached to them. It is fitted with a hand held steering handle and a foot-operated pedal to complete a two-stage raise and lower system.
There are two 26” safety chains attached to the saddle. The Iglobalbuy begins its lift at 34 inches, and goes all the way up to 70 inches. The telescope feature allows the user to check all areas with ease during the hoist or lower. It retails for $149 on Amazon, and comes with a two-year warranty.
Sunex 7793B 1/2-Ton Telescopic Transmission Jack– The regular servicer’s handy tool
The Sunex Telescopic is a 1000 lb capacity jack made from stainless steel. It comprises a hydraulic shaft with an adjustable panel at the top and a four-armed base. The base has each arm fitted with a 360 degree swivel steel wheel for easier rolling of the jack.
The hydraulic lift is foot operated, leaving the hands free to take care of other elements. It measures 27.2 by 14.2 by 39.4 inches in dimension and 167.6 lbs in weight. It has a nylon saddle strap to hold the transmission in place. An overload valve ensures it is not worked beyond its capacity, a great feature to ensure longevity of use.
Considerations When Shopping for a Transmission Jack
The above jacks are among the best on the market but you may still be torn between two transmission jacks. There are a number of factors to consider when shopping as expounded below:
Though this is not as important as it is when you are buying a floor jack, you still need to be sure that the jack you buy has enough power to lift all the transmissions you are working on.
Standalone vs Adapter Transmission Jacks
Transmission jacks are offered as standalone or adapter types. Standalone jacks, like their name suggests, are designed with a hydraulic system, meaning they can operate without needing any attachments. Their main function is to service transmissions. There are two varieties of standalone jacks you will see on the market; one designed to service vehicles that are on floor jacks and another designed to service vehicles on lifts. The former looks like a floor jack only the saddle has been replaced by an adjustable table while the latter is called a pedestal jack and comes with a longer lifting range.
Adapter transmission jacks are used together with a floor jack that features a transmission saddle. This means that, you need to have a hydraulic floor jack by the time you are buying the adapter-type transmission jack. Ensure that the floor jack saddle hole and peg of the adapter are the same size.
Standalone transmission jacks are designed with four caster wheels to ease mobility while the traditional floor jack, where the adapter-type transmission jack is mounted, has only two rear caster wheels.
Pedestal transmission jacks can service vehicles high off the ground but they cannot be used to service vehicles on the ground or ones raised by a standard floor jack. For vehicles on the ground, you will need a conventional floor jack fitted with an adapter or a trolly type standalone transmission jack. You need to ensure that the lifting range of the jack will reach your vehicles underside; this is especially important when your vehicle has large diameter tires or has a suspension lift.
If you need a pedestal transmission jack, you need to ensure that the base of the jack is large enough for stability. This ensures your safety when servicing the vehicle. A large base will not tip over when in use. However, the base should not be large to an extent that moving a stool around it or even walking is hindered.
Transmission jacks should be made of stainless steel. You can consider the grade and origin of the steel but it only matters that the material is steel. Some jacks are made of aluminum but these are less durable and less steady.
Unexplored as the area of jacks may be by most people in the motoring fraternity, it still remains a great mine of knowledge. The problem with jacks is they largely sit in the background, invisible, until their need arises. They are like fire trucks, you forget them on normal days but can’t think of anything else when fire breaks out.
The elements discussed here can be of great help in understanding jacks better, more so transmission jacks. These reviews should offer a good guide if you are looking to buy a jack that suits your needs.