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.
Knowledge of jacks is however very important for any motorist. Using the wrong jack may make a vehicle servicing experience unnecessarily tasking- and dangerous.
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 2019 and see how they compare against each other.
Torin Big Red Telescoping Hydraulic Transmission Floor Jack: 1/2 Ton (1,000 lb) Capacity – Best home-use jack
The Torin TR 40 53 pedestal is a 0.5 ton (1000 lbs) capacity high lift 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.
The pumping is a bit slow for efficiency though; the manufacturers could have improved on this. The pumping lever is pretty low on the jack’s column, making the handling a bit awkward when the jack is all the way out. The chain has been known to let loose, making it necessary for users to innovate with ratchet straps in some instances.
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 for lift , 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– The Home service jack
Another product from Chinese manufacturer Torin, the TR4076 Roll Under is a low profile 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
However, its huge clearance makes it necessary to have a huge floor jack to allow this one to roll in with the transmission mounted. You would need to consider getting a new jack if your current one is too low to work with the Roll Under, or look for innovative ways of getting around the issue.
Iglobalbuy 2 Stage 1100lb Adjustable Height Hydraulic Telescoping Transmission Jack – great Jack for the price can’t beat it
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.
The hand gear is situated at the center along the height of the hydraulic column. This makes it easy to operate without getting it stuck. The foot pedal leaves the hands free for adjustment and aligning, making it easy to use by a single mechanic.
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.
There are short levers under the adjustable saddle used to open it and lock the transmission in place. A telescopic view allows the user to clearly see all angles of the transmission as it progresses.
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.
There have, however, been more than a few cases of leaks from the hydraulic shaft. You’d think for $500 you need not worry about leaks.
XtremepowerUS Transmission Jack Adapter – best floor jack transmission adapter
XtremepowerUS is a US-based company that offers high-quality products designed to offer a service you will love. This floor jack transmission adapter comes with easy to use guidelines. Thanks to its low profile design, this unit will help you in your heavy and simple tasks. It slides smoothly under your car thanks to its swivel wheels. Besides, the easy to mount and unmount design makes your work easier.
The great thing about XtremepowerUS transmission jack adaptor is versatility. It fit just about any traditional jack designs and can turn them into transmission jack.
XtremepowerUS adaptor head is very compatible; it can be attached to the base effortlessly.
|Torin Big Red|
|Best non-commercial home-use jack|
|Goplus New 1100 LB 2 Stage Hydraulic Transmission Jack||Best heavy duty jack for cars and light trucks|
|Torin Big Red 1/2 Ton (1,000 lb)||The Home service jack|
|Iglobalbuy 2 Stage 1100lb||Best Jack for small vehicle|
|Sunex 7793B 1/2-Ton||The regular servicer’s handy tool|
How to Use a Transmission Jack
Use a car lift to raise the transmission of your car to approximately 60-inches off the floor. Remove the transmission fluid and close the valve body.
Position the transmission jack below the car and connect the compressed air line to the air inlet valve of the transmission jack. Center the jack so that its arm extends up to the fluid pan of the transmission. Let the compressed air extend the jack and push the transmission up slightly so that its weight is taken off the bolts that secure it to the vehicle. Secure the transmission onto the top plate of the transmission jack. Use accessory straps or shims to make a proper fit. Now you can unsecure the transmission from the vehicle.
For installing or removing a transmission, you need to center its weight onto the extending arm of the transmission jack. The plate at the top of the extending arm is usually large enough to secure the transmission. The jack thus makes it easy to carry the heavy weight of the transmission for any repair work and refitting on to the vehicle.
How to Replace a Transmission (Full DIY Guide)
Transmission removal, replacement, and installation. Learn how to remove a transmission so you can replace your clutch or flywheel, or so you can rebuild your transmission and install a new one in your car or truck. In this video you see the 10 simple steps on how to replace a transmission. The process is very similar on other rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, and even automatic cars and trucks. Each detailed step will allow you to learn how to remove a transmission yourself so you can replace a clutch, flywheel, rear main seal, throw out bearing, pilot bearing, or just swap transmissions.
Transmission Removal Checklist Download (FREE):https://www.4shared.com/s/fGd4c_2xifi
How To Repair A Transmission Jack
It is safe to say that no garage in the world would be complete without a proper trans jack. This relatively simple piece of equipment helps to remove and transport transmissions safely.
If you manage to get your hands on a high-quality transmission jack, you should never have to replace it. However, sometimes parts cease to work. You do have to know how to repair a transmission jack after buying one. Otherwise, your wallet might have a thing or two to say to you afterward.
Transmission Jack Adapters
Transmission jacks are a vital tool for anyone looking to do their maintenance on their automobiles. The problem for many however is that transmission lift jacks themselves can be quite expensive. Many of them cost a thousand dollars, with the most heavy duty ones being roughly five times that amount. That’s why we’re going to be looking at some of the best transmission jack adapters on the market today. And rest assured that none of them have a price in the quadruple digits.
Transmission jack adapters are used to turn standard jacks into professional jacks. In some instances, they even come included as part of a DIY toolkit. The reason why they’re often chosen over standard transmission jacks themselves is that of their affordability and their versatility. They can be used as a replacement saddle for other tools or be swapped out for another device that fits the job better. There’s always the possibility that one adapter will be better suited for one vehicle than another.
Weight limit, safety, and mechanical versatility are the key components when deciding what makes a good transmission jack, adapter or otherwise. Let’s look at some of the best the market has to offer.
How To Build Your Own Transmission Jack
There are a few different methods that you can use to build your own transmission jack.
DIY enthusiasts around the world have tried and tested dozens of different methods to determine which is best, and you can find their results online.
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:
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.
Low profile or High Lift
Transmission jacks commonly come in low profile or high lift designs and the difference between the two will be the vehicle application it will be used for. When picking a transmission jack, it’s important to know how much clearance you’ll have beforehand.
A low profile transmission jack can reach into areas of limited access, such as when a car has not been raised off the ground. Low profile jacks sit low to the ground and are ideal for typical applications where you don’t have access to a lift. A vehicle will need to be placed on jack stands before a low profile jack can be used.
A high lift transmission jack is designed with a lift that sits on top of a hydraulic pedestal. These jacks are best used for vehicles that sit very high, such as raised trucks or cars that have been lifted via a hydraulic lift.
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.
Transmission Jacks at Harbor Freight Tools
Every mechanic and automotive DIY hobbyists will be in need of specific heavy duty tools and accessories to efficiently and effectively perform work on cars and trucks. The same can be said for motorcycle enthusiasts. One invaluable tool in the process of building, repairing or restoring a vehicle is that of a transmission jack. Transmissions are integral aspects of a vehicle’s engineering scheme, and they are heavy! Harbor Freight Tools offer several quality transmission jacks that are capable of aiding in the removal and installation of even the most robust transmissions. Buy or rental transmission jacks online at impressive prices every day.
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.