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Trying to remove a transmission without the help of a transmission jack or a transmission jack adapter fitted to a floor jack is a difficult and dangerous task. Balancing an odd shaped transmission on the saddle of a traditional floor jack is close to impossibility. Trying to muscling out a transmission with an average weight in excess of 150 pounds by hand is unrealistic. Even if you take it out somehow putting it back to the correct position will be the real challenge. As a general rule, having the right tool for the job can reduce the frustration and danger associated with work. Our effort is to give you the best guide of buying the transmission jack that fits your needs.
Transmission Jack Safety
When it is about working on your car, one of the utmost important things is your safety. Even a slight mistake or oversight can cause an injury, or to the extreme end, even death. Hence, working on transmissions is a serious business that requires high amount of care as you have to work underneath your car. Following are some basic safety tips that you have to keep in mind when working on transmissions or any other driveline components.
- Always make sure that your car is completely and strongly enough supported before crawling under.
This is obvious, but you will be surprised to know that people get this simple step wrong and asking for trouble. We should never trust a jack alone to support a car as they are prone to mechanical failures. When working underneath your car, you should make sure that you have jack stands for the wheels that are not touching the ground. (if you are unfamiliar, you can read more about jack stands here). In order to avoid rolling your car, you should use wheel chocks on at least one wheel that is touching the ground. (Unless all four wheels were lifted off the ground). Before climbing under your car, give it a shake or small push to make sure your setup is sturdy enough. Your car will fall if it is not sturdy. But at least it will not on top of you.
- Never try to lift the differential or the transmission out of your car manually.
Once you remove the transmission from your engine you may feel that you can even bench press this 200 pound. However, the weight of these components is not distributed evenly. In other words, they are difficult to hold, hard to balance when holding them and tend to drop. Further, it is extremely difficult to manipulate them in the limited space under your car and you have to place your body right under these components. So that there will be little or no room to escape if something goes wrong. Using proper equipment you can avoid taking place such fateful incidents.
- Inspect your tools prior to use.
It is common to overlook the defects of the hydraulic tools when we are in a hurry in getting an automotive repair done. Nonetheless, it will be crucial to your safety. You should make sure to inspect, especially the hydraulic cylinders of your jacks. If you notice any kind leak on them, it is the time to replace or have it fixed. In addition to that, if you are using an adapter on a normal floor jack, it is important to inspect the connection ensuring that it is installed correctly and fully secured.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Transmission Jack
- Lifting capacity – This may not as critical as when buying a floor jack to lift a truck or a passenger vehicle. Nevertheless, you need to be sure that the transmission jack you are going to use is capable of lifting the type of transmission that you are willing to work on.
- Stand alone or adapter type – there are two varieties of transmission jacks; standalone and adapter. Standalone jacks are with their own hydraulic unit and primarily designed to use for servicing transmissions. There are two different types of standalone jacks. The first just looks as a standard floor jack with the saddle replaced with an adjustable table. These types are designed to use to service transmissions of vehicles on jack stands. The second type of standalone jack is the pedestal jack. It is designed to service transmissions of vehicles that are on a lift.Adapter type transmission jacks designed to use with floor jacks that are with removable saddles. If you are purchasing an adapter type transmission jack, you should already have a hydraulic floor jack. In addition, you must be sure that the saddle mount hole of the floor jack and the adapter mounting peg of the transmission jack are the same size. If you are considering an adapter type jack, you have to remember that the mobility of the jack will be limited as a traditional floor jack has caster type wheels only in the rear. However, most standalone transmission jacks, all four wheels are with caster type wheels making the jack much easier to move around.
- Lifting range – as the pedestal type transmission jacks designed to service transmissions in vehicles winched up on a lift, they can service transmissions higher above the ground. But they cannot effectively use for vehicles that are on the ground or on jack stands. In order to service the transmissions in such vehicles, you have to use either a standalone trolley type transmission jack or a standard floor jack fitted with a transmission jack adapter. If you lifted suspensions of your vehicle or it has large diameter tires, then you have to make sure that the lifting range of the transmission jack is capable of reaching the underside of your vehicle’s transmission and has some more additional lifting range.
- Base frame footprint – This applies only to pedestal type jacks. The footprint of the transmission jack should be large enough to provide stability from tipping. But on the other hand, it should not be so large that it interferes with moving and working around the jack.
- Construction material – A transmission jack should basically be made out of steel. We would not recommend using a transmission jack made out of aluminum.
Here are some selective choices from us, both for budgeted and heavy duty products: