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Garage Floor Jack Recommendations?

mrblaine

TJ Guru
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Joined
Nov 20, 2015
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6,174
Location
Quail Valley, CA
I haven't knowingly purchased anything except some basic crap from HF. Several years ago, someone dropped off a new one of those for me to use on their rig to help me get done a little faster since it is easier to dial in suspension with two floor jacks. I already had a high dollar OTC SUV Low profile 5200.

https://www.toolsource.com/service-jacks-c-1401_388/2ton-service-jack-ultralow-profile-p-107487.html

In short order, we found ourselves using the HF over the OTC because it was faster and easier to use. I figured that would be short lived since it wouldn't be long before we wore it out and issues would start showing up.

4 years later of daily use and it is still going strong. My helper did not fully grasp the fundamentals of jack use and was lifting a heavy load (within capacity) with the OTC. When the jack didn't roll with the load, the force on the edge folded the two lifting bars that hold the saddle square to the load. I repaired it better than new, but in the same time, the HF has been flawless and used more.
 

mrblaine

TJ Guru
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Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
6,174
Location
Quail Valley, CA
As mentioned above, we temporarily killed my OTC and I needed something quick until I could get it fixed. Without perspective to give actual size, I ordered that one and when it got here, it is just a beast of a jack. It is easily twice the size of mine and Chris's silver Pittsburgh version, very heavy, but also very well made so far. You can tell the Pittsburgh is a cheesy albeit durable jack, the Daytona is nothing like it at all.

I would never recommend it for the average couple times a month single vehicle user. Just way too much jack for Jeeps and the expense doesn't justify it.
 

mrblaine

TJ Guru
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Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
6,174
Location
Quail Valley, CA
Here's what I have:

https://www.costco.com/3-Ton-Professional-Grade-Aluminum-And-Steel-Service-Jack.product.100222458.html

Arcan is a solid name and I love the fact that its part aluminum which makes pushing it around my garage a lot easier.
There are a lot of versions of that style jack out there. Not that it matters for the average user, but in daily use, they are very short lived. I used several and wore them out with a quickness before I gave up and bought the OTC. I've thrown away at least 4 of them.
 

mrblaine

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
6,174
Location
Quail Valley, CA
I recently purchased this one off amazon for $34.00 (3 ton & 21 inches tall)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003ULZGFU/?tag=wranglerorg-20
We are always setting ride height and locking the frame down to the concrete to keep it from moving around while we work on it. As such, we are always making small adjustments to level the frame and get the height even on both sides.

That jack and stand appeals to us since at first glance it appears it would make that pretty easy but the stops are not small enough in adjustment to actually do what we need very well so that kills that part of it. As for the rest, I would never use them because it would put us too much under the rig when lifting it. I don't want to be anywhere near under the rig or close to it when lifting it, I don't want to be on my hands and knees either. It is much harder to scramble out of the way from that position than it is standing up.

I realize that comes across a bit paranoid but it isn't in the least. I have had two incidents that make me feel that way, fortunately neither caused any damage other than to my pride.

The first was we had a rig up on drive on ramps to do a trans swap. I got finished and was bolting in the rear driveshaft. Doing it by myself, I had the t-case in neutral so I could spin the shaft to line it up in the pinion yoke. Got it line up and was tightening the last u-joint strap. I had the wrench angled wrong which turned the pinion and started the rig forward and down off of the drive on ramps with me under the rig. Not being a complete idiot, (as in just dumb enough to forget the parking brake or wheel chocks on the front tires) as the rear axle started to go over me, I reached up and gave it a big ole hug and hung on for the ride after swinging my legs to the middle of the rig so they wouldn't get run over. The wire fence with jasmine on it at the end of the driveway stopped the rig with me still holding on due to only a very slight slope.

Fast forward a year later and I have the same rig in the same spot facing the same way building all new suspension under and I have it on 8 jack stands. Doing the leveling thing again, I jacked up the front of the frame 3/8" to put a 1/4" shim on top of that jack stand. As soon as it moved from 5/16" to 3/8", the rig tipped forward and fell off of all 8 stands with no frame brackets for the control arms on the frame so the frame wound up sitting flat on the concrete.

In the process, it almost flopped over on it's side. As it was tipping all the jack stands forward, the jack I was using didn't move so it wound up directly under the oil pan right behind the harmonic balancer and tipped the rig over to the side just about going over until it slipped off the jack and let the rig fall back flat.

I now have 8 big D ring trailer tie downs bolted to the concrete and we do not get under a rig until it is strapped down to the concrete and can't possible tip over. Be safe, be aware, and know if it can go wrong, it will. I'm lucky to have not even gotten a scratch twice. I should have learned the first time. Don't be like me.
 
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mrblaine

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
6,174
Location
Quail Valley, CA
Pay close attention to floor jack basics. The lifting arm moves in a radius. That means when you are raising the rig, if the jack can not roll, the lifting arm will move the rig instead of the jack rolling under the load and keep the load roughly stationary.

That means if one of the jack wheels hits a small chunk of metal, a nut, or just gravel or debris, it won't roll. That is very dangerous if you have a jack stand under one side and are lifting the other to place another stand because the jack will pull the rig and tip over the first stand and drop the whole mess. Not bad if you have the tires on and a way to move out of harm's way, but with no tires on, it can get dangerous quickly. Pay attention and watch the rig and the jack at the same time so the jack is moving the way it is supposed to and only moving the load up.

If you are lifting the rig by the axles with stands under the frame, be aware that the axle moves sideways as it comes up. Put smaller stands under the axle, jack it up a few inches, set it on the stands and release the jack. That will let you reposition back under the center of the axle and it won't try to tilt the jack over sideways or tilt the frame sideways off the frame stands.
 
Last edited:

mrgreystone

New Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
6
Location
US
I have had 2 floor jacks from Harbor Freight for a very long time, one regular lift and one low profile. No problems with either one. Not very expensive and they work just fine. But to be fair, I am not a mechanic so I don't use them every day. When I do need them, they work great.