Every serious garage needs a heavy duty transmission jack. Also sometimes called a trans jack, no real garage is complete without one. If you’re thinking about getting trans jack for the first time or replacing an old one, this article will explain the ins and outs of shopping for the ideal model and using it properly.
If you’ve ever removed a transmission before without the help of a transmission jack, then you’ll be impressed with just how incredibly convenient they are. Transmission jacks reach a variety of heights, sometimes as much as 6 feet or even higher. Most of them are fully adjustable to make sure you can come at your transmission at the perfect angle.
Any good trans jack can also be used as a transmission stand for as long as you need it. You can use your transmission jack to remove and lower your transmission, work on it straight from the jack, and then lift it back up to the car for installation. Just make sure you pick the best fit for your garage.
Getting the Right Size Jack for Your Garage
If you’re going to be working on a wide variety of different vehicles, you’ll need something that is not only large enough with a wide enough platform, but also with enough total capacity to handle big and heavy transmissions. Even if you plan on only using your jack for cars, it wouldn’t hurt to spend a tad bit extra and get a mid-sized one anyway. Also, although most transmission jacks are relatively expensive, it’s important to invest in one that will last a long time. Ideally, you should never have to replace your jack, and if you get a quality one, you probably never will have to.
Purging Your Jack Before Use
If you decide on a telescopic jack, then you may have to purge it before using it. During the shipping process, it’s possible that air could have gotten inside the jack and will thus need to be purged before it can be used. It’s very important to do this, so by all means don’t forget. If it’s necessary. there will undoubtedly be reminders attached and stickered on your new jack, so don’t worry if you happen to forget to write it down.
Purging your new jack should be extremely simple and will probably involve turning a screw a few times, waiting for a bit of air to escape, pumping the foot pedal while simultaneously holding the release pedal or valve, screwing the vent shut, and then extending the jack to maximum height one time. After that, your tranny jack will be good to go. A high lift transmission jack can be used for removing other parts of a car as well, as all it essentially is is an adjustable platform that can be raised or lowered and can support great amounts of weight. To be clear, a roll under jack can’t go nearly as high as telescopic, hydraulic, or any other variation of a transmission lift.
How to Use a Transmission Jack
Using a jack of any kind is somewhat self-explanatory. You line it up, elevate it, adjust it to the proper angle, and then unhook your transmission and lower it down. But there are a few important things to remember when doing this. Firstly, make sure you’ve drained out all of the transmission fluid and closed the valve before attempting to put the jack in place. Next, make sure that the center of gravity of the transmission lies in the center of the jack platform or plate. This is essential to allowing it to balance safely on top and will eliminate the risk of it tipping over. Lastly, always strap the chain over your transmission after getting it situated on your jack.
Trans Jack Adapter
Stand-alone transmission jacks are the most common, but there are also adapter units, such as a floor jack transmission adapter. You might have seen makeshift transmission jacks before. Jack transmission adapters essentially create a transmission floor jack with one simple to install add on. But if you’re looking for something with more potential height, or if you simply plan on using your trans jack often enough to not want to bother with the adapter, then a stand-alone model would be a much better investment.
After all, it would be nice to have your floor jacks, transmission jacks, and all over tools all set and ready to be used when you need them rather than having to set it all up first. That being said, adapters are obviously cheaper than stand-alone jacks. Transmissions can be removed by using either one, so it’s just a question of budget and preference. For big jobs or frequent use, go with the stand alone.
Top Transmission Jacks on the Market
Below is a comparison of the best transmission jacks that are currently available for sale online and direct links to view more about them and purchase them. Choose one of these and you can’t go wrong.
OTC 1522A Stinger 2,000 lbs Capacity Heavy-Duty Capacity Low-Lift
HTJ-1000 1,000 lb Hi-Rise
Sunex 7793B 1/2-Ton Telescopic
Goplus® 1100 lbs 2 Stage Hydraulic Transmission Jack w/ Pedal 360° Swivel Wheel Lift Hoist
Torin TR4076 Roll Under Transmission Jack – 1000 lbs.
OTC 1521A 1000 lbs Capacity Low-Lift
XtremepowerUS 1/2 Ton Transmission Hydraulic Floor Jack Adapter