Car Jack Recommendations

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I am interesting in purchasing a car jack. Any recommendations on a 3 ton rapid jack? I am curious how the Harbor Freight ones perform? I only have two vehicles and do 4 oil changes a year, suggestions?
 

JHZR2

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I have a hein warner (not us company but us made) and I've used one of the HF aluminum jacks extensively. The HF aluminum jacks, especially the small 1.5 ton one, are compact, light, and very mobile. But all the non aluminum parts have had chrome peeling (always in a garage, never wet), and doing anything by axle vs by quarter causes a lot of flex that is uncomfortable and scary. If you only need one, go with a real, steel, heavy one that weighs 100 lb. support your neighbor and their job instead of the Chinese, sink the money in an item that will pay for itself in no time, and get something from the first world.
 
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My 3 ton Craftsman floor jack has done a good job for 25 years. It was made in China...even back then.
 
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I bought the Harbor Freight 3 ton heavy steel jack a month or so ago and it works great. Very steady when lifting both of my vehicles and seems made of higher quality than the price would dictate.
 
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Which jack would you recommend for using on mostly small FWD cars? Most of the time I would be raising the car enough to put stuff under the wheels before working on the car, so it has to lift the wheel high enough off the ground. Would I need a low profile or a normal one for a car like an Escort or Alero? They are rather low stock.
 
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Low profile jacks have minimum height of under 3 inches. If your car is lowered and the ground clearance is low (aka 3 inches or less) you will need low profile jack. Otherwise, regular jack will work. Be careful with HF 1.5T aluminium jack(s). They have two different jacks with very similar specification but one is garbage, the other is quite good.
 
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Originally Posted By: firefighter0629
I am interesting in purchasing a car jack. Any recommendations on a 3 ton rapid jack? I am curious how the Harbor Freight ones perform? I only have two vehicles and do 4 oil changes a year, suggestions?
First I would try ramps before a jack for an oil change. Second I would not get a large jack than you need. They are heavy to lug around and just a pain. I would think a 1 1/2 ton should do fine. Sears has sales all the time. I have a Sears 1 1/2 ton I have had for 20 years. I added some jack oil recently. Thats about it in 20 years. I bought a used beast of a jack that that is 3 or 3 1/2 ton, but its only for my Bobcat. For my Jeep and Dodge Ram I always use the Sears 1 1/2. Do not forget jack stands are needed with a jack.
 
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If you are looking for a floor jack that will be used primarily on smooth floors, and always stored in a garage, it is hard to buy a bad one, as long as you stay with a name brand. Look at your cars and decide the minimum clearance under the jack points, and how much lift you need. Do you want a jack that raises up to the car quick? Do you want it light enough that you can lift it to move it, or is your garage spacious enough that it can always be rolled where it needs to go? Pick a jack that meets those criteria.
 
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Originally Posted By: Vikas
Low profile jacks have minimum height of under 3 inches. If your car is lowered and the ground clearance is low (aka 3 inches or less) you will need low profile jack. Otherwise, regular jack will work. Be careful with HF 1.5T aluminium jack(s). They have two different jacks with very similar specification but one is garbage, the other is quite good.
The nice thing about a low-profile jack is that often other parts of the jack are lower in profile also. That comes in handy when jacking the car from central jack points that need the jack to slide completely underneath the car. My HF low-profile jack has been okay in the ~4 years I've had it now.
 
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My next jack will probably be from HF. Pretty much all the choices in my price range are Chinese. I'm a big COO nerd and like buying first-world products, but there's no way I'd spend 3x or more the price for something like a Hein Werner USA made jack. That's not an effective use of my dollars and it won't "pay for itself in no time" like someone else claimed. Also, the Hein Werner used to be basically the most affordable USA made jacks. But the HW jacks are no longer really "made in the USA." They now use a USA made power unit and the rest is Chinese. http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?p=4028631 The Hein Werner jack stands also aren't made in the USA anymore, for anyone who's interested. They now use Chinese bases.
 
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Can't help but ask - are the 2-ton $20 to $30 jacks Advance or PepBoy's sell any good or am I just setting myself up for frustration shortly. Example: AutoCraft 2-Ton Hydraulic Trolley Jack Point of reference - as of now I'd be a pretty low user right now but would like to start doing more as I'm learning. Heaviest car as of now is a Cruze, and likely won't have anything heavier for a while. I don't mind "splurging" for the Harbor Freight 3-ton (that was my plan) if it's comparatively much better.
 

JHZR2

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Originally Posted By: Vikas
Be careful with HF 1.5T aluminium jack(s). They have two different jacks with very similar specification but one is garbage, the other is quite good.
Interesting. I've had experience with a 1.5T HF aluminum jack more than once now, and it's lightness is awesome, but it is flimsy and the non aluminum metals have all corroded in a short time since my friend first got it. What's the part number... Curious which is good and which he has. The weight is awful convenient.
 
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I just received a repair kit for my 30+ year old Japanese made Sears floor jack. Cost almost as much as the jack. Piston seals has started to weep so must use newspaper under jack to keep war department from declaring war.Looks like I don't have a big enough wrench to remove the cap so may have to have a hydraulic repair shop do the work.
 
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Originally Posted By: HosteenJorje
I just received a repair kit for my 30+ year old Japanese made Sears floor jack. Cost almost as much as the jack. Piston seals has started to weep so must use newspaper under jack to keep war department from declaring war.Looks like I don't have a big enough wrench to remove the cap so may have to have a hydraulic repair shop do the work.
Where'd you get the kit from? I have one that's also leaking.
 
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HFT has 1.5 Al Compact Racing Floor jack (flimsy) 68053 and 1.5 Al Racing Floor jack 61172 (not bad)
 
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