What is a transmission jack and how do you use it?
A transmission jack is what you need for installing a new transmission or removing one on different types of vehicles whether you are a do-it-yourself person or doing a professional job. A wide variety of transmission jacks are available from different manufacturers such as Kiene, OTC, Sunex, Ranger and many more. Usually, selecting a transmission jack depends on the load you wish to lift – lifting capacities range from 600 lbs. to 4,000 lbs. DIY persons may need only one specific type of jack, but for a professional garage, a transmission jack with a wide variety of options will be more suitable. It will allow working on many different types of transmissions. As these jacks are expensive, you must also consider its durability for the volume of work expected.
The transmission forms an integral aspect of a vehicle’s engineering and is extremely heavy. Whether you are working on any kind of transmission of an auto, truck or a motorcycle, using a transmission jack is advisable. These are usually made of heavy-duty steel with easy roll casters on ball bearing. The saddle tilts for easy positioning of the transmission during repair.
Depending on the requirement, different types of transmission jacks are available. Among them, you will find telescopic types, hydraulic pressure lifts, high-lifts, low-profile types of transmission jacks. There are also wide ranges of adapters, including a number of useful add-on tools, which will turn a standard jack into a transmission jack.
Two factors are important to consider when choosing the tool. One is the weight capacity and the other inbuilt safety mechanisms including stability and maneuvering options. The transmission jack must be able to support the weight of the transmission system of your vehicle. Jacks with a wide leg base contribute to its stability, while a roll-under type enables in easy deployment. For raising the vehicle rapidly and accurately, you may also consider using air-assisted or hydraulic transmission jacks.
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.