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What is the best type transmission jack


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As the title says, what is the best type transmission jack for on the ground, they make a couple different types and I am getting to old to lift them 5 speeds up in there with my arms, I can't get it off my chest anymore once I get it on my chest.

There are 2 main types, hydraulic like a floor jack, and a scissor type which appears to be the cheapest but doesn't show up on searches.

Has anyone here used both types and which did you prefer?

These are the 2 types I was looking at right now.






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Getting...   :rofl:  :rofl:



The middle one it may not  go as low as the bottom one but those adjustments are incredibly handy when you need them . 

  I use a Craftsman ATV lift and you gotta make your own adjustment shims every time BUT  it is pretty wide which makes it super stable for those monster size American automatics

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I have never used a transmission jack in my life, I have no clue what the best one is, the middle one looks more durable, the bottom one is the most expensive, and the top one(cheapest) looks unstable unless on level ground, but I have not a clue.

I searched CL and found nothing except a $700.00 transmission jack, I will not spend that kind of money on a used jack.

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I had to raise my car on blocks and dig a trough in the dirt driveway for enough room to roll a transmission under it. Then block the front, lift the rear and block it then the front, back and forth until high enough to get arms under it.

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I have the top one (red and white) and would give it a C rating.  So let me go through this a little....no trans in the car and I want to install one. I should also note that I have only used this on a 1200 (maybe on a 510 but not recent enough to remember).


With the trans on the jack, outside of the car, roll the jack and trans under the car...oops wait, the car is not high enough.  Raise the car some more, ok that's good.

Now with the jack and trans under the car, raise the jack and align with the block.....oops wait, the car is too high.  See where I'm going with this?

Most of the above issues could very well be self inflicted as I am not a mechanic and usually just start doing things without thinking them all the way through.


All that being said, the plate that holds the trans can be tilted a little and that is helpful.  I use a ratchet to raise and lower the lift and have found that the ratchet slips out when I really need it to stay in.  Also, the tie down is difficult to use once the trans is up in the tunnel.


So I am sure it sounds like I would not recommend this jack, but like you, I can no longer lay under a car and rassle a trans into a car.  Even with some of the shortcomings (keep in mind they could be self inflicted), I would recommend it just for the fact that once my arms are worn out, the trans is still up there and close.


If you want, I can look at mine and measure how high the plate will raise and how high off the ground it is when lowered.

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I can raise and lower my truck just about 4 feet in minutes, if I had to I could raise it to max height, get the transmission under there and up on blocks, then lower the truck onto it, but that will not get it into position nor will it get it by the exhaust while I am controlling the hoists/air jacks from the front/back of the truck.

My issue is that I cannot lift the transmission up anymore while lying on my back, I can get the tail up there, but I still cannot get the front up there, once my arms are straight I can hold it up there and move it around for a little while, but it gets to the point where I have to use my knees to hold it there while my arms recover.

Last time I got it up there somehow, I then used a strap wrapped around both torsion bars to hold it there while I took a break, but that was maybe 3 years ago now, a lot has changed since then.

All them jacks lower and raise close to the same(within an inch or two), the red one seems to be the odd one and after thinking about it I don't think I would be able to stop and use an impact or ratchet to raise or lower it, while the other two I can use my arm to give it a pump to raise it a little while laying there as the arm is 360 degree adjustable.

I like the red one because it is cheap and appears to take up less room when stored.

Reading the above post by KELMO got me thinking, all I really have to do is get it up past the exhaust, then put a strap between the torsion bars to keep it up there, then I can raise/lower the truck for optimum arm length and then wrestle it into position, the issue is that it cannot go up level, it has to go up tail first to get it past the cross member, then the front can go up, I wonder if any of these jacks will tilt the tail up far enough to raise it up and level it  as I go up.

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OK, so here is the truck now, raising and lowering it is not an issue, I can go up another 2 feet atleast.





Right now I am wondering how hard it is going to be to get it past the exhaust, didn't think to much about that till now.







I guess I should drop it to see if I can even get it out of there, all this because the top bolt holding the starter in there is stripped out completely, it will not even hold a bolt anymore.

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The next time you have to work on the exhaust system, put flanges in the pipe near the rear of the transmission, so you can unbolt the piece of pipe between the exhaust manifold, and the rest of the exhaust system.


I use a pair of ramps, you can see one in the picture under the front tire. 

With the seat out of the 521, and the shifter cover plate removed in the cab, and the exhaust pipe section removed, I put the tail end of the transmission over the crossmember, and rotating the transmission, lift the front of the transmission up past the torsion bars.  I can then rotate it back, and rest the front of the transmission on the torsion bars.  That allow a rest for the arms.  Then I can lift the transmission again, and mate it with the engine.

A few minutes aligning the clutch disk perfectly will save hours putting the transmission in.

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I thought about a flange when I had the exhaust system made, but there was no easy place to put it that it didn't hang down to far, where the pipe straightens out and goes under the cross member it has been flattened on the top to get it as high/close to the cross member as possible, I think this truck sits too high, I did all this so I can lower it a few inches, but I will have to notch the frame over the rear axle to lower it as it touches the frame right now on big bumps as the bump stops have been removed.

I tried another avenue today to try and put off removing the transmission right now, I plugged in the block heater, I have 15 minutes left before I try starting it to see if my fix worked.

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Well my uneducated hillbilly backyard mechanic fix appears to have worked.

This is what I did, I made this below.


I then put the eye over this nub on the end of the starter.


I made this bracket and connected it to one of the throttlebody mount bolts.


I then connected everything together and tightened the nut, I was not sure how tight to tighten the nut so I didn't tighten it much.


I can hardly believe it worked, but it turns over the engine normally now, no skipping of teeth sounds anymore.

I still need to decide what transmission jack to get, and now I am unsure again as the brother in law likes the scissor type, I am still going to have to drop the transmission, just isn't going to happen now, hope it lasts for a while, at least till it warms up.

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