Transmission jacks are a completely necessary piece of equipment that can be found in most garages, and they are used for installing and removing transmissions from a variety of different vehicles.
Selecting a transmission jack depends entirely on the weight of the load that you need to lift, as they have maximum weight capacities that range from 500 pounds to 2000 pounds.
Understanding A Transmission Jack
A transmission jack is a hydraulic device specifically designed to support a transmission once it has been disconnected from a vehicle, enabling mechanics to work on the transmission safely.
The device itself also has the ability to raise and lower the transmission into and out of the vehicle.
There are a lot of different transmission jacks that can be found on the market, all of which have been designed to meet a different mechanical need.
Some are lower than others, enabling mechanics to work on the transmissions of cars that have not been lifted off the ground.
Some are higher than others, enabling mechanics to work on the transmissions of vehicles that are very high off the ground.
Most transmission jacks feature a wide leg base, which directly contributes to the amount of stability that a transmission jack can offer to a mechanic.
This adds a layer of safety to an otherwise dangerous task.
Most also feature a number of built-in safety mechanisms, including different maneuvering options.
Transmission jacks are known to be rather expensive, so you do have to consider the durability of the machine and the volume of work that you expect.
However, it is still advisable to use one when necessary, as they can prevent a number of potentially problematic situations from occurring.
Transmission jacks are usually made of heavy-duty steel, adding to the durability of the device.
They also feature a saddle that tilts so that the transmission can be worked on without having to remove it from the jack.
The Benefits Of Building Your Own Transmission Jack
Most mechanics have to weigh a number of pros and cons when deciding whether or not to buy a new piece of equipment.
Most of the equipment that can be found in garages is expensive, and a transmission jack is no exception.
Building your own transmission jack can be difficult but incredibly cost-effective, as long as you have initiative and use a little bit imagination.
You also can fully customize a transmission jack that you build on your own.
This comes in handy when the transmission jack will be used for one type of vehicle or when purchasing a transmission jack for a specific type of vehicle is far too expensive to consider.
How To Build Your Own Transmission Jack
There are a few different methods that you can use to build your own transmission jack.
DIY enthusiasts around the world have tried and tested dozens of different methods to determine which is best, and you can find their results online.
The simplest method that we know of involves the use of a cheap floor jack and wood, and it has proven incredibly cost efficient.
You always need to consider cost when starting a DIY project.
If there is any chance that the transmission jack that you are building will cost more than a professional transmission jack, then you simply should not bother.
You can make a transmission jack that will be cost efficient by following these steps:
Step 1: Get your hands on a cheap floor jack.
Floor jacks can be found all over the Internet and in certain hardware shops.
They do range in price, but you only need a cheap floor jack to use as the base for your transmission jack.
Step 2: Remove the swivel part from the floor jack.
This is most easily done by using a pair of snap ring pliers.
Step 3: Find a piece of 2 x 4 plywood.
You need to make sure that the plywood you choose is thick enough and long enough to reach the transmission in your vehicle.
A piece of 2 x 4 plywood has the strength needed to support the transmission while you are working on it.
Step 4: Drill a hole directly into the piece of plywood.
Insert a bolt of approximately 14mm into the hole. Make sure that the hole that you drill initially is smaller than this so that the bolt fits tightly.
Step 5: Screw some scrap pieces of wood onto the sides of the plywood.
These scrap pieces of wood will stop the transmission from rocking, supporting it more while you are working on it.
The scrap pieces of wood will also make sure that the transmission does not rest on the bolt while it is being worked on.
Step 6: Attach chains to the bottom of the plywood.
These chains will work as a security feature.
If the plywood does break, then you need to ensure that the transmission will be held long enough for you to get out of the way.
The chains will act as a temporary hammock, holding the transmission up while you move quickly.
Step 7: Attach the piece of plywood to the floor jack.
This should give you a homemade transmission jack that works perfectly.
Remember that it will not be as durable as a professional transmission jack, but it will perform tasks well enough.
Is There Really A Substitute For A Professional Transmission Jack?
A homemade transmission jack is a good solution for use at home when it might only be needed on a handful of occasions.
However, there is no substitute for the safety that comes with a professional transmission jack for regular use in the garage.