Ease of Effort in Jacks
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Community Lounge, Introductions and General Discussion Discussion, Ease of Effort in Jacks in General Discussion; I wonder if someone could verify what makes sense to me, but I ask anyways because sometimes nature has a ...
  1. #1
    ruffy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Ease of Effort in Jacks

    I wonder if someone could verify what makes sense to me, but
    I ask anyways because sometimes nature has a way of defying
    human sense.

    I bought a jack with a 2-ton capacity and found it quite hard
    to pump up that jack. It happened to be a rather cheap trolley jack.
    The going was tough.

    I will return it it for either a bottle jack or perhaps an aluminum
    "double-pump" jack.

    Anyhow, here's my question: If I buy a jack, either trolley or bottle,
    and replace that jack with an equivalent one of higher load capacity,
    will that translate into an EASIER LIFT EFFORT on my part?

    I would think so - but I never yet put my hunch to a test.

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    Stingroo's Avatar
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Well, yes and no.

    Yes, because a higher capacity jack will have a longer handle, so the distance from the fulcrum (this case, the plate of the jack) against the car will be longer, so less force is required to push it.

    Double pump jacks will have more hydraulics to assist you, but the longer handle is the biggest draw of a large floor jack, really.

  4. #3
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    The handle length is one thing, but the pump size and valving will also make a difference. This is one of those cases where your DO get what you pay for.

    If by "trolley" jack, you mean floor jack, I think you'll get more use out of it than a bottle jack.
    Stingroo likes this.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Bottle jacks are great for lifting something that's already 10" - 14" off the garage floor. A floor (trolley) jack with a minimum clearance of 3.5" to 4" is the cat's meow .................. Handle length is the ticket - "Give me a lever long enough and strong enough and a fulcrum - and I will move Earth." (Google it)
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  6. #5
    ruffy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Double pump action aside now, if the length of the handle is all that makes the
    difference, I could just as well use a plumber's pipe as a sleeve and thereby extend
    the size of my floor jack's handle.

    Are you saying the higher capacity pumps, of equal lever length, still require
    the same effort?

    Ranger, what do you mean by "valving", and "pump size"?

  7. #6
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    The handle is not the ONLY thing that makes a difference, it's just one factor.

    Valving and pump size, as in the hydraulic pump part of the jack, the part that does the work. Some jacks will lift slower, but require less effort. Some will lift quicker, but require more effort.
    C&C likes this.

  8. #7
    ruffy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Thanks fellows.

  9. #8
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Air over hydraulic for the win

  10. #9
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    IMO, just look for a good quality floorjack. One that the actuator seals will hold up and has a decent length handle. The difference in jacking effort is trivial for a healthy shade tree mechanic.
    Stingroo likes this.

  11. #10
    The-Dullahan is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Leverage. In my perception, nothing beats a good trolley (floor) jack (unless you're civilized enough to simply use a four-point lift, but those take longer and are excessive for some jobs). When shopping for a jack, I would acquire a good trolley jack with a long enough handle as to attain good leverage. Many of the smaller, store bought ones have long handles which must be assembled from multiple pieces when taken out of the carrier. Likewise, you can get a length of steel pipe of proper diameter and use it as a handle or an extension of the handle for any jack that does not already have a long enough handle

    Quote Originally Posted by amunderdog View Post
    Air over hydraulic for the win
    Last time I needed a car lifted, I did it by hand. Not advising it for everyone, but it is the least expensive/most reliable method.

  12. #11
    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Quote Originally Posted by The-Dullahan View Post
    Last time I needed a car lifted, I did it by hand. Not advising it for everyone, but it is the least expensive/most reliable method.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOHVSi65bPk#t=36m38s


  13. #12
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    I bought a floor jack at NAPA that is two speed. One speed runs it up quickly until it makes contact with the lift point and then the next speed allows your grandmother to jack it up the rest of the way. You get what you pay for. Buy a cheap jack and give the rest of your money to the medical profession.
    CadillacLuke24 likes this.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  14. #13
    orconn's Avatar
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Believe me, Ruffy, Koz knows of what he speaks. We don't call him the guru of the Arctic Circle for nothing! So he makes his grandmother crawl under cars, he does buy her good, easy to use jacks!

  15. #14
    Stingroo's Avatar
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    I SCORED my floor jack with a pair of jack stands on Craigslist for $40 from some not-too-bright guy.

    He had a Miata, and a 3-ton floor jack. I asked why he was selling it, and he said it was too big to fit under the car, but otherwise new. I asked why he didn't get a two ton jack, and he said "Well, the car is more than 2000 pounds."

    I quickly inspected its hydraulics, paid my money, and disappeared.

  16. #15
    Aron9000's Avatar
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    Re: Ease of Effort in Jacks

    Hahahahaha!!!! Sounds about like me trying to jack up my old Z28 Camaro. To lift it at the K-member, yes the jack would fit under there, but then there was nowhere for the handle to go, with that long overhang it would hit the bumper. Had to drive it on ramps, then lift it, then ALWAYS put jack stands under it. I hate my cheap jack, it makes all kinds of weird squeaking noises when you start to fully extend it and the effort goes WAY UP at the top of the range. Which is why I usually use my ramps unless I need to take the wheels off.

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