LAST UPDATED: September 27, 2019
Best Transmission Jacks: Easily Lift Your Transmission
These top transmission jacks are a vital tool if you need to install a transmission
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON September 27, 2019
Proper tools are essential if you do a lot of work on your vehicle. A transmission jack, for example, is critical if you have to remove or install the transmission on your car or truck. It's a heavy-duty tool that's useful for both DIYers and professionals. Our buying guide below highlights some of the best transmission jacks currently available.
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Benefits of Transmission Jacks
- Easy to use. Transmission jacks use hydraulic fluid to lift a car. You only need to leverage the mechanical advantage to easily raise or lower the car. The simple motions make a jack accomplish otherwise hard tasks.
- Use of technology. Hydraulic transmission jacks are manufactured to leverage technology, which makes life easier. Without this important piece of technology, it is unimaginable how you would lift a 2-ton vehicle to change tires, for example.
- Uniform lift. With transmission jacks, you will get a uniform lift compared to other methods such as manual lifting. All you need is a transmission jack with a wide leg base at a flat plain for the best results.
- Economical. By applying force through hydraulic systems, some of the best transmission jacks make it cheap to accomplish what is otherwise a very expensive activity. While you would only need one person to operate a jack, you would probably need dozens of people to accomplish the same task without a jack.
- Saves time. You may have woken up one day to find a flat car tire as you prepare to go to work in the morning. It is an inconvenient experience. With a transmission jack, you can just change the flat tire fast. Looking for people to manually assist you in lifting the car so that you can change the tire and still reach your destination can be frustrating.
Types of Transmission Jacks
Under Car Transmission Jacks
This transmission jack is height extendable to access the transmission of a car that has been hoisted on a lift jack. It is compatible with either a two-post or a four-post car lift. With this transmission jack, the operator can conveniently stand and work under the car when either removing or installing the transmission.
Low Profile Transmission Jacks
These transmission jacks are used when repairing or changing a transmission in a car that is not supported above the ground by a car lift. Most of these types of jacks feature an adjustable tilt saddle, easy-roll casters, and versatile swivel pump handles, which are useful when you are working on tight areas.
Heavy-Duty Transmission Jacks
If you regularly engage in heavy lifting in your workshops, then this is your jack. You can conveniently and safely use them on a heavy fleet truck with a weight capacity ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. They are constructed of heavy-duty steel, so they can handle heavy trucks while also being versatile enough to work on light trucks and passenger cars.
Also known as the whiskey jack, this heavy-duty jack resembles a bottle in shape. The main component of this jack is a vertical hydraulic ram that is placed in the center. It works through hydraulic pressure via a foot pump that pushes the ram through a pressure hose. This jack is limited mostly to cars with relatively high clearance.
OTC Tools Company
The company, which was founded in 1934 by Geoffrey Kaplan, is headquartered in Owatonna, Minn. The company was acquired by Robert Bosch GmbH, and it has been part of Bosch Automotive Services Solutions since 2012. One of its flagship products is the Sunex Half-Ton Telescopic Transmission Jack.
Torin Automotive Equipment
The company is known to be one of the largest makers of transmission jacks in the world. It was established in 1990 and is headquartered in Changshu, China. One of its notable products is the Big Red Torin Hydraulic Transmission Floor Jack.
Founded in 1977, the company is one of the most innovative brands in the transmission jacks market today. Having its headquarters in Travellers Rest, N.C., the company boasts of quality products such as Sunex Half Tonne Telescopic Transmission Jacks.
Transmission Jacks Pricing
- Under $150. Transmission jacks in this category may not have a high weight rating. They are mostly suitable for handling lighter weights such as motorcycle engines and small cars.
- $150-$500. You will find some of the best transmission jacks in this category. The majority of transmission jacks are in this price range.
- $500 and up. Mostly favorable for commercial operations, transmission jacks in this class have a higher weight rating. They are made of heavy-duty steel and often have more premium features.
Most heavy truck components, such as differential units and gearboxes, are heavy. Using poor quality jacks may take a toll on the life of the jack. For maximum durability, you should shop for jacks constructed of sturdy, heavy-duty steel for the safety of the operator.
How much weight a transmission jack can handle without caving in is one of the most important features to look out for when buying a jack. For home use, a jack with a weight capacity of fewer than 1,000 pounds capacity should suffice. For commercial tasks, you should consider using jacks with a 2,000-pound rating in weight capacity.
Range of Motion
This feature determines the adjustable height of the transmission jack. It is indicated as the minimum and maximum height. Generally, a vertical distance of 35-75 inches is considered spacious enough. You should do an accurate approximation in order to safely fit the transmission on the underside of the vehicle.
Ease of Assembly
While the assembly process of the jack is easy, some products have instructional manuals that are hard to understand. It would be fatal to work with a poorly assembled transmission jack. Learning how you will work with your new jack cannot be overemphasized for its efficiency and safety.
- Price and Warranty. While the price of the jack may be important, you need to make other considerations. For example, a comprehensive warranty of the tool may be equally valuable. A few more dollars on another product with a better warranty may be worth the money if only for peace of mind.
- Hydraulic Pressure. Some jacks are equipped with a foot-operated pump and lowering pedal to gauge the transmission’s position. This feature does not come cheap and may account for a higher price. However, that may be a minor cost when you consider the need for the versatility of the transmission jack.
- Stability. While maneuverability is important, you also want a jack that is stable enough to keep the transmission firm. For this to happen, the jack must have a wide ground contact base for stability. A wide base leg firmly anchors the transmission to the ground to avoid tilting or slipping when raising or lowering the transmission for repair work.
Best Transmission Jacks Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This hydraulic transmission jack is designed in the United States with a high level of standards, specifically for aerodynamic trucks with low-profile clearance. Its range of motion is 8.25 inches with a 2,200-pound weight capacity.
The jack has a special mounting transmission adapter that is compatible with Eaton, Fuller, and Ranger transmissions found in almost all Class 7 and 8 heavy transportation trucks. The swiveling pump handle makes the jack quite versatile, as it can snugly fit in restricted spaces.
The fast-acting pump is a quick responder in raising the pump handle. Also, you can swivel the mounting plate in different directions, such as 15 degrees back or 10 degrees forward, for ease of work. All you need is a wrench.
The main downside of this jack is that it is a little expensive for non-commercial users.
You can use this jack for normal garage use and for industrial use. It is made of high-grade steel and has a lifting range of 8 11/16 inches to 22 11/16 inches. The load capacity is 1,000 pounds or 1/2 ton. The safety-overload system won’t allow usage beyond the stated capacity, and the powder-coated finish helps prevent rust.
The adjustable saddle and head and a 360-degree rotating handle on this jack makes work easier. Positioning is easy too with the universal head for mounting and the broad forward and aft tilt. The jack has four 360-degree swiveling casters, which make for precise, smooth positioning. A one-year limited warranty is also included.
Note, however, that it may be difficult to position the platform when there is a transmission on it. Also, be sure to check the bearings on either side of the angle-adjustment shaft, as they may be missing.
If you are looking for a good transmission jack, this is one of them. This Sunex Telescopic transmission Jack is very handy when you want to remove, install, or transfer transmission jacks on vehicles hoisted on lifts. Made of sturdy steel, the Sunex Telescopic Transmission has a capacity of up to 1,000 pounds.
With a pedestal styling that is operated by a foot pump, your hands are free to maneuver the right positioning of the transmission. Its lower telescopic rams allow you a height of up to 74 inches from the jack to the work table.
This jack has a wide wheelbase that anchors from the jack to the ground for stability and nylon straps that secure the load to the saddle, so you don’t have to worry about accidental slippage. Plus, it has a safety chain to prevent the jack from overshooting its capacity.
This jack has some downsides, however. Be aware that the clearance is very low. Also, it may leak fluid.
- A good-quality transmission jack can double as a transmission stand. After you remove the transmission, you can fix it on the jack, and then put it back into your vehicle.
- Consider purchasing a transmission jack that has a higher capacity than you need for your vehicle. That way, you can use it on various types of vehicles, including larger ones you may buy in the future.
- Transmission jacks can be costly, but if you purchase a premium brand it will last an incredibly long time. You may want to spend more initially rather than buy an inferior product that doesn't last very long.
- Be sure to purge a telescopic jack before you use it. It may get air inside of it during shipping. Typically, you can release the air by turning a screw on the jack a few times, pumping the foot pedal, and following a few other instructions.
Q: How do I use a transmission jack?
A: First, drain all the fluid out of the transmission and close the valve. Make sure it's centered on the jack platform, and strap a chain over it. Then line up the device, elevate it, find the proper angle, and then unhook the transmission and lower it down.
Q: Can I put an adapter on my floor jack to lift a transmission?
A: Yes. A floor jack transmission adapter works with a standard jack, so you don't have to purchase a separate tool. However, a floor jack with an adapter is much less maneuverable. It will also have fewer capabilities, such as a lower weight capacity, and it isn’t as reliable as a dedicated transmission jack.
Q: Can I use a transmission jack for other purposes?
A: Yes. Transmission jacks are quite versatile when it comes to car maintenance. You can use them to remove other heavy components in your vehicle, such as subframes, differentials, and driveshafts.
Our pick for the best transmission jack is the OTC 2,200 lb. Capacity Low-Lift Transmission Jack. It's a professional-grade jack that makes working on heavy-duty trucks much easier.
Our recommendation for a great value is the Big Red TR4076 Torin Hydraulic Roll-Under Transmission/Floor Jack. It is heavy-duty, yet easy to use.