[s-cars] Jacking & support points (long winded reply)

Bob Rossato bob.rossato at att.net
Fri Nov 14 11:40:20 EST 2003

You have to ask yourself..... Is this a jack that you're only going to use
one or twice, or is it something that you want to last a lifetime?  Frankly,
this is a category in which you definitely get what you paid for.  My
philosophy on floor jacks is to buy the best you can.  IMO it is silly to
try and save $100 -$150 on something that is used so often when you are
working on your car and on which you rely on to be absolutely safe.

The typical 2-3 ton floor jacks that you find at Sam's Club, or Sears, or
wherever, are made in China, and have lousy hydraulics.  Every one that I've
tried has a "digital" feel to the release mechanism.  When you try to lower
your car there is no control.  You turn the handle ever so slightly and
WHAM!...it drops to the floor.  Not the safest thing to do.   And the
hydraulic seals don't last that long either, so eventually you won't be able
to get the full lift capability out of the jack anymore.

Another frustration I've had with these is that over time the casters on
these jacks usually end up binding, or even coming loose from the frame, and
overall just make the jack much more difficult to roll around the garage

You also have to consider minimum saddle height.  Typically the cheap made
in China jacks have a min saddle height of about 4.5"-5", whereas the higher
quality jacks are in the 3"-3.5" range.  Doesn't seem like much but it is
significant, especially when working with lowered cars.

Personally I have a Lincoln 2-ton jack that I bought 15 years ago.  I've
never had any problems with it and there is no reason to believe it won't
last another 15 years, at which point I may break down and give it a new
coat of paint.  There is a reason why practically every service garage
around has these in their shop.  It has an extremely smooth release
mechanism with lots of control.  I can drop the car in less than a second if
I so desired, or I can dial in a release that is so gradual as to allow me
time to walk around the car and adjust the position of multiple jack stands
while the car slowly lowers.  The Lincolns are expensive, however.  I paid
over $200 for it back then and they're in the $300+ range now.  However,
that being said, I'm not so sure I can recommend a new Lincoln anymore.  In
the last couple of years Lincoln was bought out and the manufacturing has
moved to Taiwan (used to be U.S. made), while the price has stayed the same.
It may just be my own personal bias, but I've also heard that the quality
has definitely suffered with the new company.  Maybe others have a different

The jacks that intrigues me now, and what I would suggest, are the ones from
AC Hydraulics.


They're a Danish company and appear to be a very good quality.  The price is
comparable to the Lincoln.  If I were in the market for a new floor jack I
would definitely give these a try.  They have a real low min. saddle height
(3.1"), and also have an extended low profile version to allow you to reach
much further under the car, though at a compromise in capacity (2900 lbs vs.
4400 lbs for their standard jack).

With regard to jack stands the same general comments apply.  Go for quality.
I've seen the cheap jack stands fail.  My recommendation would be to shop on
eBay for used US made Lincoln 2-ton and 5-ton (you should really have both)
jack stands .  Give them a fresh coat of paint when you get them, and short
of someone dropping the big one over your house, nothing will damage them.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: s-car-list-admin at audifans.com
> [mailto:s-car-list-admin at audifans.com]On Behalf Of Michael Bess
> Sent: Friday, November 14, 2003 7:10 AM
> To: s-car-list at audifans.com
> Subject: [s-cars] Jacking & support points
> This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
> --
> [ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
> As I am preparing my Xmas list and feel the need to get a decent
> floor jack
> and jack stands. The question arise: Where is the best places to position
> the jack to raise the S6 and where should one position the jack stands to
> safely support the car once it is up?
> Also any recommendations for the equipment itself?  I have no intention of
> buying a Walwart $49 special; nor do I want to spend $400.  Craftsman?
> Aluminum vs. steel? 2 ton capacity or more?
> Michael Bess
> '95 S6
> _______________________________________________
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> S-CAR-List at audifans.com
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