Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Floor Jack

My old but trusty Maasdam Pow'rLift 3 Ton floor jack gave up the ghost yesterday, right after I had finished using it to raise Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol, onto the car ramps.  I've had this jack for so long, I can't remember when I bought it!

I figured the jack was low on fluid as it had been taking a lot more up/down strokes than usual to raise vehicles lately.  Also figured there was a blown o-ring or seal somewhere in the system as there was little to no resistance when pumping the handle anymore.  Sigh.

I put some motor oil into the system (since I figured the jack was toast) and got enough pressure to lower the rig back onto the ground safely after doing the work I needed to do on Scarlett.

The Maasdam jack did fine, still took a lot of pumps to get things done though.  Time for another jack it seemed.

Today I went by Harbor Freight during lunch and picked up another 3 Ton Jack, a beefier one for $6 more than the replacement cost of a Maasdam floor jack.  Why?  Because it was local and it was low profile so I can use in on #2 son's car, an Acura Integra which sits pretty low to the ground.

I rode Fiona to Harbor Freight, to rack up a few more "break in" miles for the gearbox.  I did draw some stares from the other customers there, pushing along a cart with the new jack in its shipping box, in riding gear and a helmet in the shopping cart.  :)

The new floor jack is a Pittsburgh Automotive 3 Ton Hydraulic Floor Jack: LINK

For $99 and the low profile gain, it seemed the best choice for me.  The box weighed over 76 lbs so it was a slight struggle for me to load it into Fiona's sidecar but I managed.  I'm experiencing a rather painful episode of plantar faciitis on my left heel, which causes me to limp when walking.

 The new floor jack, after I used it to easily put Fiona onto the 
car ramps, just as a test of the jack.

The Maasdam Pow'rLift that's retired now.  I think it's usable but 
since I've got the new one....I'll keep it as a last resort item.

Some notes:

The new floor jack is HEAVY.  Max lifting height is 19.75", 1.25" less than the Maasdam Jack but enough for what I need it to do.  I supposed I can get some lifting blocks to add a couple of inches, or use suitable blocks of wood in a pinch.

There's  a metal spring, under tension, holding down the portion of the jack that the pump handle inserts into.  Be very careful removing the spring, the handle portion will snap up to a vertical position once you remove the spring, and it hurts if it hits your wrist.  DAMHIK.

Otherwise, assembly is pretty straightforward, assemble the pump handle, remove shipping spring, insert assembled handle into socket after loosening set screw and re-tightened set screw.  Done!

The whole thing maneuvers around the garage pretty easily and the handle moves to the vertical position for storage.  You turn the handle to loosen'/tighten the mechanism which locks/unlocks the pump for lifting operations, easy and rather a nice feature.  Before, I had to remove the handle from the Maasdam, tighten/loosen a set screw with the handle and then replace the handle for pumping action.


RichardM said...

I had a similar problem with my hydraulic jack. I picked up some hydraulic oil at the auto parts store and filled up the reservoir. Ran the jack through it's full range a couple of times to purge air from the system and topped it off with more fluid. It now works as good as new. I think it's around 11 years old.

redlegsrides said...

Tried that with my old one, RichardM, but it's not "as good as new"....

Learning to Golf said...

New tools are always good and that new jack should get the rigs in the air a lot quicker. My Harbor Freight 3 ton needs its fluid checked now that Richard mentions doing it.

CCjon said...

This reminds me, the hydraulic pump on the HF MC lift is giving me issues just like your old jack. That lift was the best tool I ever bought, but It's now ten years old.

On my wish list is an aluminum floor jack, one ton capacity, that weights less than 20#. Then it could be carried in the sidecar on long multi-day trips. A bottle jack is too tall to fit under a bike when the rear tire is flat. The currently carried scissor jack, though small, is too awkward, flip-flops, too physical to use.

Speaking of current tools that are awkward or large, know of a compact come-along?

redlegsrides said...

AZ HD, it still takes more than 3 pumps but definitely less than before with the older jack. I like the fact the handle is used to open/close the screw that enables the pumping pressure.

CCjon, I use a bottle jack with the rigs but yeah, when the pusher tire is flat, you have to be "creative". As to your question about a compact come-along: Getting Unstuck. I just remove the center bolt and it splits into two parts which then can be stored in the storage box under my sidecar. Assemble before use of course.

redlegsrides said...

One more thing CCjon, forgot I'd moved the rope puller over to my "self-recovery" box. It comes out with me when I know I'm going to be alone and off road. More on that box later.