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Old 03-27-2009, 04:38 PM   #1
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Default Is my jack toast?

I noticed for awhile now that it only lifted the car at the last few inches of of the handle travel the higher it got. Today i'm only able to get the wheels maybe 2 inches off the ground before the jack stops lifting the car at all.

I noticed some oil on the pistons. Does it maybe just need more, or is it just screwed now?
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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Try adding jack oil and bleeding it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kotomile View Post
Try adding jack oil and bleeding it.
There is a specific "jack oil"? Is that something that napa or the likes might have?
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:52 PM   #4
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It's just a hydraulic pump, so I'd think it'd be pretty standard but I don't know for sure. But yes, any auto parts store ought to have it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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If it's leaking oil out the piston, I would not consider using it...the piston seals are leaking.

Either get a new hydraulic pump or a new jack.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mrtonyg View Post
If it's leaking oil out the piston, I would not consider using it...the piston seals are leaking.

Either get a new hydraulic pump or a new jack.
Ya I think its toast. Doesn't even seem to lift up my weight anymore.

Ugh.

Any reasonable jack recommendations for >$100?
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:23 PM   #7
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- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

We have one of those, and a larger Costco jack as well, although I can't find the Costco jack on their site. The Costco jack is larger, lifts higher, but is a lot heavier (I can carry the HF jack across the garage in one hand, Costco jack gets rolled around).
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

We have one of those, and a larger Costco jack as well, although I can't find the Costco jack on their site. The Costco jack is larger, lifts higher, but is a lot heavier (I can carry the HF jack across the garage in one hand, Costco jack gets rolled around).
Damn, the nearest HF to me is over 100 miles away.

FWIW, this was a jack that belonged to a buddy of mine. He has a 1980 Dodge van that he used to lift with this jack (its a 2-ton jack), im pretty sure this must have blown out the seals long ago. Are there any jacks that would be good for dual purpose, ie for a lowered miata AND a larger vehicle?

I have never really looked into jacks before.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:34 PM   #9
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Jacks are a wonderful way to blow well over $300 or just buy a $29 cheapo. I tend to go with cheap jacks. When used properly with jackstands it's a non-issue. We are only dealing with 2200 lb cars here. I can get my car up onto the highest point of my jackstands with my $29 cheapo with no problems so take that how you will. Also, consider how tall the jack is at its lowest point if your car is lowered. Even on my stock height car it's tough to get under the front subframe cross member if I am lifting the whole car to put it on stands. I think many drive onto some 2x8 lumber to facilitate that.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Jacks are a wonderful way to blow well over $300 or just buy a $29 cheapo. I tend to go with cheap jacks. When used properly with jackstands it's a non-issue. We are only dealing with 2200 lb cars here. I can get my car up onto the highest point of my jackstands with my $29 cheapo with no problems so take that how you will. Also, consider how tall the jack is at its lowest point if your car is lowered. Even on my stock height car it's tough to get under the front subframe cross member if I am lifting the whole car to put it on stands. I think many drive onto some 2x8 lumber to facilitate that.
well I may just have to go for an auto-store cheapy for the time being. This particular broken jack is a low profile aluminum one that has always been really nice to use and have around. I sure will miss it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:55 PM   #11
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne_curr View Post
well I may just have to go for an auto-store cheapy for the time being. This particular broken jack is a low profile aluminum one that has always been really nice to use and have around. I sure will miss it.
You can always buy a cheap all steel jack and in the mean time have the hydraulic pump in your aluminum jack rebuilt or find a new replacement pump.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:04 PM   #13
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My jack is over 20 years old. It did the same thing yours did (about 5 years ago) and all I did was add oil to fix it. Good luck!
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
+1. I bought a slightly older version of this jack about 5 years ago when my trusty old Craftsman finally bit the dust. It really is quite lightweight, and unlike the craftsman, it actually fits under my car (which isn't lowered very much at all) without my first having to jack it up slightly with the scissors jack.

For the past year or two it's been leaking externally just a tiny bit. I topped it off once with jack oil (yes, they specifically sell oil for jacks) and it still works fine.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:14 AM   #15
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Have you checked the oil level first? I have a jack that was probably being used when my dad was my age, and its probably leaked its contents 20 times over, and all it needs it topping off every year or two when it stops working like yours did. Just did it about 3 months ago and its been working fine since. Probably wont have to touch it again for another year or more. If you do need another, I say go cheap. HF is always worlds or win for stuff like this.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:59 AM   #16
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+1 on jack oil. Have you checked the o rings? That's where mine used to leak from.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotomile View Post
It's just a hydraulic pump, so I'd think it'd be pretty standard but I don't know for sure. But yes, any auto parts store ought to have it.
yeah, its called automatic transmission fluid. And no im not kidding, **** works great. Power steering should work too.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:54 AM   #18
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is there any specific way to do this? Just open it up and fill it?
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:00 AM   #19
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I was able to find a lightweight aluminum jack at Sams club for under $ 100.00 a couple of years ago. It works great and fits under my lowered car.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne_curr View Post
is there any specific way to do this? Just open it up and fill it?
The exact location of the various parts is different from jack to jack, but here's a typical bleed / refill procedure, from the HF aluminum jack:

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