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Old 03-14-2016, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default Should I just buy the Harbor Freight jack?

My jack is dead, I can't even get the miata high enough to get it off the casters I store it on for the winter.

I am torn between buying another low-pro aluminum jack that will actually fit (though with some difficulty) under the front, then using blocks and **** to lift my outback, or just buying the harbor freight 3-ton that will sort of fit under the miata, but should lift the outback.

With the 3-ton, how do you lift the car and then get jack stands on the pinch welds? It looks like it would only fit under far enough to lift on the pinch welds, which then makes it difficult to put jack stands there.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:52 AM   #2
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I use the 3 ton on all my cars. I put it on the center of the pinch weld and lift. Then put a stand near the tires.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:54 AM   #3
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The 3-ton is heavy, but is very low profile.

i bought it at $79.99 a few years back FYI
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:57 AM   #4
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If the data on the website is to be believed, the 3 ton jack actually has a lower minimum saddle height than the aluminum one; 2-7/8" vs 3-1/2".


As to technique, I usually follow the instructions in the Mazda shop manual and jack the car from the front and rear, rather than from the sides.




(I've never understood why PacMan seems to do most of Mazda's service work, whereas Honda and Toyota both employ that kid from Pokemon to pose for their shop manuals.)


If your car is especially low, get some 6" x 1" x 8' pieces of lumber. Cut 'em down to about 2' lengths, and build a set of tiered ramps several inches thick at the max. Drive the car up onto these (all four wheels), and that'll give you plenty of jacking clearance.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:09 PM   #5
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I also have it and use the method Joe described.
It will reach the front cross member.
It actually lifts a bit higher than the standard 3 ton jack.
Get it. It's a great Jack.
As Brain mentioned it is very heavy, so if you need it to lug around at the track, get the aluminum one.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:38 PM   #6
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You guys are jacking on the pinch welds? Ouch, those things fold like paper unless you're using the stock jack.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:41 PM   #7
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Thanks guys! I don't bring my jack anywhere, so heavy is not a problem.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
You guys are jacking on the pinch welds? Ouch, those things fold like paper unless you're using the stock jack.
I occasionally jack at the factory jack point, but I am careful not to fold it up. My old miata came all folded up from the PO and it was annoying.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:46 PM   #9
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dont be dumb and you wont fold the seams.

or buy the silly FM jack things that they target incapable m.net members with...
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
I use the 3 ton on all my cars. I put it on the center of the pinch weld and lift. Then put a stand near the tires.
Do you do this on both sides though? Like, one side is already up on jack stands and you wheel the jack around to lift the other side? That sounds kind of dicey to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post

As to technique, I usually follow the instructions in the Mazda shop manual and jack the car from the front and rear, rather than from the sides.

If your car is especially low, use a set of tiered ramps several inches thick at the max. Drive the car up onto these
^^^ This is my technique.^^^ I only use the ramps on the front though. I have a HD hidden hitch I can get the HF long steel super lopro jack under it even when the front is already in the air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
You guys are jacking on the pinch welds? Ouch, those things fold like paper unless you're using the stock jack.
A hockey puck with a slot cut into it works wonders...
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:50 PM   #11
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This is the jack you want. Bigger, heavier, bit more expensive, but it is the best jack I have ever used.

It has a lower starting height and lifts higher than the 3-Ton and has no trouble with the Miata, Minivan or Outback.

With no front lip (and slightly bending the bottom of the bumper) I could get to the front subframe and lift the Miata with the pinchwelds at 3.75"/4".
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x_25 View Post
This is the jack you want. Bigger, heavier, bit more expensive, but it is the best jack I have ever used.

It has a lower starting height and lifts higher than the 3-Ton and has no trouble with the Miata, Minivan or Outback.

With no front lip (and slightly bending the bottom of the bumper) I could get to the front subframe and lift the Miata with the pinchwelds at 3.75"/4".
Well that looks nice. Not on sale, though, so it's like $55 more. Now I'm torn. I'm not against a $140 jack, but I get almost as good for 40% less money. I could buy 2 more hookers for that extra money.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:43 PM   #13
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you'll never go to full lift, and the 3-ton is cheap and low enough for almost everything.

I've had issues with 2-tons struggling with small SUVs.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:51 PM   #14
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Spend the extra money to get one of the larger aluminum jacks with twin cylinders. They're more stable and lift higher. It's a once per decade purchase.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:17 PM   #15
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What Ben said. Spend a little extra now. I bought my current low pro jack well over a decade ago.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:48 AM   #16
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Yeah that 2 ton is the **** you need. Reaches the front sub frame with ease but cant reach the diff if you have the cross brace there and already lifted the front of the car. That bad boy will lift the whole front end of an F250HD. Not one of the light weight trucks, the ones with a ******* iron 460 big block and dana50 in the front.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:48 AM   #17
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3-ton.

braineack approved.



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Old 03-17-2016, 10:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Yeah that 2 ton is the **** you need. Reaches the front sub frame with ease but cant reach the diff if you have the cross brace there and already lifted the front of the car. That bad boy will lift the whole front end of an F250HD. Not one of the light weight trucks, the ones with a ******* iron 460 big block and dana50 in the front.
It won't lift any of the superduty trucks we have here. We use 2 jacks for those.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:01 AM   #19
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I bought the 3 ton. Is it normal for it to rise really quick, then when it actually starts lifting the car to slow WAY down? It lifts it fine, but it isn't what I would call "rapid lift" by any stretch.

I bled it per the instructions when I got it (cracked the fill screw, loosened the handle, and pumped it 5 or 6 times), and it's probably normal, it's just different than my last jack I guess. The last one only had one speed, and it was relatively quick I guess.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
It won't lift any of the superduty trucks we have here. We use 2 jacks for those.
Mine must be one thats on the good side of all the tolerances.
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