Transmission Jack: Selection & Comparison Guide
A heavy duty transmission jack is going to be necessary if you’re looking to remove and transport a transmission safely, as they are specifically designed to do just that as well as remove as much risk of injury as possible. Unlike a conventional jack which raises the entire vehicle by the chassis, a transmission jack can be positioned centrally to safely detach and re-attach a transmission. Transmissions are not very lightweight; most are heavy and bulky. A transmission’s weight can range anywhere from 100 lbs. to a ton which is why you’ll need a jack that can handle your transmission’s weight as well as what you intend to do with it.
However, not all transmission jacks are the same or made to do the same jobs so you’ll need to look for several things when selecting a jack that will fit your needs. Factors such as weight capacity, price, durability, stability, inclusion of warranty, range of motion, and structural design are just a few things to consider.
Transmission Jack: Factors to Consider
- Weight Capacity
The amount of weight a transmission jack can support is obviously the most important feature, as you will need to be able to safely lift the transmission for extended periods of time. That’s why all jacks specify the weight capacity (typically ranging from 500 lbs. to 2,000+ lbs.), so make sure you look for this first. Jacks meant for do-it-yourself jobs can usually have a 1,000 lb. or less weight capacity while professional shops will need a jack that can handle a variety of jobs, often requiring weight capacities of 2,000+ lbs.
- Range of Motion
The range of motion can also be referred to as its vertical range or clearance range. This includes the jack’s lowest or minimum height as well as the highest or maximum height. The range of motion is important to know in order to reach the underside of your vehicle, and you’ll need to be able to fit the transmission snugly in the lift as well as have ample lifting range to remove the transmission safely.
- Low profile or High Lift
Transmission jacks commonly come in low profile or high lift designs and the difference between the two will be the vehicle application it will be used for. When picking a transmission jack, it’s important to know how much clearance you’ll have beforehand.
A low profile transmission jack is able to reach into areas of limited access, such as when a car has not been raised off the ground. Low profile jacks sit low to the ground and are ideal for common applications where you don’t have access to a lift. A vehicle will need to be placed on jack stands before a low profile jack can be used.
A high lift transmission jack are designed with a lift that sits on top of a hydraulic pedestal. These jacks are best used for vehicles that sit very high, such as raised trucks or vehicles that have been lifted via a hydraulic lift.
Durability is crucial if you are going to use your jack frequently, as failure of a jack can be fatal. A long lasting heavy duty transmission jack will be made out of toughened steel and will include high quality, easy roll wheels.
A transmission jack will need stability to keep a transmission from falling down. This applies most notably to high lift jacks. A wider leg base size helps to give a jack more stability, which is ultimately what you want.
A warranty should also be considered when purchasing a jack, especially if you plan to use it frequently. Most manufacturers provide a limited warranty on all their jacks, whether it is an offer to repair or replace a defect or a full refund of the purchase price.
Price is also something that shouldn’t be overlooked when looking for a transmission jack for sale. Most online retailers offer a lower price than brick and mortar stores as online retailers don’t have to deal with as much overhead. The only disadvantages of purchasing a jack online are potential shipping costs and returns, although some retailers offer free shipping as well as an easy return process.
- Other Factors
Other factors can include features that make removal and installation of a transmission easier. This includes things such as ease of maneuverability, hydraulic pressure, and foot pedals. When looking for the best transmission jack, it’s crucial to look for one that includes all of these factors.
Top Transmission Jack Comparison Chart
For our transmission jack comparison chart, we gathered together the best transmission jacks on the market. We’ve factored in things such as quality, durability, stability, maneuverability, ease of use, and price. Our top choices include the Torin TR4076, the OTC 1522A Stinger, Dragway Tools’ hydraulic jack, the Grizzly H8089, the OTC 1521A, the Torin TRA4053, the OTC 1794A, the Mountain MTN5551A, and the Torin TRA4055.
|Transmission Jack||Weight Capacity (lbs.)||Low/High?||Min. Height (inches)||Max. Height (inches)||Price||Rating|
|Torin TR4076 1 Ton Transmission Jack||1000||Low||8.66||22.64||$||4.0|
|OTC 1522A Stinger 2,000 lbs Heavy-Duty Transmission Jack||2000||Low||6.875||35.25||$$$$||4.8|
|Dragway Tools 1 Ton Hydraulic Transmission Jack w/ 360 Degree Swivel Wheels||1000||High||34||72||$$||4.1|
| Grizzly H8089 1250 lb Transmission Jack||1250||Low||6.625||24.625||$$||4.5|
|OTC 1521A 1 Ton Transmission Jack||1000||Low||6.5||29.5||$$||4.8|
|Torin TRA4053 500 lbs. High Lift Transmission Jack||500||High||49.6||68.7||$||3.9|
|OTC 1794A 1 Ton Air-Assisted High Lift Transmission Jack||1000||High||37.625||76.5||$$$$||4.5|
|Mountain MTN5551A 1,200 lb. Low Profile Transmission Jack||1200||Low||6||31.5||$$||4.4|
|Torin TRA4055 500 lbs. Transmission Jack with Foot Pedal||500||High||34.65||71||$$$||4.2|
Transmission Jack Adapter Comparison Chart
For those who already own a floor jack with a removable saddle, a transmission jack adapter, or floor jack transmission adapter, is a useful add-on tool that turns a standard jack into a transmission jack. This means you don’t have to purchase a separate transmission jack altogether which is perfect for do-it-yourself-ers.
The only downsides to a transmission jack adapter though are that a standard floor jack has less maneuverability than one that’s meant for a transmission, and you must make sure the saddle’s mounting hole is the same size as the adapter’s mounting peg. The adapter’s capabilities will also be limited to the capabilities of your floor jack (range of motion/weight capacity). All in all, an adapter is a good choice for one-time jobs or quick fixes but they aren’t nearly as reliable as a dedicated heavy duty transmission jack.
|Transmission Jack Adapter||Mounting Hole Size (inches)||Price||Rating|
|Wilmar W41044 Transmission Adapter||1-5/32||$||3.6|
|XtremepowerUS Transmission Hydraulic Floor Jack Adapter||1-1/4||$||3.4|
|American Tool Exchange Transmission Jack Adapter||1-5/32||$||3.2|
|Sunex 7702 Transmission Jack Adapter||1-4/25||$||3.7|