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Old 04-24-2021, 01:05 PM   #1
OldCarNewTricks
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Default Transmission Jack Suggestions

I have to swap out my fried AW70 for a good working unit soon, and I was wondering what you guys use for trans jacks. I've heard that the little adapter cradle pieces are crap, as they are too high off the ground, and are relatively flimsy. So I was thinking maybe the cheap HF scissor jack might be OK?

I'll be doing the job alone, so whatever will be the least frustrating will be the way to go. I also need to remove a 700r4 from my 86 Camaro, and then I'll be putting a 60e in as replacement, so something that can handle the weight of those would be the goal, as well.
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:07 PM   #2
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I have a HF trans jack, works just fine, used it on 700 r4's
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:08 PM   #3
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Consider me subscribed. I have a swap coming up and I’ve been trying to figure out how to pull it off on jack stands with as few helper hands as possible.
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:13 PM   #4
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We actually have two of these: https://www.harborfreight.com/450-lb...ack-61232.html

Had one for a long while, works great. Recently bought another one to help deal with the double transfer case on my wife's truck.
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:45 PM   #5
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I also used the HF jack for my t5 swap. It's good but the threads need a lot of grease and mine still gets hard to move up and down. Not sure what is causing it to bind.
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:51 PM   #6
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Manual transmissions are light but autos are very heavy. Definitely grab the HF Jack or something similar. Probably can find one second hand to save some money.
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Old 04-24-2021, 04:22 PM   #7
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Done a couple auto trans with the HF jack. Got another resting on it at the moment. Yes, use grease and a 1/4" impact driver to raise/lower the jack. I buy a couple hardware store long bolts that will screw into the engine block and cut the heads off for guides to slip the trans in. Takes about 6" bolts to clear the TC or clutch. Too long due to clearance in the rear? Cut them shorter.

I raise the car up enough to get a concrete block (14") and a 2x10 under each wheel. That will clear both transmission and stand or did in my case.
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:07 PM   #8
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Excellent information, thank you. I'll likely grab one of the HF ones and put it to work, then!

My HF jack stands (not the recalled ones lol) have max lift of about 16". TestPoint, so you are saying that I will need 16" plus the height of the wheels to have enough room underneath for the trans and jack? Makes sense, though. Did you use a couple of cinder blocks under each wheel with the wood bridged over to create a wide enough surface for each wheel?

Also, for the 6" bolts, did you just use 2?
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:27 PM   #9
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Excellent information, thank you. I'll likely grab one of the HF ones and put it to work, then!

My HF jack stands (not the recalled ones lol) have max lift of about 16". TestPoint, so you are saying that I will need 16" plus the height of the wheels to have enough room underneath for the trans and jack? Makes sense, though. Did you use a couple of cinder blocks under each wheel with the wood bridged over to create a wide enough surface for each wheel?

Also, for the 6" bolts, did you just use 2?
DON'T use cinder blocks - they are not designed for spot loads which something like this can put on them. They can crumble, drop the car and kill you. Most commonly people use wood cribbing like this.
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:52 PM   #10
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DON'T use cinder blocks - they are not designed for spot loads which something like this can put on them. They can crumble, drop the car and kill you. Most commonly people use wood cribbing like this.
That makes sense. Good point. What I could do is stack 2x6 or 2x8 cuts that are screwed together and use those under my jack stands. Two layers will yield an additional 4" which might be enough. I'll have to measure the bell housing of my AW70 and add that to the height of the HF jack.

Edit: I meant measure the height from oil pan to top of the bell housing
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Old 04-24-2021, 06:30 PM   #11
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Don't like hollow blocks, use solid blocks. This height worked for me to get a transmission out. Want higher, add a 2x10 or another solid block.

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Old 04-24-2021, 06:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCarNewTricks View Post
That makes sense. Good point. What I could do is stack 2x6 or 2x8 cuts that are screwed together and use those under my jack stands. Two layers will yield an additional 4" which might be enough. I'll have to measure the bell housing of my AW70 and add that to the height of the HF jack.

Edit: I meant measure the height from oil pan to top of the bell housing
That should work but make sure the surface under the jack stand is solid. Most jack stands have narrow feet which can sink into soft wood and tip. If you have a chunk of heavy steel scrap big enough to cover the bottom of the jackstands, that would be perfect.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:22 PM   #13
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best to have a smooth concrete floor.......
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:43 AM   #14
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I do some sub/contract work for a local shop, had to pull TH400 out of a GM car. The HF trans jack that they worked fine, the only issue was that the thrust bearing failed, got the trans out, fixed the thrust bearing issue at my shop with a better bearing. The good side is that I can use it any time I want now.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:52 AM   #15
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My coworker suggested using tin can lids in between the wood and jack stand feet. Good idea there.

I'll have to get a trans jack from HF this weekend. It's a shame they started doing their "inside track club" for the good coupons.

I'll likely disassemble whatever I buy and use some good quality grease on the threaded shaft and the thrust bearing. Sounds like that will extend the life of the jack.

I do have a garage floor to work on, thankfully. I cannot imagine having to do it anywhere else, as that would just be hell.
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:40 PM   #16
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Spend the extra money and get this one. I bought one a few years back to do a trans swap on a 960. Those transmissions are about the same size and weight as a 700R4. I have used it several times since. It has a tilt feature built into the top plate which makes one man transmissions installs a breeze.

https://www.harborfreight.com/800-lb...nsmission+jack
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
Spend the extra money and get this one. I bought one a few years back to do a trans swap on a 960. Those transmissions are about the same size and weight as a 700R4. I have used it several times since. It has a tilt feature built into the top plate which makes one man transmissions installs a breeze.

https://www.harborfreight.com/800-lb...nsmission+jack
I really like this model, however, it's about twice the price so I'll have to give it some thought. I think (emphasis on think) I'll only have to use it twice, so that's the major thing there. It would also work for differentials, so that's incredibly tempting...
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Old 04-26-2021, 06:45 PM   #18
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Advertise and sell on CraigsList. Bought AC equip, polishing equipment, engine crane new and later sold on CL for 75+% back.
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:40 AM   #19
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I bought a fully mechanical (just a big screw, no hydraulics) trans jack that is probably from the 1940’s for $20 off clist. The thing weighs 100 pounds and can lower a transmission to 4” off the ground. We have a HF one too, and I prefer the old one.
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Old 04-27-2021, 09:37 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ortho stice View Post
I bought a fully mechanical (just a big screw, no hydraulics) trans jack that is probably from the 1940’s for $20 off clist. The thing weighs 100 pounds and can lower a transmission to 4” off the ground. We have a HF one too, and I prefer the old one.
I had a look at what you were talking about. Super cool! The father of hydraulic jacks as we know them now. What sets the old one apart from the new? Just lower and better increment movements?
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:52 AM   #21
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I had a thought: perhaps it would be better for me to use what I already have.. I could pull the transmission and motor out as a whole unit. I already have a shop crane and I have some work to do on the motor, which is freshening up alot of the seals and gaskets. It would also allow me to paint my exhaust manifold.

It would save me some money, but is the extra time involved worth it? What do you that have gone through this process think?
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Old 05-02-2021, 04:15 PM   #22
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I have done both and agree that R/R the engine/trans as a whole is often more straightforward in that it avoids the possibility of endless screwing around with a misbehaving trans jack to get things to line up. Also avoids the extra work of hard to access bellhousing bolts.

OTOH now you get to deal with the exhaust connection, PS, and A/C, and a bit more wiring.

But you mentioned pulling the engine will let you address its needs so maybe now is the time?

Might want to freshen up the engine mounts as well.

In my experience a shop crane needs a load leveler to really work well and safely. Which might be an added expense if you don't have one available.
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Old 05-02-2021, 05:11 PM   #23
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^^ Six of one, half dozen of the other. IOW, it come out about the same. It really doesn't take that much longer to remove the engine/trans combo than it does to remove just the transmission. If you actually have work to do on the engine, pull them out together. Your Camaro is a whole different story.
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Old 05-02-2021, 05:45 PM   #24
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Excellent, sounds like I'll be doing it as a whole. I do have a load leveler for my crane, thankfully. The engine is only weeping from the gaskets, nothing catastrophic. The couple gaskets I have removed have been rock hard, so that would explain it.

I have a rear main on the way (FelPro with the plastic tool) as well as the pan gasket. I will be checking out the front seals, while I replace the timing belt, as well. I have a whole gasket set, but I'm only planning to replace what is in need of it.

I also have some new motor mounts, and I will be updating the power steering to the new style to go with my 91+ AC. Thankfully no AC in the car currently. So, definitely sounds like the way to go.

Also, you are 100% correct, Roy. Third and fourth gen Camaros are terribly awkward to pull the engine out of. I would never try to pull the trans and engine out as one. Which is the very reason my 700r4 sits in the car still and the motor does not.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:35 AM   #25
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I hated the HF trans jack I borrowed because the transmission was either so loose that the jack was only getting in my way, or held so tight that I couldn't wiggle it loose from the engine.

I made my own.
DIY transmission jack with a Pittsburgh 3 ton floor jack
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