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Old 06-30-2020, 07:28 AM   #1
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What type of Floor Jack do I need?

Newbie to car maintenance here and am looking for a floor jack. I see 1.5 ton and 3 ton jacks advertised locally. Do I need a 3 ton jack? I have a 2007 Toyota Yaris and a 2013 Nissan Quest.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:33 AM   #2
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Probably not, but the 3 ton will be built better and only cost a few dollars more.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:05 AM   #3
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The higher the ton rating, the easier it will be to pump the handle.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:23 AM   #4
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More important is a quality set of jackstands.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:14 AM   #5
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In this case having one that might be too big is no big deal. It makes using it easier. Plus there is the safety factor.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:37 PM   #6
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I have three across that range of sizes. I judge them by how high they lift and convenience. You can't beat the little 1.5's for a tire change or something. Plus they don't take up a lot of room when you're not using them.

My big jack is a "quick lift" type. Which I hate. This means it goes from zero to touching the frame in one pump. Like I'm in a pit stop and care. THEN I get to pump like a mad man and build muscle trying the lift the car. Versus the old pumps they don't even seem to sell anymore where you had to pump a LOT but you could could a pickup truck up to maximum height with two fingers. Within capacity, such old jacks didn't care what you put on them, they went up at the same rate. Versus ones like I have now. Grandson and I put a 300 pound transmission on one and had to take turns jacking it up. Somehow the weight found the sweet spot in valving between quicklift and not. The result being it went up agonizingly slowly and with a huge amount of effort. It was ridiculous. These days that jack only sees duty when I want to lift the whole front or rear of a vehicle at once and put it on stands. I basically bought that jack because it had the highest lift I could find for its size.

These days I find myself using a midsize jack often as not. "Racing" style. Means parts of it are made of aluminum which lightens it a bit, which is nice. Plus it has a Flintstone car roller at the front versus two shopping cart wheels. Which actually works quite well. Still that stupid quick lift style though. This 1.5 ton was about $80 from Harbor Freight. Sometimes they go on sale or you might get a 20% off coupon.

They also have Daytona 3 ton there one of which we use at work. Rather big and overkill heavy for home use really. We're on our third one as the first two stopped lifting under warranty.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:51 PM   #7
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Ton rating is only half the issue, you also need to be concerned about quality, there are many cheap import jacks that can be prone to catastrophically fail due to poor construction (welds snap, etc.). Therefore it may be worth it to you to buy from a reputable company, even if you do buy an import jack. As to weight rating I would go with a 3 ton since you own cars that weigh in up to about 4,500 pounds, 1.5 ton is cutting it a little too close for comfort in my opinion. A good ballpark rule is you will want a jack rated for at least 2/3 of the weight of the vehicle you plan to lift, as you will generally be lifting the engine end which is the heavier end.
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:25 AM   #8
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I've been using an old heavy Harbor Freight floor jack for years. The thing must weigh 80 pounds.

Wouldn't take anything for it. Since I have two pickup trucks, the heavier the better.
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:40 AM   #9
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We've been using a Harbor Freight aluminum floor jack on our race car for more than 5 years , rugged construction and strong, sits flat ,no front roller but has back end swivel casters. Yes it has a quick pump and a little harder to pump up. We have a 3 ton jack but our go to is the aluminum.

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