Pit Jacks

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Bill Martin
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 11:26 am
Club: GRA
Car#: 74

Pit Jacks

Post by Bill Martin » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:05 pm

What innovative pit jacks have you guys found lately? Something very compact, light, functional.

I've been in love with motorized electric scissor jacks and converted one to a lithium battery weighing only a few ounces. But I've now had my second structural failure which result from no obvious excess abuse. So am back to my small aluminum racing floor jack.

But there are other options out there. Some electric jacks are built like shoe boxes with a telescoping ram extending from the top. Looks much more rugged than a spindly scissor jack.

There used to be seriously low profile multiram bottle jacks, but I think they worked poorly and went away. Modern low profile bottle jacks won't fit under many of our cars.

And there are bellows style airbag jacks -- don't know if they would work off an air tank or smallish 12V compressor. And I think they don't get much under 6" minimum height.

One nice thing about my electric scissor jack is I could use it inside an enclosed trailer. Hard to do that with even compact floor jacks. And not a lot of room to be down there trying to crank anything either. Working in a claustrophobic overstuffed garage is similar. Floorjacks like to have handle-swing room.

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Marshall Grice
Former CSCC Overall Champion
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Re: Pit Jacks

Post by Marshall Grice » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:31 pm

Build a better scissor jack? What is failing that can’t be made thicker?

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Rick Brown
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Re: Pit Jacks

Post by Rick Brown » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:30 pm

Couldn't you make any (stronger) scissor jack "electric" by adapting for an electric drill \ impact?
Since light is faster than sound...many people look bright until they speak...

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Bill Martin
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Re: Pit Jacks

Post by Bill Martin » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:52 pm

Marshall Grice wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:31 pm
Build a better scissor jack? What is failing that can’t be made thicker?
I looked at that. The two arms are pivoted close to each other at the center. They interact at the bottom through gear teeth. Those are made of thin sheet metal, punched to give a hollow 3D tooth. The hollow gear teeth simply fold allowing the jack to collapse. There's not much point on working on that. Better to fab new bottom pieces out of 1/4" steel plate and cut teeth into that. But a pretty big job.

I borrowed one of the box-style electric/hydraulic ram jacks. Worked great on my rally car, but hasn't a low enough profile for the low Miata.

Rick, you may be right but I think you'd need gear reduction. Cranking a scissor jack takes a lot of torque, slowly. A drill will give less torque, quickly. I think I've seen YouTube videos of people using wiper motors for that kind of project. I might also be able to power a stronger scissor jack by salvaging the motor off this one.

But I was actually hoping there was something perfect to buy out there I just didn't know about.

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Mike Simanyi
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Re: Pit Jacks

Post by Mike Simanyi » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:32 am

What's the use case Bill? If it's just jacking up to put jack stands underneath or to change a wheel, what about a short ramp (aka "2x6") for a little more jack clearance and stick with the racing jack?

Mike

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Shane Donahue
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Re: Pit Jacks

Post by Shane Donahue » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:34 am

The Subaru OE scissor jack at least was equipped with a 19mm bolt that matched the wheel lugs, so you could use the same tool to jack/lower.. also made it fairly effective with a 24V high-torque cordless impact to zip it up and down reasonably quick in for the rally team i worked with back in the day.

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Bill Martin
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Re: Pit Jacks

Post by Bill Martin » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:33 am

Mike Simanyi wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:32 am
What's the use case Bill? If it's just jacking up to put jack stands underneath or to change a wheel, what about a short ramp (aka "2x6") for a little more jack clearance and stick with the racing jack?

Mike
I do a certain amount of tire changing and even suspension adjustment on the trailer. Sometimes even in an enclosed trailer. My electric scissors jack was perfect, but inadequately designed.

I picked up this one and will convert it to my small RC lipo batteries. I think 4.1" minimum height will just work.
https://www.amazon.com/AUTOOL-Electric- ... 576&sr=8-7

-- Bill

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