floor jack recommendation for home use?

Hi all,
need to buy a new floor jack, apparently. I currently have a cheap little Chinese thing that I bought when I was in college, and when I
went to mess with the suspension of the Porsche the other day I found it wouldn't pump up. I did manage to fill it with oil (messily, as it apparently wasn't designed to be refilled) but noticed that whenever I release it it leaks a little oil past the release valve, which is probably why it was dead when I dug it out.
I'm a little (not a lot, just a little) financially better off now, what's a decent brand of floor jack that I could replace it with? Probably don't need anything super heavy duty, as the largest vehicle I would probably lift with it would either be my '55 Stude or my F-150. I'd prefer longevity and repairability over light weight and "racing!" looks.
In short, I'm a cheap b*****d and also hate shopping, so I'm hoping to buy something that will last for a good long time. Willing to pay a little more to avoid going shopping again.
Also, I'm still looking for jackstands with wide, flat saddles that will hold a "top hat" style boxed frame (like, say, a '55 Stude.) I know they exist, or used to, as a friend of mine has *one...* but I can't seem to find any for sale anywhere.
thanks,
nate
(of course, the Chinese thing *did* last over 10 years with no maintenance...)
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Milwaukee, US Jack, Gray or one of the OLD Lincolns that were U.S. built. Those were from the 40's up to the late 80's. I would go used unless you use it daily. New your going to go into shock!
I did see a neat unit in the local Tractor supply the other day. It combined a 6 ton bottle jack and a locking jack stand in one unit. It had a wide saddle and looked like it was built well. Think it was 40 bucks or so. Chinese made though.
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Steve W.
Near Cooperstown, New York
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I just typed the following text in response to another similar request, so here it is again...
Try the 5" to 19" range found on any medium frame 2 1/4 ton jack available from places like Harbor Freight, Cummins Tools, Sears, Sams, etc for about $60 to $90. Best return on investment you'll ever make if you do your own preventative maintenance. Lightly used, these puppies will last indefinitely. All of the DIY-affordable models are imports anyway, so take your pick. Just the larger saddle is worth the slight extra cost of the typical tiny and underdesigned 14" jack.
Deja_vu.com, formerly Toyota MDT in MO
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Nate Nagel wrote:

The 4 ton Sears model I got in a hurry one time seems to work fine, and it has to deal with a 7,000# truck.
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wrote:

I found some nice jack stands like that at WalMart. Fairly cheap too. Their stock seems to come and go.
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I got some nice stands at WalMart, too, and also picked up some ramps. The ramps were not expensive and are, when appropriate, much easier to deal with than jacking up the car and using stands. Each has its place.
I bought a WalMart floor jack too,and it works okay but was a mistake. It is too small. Several years ago I bought a large (garage type) floor jack at Sam's Club, and it was worth its weight in gold. At that time, I paid only about $65 for it. Yes, it was made in China, I guess, but it held up well.
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wrote in message

The local Kragen stores have also been selling a 2-ton floor jack plus jack stands for what appears to be something like $29.99 (caveat: it might be after rebate).
If the 2-ton jack is sufficient, that might be the way to go. I've had the same brand of floor jack ("Team Mechanix") for several years. Except for having to tighten the jack's front wheel caps every so often so they don't loosen too much and fall off, the jack has never failed to pump up and shows no signs of leaking hydraulic oil at this time.
Others have mentioned Craftsman, which is also an excellent floor jack too. (Their combo pack including jackstands may be higher in price than the Kragen one.)
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hls wrote:

======= That big, big floor jack is still at Sam's Club, and it's still priced at $65. It has Michelin stamped on it today. It extends to as much as 22 inches, not just 19, and it just takes one downturn of the lever to raise the saddle to its full height.
I think it was a 6-tonner, but I could be wrong. It may have been a 4-tonner. Not sure, but I think 6. You always get your money's worth at Sam's Club! :-)
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Built_Well wrote:

======= This jack at Sam's Club is so stout, it could lift Oprah Winfrey ;-) [chuckle]
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I won't be buying that one; a friend bought one a year or so ago and it's already dead.
The Sears one he picked up at a yard sale for $15 is still going strong however... do they still make them "like they used to?"
nate
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I have a Sears 1.5-ton floor jack I bought new in 1980. Still works when I need it. Never even rebuilt, remarkably.
If it had to be replaced, I would be inclined to go to Northern Tool. Any mechanical equipment, machine tool, etc. you buy these days is going to be Chinese made, and that's not the stigma it once was.
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 14:10:29 -0700, Jonathan Ward

I'm still using a "cheap" one I bought back on 1972 from K-Mart. Compared to what you get today it's much stouter for 1.5 ton size. About every 10 years I need to top off the fluid.
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I currently have that model as well as a Harbor Freight model. My pseudo-Michelin Sam's jack is in perfect condition after 4 years of fairly heavy use. I don't think you can go wrong with it. My only complaint is that the handle doesn't swing up 90 degrees. It makes it a little harder to "park" in a small cubby (unless you remove the handle, which is easy). If you want a quality model you will pay over three bills. You said you were looking for cheap. I gave you good cheap options in my last post, and the Sam's speed jack was one of them, from personal experience.

Sears doesn't "make" anything like they used to. They don't even spec tools the same from year to year. What you are getting at any given point in time is from a crap-shot lot made by the lowest bidder. I'm not dissing what they do to stay competitive, but some of their tools, especially electric and hydraulic, have been real P(ieces)OS. Don't get me started on their 'battery of the month' for cordless tool products.
Toyota MDT in MO
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On Sat, 13 Oct 2007 03:15:21 -0000, Comboverfish

Except for my battery screw driver I've given up on batter powered drills. The batteries never seem to last more then a year and replacements cost more then the whole thing does new on sale.
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Spend the money and get the 1/2" Panasonic. It's a few hundred bucks, but it has torque to spare and the battery packs are made with Sanyo cells and are easily rebuildable. Not the bigger Panasonic with the shoulder-belt battery but the under-$500 one. --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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I got my jack from Sears several years ago. It's a big floor jack that came with two jack stands of the type you describe and has worked perfectly. Keep in mind that Christmas time is coming up and this "Dad gift" stuff goes on sale a lot post turkey day. Seems like mine was somewhere around $150.
Stay away from the walmart crap. I do have a couple of their "2 ton" jacks and keep one in each car for roadside emergencies but the best I can figure a ton doesn't weigh as much in China as it does here. I can jack the Imperial up with one of them and watch the metal deflecting. Someone gave me a set of walmart jack stands and I used them one time. When I took them out from under the car they were obviously not the same shape as they were when I put them under there. They went straight in the trash.
I don't know about you, but when something is holding a car above my head there are other things I want to think about besides what a great bargain they were.
Steve B.
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The jack stands I bought at Walmart were "Mr. Goodwrrench" brand and are very stout. They only cost about $4 more then their cheaper models.
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Steve B. wrote:

Stay FURTHER away from Harbor Frieght crap. Yes, I do buy some stuff from them, but only non-mechanical things like bead-blast cabinets, for the most part.
Harbor Freight is tempting because they have lots of really nifty tools that the average joe has never had access to before, but what good is it if they break on the 4th use? I have found a few things that seem to work reasonably well, but since a floor jack is so potentially dangerous if it fails, I wouldn't risk it (yes, I use jackstands, but there are a few seconds where the jack has to hold the weight alone while you push the stands under...)
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The only non-Chinese options I've seen have come at a $300 price range. This thread was originally about a cheap jack that works. I can't complain about the 10 year old cheap medium frame jack I still use from HF. If I had it to do over again --- with my 2007 brain, but with the limited $$ I had in the mid 90's, I would go HF again. The next time I get a jack it will likely be one of the $300+ US models. That may not be for quite some time.
Toyota MDT in MO
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About twenty something years ago, I bought a big heavy floor jack at a scrap iron yard.I haven't looked at the floor jack in years, it does not work, it wasen't working when I bought it.If I remember, I think it is a Wagner brand name and rated at about one and a half or two tons rating.I have never tried to repair a hydraulic floor jack or any hydraulic bottle jacks before.There are at least two or three (or more, I can look in my phone book and see) hydraulic repair shops around here.I wonder if I can buy a repair kit and repair my floor jack myself? I own quite a few mechanical jacks of various designs/styles.I also own three forty ton (rating) hydraulic bottle jacks and they do work.All of my jacks were made in America.I used to hang around junk shops, thrift stores, scrap iron yards.I have more junk (but it isn't all junk, some of it is collectible stuff.I could probally make a fortune on Fleabay) than you can shake a stick at. cuhulin
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