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TOPIC: made some jack handles

made some jack handles 09 Nov 2018 08:58 #793601

  • loudhvx
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Not exactly motorcycle related, but technically you can use one of these jacks to lift the front of a bike on a centerstand. It's a slow snow day here so I thought I'd post this.

I guess you're lucky nowadays if you get a jack and spare with a new car. Apparently some cars just come with a can of fix-a-flat.

Anyway, if you've ever dealt with a multi-piece scissor-jack handle you know they are pretty much crap. You have to hope it stays together while cranking the jack. It's always pretty slow and clumsy. I find I'm more often changing flats (on my car or wife or friend's) in bad weather, especially winter, so I want to minimize the time and effort.

Well, at work I've been trying to get this old Hobart RC256 wire-feed welder tuned up and needed a project for testing. I decided to make some one-piece jack handles to get the welder dialed in. The square-tube scrap material i pulled from the dumpster is used for tow hooks so it's very tough, hard, and does not rust easily, but still very magnetic. I don't know what it is, but the E71T-GS wire (same general-purpose wire that comes with consumer hobbyist welders) seems to weld to it pretty well. The welds are a bit porous and not super strong, but the penetration is good and way stronger than it needs to be for this application. I did a lot of destructive testing on other pieces.

The first attempts were with plain steel wire and argon. That did not work very well on the hard scraps. It was more gorilla-snot and would roll off of the scrap with a lot of spatter balls. The E71T-GS is flux-core and works much better. Either wire worked well on the hardened round shaft and tool steel.

I found some ball-bearing rollers to use as the rotating handle, then just slid on a piece of PVC as a slip grip for the shaft. The socet is held to a 3/8" u-joint which is welded to the shaft.

I found a Jack that used a 19mm (3/4") hex as the jack input. So I modded a couple other jacks to work the same way. The first handle worked so good, I made two more.

Now I could two-hand crank the car up in just a few seconds. But more importantly it was smooth and soo satisfying! :)

As a side note, the jack with the hex was a GM jack of some sort. It works pretty good. The dirty silver jack is my old Nissan 260Z jack that I've had for 30 years. I've used that as my primary jack for most of my life and it's still by far the best one I have... solid and smooth. The cheap Harbor-Freight jack is garbage. It flexes and feels crunchy even after thoroughly cleaning and lubing.

I went to a junk yard to get some replacement rims, and they gave me one of those GM jacks for free! (Normally it would have been $11.) They had piles of jacks... that's where you go. Forget HF for small scissor jacks.

So you might notice one of the handles has a second socket attached. Well the jacks use 19mm hex but Nissan lug nuts are 21mm. I wanted to be able to also use the jack handle as a speed-wrench for any stiff lug nuts, so i needed a second socket. But the second socket kept rolling loose in the trunk making noise so I added a perch for the second socket on the handle. It is just to store the second socket.








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Last edit: by loudhvx.

made some jack handles 09 Nov 2018 09:23 #793603

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I hate those jacks. I have a small floor jack in my truck. Something like 1/4 scale, I think. The only time I would use one of those scissor jacks would be if I absolutely had to.

PS: The handles s do look good though. :-)
1981 Kawasaki Kz1000K1
Located in the Saint Louis, Missouri Area.

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Last edit: by old_kaw. Reason: typo's

made some jack handles 09 Nov 2018 10:06 #793606

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I like floor jacks, but have had a couple bottle jacks lose hydraulic fluid. Not a fun cleanup. With small cars, the scissor jack works pretty good, but I use one for a heavy car on a light car. The jack from my old Civic was flimsy crap, but these GM ones are much beefier, and the old Datsun jack was was probably the same jack that came in their biggest truck at the time.

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made some jack handles 09 Nov 2018 10:24 #793607

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Quote; I find I'm more often changing flats (on my car or wife or friend's) in bad weather, especially winter, so I want to minimize the time and effort.

Last I knew she was your girl friend , congratulations Lou!
78 KZ1000 A2A

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Last edit: by bluej58.

made some jack handles 09 Nov 2018 17:27 #793630

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Thanks J-man ! Aug 2017. Time has flown by. :)

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made some jack handles 10 Nov 2018 10:59 #793657

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loudhvx wrote: I like floor jacks, but have had a couple bottle jacks lose hydraulic fluid. Not a fun cleanup. With small cars, the scissor jack works pretty good, but I use one for a heavy car on a light car. The jack from my old Civic was flimsy crap, but these GM ones are much beefier, and the old Datsun jack was was probably the same jack that came in their biggest truck at the time.


Well, you aren't supposed to use a leaker LOL

I have one like the one pictured in the link. It has almost the same footprint as the GM scissor jacks. ~20 bucks at wally world.

www.walmart.com/ip/HyperTough-2-Ton-Hydr...MEAQYAyABEgJfwvD_BwE
1981 Kawasaki Kz1000K1
Located in the Saint Louis, Missouri Area.

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made some jack handles 10 Nov 2018 14:23 #793666

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That one does look pretty good.

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