Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/18/18 11:45 a.m.

Bought my first Miata, and surprise! My floor jack won't fit under the car. I had to pull a tire the other day, and had to start by backing onto ramps before I could fit my jack under the car. 

I'm close to several options, Tractor Supply, HF, Lowe's, Home Depot, plus the usual chains of parts stores: Napa, O'Reilly, Autozone, etc. 

One consideration in the decision is height at full lift. Apparently, the low lift jacks don't raise the car enough to get underneath. I could raise it enough to get my regular jack under it to get the car in the upper range of my stands, but I'd like to avoid that. Weight is another factor, since I might want to throw it in the trunk. I'm not lifting a 75 lb steel jack any more than necessary.  I also don't expect to be using it every weekend, or even every month, so something with a "Parts Truck" price isn't in my budget. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
2/18/18 11:50 a.m.

I've had the Harbor Freight 1.5 ton aluminum jack for years and I love it. Nice and light. It has lifted many Miatas. Mine is not labeled Pittsburg, but I'm sure it's the same one. I think I paid $59 with a coupon. I even bought a spare a few years ago in case it ever dies, but it's still in the box. It's a good choice for Miata owners.

https://www.harborfreight.com/15-ton-aluminum-racing-floor-jack-with-rapid-pump-60569.html

 

freetors
freetors Reader
2/18/18 11:54 a.m.

Harbor freight sells a "low profile/long reach" jack that's really good. It's more expensive than most of their other jacks ~$140 iirc. And it's specifically excluded from sales and coupons. But I liked it so much that I bought another one. I believe it goes down to 2-5/8". It's the only jack I've seen that I can afford that will go under the pinch welds of my lowered s2000.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
2/18/18 12:00 p.m.

You’re jacking the car at the outer seam, not the frame rail, right?

Get a rubber adapter for the outer seam and you’ll often have enough room for a reasonable jack.

That said, I like the HF Low profile jack.  It’s pretty lightweight and works well on lighter weight cars.  Like many HF items, their QC can be a bit lacking, so make sure all the fasteners are tight with loctite, pivots are lubricated and the hydraulic cylinder is filled and bled.  If it leaks, either replace the O-rings yourself or exchange it for one that doesn’t.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/18/18 12:02 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

That's the one I've been looking at. Current coupons for HF low profile only on the steel three ton. Wrong! Just checked the April issue of GRM!  $59.99. 

Now if I can just get out the door without any impulse buys. Always a problem at HF, but I might be getting better, just bought what was on my list the last two trips. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/18/18 12:21 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

I have a slotted "hockey puck" type adapter for pinch welds (edited, had mistakenly type "frame rail"), which I use with my current jack. It sits in the cup of the jack, but that also decreases the clearance. I don't know if that is what you mean. 

Thanks for mentioning that the car gets lifted on the seam, not the frame rail. I had already confirmed that before starting, but it's an important point and belongs in this discussion. 

impulsive
impulsive Reader
2/18/18 12:43 p.m.

Harbor freight sells a "low profile/long reach" jack that's really good.

agreed. skip the aluminum jack and go for the 2 ton steel low/long. worth the few extra $.

plain92
plain92 New Reader
2/18/18 1:08 p.m.

Slight tangent but what you are specifically asking for sounds like it might be more the lighter aluminum smaller low profile style - keep in your trunk, infrequent use, low ground clearance, etc.

I also got one of the heavier steel HF low profile jacks for something like $80 with a coupon IIRC. I tried to grease every bushing and it still squeaks a little but I don't have a super low car at the moment and this is better suited to frequent heavy use IMO without spending money for one of the tire shop grade jacks.

Rodan
Rodan Reader
2/18/18 2:17 p.m.

I have both the 1.5 ton aluminum and 2 ton low profile steel mentioned above.  The 1.5T aluminum will not go high enough to put on stands for serious work under the car, but it's a great option to throw in the trailer or trunk for pulling a wheel.  The 2T steel low profile works great, and will get the car high enough.  All of my Miatas (NA, NB, NC) are low enough to need a booster on the side to get the jack under the front crossmember.  On a stock height NB, I could still get it under the front crossmember.  It's a good jack, but too heavy to lift on any regular basis.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/18/18 2:21 p.m.

Everything is a compromise. I wanted it low to fit under the car, light weight so I could lift it, high enough lifting range to be able to get under the car, and on sale. 

Just like everyone else. 

Bought an Al two ton, still light enough to pick up, higher range at max lift, still pretty light weight. Not on sale, but hey, it's HF. Still cheap. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/18/18 7:56 p.m.

Any opinions on pinch weld adaptors? 

tomtomgt356
tomtomgt356 Reader
2/18/18 8:19 p.m.
KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
2/19/18 4:01 a.m.
Floating Doc said:

Any opinions on pinch weld adaptors? 

I use hockey pucks.  They seem to work.

Jerry
Jerry UberDork
2/19/18 6:40 a.m.

Pep Boys linky

I bought one years ago, pretty sure this is it.  Or the new version anyway.  $75

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
2/19/18 6:49 a.m.

I have both the HF "racing" aluminum jack and the HF top of the line low profile steel jack with the T handle.  For pinch weld adapters, I took a chunk of 2x4 and cut a channel in it with a skill saw.

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
2/19/18 8:16 a.m.
KyAllroad (Jeremy) said:
Floating Doc said:

Any opinions on pinch weld adaptors? 

I use hockey pucks.  They seem to work.

That's what I do too. Picked up half a dozen for like 6 bucks at Dicks and modify to suit.

Jere
Jere Dork
2/19/18 10:55 a.m.
The0retical said:
KyAllroad (Jeremy) said:
Floating Doc said:

Any opinions on pinch weld adaptors? 

I use hockey pucks.  They seem to work.

That's what I do too. Picked up half a dozen for like 6 bucks at Dicks and modify to suit.

Awesome tip i have never even noticed hockey pucks for sale before... Go figure a sport as popular as hockey at that

 

But I vote hft jack too I've had both... Someone else "borrowed" the aluminum variation to jack up a mini van and trashed the seals from being way over the weight limit... But both were great otherwise.

 

...  Or you could always just drive up on a pile of 2x4s to get the jack you have under the car too

 

 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
2/19/18 5:04 p.m.

I needed a low profile jack to jack up some stereo speakers (~450 lbs. each) to install spikes without moving them and picked up this one.  Stores at 1.5" high and lifts 2,000 lbs.  Now using it in a sports car as it takes up so little space.  meant for low cars - race cars, rods etc.

 

https://www.calcarcover.com/product/low-profile-billet-aluminum-jack/705

freetors
freetors Reader
2/19/18 5:18 p.m.

^^^I didn't even know I needed it but now I do! Looks like the only problem with it is the hex drive thing looks very close to the ground. Can it be used with a drill since it's so low to the floor?

I had to order my hockey pucks from Amazon since nobody sells them in Oklahoma.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
2/19/18 8:16 p.m.

I second or third or whatever the HF jacks. I have both steel and aluminum. Bought the steel cause I really needed a low profile jack and HF was out of aluminum. Had a flat tire on a lowered car and didn't have a jack that would fit under it. Flat tire made it worse. Later bought the aluminum to change wheels at autocrosses. Aluminum jack is light enough to handle and will do the job. The steel jacks quicker and higher but is heavy. I only roll mine around, don't carry it.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
2/19/18 9:18 p.m.

That's a very nice tool, and it should be for $200. Definitely a good jack to carry in the car, depending on whether it will lift it high enough for a tire change. 

6.5 inches at full lift isn't much, but you could carry a block of some sort. The flat base would be good for a tire change on soft ground. 

Jere
Jere Dork
2/20/18 12:24 p.m.
wspohn said:

I needed a low profile jack to jack up some stereo speakers (~450 lbs. each) to install spikes without moving them and picked up this one.  Stores at 1.5" high and lifts 2,000 lbs.  Now using it in a sports car as it takes up so little space.  meant for low cars - race cars, rods etc.

 

https://www.calcarcover.com/product/low-profile-billet-aluminum-jack/705

As much as the cool factor gets me on that thing... The practical part of me would find a crown Vic scissor jack or two, with more capacity and similar profile

car39
car39 HalfDork
2/20/18 3:50 p.m.

$60 Harbor Freight jack and a hockey puck is the way to go.  If you jack up an NA right under the door mirror, you can pick up both wheels

 

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