Jack stand is one of those equipment’s that you know you need but can’t figure out the right size for your vehicle. Therefore, going shopping for car equipment is pretty daunting when you are new to it.
The rookie mistakes often make you spend unnecessarily or buy a product that does not match your needs.
In case you’re uncertain which brands of jack stands would work the best for you, this article’s got you covered.
To figure out the size of jack you need, you ought to look into the types of jack stands available in the market. The following table describes each type:
Type of jack stand
Steel, cast iron, or aluminum
Pin lock or ratchet lock
Cast-steel, aluminum or steel
Ratchet or pin lock
Extra-large base with solid rubber tires
Aluminum or steel
Ratchet or Screw lock
Heavy duty and wide
Now that you know the types and what each has to offer, let’s get on to what you need is and which one will work the best for you.
What Size Jack Stands do I Need?
This question is everywhere on the internet. Many people know what they need but can’t figure out the right size of the jack stand that will fulfill their needs.
The primary consideration you need to make while deciding on the size of the jack stand is the ground clearance of your vehicle, and the weight capacity.
So, here is how it goes. The curb weight of your vehicle determines the size of the jack stand that you will be needing.
What is curb weight, you may ask? There are two types of weights in your vehicle, curb weight and gross weight.
The weight of your vehicle, inclusive of all the amenities and equipment, is the curb weight. It does not include the cargo or the passenger weight.
Gross weight is the total weight, including the curb weight, variable weight of passengers and cargo.
Some Useful Information Don’t Miss it: Always get a jack stand double in value of weight capacity than the calculated weight of the vehicle that each will support solely for the safety purpose. They must be distributed evenly. Hence, always buy jack stands in pairs, 2 or 4 depending on your vehicle’s curb weight.
Now, let’s get onto how things work. It’s pretty simple and easy. First, you need to measure your vehicle’s curb weight and divide it by the number of jacks you will purchase.
Here is a simple formula that I have been using for quite a while now to calculate the weight capacity of stands.
if your car weighs 4000lbs then divide it by the number of stands you are going to purchase let suppose 4.
4000 / 4 = 1000lbs then double this figure to be on safe side i.e. 1000 x 2 = 2000lbs
So, you need to buy four stands of 2000lbs each. Voila
What Height Jack Stands do I Need?
After considering the weight capacity of the jack stand, the next most important consideration you ought to make is the height of the jack.
The height you need depends entirely on the point where you’ll be sticking the jack stands. The most common spots include the axle tube and the shock mounts.
The axle tube point is more suitable when dealing with one wheel as it does not support much weight. As the axle sits almost the middle of the tire, so you only need half of the tire’s size height.
If you want to support a more significant portion of your vehicle, then again, it all concludes that the height depends on the point where you place the jack. Measure the height with a measuring tape.
Can I be honest with you, though? The better way of selecting a jack stand is its weight capacity and not the height.
It does not only give you a better idea of what size and the weight you’ll be supporting as well as takes away the whole hassle of “what should be the height?”
A jack with suitable weight capacity offers an appropriate height most of the time.
What type of Jack Stands do I Need?
The jack stand type you need is determined by your need and weight and ground clearance of our vehicle. There is a wide range of jacks available in the market.
You can always choose the type and brand based on your vehicle’s sort and the nature of your work. The following recommendations will help you with the process of looking for a jack stand:
1. Pro Lift 6 Ton Jack Stands
2. Big Red TORIN 3 Ton Jack Stands
3. Big Red TORIN 2 Ton Jack Stands
Why Do You Need a Jack Stand?
You probably need a jack stand for one of the three following reasons:
Hydraulic jacks elevate your vehicle for you, but it is never safe to rely on only a jack to keep the car lifted during maintenance or while working under the vehicle.
Therefore, always invest in a good quality jack stand if you have to work under vehicles now and again. They give solid support and protection against mishaps.
The primary purpose of a jack stand is to keep the vehicle elevated in its place and prevent it from toppling over. It provides easier access under the car so you can work without any hassle or worry of your ride come down on you.
Protecting the Tires
Primarily for recreational vehicles. When you park your car for a very long time with all its load on the tires, they start to wear off faster than usual; it may also cause damage to the wheels.
How many Jack Stands do I Need?
This question is again subjective and depends on the nature of work, including changing oil, replacing tires, etc.
However, for a generic idea, remember that having two jacks is always better. It helps in supporting weight properly, and it’s safer this way.
Sometimes even with two jacks, the car isn’t sturdy enough. How can you beat that? Use chocks for the other pair of wheels, and the car would remain in its place.
Using two jacks has three main benefits. One being safety, in one place makes the vehicle more stable and provides you enough height to work underneath without any hassle.
Secondly, there is a higher chance of the vehicle toppling with four jacks than 2, Yes! You read that right. The car is much stable with just one pair.
The third benefit is cost-effectiveness. Two jacks provide you sufficient support without having to spend more on another pair.
How many Jack Stands do I Need to Rotate Tires?
As mentioned earlier, your vehicle would be much more stable and safe to work underneath with two jack stands rather than four.
Jack up one corner. Put a jack stand under it. Remove tire. Then just rotate using the other stand and jack as well and swapping tires. You, ultimately ending up back at that tire you started with.
How many Jack Stands do I Need to Change Oil?
For changing the oil of any vehicle, you only need one pair of jack stands as in two would work just fine for this purpose. Ramps are also a good option for an oil change.
Here is a little tip, whenever you have your vehicle elevated on a pair of jack stands, always use hand brake and chocks to keep it from moving backward while working.
Do I Need Jack Stands to Change a Tire?
Usually, what I see and practice is that jack stands aren’t used for changing tires because it isn’t a much time-consuming process.
For changing a tire, loosen the lug nuts and lift the car. Then change the tire and tighten the nut again. Give a final touch after releasing the car.
Do I Need Jack Stands to Change Brakes?
Having a jack stand, in this case, is extremely necessary and essential for safety purposes. While you’re doing brakes-related maintenance work, you’ll have to take your hands from the back of the tires to the inside.
In simple words, your hands and arms would be inside the wheel, almost near to the steering components or suspension.
You might also have to put your head in there too to check behind the caliper and spindles. If your jack fails, you could be severely injured.
What Size Jack Stands do I Need F150?
A Ford F150 is quite the beast. It is a hefty truck that weighs around 4500lbs or more. You will need a minimum of 3-ton weight capacity in your jack stand for such a heavyweight vehicle.
Related Article: Where to Put Jack Stands Under the Car
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