floor jack specs

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Posted by Peter ( on 09:11:57 12/13/11

I am considering buying a floor jack. I have not needed one up to now even having a stable of 4 vehicles since I send almost all of the work to my tech. The situation is changed this year now that I have a separate set of mounted snow tires for one of the vehicles. Thrifty as I am, I hate the idea of paying someone $20 to rotate the old ones off and the new ones on AFTER I had to load and haul the spare set both directions.

From my basic knowledge of jacks, I know to worry about the vehicle's ground clearance (my vehicles range from 5.5" to 8.4" according to online sources). I also need to accomodate the vehicle weight (3000 to 6000). Jack stands should meet or exceed the lifting capacity.

My questions are:

1. For vehicle weight/lifting capacity, can I take half of the vehicle's weight as the jack capacity? This would let me buy a cheaper 2 ton jack to lift the Sub (5900 lbs empty according to a scrap yard scale) instead of a 3 ton.

2. How much lifting height do I need for a 2000 Sub? I have seen a spec for ground clearance as 8.4 but that is probably the lowest hanging piece of metal and not the height for the jack to touch the frame. The 2 ton goes up to 15" and a three ton hits at least 18".

My primary use will be to change tires on one vehicle but if I am investing, I would rather make sure I buy something I can make use of elsewhere.

Your thoughts?

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