My trusty floor jack of 12+ years finally commited suicide. I've been looking for a good/affordable service jack with decent height capability without too much luck. An AC jack is out of the question, what else should I consider? (please don't recommend the Harbor Freight alum racing jack!! lol)
Dunno exacly what you have in mind, but we got one of these 2 years ago and have been really pleased for the price. Light to throw in the truck and 18+" lift. Ignore the 'race jack' part. Main handle pulls out with a thumbscrew and the side handles on the side make it easy to grab and lift.
We've used one of the "affordable" aluminum jacks for 3 or 4 years now daily in the shop. Beat the snot out of it. Still keeps working. Only problem is it doesn't work on big trucks or vans and rally service rigs. I bought a big Lincoln (real 2 ton) floor jack years ago from a Carquest store. It was about $200 cheaper than the same thing off the Snappy truck. It will pick up large vehichles but it is heavy.
The thing I don't like about those inexpensive aluminum jacks is with one pump they seem to want to lift alot (4 inches or more) putting a strain on the jack and taking alot of effort. I use my for service, but in the garage I use a Sams club $60 one.
I already have one of the cheap-o alum quick pump jacks. Problem is that it only goes up to ~18", which is actually not that high. You can put some wood blocks on the saddle to get some extra height, but still not high enough. I guess I got spoiled with my Larin 3T that gets 22" of height on it's own.
My ultimate solution was to get an AC jack, but they are huge and heavy and the cost isn't easy to swallow either. I also think they aren't being sold in the US anymore....if anyone knows of a source for AC please let me know.
Are all the "big-dog" teams using AC? They sure aren't using anything like we are talking about to put their cars up on those socketed jack stands...
At Sherbrooke, one of the French teams had a beautiful grey jack that was lighter than an AC and shorter too and went just as high.
I asked if they wanted to save the shipping and sell it but they declined.
I wrote some of the stuff off the sticker but I'll never find it.
Moral: there's some better stuff out there... somewhere.
I ordered one and so far it is great...A bit heavier than the average floor jack due to size, but makes up for that in the height it can achieve. Took about ~2 weeks to get it, but not a bad deal at ~$230 shipped...Figured I would post this up since we never really came up with a good answer.