Direct Lift 4 Posted Lift-Poor Man’s Sliding Jack-No Need for a $700 Direct Lift Sliding Center Lift Hydraulic Jack
I have owned a Direct Lift 4 posted Lift since 2009 and wish I had it when I first started fiddling around with cars at home. I thank my lucky stars. Like so many of us, when I bought the lift, I could not afford some of the nice options which Direct Lift offered, which in most cases is the same with the variety of different brand 4 Posted Lifts on the market today.
My Direct Lift came with one sliding steel tray to use for jacking and jack stands, but I desperately wanted one of their nice $700 Sliding Center Lift Hydraulic Jacks but could not afford it. Since then, I have watched the traditional used equipment sources thinking someone would sell theirs. Nada. Hasn’t happened in my case.
Well fast forward to late 2021/early 2022 and have a look at this brand new item which first showed itself in my Facebook feed, a Vevor 3 Ton Tripple Bag Air Pneumatic Jack 6600 lbs Steel Rubber Release Quickly. It comes with handles and is intended to lift on the side of the vehicle. They make a couple smaller ones, but looking at the minimum height and maximum lift on the jack, I started thinking this might be just the item for anyone with a 4 posted Lift looking for an easy way to jack cars, especially very low ones while they are on the lift. With one of these jacks forward and aft, one could quickly jack a car on the lift and remove the wheels to work on it and remain safe on the lift. This could be my nice sliding jack looking at me in the face. So I ordered one!
The jack is simple to assemble…just needing the air connection bolted on and the airline connected. It comes with two attachable arms which I left off for my planned 4 Posted Lift use.
To test it out since the unit is too long especially when the airline is connected to position it fore and aft, I set it into my sliding tray but turned it 90 degrees so the hose and air connection would not hit the insides of the tray. I went ahead and lifted my ’38 Willys Pickup centering the jack under the Mustang II Crossmember. This bad boy is super low, so the fact this air bag jack fit nicely in the tray, clearing the Willys’ Mustang II crossmember was wonderful. Even better, I could drive on and over the jack which just made my day. I lifted the car and installed a jack stand on one side. Because the air fitting etc was sticking to the side it provides a conflict for adding a second jack stand. So the answer and fix is rather easy now that I knew it would work.
I marked the center of the sliding tray, measured the width of the Vevor air bag jack, just about 10 inches. I went ahead and split the 10 inch width measurement on the sliding tray center point, marking what I would cut. In my case, I dug out my torch and cut out a 10 inch wide segment of one edge of the sliding tray, ground it and then painted it with some Black Rustoleum spray paint. Then tested it again.
As you can see in the pictures below, you can then slide the jack into the center fore and aft with the hose assembly sticking out. You can rotate your sliding tray 180 degrees if you want so the air hose either sticks out ahead or underneath the car; your choice. The jack no longer conflicts with either jack stand. Once you raise the car, there is plenty of room to set two jack stands under the front end and lower the car on them. Works like a dream. Other than a little assembly and measuring, the jack cost about $130. I ordered one day and had it the next.
If you have two sliding trays, one could do this with both trays and buy a second jack. Right now, one air bag jack is good for me. No more wishing I had a $700 Direct Lift Sliding Jack.
Post article a couple of questions came my way on the Vevor Air Bag Jack. I used a normal garage 60 gallon air compressor with your typical 90 to 100psi of air to action the jack. Once the jack is raised, there is no need to keep the air hose connected if you need to move it. You can simply un-attach it and use it for something else. As far as compressor size, any portible air compressor which will operate a variety of air tools will work including maybe a standalone portable pressure tank properly air up and having 90-100psi of air. Something like a cigarette lighter powered air pump for inflating a tire is not going to work.
I was asked about cutting the piece out of the side of the heavy steel sliding tray and it’s integrity afterward including handing the weight of the vehicles jacked by it. I gave it some thought but do not see an issue period with this due to the substantial thickness of the steel used in making the tray, the side tray framework and construction; the fact that the bottom part of the tray, both sides are not welded but bent meaning they are one solid piece. Lastly I am not doing this on both sides; just one side.
The mitigation here for those who might worry would be once you can gig up the tray with the jack after cutting the section away, one could fabricate a 12 inch strap which would bolt onto each edge of the opening using like thickness of material or a piece of thicker steel either drilling holes through both or tapping the hole on each edge of the tray and using grade 8 bolts.
In my case the wieght is generall under 2000lbs on the front end of my cars, and substantially less on my Willys since it weighs but 2800lbs period.