I’ve always wanted my own vehicle lift. Unfortunately, I don’t have the space or that Tavarish money for one. Fortunately, I came across a product that, for me at least, provides me with enough lifting capacity to accomplish 90% of what I would use a real lift for: The QuickJack Car-Lift System
Note: The fellows at Bendpack/Ranger (The makers of the QuickJack as far as I can tell) wanted me to test and evaluate their product so much that they designed, built, allowed me to purchase it online at full price, and shipped it to my door! This means that this review is of my own opinion and experiences and I was not compensated, bribed, or provided free cookies.
I took this right off the QuickJack site itself:
It’s time for a change. It’s time for QuickJack. QuickJack car lift systems are your go-anywhere, stow-anywhere automotive lifting solution. Whether at the track or in the garage, the QuickJack helps you get your car in the air quicker and safer than traditional jacks and ramps.
With simple push-button operation, almost any car DIY enthusiast can operate the QuickJack. Simply position the platforms beneath the vehicle, line up the rubber pads and hit the button. Once the locks are in place, you’re good to go.
When I have been describing it to my friends, I have been describing it as a ‘much easier way to get your car up on 4 jack stands at their maximum lifting height’. While you aren’t able to stand and work underneath your car, the QuickJack allows you a substantial amount of space underneath your car to complete most types of automotive work.
The QuickJack comes in 3 basic varieties based on their weight capacity. The smallest and cheapest of the 3, the BL-3500SLX, is rated for 3500lbs. The larger, more costly BL-5000SLX, and BL-7000SLX are rated for, you guessed it, 5000 and 7000lbs respectively. In my researching for the proper information for this article, I have also discovered that they are now offering the BL-5000EXT and BL-7000EXT models for pre-order with an August 2017 shipping estimate. These models are longer and have a 6” longer lifting spread than the standard units.
Note: I have lifted a SuperCrew F150 with my BL-7000SLX model, so I’m not sure exactly what you would need those extra 6” for. (That’s what she said)
Asides from the different models, QuickJack also offers a few other options and accessories. There are 4 different power unit options to match your needs: 12v DC, 110v AC, 208-230v AC (50-60hz), and 240v AC 50hz. They also offer SUV and Truck lift-adapters, pinch-weld lift blocks, and even a motorcycle adapter (all these are extra cost of course.)
As for my purchase? I ordered the BL-7000SLX with the 12v DC motor and SUV/Truck adapters costing me $1710. I went with the 7000lb model because of the aforementioned F-150, and my own 2014 Police Interceptor Utility that are in mine and my Father’s stable. They are both near that 5000lb mark and the extra $150 for the 2000lbs of lifting capacity seemed a good investment. I chose the 12v version because my father and I split the cost so we wanted the ability to transfer it back and forth from not only garage-to-garage, but also driveway-to-driveway. I also purchased a $50 jump-box from Walmart to power the system.
After I ordered my QuickJack it took around a week to arrive at the house. It came in 3-boxes, two of which were rather heavy. Our delivery guy was quite appreciative that I was there to help out with getting them out of his truck.
Included in the boxes were the two main lifting ramps, handles to move the ramp on the ground (I have never used these), two sets (small and large) of lifting blocks, the DC pump, hydraulic hoses, a bunch of fittings and connectors, some thread tape, and spare wheels for the ramps. Oh, and instructions too (you might actually want to use these when putting everything together).
It should be noted that you will need to purchase some kind of hydraulic fluid to fill the power unit with. I used Mobil-1 Synthetic ATF because I’m a baller like that. But really, any 2.5 quarts of ATF or hydraulic oil will do the job.
Assembly, which included, installing the fittings, filling the motor, pressurizing the air cylinders, bleeding the system, and lubing all the joints of the lift frames took around 1.5 hours start to finish.
Here’s my test run jacking some jacks (Insert jacking joke here):
So, now that the assembly is explained, it’s time to lift things!
The process is quite easy. Put your car on level ground and find some place under your car where it looks like you can lift it from without damaging anything (If you have ever owned a Fiero, you know that coolant pipes are not a good place for lifting). If you are having trouble finding where to lift, most owner’s manuals have lift points indicated in them. I have either lifted vehicles by the frame rails or right inside of the pinch welds where one would normally use a scissor jack. Once you have a good idea of where you are going to lift it from, slide the lifting frame on each side of the car and select your lifting block of choice. Hook up the hydraulic hoses that have a wonderful drip-resistant connection and power up the power unit.
From there it’s a matter of pressing the ‘Up’ button and watch the lifting magic happen! Actually, I would suggest lifting the ramps almost up to the desired contact points and confirm that your lift points look safe and secure. After that, lift away!
The lift frames have two points where you can secure the safety lock. One is high enough to get the tires off the ground, but probably not enough to get underneath most vehicles comfortably. The second lock is at its highest lifting point, approximately 20” depending on block configuration. This height is approximately a bit higher than my jack stands at maximum height.
Once at the desired height, lower the car to secure the locking bars in place. Just like with a regular hydraulic jack, it is always safer to utilize a mechanical locking mechanism over a hydraulic one. Once in place, I have found the vehicles to be incredibly secure and have spent hours underneath various cars doing various work with minimal apprehension. At the very least, it definitely feels more secure than jack stands IMO. But I have also knocked a car off jack stands before so that probably skews my judgement.
Lowering the car is just as easy. Press the magical “Up” button again to get the tension off the locking bars. Then all you have to do is flip the cams on the end of the locking bars and press the slightly less magical “Down” button. The vehicle will start to drop in a slow and steady manner until its back on solid ground. Once it’s down, it’s simply a matter of pulling the lifts out and putting everything away.
As for putting the QuickJack away, its portability is a huge bonus. I have a mere one-car garage so space is at a premium. As pictured, I created a storage space for my QuickJack when it is not in use that takes up hardly any floor space. Even my standard floor jacks take up more space than my QuickJack.
A note on the ramps. They are HEAVY. My BL-7000SLX ramps are 96lbs each. I can move them around myself, but I am also 6'3" and an ex-college football player who still bench presses well over 300lbs. Having someone around to help you would be quite beneficial.
I’m going to start this segment with my criticisms of the QuickJack as I don’t want to end the article on a negative note. While I feel I have presented the QuickJack in a positive manner throughout this article so far, I would be remiss in not posting about some of the problems and gripes I’ve had with my QuickJack.
My first complaint is the wheels. Each lift frame has two small hard-plastic wheels to help you move the frame around. The very first time I tried to move a frame, a wheel got caught on a rock slightly larger than a speck of dust and proceeded to wear a large flat-spot into it. I replaced the wheel with one of the included spares only flat-spot it the very next time I moved it. In a sanitary, debris-free environment these wheels might work without issue, but in my garage and driveway, they are useless. I have resorted to carrying my 96lb QuickJack frames from place to place.
Update: QuickJack apparently read this review and overnighted me a set of wheels with a new design. I have to say that the new wheels are far superior to the old version and I am now able to move my lifts around my garage and driveway much easier. I feel this reiterates my previous comments that Bendpack is committed to improving and upgrading their products and have pretty good customer service too!
Which brings me to my next issue; there is no real good place to grip and carry the QuickJack frames from. In my quest to find the most efficient way to move the frames around, I have pinched a few fingers between the frames and had a few small ‘drops’ almost crushing a toe.
If anyone involved in the R&D of the QuickJack reads this, I offer solutions to both of these issues. Below is a picture of my $30 ‘racing’ jack. A solid metal roller wheel and couple of simple metal handles would do wonders for moving the frames around. I am actually considering having a friend of mine weld a couple of carry-handles onto my frames to make my life a bit easier.
My only other issue that I have come across is that one time I was lowering my RX-8 and only one side was lowering. Fortunately I was paying attention and caught it before things went all tipsy-turvy. I re-raised it and lowered it, and it went down fine.
There are issues on the internet I have seen about leaky fittings, pumps failing, and lift frames dropping at different rates. I also know that the QuickJack has undergone a number of revisions to try to fix the issues that they have had. So it is good to see that Bendpack/Ranger has taken R&D seriously and continue to improve their product.
While this isn’t a complaint, it’s more a matter of stating that the QuickJack has clear limitations. If you own a car that requires you to drop the powertrain from underneath, you are out of luck. There is no way you are getting a QuickJack high enough, although I’m sure there are people creative/crazy enough to devise a way. But if you want to drop a rear end or rear subframe, I would say that it is possible to do in most cases. I’m pretty certain I can pull my transmission out of my RX-8 to do my eventual clutch change.
That’s all the negatives I have. Overall I absolutely love my QuickJack. It has made getting my RX-8 ready for Autocross weekends much easier as I only have to lift it once to change out all 4 tires and make alignment adjustments. I do my tire rotations, oil and transmission fluid changes, all my brake and suspension work with my QuickJack now. I’ve had about 8 different cars up on it now and all have been easy to find lifting points for. Only my RX-8 requires me to jack up the car from the rear a bit because it’s so low, especially with my shorter autocross tires.
I love the versatility of it. Being able to lift cars in my driveway is much less cramped than when I have to work inside my garage. Also, my Father’s F-150 is too tall to lift inside his garage, so having the ability to lift it outside is great.
While I think my version is too big, the 3500lb version would be awesome for a regular weekend-racer. Having one of those in the paddock would probably make a lot of friends at a LeMons race or track-day.
So if you don’t have the space and/or the cash for a full size lift, the QuickJack is a less expensive, more portable option that can provide you with the ability to handle most jobs that a full size lift could handle and works in a manner that is easier and safer than your standard jack/jack stand combo. If you have the budget for it, I highly recommend it.
The author, who goes by Joe in real life, is an avid automotive enthusiast with a particular passion for Mazda rotaries. You can find him at many Western New York SCCA and surrounding area events autocrossing his RX-8. He can be reached AkursedX @gmail.com