Whenever the task of lifting a heavyweight vehicle comes up, mechanics will opt for the jackscrew. Using a screw jack in that scenario makes more sense as it offers increased safety, better energy efficiency, and an outstanding level of precision. However, you can not just get your hands on one and expect to enjoy all these.
Instead, you need to learn how to use a screw jack properly. In fact, without knowing the right way, you will be putting yourself at risk as the jack operates a little differently.
The good news? We have years of experience with this type of jack, and we know every bit of the operational process! And we are here to make it easier for you to learn the right procedure.
Jump To Contents
- How Do Screw Jacks Work?
- Types of Screw Jack
- 5 Steps To Use A Screw Jack
- Final Words
How Do Screw Jacks Work?
As we have mentioned earlier, jackscrews work a little differently. At its core, it is a gearbox assembly. It will have bevel or worm gears inside. There will be all, lead, or roller screw along with those. Combined, those parts will convert the rotary motion into linear motion.
When the worm or bevel shaft rotates, the lead screw will rotate the jack's body. The nut, which will be on the lead screw, will move in a linear direction alongside the screw.
On that note, the greater the load on the jack, the more the nut will tend to turn. Therefore, a fixed structure inside the jack will prevent this unintended rotation.
Types of Screw Jack
Before we get into the process of using a screw jack, we want to ensure you have a fair idea regarding the types.
1. Translating Screw Jack
The lead screw of this type moves linearly while the rotation of the worm wheel will act directly on it. Due to the friction between the screw threads, the lead screw will tend to rotate if it is not fixed in one place. And the fixation will depend on the jack stand model.
With this type, you will need to attach the load to the ends of the lead screw. But it requires a good amount of clearance at the bottom of the mounting plate for the screw cover.
2. Keyed Screw Jack
This type is pretty much like the regular translating screw jack. But the lead screw will be wedged so that it can not turn on its own. And with this, you can not attach the lead screw to the load.
3. Rotating Screw Jack
The lead screw will be attached to the work wheel for this type. And the rotating of the worm wheel will make the lead screw rotate. While doing so, the nut will slide along the lead screw. And with this type, you will need to attach the nut to the load.
For this, you will not need the clearance that we have mentioned above. But you should consider that the plate can move past or over the lifting screw.
5 Steps To Use A Screw Jack
With all of the things aside, let us get to the central part of the guide. So, to use the screw jack properly, you will need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Prepare the Vehicle
First and foremost, you need to work with the vehicle. Park it at a leveled spot and put the car in the park mode. You would also want to engage the parking brake to ensure that the car does not move when you are lifting it up.
Then, use wheel chocks to chock the wheels you do not want to work with. For example, if you were to work with the front wheels, you should put the wheel chocks on the back wheel.
These chocks will offer an additional layer of security and make the lifting process much safer for you.
Step 2: Locate the Jack Spots
Usually, there will be jack spots on the side of the wheels and on the center of the frame. These will vary from one vehicle to another.
For that reason, you need to go through the user's manual and see where the spots are for your vehicle. Keep them in mind and move to the next step.
Step 3: Slide the Jack Under Your Car
Now, you will need to align the jack right in the center of the jack spots. The frame will slide without keeping the jack centered with the jack spots when you lift the car up. And that could cause accidents. For that reason, double-check whether the jack is directly under the jack spots or not.
Step 4: Lift the Vehicle Up
After sliding the jack under the car, slowly lift up the jack. While lifting the car up, you should check whether the jack is losing the grip of the jack point or not.
If the vehicle seems unstable, slowly lower it and check whether the jack is sitting under the jack spots or not.
Step 5: Put Jack Stands and Work with Your Car
The final step would be to put the stands under your vehicle. You will need to raise enough to slide the stands under the car for this. After placing them, slowly lower the car and let the weight rest on the jack stands. Then, work with the other side of the vehicle by following the same procedure.
Although screw jacks are not that common, you should not think twice about using them if you are lifting a heavyweight vehicle. They also offer a couple of advantages that other jacks can not provide, making them a perfect choice for different maintenance tasks.
That said, when you are using the jackscrew, do go through each of the steps that we have discussed on this how to use a screw jack guide properly. That will make you gain maximum safety, and you will be able to complete the maintenance task quickly.
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