Working on cars in the garage, or prepping them at the track is how most of us gearheads spend free time with our vehicles. For some, working on their own car is a big task and a hassle due to not having all of the right tools and equipment because, let’s face it, not all of the tools and equipment are affordably priced for the average person.
One common interest in DIY gearheads is having a lift. Two-post lifts are too large for standard suburban garages, and they are very pricy. Some can manage a four-post lift in their garage, but again, they’re expensive and don’t meet all of the requirements of a two-post lift. Scissor lifts are also very pricy and often weigh too much for the average person to move, or it is fastened to the floor. Gearheads around the world can now rejoice, as Bendpak has released an affordable scissor-style jack system called QuickJack. With prices ranging from $849 to $1,249, the system definitely won’t break the bank.
The QuickJack system is ultra-portable, stores really easily, and can even operate off of a 12V DC plug in your own car if there is no 110V outlet around. Bendpak recently sent us two of the QuickJack systems, and we couldn’t be happier with the way they perform. We also spoke with Joe Vermillion of Bendpak to talk about the QuickJack system to learn more about the product and the idea behind it.
Bendpak’ started out by producing the BL-3500 model for track day folks who had cars weighing 3,500 pounds and under. The BL-3500 model was such a hit at the track that people started inquiring about a more heavy-duty model to use with their vehicles at home.
“The QuickJack was designed originally for the race track,” Vermillion stated. “We got so much demand from the home users wanting a bigger version than the 3,500-pound model we started with, so we produced a more capable 5,000-pound model.”
As you already know, we’re building a Factory Five Cobra Challenge car, and thought that it would be really cool to assemble the whole car on the QuickJack system. We were supplied with the BL-5000 model, which is more than capable of holding up a 2,300-pound roadster (when completed). Also, the garage we’re building it in has plastic snap-together flooring, which is great for the QuickJack system. We had no problem sliding around the two jacks on the floor to get our project in a good spot (before the frame was on it, mind you). The jacks will slide great on cement floors as well, but they might catch a little bit on epoxy floors if you’re not careful.
As we stated earlier, the QuickJack system was originally meant for the track so that competitors could have an efficient place to work on their cars. The cool part about taking it to the track is that a wall outlet is not needed if you opt for the 12V DC plug. Instead, the QuickJack system could be plugged into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter or battery to lift it. How awesome is that?
“There are two versions of the QuickJack system, an AC version that you can plug into the wall, and even use an extension cord with as long as its a 12-gauge cord,” Vermillion explained. “I use the DC version myself because I take it on the road everywhere I go to demo it. I just hook it right up to my car or a jump box. Usually, I’ll start the car up every 15 times that I go up and down, and have never had a problem with it killing the battery.”
If you’re wondering how the QuickJack system operates, it’s quite simple. The hand-held pendant control has an “up” button and a “down” button, which controls the electric motor on the mini hydraulic power unit. The hydraulic power unit takes roughly one quart of ATF, and that’s all you’ll need for the jacks to operate. There are quick-disconnect lines coming off of the mini hydraulic power unit that connect to the jacks and fill the rams with fluid, ultimately lifting the vehicle almost two-feet off the ground. It does not matter what order the lines are connected, just as long as they’re connected correctly. And being that the fittings on the lines are quick-disconnect, you shouldn’t need to worry about any any fluid leaking when it is in storage not being used.
Portability is another great feature of the QuickJack System. They can fit in the back of a pickup truck, in a minivan, and virtually any car with rear seats that fold down to enlarge the trunk. The limiting factor would be transporting the QuickJack system in a vehicle like a Mazda Miata; if you really wanted to make it work, you can, but it would be a hassle. We were able to fit the system into a 1992 Honda EG hatchback, though! The fit was a little tight, but it worked out just fine.
For safety, the QuickJack system has locks on each of the jack frames. When positioning under your car to lift, make sure the arms are facing outward so they’re easily accessible to the user. You wouldn’t want the lock arms to be facing the inside of the car because then you would have to crawl under the car to release the locks, which isn’t safe. There are two positions to lock the jacks as well. The lowest height lock can be used to simply change tires on the vehicle, while the second locks the car higher in the air to access the underside.
Bendpak’s QuickJack system has been a real life-saver during the build of our Factory Five Cobra Jet Challenge car, and we can’t wait to get the car completed. After the car is completed, it will be unveiled at the SEMA Show in November, then back to California for track time. We will then tune the car’s suspension, braking, and aerodynamics. We want to give a big thanks to Bendpak for supplying us with the QuickJack system to show that one of these cars can be built solely in a garage. Stay tuned for more updates on our Factory Five Cobra Jet Challenge car!