Vintage Tool of the Week: Transmission Jack

This week I'll show off my transmission jack. This unit isn't super old, maybe early 90's or so, but it was well loved when I got it so of course I got a good deal on it. My secret to having a well stocked tool box has been to buy very little new stuff, and mostly focus on good quality, pre-owned tools and equipment.

This transmission jack is two-stage, foot operated and has a fully adjustable pivoting head. Last week was my first opportunity to use this piece, and it worked fantastic. I'm pretty capable of maneuvering awkward stuff around a shop by myself, but I've reached the point where I'm done wrestling heavy transmissions and rear axle assemblies around by hand. A transmission jack is absolutely the way to go for this stuff!

Here is the jack adjusted to fit this rear axle housing and securely strapped down.
I had to remove the whole axle assembly on this car because the left hand axle bearing race was hopelessly stuck in the housing. I learned a cool little trick to get it out though...

Weld a bead around the circumference of the race, and let it cool completely....
A quick tap of the slide hammer popped it out effortlessly...

As the weld bead cools and shrinks, it reduces the size of the race enough to let it slide out easily.

So why did I have to pull the entire axle assembly out of the car for this?
Well, two reasons:  
1) The electrician who wired the welding room installed a 220v 3 phase socket for my Miller 220v single phase welder and rather than change the socket, he wired the welder pigtail with a 3 phase plug. This means it won't plug in to the 220v single phase socket near the lift where the car was. 

2) The whole axle assembly and leaf springs were crusty painted over grease and rust, so this is an ideal time to clean it up and paint it nicely out of the car. 

BONUS- I get a good excuse to use my new and exciting piece of equipment!