by Larry Paulick in the June 2003 RootesReview
Your car jack is taken for granted, used, abused, and put away wet in the trunk without a second thought, at least until you need it again. How about giving it a cleaning, new lube, and a new coat of paint? This loyal soldier deserves a little TLC.
The jack is held together by a pin, which goes through the nut on the top of the jack and the screw portion of the jack. Punch this pin out of the nut with a drift pin. The nut is pressed on to the screw portion of the jack. I used a pickling fork, placed between the nut and the body of the jack, and with a hammer took the nut off the screw portion of the jack. (A pickling fork is used for suspension parts removal, and is a cheap addition to your toolbox.) You could use a press to do this same operation, but I would not recommend using a drift pin to drive the nut off the shaft. This may mushroom the nut, making it very hard to get it off.
Now that the nut is off, you can pull the screw and inner tube out of the outer tube. If the jack is bent, you may have to use a long drift pin, or similar long device to punch the inner mechanism, which includes the inner tube and screw portion of the jack, out of the outer tube.
Caution – The tube fits over the screw portion of the jack and also an upper and lower thick looking washer, which is really the race for the ball bearings. Make sure that as you finally remove the last portion of the inner mechanism, you look for all of the ball bearings as they come out. If you don’t, you will spend a lot of time looking for new ball bearings to match the originals.
Cleaning & Greasing
Now that the inner mechanism is out, you can clean and re-grease the screw portion of the jack, which screws into the inner tube. Also clean and grease the upper and lower race and ball bearings.
Painting & Assembly
You can paint the outer tube with spray paint, or if you have a friend like mine, (Thanks Joe) with a power coating system, you can make it look really classy.
Assembly is the reverse. Carefully align the hole in the screw portion, with the hole in the nut while putting the nut back on the screw portion of the jack. This must be done so you can drive the pin in after you drive the nut on. Take your time.
You have now finished the restoration and your loyal soldier is ready to stand guard again. You will notice how smoothly the jack moves up and down and how nice it looks for the upcoming Concourse D’Elegance event.