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I'm looking at buying a jack to lift my OB for tire changes. What is the minimum lift height that I need? My old jack does ~12" but is old and unstable. Do I need substantially more lifting height, like one that does 20"?
 

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2013 2.5i Premium 6mt, Twilight Blue
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I'm guessing you're trying to change two wheels at a time, otherwise the OEM jack with the spare would suffice?
 

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Even if your old one is unstable, you could try lifting the OB with it (wheels on) just to see if a new of that size will work. The OB jack point in the rear is 11 inches high on level ground, unjacked, so it will take some real lift to get the wheels up. My Torin 3 ton with a 21 inch lift works fine and I like working with jacks and jack stands that are way over-kill in capacity. It's much safer than working close to limits rather than the minimum. Go big and go heavy on a new one and get rid of the old unstable one right now.
 

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I have two of these:

Craftsman 3 Ton Service Jack: Get the Lift You Need with Sears

They lift plenty high for the Outback. Place two on each side with a 2x4 block under the pads to swap the wheels for tire rotation, then lift both sides of the front to swap left/right and you're good to go!

Combined w/ my Ingersol-Rand impact wrench (for lug removal ONLY) and Craftsman air ratchet rotating tires is a breeze. Don't forget to properly torque the lugs to around 90 ft lbs and a little anti-sieze on the threads is always a good idea.
 

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Well - you should never work on a car supported only by a jack or jacks unless it's an emergency (i.e., flat tire on the side of the road) - a single jack is all you need, then put the car up on jack stands.

Anyway - I think 12" might be cutting it close for the Outback - not sure if you'll get the wheels off the ground from the front or rear center jack point. My floor jack lifts 18.5" and is plenty to get my Legacy's wheels well off the ground, as well as our van. (but I don't know if it can get the wheels 6" off the ground, and the outback is higher up than a legacy...)

If you shop around, you can usually find a jack+2 jackstands set for cheap - then pick up 2 more and you are good to go. (makes rotating tires a breeze since you have to cross the two rear tires (rotation should be FR -> RR, FL -> RL, RR ->FL, RL -> FR (first letter is front or rear, second is right or left - essentially, the front tires go straight back (stay on the same side of the car) but the rears cross, so the rear left tire goes to the front right corner, etc.) - unless you have tires with a directional tread (i.e., only rotate in one direction), lifting one side at a time isn't enough, unless you are using the spare as a placeholder while working on the other side of the car or something like that)
 

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They lift plenty high for the Outback. Place two on each side with a 2x4 block under the pads to swap the wheels for tire rotation, then lift both sides of the front to swap left/right and you're good to go!
When doing a tire rotation I use the spare tire to hold up the front until I can jack up the opposite side and remove the rear tire on that side. I still jack up both the front and rear at the same time - remove both tires and move the front to the back and replace the front with the spare - jack up both front and rear on opposite side and remove tires - move front to back and replace front with rear tire already removed from opposite side - jack up just the front side with the spare to remove the spare and replace with the last rear tire removed. The advantage here is that I have to take out the spare every 7,500 miles or about 8 months so I can also top off the air pressure which is always down a few pounds.
 

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2012 Subaru Outback 2.5 PZEV x2
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Bumping this old thread.

I'm looking for a floor jack to do winter/summer tire swaps. Would like to be able to do two wheels at a time.

Would a 3 ton jack with 18 1/4' of lift be high enough?

Thanks
James
 

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James
youll need two stands. Expecting a jack to hold pressure is how people get squished.

10-11 inches clearance at the front end at the stock jack point.

Just got one of these at OSH

Powerbuilt Unijack: Powerbuilt Unijack - YouTube
I'll definitely be using jack stands as well. Even with them, I'm probably not going to venture under the car........

Costco has a decent Torin 3 ton jack that goes to 18 1/3 inches for $95, so I was thinking of snagging one of them. Just wasnt sure if the lift height was enough but, it sounds like it will be fine.

Do any of these "jack stands" work by putting them under the axle, or is it best to use them under the pinch weld points like the manual suggests?

I had a bad experience with an old ford mustang where I bench the pinch welds. Putting under the axles seems more sturdy but wasn't sure if it could be done on these cars.
 

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Unijack brilliant idea long over due. I nearly fell over when I spotted it at OSH last week. Onother **** wish I had thought of that product.
goes right where the stock jack point is. The modern cars pretty much can only be lifted at these 4 points or you risk tweaking something.

Powerbuilt Unijack: http://youtu.be/EjeCfU4hP2E
 

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Unijack brilliant idea long over due. I nearly fell over when I spotted it at OSH last week. Onother **** wish I had thought of that product.
goes right where the stock jack point is. The modern cars pretty much can only be lifted at these 4 points or you risk tweaking something.

Powerbuilt Unijack: Powerbuilt Unijack - YouTube
Those are nice. No need to look for a spot and then not sure if it's safe to jack.
That will be my next purchase. Probably don't work well with low cars though.
 

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Those are nice. No need to look for a spot and then not sure if it's safe to jack.
That will be my next purchase. Probably don't work well with low cars though.
They had two a shorty and the taller one. I took a guess. 11inches bottomed out just fits the 2010 OB by the paint thickness with the taller stand. I have a truck too. The 2010 legacy floor jack and sqeezing the stand in for work.
 
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