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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First let me preface this by saying that I know that Hi-Lift jacks have been around for 20 years. Let me also say that when I first saw them - I said to myself that they looked like a long POS bumper jack with a fancy price tag. Since owning several 3/4 and 1 ton pickups and heavy vans in my history, the factory and I had reasoned that a bumper jack was inappropriate for a vehicle with heavy solid axles - so we accepted the fact that a screw jack ( or a hydraulic bottle jack) was the way to go - I also reasoned that a extra long bumper jack look alike would be just as inappropriate - otherwise the factory and I/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif would issue these with the vehicles (like they did bumper jacks with passenger cars of the day). I never liked using a bumper jack due to it's instability .... so I KNEW that I'd REALLY dislike using an extended bumper jack. One can say that I "scoffed" at the true validity of such a device.
Well time has proven this to be "the way to go" and that my initial impression was apparently flawed. There are just too many very bright and inovative people that use them to have this just be a "follow the leader" lemmings en vogue type thing (never get in the way of men parting with their money). I am, however, curious as to why no one has expanded on the screw/hydraulic jack that merely has to lift the axle .. instead of having to lift the entire frame soooooo much further to lift the tires off the ground.
Educate me, please

Side note ....... the one thing that I did use a bumper jack for .....that may apply......when I got stuck in snow or mud in my POS car ...... I'd use the bumper jack to lift it as high as I could ........ since the thing was so unstable I would then kick it and the car would "fall" in a different spot ........several repeats ......and you're out of the ditch!
GeeAea
 
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Why the Hi-lift, oh boy. Those things are so versatile, first of all you don't need to crawl under the vehicle to use it. You can use it as a winch, a separator, a log splitter (yes, they make an attachment), it's a simple device, easy to maintain and repair, the various parts come in handy to use to make emergency repairs, the handle makes a great lever or breaker bar, you can carry it mounted on the outside of your vehicle, and no matter how rusty and dirty it gets it still works, I could go on, but I'm sure others will!

Brad (from the 4 Wheeling center of the universe, 4 corners USA)
 
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I carry both when on the trail. I have seen situations when we couldn't get the hydraulic under the axle, and I have seen situations when a Hi-Lift wasn't tall enough (hard to belive, but these super long travel suspensions are making this more common). I think there are a couple reasons that the hydraulic hasn't been expanded. First the hydraulic jack has to be placed under the axle and in some terrain that is very uncomfortable and sometimes messy. Second how would you be able to modify the hydraulic to be any better without being impossible to carry. Finally I can't think of how a hydraulic could do as many things as a Hi-Lift can.

Tim Springer
1980 CJ7
 

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You know, after my first $380. snow cat rental to retrieve my Jeep at 12,500 ft in April, I bought one. Used it the way you described, but only had to do it once. Paid for itself real fast!

 

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/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif Well, GeeAea, the little moonguys out here in the west actually call those jacks "Sheepherder Jacks" since no REAL, self-respecting Basque sheepherder would have a Ford pickup without one hanging on the side racks. The jacks are used to pull out steel fence posts which are used to temporarily fence off areas of fields for grazing...usually a field that was a melon crop, or a seed crop...well, you get the idea. I didn't even know they were hi-lift jacks till I was an adult /wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gifheh heh. You can't herd sheep unless you are Basque, and you can't be a sheepherder without a "sheepherder jack"./wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif

CJDave
 

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First, let me ask you . . . How often do you go four-wheeling? After my first or second time, I found that I had to have a high lift jack! It's more important than an American Express card - Don't leave home without it! It's invalueable on the trail! It's also quicker and easier to use than either a scissor or hydraulic jack. Heavy duty and has 101 uses.
As far as being a "bumper jack" - for most cars the bumpers just aren't sturdy enough or made for a jack, but most of the rigs and trail vehicles I've seen have decent bumpers/lift points, so thats not a problem.

Keep on Jeepin'
Scott
 

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I thought bumber jacks were obselete too, but realized the Hi-Lift is not like the old bumber jacks. My 95 YJ did not have any jack when I got it, and none where available in the junk yards. So I got a 48" Hi-Lift for $43 at a local farm implement store. My problem is where to store it. I'm thinking making it a little shorter and/or disassembling it so it is easier to store out of the way. Are there any problems storing it disassembled and what would be the minimum practical height for a stock suspension?

jerry
 
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Just a tip for those with flex suspensions. Carry a short length of chain and chain the axel to the frame when lifting with a hi-lift. It works great.

80 CJ5, 52M38
 

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/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif Chain is good. You can also use the chain to tie a log under the Jeep that drags on the ground while you cripple in with only one rear hub left on your Jeep. Sort of a modified Indian travois./wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif

CJDave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Help me with this Hi-Lift thingie-ScottCJ8

Scott- I'm fairly new to off roading ......well I've thrashed many a vehicle in an off road environment ......but not recreationally (and not with a JEEP).......and not for 20+ years ....... hence many of the "hot setups" that are quite common place for you ...... are totally alien to me. This is why, although I'm well versed in the mechanical and engineering "arts" ....... I'm a plebe when it comes to "on board air" and Rhino lining and yes high lift jacks...... many of these things did not exist when I did my last "home grown" vehicle mod. I gave up wrenching for a living 20+ years ago...... and have not kept pace with the "after"-market.
I really appreciate the candor and straight forward feedback that I get to my queries ......this is in spite of my "irreverent wise a$$" tone.
Thanks for the info
GeeAea
 

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Re: This Hi-Lift thingie

GeeAea
This is a good board to get lots of info. I've learned many a thing. I hope I didn't offend you by my answer. I didn't intend to slam - there's enough of that going on as it is! :-(
I too, spent my "younger days" on dirt bikes. (And ask my insurance co. - I've thrashed my share of vehicles too.)
Welcome to "The Jeep Thing"! and Happy Jeepin'

Keep on Jeepin'
Scott
 
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As for storing, I used to stand mine upright against the rollbar in my CJ5.

And on the stability thing, I've seen guys take a single blade from an old disc & convert that to a handy removable base. Spare tires work in a pinch.

And one last thing - tube bumpers. Hi-lifts won't stick to 'em. So, if you have tube bumpers, you could:
(1) cut a notch in the bottom of the bumper in the center
(2) use your receiver hitch if you have one
(3) some other creative idea I can't imagine

TEX

/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif Got Mud?
G.U.M.B.O. Mud Racing
 

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I have had hilift jacks for over 20 years. I do believe they are the greatest for getting unstuck, moving a log, pulling a fence, and 1001 other uses. However, If I have to change a tire, I will use my bottle jack every time. I may need to use the farmer jack in conjunction with the bottle jack, but, to change a tire, the bottle jack is the prefered tool. I think the high-lift has been elevated to such a mythical status that some forget to be realistic in its application. I believe chaining the axle to the frame will get you dirtier than crawling under the vehicle to place the bottle jack.

Of course, all my experience is with bottle jacks that work. And anyone who leaves his hi-lift outside all the time better plan on keeping it well lubed. A rusty hi-lift will stick and break your hand or other body part. You need to excersize caution in their use.

Enjoying Montana's Big Sky (& rocks & rivers & mountians etc, You get the picture.)
 
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I carry both, a Hi-lift latched to the "roll-bar" and for normal stuff a scissor jack in a small tool box in the back. Each has it's strong points and weaknesses!

my 0.02$

BlueJay
 
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I picked up a farm jack from Harbor Freight for less than half of what you pay for a brand name "high lift" jack. I have used it multiple times with no problems. Basically the same thing just painted orange instead of red. Has anybody tried using their on-board air to run some sort of neumatic jack?

 
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94 YJ and a Jeep is a coupe and not a sedan - that means that I don't carry back seat drivers or passengers or a back seat. Therefor I can make the following recommendations: take the HiLift apart (slide the mechanism off of the I-beam)(remove the cotter pin from the handle - it is not needed to operate the unit but only to ship it and to keep it together during whatever)(remove the pin from the base - and substitute some 1/4" x 20 x 1-1/2" bolt
with a pair of nuts - these are not a stressed or loaded item when jacking so make it easy on yourself [mine are cheap stainless steel for obvious reasons]) and you will have three basic parts: the I-beam, handle and mechanism. These three items fit immediately to hand inside the vehicle: mechanism on the floor behind the console or behind the passenger seat; handle and beam transversely on the front of the rear 'buckets' to the rear of the sport bar legs where they bolt to the floorboard. Inside, easily accessible and safe from theft! (Hardtop!) In addition it keeps heavy things from sliding forward when you stand your Jeep on it's nose as you go down waterfalls and etc., etc.
sln
 
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Different bases are a Martha S. 'good thing' definitely. Tube bumpers can be good points for high lift: add some 'no-slips' in the form or
some 5/16" or 3/8" bar stock to the ends and middles of the underside of the front and rear bumpers (welded) to allow the tongue or hook of the
HiLift to not slip off and guess what? Safety and functionality in one!
WFM
sln


 
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that screw jack which comes stock with a jeep and many other vehicles is capable of lifting the entire vehicle (engineering factors of
safety) and works in all positions and it is bombproof and simple and will always be there if you DON'T LET IT RUST!!! Don't sell any
of them short.
JMTCW
sln

 

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When I got my CJ5 last winter I stuck the bottle jack leftover from my pickup in the back. Serviceable but a PITA. Last week my wife bought me a Hi-Lift for my birthday and of course I ran out into the driveway to try it out. It's so much faster and easier than the bottle jack it's almost better than sex! Well not really.......

I wish I could figure out a way to put it under the hood, but for right now it fits accross the back behind the rear seat, over my "trunk" lid.

-Dana

CLINTON: "I said 'No gnu taxes!' Do you see any gnus being taxed?"

 
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