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Old 03-17-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
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High lift jacks explained

At the risk of sounding like an idiot I need three things explained to me.

1. How and in what situations can a high lift jack be used to help get you unstuck in the back country?

2. Is a high lift recommended for home maintenance? Can I use one to jack up the jeep just to put jack stands under? I have read in various places they are only recommended for emergencies, why is that?

3. can I jack from the stock bumpers to get it high enough to put jack stands underneath the axles/frame rails when doing maintenance?

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Old 03-17-2010, 02:13 PM   #2
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At the risk of sounding like an idiot I need three things explained to me.

1. How and in what situations can a high lift jack be used to help get you unstuck in the back country?
i've used mine as a come a long a few times. chain the top end to a tree, hook a chain or strap around the jack foot thing to the vehicle, and start cranking.

i've also used it to pick up the vehicle to put stuff underneath it to keep from high centering.

i've also used it to drive off of something. drove off the jack to get over whatever

Quote:
2. Is a high lift recommended for home maintenance? Can I use one to jack up the jeep just to put jack stands under? I have read in various places they are only recommended for emergencies, why is that?
i dont. they're somewhat wobbly and a floor jack works better, but in a pinch, it works

Quote:
3. can I jack from the stock bumpers to get it high enough to put jack stands underneath the axles/frame rails when doing maintenance?

cant help you there. it works on mine off the bumpers, but if my jeep was cherry, id proceed with caution so you dont tweak a bumper or something

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Old 03-17-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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Hi-Lift jacks are fine for some unique situations. BUT, they should not be considered the jack of choice for changing tires (no matter how tall your lift is) or jacking the Jeep up from the bumper or tub to lift the Jeep high enough to place jack stands underneath. Use a hydraulic floor jack for that as Hi-Lifts are not stable or safe enough for that kind of use. Personally, I consider Hi-Lifts strictly as a tool-of-last-resort when nothing else will work. Too many Jeepers mistakenly use them for everything, believing incorrectly that they are needed even to change tires for lifted Jeeps... they are not. The OE jack works fine for changing tires with any size suspension lift for tires up to at least 35" and even 37" in a pinch.

Be careful with a Hi-Lift, they are really dangerous if you're not careful with them. This is the reason that new cars no longer come with that style jack, though they all used to.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:16 PM   #4
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I bought a Hi-Lift a good while ago. It's an emergency-use only tool as Jerry said. I couldn't find my bottle jack one day to pull a wheel off my Jeep so I decided I'd use the Hi-Lift. That's when I found out how flexy my Jeep is. A Hi-Lift won't lift my tires off the ground. Granted, I didn't take it to the top (54" jack) because of how it was teetering, but it was interesting none-the-less. To be honest with you, the expense of the Hi-Lift would have been better spent elsewhere.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:29 PM   #5
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I have one at the ranch for getting out of the deep stuff as described above (trucks mainly as Im new to jeeps) and even stretching barbwire Just have the stock jack in the jeep.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Hi-Lift jacks are fine for some unique situations. BUT, they should not be considered the jack of choice for changing tires (no matter how tall your lift is) or jacking the Jeep up from the bumper or tub to lift the Jeep high enough to place jack stands underneath. Use a hydraulic floor jack for that as Hi-Lifts are not stable or safe enough for that kind of use. Personally, I consider Hi-Lifts strictly as a tool-of-last-resort when nothing else will work. Too many Jeepers mistakenly use them for everything, believing incorrectly that they are needed even to change tires for lifted Jeeps... they are not. The OE jack works fine for changing tires with any size suspension lift for tires up to at least 35" and even 37" in a pinch.

Be careful with a Hi-Lift, they are really dangerous if you're not careful with them. This is the reason that new cars no longer come with that style jack, though they all used to.
QFE

I remember my 1979 Ranchero had one. it was termed a "bumper jack" by everyone around here back then, not sure if that still holds true...but it never got used by me, as a standard hydraulic jack appeared much safer, and I've never been a fan of getting killed.

I will not use one to lift a vehicle.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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I agree. Right after I lifted my Jeep and I went out and bought a Hi-Lift Jack. I thought I needed it. The first time I used it was to rotate tires. It scared the hell out of me... very unstable. I learned my lession and it is now strickly for emergency use only. I can't say I regreted the purchase as I used it to winch out once before I had my Superwinch but it is dangerous and care must be taken.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:03 PM   #8
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They are big and look cool
but a waste of money IMO

X2 on everything said above
save your cash for something else
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:16 PM   #9
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I have one ....but I will have to agree with most everyone above not my first choice
be very carful if you need to use one
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:34 PM   #10
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a quick explination of why everyone says they're dangerous is to do or imagine this. Stand a pencil or pen up on its end and hold downward pressure on it with the tip of your finger so it stands up. Now apply more downward pressure with your finger. Imagine your finger is the weight of your jeep and the pencil is the hi-lift jack. Now take your other finger and flip out on the bottom of the pencil. I hope you're not under the jeep swapping out an axle.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:40 AM   #11
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It is, indeed, dangerous for maintenance use. It should be used only on the trail and with a lot of caution.
On the other hand, I used mine a couple of times, on the trails, with the stock bumpers and I had no problems whatsoever. The bumpers are sturdy enough to be used with a hi-lift.
But I would never use it for changing tires or placing jack stands or whatever.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:44 AM   #12
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I use the crap outta mine, but seldom for my vehicles. Use it for:
  • Fencing
  • Jacking up a sagging porch
  • Leveling a storage container
  • Pulling poles
  • Straightening body panels
  • Lifting a shed to be able to remove a rattlesnake nest
  • Jacking up a trailer tongue when the trailer jack broke
  • Makeshift winch
  • Tamping tool when landscaping
  • Long heavy pry bar
Itís a useful tool.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:56 AM   #13
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i used mine a few times on the trail to stuff rocks and such under tire to get more lift.not the most stable tool in the shed but glad i had it at the time.a floor jack in the garage is a must have item if you work on your jeep or car.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:07 AM   #14
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I don't disagree with the safety issues - and I've seen people using these things in ways that would prove Darwin correct.

But a highlift can be very useful when you get hung up on rocks. If you just need to lift your differential up a couple of inches in order to get moving forward again, or move the back end up onto the trail just a smidge, a high lift can be very useful. Good in places like Colorado where the trails can be super narrow and rocky, but the ground is hard and dry.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:16 AM   #15
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Thank you all for the information on the Jacks. I just got lift, and thought that I'd need it to change tires. Great info in this thread.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:34 PM   #16
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I use mine for all kinds of things and never had a problem . Their is nothing wrong with my Jack , its usually the people using it or maybe misusing it .Think about what you are doing before you put yourself in a dangerous situation . I have never had a Jack failure yet but keep in mind they are mechanical so they can break. Their was a similar looking Jack that used to come with cars years ago when they had bumpers you could use to lift the vehicle but those bumpers are pretty much gone too. It is a tool , use it incorrectly and it will bite you like most any tool .
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:36 PM   #17
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I think I've seen the handle used more often for other things than for jacking.

When a stock tie rod - or even many aftermarket rods - gets bent then straightened out, the handle is used to slip over the tie rod to strengthen it.

It also works great as a snipe - a pipe slid over a wrench handle to gain more leverage.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:38 PM   #18
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I don't mean to hi lift but I took mine apart and cleaned it tonight and noticed that it has isses lowering. It will raise just fine but when I lower, the top pin will not engage in the bar causing it to just fall, not lowering your load. It is clean and lubed up. Should I buy the replacemen kit and see if that works? The jack hasn't seen alot of use, mostly sat in a garage for most of is live (around 5 years)

Back on topic..like anything else it is a tool. It is important to keep it lubricated and works as it should since they can be dangerous. I keep mine in the jeep to be used as a winch (if I get stuck), to change out a tire need be or anything else needed, heck I have used it before as a cheater on my pinon nut when I swapped out my front axle and regeared
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bato View Post
1. How and in what situations can a high lift jack be used to help get you unstuck in the back country?
When the guy with the winch rolls by, you could say "Hey, I'll give you this Hi-Lift Jack if you pull me out of this hole"


I'm still trying to figure out why I still carry mine. Frankly, a 5 ton bottle jack will serve you better on the trail in the majority of situations.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:27 AM   #20
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I don't mean to hi lift but I took mine apart and cleaned it tonight and noticed that it has isses lowering. It will raise just fine but when I lower, the top pin will not engage in the bar causing it to just fall, not lowering your load. It is clean and lubed up. Should I buy the replacemen kit and see if that works? The jack hasn't seen alot of use, mostly sat in a garage for most of is live (around 5 years)

needs to be loaded to work correctly
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:51 AM   #21
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Ive had 2 instances where a Hi-lift could have been used. It would have saved a good 8 hours of my life, I would have gladly paid for it during those times. To me, a bottle jack is annoying and takes too long, it also would not have helped in our situation as it was muddy and we needed a jack with more height. So for me, I would buy it, but for most people I hear it doesnt get alot of use.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:45 PM   #22
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needs to be loaded to work correctly
Bingo!

It worked like it should..sure shows how much I have used this thing.
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
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How and in what situations can a high lift jack be used to help get you unstuck in the back country?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited View Post
When the guy with the winch rolls by, you could say "Hey, I'll give you this Hi-Lift Jack if you pull me out of this hole"
Bingo, hahahahahahaha!!!!
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:45 PM   #24
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THAT'S A BINGO!!

sorry, couldn't help my self. two posts in a row with bingo in it...
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:35 PM   #25
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They are big and look cool
but a waste of money IMO

X2 on everything said above
save your cash for something else
waste is harsh term because they DO look cool even tho it is for last chance use when all else fails. Most , myself included will only use it once and get scared from unstability and it becomes a decoration. Haha..closest thing to chrome I have and usually the only thing shiney at the end of the trail
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:50 PM   #26
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A Hi-Lift and a bottle jack are each needed at times. Every situation is different.

That's why I carry both - plus the original screw jack.

And - carry a steel plate about 10" x 10" to put under the bottle or screw jack as a base.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:08 AM   #27
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Yup definitely getting a steel or wooden base helps in muddy conditions. It wouldve also helped that rainy night when 3 Jeeps broke down and no one was prepared.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #28
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I bought a Farm Jack (Hi-Lift) and it came everywhere with "Silver" the 1st year or so. Used it once and tossed it in the garage. Pulled it out last summer...tore it down to clean, paint and adjust. It now sits collecting dust in the back hall way.
I use a bottle jack, floor jack, scissor jack. NO Hi-Lift for me. LOL!

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Old 03-27-2010, 07:47 PM   #29
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careful lowering though under tension it cold drop on you
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:44 PM   #30
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There's good reason the hi lift started it's illustrious career as a farm jack. As for being a waste of money.....hardly.

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