Hi-Lift jacks? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 11th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Jeremy/Sturgeon
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Hi-Lift jacks?

I was considering getting a Hi-Lift jack, but I have seen vague comments about the horrors of using them.

Can anyone comment good or bad based on experience?

I don't ever want to have to change another tire with that crummny little stock jack.
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  #2  
Old February 11th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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Anything can be dangerous if used improperly. Hi-lift jack is a very versatile tool but the key is learning how to use it safely and properly. Bill Burke sells a good video on learning how to use your hi-lift.

As far as changing the tires, as long as you're in a level pavement, the bottle jack will work better than the hi-lift (imho). Or better yet, a good floor jack will be much simpler and safer to use. The hi-lift is more for trailside usage.
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  #3  
Old February 11th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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Highlift is kinda a last line of defense type thing. The reason it is dangerous is mostly the environment it is used in. If the vehicle is unleveled, on soft ground, not loaded evenly or if the jack is on something slippery, or it may slide on the vehicle. It all come down to that Jack or vehicle may move allot.
Example:

If you have to change a tire with a highlift the best thing to do is to lift with the Jack and then lower the axle onto something like a log or rock before you take off the tire, thus eliminating the Jack while taking off the tire and making the vehicle more stable.

If you use good judgment and work carefully you should be safe, but there is still a chance that you could get hurt. I always have mine with me, but I have never had to use mine on the trail.
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  #4  
Old February 11th, 2004, 02:07 PM
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If you wheel, you have to have one. Dangerous or not, just be careful.
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  #5  
Old February 11th, 2004, 02:24 PM
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Get familiar with it, learn to use it before you get into a tough spot. Just needs to be used with common sense to avoid problems. If you wheel any where except firm and somewhat level ground you gotta have it...IMO

Keep your bottle jack with you too.
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  #6  
Old February 11th, 2004, 04:41 PM
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How in the Hell are you going to change a tire with a Hi-Lift jack? You have to get the truck up so damn high off the ground before the wheel will come up it makes the jack very unstable.

Quit yer bitchin' and learn to change a tire with the bottle jack.

Anyone who changes a tire with the HL ought to have their head examined. It is the wrong tool for the wrong job.

Sorry to sound like an ass, but honestly the HL is designed for a certain set of tasks, changing the tire is not one of them. Special slider brackets, bumper brackets, whatever, I don't care, still not appropriate.

Use your bottle jack.
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  #7  
Old February 11th, 2004, 05:24 PM
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Sounds as if that High-Lift not only knocked you around but it hurt your feelings too! Ass! Hehehehe. Sorry, I couldn't help it Mike.

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  #8  
Old February 11th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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Talking My thoughts exactly Mike....

...except I was a bit 'nicer' LOL
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  #9  
Old February 11th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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yeah, I can be a prick at times, I just really think that the LR bottle jack is underrated.

I've had HL's before and have used them quite a bit. Have always had good luck with them and not been hurt.

There was just a point when I realized I was tempting fate. Gave away or sold all 3 I owned.
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  #10  
Old February 11th, 2004, 07:59 PM
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Jeremy/Sturgeon
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thanks for all the info. pardon my ignorance on the hi-lift, i thought it was primarily for changing tires in lieu of the bottle jack, under all conditions.

this is obviously an emotional subject for some people.

anyone know what the british military uses in the field to change a tire? don't tell me its the bottle jack...

sorry to disagree, underrated or not, imo the only benefit to the bottle jack is that it was made to fit under the seat. it has got to be the worst jack made for it's intended purpose.
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  #11  
Old February 11th, 2004, 08:40 PM
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Mine has never let me down. I have left my truck sitting on it while i took a tire to get plugged. Its made to change tires and does a damn good job provided you are on solid ground
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  #12  
Old February 11th, 2004, 08:46 PM
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I personally am scared to death of the damn things. I have seen them jam or fail too many times on the farm to be fearless when using one. I probably will carry one on my ST, but I won't use it unless it is absolutely needed. I think there are def. situations where the high-lift is the correct tool for the situation, but I would not say it is an end-all be-all tool. Just make sure you keep it serviced, and store it inside the truck, or in a bag that will keep dust and dirt out of it. I have one of the bags from AB for my jack.
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  #13  
Old February 11th, 2004, 09:07 PM
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So why would it matter what the Brits use in the field anyway? I'd much rather buy something available and built here in the states. Most likely be better made and cheaper.
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  #14  
Old February 11th, 2004, 10:15 PM
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I think what he was saying is that there is probably a better alternative to the bottle jack when changing tires. Maybe what the MOD uses is something that is readily available in the US. I actually though about buying one of those exhaust jacks. Plug it to the muffler, and the exhaust pumps the bag up, which lifts the truck. Only bad thing is that whoever disconnects the hose ends up covered in soot, on a diesel that is.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 11:36 PM
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Go to Harbor Freight and buy a $20 bottle jack. You won't regret it.

That is if your factory LR bottle jack doesn't work.

I have used two LR bottle jacks under the rear axle, pulled both tires off, removed the driveline and pulled and replaced a diff.

I had the stack of tires I'd removed under the rear trailer hitch of the RRC I had jacked with the bottle jacks, but they didn't budge at all.

IMO I would stay away from what the British military uses and find something local and available like Eric says.

The air bag jacks are nice for lifting a vehicle out of mud/sand/snow/muck when it's buried up to the frame. I have also used an ARB airbag jack to re-seat a tire on the beach. We had to get the truck up so damn high just to get the tire to re-seat, that any higher to actually change the tire would have been scary.

Think about trying to balance your truck on a big marshmallow. That's about how they work. They DO work though, which is pretty cool. I'm just not sure you would use one to change a tire.

IMO if you are changing a tire you need to lift the AXLE and not the vehicle. A small bottle (or scissor) jack is best.
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  #16  
Old February 12th, 2004, 12:58 PM
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the factory fit jack on my 2002 defender hardtop is a screw thread pillar jack with hinged adapter which slots into holes in the rear cross member or front chassis ends. It has a 3/8 drive reversible ratchet to crank it though when i tested it at home i used my 14v cordless dewalt drill-driver and lifted the truck in 15 seconds. the jack is in two parts - a wide foot slots into the pillar and it all stows on a bracket on the bulkhead behind the front seats

I haven't had to use it at the road side but it seems well up to the job.
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  #17  
Old February 12th, 2004, 02:14 PM
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"There was just a point when I realized I was tempting fate. Gave away or sold all 3 I owned."
"Quit yer bitchin' and learn to change a tire with the bottle jack."
How in the Hell are you going to change a tire with a Hi-Lift jack?

Are you wound a little tight Mike? Could be part of the problems you have with the Hi-Lift.

You take some great pictures though.
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  #18  
Old February 12th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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Oh, no I'm not wound very tight...might have been the in-laws were here for 5 days.

I just hate to see when someone thinks they are buying the right thing but really it will cause them more problems in the long run.
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  #19  
Old February 12th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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Pretty sure you could change a tire with a hi-lift if you just used a ratchet strap to tie the axle to the chassis. Certainly not the best solution, but I can't see why it wouldn't work.
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  #20  
Old February 12th, 2004, 07:40 PM
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I have easily rotated all four tires on my truck with the hi-lift. It's not an issue. Just rtfm. The hi-lift is an amazing piece of equipment -- it's old farm equipment and has dozens of uses. Yes, it's dangerous. But remember, one of the rights of a human being is the right to live a dangerous adventure!

Doug
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