Jp Magazine - - Nena Knows Jeeps -

There are two com­mon Hi-Lift jack mis­con­cep­tions cir­cu­lated among

new Jeep­ers. The first one is that if they have 35-inch-or-taller tires, they have to carry a Hi-Lift jack with them. The sec­ond one is that they shouldn’t use a Hi-Lift jack be­cause they are not safe. The truth is, a Hi-Lift is a very use­ful and ver­sa­tile tool to have, no mat­ter what size tires you own, and they can be un­safe if not used or main­tained prop­erly. Though I can­not go into all the pos­si­ble ways to use a Hi-Lift jack in this short space, I will share with you the most com­mon ways I use my Hi-Lift jack and a few key safety points.

First, what I don’t do with the Hi-Lift jack is change tires or work on my Jeep. I find an ap­pro­pri­ately sized bot­tle jack or the fac­tory scis­sor jack with a broad and sturdy base to be a far sim­pler op­tion for tire chang­ing. I also never use the jack for hold­ing up a car to crawl un­der it—use jack­stands.

The most com­mon way I use the Hi-Lift is to lift a wheel off of the ground to get my­self un­stuck or lift off of some­thing stuck un­der the belly of the Jeep. To lift the wheel for that pur­pose, se­cure a strap through or around the wheel, be­ing care­ful of brake com­po­nents, or use a handy ac­ces­sory with plas­tic-coated hooks called Lift-Mate to grab the wheel. Once the wheel is lifted high enough that the stuck un­der­car­riage parts are clear of it, stack rocks (or dirt, Max­trax, etc.) to cre­ate a new high spot un­der the tire for it to bite on and drive clear. An al­ter­nate method would be to ac­tu­ally re­move the ob­sta­cle it­self from un­der the Jeep once the wheel is lifted up, in the case of a loose rock or log jammed un­der it. I do not rec­om­mend crawl­ing un­der the ve­hi­cle at any point while it’s on a Hi-Lift.

Both of these next tech­niques are not en­dorsed by Hi-Lift be­cause the body of the ve­hi­cle is mov­ing, us­ing the jack as a ful­crum point. How­ever, a Hi-Lift may also lift the body of the Jeep by the rock rails or bumpers so that it can ei­ther be cast off or driven clear of an ob­sta­cle. Cast­ing is lift­ing the bumper and then care­fully push­ing the body to the side to move it away from the ob­sta­cle. I have used the drive off method as well, es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive with ve­hi­cles with axle-lock ca­pa­bil­ity. In both cases, ex­tra cau­tion and plan­ning must be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. An­tic­i­pate where the Jeep will land. When

1. The pro­ce­dure for which I use the Hi-Lift jack most of­ten is lift­ing the wheel in or­der to build some kind of bridge un­der the tire. 2. In this in­stance, where drag­ging the ve­hi­cle back­ward off of a rock risks dam­ag­ing the tie rod and drag­ging the ve­hi­cle for­ward will scrape every­thing else in the un­der­car­riage, lift­ing the Jeep up and drag­ging the rock out can get you back to wheel­ing. 3. If the Lift-Mate won’t work for some rea­son, you can al­ways use a short strap to wrap around or through the wheel to lift it. Make sure to not pinch sen­sors or brake lines on the back­side of the wheel. 4. Cast­ing off is lift­ing one end of the rig off the ground and then care­fully push­ing it over to re­po­si­tion the stuck wheels. This can be dan­ger­ous if you have not an­tic­i­pated where the ve­hi­cle and jack will fall once the ve­hi­cle has been cast to the side.5. The le­gendary Bill Burke demon­strat­ing per­fect Hi-Lift form while jack­ing this wheel up to place it on a Max­trax. 6. When I am us­ing the jack in a cast­ing off sce­nario, I place a towel be­tween the jack and any­thing I would like to keep pretty.

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