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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?

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Offline trtlrock

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appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« on: October 02, 2013, 11:56:05 PM »
Figure a heavily loaded 4-cyl Tacoma with a cap. So I'm thinking 3-ton is safer & more stable than 2-ton. And the jack needs to be as lightweight as possible, but still reliable and versatile.

I know nothing about jacks, but we'll be doing some lengthy & gnarly expeditions into BBRSP this winter, and I'll have 2 spares, and I definitely need something better than the Tacoma jack.

I have tentatively narrowed it down to this:

http://www.amazon.com/Powerzone-380044-Aluminum-Steel-Garage/dp/B003UM7B98/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Any thoughts? Is this an appropriate product given the uneven & angled terrain where it would be deployed?
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline Desert_Dave

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 07:28:39 AM »
That would prob work.  Much better than a bottle jack anyway.  Personally, I am more partial to a Hi-Lift style jack for off road use. 

You can pretty much guarantee that in the event of a flat, the terrain around you could be anything but.  The Hi-Lift has much more vertical travel than other types of jacks, although they are perhaps more dangerous as well (read the manual).

This is the one I have:
http://www.amazon.com/Hi-Lift-Jack-HL484-Black-Steel/dp/B00042KG3A

Just my $.02

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Offline Reece

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 08:02:51 AM »
Dave, I'm heading out there too, in my new Jeep. I've got an old floor jack that I always throw in the back but I never feel like it's quite right for the job. It's a garage jack after all. I know the hi-lift jacks are popular for off-roaders but I have one question. Where are the lift points on a stock vehicle? It seems like they are built for heavy duty bumpers and mine is stock.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 08:50:05 AM »
What I have seen is High lift jacks used by off roaders are mainly used to pick tires up out of holes. Not change tires so much.  High lift jacks usually have to lift the body of the car first, then the suspension has to flex all the way down before the tire begins to move up.  That makes for the entire car to be up pretty high.  OEM car jacks usually push up on the suspension parts so the lift is only a few inches.  If you have the money and space, an aluminum floor jack would be my first choice.  One with a round bowl shaped contact point.  Cut a small piece of 2x4 that fits in the bowl. That way you can place the bottom of the shock  or lower A arm on it and jack it up.  A couple of 4x4 pieces to place under the entire jack on helps in the sand.  Only jack it up as little as needed, keeping in mind that a flat tire will need to be up higher so a fully inflated tire can fit in the space.  It always freaks me out to have to jack up the car higher without a wheel on so that the inflated tire will fit.

Lastly, the car will move laterally on the jack as it is lifted.  This is because the suspensions move in elliptical patterns, not straight up and down.  Floor jacks have wheels on them to compensate for this.  When on the dirt or on the 4x4s, the jack cannot move and the jack will not stay centered where it first started out.  Just do your best and plan for this movement.
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Offline Reece

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 10:09:53 AM »
Good answer elhombre! Now I can stick with my floor jack. I'll just throw in some wood chunks for good measure. I think I'll even throw in some plywood to place the jack on so it can roll a bit.
Dave?

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Offline Desert_Dave

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 12:16:45 PM »
I can agree with elhombre, I personally have never used a floor jack off road, but I think if you brought some 2x4's and possibly used some flat rocks that you find laying around that you would prob be in good shape.  A piece of plywood would be good too. 

As far as where on your vehicle to use the Hi-Lift,  It is essentially designed as a bumper jack,  It is true that the body of the vehicle must be lifted much higher when using this type of jack, to lift the tire off of the ground.  This can make for dangerous or unstable conditions.  Stock bumpers on a jeep wrangler should be strong and flat enough to lift the vehicle safely.  I have used the Hi-Lift on my Bronco, with the factory (steel) bumpers without issues.  Of course, always test your jack under controlled conditions, like in your driveway, before heading into the bush.

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 03:37:58 PM »
Thanks for the info & education -- I appreciate it. 
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2013, 11:09:08 PM »
Personal Opinion, I'd go with a bottle jack and some wood blocks if needed for extra height.

I've only used a jack once in Big Bend and that was on the River Road, not bad terrain and the stock bottle jack was perfect. I don't see a standard floor jack being that good unless 1. it has more than average lift (My standard one like the one you posted barely lifts the jeep enough to change a tire on the driveway) 2. you will need a flat surface for it to roll on as you lift (you will need something like a 2x8 underneath it). Those jacks need to roll under the lift point as you jack the vehicle up.

I do alot of offroading with jeeps and have used HiLifts in lots of rough situations to change tires, reseat beads, change valve steams (it is possiable to do it without breaking the bead, but not easy) etc. The thing with HiLifts is that you have to be extremely careful. They can kill you in a heartbeat. Whether the vehicle falls off the jack because you didn't get it under the vehicle good and it slips off, the jack leans sideways and the vehicle falls, or the jack handle slips and hits you in the head. I've seen all of those things happen and lots of near misses. Don't get me wrong, a HiLift does the job and in many cases where a standard jack won't, but you have to double and triple check and keep an eye on things at all times. Respect the jack and know what it can do to you.

Robert
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Offline ds9writer

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2014, 11:01:57 PM »
Quote
High lift jacks usually have to lift the body of the car first, then the suspension has to flex all the way down before the tire begins to move up.  That makes for the entire car to be up pretty high. 

This is definitely true!

We had a flat in our 01 Land Rover Discovery II at McKinney Springs campground, and our hi-lift got the frame up pretty high, but the flex kept the tire on the ground.  We had to resort to the stock jack that came with the Rover...
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Offline 01ACRViper

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2014, 10:47:40 AM »
Quote
High lift jacks usually have to lift the body of the car first, then the suspension has to flex all the way down before the tire begins to move up.  That makes for the entire car to be up pretty high. 

This is definitely true!

We had a flat in our 01 Land Rover Discovery II at McKinney Springs campground, and our hi-lift got the frame up pretty high, but the flex kept the tire on the ground.  We had to resort to the stock jack that came with the Rover...

you can bring a strap along to tie the axle to the frame, which will limit wheel travel and make it a bit safer

but i've switched to using a bottle jack, just feels safer

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Offline ds9writer

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2014, 04:36:04 PM »
you can bring a strap along to tie the axle to the frame, which will limit wheel travel and make it a bit safer

Dang!  We had a strap and never thought of that... Ya learn something every day!  Thanks!
You don't travel to see different things,
You travel to see things differently.

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Offline MikeW

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Re: appropriate floor jack for BBRSP backroad abuse?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2014, 08:31:46 PM »
I carry a hi-lift; have for years. I haven't needed it often but when I did it was truly necessary.

That said, they can bite.

I'm with Doc Savage - take a bottle jack and a few foot or two long pieces of 2x6 to build up height if needed.

I own and use a floor jack in my garage. I personally would never take one to the Ranch. On those roads you're very likely to need it in a place that's not friendly to floor jack use.

 


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