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hi lift jacks, what (not) to look for

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by mike reeh, Dec 1, 2001.

  1. mike reeh

    mike reeh 1/2 ton status

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    Ive always relied on a cheesy bottle jack and the creative usage of some 2x4 or 4x6 lumber cutoffs to change tires (when away from the garage) but I hear everyone talk about hi-lift jacks.. I know next to nothing about them, nobody that Ive ever offroaded with has had one.. I really have been thinking about getting one lately, especially with my project truck getting closer to being on the road (which means more wheeling trips)

    it seems to be on everyones "must have" list..

    so what kind (size, strength, brand, etc) should I be looking for? and what do they run as far as $$ goes? .. i know you guys have a lot of good information so thats why Im asking instead of just running to the local 4wheelparts and buying the first one I see..

    also how do they work? do you just jack the vehicle up by the bumper ? what about the front? the front bumper is not the strongest thing in the world especially towards each end....

    thanks in advance...
    mike
     
  2. UseYourBlinker

    UseYourBlinker 1 ton status

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    Welcome to Bucketheadland
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I bought the 48" cast and stamped steel hi-lift before I knew better [​IMG] It does OK, but eventually I'll pony up for the 60" all cast model. One thing to remember is that our trucks are flexy and often a 48" will run out of 'stroke' before a tire lifts. A length of chain used as a limit strap will help that...especially off road.
    Good sturdy bumpers are a must...or try and keep away from the outer edges of your stock bumpers. Also Hi-lift makes a bumper lifting atachment for the stock curved bumpers.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  4. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    Get the 60" all cast one.... that's the red colored jack with the black handle....

    &lt;&gt;&lt;<a target="_blank" href=http://www.chevycagal.homestead.com/steph.html>Steph's Webpage</a>&gt;&lt;&gt;
    Suck Fumes Ford Boy
    I keep trying to lose weight, but it always finds me!
     
  5. jbissette

    jbissette 1/2 ton status

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    Mine was free all I have to do is pick up a peice of pipe for a handle. My dad just had it siting out in the backyard and said it was mine whenever I wanted to come and pick it up. He found a 60 inch highlift laying in the middle of the road a few months ago. He is kind of lucky that way, always finding stuff like that.

    88 Chevy K1500, 350 TBI, TH700R4, 3" body lift, 33x12.50x15 Tires
     
  6. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    I think a hi lift is a fairly useless tool
    seems the are about the same price as a porta power and can only do one thing a porta power cant, act as a winch, but not enough power to do anything with.

    they are too tall to put under the axle to lift,
    my round tube bumpers arent bumperjack friendly, and if you are working on tires or axles why would you want to jack on a bumper???

    I paid $129cdn for <a target="_blank" href=http://wsphotofews.excite.com/031/cZ/Wq/uj/es89587.jpg>A PORTA POWER</a> it is the second time buying one as the first one was stolen after many years faithful service
     
  7. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    Get the the 60" all cast model. They're rated at about 7000lbs and I paid $65 for it at 4wheelparts. The only problem I had with mine was finding a place to mount it [​IMG]

    ~~'84 K5~~
    Check it out at:

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.k5.rockcrawler.com>www.k5.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  8. RedDwarf

    RedDwarf 1/2 ton status

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    Everyone here seems to like the 60". My truck is on 38"s, and I sometimes wish for the 60" model. I have the 48" stamped job.

    If your truck is close to stock height, I would say just get the 48" job. It is heavy enough as it is. Should prove to be more handy than the 60".

    The best thing I have used the Hi Lift for is to jack my way out of ruts. It works. You can use some of those lumber cutoffs under the base of the jack to give it some flotation in mud or sand.
     
  9. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    I cant think of a stuck situation ever that I myself has been in that a porta power would have got me out of. 10-12" of travel wouldnt cut it.The HiLift is quick and easy ,and the way my bumpers are built its safe also.My bumpers werent HiLift friendly either so I built some that were.

    Some people shouldnt drive anything bigger than their head.<a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang>community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang</a>
     
  10. mike reeh

    mike reeh 1/2 ton status

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    well my rear bumper could handle it but my current front bumper, well that would be a little sketchy...

    what exactly is that porta power thing? looks pretty neat. im starting to think that ill just get a $25 harbor freight bottle jack and carry that.. having to change a flat is fairly rare for me.. I think ill goto 4wpw and see if they'll demo it on my truck..

    id still like to hear some more comments.. like where to mount the 60" model? does anyone make a mount for it that would mount it to the bed stake holes inside the bed (not on the frame rail, but on the vertical part)

    im about 50/50 right now as to whether or not i want one.. i was ready to buy one too.
     
  11. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    the hi lift is HEAVY.
    do not just screw into sheetmetal to mount it
    it will rip out at the worst time, nasty projectile

    I have a nice trapeziod scar dead center in my chest from a bumper jack similar to a hi lift that kicked out, I wont do that again

    the coolest jack i have seen is called a Simplex. I think they were origonally a railwaymans jack.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.tksimplex.com/ratjacks.htm>http://www.tksimplex.com/ratjacks.htm</a>
     
  12. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    your truck doesnt even have bumpers? you have all of 34" on each end that you can jack to with a hi lift

    with a porta power you could push anywhere on the frame, dif, crossmembers

    a winch is my favorite extraction tool
     
  13. taterblazer

    taterblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Gave my high lift away to a Jeep user. Blazer is way to heavy in my opinion, gonna kill yourself with that thing. Save for a winch is what I'm doing.
     
  14. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    One thing the hi-lift is nice for is allowing you to jack the truck without having to crawl under it. When I was a kid in Alberta I was riding with my Dad in his old Chevy. An oncoming car would not move over or out of the way and we ended up about 30 feet off the road. There was about 18" of reasonably fresh snow and I guess the guy didn't want to try and get out of the ruts in the road. Without the hi-lift we would have had to walk about 10 miles in -30 temperatures. My dad would jack up the rear of the truck near the ceter of the bumper as high as the jack would go and then push the truck over and off the jack. Each time he did that we got about 2-3 feet closer to the road. It did take a while but I don't think a bottle jack or porta-power would have helped much.

    This was well before cell phones and was in a fairly rural area.

    I haven't had to use my hi-lift much, but it has been a valuable aid to me. I consider it only one small part of self extraction though. I've used a 2 ton chain come-a-long, other trucks etc and a winch will be firmly attached to my truck when I can afford it.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  15. LKJR

    LKJR 1/2 ton status

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    All I can say on this subject is when you get one and use it keep your noggin out of the way. My grandfather had one on the farm when I was younger and I was helping jack the tractor up and I didn't get it clicked in and that sucker whacked the snot out of my chin, only took once to learn that lesson..

    Like em big and topless
    Excuse me...Would you mind removing your import from under my chevy?
     
  16. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    Yes I do have bumpers, the rear is 36" wide and the front is now full width [​IMG].I can also jack on my rock sliders if I have to.So say yer high centered in ruts or on a rock pile,what do you set it on if it dosent reach the frame or a solid lifting point?It just seems like you would use up all of your cylinder travel by the time the axle started to move.Im not bein an ass,just curious.

    Some people shouldnt drive anything bigger than their head.<a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang>community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang</a>
     
  17. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    it comes with a bunch of different length extensions
    the new one has fewer then my old one
    just 3" 5" 8" and 16" so as long as about 44ish inches after you add the ram and end pieces, and any combination of the others to get what you need
    there is a ton of accessories that can be added
    pullback rams
    gear pullers
    i plan on making a c clamp type attachment to make short work of u joints with out having to BFH them
    the ram is threaded to accept anything you can dream up
     
  18. Gopherkiller

    Gopherkiller 1/2 ton status

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    If the guy selling the jack has a BIG scar between his eyeballs, DON'T buy the jack! GOPHERKILLER
     

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