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Dating A Hi-lift Jack

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by T. M., Jan 22, 2024.

  1. Jan 22, 2024
    T. M.

    T. M. Rubicon or bust!

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    I'm looking for an older Hi-Lift to put on my CJ and this one is for sale nearby. I can't seem to find anywhere online how to figure the date for one. So here's the pic: https://ibb.co/1nt0WM7
    Thanks.
     
  2. Jan 22, 2024
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    I had an entirely inappropriate interpretation of the title.

    From the picture, at a guess I'd say it's a classic. Looks early to me.
     
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  3. Jan 22, 2024
    T. M.

    T. M. Rubicon or bust!

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    I guess I should've changed the title. I forgot that it's 2024...

    What defines early?

    Also, are there any potential dangerous points of failure that I have to look out for with its age?
     
  4. Jan 22, 2024
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    That I've been around hi-lifts for 45 years and it looks old to me? :shrug:



    I believe that at least one of the pivot bolts acts as a shear pin. Easy to inspect and/or replace.

    The two spring-loaded walking lock-pins and their springs need to be in good condition, and the 'shuttle' cam that operates them, along with its spring. They do wear. Cleanliness and lubrication also matter for those parts to function well.

    I've never had a catastrophic failure, but sometimes experience an awkward situation where the jack won't reverse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2024
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  5. Jan 22, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    You definitely want to make sure all parts are in good working condition. They are known for breaking your arm and knocking your teeth out before dropping the car on you when used improperly or not in good condition.
     
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  6. Jan 22, 2024
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    Operator Error. Always set it up carefully, especially at the top.

    And keep both hands on the jack. Like getting kicked by a cow - less likely if you stay close.
     
  7. Jan 22, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    Yep. Very useful tool if used properly.
     
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  8. Jan 22, 2024
    T. M.

    T. M. Rubicon or bust!

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    Thanks to you both. I'll buy a rebuild kit for it ($30) and maybe keep a 2nd kit with the jack. From what I've read, almost all of the problems with these jacks come from people using them wrong and not from mechanical failure. Now to figure out where to mount it. Should I go with the hood mount, like a stereotypical JK mall crawler? Or perhaps on the front bumper where it can rust until it's unusable?
     
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  9. Jan 22, 2024
    dnb71R2

    dnb71R2 SuperDave 2023 Sponsor

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    The vertical mount on the rear bumper makes sense to me.
    However, I quit carrying that cumbersome thing after I installed a winch.
    Those things are great, but I find more uses around the house & garage than on the trail.
     
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  10. Jan 22, 2024
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

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    Half the times I’ve had a hi-lift try to kill me, it’s from a lack of lubrication. The engagement pin tries to go in but only catches the tip, then it slips out when weight is applied.

    Keeping them lubed is more important than dating them. ;)
     
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  11. Jan 22, 2024
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    Always a good idea to carry a small can of WD-40 for the highlift or any other trail use.
     
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  12. Jan 22, 2024
    T. M.

    T. M. Rubicon or bust!

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    Thanks for the advice. WD-40 will definitely be a mainstay in the CJ when I get some storage boxes built.
     
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  13. Jan 22, 2024
    89/01 XJ

    89/01 XJ New Member

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    I found a poor quality picture of some Hi-Lift jacks through the years. I was having issues trying to attach the picture.
    Based on that picture I think yours is 1963 or newer.
    Older ones, which had wood handles, have a longer throat for the handle to fit in and have two oval holes.
    Yours has a single oval hole. Due to the poor picture and black handle I can't tell if the 1963 has a single oval hole but it definitely has the shorter throat like yours.
     
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  14. Jan 22, 2024
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    A better idea is to carry Tri-flo or somesuch, IMHO. WD40 is actually a lousy lubricant, has no staying power.
     
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  15. Jan 22, 2024
    T. M.

    T. M. Rubicon or bust!

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    No beans on that one. The seller said she didn't know if it worked, it doesn't have a handle, and she wouldn't drop the price from $75. At that point, it would be cheaper to buy a new one.
     
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  16. Jan 22, 2024
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    That price may be higher than I'd pay.

    But remember a scrap piece of water pipe can serve as a handle, and I've yet to see one that couldn't be made to work. Just one bolt needed for the one I got at the dump last year.
     
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  17. Jan 22, 2024
    T. M.

    T. M. Rubicon or bust!

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    There are some newer older (not a typo) ones that came up online for pretty cheap. Probably $30-$40 with a jack A and parts from jack B.
     
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  18. Jan 23, 2024
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    While I agree that there are better lubricants than WD-40, it is a great choice to carry within the confines of a CJ5.
    Reality is we all aren't carrying a variety of aerosol lubricants in our jeeps at all times and if I am only going to carry/recommend one it is going to be WD-40.
    WD40 is non conductive which makes it suitable for use in electrical components, key switches, distributors, ect.... Is it the same as blowing out the key switch with compressed air and then spraying dry graphite spray in it? No, not at all.... However we are talking about a single can of product that we carry in a CJ5 to get us out of a tight situation.
    WD-40 can be used without worry of damaging paint or the environment and it even works as starting fluid in a pinch.
     
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  19. Jan 23, 2024
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    dozerjim and Fireball like this.
  20. Jan 23, 2024
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

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    Wd40 also works as starting fluid.
     
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