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Old 03-14-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
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Cool jacking solution

I've always been unhappy with the solutions I have for jacking up my van. Luckily when I've had issues I could just fit the van-provided hydraulic jack under an axle and up it goes.

I've used the hi lift to lift a tire using that adapter that fits into the holes in the wheel.

But I could easily envision a scenario where the axle is sitting on the ground (so can't get under it to jack) and the van is at an angle, like on a sidehill (if you've ever used a hi lift on a vehicle that isn't level you know how scary this is; indeed tossing a jeep sideways off a hi lift is an effective, if dangerous, way of getting out of a rut).

And using bumpers (assuming they can carry the weight of your van) is problematic unless you have a way of taking the suspension sag out, like say a chain (or even tie down straps in a pinch). Especially the back bumper on extended vans.

So I'm back to looking for better solutions. I go out with guys that have class A's; my buddy hung up his 30' bus in the sand out near Rasor and got out by just using his built-in levelers (they can raise the whole rig off the ground) and sticking stuff under the tires. Sure beats digging a hole to put your jack in under your rear axle on the Saline Valley Rd in June (don't ask...). And I've been on the track with guys who have air jacks on their racers (think LeMans cars). And since they make leveling jacks like these for Sprinters, wondering if anyone has ever had anything like this installed on a Sprinter or Ford van (since the chassis is used on some class B's that might come with them). Would be great for leveling AND getting out of a hole.

Then I saw this:
http://www.off-roadweb.com/tech/1007or_ ... an_afford/

Sort of like a camper jack modded for racing use; holds 2.5K lbs which is a bit light duty for us. And hard to get at the top on our vans. And 18" of travel (like camper jacks) which may not be enough, but maybe with a block underneath. Lots of guys at autox events weld bolts onto little scissor jacks and do this since they may not have room to carry floor jacks; it works really well (think I should weld an adaptor up for my van jack while I'm thinking of it).

And trailers often have swing-down levelers that fold up out of the way; might have some room underneath for something like that.

So anyone have anything installed ON the van for leveling and/or rescue? Worth pursuing this?
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: Cool jacking solution

Interested, but that link seems broken. Can you check it and repost?

Thanks,
Brent
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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Re: Cool jacking solution

Fixed. Darn hyphen....

Looked around some more under the van. Think I'd like to set up some jack points, kinda like the tubes used in the FOA device. In some ways it looks like a modified trailer jack. Sheesh, you could maybe even set up a swingaway trailer jack underneath. In fact, I was staring at the hi lift which I carry in the front receiver and it occurred to me that if it was a trailer jack I'd just swivel it vertical and start jacking. Some run up to 8000lb capacity, which could lift the whole front end. The problem is that they tend not to have much travel, only about 15". Guess I gotta try and measure how much lift I'd need.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: Cool jacking solution

Probably a bit undersized to life a van, but damn cool using a 1/2" impact driver to operate it.


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Old 03-14-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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Re: Cool jacking solution

I think the idea is great though I think it might be just as good to weld on proper mounts for a hi-lift on each corner. But for really getting unstuck I've always had this in mind: (skip to minute 1.55)

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Old 03-14-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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Re: Cool jacking solution

Now that is pretty slick!

Even a basic 6x6 Tatra is a an impressive ground pounder, but that takes it to a new level.

Hmmmmm, do you think it uses more fuel than my SMB?

Mike
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:23 PM   #7
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Re: Cool jacking solution

Hilarious. Dunno how they deal with the wheels spinning at different rates.

And would be kind of a stretch to get all the way to the front wheels....

Welding jack points on the corners is something that occurred to me a while ago, but there weren't any such points. Either something got in the way or they extended too far without bracing. That's one giant detriment of hi lifts...you can't use them to lift underneath. That's why either modified floor jacks (put them on a skid for dirt) or scissors are better. Think that a flat 33" inch tire is gonna lower that corner about 8". How much clearance under an acceptable point to jack them? I've found even my telescoping bottle jacks either were 1. too big to fit underneath or 2. didn't raise enough. A scissor jack gives you more raise per collapsed height than anything else.

But still thinking of a heavy duty trailer jack (they go from 1k to 45k) with a square tube, with 2" receiver tube welded on, and use to lift front or rear from receiver. But again, that 15" rise may not be enough. More stable than using the hi lift in the same spot, and more weight capacity (hi lift is 7k). Hmm.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re: Cool jacking solution

You could also step back in time to a car designed 60 years ago and do something like this with hydraulics: Jack, what jack?



I have also done some thinking about this in the past, for me it was more about a leveling system than a proper jack but to have one that did both would be perfect. It seemed to me that if you use a folding trailer jack you can mount it to the frame rails or a plate attached to the frame under the bumper up out of the way. Covered of course to keep it getting jammed with mud, then when you need it, swing it down and crank it up with an extended arm. A single central one might work though I do like the security of 3 points of contact.

But then I decided it was just simpler to buy a big bottle jack and carry a few blocks of wood with me, at least for emergency use.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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Re: Cool jacking solution

I seem to have room in the rear to attach a couple of scissor jacks. If I extend their bases a bit they would actually act a bit like skid plates. Then weld a rod back to the rear trailer hitch and I'd have a convenient way to spin 'em up. They'd be right about at the bottom edge of my spare, which I still have underneath.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:04 PM   #10
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Re: Cool jacking solution

Hi Rob,

Saw a very cool nypd van on the street today and thought of this post, check my gallery for photo...
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