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  #1  
Old 09-07-2014, 02:28 PM
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Default Roof rack hi lift mount - stealth style

Some of you recall at Jack-It night last year the idea was presented to only mount the standard of the Hi Lift outside the vehicle, then put the handle, attachments, and other mechanical bits inside the truck in a drawer where they can remain safe and out of the elements. Not only does that option reduce your outboard weight, but it keeps the jack in better condition long term, and ultimately safer.

So I finally had some time to execute an idea I've had, and that is to create a receiver channel underneath a roof rack- has to be easy to load/unload, secure when driving, and out of the way for more useful rack needs, like RTT's and home depot runs. What I ended up with is some rectangular stock bolted to the rack, a Yakima clamp, and a couple other random bolts and wing nuts. I can refine the hardware more in the future, likely all stainless to match the rest of the rack stuff, but for now it gets the point across.

Curious if anyone has any suggestions on that, or if there's a better way to do this. For the record I'm pretty anti-Hi Lift; I think they're sketchy, and while handy and at times the only solution, they will always be a last resort recovery tool for me. So 90 extra seconds to attach the base plate just doesn't even factor, it'll never be a race to see how quick I can unbolt and start jackin'.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:38 PM
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It's essentially two 12" pieces, and some bolts to hold it on. To install you just slide it in from the back, then line up a through hole with the round bar hardware, then tighten. I am using two locations for holding the jack in place.. still not exactly sure what I want to do here but this is close, am open to suggestions. Again, I like to keep the top surface of the rack low profile.

What's nice about loading/unloading this way is how easy it is to manage the standard- I've seen a few back windows almost get popped out on the trail with side mount configs, particularly when the footing is slippery, hands are cold, etc. This feels a lot safer.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:39 PM
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And the rest of the jack is happy inside my drawer, using my Slee/Adventure Tool bag for storage. I tossed in a copy of the instructions as well, which I had left over from jack-it night.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:11 AM
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I think that's a great idea. I see Jeeps all the time with the HiLift on the front bumper on on the hood right in front of the windshield (which I think looks like a terrible idea in a crash but whatever), and I can't help but think how rusted and weathered it gets sitting up there year round with no cover or anything on it. I've carried mine in past vehicles stored inside on the floorboard behind the passenger seats to keep the parts from rusting, but this solution looks to be a good compromise of space and saving the jack from wear!
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:39 AM
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It looks like you're using the plastic Yakima bar clamps. WilderNest used to use those in a piece of aluminum channel to mount cross bars in a similar fashion. It's a low profile use and fine generally but I need to mention a warning just like I do to people who use them on 'Nests. In the dry, hot UV-laden sun those get brittle over time and can disintegrate. Often you won't know it until they get shocked, like for example, they shatter in a crash.

Yakima rarely relies on them to be the sole connection but rather they are usually used in secondary points, like the rear mount on a bike tray where the front part is clamped on solidly. They are used as the only connection for the ski mounts, but the way they are used is less stressing. They hold on some types of baskets in pretty much the same way you show, so I wouldn't worry that they are strong enough necessarily just that they don't age well in the sun.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:41 PM
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Good comment on the plastic, I think I may just toss a bolt through to act as a stop, I may also be able to just leave the hook portion of the jack attached, wasn't sure it would clear the hatch so I left it off. That way in case of impact there's a more rigid stop so the standard doesn't come shooting forward.

However, all of my Yakima bike racks use those plastic clips, and only those plastic clips. And I think my bike weighs more than my jack standard.

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Old 09-08-2014, 01:20 PM
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Tim what about a few knobs with stainless carriage bolts through the top of the rack with knob hanging below the HiLift. Maybe adding a lynch pin to create a fail safe. Between your modular rack mounting holes, and the holes in the HiLift I'd think it be the lightest and most simplistic solution.

Fwiw, I think the HiLift is one of the few pieces of equipment needed to play off road. Sure it can kill you but mines saved my bacon on several occasions, especially in mud.

I'm thinking something like this or even some quick fists with some sort of safety pin assuring it can't drop off on the freeway

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Old 09-08-2014, 01:42 PM
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yeah that would do it, thanks. I could run a stainless carriage bolt through the rack plate, through one of the rectangular pieces, through the jack standard, then put the knob on the bottom- that holds it in place, so then the Yakima stuff would only be there to reduce rattles.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:47 PM
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McMaster sells the knobs where the bolt can run all the way the way through the knob, maybe you could add a safety pin through the bolt like how some bolts accept a small padlock.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:49 PM
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Tim, what rack is that man? I don't recall that one on your website. I like the double bar look and it appears it could still be flipped?
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