Useful Tips

How to use a hydraulic jack


I must say right away that the authorship is not mine, the author is well-known among JEEPERS jeepers unfashionable, forgive me the moderators for using the author’s material, but I haven’t met such a detailed and sensible instruction on our website.
The narration is conducted on behalf of the author, Leni unfashionable:
"16 minutes to read and 28 minutes of video:

The rack and pin jack is more than 110 years old. Designed for lifting railway wagons, he quite found himself in offroad and is familiar to many off-road climbers. This is a device that novice jeepers buy almost the first, having seen how famously experienced comrades wield it, and even worse draw their experience from numerous videos. But, unfortunately, not everyone understands how serious and traumatic this tool is. Compliance with safety regulations must be impeccable. Before you start working with this miracle of engineering, please carefully read the material below.

The most interesting thing is that not only beginners, but also experienced users, are mistaken. The thing is that the jacks are not used often, over time, the skills become dull, there is only one certainty that "I am very good at working as a jack." As a result, cars fell from the jack, deepened into the ground rails and, unfortunately, damaged hands and broken faces. The rack and pinion jack is a professional tool that requires thoughtful and accurate handling - only in this case its use will be beneficial and not aggravate the original problem.

If someone is too lazy to read the text, we recommend that you immediately go to watching a short, but informative video:

The name "hijack" tightly rooted behind this element of off-road equipment is nothing more than a truncated transcription of the name of the original HiLiftJack product.
With the simplicity of design, methods of application in off-road he has more than enough.

Hijack - the device is originally imported, which means it requires careful and accurate care ... But no. One of the main advantages of this device is that it does not require any maintenance at all, except for a rare short rinse in a not very dirty puddle.

Well, yes, first things first. Hyjek is a jeep lifesaver, for a beginner off-road enthusiast, the school of self-release from an ambush begins precisely with exercises with this red friend. The farther the jeep goes along the road of “catching up” the car, the less often it operates with the good old jack, but nevertheless it always carries it with it, because how many winches you have on your car and don’t tune the sand tracks, there are situations when there is nowhere without a jack. About it further.

Hijeks are different
Native American HiLift in the Russian market is represented by models with cast iron and steel rail. Both of them perfectly cope with the task, namely, lifting 1.5 tons of cargo to a maximum height limited by a long rail, which, by the way, can be different.
Also, in Russia, the domestic Sorokin Instrument jack and the Chinese FarmJack product are actively sold. Outwardly, they practically do not differ from HiLift, except that the color (in contrast to the burgundy original) “Sorokin” is light red, and Chinese is yellow. Both of these products certainly have the right to life and are quite suitable for you if you rarely use a rack jack or do not use at all. Going on a storm of total off-road, I strongly recommend you not to save $ 50 and get an original product.

How to use this thing:

And now you have become the happy owner of a rack and pinion jack. Do not rush to hide it in the bowels of the cabin or screw it to the upper trunk. Before you go to the pampas, it is worth practicing "dry." To begin with, put the stops under the wheels of the machine, lock the steering wheel and put the car on the parking brake. Substituting the jack under the power bumper or the threshold, the jack “heel” should be pushed a little deeper, so that the jack is slightly inclined from the car, when you start to lift the car it will align, but if this is not done, then it will lean towards the car during lifting and may mash up. I know what you will say - we are not afraid of dents. Willingly I believe, but, my friends, there is a big difference between combat dents received during the fight against impassability and traces from the fight against your own stupidity. Oh, yes, I digress. The hijack is installed, now we translate the mode switch (the only switch on the product located to the left of the mechanism) to the upper position until it clicks (this may require some effort), grab the handle and pull it up until the mechanism platform rests against the car, after which is where we start the lifting process itself.

To do this, we stand to the left of the jack and use our right hand to grasp the end of the handle from above, and hold the staff with the left hand, grasping it from the outside while the thumb is pressed to the side of the staff, otherwise you have a lot of chances to make a concussion, accompanied by a fracture of the thumb (if you are left-handed) , then you are positioned in a mirror, but at the same time observing all the above requirements, because the jack handle tends to break out of inexperienced hands and fall into the exposed parts of the body, causing maximum possible damage).
So, firmly grasp the handle and begin to make translational movements up and down. In this case, the amplitude should be limited to the moment the keys are clicked. When raising the machine, make sure that the jack rail does not warp. When the machine is raised to the required height, lock the jack handle in the folded position and swing the machine slightly to make sure that it is not going to fall from the jack. When working with the car raised on the jack, remember that you can not be on the side of the jack because when it falls, it will go exactly to the side, and God forbid at that moment be on its way.

Now the second procedure is lowering the car. Do you think the hardest thing to lift? But no. The most difficult and traumatic action when working with a hijack is lowering the car. We release the handle from the latch and lower it down with the right hand, with the left we flip the mode switch to the lower position, it is very difficult to do this and if it does not work out with your hand, then lightly tap on it with your foot. Now lift the handle up and lower it down, it will go down very easily, but let it not relax you, be on the alert and hold the handle firmly with your hand, as soon as the top key of the mechanism comes out of the rack, all the effort that you needed to come to your hand last press when you lifted the car. As you lift the handle up, the load will weaken and by about half the stroke of the handle will disappear completely. When the machine is lowered, the jack mechanism freed from the load will lower down the rail on its own, if this does not happen, lift the handle up and twitch.

To better fix the material, let's now carefully look at the pictures:

How to use the jack: general rules of work

Like any other technical device, the jack requires compliance with safety precautions when working. Its use is not difficult, the main thing is to know where to put the jack and what to do next. This is not a new device, most of the samples are tested by time and personal experience.

Classic rack and pinion jack

Driving courses do not teach how to properly use and install this device. You need to learn everything yourself. In addition, most people, not knowing the clear rules, believe that with its help it is possible not only to raise and lower the load, but also to hold it for a long time. To avoid potential health risks, you must learn how to install the jack correctly.

A specially designed list of rules can help with this:

  • The car should be placed only on a flat surface. There should not be any slopes or other irregularities. The machine must stand so that there is no likelihood that it will move.
  • All wheels must be locked very securely. To do this, bricks, wooden wedges, stones or any other items are suitable.
  • The car must rise and fall very smoothly, without sudden movements and jerks.
  • It is important to clearly know where to place the jack correctly. To raise the car on the bottom there are special mounts under the hook of the jack. In no case should you attach it to the front or rear bumper, as well as to any other parts of the machine that are not intended for this.
  • It is necessary to engage reverse or forward gear, put the car on the hand brake and lock the wheels on the opposite side from the lift side.
  • It is necessary to use a support, since the jack can only lift weights, but not hold them. A do-it-yourself stand for the jack is suitable, but it is important that it be wooden, iron or any other than brick or other unreliable material.
  • Before you go down under the car, it is important to check the reliability of the machine and fixture fixation several times. To do this, you can just shake the car in different directions.
  • At the end of the work, you need to know how to lower the jack with the car. The same rules apply here - the absence of sudden movements, smoothness.

Jacks exist in three types of execution - these are mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic (inflatable). Each of these types has its own specific operating rules.

How to use a rack and screw jack

When using rack and screw jacks, the above rules and recommendations apply, plus some specific ones.

Screw device

Rack and pinion devices, as well as screw ones, are widespread due to the simplicity of design. Basically, they are popular among off-road enthusiasts. The design of such devices allows you to lift a lot of weight, which plays a decisive role. They can be used in any conditions due to their unpretentiousness and small dimensions, which is an advantage compared to hydraulic lifts, which are massive and take up a lot of space in the trunk.

Safety measures when working with rack and screw devices:

  • Install the lift at an angle so that it does not rest against the hood.
  • Place the jack perpendicular to the surface of the support.
  • Check hold and tightness.
  • The switch must be clamped tightly with the whole hand, since it has a tight travel.

Jacks and safety precautions when working with them.

Work with any technical device will require the performer to comply with safety regulations. But the question is especially acute during the use of the jack. Unfortunately, driving lessons are not taught to work with this tool, beginners have to learn it on their own. And the low level of preparation, combined with the confidence that the device can be used not only for lifting, but also for holding the load, leads to sad consequences. You still do not know how to use the jack? Then read on.

How to use a hydraulic jack

In auto repair shops, hydraulic devices have spread. They are rolling or bottle, have a lot of weight, but are easy to move. They can lift the car to a height of 40 centimeters. For the proper use of such devices, the following set of recommendations must also be observed:

  • Before lifting it is necessary to check the fixation. The surface should be as flat as possible, and the wheels in a locked state.
  • When working with the front wheels, you need to lock the rear wheels and vice versa. If you need to move the device to another place, you need to make sure that the strength is sufficient to hold the machine.
  • Do not lift more than specified in the instructions.
  • The hydraulic jack works smoothly, but do not raise or lower the vehicle too quickly.
Hydraulic lift

The basic set of rules that can save your health.

Let's walk on the rulesto help keep your car intact. Or maybe they will save a life:

  1. Only place the machine on a flat surface, no slopes or creases. The likelihood that the car can start should be reduced to zero.
  2. Use wooden wedges to securely lock all four wheels. You can use bricks, stones or something similar.
  3. Rise smoothly, without unnecessary jerking or other sudden movements.
  4. Make sure you have reverse or forward gear was engaged. It will also be useful to put on a hand brake and block the wheels on the opposite side.
  5. Provide a support, because the jack is designed only to lift the load, and not to hold it. Never use bricks for this purpose. Too soft and unreliable material that can crack, turn into crumbs at any time.
  6. Several times check the reliability of the fixation before climbing under the bottom of the car. To do this, just shake the car in different directions. Ignoring this simple manipulation, you risk saying goodbye to, at least, your health.
  7. Pay great attention to the process of lowering the car.

How to use an inflatable jack

This type of lifts is a pneumatic device. In this case, a special pillow is installed under the bottom of the machine, which is subsequently inflated with a special device. To work with such a device, you must:

  • Lay the pillow under the machine and spread it evenly.
  • Top and bottom put special rugs that are included in the kit. They are designed to avoid pillow punctures.
  • Close the lock for connecting the valve and hose. This is to avoid air leakage from the pillow.
  • Connect the end of the hose to an air or gas supply. Special compressors are used.
  • The pillow is inflated with air or car exhaust.

It is important to monitor the inflation process of the pillow. It should pass evenly in all directions. If any side is behind, then it is necessary to check and adjust the position of the pillow or lower it and start the process again.

Rhombic jacks - a guarantee of reliability?

The most commonly used rhombic jacks. They are presented in two versions - mechanical and hydraulic. The second option provides a slightly higher load capacity. When choosing a mechanical option, you should understand that the load rating of some models does not exceed one ton. But at the same time, this type of jack is considered one of the most reliable. There is an opinion that even from the most unpretentious, but rhombic jack, the chances of falling are much less. What is the reason?

How to drive with a rack and pinion jack, in off-road conditions?

Lovers to conquer off-road prefer to use a rack jack. Its design allows you to lift large scales, and for SUVs this is of particular importance. The second significant advantage is the size and the possibility of widespread use. The same hydraulic lift, designed for ten tons, cannot be rolled off-road. After all, the mass of the device exceeds one hundred kilograms. In emergency cases, this is a very significant minus. In the meantime, read the sequence of actions when trying to lift the car on such a jack:

  1. Install the lift at an angle in the machine so that it does not rest against the hood.
  2. The jack should be perpendicular to the surface on which it is being supported.
  3. Do not try to place your fingers or head between the rail and the handle.
  4. Fix the handle as tightly as possible, your main task is to prevent it from escaping from your hand.
  5. Hold the mode switch with your whole hand, not a pair of fingers. It is going very tight, so it will take some effort.

Why should you pay so much attention to fixing the handle and the lack of parts of your body between the handle and the rail? The fact is that if the handle breaks out of your grip, it will lead to the rail with impressive force, crushing everything in its path. The prospect of getting a concussion, staying fingerless is real.

Service Recommendations

Any maintenance should be carried out in a specialized service center, especially with regard to complex hydraulic mechanisms for which it is necessary to change the oil periodically, and for this the jack will have to be disassembled, therefore it is better to entrust this work to professionals.

Using the jack is simple, but you should know the safety precautions and be careful, because human health depends on its proper operation. A jack-type jack is especially dangerous.

Securing the basics of safety.

Once again, the jack is designed exclusively for lifting loads. It should not be used to fix and hold the load in a certain position for a long time. Было бы неплохо, если бы это объясняли в автошколе, но там даже не учат пользоваться этим инструментом. Поэтому, часто можно столкнуться с ситуацией, когда, только подняв автомобиль на определённую высоту, автомобилист лезет под самое днище.The saddest thing is that a person is sure that he is completely safe and does everything right.

Jacks do not require special care, with the exception of hydraulic appliances. In these you will have to constantly change the oil, and any transportation is available only in a horizontal position, because the lift works on water. For other jacks, regular cleaning of dirt and storage in a dry place is sufficient. Having mastered these basics, you will know how to use the jack.

Jacks are different

There are several types of jacks. Some motorists prefer hydraulic bottle and rolling tools. Also, jacks are rack and mechanical. Each species has its pros and cons. But there are general features of using all jacks without exception, knowing about which, you can not damage the car and achieve the desired goal.

Do not do this!

Let's not talk about how to use this device, but what should not be done.

- You can not leave the car to stand on the jack. Use safety racks or attach a wheel - if the car falls off the jack so that it does not crash to the ground or crush you. It’s not worth talking about the dangers of health, take care of yourself! The machine may also be damaged by such falls.

Some drivers mistakenly believe: if there is a strong hydraulic jack, then you do not need to play it safe. It’s a big mistake to think so! Even the most reliable mechanism fails. So think about protection.

- Do not use the jack to stand under the bottom of the machine. The metal there is not as durable as in other parts of the body, regardless of whether the machine was made in the Soviet Union or off the assembly line recently. With this method of use, you can deform the bottom. All this will lead to increased wear and corrosion.

- You can not install the tool under the moving parts of the car, for example, under the suspension. And there are many such sages - they put a jack under the levers of the suspension. And then they repair the car after falling onto the asphalt.

- It’s better not to put under the soft part of the thresholds - it is even thinner than the bottom. It is better to install under the stiffener, which is on the thresholds - on some machines indicate with arrows the place on the threshold where you can put. Classic domestic cars used to have special squares on the thresholds - under the jack. Otherwise, you just remember the threshold, and then you have to go to the service to correct your mistake and straighten the threshold. And why do you need extra spending?

Do not make dangerous mistakes!

Follow the rules, do not act at your own peril and risk. Otherwise, then you will have to apply for expensive repairs. Under some types of jacks you need to put thick rubber as a gasket. Make sure that the platform you are working on is even.

Do not forget, the jack is a tool that raises the car, and not holding it in a raised state. Do not make dangerous mistakes, otherwise the machine may land on your foot.