Join Date: May 2016
Location: Woodinville, WA
Feedback: 0 reviews
While I agree a hilift is almost always the wrong tool, there is that very rare time where it is pretty much the correct and possibly only tool to finish the job. Changing a tire it's always the wrong tool. Basically if you're trying to lift the axle, do not lift it by lifting the frame with a hilift.
In my several hundred trail days over the last 4 years, I've seen a hilift be the correct tool twice:
-Upper links broke off someone's axle on a triangulated 4-link. Springs fell out body sitting on the axle. Sure you probably could use a bottle jack but a hilift is going to do the job way faster, easier, and I'd honestly argue safer. If you want to lift the frame/body, it's pretty hard to beat a hilift. Just make sure things are supported in other ways before you get under the vehicle and start repairs.
-Got myself so incredibly stuck high-centered on a big boulder in the middle of Prichett Canyon trail solo that a hilift was the only tool that was getting me off that rock without wiping out a drive-line (a second Jeep driving by would probably have been helpful too, as would a rear-winch, neither of which did I have access to). A second time I got myself so stuck that I damaged a drive shaft and a wheel where if I hadn't been so lazy at the time I could have gotten out unscathed by using my hilift (it was pouring rain alone on a cold day high centered on some rocks and I decided to just send it on the winch and deal with it at home).
I'd say if you're using your hilift even 1% of days on the trail you're doing something very wrong. I still carry one though because it's a tool that does a few jobs very well, and does a whole bunch of jobs poorly to moderately well. It also makes a good land-anchor if it ever comes to that (I personally haven't had to use mine for that yet).
For tire changes away from home, I just use the OEM jack. Turns out your Jeep came with a tool specifically designed for exactly that task.
Last edited by christensent; 12-29-2018 at 06:29 PM.