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Jack Guard

By Mike "TXJEEPER" Cohn

If It's Rusty, Muddy and Bound Up...It's Not Worth Jack!!!

Jack Guard
The Jack Guard looks like a gun case. Expect to get funny looks in town if you mount it on the outside of your rig.

Recently, Polymer Products sent us out their new Jack Guard, which is designed to hold and protect your Hi-Lift Jack. Hi-Lift offers a vinyl cover for their jacks, but they really don't protect the jack all that well. The Jack Guard is designed to not only protect the jack from the weather, but also to act as a carrying and/or mounting system. Made of polyethylene, the Jack Guard can mount to any flat surface using the optional mounting kit. Though not necessary, the stainless steel kit is intended to provide a safe and solid mount for your jack. On our Project TJ, we already have a mount built onto our Bulletproof bumper, so we did not order the mounting kit.

So if we didn't intend to mount the Jack Guard in our Jeep, why did we order it? Simply put, we thought it was an interesting product that we wanted to take a look at. Once in a while, products come along that we are intrigued by, frankly, and want to find out if they truly are useful or not. Is the Jack Guard useful? Well, maybe. It really depends on you and your rig. Here's the scoop...

Why Spend the Money?

Jack GuardThe Jack Guard itself will cost you $25.95 at print time. With the mounting kit, the total is $45.95. Tack on shipping and another $8 if you want the extension for a 60" Hi-Lift. Now figure that your 48" Hi-Lift probably cost you right around $50 and you may ask why you'd spend 92% of the cost of the jack itself in order to protect it? That's a very fair question and the answer is this. If you've ever been in the middle of nowhereseville and you went to use your jack and discovered that it was so rusted that it was practically inoperable, then you know why a waterproof case is needed. If you live in more arid climates, then perhaps you don't need this as badly.

Using the Jack Guard
The Jack Guard is very simple to use. Simply pull out the pin at the large end and open up the hinged, removable cover. Next, slide the jack inside. Believe it or not, it does get a bit tricky here. At the small end, there is another pin. This pin needs to go through the Hi-Lift and out the other side of the Jack Guard, where it then gets locked in place. Lining this pin up with a hole in the Hi-Lift was a tricky affair, but it was finally accomplished. A little practice and you get the hang of it. This pin keeps the jack in place so that it does not move around in the case. It also acts as a safety in case the lid at the other end somehow opens up. You can also use a padlock here if you chose, in order to keep thieves from taking your Hi-Lift out of the Jack Guard.

Jack Guard
The latch pin holds the jack safely inside of the case and the lid closes snuggly in order to help keep out the elements. You can also replace the pin with a padlock to keep out the other kind of elements.

Once this pin is in, the lid on the other end can be closed and pinned shut. The lid isn't a perfect fit during the first use, but once it's shut it conforms perfectly. The latch takes a bit of muscle the first couple times, as well. I have always been a little hesitant when it comes to plastic latches, as they always seem to wear out. The Jack Guard does come with a two year warranty, though, so this is not a big concern in this particular case.

The Jack Guard has a very large handle that balances the jack nicely when used for carrying. The opening is large enough to fit gloves through, as well, and the gloves themselves can be stored inside the lid, as there is some extra space there. The lid also has indentations molded into it that could hold a couple hand tools if yours happen to match up with their shapes.

In My Case
Old Hi-Lift
Our fine specimin. Rusted, bent, and a beast to use.

Jack Guard
Our poor old Hi-Lift has seen better days. Rust and mud will nearly destroy your jack if left unchecked.

After spending several years in Texas and now almost two years in the South, my Hi-Lift was looking pretty bad. Rusty cancer had all but ceased any operation of the jack. WD-40 and a screw driver allowed usage, but it was a long and dreadful adventure. I was lucky enough to win a new Hi-Lift at my club's Christmas party and it went right onto Project TJ. The old jack is now an emergency spare, kept at the house. Interestingly enough, the new jack had not yet been used by the end of February and it was already rusting. The same goes for several other new parts on the Jeep. The South is just not very metal-friendly, to say the least.

The Jack Guard could help to prevent further rusting and damage from the elements on my jack. However, as I mentioned earlier, my jack lives on my rear tire swing-out and that's where I want it to stay. So, for me, the Jack Guard will not work on my rig. It is, however, the new home for my spare jack. Underneath our house it can get very damp, so the Jack Guard is, actually serving its purpose, keeping the old jack in its somewhat-usable condition.

The Bottom Line
Here's the scoop. If you want to protect your Hi-Lift jack, have a good mounting spot, and don't mind your neighbors thinking you're carrying an assault rifle around with you, then the Jack Guard is money well spent. You'll keep your Hi-Lift good-as-new and it will work like a charm next time you need to use it. When you're rig's in trouble and your jack functions as designed, you'll thank yourself for spending the bucks. If you really don't have a good mounting spot, you don't worry that much about your jack's well-being or you actually do routine oiling and repainting of your jack (does anyone?), then you probably don't need the Jack Guard.

RESOURCES  
Polymer Products
www.jackguard.com
Email:
sales@jackguard.com
Phone:
(517) 723-9510
Bloomfield Manufacturing Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 228
46 W. Spring Street
Bloomfield, IN 47424

Phone: (800) 233-2051

 

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