ARB's New Bushmaster X-Jack Air Jack - Exhaust EscapePosted in Features on October 1, 2006
Everyone has been there. You're trundling along a trail you assume to be solid, and the ground quickly swallows a tire. But as long your truck's still running you could be back on the move in no time with a bit of a lift. We recently put the new X-Jack from ARB under a buried behemoth of a truck and it quickly lifted the tires up out of the deep trench. And the best part is that we inflated this sturdy vinyl air jack with the exhaust pressure direct from the tailpipe of our big-block. It seems hard to believe that the exhaust pressure is strong enough to support the 4-ton weight rating the X-Jack carries, but the volume of the jack allows it to support amazing loads without being under excessive pressures. In fact, the jack shouldn't be pressurized over 10 psi, yet it will still lift a vehicle nearly 30 inches to help clear the tires from deep holes. Although the X-Jack is designed to lift your 4x4, it is not meant for replacing tires or working underneath the frame, but rather solely as a recovery tool.
The bottom of the X-Jack has spiked traction aids to help keep it from sliding out from under your rig during inflation. Even so, you need to be cautious about what you set the air jack on to protect against piercing the air bladder. Luckily the jack also comes with a repair kit in the rare case you need to patch a puncture.
When you hook up the fill hose to the jack body you are effectively closing a check valve for the air in the jack. Then you simply slide the jack under the vehicle's frame or axle. The X-Jack has a triple-layer top to help resist punctures, and a protective mat that can be used above or below the jack. But when locating the jack under your truck keep it clear of sharp edges and hot exhaust.
Here is the best part. You don't need any additional compressor to fill the X-Jack. Although you can attach one to the valve stem on the side of the jack, we simply pushed the filler hose cone over the tailpipe and watched the jack pump up. We did need to hold the cone onto the exhaust, but since the end of the hose has a one-way valve you can pull it off at any time and the jack will not deflate. Once you have the tires clear, simply fill the holes under the treads and remove the fill hose from the jack, allowing it to deflate.
Here is the one suggestion we have: If the collapsed X-Jack fits in a canvas carrying case approximately the diameter of a 33-inch tire then why not offer it with some straps to affix it onto the spare?