ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

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Ducky's Dad
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ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:06 pm

Had to actually use my X-Jack yesterday for the first time, and it failed. Been carried for years, in the bag, inside a cross- bed tool box, inside a locked shell, so no exposure to sun, ozone, etc. Essentially brand new, although I have had it for years and never really needed it. Tried to lift the front corner of my truck yesterday to get unstuck and the jack blew apart at the factory seam, dropping the truck instantly and hard. ARB website says it's good for 30" lift but I was only up 6" when it blew. No warranty info on ARB website, but I doubt they will cover it just because I have had it for more than five years. I kept it away from anything sharp and away from the hot exhaust, no holes or other damage that I have found so far, just the separation along the seam. ARB claims lifting capacity of 4400 pounds and I was lifting one corner, so maybe 2500 pounds on the bag.

Will call ARB tomorrow, but looking for alternatives. I know there are fire/rescue and heavy equipment lifting bags out there, both high and low pressure, but they seem to start at about $1600 each and price goes up rapidly beyond $5K for a single bag. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Chinese bags that one can order through Alibaba at ten units for $32-$55 each, similar specs to the ARB. I am leery of the Chinese stuff in a recovery tool, but wondering if anybody has experience with them. Also wonder if any of you with professional rigging experience can recommend an affordable alternative to the ARB. Thanks.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by TheDirtRoad » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:50 pm

If you have a High-Lift jack one of these work exceptionally well at lifting one corner at a time. I recently buried my truck up to the hubs in sand skid plates and frame were setting on the ground. I used this for the first time(Pull-pal is on order). I was able to jack up each wheel and place rocks under them and free the truck in a short period of time. I recommend this to everyone.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:43 pm

If you have a High-Lift jack one of these work exceptionally well at lifting one corner at a time.
I have a 60" Hi-Lift Extreme and the wheel hook thingy, but remember that the front wheel was hanging free over about three feet of dead space. Had to find another way to lift the front.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Colibri » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:47 pm

Bogert bottle jack setup can get into places most jacks can't and be used in ways quite similar to the x-jack

Also a floor jack on a skid can be slid into pretty tight spots and lift from low on the vehicle
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On the skid under truck
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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:23 am

Bogert bottle jack setup can get into places most jacks can't and be used in ways quite similar to the x-jack
Truck was resting on the front axle, so nowhere near enough room for a bottle jack without digging a hole to put it in. Floor jack might have worked, but maybe not. Barely had enough clearance to slide the X-Jack bag under there. The big hole in the path was unusual, but the stuck was typical desert stuff with the truck down to the axle and very little clearance under the frame rails and rockers.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Colibri » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:51 am

That sounds like a pretty rough situation, what did you end up doing to get out?
Central Texas and Houston area
2009 5.7 auto quadcab
Carli 3” coils deaver leafs 3” kings with 4 tube bypass rear and fr/rr hydro bumps
Howe steering pump and gear with hydraulic ram assist
Custom tube bumpers and white knuckle sliders
Creative fab trussed axle. rem polished and cryoed 5.13 gears with arb lockers fr/rr
Sharadon stage 2 545rfe with 3000 stall edge converter
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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by verdesardog » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:56 am

A 60" high lift would have worked well in that situation. Winching would have not worked without doing a lot of digging first to get a "ramp" for the tires.....
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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:12 am

A 60" high lift would have worked well in that situation. Winching would have not worked without doing a lot of digging first to get a "ramp" for the tires.....
Winch useless here because I couldn't go forward without lifting the R/F tire about 18" to get a bridging ladder under it, and since I was in the desert there was nothing to hook the winch to without burying the spare. Only way out was backwards. The Hi-Lift would have been Plan C: thought about jacking up the whole side of the truck to try to get the tire high enough to insert the bridging ladders under it. That jacking would have probably damaged the N-Fab drop steps that I recently repaired after last November's stuck in AZ, but better than calling for some farmer with a tractor. Worth noting in this case is that a 48" Hi-Lift would possibly not have provided enough lift to get the tire above the hole, so I was glad I now have a 60". Plan B with the MaxTrax under the rear tires and the diffs locked worked surprisingly well and got me out after some digging. If I had tried the MaxTrax first, I would not have blown out my X-Jack.

Will call ARB later today. Still looking for alternative air bag jacks that are affordable and reliable. Noticed that Amazon has a dealer that is selling the $32 Alibaba Chinese bags for $189. Nice markup.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:14 pm

I called ARB USA today and they asked me to send them some pics of the blown jack. Within about three hours, they sent me an email saying they would ship me a replacement jack, even though it's well beyond warranty. Their stuff is pricey, but you can't beat the service. Still curious about alternatives, though. I'm going to start looking for milsurp lift bags.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by 2wagons1driveway » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:22 am

Colibri wrote:Bogert bottle jack setup can get into places most jacks can't and be used in ways quite similar to the x-jack

Also a floor jack on a skid can be slid into pretty tight spots and lift from low on the vehicle
doing this eventually...


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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by FirerescuePW » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:32 am

Poly Performance has an 8800lb X Jack on their site for $228.95. At least that is what came up when I Googled it.

The fire/rescue stuff you mentioned will be SUPER expensive. Add the word "FIRE" to the product description and the price soars. Low pressure rescue bags are similar to X Jacks but are not set up for exhaust. High pressure bags are only designed to lift an inch. These are not very practical for typical recovery, but could be handy in some situations. You could use your OBA for the low pressure as long as you have the CFM/duty cycle to keep up. I believe you would be ok. You MAY be able to use it for high pressure bags.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:18 am

You could use your OBA for the low pressure as long as you have the CFM/duty cycle to keep up.
My OBA is 12cfm free air flow and 100% duty cycle, so should be OK for most bags. Have not found any reasonably priced fire/rescue bags yet, but still looking. Looked around yesterday for milsurp lift bags, and the usual suspects know what I am looking for but have never seen any for sale.

Re Poly Performance, that is the lowest price I have found, available at a couple of dealers. They show 8800 lbs capacity, but ARB site shows 4400 lbs and I confirmed that with ARB yesterday just to be sure I had not overloaded my bag before it blew.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Mr.Smith » Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:01 am

60" Hi-Lift @ the rear & cast it out of the ruts...???

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:07 pm

60" Hi-Lift @ the rear & cast it out of the ruts...???
I don't think the 60" Hi-Lift at the rear would have worked, given the attitude of the truck, nose-down in the dirt with the R/F wheel in the hole and most of the weight of that corner resting on the axle and skid plates. Lifting from the rear would have just aggravated the situation. My initial idea to raise the front enough to get bridging ladders under the R/F tire was partially based on my desire to minimize damage to the front suspension and steering. I have driven the truck about three hundred miles since then and all seems OK, but it should go to the alignment shop anyway. I do have a new coolant leak that seems to be coming from the water pump bearing. May not be related or might have bumped something when the X-Jack popped and dropped the truck back into the hole.

A safety note for those of you considering an X-Jack: It's a marvelous tool when it works, but when the jack is under the truck and you are trying to hold an air chuck onto the Schrader valve, your arm and face are vulnerable if the bag blows. My take-away from this is that I am ordering a locking air chuck on a short hose with a trigger valve, so that I can inflate and monitor the bag without having my hand stuck under there to hold the chuck.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Mr.Smith » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:04 am

Not that it helped at the time, but glad they stood behind their product.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:24 am

Not that it helped at the time, but glad they stood behind their product.
I'm gradually accumulating more and more ARB stuff. They generally seem to have their stuff together.

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by fbenross » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:08 pm

Well...here is mine , lifting the whole left side of my PW up...its the first thing I did when I got it...was to test it....guess being an old pilot I don't go on trust. I've used it to lift my pop top from inside too - when the linkage broke.
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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:12 pm

lifting the whole left side of my PW up...its the first thing I did when I got it...was to test it...
I did the same thing. Worked fine... In the driveway.

If I had not tested it at home, I would not have realized that the exhaust cone that they ship with it would not fit over my exhaust tip (Banks exhaust). To remedy that little issue, I had to install a different exhaust tip and get a larger cone from ARB. Be prepared, and all that stuff...

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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by fbenross » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:21 am

If I remember I had to trim the exhaust tip to fit the jack cone.
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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by fbenross » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:05 am

If I remember I had to trim the exhaust tip to fit the jack cone.
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Re: ARB X-Jack - Alternatives?

Post by Ducky's Dad » Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:49 pm

If I remember I had to trim the exhaust tip to fit the jack cone.
They also offer an XL cone, but I never would have known if I hadn't called them. As I remember, they shipped me the XL cone at no charge, but I still had to change the tip on my Banks Monster Exhaust to use the big cone.

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