Page created: 6-Jun-06

Re-published: 17-Aug-11


Roof Rack

Technical: Discovery I

Hi-lift Jack Brackets

I originally hadmy hi-lift jack mounted flat on the deck of the roof rack but, in order to free up space, I later decided that I'd like to move it so that it mounted on the side of the rack instead. This also had the advantage of making the jack more easily accessible from the ground. Originally, I planned to use a commercially available set of brackets but because the rack is made of cylindrical tubes I struggled to find any that I could make fit. So I decided to make some.

One of a pair of hi-lift mounting bracketsBecause a hi-lift is a rather heavy piece of kit, I wanted the brackets to be strong. My starting point therefore, was some 30 x 4mm flat steel bar, from which I cut two lengths and bent into neat 'L' shapes. After painting with primer and Smoothrite, these were clamped to the rack with 6mm U bolts. To these main brackets were bolted two stainless steel 'top hat' shaped brackets that in turn carried the 12mm stainless steel mounting bolts for the jack itself. These brackets act as spacers to allow for clearance between the jack mechanism and the top rail of the roof rack. The jack was then held in position on the mounting bolts with two large wing nuts.

When designing these brackets I was concerned that the vibrations of the vehicle in motion might shake the jack loose. This wasn't such a big concern when the jack was mounted flat on the roof rack deck, but if it fell off the side of the rack then it could do some serious harm, Therefore, where the main brackets are clamped against the roof rack tubes I put in some small pieces of sticky-back foam, both to protect the rack and absorb a little of the vibrations. Similarly, there was a large rubber washer under each wing nut to prevent vibrations from working them loose.

Hi-lift jack fixed in position on side of roof rack