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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are lots of Hi-Lift Mount how-to's here and I stole ideas from most of them. One thing that's a little different about mine and I really like is the oval spacer that fits nicely in the Hi-Lift holes and keeps it from messing up a bare piece of threaded rod. It's pretty easy to make too, requiring only common hand tools and a vise.

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I started with the "ebay brackets". If you search on ebay for "weight clamp" you'll find them. I got the 1-3/4" size to fit the horizontal bars on my OE roof rack. I got everything else at my local hardware store.

The Materials you'll need & approximate prices are as follows:
Clamps w/shipping - $25
JB Weld - $ 5
1/2x13 threaded rod - $ 8 (because the smallest piece they had was 2' long)
10 1/2" washers - $ 4
1 spacer - $ 2 (1/2" I.D. x 5/8" O.D. x 1" long)
2 1/2x13 Wing Nuts - $ 3

You can see the prices add up to about $47. The DIY route may not be much cheaper than buying some ready-made mounts but at least it gave me a reason to hang out in the garage.

First thing you'll need to do is cut 2 - 2" pieces of your threaded rod. I used JB Weld to hold the rod in the brackets forever. You'll probably want to clean the paint out of the bracket threads with a tap and clean everything to ensure good adhesion.



Then I used more JB Weld to hold 3 of the washers on each bracket. The washers I found were 1/16" thick. You may want to make sure the O.D. of the washers you use will fit inside the channel of the Hi-Lift. Then I wiped off excess epoxy and let that all set up.

While that's happening you can cut the spacers. I found some spacers that were 1/2" I.D x 5/8" O.D. If you can find some that are 5/16" long, it would save some work. All I could find was 1" long so I cut 2 - 5/16" pieces from it. Use a file to take a little length off if you cut them a bit long. If they're too long, they'll interfere with clamping the Hi-Lift on tightly.



Once your brackets are set up, you'll need to file a couple flats on the sides of the rod where that spacer goes. I used the edge of a file and took off 5 threads. You don't have to take the threads off completely, just pretty close. Hopefully you can tell from the pics where the flats should be. They're under the narrower part of the spacer.

Now you can crush the spacer onto the rod. Just put the spacer into the vise and then put the bracket rod in the spacer as shown in the picture and crank on the vise.



Make sure to test fit it in your jack. If you crushed it too much, just turn the bracket 90 degrees and put a little pressure on the spacer. When mine were fitting good, I used a thin wire nail to force JB Weld into the gaps, wiped off the excess and let it set.

Finally, I painted everything with rust-o-leum to try to keep the rust off. We don't have a serious problem with rust here in the desert so hopefully using zinc plated hardware & paint will be good enough to keep it away.

Well that's the hard part I think. I'm not going to get a chance to actually mount these on the FJ until tomorrow but I'll get a hero shot up after that.

Let me know what you think. After I use them for a while, I'll let you know how they're holding up.
 

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Lots of companies make weight clamps. My local vendor carries these, but you can order online from the manufacturer:

Allstar Performance - racing and high performance car parts, accessories and specialty tools.



I use them for a variety of applications, clamping to tube. They're threaded for 2 half inch bolt holes, one on either side.

I usually just get the things lined up and then run the bolt in, bottoming it against the tube, and set it in some thread locker for additional security.

If you use socket head set screws, you don't have to cut off any bolt lengths and you can torque it down against the tubing, setting the threads the way threads were supposed to be utilized - with metal to metal compression.



For the Hi-Lift, I just run a 1.5" set screw in, and then hold the jack on with a wing nut. The jack will self center on the angled surfaces of the weight brackets, and the wing nut torque holds against the spring of the metal perfectly since there's a slight gap behind the bar. If you have no gap behind the bar, and you tighten the wing nut down, then the clamping force is either loose enough that it can vibrate free, or else tight enough that you often need a tool to knock the wings back a quarter turn before you can remove it with your fingers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks BellyDoc. I was a little worried about running a screw down against the roof rack tubing, assuming it was pretty thin and wouldn't hold up to that much pressure. Good to know it will if this attempt doesn't work.

I was also worried about the clamping force issue but was thinking letting the jack ride on those angled surfaces might allow it to move and take pressure off the nut. I was thinking of putting a hole through the rod so I could use a safety pin. I guess I'd better at least do that to make sure the wing nuts can't loosen too much.

Thanks for the feedback. Always nice to learn from what someone else has figured out the hard way.
 

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If you've got some extra thread length, you can put a washer and a lock washer, or even a lock washer sandwich... but that's extra parts to drop on the trail.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got the brackets mounted on the roof rack so here are a couple pics. Based on BellyDoc's heads-up that I may have an issue with the wing nuts vibrating loose, I put a 3/32" hole in the end of the rod so I can use a pin to make sure the nuts can't back off too much.



 

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That actually looks really good. Stud move on the R pin hole. That's got to be a tough hole to drill. Even a center drill probably wants to walk.

Now, aren't you tempted to try to find a use for the half inch threaded holes on the other side? ;) Mine have brackets on them that clamp a spare axle shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The hole was a little tough but I center punched it good and didn't have too much trouble with it walking. I did break one drill bit but that was because I got impatient and put too much pressure on it.

Thanks for the idea on the axle shaft. I was trying to think of what to use those for.
 
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