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Hood Rack w/ Hi-lift Jack and Isolator
 
As you go to car shows and see Jeeps on the road, you tend to see things you like and you then see things you donít like. You get to see what ďeverybodyĒ is doing and then what no one is doing. With this in mind, Jen kept saying how she wanted to put a hi-lift jack on the hood of her Jeep, but was afraid that it might be too heavy for her to get off alone. I figured that someone would always be with her since you never go out alone on the trails, so that wasnít going to be an issue.

Now I want to be clear here that I took a chance on this build-up. It was Christmas, she had mentioned that she like the look, but never really said that she definitely wanted this and to top it off, she seemed to always be around when I wanted to research, order, and install this, so it took some doing to get it done.
 
 
I researched around and tried to find good prices on the parts and then who could ship it to me quickly because I wanted to make sure that I had this in time for Christmas. I ended up ordering from 4wd.com and the parts came in relatively quickly. In fact, the hi-lift came in on a day when Jen was around and I had to say that it was one of the rock sliders that she had ordered for me. I put it in the garage and the isolator and hood rack came in the following week.

All items were packaged great and the UPS guy (who must be getting very tired by now) left them on the front porch and I just took them and put them in the garage. I made arrangements to go up during the week and install this on Jenís Jeep. Now when I said before that I hadnít talked to her about this, I wasnít kidding. This was a leap and I just hoped I landed well when it was all said and done. Plans changed slightly and I ended up doing it on the weekend of 12/17/05, but she still didn't know what it was, so I kept her out of the garage and Frank helped me put this on. I got a big bow as well and when it was all done, I put the bow on and took her out to the garage.
 
 
Upon opening up the hood rack kit, I saw a bunch of metal and a lot of nuts and bolts. There were instructions included with it as well, so I started to dive into this and start installing this onto the Jeep. The whole concept of the hood rack kit is that it locates your hi-lift jack or your shovels onto a space on the Jeep where there isnít anything else. This area is on the hood near the cowl. It also gives the Jeep a lot more aggressive appearance and allows for your equipment to be at your fingertips because usually that part of the Jeep isnít buried in the mud. It is a very practical place to put it.

We put the hinges on per the instructions in the kit and we put the included isolating pads on the Jeep so we didn't scratch up the paint. Once that was done, we attached the load-balancing bar and then finally we moved onto installing the hi-lift jack. With it all in place with the daystar isolator, we noticed that the bolts that helped to attach the jack as well as balance the load were a little short because of the isolator, so we figured we would just get some new bolts at a later time. I put on the bow and she was really surprised. I was happy with the product and the final look of the Jeep.

 
Lessons Learned the Hard Way
 
So, my lessons learned here would have to be that you should have 2 people do this job as the Hi-lift Jack is heavy and you could use an extra pair of hands to help lift it onto the front of the Jeep. With 2 people helping, the job went smoothly and was done within an hour.
 
Conclusions
 
This is a pretty easy installation to do. This relocates the jack onto the hood of the Jeep where there are no other items stored and really helps to get a jack for your offroading purposes up and out of the way. The construction of the parts is second to none and it really is a good quality product. In about an hour and $200.00 later, you will have a very nice product on your Jeep that is truly functional.

The approximate build-up costs and installation time can be seen here.

Take your time and good luck!

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