A floor jack can come in handy when you need to change, rotate, or inspect your wheels. Unfortunately, they’re not made with portability in mind.
So, what do you when you’re off-roading with your buggy and need to replace a wheel? According to Pirate 4×4 forum user Andrew, you take a standard floor jack, tear it apart, and make it bigger and stronger.
To start with, Andrew purchased a basic floor jack. The main issue is the wheels. Like most, it had a small 1.5-inch roller as a front wheel. Obviously, this won’t roll through the dirt very easily so some mods were in order.
Andrew picked up some 8-inch solid rubber tires for $6 each for the front of the floor jack and made a new front axle from a 5/8″ solid rod. He welded a washer to one end of the rod and tapped the other to accept a 3/8″ bolt. The original axle holes were drilled out to a bigger diameter to fit the new axle. A few spacers on either side of each wheel prevent it from rubbing the sides of the floor jack.
When all is done, the front of the jack sits 3-inches higher. This presented the next problem. The rear castors needed to be upgraded to make up for the height difference. Andrew simply removed the old castors and replaced them with larger ones he took from another dead floor.
The front end still sat a little higher, but it seems to work just fine. If you want to take the time, you could make new brackets to use as spacers for the rear castors to level it out a bit more.
The finished project results in a jack that looks kind of like a buggy itself. The large front wheels and bigger castors help lift your buggy 3-inches higher, while also providing more stability.
The rear axle is wide and capped with 8-inch wheels, allowing you to easily roll over the grass, dirt, or mud, to get your buggy high enough to replace the wheels.
For a detailed look at this DIY off-road floor jack project, make sure you check out the full details at Pirate 4×4.