A while ago, TAP went out to the desert to test out the Bushranger Exhaust Jack. We had never used one and do a lot of desert driving. We wanted to see how it would hold up in deep sand. Frankly,we had a hard time believing that an inflatable jack could be effective.  TAP has performed recoveries that involved winching and using snatch straps, d-rings and kinetic ropes. We have used our Maxtrax  in snow, sand and mud, but we had never used an inflatable jack.  The product intrigued us. The X-Jack is made to be used when a highlift may not have a stable platform in sand, mud and snow. It’s got a wide footprint to help it avoid sinking, and to keep the unit firmly grounded. In 2005, it won best 4×4 accessory at SEMA, so we decided to stage a recovery situation in order to test it out. We drove out to Anza Borrego, found some deep sand, and purposely got ourselves stuck.

When we posted this photo on FB we got a lot of comments like, “YOU GOT STUCK THERE?!” Whatza matta wit you?

The X-jack comes in an easy to store 5″ x 24″ x 25″  zippered case and weighs 16lbs. The case contains the Jack, an inflation hose and a heavy duty cover to drape over the top to protect it against possible punctures. Bushranger says that it’s got a lifting capacity of 4,400 lbs.

Unpacking the X-Jack with Tom Severin

 We placed the deflated bag under the carriage, with the protection mat in place. The deflated jack requires 2″ clearance under vehicle to operate.

I placed the X-Jack under vehicle. Tom cleared the tailpipe so that we could connect the hose.

Next I turned on the car, put it in park (emergency brake firmly engaged, of course) and placed the cone over the exhaust.


Trying to create an inflation seal by holding the X-Jack cone over the exhaust pipe.


The X-Jack has dual inflation points so that you can inflate either from the exhaust or from a compressor.  We used our ARB onboard compressor after discovering that we couldn’t get a seal in the cone due to the Jeep’s angled exhaust pipe.

After struggling to maintain an effective inflation seal using our exhaust, we hooked the jack up to our on-board air compressor. Worked like a charm.
The X-jack fully inflated gives a significant lift to the rig.

 The Jacked up Low Down:

  • Once we hooked up the X-Jack to our compressor, it inflated with ease. So, that’s the way to go if you’ve got an angled tailpipe.

  • Be sure that you have the X-Jack placed far enough under your carriage or it will pop out from under your vehicle. When we began our slow inflation via exhaust pipe, we noticed it bulging dangerously out the side of the carriage without actually beginning to lift the rig. We adjusted the placement further under the carriage and began to inflate with the compressor, thus providing a sturdy lifting platform.

  • This product is easy to pack,unpack and clean. It’s light-weight, compact and provides a solid lift on mushy surfaces.

  • The X-Jack provided us with ample lift. Bushranger says that it provides up to 31″ of lift.

  • Replacement cones and hoses are available.

This is a TAP recommended product.

A safety note from Bushranger

Never use this product for vehicle maintenance. Never get under a vehicle supported by the X-Jack.


Check out The Bushranger Exhaust Jack from ARB and TAP into Adventure!!

Tom Severin helped us out in the testing of this product.  Tom is an International 4-Wheel Drive Trainers Association© certified professional 4WD Trainer and a Wilderness First Responder (WFR). He is an instructor for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and the California Association of 4WD Clubs. He owns Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc. based out of Southern CA and offers training clinics, guided adventures and more. See 4x4training.com for full details.

Photos: Andy Palmer

Written by: Lori Palmer