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Old 04-23-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
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What you need to know before going off road

I think we all know that going off road risks the possibility of something breaking which can cost you lots of money very quickly. With a little knowledge preparation at home, and while on the trail, you could possibly save yourself hundreds, even thousands of dollars (and a ruined day).

This thread is for tips, techniques, and any other knowledge you may have that can save us all money.

Things to check at home, regular maintenance, how to reduce risk on the trail, techniques in different situations- and anything else that you think might help is welcomed here!

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Old 04-23-2012, 08:42 PM   #2
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Interesting thread! Subscribed!

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Old 04-23-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
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I'd imagine the first thing to do would be to check to make sure you have all the skid plates you're suppose to.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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if you're talking about a stock jeep your pretty much good to go. always go with someone or friends. always let people know where your going ahead of time.

a tow strap wouldn't hurt to bring along
a shovel

some tools, i bring all my tools. impact wrench/ drill/ wrenches/sockets/hammer etc

air compressor for inflating tires

if you got a stock rig / jeep, you should be better off then some of those with modified rigs who tend to wheel a little harder then the average stocker.

if you do end up breaking something stock, chances are either a tire or you loose that damn air dam up front.

which reminds me, it's always a good idea to bring a tire plug kit/ patches for valve stems.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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in general, you should know when to be in 4 low and when to be in 4 high.

if you got a rubicon, you should learn and know how and when to use your lockers.

activating lockers can be VERY dangerous in unappropriated situations

oh know when you should disconnect your sway bars and know when you need to air down your tires...
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:03 PM   #6
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something like this

Spare parts

Bailing wire
Drive shaft
Tie-rod
Oil and filter
Tire valve stems with core
Water (5 gallons)
Power steering and brake fluid
Various sized hose clamps
Assorted nuts, bolts, washers, lug nuts, cotter pins
Extra gas and a funnel

Recovery/wheeling gear
Air gauge
C02 tank
Tire deflators
3 inch recovery strap
Tree saver
D-Rings x 4
Snatch block
Leather faced gloves
Folding shovel
Saw
Hand cleaner wipes
Winch
Hi-lift jack
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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for spare parts,

Brake lines.
Axle shafts.
Drive shafts.
Water pump.
Steering box.
Belts.
Tie rod.
Drag link.
Tie rod ends.
Yokes.
Unit bearing.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:05 PM   #8
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
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and when in doubt, dont punch it like this dumb $(*@

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Old 04-23-2012, 09:09 PM   #10
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Armor
Recovery gear
proper tires for the terrain
air down
means for airing up
fuel
water
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:15 PM   #11
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This is all great stuff!

What about things to check at home, or routine maintenance for off road jeeps?

what seems to fail most often? what can I do on the trail to minimize damage?

Technique!
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:27 PM   #12
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:04 PM   #13
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:05 PM   #14
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alright now that thats all over... back to the thread! who's got advice?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:45 PM   #15
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Please I need advice
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:56 PM   #16
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I have a question. Going to be a bit before I get a new front bumper and winch.
So, instead, I will need some manual recovery items.
Suggestions would me most welcome.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoBobH View Post
I have a question. Going to be a bit before I get a new front bumper and winch.
So, instead, I will need some manual recovery items.
Suggestions would me most welcome.
MaxTrax (my choice) or other sand type of sand ladder (MaxTrax work well in sand, snow, mud (if not too bad)) They also work as a bridge for narrow gully crossings...
Recovery strap
Friends that can use a recovery strap (have a vehicle that's capable and know how)
Come Along
Hi Lift (get yourself off a boulder or whatever... jack your jeep up... shove it off the lift... repeat until off obstacle) And a base to put your jack on.
I also carry a bottle jack and the original scissor jack. For the base, I bought a piece of scrap metal 14x14, and slide it under the floor mat in the rear for storage. It's stainless steal, so it won't rust and get all mucky...
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:09 AM   #18
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Tire plugs/tire gauge/air compressor/Jack
Recovery straps/snatch block/D-rings
winch/come alone
torxs set(T-55)/socket set/screwdrivers/hammer
Duck Tape, Electrical Tape, Tie Wraps, Wire lugs
Electrical tools, strippers and crimps
Old Jacket and poncho
Jumper cables
Rope, and Bungees
Small Shovel, Hatchet, and saw
Fire Extinguisher
First Aid Kit
Flashlight, Lighter, and Knife
Pair leather gloves
Water and some emergency snacks(something feeling like fiber one bars)
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:01 AM   #19
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Mark A. Smith's Guide to Safe, Common Sense Off-Road Driving

Here's a .pdf link to a coupon for a free copy:
http://www.jeepjamboreeusa.com/pdfs/...ith-coupon.pdf

Mine just arrived and it's some really excellent reading!
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:32 AM   #20
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There is some good stuff here already, some of it is a bit over the top.

There are three things I never wheel without:

(1) Someone else

(2) Common sense

(3) Permission

A lot of the spare parts are unnecessary if you use your head when wheeling.(Having them is good though, just in case)

I've seen pride and ignorance break drive shafts, smash bodywork, leave transfer cases in pieces on the ground, and even flip vehicles.

There is no shame in getting stuck! (If you're with another vehicle) Resist the urge to pour on the power if your momentum stops, this is when most parts break. Instead try a different line if one's available without widening the trail. If you're truly stuck, take a pull from another vehicle instead of beating your rig up trying to break free.

And lastly, NEVER mix alcohol and motor sports of any kind! Save it for the campfire later.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:43 AM   #21
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I have some good advice I learned the hard way. DRIVE SLOW while offroading, unless you are playing in the mud out in the open or something like that. I got a little excited once in my lifted 2001 dodge ram and was hauling arse through tight trails and over some medium sized rocks. I blew a seal on the front axle (passenger side). Cost about $350 labor/parts to fix. Could have saved money by easing up on the gas.

Also, I later sold the truck to my 16 year old cousin, he pulled a similar stunt and now the rear differential is leaking where the driveshaft connects to it.

If you use common sense, you can solve or avoid almost all problems.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:52 AM   #22
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There's so much, but below are some basics I've seen a lot of people miss over the last 20 yrs (including myself early on):
  1. Vehicle in good working order
  2. Know your vehicle ... Where are your diffs located (offset, center, both?), what is your wheelbase, how tall is your rig?, etc ...
  3. Have recovery points front and rear rated at 2x GVW plus
  4. Buy a good snatch strap (as opposed to a tow strap) with a minimum break strength of 2-3x your loaded vehicle weight. (This is one time where higher weight rating IS NOT better. When conducting an extraction, snatch straps stretch and increase the force of the pull between vehicles while lessening the impact on the vehicles. If you get too high a rating, you risk the strap not stretching and, thus, decrease the effectiveness of the strap and increase the risk of damage on the vehicles, particularly the lighter of the two. For something like a JK, a 17,500lb strap is fine. Always use a strap rated to the lighter of the 2 vehicles.)
  5. Depending on the type of recovery points you have (hook v. Jate ring v. Dixon Bate v. shackle mount), you may need a couple of recovery shackles (at least 3/4") to attach your recovery strap.
  6. Keep your thumbs out of the center of the steering wheel
  7. Don't use differential lockers or brakes on muddy downhills - 1st gear, lo range, foot off the gas .... But, keep in mind, you may have to accelerate if you start to slide sideways.
  8. On rocky trails ... Drive your tires ON the rocks, not between them.
  9. Use spotters YOU trust when necessary ... And only use one at a time. The last thing anyone needs is 3 people yelling directions ----- and, as a point of trail etiquette, don't offer advise unless asked - unless someone is about to roll. LOL
  10. Drive "as slow as possible, as fast as necessary"

Good checklist here: Traveler's Checklist

Good article on Driving Techniques here: Driving Techniques

T
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comac90 View Post
Keep your thumbs out of the center of the steering wheel
That's one I wouldn't have thought of, did you see something happen that makes you say that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by strider_mt2k View Post
Mark A. Smith's Guide to Safe, Common Sense Off-Road Driving

Here's a .pdf link to a coupon for a free copy:
http://www.jeepjamboreeusa.com/pdfs/...ith-coupon.pdf

Mine just arrived and it's some really excellent reading!
Thank you for the link, appreciated!
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Keep your thumbs out of the center of the steering wheel

T
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKralph View Post
That's one I wouldn't have thought of, did you see something happen that makes you say that?
That was first told to me back in the mid to late 90s by Bill Burke (a military vehicle recovery specialist, 1991 Camel Trophy competitor, 4WD instructor and owner of 4-wheeling America ... And one of the best offroad drivers I've ever met) ... It's also my understanding that it's taught in the land rover driving schools.

That said, I've personally sprained my thumb rockcrawling when I had a momentary lapse and had my thumb inside the wheel and the wheel kicked back around on me. I have 'heard' of people breaking thumbs that way.

T
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluke the 2 View Post
and when in doubt, dont punch it like this dumb $(*@

A bit tough to tell, but it appears that guy may have rolled if he HADN'T punched it.... Just sayin'

T
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comac90

a bit tough to tell, but it appears that guy may have rolled if he hadn't punched it.... Just sayin'

T
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #27
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My son is taking his 2009 JKU on a 9 day expedition through Tunisia next week with a 4-wheel group from the Naval Air Station where he works in Sicily.

Here is the list of items they suggest trekkers need to have:

Tow Strap
Front and Rear Tow Points [not a problem for JKs]
Extra Air Filter
Extra Fan Belt
Shovel
Fuel Containers if your vehicle's range is 400KM or less
Water


Pretty short list!
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:13 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Up Hill Bill View Post
My son is taking his 2009 JKU on a 9 day expedition through Tunisia next week with a 4-wheel group from the Naval Air Station where he works in Sicily.

Here is the list of items they suggest trekkers need to have:

Tow Strap
Front and Rear Tow Points [not a problem for JKs]
Extra Air Filter
Extra Fan Belt
Shovel
Fuel Containers if your vehicle's range is 400KM or less
Water


Pretty short list!
There probably won't be many rocks on that trip, so the chances of breaking things are a lot lower. I know the JK has a stated range higher than 400km, but that's highway. If I were going to be offroad for that kind of distance I'd carry at least an extra 10gal of gas with me.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:15 PM   #29
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Since he has no use for a FAN BELT--outta have a sale onem-

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:04 PM   #30
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Since he has no use for a FAN BELT--outta have a sale onem-

JIMBO
Yeah, yeah... fan belt / serpentine belt... whatever...


You go off-road a lot. Do you have any suggestions for the OP and the rest of us?

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