Musts in 4x4 Off-road Travels

By: Evander Klum

Before hitting the road, make sure all your are in good condition.

Make a visual inspection inside and outside the vehicle to determine if your 4x4 vehicle is trail ready and capable of surviving an off-road trip.

Take a look at this check list from "4-wheeler", an online source on Jeeps, to closely inspect the inner workings of your ride.
&bullCheck the axles and differentials including hubs, seals, vacuum lines, shift motors, vent lines, front u-joints.
&bullCheck the batteries for clean terminals and also for damaged or corroded wiring.
&bullCheck the brake system that includes drums, rotors, pads/shoes, fluid, hoses, leaks, check e-brake, brake lights.
&bullCheck the belts and hoses for cracks or bulges.
&bullCheck the body or frame for cracks.
&bullCheck both the cooling and the heating system for leaks and fluid levels. Also clean and repair fins the fins. Include the hoses, thermostat, and radiator cap while inspecting.
&bullCheck the case and transmission of the driveline/transmission. Also see if there are leaks. The fluids, universal and cv joints, and skid plates also need inspections.
&bullCheck the engine which includes the carburetor, fuel injectors, spark plugs, wires, pcv valve, pumps, spark plugs, distributor & wires, belts. Also check for leaks and cracks.
&bullCheck the muffler and tailpipes in the exhaust.
&bullCheck the fluids: oil, transmission, brake, radiator coolant, gear oils, wipers, and power steering.
&bullCheck the headlights, brake lights, and auxiliary lights.
&bullCheck the nuts and bolts. Tighten the axle u-bolts, lug bolts, and the nuts.
&bullCheck the steering alignment, fluid level, belts and hoses, pump and reservoir for leaks.
&bullCheck the suspension springs, shocks, alignment, wheel bearings, and steering linkage.
&bullCheck the tires and tighten lug nuts. Inspect air pressure, tread wear (including your full-size spare), and look for cuts and missing chunks.
&bullCheck wiper wear and fluid level.

All those should be in good working condition and you do not hear any strange noises coming from them.

It is time now to load the necessary gear and equipment on board. You should put some thought into what tools you will need in your off-road toolbox to have enough on hand so if something breaks when you are out on the trail, you will be able to disassemble, repair, replace, and/or reassemble it in order to get yourself back on the road.

As a bare minimum, you will need the following items on hand:
&bullAir pressure gauge
&bullAllen wrenches
&bullBaling wire
&bullCrescent wrench (small & medium)
&bullElectrical tape & spare connectors
&bullGrease (or a grease gun)
&bullHammer
&bullNuts & bolts (assorted sizes)
&bullOpen end/box wrenches (3/8" to 3/4")
&bullPliers - standard, needle-nose and channel lock
&bullPocket/utility knife
&bullScrewdrivers - standard and phillips
&bullSocket set (3/8") with extensions
&bullStandard & phillips screwdrivers
&bullSuper glue/epoxy
&bullVise grips
&bullWire & wire cutters/crimpers

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