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Trail’s End: Dusting Off Rusty Trusty Tricks and Fixes

Posted in Features on October 24, 2017
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Photographers: Four Wheeler Archives

Four-wheelers are problem solvers. Sometimes that means choosing the best way to scrape our way through that sketchy line on the trail, other times we find ourselves scratching our skulls, puzzling over how to fix the part that is now dangling from our rig’s underside. Either way, we are professionals in this field, and have been for decades.

Back in the ’90s, Four Wheeler featured reader-submitted penny-pinching tricks, which we titled “Cheap Tricks.” We recently found ourselves in the archives closet chuckling at the innovative, borderline impractical, and sometimes outdated ways wheelers of the past have solved problems both in the garage and on the trail. We picked some that might make you laugh and couple that might stand the test of time and still be useful.

Now we ask you, the ingenious reader, to tell us about your unconventional, comical, or unheard-of fixes and tricks. Send ’em to editor@fourwheeler.com and include a high-resolution photo of each. If we get enough submissions we’ll feature some of them in an upcoming story!

In hitch-related news, Gabe Wegel found a sneaky place to stow the offending steel device to keep the departure angle at what the factory intended.
We’ve seen versions of this trick in recent years, but maybe Rick Anderson was a pioneer in the paperboard fastener organization field. Either way, anybody removing a valve cover might find this useful, unless of course all the bolts are the same size, or your memory is sharper than ours.
Anybody with a hitch has heard the telltale sound of steel on rock as the payload-pulling rear end of the rig contacts terra firma. Mark Harris made us laugh with this trick where he welded a wheel intended for a shopping cart to the hitch, allowing it to roll where it would have previously dragged.
Justin Haviland had us checking the forums to see if anyone else in the last decade had dreamed up a similar soup can solution for vapor lock.
After reading Daniel Cassada’s tip, we wondered if he was the genius behind the patents on the now-ubiquitous pumps available at auto parts shops. This fix holds true if anyone wants to avoid the $10 price tag on the modern fluid-filling contraption.

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