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  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
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  • Four Wheeler

Be Prepared! - Off Road Parts Checklist

Posted in How To on June 18, 2008
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It is unfortunate, but parts breakage and four-wheeling go hand in hand. If you have not broken down on the trail yet, consider yourself lucky, because it is not a matter of if but when. Lesser-equipped vehicles have some glaring weaknesses directly from the factory, and those who have upgraded their vehicles with stout aftermarket parts often follow the siren song of difficult terrain that further taxes the vehicle's components. Regardless if you are one of those people who loves to find creative solutions to problems or loathes getting dirty on the trail, the following will help you get home quickly, easily, and safely.

We carry the following items in our vehicle at all times, regardless of whether we're on the pavement or the trail. Most of them are small and inexpensive and can be found at the local auto parts store. They sit in a sturdy rubber tote that doesn't rattle as much as a metal toolbox and which is secured in the cargo area of our SUV.

We add the following items in an additional tote when we travel to distant trails, difficult terrain, or extended trips in the backcountry. They take up more space but are invaluable where there is no help (much less a parts store) within miles. We broke these down into three basic categories: tools, fluids, and parts. Remember to properly secure items in the back of your vehicle, otherwise they can become projectiles during aggressive driving or in a rollover situation.

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Box- and open-end wrenches
Hex-head wrenches
Various-size ratchets
Assorted sockets
Spindle socket
Hi-Lift jack
Max Ax
Ratchet straps
Graded chain and hooks or graded bolts
Air compressor or CO2 tank
Latex gloves

Engine oil and filter
Gear oil and pump
Power-steering fluid
Brake fluid
Grease and grease gun
Starter fluid
Oil-absorbing mat
Small container and funnel

Service manual
Fuel filter
Butt connectors and wire
Hose clamps
U-joint straps or U-bolts
Fire extinguisher
First-aid kit
Kleenex pack
Lug wrench
Heavy leather gloves
Recovery strap
Hose repair kit
Universal fan belt
Radiator stop-leak
Valve stems and cores
Tire plug kit
Zip ties
Jumper cables
Baling wire
Duct tape
J-B Weld
Tire-pressure gauge
Leatherman or similar
Energy bars
Water (1 gallon)
Space blanket
Bug repellent

Every vehicle will have failure-prone items that are specific to that make and model. We have covered some of the major models, but if your particular vehicle is not listed here you may want to ask a fellow enthusiast or the parts department at your local dealer what they see break most often.

Front hub and studs or bolts
Model 20 axleshaft
Ignition module

Dana 35 axleshaft
Spare TPS
Slip-yoke plug
Track-bar bolt

Coarse-spline pinion
(third member)

Axle drain plug
Steering arm (stock solid axle)
Idler arm (IFS)

Transmission shifter-seat
Steering coupler

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