If you don't have it, you'll need it: Must-Carry Jeep spares
It never fails. The one time you leave your spare U-joint in the garage, you're going to grenade one on the trail. The one time you leave your JB Weld in the tow rig, you're going to punch a hole in your oil pan. And the one time you forget your jumper cables, you're going to kill your battery. It's Murphy's Law, and sometimes it seems as inevitable as the sun coming up in the morning.
In an effort to make your wheeling trips go more smoothly and ensure you have a much happier vacation ... aw, who are we kidding? To make sure we don't have to wait on a trail behind your broken-down ass while your buddy spends hours scrounging a spare axleshaft in town, here are some tips on what to bring no matter what component you're running.
If your Jeep has the Dana 35 rearend and you're running a locker, do the whole wheeling world a favor and bring a spare set of axleshafts. You may also want to nab a spare carrier and set of spider gears if you're running a lunchbox locker, just in case.
Locked Dana 30 or Dana 44
Unless you're running a Dana 60 with 35-spline shafts, it's a good idea to carry a full set of inner and outer axleshafts and axle U-joints for both sides. For a quick trail fix, carry your spares assembled so you can just slide in the whole assembly and motor on, no matter if you broke a stub shaft, U-joint, or inner shaft.
At the very least, carry one or two spare U-joints that match both your front and rear driveshafts. If possible, bring a spare driveshaft and a set of yokes even if you can't fit them in your trail rig. It's better to have them back at camp than not at all.
Steering (TJ, XJ, MJ)
Unless you're running a heavy-duty steering setup like the Currie Enterprises Currectlync system or a high-steering setup that replaces the stock bent tie rod/drag link assembly, it's a good idea to bring a spare steering linkage. You can usually score used setups on the Internet for a lot less than at the dealership.
CJ Clutch and Steering
Jeep CJs from the '70s and '80s have notoriously bad clutch linkages, steering-box mounts, and steering shafts. We've seen the factory steering shaft separate when the frame flexes, so you may want to nab a spare from the junkyard. Also, the clutch linkage can come apart when the frame flexes, so it's a good idea to upgrade to a rod end-type linkage like the kit from Class M Corp, or bring spare stock pieces.
If you haven't boxed your stock CJ, Willys, or other early frame, make sure you've got a welder, some rod, or at least a couple batteries, jumper cables, and some scrap steel. We've seen everything from broken spring and shackle mounts to completely severed frames on early stock Jeeps that get all twisted up off-road.
If you've been neglecting your electrical system, bring along a set of good, long jumper cables and a diagnostic tool like a multi-meter. At the very least, have a good set of wire crimpers, a test light, and a pocket full of fuses.Spare YokeIf you have unresolved axlewrap issues, make sure to bring extra U-joints, U-bolts or yoke straps, and a spare yoke. When your axle wraps under power, you're almost surely gonna blow a U-joint and just maybe the yoke as well.
If you have unresolved axlewrap issues, make sure to bring extra U-joints, U-bolts or yoke straps, and a spare yoke. When your axle wraps under power, you're almost surely gonna blow a U-joint and just maybe the yoke as well.