If your tax return wasn’t quite what you thought it would be, but you still want to purchase some 4x4-related stuff, or if you just want to make your return go further, have no fear. Even if you only have $20 or less to spend, there are a number of useful items you can procure. We’ve collected eight items that have an approximate street price of 20 bucks or less each (at time of print) and they include repair parts, security items, and general 4x4 accessories.
1. Tire Deflators
How much: $14.99
Hard facts: Airing down your rig’s tires will help improve traction and smooth the ride in a number of off-road scenarios. A way to inexpensively speed up the process is with the TeraFlex Air Deflators. It looks like one unit, but it’s actually four deflators screwed together. They each screw onto a valve stem, depress the valve core, and allow air to pass. You can monitor the pressure using a gauge, and you simply unscrew them to stop airflow.
2. D-Ring Shackle
How much: $13.99 and $19.99
Hard facts: If you wheel, you need a D-ring. We carry one in all our 4x4s as part of our standard recovery equipment. Smittybilt offers a ¾-inch D-ring ($13.99) that’s rated at 4¾ tons and a 7⁄8-inch D-ring ($19.99) that’s rated at 6½ tons. Each features heavy-duty forged construction and quick pin disconnect. Both are available in either a zinc coat or black powdercoat.
3. Tailgate Lock
How much: $19.88
Hard facts: If your late-model pickup truck’s tailgate doesn’t have a locking handle, there’s a good chance the tailgate could be quickly stolen. A way to avoid that is with the inexpensive McGard Tailgate Lock. This easy-to-install lock secures one hinge and it never needs to be removed to open and close the tailgate. The kit includes one lock and one key. It’s available for a wide range of fullsize, midsize, and compact pickups.
4. CV Boot
How much: Around $20
Hard facts: A small bit of cash invested into maintenance can save you some big bucks later on. An example is the CV boots on your IFS rig. Each boot is designed to keep dirt and grime from entering the CV joint and damaging the unit. Problem is, these boots can become torn or cracked. Fortunately, a CV boot is inexpensive. The Dorman boot pictured here is a Uni-Fit boot kit that includes a neoprene boot, clamps, and grease. This specific kit is only $18.97 at Summit Racing.
Contact: Summit Racing
5. Halogen Light
How much: $19.99
Hard facts: Adding more illumination to the exterior of your rig needn’t be an expensive deal. Case in point is the Explorer Pro Comp 55 light. This super-slim 5-inch-diameter unit has a quartz halogen 55-watt H3 bulb and a hard plastic cover. It’s available in high-gloss black, polished chrome, or stainless steel. In addition to forward-facing, this flood-pattern lamp could also be used as side- or rear-facing lighting.
Contact: 4 Wheel Parts
How much: $16.99
Hard facts: An item we always carry in our rig is a shovel. From sand to snow, it’s a useful tool that should be a part of everyone’s off-road gear. The Smittybilt RUT (Recovery Utility Tool) military-style shovel is 26 inches when open, but a small 9 inches when folded. It has two serrated edges for cutting or digging, a black powdercoated body, easy-grip handle, heat-treated carbon steel blade, and a storage case.
7. Headlight Restoration Kit
How much: Around $20
Hard facts: Are your rigs plastic headlight lenses yellowy and nasty? If so, that nastiness does more than just look bad, it can compromise the projection of light, which makes it harder to see at night. The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit includes everything needed to restore the clarity of the lenses. We’ve used the kit and found the multi-step procedure to be easy, with impressive results.
8. Winch Line Dampener
How much: $17.99
Hard facts: A winch line weight is a mandatory safety item when winching to absorb the energy produced in the event of a winch cable or line failure. The high-visibility orange Rugged Ridge Winch Line Dampener is designed with two easily accessible heavy-duty storage pockets so you can add weight to help absorb said energy. The dampener also has a reflective band and it can be worn as a vest.
Contact: Rugged Ridge