If you catch it early enough you can save and reuse a wheel hub with a spun bearing race. Remove the race from the hub and use a punch to divot the hub multiple times along the circumference of where the race is seated. Don’t be stingy, 20 or more divots will do the trick. This will expand the metal and create a light press fit for the race once it’s pressed back in the hub.
Slip Fit Gear
If you ever have problems getting the ring gear onto the carrier, don’t force it. Don’t use the bolts to pull it on, as you might damage the threads. Instead, toss the ring gear in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and using welding gloves or oven mitts, place it on the carrier. If that still doesn’t work, try freezing the carrier and heating the ring gear. Metal expands when heated and shrinks when cooled.
It’s easy to weld a bolt to an axle or frame for attaching things, but sometimes the threads get boogered from weld spatter. To keep the threads intact simply slide a small piece of hose over the threads before welding it in place. But remove the condom quick once you’re done welding or it’ll smoke and catch fire. A wad of tin foil also works well and won’t burn.
Poor Man Porta-Power
We found that our Jeep frame was a little splayed out from a wreck or some other unknown abuse. So we used a Hi-Lift jack to clamp it straight and hold it while we added a crossmember. A Hi-Lift could even be used to help straighten a diamond frame, too.
Homemade Soft Top
A blanket zip-tied to your rig’s rollcage can block the sun on your open-top rig. If it starts to rain and you have a plastic ground sheet for under your tent, fasten it to your rollcage to keep you dry.
Don’t throw out your old heater or radiator hoses. They come in handy for protecting your new heater or radiator hoses from damage. If you have an area where a hose definitely contacts something or even might contact something, cut the old hose to length. Cut it about 1-inch past whatever the hazard in either direction and then slit it lengthwise. Put it over the new hose and use electrical tape or zip ties to hold it in place.
Floor Mat #2
If you are losing traction in the sand or mud, sometimes a floor mat under the tire digging in can mean the difference between forward progress and an imminent vehicle recovery.
Farm supply stores sell 12-volt agricultural lighting and these lights are usually inexpensive and rugged. Because they’re inexpensive, they’re perfect for placement in damage prone areas such as when used as underbody rock lighting.
Improved Approach Angle
On some vehicles you can improve your rig’s approach angle by removing the front air dam. This can also prevent damage to the air dam when traveling off-road.
Eye in the Sky
By this point in time, most of us have digital cameras. It is a good practice to take pictures before you take anything apart. This does two things. It provides you with a before photo for your online tech articles, and if the stuff hits the fan, you have free records of what went where.
Don’t have or can’t find a large enough grommet to protect wires or fuel line passing through a body panel or firewall? Use a short section of fuel line, slice it down the middle on one side, and slip it in place over the sharp edge and into a loop.
Whenever choosing a camping spot, it is always better to arrive before the sun sets, even if it is a place you visit regularly. You never know what changes may have occurred in your absence and it is always a lot less stressful to set up camp before the sun is down.
Need to heat up food on the trail? Many foods can be wrapped in aluminum foil and placed on the engine. Just make sure your food will stay put as you meander down the trail.
Go Big, Go Small
If you plow snow with your rig and you have a leveling kit installed, run smaller diameter tires in the winter and then swap to larger ones in the summer when the weight of the plow is removed.