3 Shackle angle: This fits right in with springs, as the spring shackle should always be pointed at a slight angle in the direction it moves when compressed. I've seen mistake made time and time again, especially on Jeeps with front-axle shackle reversals. With the shackle pointed forward at a normal ride height, axle drop is limited, plus there is some loss of ride quality.
4 Axle shims!: Before I get off springs, let's talk a bit about using shims to correct pinion angle. I have nothing against shims, as often they are a necessity. What I don't like are those thin, cheap cast-aluminum ones that just sit over the spring center bolt. Maybe these are OK on a passenger car, but not on a rig that sees trail use. Springs flex, U-bolts stretch, and that shim cracks and falls out. Now you wonder why your rig is handling so terrible. Oh, look! The axle is flopping around. Same kind of thing happens when the shim is too thick and the spring center bolt now won't fit into the locating hole on the axle pad.
5 Rollcages: Those who build rollcages to cover the front seats but let their rear-seat passengers (usually their kids!) hang out in the open. Spreader bars between the front and rear hoops that have a compression bend in them and/or are not out to the far edge. Mounting plates that only have washers on the underside of the body on the hold-down bolts. Joints that lack gusset plates.
6 Missing lug nuts: Come on, guys, the manufacturer put X number of lug nuts on a wheel for a reason. Missing one of five lug nuts means 20 percent less center support. There are only two ways a lug stud is going to fail. Both are from improper torquing of the lug nut. Overtorquing stretches the stud past its point of elasticity, and undertorquing doesn't stretch the stud enough to retain the nut.
7 Poor welds: Poor welds not only don't look good, they generally aren't good. You have to be a really good welder of heavily V-notch rollbar tubing to get a safe quality weld with a flux-coated 110 wire-feed machine. On a rollbar, you're trusting your life to the quality of that weld. I hate to see welds that look like chicken crap or those that were heavily ground down in an attempt to clean them up. If you're not sure about the quality of your welding, let a pro do it instead.
8 Winch cable: Bird-nested winch cables are not good. When a pull is put on them, they kink, flatten, and pinch the cable strands. This definitely causes weak spots at these points. When I see this, I really question just how safe is that person's winch cable.
9 High-mounted equipment: OK, there is no room for the spare tire inside the vehicle, or that ice chest, so where do you mount it? Up on the roof rack? Wrong? Most roof racks were never designed for a 100- to 150-pound tire and wheel, or a 50-pound chunk of ice and ice chest. Not only that, but think what it's doing to the vehicle's center of gravity. Modified 4x4s are tipsy enough on their own. You don't need the extra leverage of additional high-mounted weight.
10 Loose items: Or even improperly mounted items like Hi-Lift jacks or ice chests held in place with rubber tarp straps. Would you want someone to toss a camera or hard water bottle at you from 3 feet? Not really, but what happens to those items in a rollover?
11 OK, I went over 10: People who hit the highway after a trail ride and don't take a few moments to take a look under and around their rigs for any trail damage that just may develop into a bad consequence at 65 mph.
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