Long-Term Updates - March 2012
Go Ahead—Ask Us!
What do you want to know about? Is there something we tried out in the pages of this magazine that you would like to know more about? Send an email to email@example.com and we’ll make sure we get you an answer.
Over the years we’ve put on our hands on more Power Tanks than we can count, and a number of our project vehicles are outfitted with them as well. They work absolutely great. We’ve never had a Power Tank regulator freeze up and stop letting carbon dioxide out—even when running air tools, and we’ve never had any lines burst or any problems with the tanks themselves. In fact, the only real issue with a Power Tank is the fact that you have to occasionally refill them. But we’ve never run out of CO2 on the trail (unless friends are being wise-ass jokers and draining the tank), and they’re always faster than onboard air compressors when filling up tires. In fact the only problem we’ve ever had was the gauge face coming loose on one of our inflators. That happened about five years ago and we still use it (why not if it still fills tires?) with no other problems. And in the gauge face’s defense, this particular inflator has been run over once and dropped countless times.
Winch anchors can come in a number of forms, but one of our favorites has to be the Pull-Pal. The Pull-Pal simply works by digging down and into the ground as it is pulled on with the winch cable. It folds down into a more compact shape when not in use (although it’s still big and heavy), and it’s not even too bad to get out of the ground after a pull.
In certain circumstances, it can mean the difference between keeping the truck or not. Years ago, we had a Super Duty down in Costa Rica that got buried on one of the “less-paved” roads down there. The truck was absolutely stuck—in mud up to the bumpers. With a 12,000-pound winch and a Pull-Pal, we were able to extract the truck from the mud and save it. If we had left it and gone for help, the truck likely would have been “harvested from” by locals before we’d gotten back the next day.
Almost everyone who is an off-road enthusiast has a love/hate relationship with the common farmer’s jack—a jack that is predominantly produced by Hi-Lift.
While they can be one of the most dangerous types of tools to use on the trail if set up improperly (and you’re often not in an ideal jacking area when using one on the trail), we can’t imagine leaving the pavement without one. Not only are they reliable lifting devices, but we’ve seen pieces of Hi-Lifts used to fix tie rods, sway bar links, and we’ve even cut down the I-beam of a Hi-Lift to put in place of a coilover shock that broke so we could drive home.
Even in vehicles that carry other types of lifting devices, we also have at least one Hi-Lift jack bolted down somewhere. If your Hi-Lift jack rides loose in your vehicle, we highly suggest you find some type of mounting device for it before it becomes a missile. Lots of companies like Fourtreks and Hi-Lift have mounting brackets that let you secure these jacks.
When we broke two standard Dana 60 1350 pinion yokes on the same truck, we decided to try something a bit more stout. Luckily for us, the driveshaft and U-joint survived both times that the yoke snapped on us. We finally upgraded to a billet yoke that was more than twice the cost of a standard yoke. We haven’t broken a rear Dana 60 pinion yoke on this truck since. While going with the billet yoke may have been more than double the cost, it is actually saving us time and money in the long run.
Light Force HID Lights
Depending on where you live, some of your off-road equipment might get more rigorously tested than other owners’ equipment in other parts of the country. In Southern California, we often have to worry about UV breakdown, but our project Dodge in Colorado has to deal with negative temperatures. And since these Light Force lights were added, they have worked flawlessly. They do take a little longer to warm up and get bright (likely due to air temperature) but the lenses and plastic housings haven’t cracked or become too brittle over the last few years.