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  • Priority on Mods

    How about to compile the posts that have the rational on the Mods?

    -JACK



    So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
    Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
    http://www.4wdtrips.net
    So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
    Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

  • #2
    I think it's safe to say that there is a ton of offroad experience between all the members of this forum as well as tens of thousands of dollars spent on mods and building offroad vehicles. I think the following might be of practical interest to newbies and, at least, theoretical interest to the experienced, since we all about to or continue to spend mucho deniro $$$$ on our beloved vehicles and continue to evaluate what to buy next!!

    How would you answer the following question: 'I have a stock 4x4 and $2,000 to spend on mods. What should be the first things I buy? (in terms of personal safety, handling different offroad situations, and ensuring the protection of my vehicle) I think it would be interesting to hear different responses to this question.

    I took an offroad training/safety course this weekend. This was a course sponsored by the state of California at one of their OHV (off highway vehicle) sites. The course was taught by Harry Baker - a guy with over 40 years of offroad experience...his website is 4x4quest.com. He and Harry Llewelyn (sp?)...who many of you are familiar with... know each other. The question above was what I asked him...his answer surprised me.

    How would you answer the question? I'll post his response if anyone answers the the question.

    like I said, this is fun, educational, theoretical!!!!


    So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
    Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
    http://www.4wdtrips.net
    So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
    Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Vince,

      Somewhere in the Forum I believe there is a rank on the mods. Scott and the other have discussed them in details. But talking about it again will not hurt. Especially because this will be tailored to you.

      - Do you have a TACOMA TRD or not? That is, do you already have lockers on the back?

      Here is my list:
      1) Tires. Having a good set of tires will take you a long way and be safe. Most of people here run the BFG AT KO.
      2) Lockers. It is amazing the difference that a lock diff makes. You have to test it yourself to believe it. It can take out of trouble / safety and be easy in the environment.
      1 and 2 will eat your $2K already.

      For the second round:
      3) Upgraded shocks and suspension. With your cool camper you will need a better suspension soon. Baja and other TACOmens can tell you what work best for them.
      4) Sliders. It can save some body work. It can pay its $250 easy at the first time you try something more technical or you are not really pay attention to that not so friendly rock that did not move out of the way.

      -JACK


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
      Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
      http://www.4wdtrips.net


      So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
      Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
      http://www.4wdtrips.net
      So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
      Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Jack,

        thanks for responding...your list included two of Harry's 3 things to buy first. What was interesting to me was his number one item - what he considered the most important - which you didn't have on your list and I think most people probably wouldn't put first...would be interesting to hear others opinions as well...that's why I think this thread has some benefit to all.

        Here's Harry's list:

        1. Winch
        2. Tires - one or two sizes larger than originals with good tread
        3. Sliders/skid plate


        He says he's never lifted the suspension on his vehicles...says he can do 95% of what everyone else does and his winch will get him through the other 5%...interesting, yes???


        So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
        Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
        http://www.4wdtrips.net
        So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
        Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, as an AZ state OHV (and Land Rover North America) instructor I advise clients a little differently and would change this list slightly. Of course this is my opinion, as there is no actual authority on the subject.

          With $2,000 to spend (this assumes that you are carrying a decent jack like a high-lift):

          1. Tires- what ever the largest size that can be fitted without lowering the bump stops, or significant rubbing. Must be LT rated or higher for puncture resistance.
          2. Skid plates then sliders. It is more important to protect the oil pan first, then the body.
          3. Rear locking differential. If the vehicle already has traction control or a good LSD then go for the winch.

          Here is the logic:

          It is not recommended by AZ OHV and most instructors that people drive off-highway unsupported. If you are driving supported (with other vehicles in attendance) the need for a winch greatly diminishes, as the other vehicles can assist in extraction.

          Good tires will make the vehicle safer off-highway, and allow you to travel more efficiently, with less impact to the environment
          Skid plates and sliders will reduce vehicle damage that a winch is unlikely to prevent.
          A locking differential in the rear axle is IMO the single greatest performance advantage you can gain... Period.


          A good example of this theory is the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. It comes with great tires (D or E rated), Skidplates and locking differentials. Even without a lift or winch, it can travel some of the most challenging trails in the country.

          A good jack and tow strap and tow points should be the first thing that goes onto any vehicle.

          Not to discount Mr. Bakers recommendation, mine would just be different.

          I have some more thoery on the 3 T's of traction that I will post later if I have time. Isn't this stuff fun...


          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Scott Brady
          mailto:guide@expeditionswest.com


          So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
          Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
          http://www.4wdtrips.net
          So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
          Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

          Comment


          • #6
            1. CB Radio
            2. A day worth of training
            3. Tires

            After that you can go crazy depending on where you live, what you drive, what the vehicles weak points are, and the type of people you go wheeling with.


            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Michael Slade
            Tawàyama Safaris Inc.
            http://www.tawayama.com


            So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
            Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
            http://www.4wdtrips.net
            So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
            Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

            Comment


            • #7
              My list is likely to be different than many, because the stuff I do most often is different than most of you. As we all know, I REALLY like playing on big rocks, so my vehicles are geared more towards that than expedition travel (anyone who has seen my jeep loaded down knows that jeeps are not intended for expedition travel!). I also belive in only upgrading things one time. Do it right the first time. That said.....
              The first thing I would purchase is skid plates. First protect anything that retains oil (oil pan, transmission pan, differential covers), then any low hanging suspension/drivetrain/steering components, next is body protection (bumpers, rock sliders, etc), and definately add a solid tow point on each end of the rig if it didn't come with any.



              Next is lift/tires. If a lift is not in the plans for 30,000+ miles, then add a locker (if it doesn't already have one), and the largest tire you can fit without rubbing excessively or lowering bumpstops. Or, if a lift is planned, then I suggest thinking about it this way. Decide what size tire you are going to run, THEN buy the smallest lift you need to fit the tires. Of course, gearing upgrades may need to happen at the same time as a lift and bigger tires. As long as you are in there, add a good locker.



              Depending on the terrain you frequent, somewhere along the line you may need to look at things like a roll cage, upgraded seats and seat belts (harness), etc.



              A winch is nice, but I don't recommend anyone travel back country alone (with only one rig). Travel with a friend. They can help get you un-stuck, and the campfire conversation is better with at least 2 participants.



              As for Harry's comments about doing 95% of what everybody else is doing.....well, for what most people do, that is probably pretty accurate. My jeep has gone over a huge laundry list of trails, with no major damage, and very rarely have I had to have someone pull me over anything....and my jeeps suspension & drivetrain is 100% stock. But I don't like the idea of using the winch for the other 5%. Dragging your vehicle over something with a winch is bad. You tend to bend things, move rocks in the trail, and generally tear stuff up. Winches are great recovery tools, but should not be used as a integral part of your drivetrain. Let me put it this way, if you know you are going to need the winch to get through the trail, you probably shouldn't have your rig on that trail. Now before anyone takes offense, I have only met Harry once, very briefly, and have never wheeled with him. And I doubt that he takes his trucks on trails knowing that he will have to use the winch to get it through. I'm just saying that a winch is definately not in my 'top 3', and the statement above is one of the big reasons why.


              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              olllllllo <---- If you can read that, roll me over.

              KG6OWO

              Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.


              So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
              Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
              http://www.4wdtrips.net
              So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
              Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is a great discussion. My list is very similar to those already offered. I got to actually apply the list to my 4runner and have pretty much stayed on track.

                The main thing I'd like to add is the list should be regionally specific. In mud country where there are lots of trees, a winch is a great early mod. For Moab and other areas with lot of rocks and not a lot to secure a winch to, then the winch would likely be further down on the list. If you plan to wheel a decent vehicle, I am a advocate for adding armor very early in the process (sliders, front bumper, rear bumper protection or whole new rear bumper, t-case, etc).

                Lockers should be done as early as possible! Let me share a recent story:

                Just this weekend I ended up needing my lockers more than all my previous trips with this rig. I hit a forest road up north and got myself into a situation where I knew that if I stopped I would have to spend the rest of the day winching out. I was able to keep momentum going in the mud/slush thanks to the lockers. I hit the wet stuff in 4wd and it didn't look that bad. I started slowing down and sinking and quickly hit the rear locker. I could feel the rig speed up noticable as soon as the e-locker engaged but the goo got worse. It took a few seconds for me to hit the compressor switch because I was really bouncing along. As soon as the compressor was to full pressure I hit the front locker and the truck sped up again. For the next 3/4 mile I had to keep on the gas and I eventually got out of the sh$t. I feel very bad about the mess I must have left behind, but once I got in it there was no turning back (plus the road was already pretty rutted). Without the lockers I might still be there.


                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Jay - 97 4Runner
                www.geocities.com/transalper/4runner


                So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
                Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
                http://www.4wdtrips.net
                So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
                Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with others...



                  #1 Tires...Probably the best one to make. Before I sold my truck, I had some BFG a/t, they were old. Still had good mileage on them if I was to drive highway only. But I bought new BFG a/t ko's, the first time I went out I noticed the difference. I should say as soon as I drove home I noticed the difference. Tires aren't cheap, but you drive on them everyday, worth every penny.
                  # 2 Traction Control...He, he, he...I NOW have dual lockers both electric and a center locking differential that is automatic but soon to be selectable. My prior trucks had open differentials (no lockers). I feel bad now for the places and marks I may have made by going up an obstacle. Traction control, i.e. lockers are one of the best mods you can do. There are however many types...Limited slip, electric locker, air locker, spool, and...
                  Others here may know some of the differences, and I am almost off work...


                  There is alot of information here to be explored...and as with any mod the more you add...the more daring you will get, and the more likely you will get stuck (winch)


                  oh well, off work now


                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  WHERE 2 NEXT


                  robb


                  So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
                  Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
                  http://www.4wdtrips.net
                  So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
                  Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh Man...I looooove these responses...they are just GREAT...for a newbie, the logic and reasoning is especially interesting to me because I don't wanna spend thousands on something that might be discretionary or is just 'cool' to have (although it's tough to resist 'cool' I admit) All of your answers are well grounded in solid reasons of safety and performance...which of course you know :-)

                    Thanks to all for your responses...

                    Jack, thanks for getting it started (glad you thing my flippac is cool...it's the only cool thing I have!!!...hell, it's the only thing i have at this point...peiod)

                    Scott, I appreciated your logic comments on why the winch diminishes in a supported group. You convinced me.

                    GoodTimes...really excellent point on how a winch should not be part pseudo-drivetrain and the negatives that could result. I hadn't thought of it that way. Also thanks to several of you why skid plates should be prioritized over sliders...hadn't thought of that either...duh. And in fact, I was out pricing both of those things today.

                    Michael, interesting that CB made it on your list...it's obvious why...never know when it might be the link that saves you. I know lot of the folk in this forum have the 2 meter and lot of you have each other's call sign, etc. At the class, I did raise the question of if you had to choose between the CB and the 2 meter, in terms of what is most likely to raise someone in the most situations, what is the best choice. This guy's answer was the CB.

                    Blupaddler...good psychological point on the more mods you get, the more daring you become!! I experienced something similar in the class. The first time being at 28% camber got my attention BIGTIME...like almost feeling a warm fluid in my pants :-)...but after doing it 3-4 times
                    I was really digging it and wanting MORE...so, there you have it...

                    again, thanks to all for your detailed responses...this IS fun...

                    Vince


                    So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
                    Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
                    http://www.4wdtrips.net
                    So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
                    Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      oh, Jay...forgot to say that your point on mods being regionally specific was well taken also...enjoyed your example of how your locking diffs got you through...you all have convinced me of their importance


                      So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
                      Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
                      http://www.4wdtrips.net
                      So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
                      Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is the thing about the CB.

                        I have been in MANY groups where there have been one or two people who don't have a CB. As either the leader of these groups, or just a participant, it is VERY ANNOYING to have to worry about weather or not the people who don't have a CB have the proper informtion. Is it time to stop? Are you tired? Do you have to pee? Hows the gas situation? Gee, look at that neat bird flying overhead...etc.

                        You miss out on so much when you can't communicate. Some of it is trivial fun information, some of it can make or break a trip. Some of it is downright important and can eliminate a LOT of hassles. Sometimes, very rarely, it could save your life.

                        If you're going out with a group do yourself a favor, as well as those others in the group and get a CB that works. Handhelds are ok in a pinch, but get a permanent mount CB with a good aentenna. 95% of the time you'll be able to communicate with the others. I almost guarantee you that those with 2M radios also have a CB, they just graduated up a notch or two.

                        Other thing about the CB is you can always get the truckers to spill the beans on where the 'bears' are. It's good information. I drove 8000 miles cross country with a CB and the truckers helped me out a LOT. I've never had a truck since then w/out one.

                        Tires - choose according to the terrain you frequent most.

                        Lockers - rear definitely is the first one you need.

                        Lift - add as needed, based on tire size and load carried. Don't get too crazy on a lift, lots of other things change really quickly when you lift the truck (i.e. drivelines, linkages, caster, etc...).

                        Winch - add as needed. Usually I say only to do a mod after you've really needed it once or twice. That way you're not apt to run out and spend a lot of money unnecessarily just for the 'cool' factor. A winch is one of those.

                        Skid plates - ditto. Drag your belly once or twice and it won't kill you, but if you are in the habit of banging things down there, you'll soon know what you need.

                        An open mind is the best mod you can do. Fill your brain with as much information as you can. Take it all in, the good and the bad, and let your experiences help shape your opinions and filter out the BS. There's a lot of misinformation floating out there, get your information from reliable sources (usually those on the trail that you can *tell* know their stuff).

                        Usually worn seats and shiny gas/brake pedals will tell you who has a lot of experience and who just spent 40K on a Rubicon for the hell of it.

                        Good luck. People here know their shiat. Listen to them and start taking notes! :)


                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Michael Slade
                        Tawàyama Safaris Inc.
                        http://www.tawayama.com


                        So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
                        Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
                        http://www.4wdtrips.net
                        So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
                        Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tawayama, good point(s) about the CB. And yes, most (if not all) of us with the 2 meter's also have CB's, and we do use them when needed (back up for the 2M, and for those who don't have 2M).

                          But I don't totally agree with the skid plates. While you can drag many parts of your chassis over rocks a time or three, it only takes one rock to punch a hole in your oil pan and leave you sitting in the middle of the trail leaking oil all over, trying to figure out how the heck you are going to get home. Evaluate the need for skid plates very early in your rigs life, and don't waste time getting them installed if and where they are needed. Obviously not everyone will need the same skid plates (due to different vehicles and different terrain), but everyone should see what plates are needed, and how bad they are needed. Some people can get by with never adding a single skid plate, and some can't get enough.......it all depends on how tough the trail is, relative to your vehicle.


                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          olllllllo <---- If you can read that, roll me over.

                          KG6OWO

                          Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.


                          So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
                          Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
                          http://www.4wdtrips.net
                          So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
                          Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah, that's pretty interesting actually about the skid plates.

                            I've never hit a rock ever on any of the Land Rover's I've driven on the oil pan. Never, not even lightly. Could be because of the solid-beam front axle, or that the engine sits a bit high in the chassis.

                            With the Rovers you can beat them pretty good underneath before having to resort to skid plates. I have no experience with any other makes, so that's where my ignorance is taking me.

                            :)

                            But, the diff covers are only 1/16' inch thick, so it doesn't take much to punch a hole in them. Diff covers are one of the first things LR newbie adds (or should add).

                            Everything depends on the trails toughness relative to the vehicle. I can't think of a single thing, so you have perhaps the key to all modifications summed up in that last sentence of yours.

                            Very Zen of you BTW.

                            ;)


                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Michael Slade
                            Tawàyama Safaris Inc.
                            http://www.tawayama.com


                            So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
                            Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
                            http://www.4wdtrips.net
                            So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
                            Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tawàyama said...
                              ....Everything depends on the trails toughness relative to the vehicle.....
                              Exactly!!!!

                              Like I said in my first post in this thread, what I do with my jeep is different than what most of the group on this board does. My point really was that each vehicle needs to be evaluated based on the type of trails it will be used on, and modified from there. So, it becomes quite clear to me that there is no 'all inclusive, best way, first modification should be' type of list that will work for a specific type of vehicle, or even a specific type of trail. What you need depends on what you have, where you want to go, and what you can afford (or what your wife will let you afford).




                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              olllllllo <---- If you can read that, roll me over.

                              KG6OWO

                              Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.


                              So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD tosee and do more.
                              Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly...
                              http://www.4wdtrips.net
                              So much to see, so little time. Try using your 4WD to see and do more.
                              Tread Lightly! Please, don't use the environment to enjoy your truck.

                              Comment

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