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  • Socal Tom
    replied
    Looks like I'm resurecting a very old thread, but that's how I roll.

    To answer Jack's original question "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 think this depends a lot on the rig and the driver. I tend to think of priority in the order of -Reliability first, Safety Seconds and then performance enhancements third.

    Clearly a stock NEW 4x4 should be out of the box reliable, but if you start with an older used rig ( like a 1967) then upgrading wiring or installing fuel injection may be important to make your rig more reliable.

    Once you've got a reliable rig, then safety would be the next priority. With a new rig and an inexperienced off road driver, then a class may be a very good idea. At the very least some books on off road driving and a repair manual for your rig would be a good idea. If you plan on getting into more risky situations a roll cage or upgraded brakes may be warranted.

    Once you've got reliability and safety covered, then come the performance modifications. These are clearly dependent on the vehicle as well. I think improved traction through better tires, or a traction aiding device like a locker would come early on my list. If you have something like a new rubicon, that has tires and lockers, then I might just say add an ARB cooler and call it a day.
    Tom

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    > 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 information. 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.

    Good points. I believed that we all assumed that a $50.00 CB was not in question. The CB should not be even considered a mod. Save on two dinners and you get one.

    Not having a communication radio on-board is a pain. It can help you get help, bu I would not count on that. CB is so messy and people talk a lot over each other. Lots of noise and short distance in AM. If you run a good antenna and an amplifier then things get better. Then you will be talking about $300+

    -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


    Post Edited (JackSilb) : 7/6/2004 8:24:54 PM (GMT-8)


    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

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  • JackSilb
    replied
    well ill answer the original question since i havent yet.

    since im in GA, i would go this way:

    all-terrain or mud tires.
    winch.
    longer shocks/swaybar disconnects.
    rear locker.
    skid plates/sliders.
    suspension & body lift for bigger tires.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    - Ryan -
    2000 4Runner

    OME'd, Locked, Armored, Prepared...See ya out there


    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    VikingVince said...
    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???
    Harry is a good guy. He is probably talking about someone with his skills.

    > 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???

    Yes, but with how much damage in the other side? I know driver skills is 80% of the game, but the other 20% needs help. For instance, ground clearance. There is so much you can do with tires placement. I put the lockers way in front of the winch.
    In this group, we probably have 2 or 3 with winches. They probably used it ~ 3 times.

    -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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    Excellent thread you got going here Vince! Too bad I don't have time to write much right now, but looks like these guys have it covered

    I agree that you would do well to get the locker.


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

    http://www.bajataco.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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    VikingVince said...

    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?
    I forgot, was this 'stock 4X4' the Honda CRV or the Hummer H1?


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    KF6YSB


    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    good words, gents...what I extract from your good words is to get out there and do some trails and choose mods relative to what I want to do and where that takes me...I mean, why spend $10K on mods if you're only going to do easy trails...at this point, I don't feel a great need to do the Rubicon...what I am drawn to is doing trails that will lead me to cool places to camp that aren't overrun with people...if I need skid plates and sliders to find and get to those places, then I'll get them...but I need to find that out for myself...but in the meantime I'll have some basics like light truck tires, hi-lo jack, tow strap, CB, safety seal if I puncture a tire, and of course my beloved flippac...I'm not going to run out and buy a winch until I've been in at least one situation where I need one (even though it looks cool to have a bull bar with lights and winch...lol..there's that cool factor) and thanks to you all, I will get a rear locker before I get the winch... :-) thanks, guys

    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • JackSilb
    replied
    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

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  • JackSilb
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:

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