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Old June 4th, 2012, 09:42 PM   #1 (Link to post)
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Default Tech Tuesday: Trail Repairs

Welcome to Tech Tuesday. The way this works is simple. I bring up a topic related to off roading in some way, ask questions, get feedback, basically interview you guys. If you have something useful to say, add it, if not, just read.

Trail Repairs
What are the most common trail repairs?
Where can I see information on these repairs?
Here are some that come to mind:
  • broken axles
  • u-joints
  • popped beads
  • drive shaft problems
Links
Waiting on links.
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Old June 14th, 2012, 08:16 AM   #2 (Link to post)
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Bump.
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Old June 15th, 2012, 02:44 AM   #3 (Link to post)
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Common trail repairs... Hmmmm.... The first few things that come to mind are:

1- Broken axle shafts. Depending on the axle (front or rear) and axle type (full floating or semi floating), they can either be a PITA or as simple as unbolting 8 bolts and using a metal coat hanger to fish out the broken part of the shaft. I've also heard of people taking both axle shafts out, so as to push the broken piece through the other side.

2- Busted U-joints. In my experience, these are about the most common break out there, and it can be hard to keep parts on board during a trail ride. Lets say a guy built a K10, swapped in some tons, and had custom driveshafts made up. He's gotta keep 1350 U-joints on board in case he breaks at the T-case, and 1410 also on board in case he breaks at the axle. See where Im going with this?

3- Popped Beads. No beadlocks? No problem. Bust out the can of ether, get your buddy with On Board Air over there, and light that baby up! Actually, I would prefer to exhaust every other effort such as a Cheetah Bead Seater, before resorting to ether. It can be dangerous, as well as handy. Which one depends on who's hands its in.

4- Driveshaft problems. Twist a rear driveshaft in half during a 5k rock bouncing contest? No problem! For most people, You can just unbolt that baby and use front wheel drive to finish the day. This will NOT work for guys that have slip yokes at the T-case. Example- np241's. You can get slip yoke eliminator kits for them, or also make them yourself that will allow you to do this.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 06:36 PM   #4 (Link to post)
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Thanks Cody! Good information you have there.

Are there any other common breakage parts that you can think of? Even if you don't know the fixes, what breaks the most often?
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Old June 16th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #5 (Link to post)
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The best trail fix to have handy is a group of good friends, something almost never mentioned in these threads.

I've seen and done some questionable repairs just to limp home including using shoelaces to tie an alternator into place when the bracket broke in the middle of BFE Wyoming. I had no tools, no supplies, no phone, and no one knew where I was. That was plain stupid.

I was with Duane when his steering knuckle separated on the side of a mountain in Buena Vista. Harley from the AZ Crew used 4 or 5 batteries in sequence to weld it back together. He was an experienced wheeler and reasonably prepared with a parts trailer parked at the base of the trail, which allowed us to retrieve welding supplies and get the hell down. There were plenty of people there to help out. If he had been alone it would have been a long night.

There were plenty of other times I observed people with no food or water, no spare parts or tools get vexed by a simple problem duct tape could fix. But in each case people were nearby to help them out. You just never know when something unexpected will happen that you are either prepared or unprepared for. Having extra people around gives you a better chance of getting back.
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Old June 17th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #6 (Link to post)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4 Mecca View Post
Thanks Cody! Good information you have there.

Are there any other common breakage parts that you can think of? Even if you don't know the fixes, what breaks the most often?
First thing that came to my mind is breaking steering components such as tierods and draglinks which Cricket just covered... Keeping some jump cables and 6011 or 7018 welding rod is always a good idea for mobile repairs.

Another thing people never mention is tools. What tools do they bring to the trail? In my DD, I keep a 3/8" set, tire iron, jack, tape, carhart coat, two pair of carhart bibs, muck boots, my hobo- flip finger wool gloves, jumper cables, road flare kit with triangles, spare tire (yes, some people run without a spare...) rain suit parka, and a box of peanut butter crackers. Speaking of which, I think theyre due for a swap with a new box...

My point is, I keep this all in the trunk of my 05 Cobalt SS that I drive everyday. I drive with the intent of making it to my destination as cheaply as possible (most the time ) If Im going out to run trails, my list would probably be a little longer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket View Post
You just never know when something unexpected will happen that you are either prepared or unprepared for. Having extra people around gives you a better chance of getting back.
This Xeleventybillion. Never wheel alone. A couple miles may seem harmless, but Im here to tell you, its a long and humbling trek back to home base when you've broke down. Especially at 2am in BFE Iowa.
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