Yeah…Yeah…I know everyone is stuck at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your rig ready! So what are you waiting for? Stop stressing and get your jeep ready to hit the trail!
I know that I will be able to jump in and go as soon as the flood gates open. So what should you be doing? What kind of wheeling are you wanting to do? There are so many types of trails that are out there, but our rigs need a top to bottom check to make sure they are ready. Not sure where to start? Well I’m here to help! Get up! Get out there and let’s do this!!
First things first… did you get all the mud and dirt off your joints and undercarriage? Most of us clean the mud off after we are done, but did you really get it all off in the places where it counts? I know we all like the mud (right?) but its not that beneficial to moving components or our radiator. Have you cleaned the radiator? I mean really cleaned the radiator? Ask me how I know and why you should do this! The air flow through our radiator is important and prevents overheating. Are those fluids topped off and clean? We may think its all fine…until its not. The mud we go through gets caked in there, its the last thing we think about. Make sure you also check all the hoses in your engine compartment for cracks and breaks as well. As we splash all the mud and water on everything and get dirty, it also gets into electrical parts, like your head lights. Make sure your connections are good and your front and rear lights work properly. As we go down trails, we bounce, knock and slide around and things get loose. When is the last time you checked your lug nuts and if you have bead locks, have you checked the torque on those bolts? While you are there, the tires need a good once over for cracks, breaks and holes. Is your tire pressure holding?
Next up…we need our jeeps to have power. Is your battery holding a charge? Batteries are a whole other topic all together, but for now we need it to be working and get us through the season. If its not, there are many choices but always remember, cheaper is not always better. Most of us have a lot of accessories that need more power to keep us going and in the long run its best to pick the right battery. My choice of course is Full Throttle Batteries! They have never let me down and keep everything powered with no worries.
How long has your rig been sitting since your last oil change? Check your oil level and transmission fluid levels. If they need to be changed or are due for a change then get it done. Doing an oil change isn’t that big of a deal…I’ve been doing my own for years and years. I’ve even made sure I’ve taught my kids this simple task. Now….how many miles do you have on your jeep? If you are close to 100K and drive an automatic, you really need to consider changing the transmission fluid and the transmission filter. Every jeep is different, but keeping that transmission in shape is a must. It is fairly easy to do yourself but you may need an extra set of hands for those screws on the back of the pan. Your transmission maintenance is important and should be checked from time to time. Again, every jeep is different , but if it has been acting up and if you do not have skid plates, its very important because things can be bashed around and damaged. Skids can hide a lot of things too, from leaks to dents, among other things.
Are your driveshafts tight and secure? Have they twisted in any way? Are your U-joints good? Do you have play or slop in them coming from the differentials?
Is the transfer case seeping oil? Is the 4wd going in and out of gear? Fluid levels good?
When was the last time you checked your differentials? Maybe you hit some rocks and maybe its seeping and you need to put new gaskets in them? Have you went through water and mud? Sometimes your axle seals can fail and you will get water and mud in the axle tubes. Take the plug out (my MetalCloak covers use a 3/8″ allen head) and see if there is water in the oil and check to make sure the oil levels are good. The only way to tell if you have more problems is to take the cover off, drain it and see if there is any metal shavings at the bottom or teeth are missing from the ring gear.
If you keep on top of everything like you should, use a paint marker and mark all your bolts on your lift from top to bottom and front end, that way you can take a quick look and see if anything has come loose. If you haven’t done this, I would recommend you tighten everything and mark them, that way it makes it easier to take a glance, instead of hours of tightening and checking.
If you are like me, you are already prepared with tools, extra parts and recovery gear to hit the trail. But that is a whole other story!
Please tell me what you do to get ready!!
Take your tops off and lets have fun!!