Overlanding problems

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mootruck98

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Does it count as overlanding when your truck breaks on the highway to the State Park? Ha!

So I've been working my way towards getting the family into overlanding. Got a Bronco on order and started taking the wife and 4yo daughter camping at some local State parks. On our way to one of the parks for this weeken we loose some lugs and almost lost the wheel. Ive been so focused on the camping part and trying to do a shakedown on gear, completely caught me off gaurd. Luckily I was able to find a mechanic that fixed me up on 430 on a Friday with family in tow, truck full of gear, and 150 miles from home.

I guess this is my introduction to "overlanding problems". We did make it to camp though!
 

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K7USR

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Does it count as overlanding when your truck breaks on the highway to the State Park? Ha!

So I've been working my way towards getting the family into overlanding. Got a Bronco on order and started taking the wife and 4yo daughter camping at some local State parks. On our way to one of the parks for this weeken we loose some lugs and almost lost the wheel. Ive been so focused on the camping part and trying to do a shakedown on gear, completely caught me off gaurd. Luckily I was able to find a mechanic that fixed me up on 430 on a Friday with family in tow, truck full of gear, and 150 miles from home.

I guess this is my introduction to "overlanding problems". We did make it to camp though!
Consider yourself I initiated
 
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Billiebob

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The biggest issue with overlanding, ie beyond state parks is a reliable well maintained vehicle. Brand new Bronco will not beat a well maintained first generation Bronco.
Wife plus a 4 year old means focusing on getting home.

Lugnuts when tight on a dusty road fill in with dust. Loose lugnuts, long before a tire takes off, the dust is rattled free and you can clearly see the problem. No need to ever retorque them if you walk around the vehicle and look. Even just one loose nut will be clearly visible.

ps, not as visible on alloy wheels which is why I run steel rims.
 
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Cypress

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I had a wheel come loose last time out. I was about 200 miles into the trip and was hearing a squeak that I tracked down to loose lug nuts. I had rebuilt both axles and installed gears and locking diffs. When I set it back on the ground I guess I got distracted and didn't torque any of the wheels. The other three were snug but not tight. I've been working on vehicles for 40 years and have never had that happen. Lucky for me, I was able to tighten them back up and continue.
 
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BensonSTW

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I have had lug nuts come loose on 2 vehicles. First one was a Ford ranger on the freeway. The second was my dodge on a real bad winter wheeling trip. Just too bad that loose lug nuts wasn’t the only thing I had happen that trip. Ended up losing the steering box and bending a tie rod that day, not to mention having to tear apart and service the front hubs as well. I look at my lug nuts every time I check my tires and check that they are tight every oil change now.
 
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WilhelmB

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many years ago i was riding in a mates old Nissan Patrol up a very steep, rocky and rutted track, we were about 3/4 to the top and dropping into a washout, when his drivers rear wheel popped off and rolled all the way back to the bottom of the hill. took us over an hour to get it back up to the truck, but at least that wheel stayed in the air so we did not have to use the jack to get it back on. always check mine before going on a trip.
 

Road

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We were going down the interstate in San Jose, California once when in the rear view the driver saw a wheel and tire bounding down the lane behind us. I turned just in time to watch it hit a bump and bounce into an oncoming lane, and way behind it a Jeep listing to one side while it slowed way down. Crazy.
 
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Alanymarce

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We check ours every Tuesday as part of the daily check.

Some recollections:

Many years ago we stopped in the Kalahari when we saw a disconsolate driver with one wheel off his vehicle. The wheel nuts had become loose, come off, and disappeared into the bush. He was stuck since now he had "no wheel nuts", and was amazed when we suggested that he take one off each of the other wheels and use them (temporarily, obviously) to attach the wheel (which he had recovered).

We had the wheel nuts become loose on our own vehicle returning from El Cocuy once - no idea why, however we had neglected the weekly check : (
No problem - noticed a slight vibration and tightened them and continued on our way.

In Namibia we stopped to help a group who had experienced loss of their wheel nuts - a bad case - the wheel rim had ripped apart completely. Help was on the way so we took them to a place (Duwisib) where there was shade and water and left them to it. WHat was embarassing was that we were in a rented 4x4, whose owner had told us that the tyres had just been replaced. Once again we neglected to check the nuts after 50 Km and once again heard a slight vibration - stopped, tightened the nuts, and after that no problem.

So, not too difficult to see why we are now rigorous in checking weekly.
 

Apoclapedia

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Ive swapped three front axles on the trail in 36 months. Lead foot + locker = new axle
All in the winter too. Apparently asking a loaded half ton truck chained up all the way around, to plow through five feet of snow in a Canadian winter, is in fact asking quite a lot. Lolz
 

David C Gibbs

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We were going down the interstate in San Jose, California once when in the rear view the driver saw a wheel and tire bounding down the lane behind us. I turned just in time to watch it hit a bump and bounce into an oncoming lane, and way behind it a Jeep listing to one side while it slowed way down. Crazy.
I saw something similar in Utah headed into Cedar City, Defender 110 at a cockeyed 40 degree angle, no front tire. 100 feet down the road across several lanes of traffic, is the wheel & tire on the Jersey barrier. We take the Tacoma in for a spin, balance & Rotate, to make sure the lug nuts are secure. DG
 
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smlobx

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As has been discussed here before develop a pre trip checklist and add torque all lug nuts to factory specs prior to departure. I actually carry a torque wrench with me overlanding and have used it when I blew a tire in the Meghadibagadi (?) salt pans in Botswana.
 
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David C Gibbs

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We departed Boise on 04/29/2021; headed to Chandler, AZ. Spent 1st night on the road in Cedar City, UT. 5 nights in an AirBnB, visits with my Mom and younger Brother. Two side trips (1) up to Arcosanti and Sedona, then down to Tucson; to have lunch with an old friend. Traveled back up in Eastern Nevada with an overnight in Ely, NV. Returned to Boise, late-afternoon yesterday. 2,659 total miles. No tickets, accidents, or lost wheels and tires. Lots of vast space and topography changes. David
 
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Ragman

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Always best practice as well to re-torque the lug nuts around 500 miles after any removal and reinstall. Make sure that they are seated well and tightened. Seems that makes later failure much less likely. My nephew actually had a wheel come off once driving down the highway-lessons learned.
 
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Alanymarce

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Always best practice as well to re-torque the lug nuts around 500 miles after any removal and reinstall. Make sure that they are seated well and tightened. Seems that makes later failure much less likely. My nephew actually had a wheel come off once driving down the highway-lessons learned.
I agree completely, however do this after about 50-100 Km or so (obviously somewhere safe). If the nuts are not properly tight/seated then they can start becoming loose quickly.
 
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JimBill

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You were traveling overland to get to a destination, so it counts.

When I was 19 I had a flat fixed at the local garage in Arcata CA on my way home from college. 45 miles later I was on the side of the road with 1 lug nut still there with 3 threads left. Borrowed one from each wheel and got going again.
Adjusted carb to a fast idle to make it back home after throttle cable broke on 68 Chevy a long time ago.
Left a trail of ATF from Clear Creek offroad park to Hollister in a 69 Chevy back about 1987. 4:11 positraction worked well, but the El Camino lacked ground clearance to play in the 4x4 park.
Changed water pump in a parts store parking lot in Eureka, 360 miles from home on a 69 Chevy back then too.
Broke valve spring on same 69 Chevy near Ferndale, CA. Drove it that way all the way to Vegas. Pulled both heads, had them redone, changed cam, then drove back to Eureka CA.
Same Chevy had to be pulled after sinking to the axles in soft sand dunes at Clam Beach, CA one 2 AM adventure.
Blew out waterpump bearings and threw all belts, Somoa Peninsula, CA
69 Chevy torque converter grenaded internally somewhere north of Ukia CA.
Rebuilt Holey carb in Los Banos, CA parts store parking lot.
Changed a fuel pump in 76 Cherokee in the Napa parking lot in Coarsegold CA.
Brake power booster blew on 76 Cherokee while on the breaks hard in traffic. You couldn't slide a credit card between it and the car in front of me when I came to a stop. Bent steering wheel from pulling up with both hands while pushing brake with both feet with all my 6'4" 285 lbs pumped on adrenaline.
Been towed twice from near Cramer Junction to Mohave CA, once with a dead transmission in a 69 Chevy, and the other time a dead shorted battery in a 68 Chevy. Years apart, same tow truck driver.
Changed belt tensioner and idler pulley in a parts store parking lot in Vegas on an 03 Chevy.
Cut wrapped up steel belts off a inner dually when the tire exploded somewhere outside of Las Cruces, NM. That was fun going with only a multiplier on hand.
Changed lower radiator hose on the top of Sams Town parking garage (Vegas) on an 84 Z28 mid day middle of summer about 1990 ish.
Drove 76 Cherokee for 10 years with two ratchet straps holding the transfer case to the rear crossmember, broke mount off of adapter plate while wheeling. Straps let the frame flex a bit better so wasn't in a hurry to fix it.
Replaced a crushed bumpstop spacer in the 03 Grand Cherokee with a petrified piece of 2x4 found at the campsite in Warm Springs/Saline Valley.
Crushed skid plate and crossmember into oil pan in 2001 Tahoe on Mengel Pass in Death Valley. I could see witness marks on oil pan when I pried it out (that was a close one!).
Changed a fan clutch in a park parking lot in Burns Oregon.
Put the electric fan blades through the radiator doing a water crossing in a 69 Chevelle on a road it shouldn't have been on. It was a little deeper than anticipated! Limped 10 miles to find someone with a phone.
Lost function of GM HEI distributers twice over the years on the open highway.
In the Malheur forest in Oregon loaned my battery so the team could weld up a broken off road trailer frame. Everyone was bitching it was too hard to pull the battery on their new Rubicons.
Lastly, 3 times in the last 2 years lost power steering on a treacherous road in 01 Tahoe (water pump bearing went and threw belt on a curve 1st time, pulley shaft broke on a curve second time, and unknown the third time, it just started working moments later after I stopped and popped the hood to find nothing out of place). I think the Tahoe wants to kill me.

Stuff happens if you spend time on the road, that is all I recall off the top of my head while distracted by work (LOL). Modern black box digital vehicles scare me. They either work or not, and not much you can do. So know your vehicle, carry tools, and most importantly perform due diligences on preventative maintenance.
 

mootruck98

Rank 0

Contributor I

90
Madison, MS
First Name
Kyle
Last Name
Conway
Ham Callsign
KI5JCL
You were traveling overland to get to a destination, so it counts.

When I was 19 I had a flat fixed at the local garage in Arcata CA on my way home from college. 45 miles later I was on the side of the road with 1 lug nut still there with 3 threads left. Borrowed one from each wheel and got going again.
Adjusted carb to a fast idle to make it back home after throttle cable broke on 68 Chevy a long time ago.
Left a trail of ATF from Clear Creek offroad park to Hollister in a 69 Chevy back about 1987. 4:11 positraction worked well, but the El Camino lacked ground clearance to play in the 4x4 park.
Changed water pump in a parts store parking lot in Eureka, 360 miles from home on a 69 Chevy back then too.
Broke valve spring on same 69 Chevy near Ferndale, CA. Drove it that way all the way to Vegas. Pulled both heads, had them redone, changed cam, then drove back to Eureka CA.
Same Chevy had to be pulled after sinking to the axles in soft sand dunes at Clam Beach, CA one 2 AM adventure.
Blew out waterpump bearings and threw all belts, Somoa Peninsula, CA
69 Chevy torque converter grenaded internally somewhere north of Ukia CA.
Rebuilt Holey carb in Los Banos, CA parts store parking lot.
Changed a fuel pump in 76 Cherokee in the Napa parking lot in Coarsegold CA.
Brake power booster blew on 76 Cherokee while on the breaks hard in traffic. You couldn't slide a credit card between it and the car in front of me when I came to a stop. Bent steering wheel from pulling up with both hands while pushing brake with both feet with all my 6'4" 285 lbs pumped on adrenaline.
Been towed twice from near Cramer Junction to Mohave CA, once with a dead transmission in a 69 Chevy, and the other time a dead shorted battery in a 68 Chevy. Years apart, same tow truck driver.
Changed belt tensioner and idler pulley in a parts store parking lot in Vegas on an 03 Chevy.
Cut wrapped up steel belts off a inner dually when the tire exploded somewhere outside of Las Cruces, NM. That was fun going with only a multiplier on hand.
Changed lower radiator hose on the top of Sams Town parking garage (Vegas) on an 84 Z28 mid day middle of summer about 1990 ish.
Drove 76 Cherokee for 10 years with two ratchet straps holding the transfer case to the rear crossmember, broke mount off of adapter plate while wheeling. Straps let the frame flex a bit better so wasn't in a hurry to fix it.
Replaced a crushed bumpstop spacer in the 03 Grand Cherokee with a petrified piece of 2x4 found at the campsite in Warm Springs/Saline Valley.
Crushed skid plate and crossmember into oil pan in 2001 Tahoe on Mengel Pass in Death Valley. I could see witness marks on oil pan when I pried it out (that was a close one!).
Changed a fan clutch in a park parking lot in Burns Oregon.
Put the electric fan blades through the radiator doing a water crossing in a 69 Chevelle on a road it shouldn't have been on. It was a little deeper than anticipated! Limped 10 miles to find someone with a phone.
Lost function of GM HEI distributers twice over the years on the open highway.
In the Malheur forest in Oregon loaned my battery so the team could weld up a broken off road trailer frame. Everyone was bitching it was too hard to pull the battery on their new Rubicons.
Lastly, 3 times in the last 2 years lost power steering on a treacherous road in 01 Tahoe (water pump bearing went and threw belt on a curve 1st time, pulley shaft broke on a curve second time, and unknown the third time, it just started working moments later after I stopped and popped the hood to find nothing out of place). I think the Tahoe wants to kill me.

Stuff happens if you spend time on the road, that is all I recall off the top of my head while distracted by work (LOL). Modern black box digital vehicles scare me. They either work or not, and not much you can do. So know your vehicle, carry tools, and most importantly perform due diligences on preventative maintenance.
Wow! Not want I want to hear but probably what I NEED to hear. I did enough cub scouts and camping with my family to figure out the camping side of things. My mechanic skills are lacking at this point, so hopefully my decision making of where my rig can go will be on point.
 

JimBill

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Enthusiast III

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San Benito County, CA, USA
First Name
James
Last Name
Madison
Member #

18747

[QUOTE="JimBill, post: 55

Stuff happens if you spend time on the road, that is all I recall off the top of my head while distracted by work (LOL). Modern black box digital vehicles scare me. They either work or not, and not much you can do. So know your vehicle, carry tools, and most importantly perform due diligences on preventative maintenance.
Wow! Not want I want to hear but probably what I NEED to hear. I did enough cub scouts and camping with my family to figure out the camping side of things. My mechanic skills are lacking at this point, so hopefully my decision making of where my rig can go will be on point.[/QUOTE]

on reflection the takeaways are:
Use the vehicle as intended
Get a vehicle built for your intentions
Drive it within its capabilities
AND don't drive vehicles 20+ years old unless you want to wrench on them in strange places!

Seriously though, a place to start is to pay attention to how the vehicle feels, acts, and sounds. Any changes are a warning something is degrading. Get it looked at and don't ignore it.
Second, get the periodic maintenance done on time.
Lastly, and the hardest, find a shop you trust!