Spare part ‘must haves’.

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Billiebob

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Bill
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I'm 64, I've never packed more than a spare tire and a few basic tools. Proper maintenance is all I rely on. I do no mechanical work, not even oil changes cuz when I take it in for an oil change my mechanic has a 40 point check list. And if he finds something out of spec...... we replace it.

I cannot believe the apocalypse now crowd who pack a thousand pounds of parts and tools. But I've had these for over 40 years. VISA, MASTECARD & AAA. Used the AAA twice. Both times if I had paid attention I could have had the issue fixed before it broke.

Back in the days of fan belts.... I never carried a new one but the old one rode inside the spare tire. Follow the maintenance schedule, use a licensed mechanic, listen to him, done. Only needed a tow twice in 40 years. The second time, we got decked for 100 miles for free thanks to AAA. Actually saved gas.

 
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MidOH

Rank IV

Pathfinder I

1,212
Mid Ohio
First Name
John
Last Name
Clark
Ham Callsign
YourHighness
Alternator
starter
belt (make sure to change it and diagram it at home for practice)
battery, even if a smaller one
bulbs
brakefluid and vise grips to pinch off a brake hose
e tape
fire
brake pads and the tools to change them (a tree vine ripped my pad off once!)
windshield wash in any unused crevice of my bed
dieletric grease
air filter x 3
permatex and a sheet of rubber and gasket paper

double hose barb to bypass trans cooler if it fails, same for oil cooler if applicable.

No coolant. Coolant is too bulky, I don't go anywhere that my MSR waterworks can't keep me alive. Plain olde water will get you home.
No hoses anymore. Hoses don't magically rot over night. Check them before the trip.

Maybe marine grease.

1g 15w40. You can use it in the axles or xfer case if needed. Dump it at the nearest parts store. I even used it as brake fluid once. I never liked that master cylinder anyways.

Motorcycle safety wire. Can be used as a hose clamp, or to bend a hose back that you repaired by cutting 4" off of, and now risks hitting a belt or something.

Ether and a lighter, for tire bead seating.

A pretty dress so I can hitch hike.

Tire plug patches. Southern tire shops have no idea what a plug patch is, or how to prep a tire for one.
Tire plugs.
RUBBER valve stems. Even if dually. Don't forget a valve core tool.

No camper? Then an entire Suzuki DRZ400S and 12' ramps.

Couple cases of Marlboro reds. Weigh nothing, works better than cash in the back country.

All of that is more than the cargo capacity of a jeep, but fits under the rear seat of a fullsize, lolz.
 
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Lanlubber

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Pathfinder I

2,271
Mimbres, NM, USA
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16986

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none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
I'm 64, I've never packed more than a spare tire and a few basic tools. Proper maintenance is all I rely on. I do no mechanical work, not even oil changes cuz when I take it in for an oil change my mechanic has a 40 point check list. And if he finds something out of spec...... we replace it.

I cannot believe the apocalypse now crowd who pack a thousand pounds of parts and tools. But I've had these for over 40 years. VISA, MASTECARD & AAA. Used the AAA twice. Both times if I had paid attention I could have had the issue fixed before it broke.

Back in the days of fan belts.... I never carried a new one but the old one rode inside the spare tire. Follow the maintenance schedule, use a licensed mechanic, listen to him, done. Only needed a tow twice in 40 years. The second time, we got decked for 100 miles for free thanks to AAA. Actually saved gas.

There is no AAA service on forest roads or even some dedicated rural highways. Michael (founder) had to be towed out of the boonies about 20 miles not long ago by his fellow OB'er to a highway where a tow truck picked him up.
If he had been alone he would have been up a creek without a paddle. It was a simple part that he didn't have but should have had with him. Good luck with your travels, something will break sooner or later on everyone.
 

slomatt

Rank V

Influencer I

1,723
Bay Area, CA
What spare parts to carry largely depends on the vehicle and if you often travel solo. I always travel with at least one other truck. With my old ZJ I carried quite a few spare parts (hoses, thermostat, coil, wheel bearing, etc) and used many of them at one time or another, but that was a Jeep thing.

A friend who has an XTerra carries tie rods since they have a tendency to bend on those trucks.

My 4Runner has been amazingly reliable over the last 10 years and I only carry a couple spark plugs and some used belts. I have not run across any common trail failures on the 4Runner, so short of bringing a spare truck I can't pick any individual items to bring along other than the belts which are a wear item and are difficult to repair in the field.

In addition to the above I carry a general "fix it" kit with the hope that I can bandaid things to at least get off the trail.


In almost 20 years of offroading there have only been 3 cases where friends or I had to get towed home, and none could have been reasonably fixed by carrying spare parts.
1. Power steering pulley on the ZJ fragmented and threw the belt.
2. Wheel bearing on a friends Toyota failed and took out the axle shaft.
3. Friend rolled his truck.

All of our other "oops" moments have been fixable on the trail.
 

Lanlubber

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Pathfinder I

2,271
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
Duct tape, bailing wire, gas and this.... View attachment 113130

A parts runner to go get anything else you might need. #invaluable
Damn if I had that in the back of my rig I'd have to leave all the other parts at home.
You must have a pick-um-up truck ! Great little go getter though and would like to put one in my Scamp since I cant hike any longer. I'll have to seriously check this thing out. I had a Vespa in the 50's I used for going to work, summer and winter. Finally bought an old Henry J to replace it. Still miss both.
 

Pathfinder I

Duct tape, bailing wire, gas and this.... View attachment 113130

A parts runner to go get anything else you might need. #invaluable
You joke, but...

IMG_0334.jpg

For any trips between April and November (though the shoulder months depend on the weather that year), I'll be on the bike and my wife will be in the 4x4. Both are kitted out for overlanding and while the main reason is enjoyment, the secondary reason of having a vehicle to go get parts is VERY relevant. Twice we've had to do that on our trips.

Not everyone has that flexibility though, so I think it's best to start with the question: What are you actually capable of fixing trailside? It's all well and good to bring along spare ball joints, CV joints, fan belts, etc. but if a person lacks the ability to do the repair, odds are not good that these parts will be useful. Perhaps someone else in the party DOES have the knowledge but for solo travel, only bring what you can reasonably fix on the side of the road. For everything else, there's Mastercard and a SPOT device, right?

in other words, the best tool or spare part is what's between your ears. There are basic things that will shut a vehicle down, but a few bits and pieces can keep the motor running. Far more important is the ability to diagnose the problem, and figure out a solution to it. Conventionally, Problem X requires Solution Y. Practically speaking, in the bush Problem X might be solved by a thousand different solutions -- this "Bush Mechanic" approach is necessary sometimes, but a person needs to understand how the car works.

- Fan Belt. Don't bring a new one -- replace your current one with a new one so you know how to do it, and keep the old one as a spare. Same for things like shock bushings, btw.

- Fuel Pump - Depending on the vehicle, this may be easy to switch the faulty one, or it may mean you have to plumb it in to bypass the existing pump, but either way -- no fuel, no motor noises, therefore no go.

- Code Reader - Modern cars will throw a million DTCs. Our jeep used to throw a DTC whenever I got a bit spirited on loose gravel, citing a fault in the ABS/Traction Control. It also use to eat oil pressure sensors, but when those would fail the system would default to "high pressure" to prevent damage, so there was really no problem driving with a failed sensor. The trick is being able to read the code, link that code with a specific problem (i.e. the code reader that just says "P104-a" is useless. Get one that tells you what P104-a means without needing an internet connection!). This way, you know if you can drive with the Christmas Tree Dash or not.

- Fuses - Easy fix to 90% of electrical problems on the trail -- but make a note to figure out WHY the fuse blew!

- Air Filter - They get clogged up in dusty conditions pretty quick, and no air = no motor noises, therefore no go.

- A way to repair coolant hoses - (clamps and some high temp rubber, or full hoses if you have the room). You can patch a hose fairly easily. But honestly, change your hoses regularly -- they are relatively cheap, and as another poster said, you should never have a hose fail due to age. I have seen them get holed by a stick, though -- so think of a patch for a stick-hole, not for a perished hose.

- Tools to work with all of the above - This is a topic unto itself. Don't buy a big mechanics tool set with Metric and SAE tools if your rig ONLY has Metric fasteners -- that's a lot of extra weight. What sizes of wrenches and sockets do you actually need? And always bring a breaker bar!

- quickset Epoxy - JB weld is the go-to, but if you want to be REALLY fancy, get some Devcon Titanium putty. I used it to fix the cylinder head on my bike after a mishap, and the repair is holding strong 5 years later. Note: Devcon Titanium is not quickset, it takes 24 hours. But, it has a similar strength to machined aluminum (within a few hundred PSI) so it's VERY strong, providing proper surface prep and application.

- Drywall Mesh Sandpaper - This stuff is gold for the bush mechanic who wants to use epoxy. In order for epoxy to adhere, you usually need to clean and score the surface a bit -- get the surface rust and oxidation and paint off - -and this stuff works great for that for small areas. Then, you can use the same stuff as re-bar in the actual epoxy, which instantly makes it a LOT stronger and thus, makes the repair a LOT more likely to last until you can get somewhere with the proper parts.

- Spare tire - We brought two to Alaska. If you bring two tires, Murphy's law states you'll never need either of them. It's basically science. And when science fails, it's a good idea on some remote trips to have two spares as roads that rip up one modern tire are likely to rip up two.

- Tire repair kit - This can be used without even taking the wheel off. It's less useful on roads that are really ripped up, but it's very useful if you get an errant nail or whatever on the highway.

- Zip Ties - you might need to restrain a ne'er do well. And these have infinite uses for tarps, tying hoses out the way, controlling wires, etc.

- Duct Tape - Same as above, but sticky.

- Oil - An extra quart or two is very handy. This is especially true if you primarily city drive your rig, and then infrequently go for longer runs. An engine may not burn any oil around town, but at higher RPM highway speeds, it could be thirsty and need a top up.

- Other Fluids to top-up in case of a hole in a pan (diff, trans, etc.) - I have heard of some folks bringing one kind of gear oil that, in a pinch, will work in their diffs AND their transmissions temporarily, but that is not my preference and I have no idea if that's a good idea -- so, tread carefully. For the price and weight, bringing a quart of whatever is spec'd for your diffs, and whatever is spec'd for your trans, is probably a good idea. Both can be prone to holes from rocks, which you can repair with the epoxy, but you'll then need to top it off.
 

bmwguru

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Hey BMWguru, are you wheeling a Bimmer? I have an E70 X5 that seems too fragile but maybe your experience is different.
Props on the using the correct Bimmer ref! I do not wheel a Bimmer although I suppose I could try with my wife's F25 but I imagine she would frown on that, haha! I wheel a 4Runner simply because BMW does not make a vehicle that is comparable. My buddy has an E53 that he has a small lift kit for. I think it's a spacer lift though. Not sure if there are any lift options for the E70. BMW's are not fragile IMHO but when they are asked to do things they are not designed to do they do not fair well, nor do many cars/trucks.
 
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Road

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Belts
A way to repair hoses like Rescue Tape
JumpBox - Some way to jumpstart your vehicle
Quart of oil
Sometimes an extra spare

I have seen people take shocks, coilovers, spark plugs and on and on. I think it really depends on how far out you are and how far the nearest shop would be. I am sure you will get better answers from others. Maybe @Road has some input. As you mentioned it depends a lot on the vehicle you drive as well.
Just back from camping all week, but will gather my thoughts and reply in a bit or tomorrow.

Thanks for the heads up, @1Louder .
 
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Road

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I've been thinking about this on and off since I got home last night and can't think of any spare parts I typically carry, though do keep a lot of maintenance and repair items, tools, and jumper cables.

My vehicle is a GMC Savana diesel long wheelbase van. One of the big reasons I kept it instead of going for a Land Rover, Toyota product, Jeep, or other vehicle is that they are one of the most common vehicles in North America and parts are readily available everywhere, both new and used. It also is not a vehicle that has a lot go wrong with it on a regular basis.

I've put around 200,000 miles on the ol' gal in the time I've had her, of over 400,000 miles total, and have never had a road failure. Same with my diesel Chevy van before this one, that I retired at over 500,000 miles - more from the body starting to go to hell than any mechanical reason.

So, no spare parts, really.

I do carry a full change of oil, filters for both oil and fuel, and the other fluids necessary for maintenance. I also keep rolls of Gorilla Tape, both wide and narrow, zip ties, fuses and bulbs and headlights, etc, all typical maintenance stuff.
 

Lanlubber

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Mimbres, NM, USA
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I've been thinking about this on and off since I got home last night and can't think of any spare parts I typically carry, though do keep a lot of maintenance and repair items, tools, and jumper cables.

My vehicle is a GMC Savana diesel long wheelbase van. One of the big reasons I kept it instead of going for a Land Rover, Toyota product, Jeep, or other vehicle is that they are one of the most common vehicles in North America and parts are readily available everywhere, both new and used. It also is not a vehicle that has a lot go wrong with it on a regular basis.

I've put around 200,000 miles on the ol' gal in the time I've had her, of over 400,000 miles total, and have never had a road failure. Same with my diesel Chevy van before this one, that I retired at over 500,000 miles - more from the body starting to go to hell than any mechanical reason.

So, no spare parts, really.

I do carry a full change of oil, filters for both oil and fuel, and the other fluids necessary for maintenance. I also keep rolls of Gorilla Tape, both wide and narrow, zip ties, fuses and bulbs and headlights, etc, all typical maintenance stuff.


[/QUOTE

This all sounds reasonable to me based on the fact that you have a diesel. They usually only suffer from dirty fuel that you buy from some dealers that clog the filters. No spark plugs itself is a big help. Do diesels have magneto's ? The engines are a lot more waterproof. I don't think you can compare a diesel rig to a gas rig very well when it comes to the engine and what spare parts to carry. All else said, not a lot breaks on a heavy duty rig as often. I know I wouldn't have as many concerns if I were driving my 3/4 ton 4x4 Dodge in the boon docks instead of what I do drive. Maintenance is the key to breakage as others have pointed out. That and just not doing something stupid when your out alone.
 

Road

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Outside of a tool roll that has basic tools (a multimeter included), tapes and a tire kit I don't carry many parts... even with over 300k miles on the Cruiser. I do carry a coil pack and a MAF sensor in the 100 series as those are the only parts that have ever started to fail on a trip.

For the MJ (200k) and TJ (140k) all I ever bring along are a few pieces of vacuum line and a few typical bolts in addition to the tool roll. I have thought about picking up a spare TPS for the Jeeps, but have never had one die on me.

I stay on top of maintenance and preventative maintenance, almost to a fault and am a very conservative driver on long distance trips. At this point, my longest trips are about 2 weeks, maybe I'll pack more parts as I approach a month+. It shocks me that some folks bring so many extra parts on a trip. I am already full of people + gear and can't imagine packing an additional 1/2 a Napa in the rig(s).
.
Half-A-Napa - hell of a screen name for someone . . . :tongueclosed:

Regular and preventative maintenance is key, I agree. Even when going out on multi-month adventures I haven't felt the need to carry spare parts. Meters and tools and typical fix-it stuff, you bet, but no spare parts.
.
 

Road

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This all sounds reasonable to me based on the fact that you have a diesel. They usually only suffer from dirty fuel that you buy from some dealers that clog the filters. No spark plugs itself is a big help. Do diesels have magneto's ? The engines are a lot more waterproof. I don't think you can compare a diesel rig to a gas rig very well when it comes to the engine and what spare parts to carry. All else said, not a lot breaks on a heavy duty rig as often. I know I wouldn't have as many concerns if I were driving my 3/4 ton 4x4 Dodge in the boon docks instead of what I do drive. Maintenance is the key to breakage as others have pointed out. That and just not doing something stupid when your out alone.
Couldn't find what you'd written at first, then saw it was buried in my quoted post.

No magnetos.
.
 

Specter

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I'm 64, I've never packed more than a spare tire and a few basic tools. Proper maintenance is all I rely on. I do no mechanical work, not even oil changes cuz when I take it in for an oil change my mechanic has a 40 point check list. And if he finds something out of spec...... we replace it.

I cannot believe the apocalypse now crowd who pack a thousand pounds of parts and tools. But I've had these for over 40 years. VISA, MASTECARD & AAA. Used the AAA twice. Both times if I had paid attention I could have had the issue fixed before it broke.

Back in the days of fan belts.... I never carried a new one but the old one rode inside the spare tire. Follow the maintenance schedule, use a licensed mechanic, listen to him, done. Only needed a tow twice in 40 years. The second time, we got decked for 100 miles for free thanks to AAA. Actually saved gas.

“actually saved gas” - I love it.