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Spares, what do you carry?

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What don't I carry. I'm sure that list would be shorter. I carry all of the typical wheeling failure items (stuff like U-joints, shafts, ti-rods; both Ford for me and Jeep for other people) as well as typical automotive failure items (fuses, relays, light bulbs, tire plug kit, radiator hose repair kit, etc) and then I also carry the typical maintenance items (a brake bleeding kit, funnels, various fluids like oil, grease, water, etc). And don't forget the tools needed to carry out these repairs (floor jack, a pipe for extra leverage, hi-lift, silicone, toolbox) and items like bailing wire, duct tape, etc. On long trips where I drove the truck I've even been known to carry weird items like spare ECUs, E-fans, a headlight, even a complete engine gasket kit (it was in the garage and took up almost no space in the truck box, how could I not take it? :roll: ). Whatever will fit in the boxes in the bed. I don't like relying on the kindness of strangers if I don't have to. And yes, my truck weighs a lot. I don't mind that at all. :D


A few quick failure stories off the top of my head:


When the E-fan decided to not come on (never did figure out why) in the dunes, I dug a switch out of my box of goodies and hard wired the fan to the battery for the duration.


I blew a bead on one trip and had to search out someone with air to re-seat it (there were a few hundred people around so it wasn't a huge deal). As soon as I got home I bought a Co2 tank and have since re-seated my own as well as others' tires.


I've handed out a fuel pump relay to a Jeeper in need.


When the Fram oil filter decided to fail on me I didn't have any oil or a filter or a pan to catch oil in. Now I have a full oil change (and the tools to do it) with me at all times.


The one thing that failed and I didn't have a spare was that water pump on the return trip from Moab. Worse part is that someone actually mentioned that in their list of what they thought I should bring and I thought I'd be fine. :roll:

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i carry the basic stuff. tool box, complete ignition set(wires, plugs, cap rotor,and wd-40), serpentine belt, quart of engine oil, duct tape, hose clamps, small floor jack, chilton manual, jumper cables, tow rope, spare wire, 2 hammers, 2 spare tires(although I'm down to one since i ruined one tire here not to long ago) and 2 wood blocks.

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The only spare part I carry is the spare tire. I also always have a bag of emergency tools with me.


When wheeling I take the top section of my toolbox with me, loaded with some 150 pounds of sockets, wrenches and what not, in case I need to do more serious wrenching than my emergency kit allows.

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two full sets of axleshafts with new ujoints, both sets with good hubs attached (with junk bolts used to hammer old hubs out)

tools to fix any part on the truck, full fluids, full set of spare sensors and a spare throttle body, jack, water pump and gaskets, t-stats and gaskets (ranging in temp.)

spare serpentine, spare motor mounts, spare front driveshaft (and getting a backup slip-shaft built...no cardan as it's intended to get me home in the worst case scenario). full size spare tire, and spare lug nuts. also carry an assortment of spare nuts/bolts just in case.


unfortunately though, i haven't made any trail runs yet... :roll: :oops: because the truck hasn't been ready. i'm planning on having a spare ECU and TCU and light bulbs.

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Things that have failed and a friend had a spare part for -


water pump on CA hwy 99 (now I carry a spare)

upper radiator hose on Clawhammer


Things that have failed and I had a spare part for -


alternator on Interstate 15 in Nevada

u-joints (several times)

front axleshaft in Sedona

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So, here's a question... A lot of the items mentioned would be considered maintenance items (water pump, dizzy parts and wires, etc). Would it make more sense to install a new (low time) part to replace a high time part, and thus not have to carry a spare? Or are we paranoid enough that we must carry a spare?



Is a brand new fuel pump going to fail? Or water pump?

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So, here's a question... A lot of the items mentioned would be considered maintenance items (water pump, dizzy parts and wires, etc). Would it make more sense to install a new (low time) part to replace a high time part, and thus not have to carry a spare? Or are we paranoid enough that we must carry a spare?



Is a brand new fuel pump going to fail? Or water pump?


when the $#!& hits the fan, do you really want to be the guy who asked themself that?

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My water pump had maybe 10 thousand miles on it when the bearings went. :dunno: That's why I didn't think I needed to worry 'bout it.


There are different categories of failures:


What could fail and leave me totally stranded? (bad CPS, blown rad hose, hole in bottom of gas tank, busted drivetrain parts if I'm on a really tough trail, etc)


What could fail and make life hard, but still might let me get to civilization? (flat tire, slight leak in radiator, busted drivetrain parts if I can be yanked by a buddy back to the main road to call for a tow truck)


The waterpump started leaking half way through my last day of wheeling. I figured no problem, I've got extra water. Then it started throwing the belt the next day on the way home. No problem, I can easily pull over and put it back on. Then, a few hours into the drive, it started eating the ribs off the belt one at a time. No problem, I've got a spare belt. I finally gave up when I had two 4-ribbed belts and there was a truck stop up ahead. If I was closer to home than 11 hours, I would have been able to limp home. As it is I got within a couple hours of home and called for a buddy to come out and give me a ride to the store. Swapped in another pump and away we went.


I still don't carry a spare water pump. But I do have another replacement belt. :brows:

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i have 3 trucks


so my list is a little diffent


in my mj wich neve gets more than 30 miles from my house

just a spair 38 a tow rope and my cell phone and a buddie in a diffrent truck


in my toyota

befs (toyota axel shafts) full complment of tools hi lift jack full tune up belts hoses oil change and oil collection container, box of SOLV bags and extra boots and what not also my GF my dog and a buddie in a nother truck


in my wood truck

you get a saw small box of tools and lots of oil and gas 2 cases of adualt beverages and a buddie to help drink them


(PSA) i cut timber on private land and never hit paved roads

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well if were gonna hit other rigs here....


in the 67 i carry a spare tire, complete tools to do just about anything, hi-lift, a chain, tow strap, spare set of points, complete ignition set, spare carburetor, upper and lower rad hose, wd-40 and a lighter, floor jack, blocks, fluid set, set of brake pads, rubber gloves for the dizzy(incase of muddin), spare thermostat, set of hip waders for the real deep mud, spare wipers, spare light bulbs, wire, switches, fuses, duct tape and jb weld, and stop leak.

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when the $#!+ hits the fan, do you really want to be the guy who asked themself that?



Probaby not... Weight is your enemy, and you do have reasonable limitations of space (you don't want to pile your stuff so high that the rear window is usless). Let's say I'd like my spares and consumables to fit into two large action-packers. Can I, hmm?


But the problem is I can think of way too many things that reasonably stand a chance of failure. If your alternator packs it in and you're two days out in the bush, are you going to make it back? No, you won't. And I can't rebuild a jeep alternator in the field due to the construction - it's not as simple as carrying a spare set of brushes, and some emery cloth(what we do in the ol' helicopters). After all, 90% of the time an alt goes it's just the brushes got dirty and scored up the slip ring. With a starter I might have a little more luck, but having never bothered to do one (I have lots of cores, but I always seem to just get a 'new' one over rebuilding) I can't say for sure.


That said, would I carry a spare alternator? I'm not sure. I think I would rather build in redundancy, or attempt to eliminate the likely failure points. However, I can't see much that can be done for that in this case other than mounting the alternator higher. Which is definatly not sure fire (the voltage regulator might still fail, although I've had decent luck with the internal style. An external style could be used, and a spare regulator could be kept on hand. And the diodes can burn out due to excessive loading, but the way to prevent that is to have a good battery).





About rad hoses, would a guy be better off not running the OEM style soft rubber stuff? There is flexible metal hose avaliable, but I've never used it and can't comment on the quality (or on how well it seals, especially considering the ports on the block/rad are different sizes). The closed cooling system bottle is a bit of a pile, and I'd upgrade that. Heater cores can fail, but you can always pull the lines to it and run them back into themselves, I believe (seen it done by a hack mechanic who ripped somebody off). I might need to carry a union for that.


Radiators are easy enough to take care of. I happen to have a new(er) one installed, a simple grille guard decreases the risk of puncture greatly, and small leaks can be JB'd or crimped shut. Water pumps I hope would give me enough warning, but unfortunatly I don't know that any of the ones avaliable now are quality (I bought a new one rather than a rebuild, I figured it might be worth the $5 difference). Thermostats fail, more often open than closed. Open is acceptable in the truck still will run, but if it's -45 out you might well freeze to death. If it fails closed I can always remove the housing and remove it, if the gaskets are crisco'd or vaselined they should be reusable. But for the size and cost it might be worth carrying one.


Gas tanks are easy to save from leaking... If you have a good one, and a skid I doubt a guy would ever see issues. Aluminum tape seals them alright if the hole is small.


I'd carry a spare under most circumstances. It's easier than trying to fix a tire on the trail (and not as time wasting). Speaking of which, I have no luck at that. My MT/Rs can be done (after breaking the bead you can actually pull the tire off the rim with just a prybar and some cussing) but a lot of tires I owned would not be possible in this manner. It kinda makes it a waste of time to carry a plug kit in that case. Unless you had tire-pliers or such, which again is more space and weight... I'd rather run some really freaking tough tires to reduce the chances of needing more than one spare.


Engine related sensors are all small, and most can be changed easily enough (or not). So I'm inclined to carry a IAC and CPS at least. I'm thinking a MAP, TPS, and Cam-PS could all be thrown in easily enough too. I think I cover all reasonable failures with a renix system in that case. I'm considering cutting a panel out of the floor to change the CPS from that angle instead, as it's a little annoying from the bottom (I haven't fully evaluated the feasibilty of this). I've NEVER seen a renix ECU fail, so I really don't think I'd need a spare, but I could be wrong? With an auto a guy can drive it without a working TCU, especially if he has a manual controller anyways.


Fuel pumps worry me... Normally they give you lots of warning (don't work, hit the tank or rock the truck, normally they'll restart and work for a week or two), but they can fail suddenly. So, I'm thinking of carrying one of those... Or better yet running some funky dual pump setup (that'd be a pain to pull off). I don't think I've ever seen a fuel filter plug enough to cause the engine to not run, so I don't see that as a need? The quick disconnects on the fuel rail kinda scare me, but they don't seem to fail unless you take them apart? The fuel pressure regulator seems to give warning of a failure (blows fuel into the vacuum line) but I'm not sure on this as I've not been toubled by this.


I'm not a fan of the OEM mechanical fluid clutch fan... I think it's a peice of junk, and prone to failure. I'd say I'd rather run dual electric (I have fitted 2 taurus AUX fans before), but the issue with them is they do need electricity. Again, I don't like trusting the electrical system, and it would probably halve my range on batteries/no charging if I needed to run an e-fan. I'm thinking that realibility wise the OEM fan with a e-fan that was wired decent (no fruity fan controllers that burn up) would be the better route. No spares should be needed there, although a guy should always carry a little spare wire, some crimp on ends, and some fuses anyways.


I don't feel a need to carry spare plug wires. How are you going to wreck them? Maybe I'm missing something. I might carry ONE spark plug, but I doubt it. I've never had issues with the OEM distributor other than it getting water logged. But I assume people have some horror stories for that? I think the coil is a little suspect, lots of guys seem to burn them up. I'd probably carry one of those.


Axle failures are a whole other matter... I'm not inclined to run stock axles, or stock shafts for those axles, or stock u-joints. I've had good luck with my chromo yukons in my D44 front. Same goes for the yukon joints. I don't think they'll reasonably break before the outer shaft goes (the weak link in the system). I won't run selectable hubs anymore, and that saves a lot of grief, as drive flanges are pretty indestructable. The only thing about the front that worries me about that setup is the outer shafts, and I'm very much inclined to go 30 spline with them. I think a D44 with chromos is likely to be bullet proof with my intended tire size (a 33x12.5, probably a truxus M/T it seems). Upgrading the pinion yoke to the u-bolt style spares a lot of trouble too, I'd probably carry spare u-bolts for it though (small and cheap, and if nothing else it'll save you if you lose the origonals in the event you pull a shaft on the trail). And I might carry a set of wheel bearings, they're small and can get carnaged.


Rear axle would be a D44 probably, again, chromos, so shouldn't see many issues there. Hopefully.


Steering, links, track bar, etc, should not be any stock parts. I have hi-steer knuckles for the D44 front, and I think I could build a reasonably bullet proof tie-rod. I don't know if there's any point carrying many of the parts used for this (maybe a few rod ends). I'd probably run YJ brake lines, and probably have a spare for the sake of it. And maybe I'd carry spare bleed screws, since the check-valve ones I use (speed bleeders) do have an increased chance of failure.


So, how many other things can go wrong? Lots. But as you might realize, I'm thinking more along the lines of prevention rather than carrying spares... I just think I enjoy things a lot more that way.



Oh, and a quick list of consumables, as I think they should be:


-1 gal antifreeze

-1 gal water (drinking or otherwise)


-Wheel bearing grease

-Gear oil for one diff

-2L motor oil

-P/S fluid

-Brake fluid

-JB weld

-Misc wire

-Misc terminal ends

-Misc bolts

-Misc syringes (no needles, great for topping up fluids in hard to reach places

-Some nitrile gloves

-Box of wipealls (shop rags)

-Aluminum tape

-Duct tape



I type too much.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On my MJ I carry a spare belt for the alternator/waterpump, a good pair of vice grips (Knipex Cobra), about a dozen zip-ties, some electric tape, 2 screwdrivers and that's it.


On my Hornet I have the same, although with an added spare tire/jack/X-key for the wheelbolts.


Although on my MJ I do have a new alternator, new waterpump, etc so less stress about those.


I used to carry around a box *or two* of spares for my AMC Hornet, but I seemed always to break something that I DIDN'T have with me however much of gear was in the trunk - so at one time I just left everything at home. Haven't regretted it and saves me in fuel (less weight).

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