Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
when something will break on you, out on the trail.

I was leading an overnighter into the Arizona strip, with 7 FJ's and 1 fairly new (10,000 miles) Tacoma - TRD, bumper mods and supercharged, one very nice rig.

We were half way in-50 miles, when the TRD broke a front shock. Either way you went, these 50 miles equated to at least 2-3 hours of driving - we were in the middle of nowhere. The bottom end just collapsed. We pulled it off to side or the road and began to remove the bad shock.

First thing, you have to get the wheel off the ground to get to the shock. Out comes the HiLift and began to raise the truck. As any jack will do and does, it ceases to work properly due to dust and just lack of use. (Very dusty roads out there). So WD40 is needed and no one had any, even the owners of the jack and Taco. I happen to have a small can in my tool box and bring it out. Squirt some on, lower the jack, start jacking again and all is well.

Next, the tire comes off, and lo and behold NO BODY has ANY tools, except me. The owner had a hammer and china made open/closed wrenches, but not many. Now, I am not tooting my horn here, because I have some embarrassingly inadequate tools stashed in my rig. One of the smallest socket sets Craftsman makes and likewise with the open/closed ended wrench sets. I have a couple of large screwdrivers, visegrips, cresent wrenches, etc.

Now, as an aside - on the Mojave Road II run, we had a rig hit a rock and really trash the left front wheel. The owner of that rig had a very impressive set of tools, truck parts, clean up gear, etc. It took awhile, but he got his rig to where at least we could get it out to civilization. I mentioned to Uphill while we were watching the work go on that I didn't have anything near what this other person did and that it was great that he had all the right tools. Uphill made the observation that EVERYBODY should have the proper tools because you might be out on the trail alone where someone else may need those tools to get their rig out to civilization. Well, that is exactly what happened Saturday.

My little tool supply actually was enough to get the shock disconnected and out of the rig, with the spring. We had to leave the truck there and 2 FJ's went out, to come back Sunday and get it on the road.

My whole point here is that there is NO reason for that shock to fail. A Bilstine shock. Any part can fail at any time on any of our rigs and you have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to get you out of there. Mojave Road II did not impress on me the necessity, but Saturday sure did. Always be prepared for the worst.

Before my next run, a whole new set of tools are on the shopping list. Before, these tools were on my wish list, now there are on my "absolutely have to have" list. My Co-pilot wholeheartedly agrees.

And if you lead other people on runs, as the leader you better at least have the proper tools. You CANNOT rely on other people to bail you out.

Ironicly, this evening, some extremely kind people gave me all four stock shocks and coils (60 miles on them). At least one front and one rear shock will be in my rig from now on. It's a start.

Now, I just have to learn how to fix things on my rig.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,779 Posts
Tools are a must. I keep a set of sockets, wrenches, flashlights and some other emergency gear in the vehicle at ALL times.

But, as for repair gear, you should probably only bring those things that are likely to break. CV axles, sway bar links, things like that. 99% of people can't bring a spare everything. It's also good to practice changing these commonly failing parts in your driveway so that when you are on the trail it is something you already have the kinks work out on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I haven't gone on a trail run yet but I have a mechanic's set of Craftsman in my FJ. I have not had the experience so I'm not sure what else I would need especially in regard to replacement parts. On a planned day trip I would also take my cordless impact wrench.

On my shopping list, hi-lift, ax, hammer breaker bar among other things.

But this thread reminds me again that I should put careful consideration into what I pack not only for myself but perhaps for others who may need assistance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
639 Posts
Very true about the need for good tools. I keep a good set of stuff in the back, and I sure do seem to use them a lot.

Very good save on your part. I know that the removal and install on a trail can be a real bummer
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,479 Posts
Excellent point. As well as tools, fluids, oils, and replacement parts should be stocked on any extended trips. Got to start to think about building up a list and a way to carry them all.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,729 Posts
Tools are a must but it is kinda hard to carry spare parts unless you have upgraded them and have spares laying around. you might bring 20 spare parts and something else may break. From what I gather, some common items to think about are front CV axle and boots, front sway bar links, and driveshaft u joints. Always a good idea to have a roll of bailing wire, this stuff is strong and can be a lifesaver for keeping dragging parts out of the dirt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Wow...I was thinking about selling my Bilsteins, they're just sitting in my trunk right now. Now i'm starting to think otherwise.

Anybody know what the top three trail repairs would be? Just curious, I know this can be subjective. I hear the CVs can cause some probs. Also heard about broken sway bars. Just trying to figure out which spares I should buy first, money is DEFINITELY a factor. Haven't found any rebuilt CVs yet either. Know of any?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,479 Posts
Tools are a must but it is kinda hard to carry spare parts unless you have upgraded them and have spares laying around. you might bring 20 spare parts and something else may break. From what I gather, some common items to think about are front CV axle and boots, front sway bar links, and driveshaft u joints. Always a good idea to have a roll of bailing wire, this stuff is strong and can be a lifesaver for keeping dragging parts out of the dirt.
Agreed. In a group run it may be worthwhile to coordinate which parts to bring. Also need to start a collection of nuts and bolts. Those are some inevitable casualties of parts being worked on.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow...I was thinking about selling my Bilsteins, they're just sitting in my trunk right now. Now i'm starting to think otherwise.

Anybody know what the top three trail repairs would be? Just curious, I know this can be subjective. I hear the CVs can cause some probs. Also heard about broken sway bars. Just trying to figure out which spares I should buy first, money is DEFINITELY a factor. Haven't found any rebuilt CVs yet either. Know of any?
Uphill has a good post on trails tools. Unless someone else finds it and posts it here first, I am going to find and a post it later on today. I think CV's and boots are high for the trail. More later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,045 Posts
Speaking of nuts and bolts if you look at the engine compartment and under the chassis there are number of places that are not used I keep filling them up with heavy grade bolts just in case if I need them for some reason that way they are always there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,371 Posts
I keep a full set of tools, a torque wrench, belts, hoses, clamps, vice grips, bailing wire, straps, oil and duct tape for those just in case moments. You just never know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
I personally don't own any tools with the exception of some cheap set I got from Costco a few years back.

What type of things should I keep in my Taco? I already got a tow strap and a first aide kit, but this is hardly enough to be prepared for anything. I'd rather have more than I need than less than I need. The entire reason I'm even getting a Tool box for my truck is to house the emergency gear.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,057 Posts
Gary, that's a great post. It serves to underscore the need to be prepared - maybe for your benefit, or maybe for the benefit of others (trail karma). I know that some of you who wheel with me think that I may be a bit obsessive about bringing tools with you. It's just that I've been that guy all too often who needed something and kicked myself for not having it.

I haven't gone on a trail run yet but I have a mechanic's set of Craftsman in my FJ. I have not had the experience so I'm not sure what else I would need especially in regard to replacement parts. On a planned day trip I would also take my cordless impact wrench.
I like the idea of air tools because some of the CV bolts are on very tight and yes, they'll come off with a breaker bar but it's easier with an air socket. You need a 35mm socket. If you don't have one, you're screwed.

FUNJUNKIE is right, who knows what parts you'll need? I don't keep a front axle or spindles. The Donahoe/Icon shocks are very robust but yes, they could break like anything else. I keep spare swaybar links, a spare boot kit, a serpentine belt, etc. But who knows what's going to break?

Excellent point. As well as tools, fluids, oils, and replacement parts should be stocked on any extended trips. Got to start to think about building up a list and a way to carry them all.
Absolutely
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
How about preventative measures as well. Like good sway bar collars and sway bar links. A diff drop kit seems like a good idea... would that make a lifted FJ less likely to bust a CV joint?
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top