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Getting stranded when far from civilization is our worst nightmare – especially without the right 4WD tools. Cell phone signal is non-existent (that’s why you should carry sat phones) and even if we did have a signal, tow trucks won’t be able to reach us.
To avoid getting yourself in an unwanted situation you should carry the appropriate spare parts and tools. This way, a break down in the bush will add to the adventure’s stories rather than ending it there.
In this article, we’re having a look at the 4WD tools one should carry to be prepared for the most common bush failures.
Must-Have 4WD Tools: Tire tools
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Let’s start with the inevitable, a puncture. Over rough terrain that has not been driven in a long time, a flat tire is non-avoidable. A bottle jack and a strong piece of wood to put underneath it that will stop the jack from sinking into the ground is all you need.
A tire iron can also come in handy in case the tire comes off the wheel. Having two is best unless you are sure someone else in the convoy carries one as well.
4WD Essentials: Mechanical Tools
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The big and heavy tools – they are a pain to carry but should be included in everyone’s toolset.
Other smaller but still important tools are: pliers, cutters, nippers, a variety of screwdrivers, chisel, punch, locking vice grips, and spanners.
Pro tip: Ratchet spanners may not fit in tight spots; therefore, as convenient as they can be, it is better to carry the normal and thinner ring spanners.
You should also do some research on what size bearing bolt your specific truck has. Whatever the size is, carry the appropriate wheel-bearing socket for it.
Other Important Overlanding Tools
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Gray silicone can have many uses, from remaking gaskets to patching a hole in your fuel tank. It doesn’t take much space; so, carrying it with you is a no-brainer.
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There is always a use for a hammer, if you take your truck off roading regularly chances are you will have a few parts that won’t want to budge – a hammer will make your life much easier in that case.
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Having a galvanized tube among your 4WD tools can be useful for getting additional leverage when a stubborn bolt won’t come loose. You can even tap it with the hammer to loosen up parts in tighter areas.
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When buying superglue, I prefer the ones with a gel-like substance, the glue tends to stay in place while it dries rather than running off like a clear one would.
Epoxy putty can get you out of sticky situations. It can seal holes in radiators, fuel tanks, or even oil sumps. It’s small and light; so, carry it with you in your 4WD tools!
Emergency Repair Tape
Emergency repair tape is much more durable than normal tape. It can be used in wet situations to cover a hole in radiator or fuel hoses.
Duct Tape and Electrical Tape
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You knew duct tape would make its way in this, didn’t you? I am pretty sure you know that some very broken things can be mended with duct tape; therefore, I won’t get into it. Electrical tape can also be useful to cover up stripped wires.
Latex Rubber Gloves
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Getting full of grease in the middle of nowhere is never nice. Some tight-fitting latex gloves can save your hands from getting filthy on a bush repair.
Zip Ties and Ratchet Straps
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Make sure you buy the black zip ties which are usually UV stable; therefore, more durable. Opt for many different sizes from small to big.
Rags and Aerosol Cans are Great 4WD Tools
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Some WD-40 and brake cleaner can be used to lubricate dried-up parts, or even start up an engine. Rags to clean up your mess always come in handy.
Emery Cloth or Sandpaper
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Emery cloth tends to be more durable than sandpaper, but both will work just fine. If you do go for sandpaper, make sure to check that it hasn’t disintegrated due to the time it was stored in your truck.
Off-Roading Tools: Electrical Tools
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A wire cutter and stripper all-in-one tool, gas-powered soldering iron, multimeter (make sure it’s charged), or for simplicity of use a test light are the tools you need to perform basic electrical diagnostics and repairs.
The correct spare fuses for your specific vehicle are also crucial. Make sure you carry all of them (even for accessories), they are cheap and take minimal space.
I know what you are thinking, this sounds extensive and will probably take a lot of space and add a lot of weight. The truth is that all of these tools take less space than you’d think – a medium to large sized plastic tub can fit them all.
As for weight, they come at about 70 pounds – not too bad then.
I am not saying you should carry all of these on every single trip. These tools are necessary for those insane multi-day adventures where you know that if you get stranded, you’ll have no access to recovery.
Some of these tools might not be needed for your specific vehicle, or vice versa you might need even more. Do the appropriate research before deciding what exactly you should carry.
Being prepared is the difference between getting stranded or completing that insane adventure.
Do you guys have any additional tools that you never leave home without? Let us know what they are!