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John Stewart

They will let you down...

b2ap3_thumbnail_staun-deflators.pngA timeless ritual for every 4-wheeler when leaving pavement is a brief stop to lower tire pressure for traction advantage and reduced tire spin. Over the years, many products have come along that promise to make it easier and quicker to achieve the desired tire air pressure.

The removal of valve stems (and frequent loss of said valve stem) gave way to hoses that could be clamped onto the valve and deflate two tires are once while keeping a balanced tire pressure.

Having tried all methods, I was a little skeptical when I tried the Staun Tyre Delators. Made in Australia, the deflators screw onto the valve stem and begin letting air out. And, they do know when to quit letting air out -- provided you adjust them.

The deflators are adjustable (from 6-30 psi).From the package, they are pre-set to 18 psi.Set up is easy and should be done prior to your first use.

Step one is to set one tire to your desired off-road tire pressure.The deflator has a knurled lock ring.Loosen that ring.Screw the deflator onto the valve stem and adjust the cap until the deflator pops open.Remove the deflator and tighten the knurled locking ring.

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John Stewart

Replace the hook

It always seems to be in the way and no convenient place to snug it out of the way.  Enter the next generation of decorations for the end of winch cable.

Factor 55 has designed a line of strong and light recovery products for the the off road market based on exacting aerospace and defense industry standards.  Their ProLink series, of 6000 series aluminum, eliminates the traditional winch hook in favor of a safer and stronger screw pin shackle D-Ring.

John Stewart

Moving your lifted 4x4

If you call a legitimate auto shipping company and tell them your jeep or truck has been lifted/modified they should be asking you questions like: “How big is the lift kit?” and “What is the vehicle’s height at its tallest point” or “What size tires are the the jeep?”  Things like this are very important in the eyes of the trucker because the way the trailers are setup to move the vehicles.  Trailers are built with the idea of moving just standard cars/trucks/jeeps.  So when your truck has a 6” lift and 35 inch tires with a light rack on the top you could be adding upwards of a 12+ inches to the overall height of a standard truck.  This is key because that additional height is going to be eating the space of what kind of car can go in underneath it.  Generally throughout the U.S. our trailers can’t be over 13’ 6” from the ground, so when you are stacking two vehicles on top of each other and there is a lifted truck that makes a noticeable difference.  When you look at the space between the cars on trailers it is not much, there is an obvious safety margin but there aren’t feet to play with, more like inches.  So depending on the overall height of your vehicle you may end up paying for two spots on a trailer.  OR, the alternative is to go on a flat deck trailer (if the transport isn’t cross country), where you will pay a surcharge because we are hauling less cars at a time.

With the range of prices I received, how do I know who to use?

Pricing is relative in this industry to the reputation of the companies.  Sadly there are many auto transport companies who will tell you what you want to hear, give you a great quoted price in writing and tell you they can specifically meet your date requirements for transit.  However, they could also tell you they were a famous TV actor and you wouldn’t really believe that would you?  So we always advise people to review the companies they got quotes from on the Better Business Bureau website.  Whether they are members or not is not important.  What IS key is to see the number of years they have been in business and number of complaints.  Don’t be tricked by review websites as often the companies and employees themselves write the reviews about how they are the best auto shipping company ever.  While the review websites make an effort to avoid this, it is difficult to catch everyone.

Do your homework on each company and use who makes you feel the most comfortable.  Don’t ever prepay a deposit and 9 times out of 10 it will be a smooth transport for you.  Good luck.

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Tommy Ponder

Winch Remote Extension

I did not want to purchase a wireless remote due to the fact that if the batteries die in it you're out of luck. I also did not want to buy an in-dash remote merely because of the price. What I decided to do was run into the local ACE Hardware and bought 15ft of the wire that has the three individual wires inside of the insulation (like extension cord wire) this cost me about $10.

I decided against merely buying an extension cord because I wanted it to look a little better so I got black wire to match. I was able to choose exactly how long I wanted it, and it was cheaper than buying an extension cord. I then cut my existing remote cord in half and spliced the three wires to the 15 ft section I bought at ACE.

Keep in mind, this method only works with the 3 pin remote plugs, I'm sure there is a way to do it with the 5 pin remotes, but I have a 3 pin. I also used shrink tubing to help secure the connections and I wrapped it up with electrical tape to no end. Good luck!

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John Stewart

A Crescent Wrench and a Creeper: Tips for Maintenance of an Off Road Rig

When it comes to 4x4’s, (Jeeps, trucks, toys, buggies, etc.), it’s as simple as a crescent wrench and a creeper. It may sound a bit simplistic, but it’s about getting under the rig and touching and checking for lose, broken, about to break or leaking stuff! Find it before it’s a problem. For side by sides, ATV’s, snowmobiles, etc., it’s more about the touching and looking, but the idea is the same.

Use a simple large Crescent wrench to check all important nuts. If they appear to be loose, use the Crescent or get out the right tool; but get it tight! If something is supposed to be torqued to specs, use a torque wrench and do it right. The handle of the Crescent can be used to pry and nudge things like long arm connections and Heim/flex joints. If you have unusual movement, figure out why and fix it.

For smaller “toys” that you can’t get under, something as simple as cleaning and touching the parts and connections can help you find lose or worn parts. Be sure to look for welds about to give up the ghost also. I like to clean my toys to the point of ensuring I touch about everything important, or at least give it a good eye‐balling.

An online parts seller friend of mine, Mike Monahan, known as Parts Mike (http://www.partsmike.com) says that in his experience it is steering components that fail the most often on 4x4’s. “Stock steering linkage and parts are not engineered to withstand the stress of bigger build ups and tires,” says Parts Mike, “and the best solution is to buy the right stuff and improve what the factory gave you.”

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