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4WD Tips & Tech (22)

Off-road tips that might actually be useful! Gear you might want to buy!

Saturday, 01 October 2016 00:24

Battery Brain

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Have you ever left a light on too long, or maybe left the CB on something else that drained the battery down so low that you would not have enough juice the next morning to start your vehicle? If so, this article is for you.

The Battery Brain is a gadget that disconnects the battery from everything when the battery gets low, but leaves enough in it to start the vehicle. You have to pop the hood and press a button on the small box that fits between the battery and the connector for the rest of the vehicle to reset it. There are enough links on the Battery Brain that it will fit any vehicle. There is also a more expensive model that will reset with a pushbutton inside the vehicle, no need to raise the hood. I have one in the Tacoma that carries my Pop-top around. I guess Marian must have left something on….

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/sms-333126/overview/ 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 08:57

What is "A Martin"?

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A Martin

To do a Martin is to get stuck while deviating, for no apparent reason, from a well-marked, solid road; it is not to be confused with a Perko, which is to get stuck while on an imaginary road or a Lawrence, which is to get stuck on no road at all.

An example:

An example of a Martin

What's wrong with this picture?

This picture shows a typical Martin
[Note the Desert Explorer in the foreground, anxious to help
the hapless victim,
showing no concern for his own well-being
or potential damage to his vehicle,
especially the clutch]

 

Sunday, 17 November 2013 10:37

Tire pressure gauge/deflator

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Here is a great tool, introduced to us by Chuck Kalback, that makes letting the air out of your tire a breeze! No more looking for a twig to press on the valve stem, check remaining pressure with a tire gauge, back to the twig, back to the gauge, etc. Best of all it is one you can put together yourself with very little expense.

Sunday, 17 November 2013 10:12

Cooler report

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On a recently trip to Baja California, we brought along a new ice chest. We first heard of this new cooler from John Marnell who read about it in a magazine.

On Tuesday, December 29, at about 4:00 p.m., we put a 12"x8" block of ice into the "EXTREME" Cooler. Everything in the "EXTREME" cooler was prechilled. We also placed a block in my regular cooler. When we got home Sunday, January 3, at 11:00 p.m., everything was still cold, and we had a piece of ice left that was about 2-3" thick by about 6" square. Our regular cooler had to be replenished with ice on Dec. 31 at about 10:00 a.m. and was almost room temperature when we got home.

Sunday, 17 November 2013 10:08

Sound advice

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Here's some sound advice from John Page:

  • Especially for the ladies: don't hesitate to drink lots of water in really hot conditions even though you will have to make frequent potty stops. As a wise man (Paul Ferry) once said "'Tis far, far better to pee than to pass out."
  • Bring a 12" long scrap of 2x6 lumber to act as a base for your jack when changing tires on soft soil.
  • Avoid wearing cotton clothing in extreme weather, either hot or cold. Cotton stays wet.
  • Don't wear heavy lug-soled boots for difficult driving; it's too easy to miss the brake or accelerator.
Sunday, 17 November 2013 10:05

Choosing the right gear

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Long, steep hills can challenge a truck unless the gear selection lets the engine run at its most efficient RPM. Vehicles develop their peak horsepower at what used to be considered fairly high revolutions. The 1995 Jeep Wrangler for example is rated at 100 rear-wheel horsepower at 4,500 RPM and maximum rear-wheel torque of 131 at 3,000 RPM. The 1995 Ford Ranger is 90 hp at 4,500 and 140 torque at 3,000. Most current vehicles have similar specifications. That means to get the maximum horsepower, or maximum torque you must select a gear and range that will pull the hill with the engine turning at the best RPM. High revolutions may sound as if the engine is about to take off, but they are far better than an engine that is lugging and will be much kinder to the engine. Failure to make the right selection can result in overheating.

Sunday, 17 November 2013 10:03

Save water

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Our new subscriber, Jim Kay, showed us a great way to save water and dish scrubbing. He put his plate inside a plastic bag so when he filled his plate with food it was on the plastic bag. When finished he pulled out the clean plate and disposed of the dirty bag. Slick!

Sunday, 17 November 2013 09:57

CB Radio Tips

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Here are a few tips for using a CB radio. You might want to keep a copy with your radio.

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