Top Tips

Cheap Tricks and Tips for the Trails and the Workshop

There is nothing worse than heading out laning for the weekend and some problem throws a spanner in the works and leaves you in the proverbial brown wet stuff.
A leaking radiator, fuel tank or just the simple spanner size that you left on the bench can abruptly change the mood of the day. But there are few little tricks that have been discovered over the years by those who trod these paths before us to get us all back to a place of sanctuary or just to save us a few shillings with a little bit of intuition.
The question does pop into the mind though, “who the hell thought of trying that?” but god bless ‘em … because it works!



Bottled up …
Tip … is for when you are stuck after that bottle opener you just can’t put your hand on required for the bottle of cold beer you have been promising yourself all day.
The Bonnet Pull …bonet opener
The Bull Bar …bb opener




The Door Lock …catch opener



To be honest any square edge would suffice be it on rock sliders, steering protection plates or even roof guttering.



Wrenched …
Tip … That spanner size that you have left at home is the only one you need to tighten up that leaking injector pipe. Well, grab that “odds n’ sods” tin pick out a bolt and couple of nuts.
Watch the video below on how to built a rudimentary spanner to assist you in your task …






Tanked up …
Tip … Loosing the precious liquid gold from the fuel tank? Be it from a split, or a hole from that last rock crawl, you need to preserve the loss or you may not get to your next planned fuel stop.
Well if you have that bar of soap from the wash kit to hand you are in luck.soap-tank-sealer
Simply scrape the soap over the offending whole so as to build the layer up. It will eventually seal and work as a quick fix to get you to the nearest town to fix it with a more permanent solution such as liquid metal or tank putty.


Keeping cool …
Tip … When that radiator springs a leak it is always at the most inconvenient time. This time you will need to reach for the food boxes. Many of us know the old story of cracking an egg into the radiator filler cap, well that’s not quite correct, it’s only the egg white that you need and if you have a pot of ground pepper, a couple of shots of that will assist the job in hand too.
If it’s a coolant system rubber hose that splits, another valuable tip is to use a metal drinks can wrapped around the offending hose. Hold the can in place with the trusty gaffer tape or equivalent, even plenty of cable ties will be sufficient to slow or reduce the fluid loss extending your travelling distance before top ups.



Dusted …
Tip … Dust ingress over a long journey can become an irritable nightmare, tasting it and breathing it in. The point is, to find the entry points and seal them with adhesive foam , replace worn door seals or good old automotive mastic.dust
Short-term assistance to reduce the issue but not a fix, is to switch on the vehicles air con system switching it to recirculate. This will slightly increase the internal cabin pressure of your truck, so blowing outward on any dust ingress points.



Hot works …
Tip … Welding, not always something you would want to complete when out on the trails, but some times it has to be done. You’re never going to carry a welder around with you for that once in a blue moon situation. However if the issue arises there is a technique that can help you out of trouble.
The video below shows you how to weld with car batteries, the gear needed and precautions to take, there are several videos online of “how to” complete this task.
One point to note, safety precaution, we would recommend throwing a fire blanket or heavy cover of some sort over the batteries during the operation. It has been reported that occasionally things may go wrong; the batteries can overheat and explode. If this happens the hot acid and flying battery casing pieces will be safely contained under the blanket.




Jacked Flat …
Tip … Got a puncture, then just realised you have misplaced the jack, or the jack fails to operate. Here is a great little method to sort out the problem without too much trouble;
  • Drive the vehicle until the flat tyre is over open earth or soil. Turn the vehicle off and engage the parking brake. Crack the nuts on the tyre before anything else. Find a stump, a log, a wood block or piece of concrete and slide it under the side of the axle closest to the flat tyre. Stack the packing material up until it contacts the axle.
  • Begin digging away the soil beneath the flat tyre with a digging tool such as your hands, a stick or the wheel brace or shovel. Dig away the soil until the axle rests solidly on the blocking materials. Dig the hole down and out a few inches on all four sides of the tyre. The hole needs to be dug deep enough and wide enough to remove the flat tyre and accommodate the installation of the spare inflated tyre.
  • Remove the nuts on the wheel. Pull the rim off the studs and remove the flat tyre from the hole. Set the spare wheel in the hole and hoist it up onto the studs until they poke through the holes in the rim. Thread all of nuts back on and tighten them down with the wheel brace.
  • Push a large rock down in front and in rear of the tyre, this is a critical part of the process to assist removing the axle support. Then fill the hole back up with the previously removed soil and materials. Disengage the parking brake. Start the vehicle and put it in a forward moving gear. Slowly give the vehicle power until the wheel climbs up out of the hole and onto the rock lifting the axle up off the blocking materials. Remove the axle packing and crank down the wheel nuts … you are now ready to roll
Stop the Rot …
The dreaded rust is the bain of every off roaders life, especially if you have one of the older trucks. Prevention isrust better than cure but you have to be very lucky to find a truck that has been treated from new and continued throughout its life.


Tip … So a good plan of action is to wash off your vehicle after every trip off the black top. If you don’t want to spend a few quid at the local garage jet wash every time, a good cheap option is to use the garden/lawn sprinkler on the under side of your truck changing the position every couple of minutes, you’ll be surprised how well this works.


Solve_rustSome folk pay for an annual wax oil or equivalent to keep the rust at bay, good but not cheap. A cheaper equivalent is a regular DIY oil spray with your old engine oil from the previous services. Over time the coatings will build up and soak in eventually sealing the metal work in a layer of oily grime. Just be aware it is a messy job and have plenty of paper & rags around to clean up after when the access drips off.
This cheap alternative does work, my old dad did this every 6 months on his Mk1 Cortina, after 10 years it was still like new on the underside when he sold it!




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