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Offroad Checklist

Discussion in 'Offroad 4x4 Runs Planning and Discussion' started by mcpherson, November 18, 2007.

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    1. mcpherson

      mcpherson Active Member

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      Well, I'm not so sure if this is exactly a "How to's" checklist, but I do believe to be very important for every off road driver to take into consideration before taking a trip to the trails.

      Offroaders.com - I have referenced most of this information from another site and will give them credit. I made some changes only to a few items.

      Explorer4x4.com - In addition, i have updated this list with information referenced from Gerald Jarrett - Trail Equipment Required Items

      This is also posted on our club site.


      Offroad Checklist


      Offroaders Guide to Gearing up for Offroad

      • The Basic List
      • Safety and Survival
      • Beyond the Basic Offroad Checklist
      • Vehicle Recovery Items
      • Tools Checklist
      • Versatile Items
      • For the Vehicle
      • For the Serious Offroader
      • Basic Camping / Extended Stay List
      • 25 Tips to do before going Offroad

      Basic Tips
      • Always travel in groups of 2 or more vehicles
      • Always alert someone back home where you are going and when you expect to return
      • Take at least a basic supply of tools and gear
      Pre-departure Maintenance Checklist
      • Check engine oil
      • Check transmission oil
      • Check brake fluid
      • Check radiator coolant for leaks, fluid levels, clean fins, thermostat and radiator cap
      • Check battery for damaged or corroded wiring, clean terminals
      • Check windshield wipers for wear and fluid level
      • Check fan belts for cracks
      • Check hoses for cracks and bulges
      • Check air cleaner
      • Check seat belts
      • Check tire air pressure (air up to recommended pressure for highway driving, air down at trail head, air up prior to trip home)
      • Check tires tread wear or damage (including your full-size spare), look for cuts and missing chunks
      • Check and tighten lug bolts
      • Tighten drive shaft u-bolts
      • Check and tighten lug bolts
      • Check for body/frame cracks
      • Check brake pads & shoes (adequate braking pad material, in good condition and without contamination)
      • Check for loose bolts or nuts throughout vehicle (loose nuts will lead to shearing the studs off)
      • Grease all fittings (u-joints, steering)
      • Check gear oils: transfer case/differentials, replace if necessary
      • Check Winch for proper operation, check winch cable for kinks, frays or damage, straighten winch cable if necessary
      • Check headlights, brake lights, auxiliary lights; make sure they're aimed properly
      • Check suspension including springs, shocks, alignment, wheel bearings and steering linkage

      The Basic, Minimal Offroad Checklist

      The minimal list is the basics that you should always carry in your vehicle when offroad. These items are good to have in the vehicle at all times.
      • First Aid Kit (See Safety and Survival below)
      • Basic Personal Essentials (water, food)
      • Spare Tire, Full Size
      • Jack and tire iron to change your tire
      • Tow strap
      • Tree saver
      • Come-alongs
      • Basic Tool Kit
      • Spare Key for vehicle kept on your person
      Safety and Survival

      • The First Aid Kit
        • First aid kits come in many shapes and sizes. You can buy them, or you can make your own kit. Whether you buy a first aid kit or put one together, make sure it has all the items you may need. Include any personal items, such as medications. Keep ID card (and/or copies), emergency number contact info and medication allergy in your purse, in your vehicle glove box, and in your first aid kit.
      Here are suggestions for the contents of a first aid kit:
      • Activated Charcoal (use only if instructed by Poison Control Center)
      • Adhesive Tape
      • Antiseptic Ointment
      • Alcohol swabs, individually wrapped
      • Band-Aids (assorted sizes)
      • Blanket
      • Cold Pack
      • Disposable Gloves
      • Gauze Pads and Roller Gauze (assorted sizes)
      • Hand Cleaner
      • Plastic Bags
      • Scissors and Tweezers
      • Small Flashlight and Extra Batteries
      • Syrup of Ipecac (use only if instructed by Poison Control Center)
      • Triangular Bandage
      • Burnaid gel
      • Snake Bite kit
      • Disposable emergency blanket
      • Instant Cold pack
      • Instant Hot pack
      • Medications:
        IMPORTANT: LOOK AT THE EXPIRATION DATE ON ALL MEDICATION PACKAGES! DO NOT USE ANY MEDICATIONS AFTER THEY EXPIRE. ALSO TEMPERATURE CHANGES AND HUMIDITY CAN CAUSE MEDICATION TO BECOME INEFFECTICE OR DANGEROUS. Anti-diarrhea medication, Tylenol ( fever reducer), Ibuprofen (Nuprin, Motrin, Advil) inflammation reduction, sprains bruises, etc, Benadryl for mild allergic reactions, Epinephrine in the form of an Epi Pen to treat more serious allergic reactions that might otherwise be fatal.
      Safety Items
      • Safety Glasses
      • Leather Gloves
      • Fire Extinguisher - Should be mounted in the vehicle in an easily accessible location.
      • Flares
      • Tarp
      • Flashlights
      • Matches / lighter
      Basic Personal Essentials

      • Water - At least 1 Gallon per person, per day if not more. Drier, hotter climates require at least 2 Gallons, per day if not more. Remember: Alcohol doesn't hydrate. In fact alcoholic beverages dehydrate since it take more water to metabolize alcohol than the beverage contains. Plus it may cause you to require the above mentioned First Aid Kit.
      • Food - Bring food for twice the amount of time you are planning on being gone. Should you be delayed and have to spend a night out on the trail, you wont have to worry about going hungry. Good ideas for trail food: trail mix, snacks, beef jerky, fruits, dry/canned food, etc.
      • Extra Cloths - Nobody likes to sit in wet cloths or an extended period of time.
      • Personal items - This includes toilet paper, anti- microbial hand cleaner, etc
      • Sun block
      • Rain Jacket
      • Communication devices - Cell Phone, CB Radio, Amature (Ham) Radio (license required to operate), GMRS/FRS radios
      • Power inverter if necessary (e.g. Cell phone recharger, battery recharger for communication devices and camera)
      • Trash bags - Keep your trails clean
      • Maps, information about the area
      • Compass or GPS
      • Water purification tablets
      Survival - Seasonal Specific

      • Winter

        • Extra clothing
        • Warm outer layers (jacket, wind breaker)
        • Head gear (warm hat, hooded jacket)
        • Emergency blanket (compact survival type)

      • Summer

        • Sun Block
        • Insect repellant
        • Sunglasses

      Beyond the Basic Offroad Checklist

      Vehicle Recovery Items
      • Hilift Jack
      • Tow straps - 2 or more, 2 inch width or wider, 20 foot or longer
      • Towpoints front and rear, frame mounted
      • Tree saver
      • Come-along (one or more)
      • D-rings, Shackles
      • Shovel (standard or military foldup)
      • Axe (at least hand axe or hatchet)
      • Chainsaw and bar oil, 2 cycle engine oil, spare chain (can be handy in recover situations, as well as for trail clearing on wooded trails)
      • Winch Kit: tree strap, hi-lift jack, snatch block, pickle fork, shackle, gloves
      • Pullpal
      • Snow tire chains (if tires don't cut it)
      Basic Tools

      • Complete Socket Set with SAE (standard) and Metric with 3/8" and 1/2" drives. Deep and standard sockets.
      • Crescent, open end combination box wrenches SAE (standard) and Metric
      • Allen Wrenches
      • Torx sockets (especially if you own a Jeep)
      • Standard & Phillips screwdrivers, large, medium, small
      Versatile Tools

      • Large Hammer (a.k.a. the "BFH")
      • Pliers (various sizes)
      • Needle Nose Pliers
      • Vice Grips, various sizes
      • Large channel-lock Pliers
      • Pipe wrenches - having 2 medium of these can be useful for tie-rods.
      • Pocket/utility knife or razor blades
      • Crescent wrenches (medium & large)
      • Hacksaw with spare blade
      • A BIG pry bar (or crowbar) or length of strong metal pipe, inside diameter of pipe large enough to slip over a wrench or socket drive for extra leverage.
      • Magnet
      Specialty Tools

      • Snap ring pliers
      • Air Pressure Gauge
      • Portable air pump
      • Standard Bottle Jack with 12" square wooden platform for use in soft ground
      • 12 volt and battery powered portable tools: Impact wrench, sawzall, drill, spotlight
      • Jumper cables
      Additional Versatile Items

      • Duct Tape
      • Bailing wire
      • Wood blocks - Useful as chock blocks, jacking platforms, ramps, suspension supports (for broken torsion bars)
      • Hose clamps
      • Bungee cords, several in multiple sizes - good for securing gear, temporary repairs, etc.
      • Small ratchet straps
      • Rope lengths
      • Super glue/epoxy
      • Tank sealant putty
      • Tie wraps
      • Rags
      • Work Gloves, leather
      For the Vehicle

      Fluids
      • Engine Oil
      • Brake Fluid
      • Power steering fluid
      • Automatic transmission fluid
      • Coolant or Water
      • Bearing Grease
      • WD-40
      • JB Weld
      • Starter Fluid
      • Extra gas
      • Funnel, siphon hose
      Spare Parts / Repair Items
      • Lug Wrench
      • Extra Fan / serpentine belts
      • Hoses, fuel line, brake lines, coolant hoses, hydraulic hoses or plugs (if using a ram assist or full hydro)
      • Spare Fuel filter (if not using a cleanable one)
      • Spare Hi-steer studs (if applicable)
      • Spare Tire
      • Fix-A-Flat and/or Tire Plug kit, plugs
      • Extra Lug nuts, tire star wrench or lug key with key socket
      • Cotter pins / keys - various sizes
      • Valve stems, Valve stem remover
      • Nuts & bolts assorted standard and metric sizes
      • Spare Leaf spring center bolts
      • RTV or Hylomar HPF - form-a-gasket
      • Radiator stop leak - silver flakes in tube
      • Spare Hub (and hub fuses if applicable).
      • Electric fuel pump
      • Coil / electronic ignition
      • Spare Universal Joints (U-joints for drive shaft & axles)
      • Spare Drive Shaft (rear and front)
      • Extra spark plug wire (size of longest wire)
      • Spare points
      Electronics Repair Kit
      • Volt ohms meter (multimeter)
      • Wire cutters / wire crips / wire strippers (multi-tool)
      • Spare fuses of all sizes and types used in your vehicle
      • Electrical tape
      • Spare wire - lengths of various gauges
      • Spare switches
      • Spare relay if you use relays
      • Spare vehicle sensors - TPS, MAP, etc.
      • Crip on ends (male and female, various gauges)
      • Small pocket sized needle point blow torch (handy for soldering wire)
      • Flux core solder for repairs
      • Wiring Diagram of your vehicle
      Expanded List
      • Winch and Winch Accessories
      • Onboard Welder, welding supplies, welding gear and misc. metal pieces (for making repairs especially if carrying an on-board welder)
      • Onboard air compressor such as ARB or QuickAir
      • Externally mounted Jerry Can for fuel
      • Spare axles (rear left / right, front left / right)
      • Spare tie rod assemblies (tie rod, drag link, ball joints, ball joint nuts and cotter pins)
      • Spare Idler Arm
      • Parts that have broken twice before (if you can't carry it, you should have upgraded it)
      Camping List for Extended Stay or Remote Excursions
      • Maps, information about the area
      • Camera and/or Camcorder
      • Compass and/or GPS
      • Hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes (if you are not already wearing them)
      • Duct Tape
      • Flashlight
      • Propane Lanterns
      • Mosquito repellant
      • Lighter, matches
      • Firewood
      • A knife of some sort
      • Toilet paper
      • Towel
      • Water purification pills
      • Backpack/sacks
      • Cooking Pans for breakfast
      • Paper plates
      • Paper towels
      • Folding camping chairs
      • Sleeping bag
      • Sleeping pad or air mattress
      • Stove or grill and fuel
      • Tarps, lots of tarps
      • Tent(s)
      • Bathing suit
      • Flip flops or swimming shoes (no bare feet while swimming)
      • Funky fishing hat
      • Hiking boots
      • Rain jacket
      • Sunglasses
      • Sunblock
      • Soap - Antibacterial
      • Waterless hand scrub and/or Wet Wipes
      • Binoculars
      • Bottle opener
      • Cooler cup
      • Jacket
      • Pocket knife
      • Snacks
      • Trash bag
      • Water
      • Extra keys
      • Compass
      • Sunscreen
      • Hat
      • Sunglasses and/or goggles
      • Ice and ice chest or cooler with beverages and food (cooler with latching top and handles to use as strap point)
      • Camera, case, film and batteries
      • Maps: Sidekick Off Road Maps, state, county, Forestry, BLM Desert Access Guide, etc.
       
      Last edited: November 22, 2007
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    3. MountaineerGreen

      MountaineerGreen Towing Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      Nice post! Thanks for the comprehensive list. I moved it from the Tech Corner, its a better fit here.
       
    4. mcpherson

      mcpherson Active Member

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      Thanks!
       
    5. Donner

      Donner Explorer Addict

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      If this is a no post zone, please forgive me...

      This is THE most comprehensive and informative set of guidelines for O/R preparation; and very genuine. It seems like in addition to being in this location (where mostly offroaders come to) it should be posted right up front where green people can see it, in other words it should be a must read, readily available for EVERYONE that comes to this site. It should literally be found in every forum...

      The people at this site have a way of converting the average person with a daily driver into someone with a vehicle they feel proud of... Once you come to this site, you don't know if you'll be offroading someday, building a street machine or just learning about vehicles.

      What you have presented is a SURVIVAL guide, many of the items are things we should have ready just in case of anything. McPherson, this came from your heart... Just to present it shows you truly love what you do and respect the people that share your time and interest.... how it was compiled is not as important as WHY it was compiled... Amen to you.
       
    6. Charlie

      Charlie Well-Known Member

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      Great list, this should be a sticky!
       
    7. GJarrett

      GJarrett Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Yep I'll sticky this. It is a very good list and amazingly close to one we did put together on this site several years ago when I compiled information from many of the experienced offroaders on this site and then wrote an article on the subject. It's still here but has gotten buried under years of postings on the forums here.

      If you're interested on the what the "oldtimers" here suggested for trail equipment many years ago and want to compare that to this list, you can find the old one here at http://www.explorer4x4.com/trail_equip.html

      That list was "required reading" for Moab participants for many years to help newcomers to Moab properly prepare for the run.

      Enjoy!
      .... and see ya on the trails :)
       
    8. Brian1

      Brian1 Elite Explorer

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      I have a few things to add from my own experiences and what I carry, sorry if I repeat any from above:

      First Aide Kit - CHECK the expiration dates on the medications and replace as needed. Often we leave our kits in our vehicles for years and never do this.

      Pre-trip check:
      Torque your high-steer arms if applicable. Loose nuts will lead to shearing the studs off.

      Spare Parts:
      Leaf spring center bolts
      Spare vehicle sensors - TPS, MAP, etc.
      Fuel filter (if not using a cleanable one) -Last 2 trips I have been hit by this
      Hydraulic hoses or plugs if using a ram assist or full hydro
      Hi-steer studs if applicable
      Brake lines (was not explicitily stated above)
      Misc. metal pieces for making repairs especially if carrying an on-board welder

      Additional Versatile Items
      Hose clamps
      small ratchet strap
       
    9. mcpherson

      mcpherson Active Member

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      Updated List

      Thank you GJarrett for making this a sticky and for referencing your write up trail equipment, i have made a few change using some of your information. Also thank you Brian1, I have also added your recommendations to the list as well.
       
    10. GJarrett

      GJarrett Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Yep, I forgot that one.... that's come up multiple times on the trail. Be sure you've got a spare one of those.
       
    11. little x

      little x Well-Known Member

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      Under Vehicle Recovery Items, in the winch kit he lists a pickle fork.

      What would that be used for?
       
    12. rookieshooter

      rookieshooter Moderator Emeritus

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      I guess it could have been put in one of the tool listings. I don't know. But it's a good idea to have one. Or are you asking what is a pickle fork? If so, it's used to remove ball joints or to seperate things. It is a slotted fork thing that is also wedge shaped.
       
    13. little x

      little x Well-Known Member

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      I have a pickle fork. I just couldn't figure out why I'd be using one while winching. :roll:
       
    14. Dannyboy

      Dannyboy Other Make & Models Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I am prepping for Moab and wanted to add my 2 cents to this great list of items. It was very helpful in my planning of the on board “permanent” and “removable” items that will be worked into my new roll-cage & cargo management. I used to pile my gear into big “action packer” tubs that worked well, but it was always a little less than desirable for organization.

      One item I looked for but may have overlooked is a few pieces of chain and nuts and bolts that can fasten them together, this can be very helpful (most guys have this in their winching kit)
      1) Loop around an axle and bolt it together to reduce droop, makes hi-lifting much safer when a suspension doesn’t travel 10” down before lifting a tire
      2) Chain and a come-a-long can be bolted to the frame opposite of each other to secure even an axle that may have a broken coil, coil bucket, shackle, radius arm, track bar, steering, etc.
      3) Chain (and tow straps) can be inserted in a 2” receiver for a guaranteed no-exit point for securing or recovery. (don’t use chain, especially bolted together for recovery, however, my removable winch hand been chained to my trailer frame to winch a vehicle up the ramps before)
      4) The beauty of chain is that you can use each length with a bolt to secure things (like a broke swing-a-way tire carrier, with a point every inch to tighten or loosen it up.

      I’d like to add an “On The Trailer” list, as nearly every Truckhaven Trip I’ve been to has involved a campsite repair to get one of our members either home or back in action the next day. I am fortunate enough to have parted out an old truck, therefore I have a box of items that does nothing but sit on my shelf, I bring it along and usually take it home just as I found it, but Murphy’s law, if it’s going to break it will break out there and my box of parts does nothing sitting in the garage. Personally I’ve had the terminals snap on my fender mounted solenoid twice, my alternator lock up on the trail, I’ve seen water pumps start to leak and be replaced. Some stuff is general maintenance (such as leaking differentials, or radius arm bushings) that should be done before hitting a trail and some of this stuff just fails at the worst possible time due to the fact that a trail truck doesn’t see much regular use so sitting then getting pounced can cause parts to fail without many hour/miles/years of use.

      On the trailer-
      Magnetic tool tray
      Oil catch pan
      Floor jack
      Welder
      Brake line flare tool & bender
      Vice or press (trailer mounted or receiver mounts work awesome)
      Examples of my “trailer supplies” and why
      Spare knuckle, rotors, spindle, bearings lug studs, spindle nuts, caliper(s), (if you have an old one lying around-if a bearing locks up it can weld itself to a spindle leaving you dead in your tracks) I basically have a spare knuckle out assembled including all the clips, washers etc
      radiator hoses, water pump, thermostat -
      alternator, belt tensioner, fan clutch, (all have locked up on me randomly or mud induced)
      battery cables, starter, starter solenoid,
      light bulbs, 4x4 buttons, headlight switch,
      steering assembly, shock/suspension hardware (old bushings etc),
      fuel pump,
      u-bolts, shackle (don’t ask)
      I love wheeling with the group from this forum, even more reason to pack every Ford part I have, I have seen the craziest things go wrong and get fixed or leave a guy missing a day of fun. Preparation is the key, but every time you upgrade, there is a new weakest link. Bring your old parts because you can help somebody else out.
       
    15. ncredneck16

      ncredneck16 New Member

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      i recently got a explorer in december and im working on lifting it and cant find a good spot for a tow hook or shackle. can someone post a pic of what they did to there so i can get a reference.
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    16. explorerguy89

      explorerguy89 Active Member

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      nice list =] all items can come in handy
       
    17. safn1949

      safn1949 Active Member

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      Easy,install a front and rear class 3 trailer hitch.Takes a beating when you bottom out each end and gives a solid place to hook to.

      [​IMG]
       
    18. YoungMounty

      YoungMounty Active Member

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      Will a frame mounted brish guard suffice for tow points? I have used it once before to pull someone out of a situation and it seemed to hold up pretty well, I just wanted the opions of y'all more experienced members.
       
    19. Dannyboy

      Dannyboy Other Make & Models Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I would not use a brush guard, way too flimsy. You could probably find a way to mount tow points on the same bolt holes. I ruined a class 3 round tube hitch by wrapping the strap around it instead of inserting it into the receiver. Pulled it out of wack. Look up gm towhooks on here, you will like it
       
    20. Gabe96Explorer

      Gabe96Explorer Active Member

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      This is an amazing batch of information. I am going to copy this for my clubs website.
       
    21. explorinitup

      explorinitup Elite Explorer

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      love this info.
       

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