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Looking after your gear

By:
Opposite Lock
Feb 21 2018

Many of your 4WD accessories and equipment are expensive acquisitions and you need to maintain them to maximise performance and keep the items doing what you purchased them to do, for as long as possible. A little bit of maintenance could mean all the difference on your next 4WD adventure or if you have a warranty issue.

Bullbars – Most of us only clean or attend to our bars when we clean the car, when you do there are some things you need to check.

    •    Using a quality polish on your polished alloy bullbar will ensure it retains the stunning finish and protects it from the elements, salt and road grime.

    •    Powdercoat finishes also need to be cleaned.

    •    Don’t forget to check over and under your bar and mountings for damage, particularly if you have had an impact, of any kind.

    •    Make sure your aerial mountings, indicators and fog lights, surrounds and mounts are undamaged, secure and in good working order.

    •    Check underneath, steel mounts and bolts should be free of rust and corrosion, you may need to take steps to prevent this if you regularly drive on or near beaches.

    •    Once rust starts you will never completely rid your vehicle of it, but there are numerous products that may assist and slow the process.

    •    Ensure you use a product that doesn’t stay sticky, attracting sand and road grime.

 

Winches

    •    Upon initial installation, make sure the rope is wound tightly, under strain, onto the drum. If this is done properly, you won’t encounter loose spools when you use the winch to haul yourself out of trouble. If not wound tightly you will risk damaging the rope and reduce the pulling power of your winch.

    •    After each of your adventures, or at least every three months, flick the clutch and unwind the rope from your winch, give the rope and the winch a thorough rinse with your hose. Clean dirt and salt thoroughly from inside the winch and check the drainage hole on the electric motor, you don’t want it getting clogged up. Allow your rope to dry a bit before winding it back on, but remember the sun can degrade a synthetic rope so don’t leave it stretched out in the sun for too long, it’s not a lizard.

    •    Although metal cable may be stronger and require less maintenance, it is much heavier and can be more difficult to use. Check your moving parts are greased when needed to keep them running smoothly, but NEVER grease your cable, it attracts dirt and grime.

    •    After each clean, make sure that the rope is wound back on evenly and under strain. Even the best and properly maintained rope or cable doesn’t last forever, so pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations on life expectancy, check them regularly and replace when needed, don’t wait until it’s too late.

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