Little mods/upgrades/additions that make a big difference

SnowedIn

Observer
Another recent mod - costs a buck or two.

I recently put new springs in my front struts. On my vehicle (SX4), the top strut mount bolts are hidden under the plastic cover that sits at the base of the windshield. It's a bit of a pain to remove the wipers, rubber seals, plastic pop fasterners, etc, to access that area.

I took a 2" hole saw and cut a hole right above the shock mount bolt, then capped them off with some 2" plastic knock-out covers (plumbing parts). I can pop them out any time I want to access that strut bolt - either to work on it, or to check the paint-pen mark and ensure they haven't worked loose.
 

bftank

Explorer
Cut some heavy plywood to match your floormats, perfect for jack plates, lap tables, ect.


Run a hose or length of steel hard line from the windshield washers to the front of the radiator, behind the grill. When you might need extra cooling, swap the line from the washer frogs to the radiator sprayers and you have an instant cool down button.


Depending on your vehicle, swap out the regular Hi-lift handle for a piece of DOM tubing long enough to make a replacement or reinforcement for your tie-rod or draglink. Ruffstuff makes some weld-in threaded bungs that work great for something like this.


Buy a 1/2" pipe nipple 8 or 10 inches long, makes a great cheater for rachets or breaker bars, also makes a good splice for heater hoses.


slide a length of heater hose under the seat for a siphon, spare hose, grommets for other hoses, ect.


Stuff the center of a roll of duct tape with 550 cord, a small razor, a little tube of super glue and zip ties. (add JB weld if you like). Seal the sides with more duct tape to keep all your adhesives in one spot.


Cut a sawtooth on one side of your camping shovel to help cut roots and turf.


Cut a piece of hardware cloth to fit your radiator as a rock guard.


Matt

these are excellant! great thread idea.


-i took out my stock hood clasp and put in hood pins. when i was articulated the clasp would bind making it impossible to open. not a problem anymore.

-in my 1994 4door explorer i store the hilift and shovel under the rear seat. the legs keep it locked in in case of sudden stops, rolls etc. and it keeps the weight down low for stability.

-i put longer brakelines on the explorer as well and used small springs attached to the line and frame to keep the brake lines out of the tires.

-the biggest difference i have found has also been the cheapest to do. research, research, research!
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Extend your differential breather lines up high on your truck to keep water out. Water and gear oil do not mix. Unless you check your diffs after each water crossing you can burn up your bearings on the way home without knowing it.

 

AFBronco235

Crew Chief
I actually need to replace mine. They're so rotted, I'm surprised they're even still there, but do you really need the filter, or is that just expedition bling?
 

eggman918

Adventurer
I actually need to replace mine. They're so rotted, I'm surprised they're even still there, but do you really need the filter, or is that just expedition bling?
I've extended all of my vents instead of a filter mine are topped with copper tubing that has been formed into a coil with 3 or 4 revolutions.I figure it will keep out dirt and if they are ever submerged it will also help to keep out water.
 

rlrenz

Explorer
1. I added a tool box length of 1" conduit to my tool box as a wrench helper. Cost was $0.00
2. When I drive my ambulance on a long haul, I use fiberglass tape to anchor an office trash can behind the control console - complete with a box of trash bags.
3. My on-board tool box includes a hacksaw, penetrating oil, electrical tape, and a large roll of 14 Ga bailing wire - I've needed them all.
4. I added a LED map light - as I recall, it cost right about $ 25
5. I needed a way to suction-mount my GPS base to something - I wound up using the base from an old 76 mm shell casing that someone had cut off to make a paper clip holder. It fits into a cup holder just fine, and cost me $ 5
6. When I needed to replace burned out dash switch bulbs, Freightliner wanted more than $10 for each bulb; NAPA supplied the same for $1.40 per each.
7. I replaced the cores in old ambulance outside cabinets with new cores at a cost of about $8 per each instead of replacing the entire lock.
8. Old military surplus large ammunition boxes are even better for on-board storage if you throw a desiccant bag in before you close them up - and you can dry out damp desiccant bags in your kitchen oven.
 

Erik N

Adventurer
1. I added a tool box length of 1" conduit to my tool box as a wrench helper. Cost was $0.00
2. When I drive my ambulance on a long haul, I use fiberglass tape to anchor an office trash can behind the control console - complete with a box of trash bags.
3. My on-board tool box includes a hacksaw, penetrating oil, electrical tape, and a large roll of 14 Ga bailing wire - I've needed them all.
4. I added a LED map light - as I recall, it cost right about $ 25
5. I needed a way to suction-mount my GPS base to something - I wound up using the base from an old 76 mm shell casing that someone had cut off to make a paper clip holder. It fits into a cup holder just fine, and cost me $ 5
6. When I needed to replace burned out dash switch bulbs, Freightliner wanted more than $10 for each bulb; NAPA supplied the same for $1.40 per each.
7. I replaced the cores in old ambulance outside cabinets with new cores at a cost of about $8 per each instead of replacing the entire lock.
8. Old military surplus large ammunition boxes are even better for on-board storage if you throw a desiccant bag in before you close them up - and you can dry out damp desiccant bags in your kitchen oven.
Not sure if you work EMS or not, but here goes...
If you are looking for cheap ambulance add on's, hang Xmas lights inside the box. It will both soothe your pt and give you both something to talk about during transport. Also keep a box of dollar-store toys in there, they appeal to both small kids and Alzheimer's pts. Stuff like small stuffed animals, light-up pinwheels, etc.
Simple snacks sometimes work as well, assuming your pt isn't headed for sx.
 

Dutch Matrix

New member
I stumbled across a window mount gun rack at Walmart for around 10 bucks. Modified it to fit in the rear side windows of my suburban, put a few screws in it so it would stay together (it used wingnuts), and used it to hold two
Mag lights. It's removable, no damage to truck, and looks awesome and is super useful.
 

Brett Foster

New member
this tread rules. more ideas please!

One cheap upgrade that I do on every car I own: Decent quality wiper blades that don't squeak!

also: Cup Holders. I put better or even extra cup holders in everything as well. Nissan makes a sweet one that was in mid 90s Laurels etc. Toyota AE101 cup holder units are full single din size and include a slide out coin tray.

this is neither of the above but is a nice slim unit that I fit in my AE82 FXGT:
 

AFBronco235

Crew Chief
Time to revive this little thread.
Added some MOLLE webbing to my glovebox. Some 1' web strapping and some heavy nylon string and I've got a nice place to mount some small gear bags. Great for the nav seat. Spent about $12, not counting the bag.



Made a nice swing arm mount for my tablet out of some PVC left over from another project. About $18 all told.



Holds up really well and doesn't look half bad either.
 

Sabre

Overlanding Nurse
There's a sort of a storage cubby in the Montero's rear door where the headrests for the third row seats are stowed when not in use. We have had this seat out of the rig for a couple of years and this space was being wasted. Borrowing the idea from another Montero owner, I built a folding shelf to occupy this space. This has turned out to be one of the most useful little mods I've done.
 
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