It may well be that there isn’t any name more synonymous with off road travel than that of the legendary Jeep 4×4. Although the brand has gone through many ownership changes over the years, the basic functionality of the vehicle, as well as the concept that created it, remains.
Changes to Off Roading
What has changed however is the landscape in which Jeeps now have to operate. The days when you just locked in the hubs and drove cross country wherever whimsy took you are pretty much gone for good (unless some sort of Mad Max scenario crops up). For now, Colorado offroading has largely become a sport where all of the action is confined to properly-marked trails and admission into privately-owned mud bogs.
Curiously enough, this increasingly-restricted environment may actually be harder on Jeeps than anything they faced in previous decades. Many of the current crop of legitimate 4×4 trails are extremely rugged places to drive. No longer it is either legal or advisable to simply veer off a particularly bad spot of trail and scout out an easier shortcut. Taking the hard way is now mandatory, not an adventurous option.
Results of Offroad 4×4 Rules
This puts a lot of extra wear-and-tear on the vehicles that travel these maintenance-free byways of the world. Needless to say, all that extra wear-and-tear sometimes goes one step beyond. You end up with a broken Jeep, or at least one that might be in need of some serious modification in order to do a better job the next time you take that particular route.
Regardless of whether you are putting your off road warrior back together again after a smashup or are planning on making some big league modifications to it, it is important to make sure that you entrust your Jeep repair and modification work to someone who really knows what they are doing. Modern automobiles are a collection of tightly-integrated systems that can seldom be approached as isolated pieces of the puzzle.
For example, you may want to get some extra ground clearance by putting on a taller set of tires. These in turn often require installation of a body lift kit so the tires will not grind on the wheel wells. The body lift, in turn, may alter the geometry of the running gear so that your driveshafts are now out of kilter and subject to a much shorter service life or even catastrophic failure. That is, if they still fit at all. Let’s not forget the need to reprogram the engine’s central control unit to recognize those taller tires so it can adjust the speedometer out put as well as many other internal engine functions relating to performance, fuel economy, and emissions.
Jeep repair is no longer the province of shade tree mechanics. It is a job for serious professionals armed with tens of thousands of dollars worth of specialized equipment and tools. Even when it comes to just replacing damaged or worn-out parts but not making any modifications, it still needs to be kept in mind that there are many counterfeit parts manufacturers out there nowadays. These parts look just like the real ones to an amateur, but a professional can spot the difference in them and recognize their likelihood of imminent failure if installed on the vehicle.
One thing that every serious Jeep 4×4 aficionado knows for certain: having a break down at the far end of a rugged trail is never any fun and is likely to be incredibly expensive on top of that. Offroading is all about getting there and back again. Make sure that you only use a genuine Jeep repair specialist when it comes time to fix or replace anything on your Jeep.