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Let’s Talk Tool Setup: Graduating from the “Mickey Mouse” Ranks

by Nick Olson
Let’s Talk Tool Setup: Graduating from the “Mickey Mouse” Ranks

I’ll admit, I started off with very few tools and essentials. Over the years, venturing out on longer trips, making friends and seeing what experienced guys had, motivated me to step my game up, and come up with a setup that’s good enough for Baja or AZ Peace Trail journeys. These type of long rides require a whole other level of self-sufficiency, where help can be dozens of miles away.

 After years of riding SxS’s, I’m still amazed how hard they can be driven, and when an issue arises, the ability to get them in driving condition or repaired is easier than most would expect.

 My tool setup covers the “bare bones” basics, items needed to fix common issues like radius rods failures, and we take it one step further, with additional parts and tools that have been gathered from personal experiences, to be ready for most issues you could encounter.

None of this compensates for the “loose nut behind the wheel”, and a word to the wise: back it down a little on long point to point trips, getting to your destination is the goal!

Comment below and let us know what we missed, maybe some hose clamps for a broken tie rod, or any other tricks you may have learned, let’s help each other out, like we do on the trail!


Let’s talk tools here’s my set up for all my rise will fall so first off I don’t want to lie to you guys to make it look like I’m that guy who’s always been prepared I’m actually pretty much been the opposite I’ve had some tools always but with a lot of my trips experiences I’ve seen what’s worked which I’ve had certain things and most recently when I did a ride on the Arizona peace trail I really felt like I want to be the guy who has the part who has everything you need to fix my car and I help others it’s a great feeling we have someone something to help somebody else out and when you’re riding with the group hopefully amongst everybody you’ve done all of these basics to get yourself out of a sticky situation and keep your idle so we’ll start on the table starting over here and looking at my one o’clock and we’ll just go around the hall so first off toast dragon I actually have a huge bubble rope if you watched our video I’m gonna have one of my buddies had a big crash we had to get him out of Hell’s Revenge the bubble rope is awesome I’m gonna have it in my other vehicle but for the race cloud one is something a little bit smaller I’ve always got my eye on the speed straps I love how you can just loop them through this is the bigger two inch by 30 feet long I was down in Baja 2016 and one of the guys I was riding with uses to help pull an SUV stuck out of Sam I couldn’t believe it so always wanted one it’s a little beefy and overkill but you know I’m gonna have this strap for 20 years who knows right and easy to pull out a big full-size truck if need be so it should be fine for these these side-by-sides right over here I’ve got a little charge pack picked it up off Amazon for about 70 bucks this is false to start a diesel pickup truck four or five times on charge so recently the battery died on this I might have left an accessory on we had to push the car on the trailer never again right gonna get a little jump pack it’s small we can use it to charge our phones were out in the wild or our camera deer definitely needed to have one love it hopefully works good for us out field got a little flash I don’t want to over here you see a lot of tools I just picked up at the local Home Depot husky brand not the highest sound like snap-on but could not pretty good quality I have experience over the years got a little air pump so when I first got set of 32-inch tires I find the two of them on one ride my buddies had a small little pump I had one too it would barely fill up the tire so I’ve graduated to something that’s a little bit bigger like this size right here because there was little little guys just aren’t gonna get it done when it comes to filling up a bigger 32 inch tires guys over in 35 this is a little bit more robust and will work well for today sighs UTV tires speaking of robust white hook me up for Father’s Day got this really nice Milwaukee half-inch now I really need this because my race car got a screw jack or I need a half-inch and I wanted something beefy enough where I can really torque my my lugs on my wheels if I’m doing the tire change I’ve always carried a cheater bar and I’m still gonna keep this but we’ll see how this plays out of my end of not needing a cheater bar as this thing should have enough torque to go ahead and comfortably torque down some wheels get back in the car for on a rider in the middle of a race one feature I like on this milwaukee’s it’s got a little battery indicator so charge up before a long ride at least get an idea bring my charger maybe in the chase truck or maybe in the vehicle I need to should last for multiple uses and hopefully for a whole trip real quick I’ve used regular motorcycle tie-downs ratchet straps are the way to go like I mentioned the more video my buddy’s car was was barely holding together the ratchet straps a lot put a lot more torque on I’ve seen the back of a vehicle as well as the front a arm to get us out of the situation I’ve seen in Baja this used as a radius rod for over 30 miles motorcycle tie-downs not worth it have at least two good ratchet straps it’s gonna make life a lot easier when you actually need one I like having a little headlight you never know it could be a night it’s good to have it quick and easy I like having one of these maker box at all times so speaking of learning lessons you can look at my extra parts and screws I think I’ve learned a lot first off my buddy if you watch Arizona piece trail my buddy kind of deal happen his secondary not back down we were dead in the water we were literally walking around looking for the washers and luckily one of our buddies had the correct thread and with a bunch of extra washers we got him going and he finished his ride otherwise he was getting towed out of there it’s a fluke deal I’ve never seen it but because of that ride I got all the hardware to replace your secondary and one of my buddies practice is a good idea which is when he does burn a belt he takes his impact he pulls a secondary off you make sure you get everything out from behind it just so nothing can get back in and potentially hurt a seal and cause a bowl of transmission seal so maybe you drop one of these just a peace of mind I like having this and I’m glad I bought it it’s got a couple axle nuts in case you would place in an axle and most importantly got something to take it off and replace it so I’ve got a little impact set with 27 that will fit for all axle change that a new one on this guy when upon arriving riding the crown king and lo and behold I’m hooking rear axle so I’ve got a couple extra these in case you lose one in the dirt since with the race car I went and did a fresh prep on all the suspension bolts so we’ve got a few extra pieces just to keep I’m carrying a hind gonna fit in the rear of a radius rod probably won’t ever need it but all these vehicles do have some time behind a lot of guys are running a beefed-up radius rods km’s and Polaris like through one of those in this car behind me my race car has got a bunch of panels that are all held together by Zeus tabs I use a 3/16 inch of American Allen and I keep this pretty handy count on extra the Zeus faster just to get any panels off in case I lose anything I’ve got with me we can have a race car we’ve blown a few fuses just with a beefier fuel pump I’ve got a bunch extra tens 25 and 30 s I’ve also got this big 60 which will power my light bar so nice to have just in case we need it and I’ve just got some various length screws and a bunch of extra washers and nuts just to help fix I’ve seen guys break radius draw bolts with aftermarket cages that’s half of thing out of the wild I broke some suspension bolts and glamis had I had these kind of thrown him back in not having issue I had to go to the light to get himself painful lessons learned got what I need in my opinion for those type of screws they’re gonna get you back going on a long ride or save the day one final set of screws that I carry just from a lesson learned I got three of these which hold on the flywheel for a razor turbo we’re riding these sheared off I guess it’s a little bit of an issue we were dead in the water they share off from me starboard here so the starter works everything’s fine but it wouldn’t spin you get the cart of fire over so I bought three extras and I’ve got three extras moving over here – got your basics I’ve got a master craft bag here which is the four pocket this pulls up and rolls up along with this Master Craft bag which is got some padding on the bottom pretty reasonably priced about 25 bucks each I’ve got a couple of different various screwdrivers sizes couple Phillips a couple of flat heads this is mine are one I use for beating on things with my little hammer in case I need to I like using some of the roto packs fuel cells on the rides and this is a nice filler for the motor packs it just takes a lot of time off and you actually need a dump – three gallons into a Carter’s saves a lot of time it’s nice to have a wrench why do I need a nice set of needlenose something decent with some cutters you always give me a needle nose for a lot of scenarios got a couple basic wrenches got a couple of different sets of pliers that are adjustable just for holding something in the case you’d need for socket wrenches I got a 15 which swivels older generation laser 1000 it’s nice for a radius rod 15 17 and the 19 and of course I’ve got a small crescent wrench to hold the backside if I don’t have the correct size wrench with me so coming back around I talked about my cheater bar I like having it to make sure my lug nuts are secure and that’s a half inch so of course I’ve got a half inch drive with half inch side socket sets ranging from 13 up to 27 pretty simple most everything on the razor is at least a 13 doing that smaller is my little 10 millimeter which I use on its own separate level quarter inch just for belt changes and save the best part for last these are a lot of tools you might be saying Nick that’s a ton of stuff that’s pretty crazy but if you think about it amongst you and all your riding buddies if you’ve got these things collectively going to get yourself out of a lot of situation so if we get down to hey your new name wasn’t just the basics well you need a belt you need your clutch tool razor turbo looks like this you need your wrench take off your clutch cover and you’re asking me where some of there’s the most basic essentials I’m going to say those three things some electrical tape and zip ties because they’re always gonna come in handy a tire plug kit an extra belt of course and then for the Polaris a torx set up you can take off all of your screws in a jam so I would take all these things I would also use one ratchet strap because again you can use that in a lot of scenarios if a guy breaks something and you can get a cheaper smaller toe strap so everything I mentioned not including the place of the belt essentially for under 50 75 bucks you’ve got some basics to help with a flat tire a belt change a broken radius rod and a couple other little Hansel area things that keep going from you being stranded to getting back or at least we don’t get towed back to your camp so you can finish out your ride or or make it home without camping out in the woods or the desert so this is what everything looks like all buttoned up because this is all going in the race car or most of it in most times this got a much different lay off and a traditional side-by-side this small pack here is going to go in the back underneath the spare tire this rolled up tool pack is going to go underneath the passenger seat we’re gonna put this in the passenger side door for quick tire changes and then either going to put this underneath the driver side seat hopefully I don’t need it very often knock on wood or we can put it inside a full-size spare tire just a touch on a few things look like the car already has full-size spare axle a screw jack full-size tire so with all of those things I feel like I’m ready for long trips in Mexico Arizona peace trail racing I think this is a really good setup and um we’ll continue to learn more continue to put more parts in as we need them hope this gives you a couple of insights maybe some ideas on a couple of things you want to add to your existing tool kit if you have any good ideas comment below let’s help each other out there’s probably a couple of things that I’m missing a set of my way I love reading the comments and hear what you guys think especially when something like this where we all have different experiences we ride in different conditions let’s help each other out and come up with the best toolkit works for all of us so we make it back to camp and we’re not stranded anymore if you like this content please like and subscribe and we’ve got a lot more coming your way


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