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pebbo

Things to check after mud offroading

Hey guys just thought you might appreciate some advice from a fellow offroader. I've seen things fail too many times because they aren't taken care off properly. I operate and maintain heavy machinery in my job and often it is the environment that take a hit on our gear. So here's a quick checklist I put together for when you come home after a muddy day:

Check:

- check your air intake and air filter, replace the filter paper if soaky wet
- check your radiator
- check your belts, pulleys and tensioners
- check the insides of your splash guards
- check underside of your flares, rock rails
- check your snorkel if you have one


Clean:

- clean out your filter box and replace your filter if it's wet
- soak your radiator with soap water and leave it for a few minutes before you pressure wash it
- use engine cleaner at the car wash, spray a thick layer and leave it for a few minutes before you rinse it off  with clear water
- rinse your splash guards, bull bar, rear bar and your flares, they often keep a lot of dry mud which eventually gets back into the engine
- rinse your frame rails, they often contain a lot of mud and can keep them in for years
- get some Chemtech CT18 or a similar truck wash to soak your car in, it is great to get off the mud

Check again all your belts and tensioners for traces of mud and sand after your 4WD has dried. You'll often need to do a second wash. This is a lot of work but it will make sure your 4WD will last you and won't give you troubles. It's good practice to spray a layer of WD40 on your underbody parts before you go wheeling. It shields off the sticky mud and it doesn't cost much.





NAVMAN

Some very good advise there but may I add.

I wouldn't recommend pressure washing any radiator as you will almost certainly bend the fins creating more issues than you solve. Also remember that most modern 4x4's have 2,3 radiators one after the other. So only cleaning the one you see at the front won't get your radiator clear. But will ensure your ac keeps nice and cool.  usually a good soak with just the open end of a hose and very mild pressure is enough to remove the mud. If you go mudding i would recommend that you periodically remove the radiator for proper cleaning.

Other thing is if your 4x4 has drum brakes anywhere make sure you pull these apart and look inside. My 96 Pajero had drum brakes inside the rear brake disks and after a massive mud run the grit that got in wore the shoes out in a few hundred kms.  GQ/GU patrols have a drum brake on the rear tail shaft that is used as the handbrake.

An easy way to clean the underside of your 4x4 is to put a sprinkler under it and let it go for a while. I often find that my pressure washer will just blow the dirt/sand around under there and a normal hose or a sprinkler seems more effective for dust/sand or light mud. The pressure washer is really good at getting clay type mud.

JimBoo

Can't agree more. Also I had a snake once under my bonnet after a river crossing. So add "check for snakes" to that list.

1mak

I lost a licence plate and ripped off my front bumper (just the plastic bumper from my old Pajero) in the mud. A friend lost his light covers. So when you play in a mud hole, check if you miss anything before you leave the playground. :)

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