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Off Road Podcast 454 – Prepping for Wheeling Season

This episode of the Off Road Podcast is Sponsored by Colby Valve.

Tonight, Aaron goes to a memorial, Coy experiences the cataclysmic power of the eclipse, & Ben talks about his new Rig


Welcome to the off-road podcast. A podcast about everything off-road. We cover the news, review products, and interview people in the off road industry.  Your hosts tonight are Aaron, Coy and my name is Ben.  Welcome to the show.


Coy – did nothing

Aaron – Exhaust is way quieter.  116db to 92db.  It caught local PD attention.  Exploding whale memorial park trip.  Trailer issues see main topic.

Ben – came back from montana went to state park and did some fishing was amazed at the difference in my towing


Listener Feedback

Luke C. writes:

I am wanting to build my 2018 F-150 for wheeling but I am not sure where to start. I am looking for some pointers on how to get started.


We got a voice mail! 
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Our patches $13 shipped in the US for one and $10 for any additional.  Or $10 picked up from us in person.  Just send us a message through any of our channels and we can set you up with a Paypal link.


News brought to you by Colby Valve

  • The Drive – Ford Transit Trail Off Road Van Recalled Because 30″ Tires Don’t Fit
    • fitting larger wheels and tires to our cars always runs the risk of causing tire rub. It’s why many enthusiasts leave the upgrades to the carmakers themselves, rather than trying to outsmart them. But even the OEMs can get it wrong, as in the case of the Ford Transit Trail, which is being recalled because its factory all-terrain tires are making contact with the vehicle.
    • As outlined in an NHTSA recall document, Ford opened an investigation upon receiving a complaint from an upfitter. The unnamed company said it knew of four instances of its vehicles being taken into dealers with noise complaints, which turned out to be its 30-inch Goodyear Wrangler front tires rubbing on the fender liner and frame. It’s a common problem with modified cars and trucks, but not so much for factory vehicles—you’re supposed to be able to count on automakers to vet this stuff. Nevertheless, Ford performed an engineering evaluation anyway, and found the cause was how the Transit was adapted into the Trail.
    • Ford discovered that when the Transit Trail’s front axle is loaded to near its gross weight rating, there are scenarios that can cause the tires to rub. The example offered was under braking with 60 percent or more steering lock applied, which a driver might encounter while parking or driving on a narrow trail. 
    • You’d think Ford, producer of the Bronco and F-150 Raptor R, would know better than to make this mistake—and you’d be right. That’s because Ford apparently contracted out the Transit Trail’s development to a company that didn’t know better.
    • A vehicle modifier, contracted by Ford, did not fully account for the front tire envelope and packaging requirements of this application,” the recall document states.
    • Ford said it is determining the exact cause of the tire rub, though it seems obvious with the Transit Trail’s wider track and enlarged tires. The company warns that unaddressed rub could damage fender liners or even the tires themselves, leading to a loss of pressure and therefore vehicle control. Ford is not aware of any tire damage caused by the oversight yet, but it’s working on a solution and will notify owners when recall service is available.


  • C – Car and driver – Factory Five XTF Reframes the Truck Conversation
    • Got about $25,000 of extra cash and a late-model Ford F-150? Well then, Factory Five Racing has the perfect project for you. The XTF, its newest kit, transforms a stock F-150 into something you could drive down to Ensenada and enter in the next Baja 1000.
    • This requires building the truck from the frame up.
    • When your idea of a proper suspension means 16 inches of travel up front and 20 inches at the rear, the stock Ford frame isn’t wide enough or strong enough (for reference, a Raptor R manages 13.0 inches of front travel and 14.1 inches at the rear).
    • The centerpiece of the XTF kit is an entirely new tube frame that replaces the stock ladder frame. Factory Five claims its frame weighs 100 pounds more than the Ford item but is nearly twice as strong, using 327 total feet of tubing. Installing it might not be as daunting as you’d expect, given that the 2015 and later F-150’s cab is a self-contained unit—unbolt it, unplug the wiring harnesses, and pluck it out of the way with an engine hoist or lift. The cab is watertight, so an XTF intender who’s short on space could leave it outside while working on the frame and suspension in the garage.
    • The $24,990 kit is intended for 2015–20 F-150 four-by-fours with the 5.0-liter V-8 or the turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 (newer trucks have changes that make Factory Five’s kit incompatible). You’ll need the crew cab with the 5.5-foot bed and 26-gallon fuel tank. And yes, the ideal prerunner truck would likely be a two-wheel-drive regular cab with the V-8, but Factory Five wanted to design the kit around a truck people actually buy. Indeed, this first finished XTF is based on an everyday 3.5-liter EcoBoost Lariat, which once upon a time left the line in Dearborn as a nice family truck. It’s a little different now.
    • ou could mistake the XTF for a Raptor R, with its flared fenders and 37-inch tires. But after anything more than a cursory look, that tube frame gives away the game, its welded latticework peeking out from below the rocker panels and leading back to the four-link, coil-spring rear suspension with its towering remote-reservoir Fox dampers. The bed is aluminum and, on this truck, mostly filled by the optional spare tire (the mount goes for $199). Those fiberglass fenders are part of the kit and inflate the XTF to a yawning 90-inch width, three inches wider than a Raptor R. Consequently, the hood, grille, and tailgate all are Factory Five items as well.
    • For $6990, the body components are available in clear-coat carbon fiber, which, if left unpainted, might not be that far off the cost of paint-matching the fiberglass panels to the cab. (The nose panel is carbon fiber, no matter what.) Other options include a rear anti-roll bar for $465 and a tow package for $675. The latter includes more than a hitch, bringing axle-limiting straps and a Panhard rod into the equation to tame the contortionist rear suspension during towing.
    • If you’ve got the requisite mechanical skills, the XTF kit is an intriguing value proposition: For about the price of a Raptor, you might build a truck with far wilder looks and capability while maintaining stock Ford interior amenities and powertrain reliability. (Hiring some-one to build it will likely add nearly $20K.) And when it comes time to register, insure, or finance the truck, it’s just an F-150 with a factory VIN rather than a homebuilt kit car. Of course, Raptors are also upgraded under the hood. But easy mods are there for the taking—this EcoBoost truck included a low-restriction intake and exhaust that gave it a Ford GT soundtrack, and Factory Five is already building a supercharged V-8 truck to see what happens when 700 or so horsepower join the party.


Main Topic  


Prepare for seasonal differences 


spring mud /runnoff

Swap your snow shovel for a standard spade

Carry a pair of rubber boots

Extra paper towels

Store your snow tires and install your summer tire

Trash bags for storing muddy recovery gear

Bug repellent!!


summer/Fire season


Carry extra water

Fire season big four gallon jug of water, extinguisher, axe and shovel

Sunglasses and or brimmed hat

  • Check Tires:
    • Inspect tread depth and condition.
    • Look for weather checking or deep cuts.
    • This would be a good time to rotate them.
    • Consider upgrading tires if needed.
    • Don’t forget to also check your full size spare.
    • Is your tire wear showing you that you need an alignment?
    • Replace that winter air with Summer air
  • Inspect Suspension:
    • Check for any signs of wear or damage.
    • This includes shocks, springs, bushings, and control arms.
    • Check the steering linkage, tie rods, and steering gearbox for wear and tightness.
    • Consider upgrading suspension components.
  • Evaluate Brakes:
    • Inspect brake pads and rotors for wear.
    • Check brake fluid levels and condition.
    • Ensure the emergency brake is functioning properly.
    • Consider a brake pad, rotor, & fluid upgrade.
  • Inspect chassis and body:
    • Grease fittings (if applicable) and lubricate moving parts such as driveshafts, u-joints, and suspension components to prevent premature wear and ensure smooth operation.
    • inspect the undercarriage for damage, leaks, and loose components. Off-road driving can expose the vehicle to rocks, branches, and other obstacles that can cause damage to the undercarriage.
    • Check the bolts to your skid plates
    • Touch up paint on bumpers, siders, and undercarriage parts.
    • Clean out any debris that may have accumulated.
    • Snap that side body panel back on.
  • Test 4WD System:
    • Engage and disengage 4WD to ensure functionality.
    • Test locker(s).
    • Check differential fluids for proper levels.
  • Drivetrain maintenance:
    • Inspect engine oil, transmission fluid, and coolant levels.
    • Top off or replace fluids as needed.
    • Straighten and blow out the fins in your radiators.
    • Replace air filters.
    • Consider upgrading the radiator if needed.
    • Check the hoses to your remote location diff breathers.
  • Perform Vehicle-Specific Maintenance:
    • Follow manufacturer recommendations for service intervals.
    • Address any known issues or recalls.
  • Verify Lights and Electrical Components:
    • Test headlights, taillights, and turn signals.
    • Check battery connections and condition.
    • Make sure all that janky wiring you did is tucked nicely away with zip ties and wire loom.
  • Review Recovery Gear:
    • Ensure you have necessary recovery equipment such as tow straps, shackles, and a high-lift jack.
    • Inspect all of your 
    • Verify that your winch is in working order.
  • Pack Emergency Supplies:
    • Stock up on essentials like water, food, and first aid supplies.
    • Include emergency tools such as a shovel and tire repair kit.
  • Check over camping gear:
    • Open your tent and make sure the poles are all there
    • Gather up your kitchen parts.  They often get left in the wrong place after coming home from the last camping trip
  • Trailer Maintenance:
    • Check wheel bearings regularly for wear and proper lubrication.
    • Inspect trailer tires for proper inflation, tread wear, and damage.
    • If equipped with brakes, inspect brake pads, rotors, and brake lines regularly. Adjust or replace brake components as needed.
    • Inspect the trailer’s suspension system, including leaf springs, shocks, and suspension bushings, for signs of wear or damage.
    • Ensure all trailer lights, including brake lights, turn signals, and taillights, are functioning properly.
    • Check electrical connections and wiring harnesses for corrosion or damage.
    • Inspect the trailer coupler and hitch receiver for signs of wear or damage. Lubricate moving parts and ensure proper engagement between the trailer and tow vehicle.
    • Check safety chains for proper attachment and condition.
    • Inspect the trailer jack for proper operation and lubricate the moving parts as needed.
    • Inspect the trailer’s undercarriage for damage, corrosion, or loose components.
    • Inspect the trailer frame and body for signs of rust, cracks, or structural weakness.
    • Remove dirt, mud, and debris that can accumulate during off-road trips. This helps prevent corrosion and prolongs the life of the trailer’s components.


Next Week:  Hypothetical Co-Part Vehicle Purchase


Closing Statements

Thanks everyone who listens to us weekly and also to those who watch us live on YouTube.  We really appreciate you.  Please share us with your friends and help us grow.  God bless America!

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