What tools do I need to pack in my 4wd?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:16
ThreadID: 96496 Views:4768 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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I'd like some advice on what tools I need to take with me in my LandCruiser for longer trips. I've got the basic kit that comes with it and have been told I need to take a tyre repair kit with me as well, but I'm assuming I'll need to take more with me on a larger trip, we're off to Ayers Rock in September for a month and towing a van.

What tools would you say are essential? Ideally, the fewer the better as space will be an issue with the family onboard so if you could make your suggestions I'd thoroughly appreciate it!


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Reply By: anglepole - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:27

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:27
If your starting battery is more than 3 years old replace it. Make sure all the battery connections are in first class condition.

Auto Clubs (RAA etc..) tell us batteries are the most common problem they have in the city and country. Smithy who writes for the News papers also suggests the life of a battery is 3 years.

Enjoy your trip
AnswerID: 489436

Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:54

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:54
This could be a can worms.

Basically if you are sticking to the bitumen then don't worry about anything more than the car has already. Just stop if something does not "feel" right. Feel the wheel rims and look for a flat. Watch your dash gauges. It doesn't hurt to stop for a cuppa anyway.

But if going offroad the your best bet is to join a 4WD club and do a 4wd course. I have a feeling that you may not have the knowledge nor experience to do anything other than change a tyre let alone repair a puncture.

People die "out there" in the red center who are ill prepared. I hope I am wrong but I feel from your initial post that I have to say these things. And a good club with experienced and helpful members and well designed courses will eventually give you the necessary knowledge and skills to even drive the full Canning Stock Route one day and on your own. Of course a good car is necessary as well.
AnswerID: 489439

Follow Up By: Penchy - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:57

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:57
I thought the question was about what tools are required?
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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 13:27

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 13:27
The reason that I did not mention any tools as such is that I thought Dermot would do a lot better by doing a good 4WD course.

When we first joined our club we did the course. It was, of course, obligatory if we wanted to join them in any of their treks or 4WD functions. On that course there was time set aside for tools and what you need in your car for the type of touring/4WDing that you would like to do. And there was also some hints on the use and function of both basic and advanced tools. Both in the classroom and personally out in the field.

This is the type if course that I was encouraging Dermot into attending. A bonus would be to learn more about his car and how to use it. Something that is forgotten and even ashunned by some who say the courses are a waste of time. There his questions would be answered tenfold. And at his skill level. Something that we cannot do in a simple blind simplex forum such as the internet.

That's why I did not answer his question directly. As others below noted.
FollowupID: 764629

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:55

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 10:55
Hi Derm,

If you're towing a van I assume you won't be going too remote, so a tyre repair kit wouldn't be essential. Two spares can be a good idea.

If you have a van you could put a basic toolbox in the van, if you don't have much room in the Landcruiser.
In my toolbox I have a couple of screwdrivers, spanners, sockets, a couple of different pliers and cutters, test lamp, tape,emergency tape, wire and a pop rivet set in the bottom. I put in the basics and then fill it up with bits and pieces.

If you're travelling with others see what they are taking so you don't doulble up with things unnecessarily.

I also carry a milk crate with some spares like belts, oil, coolant, bulbs, bearings and just sort of fill the crate up.

I hope this helps a bit,
AnswerID: 489441

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:39

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:39
I think PJR's comments are good. The answer depends very much on just where you intend travelling. If you will be staying on the bitumen you probably won't need anything more than the ability to change a tyre. First step up from that would be the tools and ability to plug a tyre and reinflate it. If though you are thinking of something more adventurous you will need tools (and ability) to perform at least minor roadside repairs. If you were going remote and need to be self reliant, the list gets much longer - spare belts, hoses, extra tyres/wheels, bearings, etc and all the tools that go with them.

Our minimal toolbox includes various sizes of flat and phillips screwdrivers, a set of spanners up to 19mm, tyre plugs etc, plyers - needle nose, heavy, vycegrip, multigrip, sundry zipties, misc nuts/bolts/screw 'that might be useful', araldite......
We always carry a healthy air compressor and full manufacture's manuals for the vehicle (even if they don't make sense to you, they will be useful to someone who stops to help.) The list gets much much longer for trips well away from home.)

Also worth a thought - a first aid kit (and a knowledge of what to do with it!)


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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Reply By: Fab72 - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 17:02

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 17:02
G'Day Derm,

As a basic kit, I'd look at a decent socket set (I personally prefer 3/8 drive), a couple of phillips head screwdrivers, a long flat blade screw driver that can be used as a lever, a set of offset ring spanners, a set of combination ring/open ended spanners, pointy nose pliers, vice grips, side cutters, multi grips, a test light, a roll of electrical tape, some wire of different gauges, a handful of crimp connections, a butane soldering iron, cable ties, a small roll of fencing wire, a torch, some worm drive hose clamps of various sizes, a stanley knife, fuses and some gasket goo.

I'm a mechanic so I'm more likely to give most things a shot, but even if your're not mechanically minded, at least have the right tools for the next bloke or sheila that comes along who might have the knowledge, just not the tools.

Now if weight/size is your problem, then consider taking out the tools that you won't need. Eg: keep the 8, 10, 12, 14, 17 and 19mm stuff and ditch the other stuff. You'll rarely need it on a Cruiser.

A good rule of thumb for anyone, is firstly, in the comfort of your garage, replace your drive belts, nip up all essential nuts and bolts and even replace your radiator hoses. By doing this you will A: Know which tools you need to complete basic tasks, B: know how to do it, C: ensure your spares actually fit (I've been dupped by snotty nosed spare parts kids in the past) and D: reduce the risk of breakdown because you've got new parts on your bus.

Don't get too hung up on spare globes and sundry items...they won't leave you on the side of the road.

Good luck.... Fab.
AnswerID: 489469

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 20:22

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 20:22

In addition to Fab's suggestions, get all the wheel bearings repacked, on both 'van & 'Cruiser, as well as new brake pads, before you depart. They can really be a "stopper" if they aren't in good order. Carry a spare fuel filter too.

Also make sure the front of radiator, and aircon condenser(???) aren't packed with insects. In September, you may strike the odd hot day, and with aircon going, it puts some load on cooling system, especially towing the 'van.

Has anybody suggested "mechanic-in-a-can" yet? You're sure to need some CRC 2-26, or WD-40. And the other must have is Duct Tape!!!!!!!!!! Use it to hold anything to everything, like driving lamps falling to bits, trailer plugs coming apart, leaking hoses ad infinitum. Also good too, if Mum or the Kids are giving you grief, a piece 100mm long will restore peace and quiet in the wagon for a while. Of course you might be cooking your own tea that night,,,,,,,,,,if you're allowed in the 'van.

A tube of silastic is very handy too, for gluing/sealing parts, as long as they're not petroleum based. Get a stick of "Minute-Mend" or similar, for patching leaks in fuel or water tanks.

Take your time, smell the "roses", and most of all, just enjoy yourselves,


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Follow Up By: Fab72 - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 04:32

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 04:32
Agree with you Bob. I forgot to add the "Start ya Bastard", CRC/WD-40, duct tape and silastic multi purpose sealer.

I love your duct tape suggestion ...... would prevent many a (marital) breakdown.....or cause one!

I tried to focus on tools rather than spare parts... spares required is a whole new list altogether.

FollowupID: 764679

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 08:17

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 08:17
Too true, Fab. Spares would probably be the ones you can afford, the ones you'll need and the ones you can fit in, for the trip.

As Rock Ape says below, "And the one you'll need is the one you don't take!"


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Reply By: GT Campers - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 17:14

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 17:14
make sure you have wheel braces and jack (and its handle!) that fit BOTH your tow car AND caravan. Test before you go - don't assume.
AnswerID: 489470

Reply By: Rockape - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 19:53

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 19:53
the tool you need to take will be the one you don't. Trust me

AnswerID: 489483

Reply By: Jeffrey B2 - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 14:33

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 14:33
All of the above.

Plus in my case I always carry two jacks, one that came with the cruiser and a ten tonne very low profile hydraulic jack that has been used to get the clearance to remove a spare tyre from under the car.

We all carry pieces of timber or blocks of wood to put under jockey wheels or as levelling pieces but are also invaluable under jacks.

In most cases changing a tyre will be in a most difficult spot.

As for tools where do you stop, wheel bearings and the means to remove an inner cone, substantial wheel brace, even an axe or shovel could be considered as "tools"

My suggestion would be to assemble all that you think you will need for the trip you plan and then carefully discard any surplus.

I have found that a generator has proved to be invaluable for drills, angle grinders, soldering irons and the like.

Some one mentioned fencing wire, right on, pop riveter, drill bits.

It often occurs that you may be called upon to help someone else and if you have the right tools all the better.

Try not to double up.

Have fun Haji-Baba

AnswerID: 489527

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 04:52

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 04:52
I love my fencing wire Jeff...hehe

Got stuck near Beltana once with a broken engine mount. I raised the engine up and supported it using nothing more than fencing wire tied to a star dropper that sat from strut tower to strut tower. Then used a bit more wire to hold the bonnet shut because it would only close on the first latch.

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