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Jeep Wrangler JK JKU Rubicon 2007-2018 JL 2018-2020

Basic Spare Parts Kit for an Expedition


Basic spare parts list for the soon-to-be lone Jeeper who doesn’t know from where to start.


What spare parts and fluids to carry for a Wrangler? Long-distance expeditions are expensive adventures. Feel like saving some money now? My minimalist spare parts kit is lightweight, compact, relevant, and cheap. How much? $270

Jeep Solo Off-Roading


Prepare your first expedition with your Jeep in the extreme remote wilderness. Indispensable OEM replacement parts (or equivalent) to carry at all time if you are travelling long distances.


Emergency Spare Parts on a Budget


Spare Parts and Spare Fluids Bags


3 Realistic Goals for a $270 Budget

1. Feel safer in the remote wilderness.

2. Parts that require no advanced mechanical skills.

3. Get out of trouble at least 60% of the time.


Spare Parts (8) Spare Fluids (6)

Fuses + 12G Wire 25$

Transfer Case Fluid 10$

Axle U-Joint 20$

ATP Re-Seal Leaks 15$
Tie Rod Ends 70$ Engine Oil 5W20 9$

Serpentine Belt 30$

Brake Fluid Dot3 9$
Crankshaft Sensor 25$ Gunk Brake Cleaner 10$
Front Brake Line 30$ Fuel Water Remover 4$
Tire Valve Stem 3$ ***
TC Bushing 10$
Total: 270$


Yukon Off-Road Expedition Jeep

If you don’t drive recklessly in the bush and if you get into the habit of performing a daily 5-minute check of your Jeep (a pre-departure checklist that includes checking fluids, belts, hoses, drivetrain wear or damage, bushings, etc.), the odds are on your side. You probably won’t face any failure for weeks (and even months). Although this spare parts kit is truly a superb extra layer of safety, it’s not a panacea that will solve all your mechanical or electrical problems. But I’m 100% sure that you will need some of these parts eventually, whether it’s in your garage or on the trail. It’s a great investment. Personally, I make a living driving a Jeep in the wilderness, and I don’t carry much more than these spare parts.

The list

14 Affordable Items to Buy Before Off-Roading
on Remote Trails and Isolated Terrain



Fuses Assortment Wrangler JK

(United Kingdom)

12-Gauge Stranded Wire

Stranded Wire 12g
(United Kingdom)



1. Fuses & Wire $25

I don’t carry a full assortment. Most important fuses are :

- 2x 10Amp ( Ignition Switch, Horn, Headlamp, Compass)

- 2x 20Amp (12V Power Outlets, Heater, AC, Fuel Pump)

- 2x 30Amp (ABS Brakes)

- 2x 40Amp (Starter)

- 2x 60Amp (Ignition Draw, Radiator)


Wrangler JK Fuse Box Open

Stranded Wire (10ft 12-Gauge)

- A spool of wire is too heavy (100ft x 12-Gauge = 6 to 8 lbs.) I only carry the minimum.

- 12-gauge wire works for any purpose (lights, radiator, starter, etc.) because you can use larger wire than what you need, never the opposite.

- You can even use 12-gauge wire for the starter (40amp) under the condition that the wire is not longer than 7feet.

- If I need more wire, I can make the decision to disconnect other things (the LED light bar, for instance) and use the wire somewhere else

- Only use stranded wire or marine-grade wire because other types won’t handle the severe vibrations that come with driving off-road, and they will fail faster than you imagine.



Universal Front Axle U-Joint JK

Wrangler JK 2007-2018
(United Kingdom)


2. Universal U-Joint $20

- Spicer 5-1350X or 5-1310X U-Joint

- A U-joint is a weak point in order to protect other expensive drivetrain components if your Jeep is put under extreme off-road stress (like being stuck in deep mud). In the bush, you really prefer the inexpensive and easy-to-replace U-joint to take the hit and break.

- Is your front axle a factory Dana 30 or a Dana 44? Buy a compatible axle U-joint before you hit the trail.

- Once you receive your U-joint, watch a YouTube tutorial video about “How to replace an axle U-joint Wrangler JK.”There are hundreds of videos. Anybody with two hands, a brain, and the right trail tool kit can perform a U-joint repair.



Tie Rod Ends JK

Wrangler JK 2007-2018

Inner End (Passenger's Side) ACDelco



Wrangler JK 2007-2018

Outer End (Driver's Side) ACDelco



3. Tie Rod Ends $70 (Pair)

- A tie rod (or steering rod) has a low profile. In remote areas, the tie rod is vulnerable to severe hits (half-buried boulders, tree stumps, heavy equipment parts, etc.). Seasoned off-roaders are used to carrying, repairing,and replacing a tie rod or its components. If you ever bend your steel tie rod, you can still use a hammer and try to straighten it. But breaking a tie rod end means that you are now stranded for good.

Spare Tie Rod Ends

- Carrying a complete tie rod kit (instead of only the ends) would be nice, but 1) it’s too heavy (30 lbsto 40 lbs) 2) it’s too expensive ($200$ to $300 for a kit), and 3) you probably have no safe storage container for such an item anyway. For those reasons, you should consider carrying at least the tie rod ends.



Replacement Serpentine Belt Wrangler JK

With Air Conditioner




4. Serpentine Belt $30

- Ordinary people keep driving their vehicle for days (or even weeks) before going to an auto repair shop and have their squealing serpentine belt replaced. But driving off-road makes the belt wear out faster. Once you get damaged and uneven ribs, the belt starts to slip and squeal.

- No serpentine belt = no alternator, no power steering, and no engine cooling fan. You can still drive 100 or 200 meters at a time, turn the engine off, and wait for it to cool down. And repeat the maneuver as long as your battery delivers enough cranking amps to start the engine. You can expect to drive several miles before getting stranded for good (and now you have a drained battery too).

- It might be difficult to find a serpentine belt for a Jeep in remote communities, and the shipping cost may be prohibitive, especially if you have to rely on some bush pilot to bring the replacement belt to you.

- If you want to learn more about my favorite serpentine belt : Replacement Serpentine Belt Wrangler JK 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Bando Serpentine Belt Wrangler JK


Crankshaft Position Sensor Wrangler JK
(United Kingdom)



5. Crankshaft Position Sensor $25

- Another nightmare on the trail. This sensor tells the computer what position the engine is in. It can take a lot of abuse, but hardcore off-road wheelers know this sensor never lasts forever. What if this sensor begins to malfunction? To make a long story short: you will destroy vital parts of your engine in hours (or maybe less).

- Warning signs: 1) The check-engine light is on; 2) It feels hard to start the engine; 3) Backfires and engine is stalling frequently; 4) A lot of engine vibrations; 5) Abnormal speed fluctuations.

- What to do: pull over and turn off the engine as soon as you can.

- Installation: Replacing that little thing is probably the easiest repair you can perform in the wilderness. You only have to remove the bolt and plug in the new crankshaft position sensor beside the engine.

- I strongly believe that no lone Jeeper should start a journey without carrying a brand-new CPS.

Crankshaft Position Sensor Wrangler JK



Front Brake Lines Wrangler JK
(United Kingdom)


6. Front Brake Line $30 (Pair $60)

- Driving through stray branches, fording a river, or crawling in deep mud exposes your brake lines. It’s common for weekend wheelers to snap a line. In any 4x4 Club, at least one guy is always carrying spare brake lines.

- Going down a steep trail with only three brakes is a roll-over hazard (or worse).

- A long-distance off-roader should carry a cheap pair of brake lines at all times.

- Front brake lines are more exposed than rear brake lines, but if you can afford it, you should carry rear lines as well.

- Weight: each pair weighs about 10 to 12 ounces, and they are easy to store.



Tire Spare Valve Stem
(United Kingdom)


7. Tire Valve Stem $3

- A tire repair kit or a spare tire is useless if your valve stem is leaking air, damaged or missing. A valve stem is the weakest part of any tire.

- It’s not easy to replace a broken valve stem on the trail without special tools, but you can still do it with patience and effort.

- Only $3 for a Crown Automotive spare wheel valve stem (or 10$ for a top-of-the-line Crown Automotive TPMS Valve Stem).




Transfer Case Bushing
(United Kingdom)


8. Transfer Case Bushing $8

- Your Wrangler doesn’t shift 2WD–4H–4Low anymore if you break this little plastic bushing.

- This bushing acts as a buffer between the transfer case lever and the end of the shift cable. If you don’t have it in place, you can easily damage the transfer case beyond repair.

- Direct factory replacement.

- Easy fix.

- Now, let's get back to your off-road adventure.



Transfer Case Fluid ATF4


Wrangler JK - JL

(United Kingdom)



Wrangler JK - JL

(United Kingdom)


9. Transfer Case Fluid ATF4 10$

- The transfer case is constantly rotating and allows you to switch from 2WD to 4WD. The gears and bearings are put under high stress and suffer a lot of vibrations while driving off-road. Hardcore 4x4 wheelers know that a sweating transfer case is “almost” normal.

- Remove the fill plug (you need a 10mm hex bit, price:$3) and refill the transfer case if it has been leaking or sweating.

10mm Hex Bit Socket

Buy a 10 mm bit : (USA) (Canada) (UK)

- TC failure = Jeep won’t run (and expect expensive repairs).

- To the best of my knowledge (I'm not a pro mechanic), it can also be used as a MANUAL transmission fluid but only for a short period (in case of an emergency).

*I'm driving a manual transmission JK 2D but I know that 75% of my readers have an automatic transmission.

Solo Off-Road Wheeling Jeep Wrangler


ATP Re-Seal Leak
(United Kingdom)


10. ATP Re-Seal Stops Leak $15

- Stops leaks fast in transmission, power steering and differential.

- If the leak comes from rubber seals or gaskets, you can mostly or totally stop it by adding this miracle fluid.

- Many leak problems are no easy fixes on the trail and require professional attention at an auto repair shop. Instead of carrying gallons of tranny, power steering, and differential fluids, I rely on this little 8oz bottle.

- The online reviews are amazing.



5W-20 Engine Oil Motocraft
(United Kingdom)


11. Engine Oil 5W20 $9

- Nobody would stop and perform an inspection to make sure that there’s no oil leaking. But once you notice a few drops of engine oil on the ground, it’s probably already too late. The volume of a drop of oil is about 0.5ml. Bleeding one drop every minute equals 300ml after 10 hours and 720ml after 24 hours. Have you been losing oil for more than 24 hours? Gosh. A minor leak can become a disaster for the engine.

- A Wrangler JK/JKU/JL contains about 5.7 liters of engine oil. But if the volume drops below 40%, the engine becomes hotter (engine oil is also a coolant), and several vital components are susceptible to increased wear (lack of lubricant).

- Personally, I would try to find and stop the leak BEFORE I add engine oil. Especially, if I can find the leak without having the engine running.

- Ask for an extra quart (946ml) of the same engine oil you are using the next time you get oil change service.




Dot3 Brake Fluid JK
(United Kingdom)


12. Brake Fluid Dot3 or Dot4 $9

- Puncturing or breaking a brake line or damaging the seal of a caliper on the trail means losing brake fluid. And it may takes some time before the brake pedal becomes spongy (or even goes all the way to the floor when you press it).

- Less brake oil means less pressure for the pistons. So, even if you stop the leak quickly, you are losing braking power. You need to add brake fluid in the master cylinder.

- Driving with weak braking power in the remote wilderness is a very dangerous gamble.

- Brake fluid is really affordable ($8 to $12).



Gunk Brake Cleaner
(United Kingdom)


13. Gunk Brake Cleaner $10

- Crossing flood waters, rivers, and muddy creeks repeatedly is the worst treatment for your brakes. It won’t necessarily be visible, but there will be some debris and foreign objects stuck between the calipers, pads, and rotors.

- Brake squealing noise is common on the trail. You need to clean your brake parts to prevent premature wear or abrupt reduction of performance.

- For only $9 you can clean your brakes about 10 times.

- I clean my brakes after every 10 water crossings.

- No brake unit disassembling required.

- Cleans, dries up moisture, and lubricates vital brake parts.



Iso Heet Fuel Water Remover
(United Kingdom)

14. Fuel Water Remover $6

Fuel-Line and Fuel Tank Water Remover

- Most off-grid and remote communities have a gas station, but the fuel quality is often suspicious. Rain water–contaminated fuel is not a possibility but a guarantee.

- If your Jeep doesn’t start properly or hesitates when you want to accelerate, it’s probably because of water mixed with the fuel.

- Waiting for too long will force you to pay a mechanic to completely drain the tank.

- Iso-HEET or STP Water Remover get the water out of the tank and fuel line, and it removes impurities

- Yes, it’s only $6 (some gas stations sell it for $3.99).

Getting spare parts is a never ending struggle in the remote wilderness. Here is an abandoned excavator in the Klondike (Yukon, Canada).


Want to spend more than $270?

4 Additional Items


GB70 Spare Battery $250

Drag Link End $30

Radiator Hoses $30

Spark Plugs $15

Extra: $325



Spare Battery GB70
(United Kingdom)


1. NOCO GB70 Spare Battery $250

GB70 Genius 5.5lbs.

- A jump starter that works even if your Jeep battery is completely dead. Most cheap jump starters only “boost” the cranking amps of a drained battery but can’t start the engine all by themselves. This unit will start your Wrangler even if there’s no battery connected.

- NOCO Genius GB70 can be considered a spare battery.

- Lightweight and easy to store.

- Less expensive than a second battery plus dual battery tray.



Radiator Hoses JK

Upper Hose JK/JL
(United Kingdom)


Lower Hose JK/JL
(United Kingdom)

Wrangler JK Radiator



2. Radiator Hoses $30

Upper & Lower Coolant Hoses

- Blowing off a radiator hose is pretty common during long-distance off-roading. You may think that Gorilla tape and some hose clamps will be enough to get your Jeep back to some auto parts store, but to get there, you will have to drive through a web of rugged backcountry roads and potholed trails. That rodeo is a recipe for disaster if you can’t stop the coolant from leaking/squirting. As far as I know, the most effective repair method is to replace the hose.

- The stop-and-go strategy puts the engine in danger because you can’t rely on the temperature gauge to know precisely when is the right moment to turn the engine off (and wait for everything to cool down). The needle indication is not analog. So, if the needle goes 3/4, it doesn’t mean it’s 75% hot. With a leaking radiator, 3/4 could actually mean 110% hot, and 4/4 could indicate it’s 250% hot! If you rely on that gauge, you can damage vital engine components in less than 60 seconds. It’s not a chance you want to take in the bush where tow truck service is nonexistent.

-Water? Add water to refill the coolant reservoir Overflow is OK if you follow these directions: 1) Use filtered water or spring water bottles; 2) Don’t try to start the engine if the outside temperature drops below 0 Celsius; 3) Make sure the hoses are not leaking water/remaining coolant anymore—the coolant pressure needs to be constant while you drive; 4) Drain the radiator and replace the anti-freeze as soon as you can because water has no corrosion-inhibiting properties. You shouldn’t drive more than 50km/35miles or two days with water


Spare Radiator Hose Wrangler JK


Drag Link End


3. Steering Drag Link End $30

- Connects the steering rod to the drag link (at the pitman arm).

- Breaking the drag link happens occasionally on the trail, either because of wear or a collision with a heavy object, like a boulder or a tree trunk.

- Your Jeep is undriveable without a drag link end.

- Very easy to install on the trail.

- ACDelco 45A0920 fits factory steering rod.



Spark Plug Denso 5356 Wrangler JK

Performance Iridium Spark Plugs

(I'm using them)
(United Kingdom)


4. Spark Plugs $6

- Quality spark plugs last for about 80,000km (50,000mi), but they wear faster during intense off-road driving.

- Spark plug failure equals higher fuel consumption, engine misfiring, and longer time to start the Jeep. Fuel in the non-firing cylinder will damage the catalytic converter if you keep driving for a long period.

- I like Denso (5356) IXUH22I Iridium Power Spark Plug, but it's more expensive than $6.

- 5/8 socket needed; otherwise, it’s practically impossible to remove a dead spark plug.


Spark Plug Socket


Performance Tool W38160 Socket Tool : (USA) (Canada) (UK)

What About Spare Axle Shafts?

A lot of weekend wheelers carry spare shafts. It’s great. But I don’t. Here are my reasons:

1. Too heavy (25 lbs for a pair).

2. Too expensive ($100 to $200).

3. No room in my 2-door JK to store them safely.

So, I decided to upgrade my front axle instead: Yukon Chrome-Moly Axle Kit with Super Joint (Dana 30 #4340). I also carry a spare U-joint at all times (just in case).



Yukon Front Axle W24166

Where to buy : (Canada) (USA)



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