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  • What is Mudding? (Getting Dirty With Friends!)

    So, what is mudding you ask … Great question. Urban Dictionary defines mudding: to go out in the mud in the back of a truck or jeep or other 4x4 vehicle and spin in the mud until all the occupants are covered in mud.

    Muddy tire tracks

    Not bad, but mudding is so much more than that. It’s the camaraderie of friendly competition. It’s the satisfaction of helping a friend and then beating him into the dirt. It’s taking a weekend with friends and family and just playing. Playing like you did when you were a kid, but now you have bigger and louder toys.

    There are different kinds of mudding, but lets get rid of the thought that mudding is the same as off-roading. It is not rock crawling, it is not winding through the back country on a trail in your closest national forest with your friends, it is simply family and friends getting together to play in the mud.

    Let’s forget about the snow and ice for a few minutes and put ourselves back in our shorts and tee shirts, tipping back our favorite adult beverage (soda, lemonade, high quality H2O…).

    What does it mean to go mudding?

    Have you ever seen a big muddy pit and wanted to drive through it, spinning your tires and making the mud sling everywhere? Do you embrace your truck being caked in layer upon layer of dirt? Do you cry a little when you have to wash it? Then you might be into mudding.

    Mud bogging (also known as mud racing, mud running, mud drags, or MUDDING) is a form of off-road motorsport popular in Canada and the United States in which the goal is to drive a vehicle through a pit of mud of a set length. I, however think it has more to do with its simplest form, mudding just means driving through its slimy, grimy namesake, MUD.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not all fun and games. There is a great deal of skill that goes into this sport. From the building to the driving to the repairs (ok, it is all fun and games). You have to have the right equipment, understand the nuances of the track, the mud and your truck. You have to be able to give it your all, and still remember that we are all here for fun.

    Mudding can be tricky for the simple fact that you don't always know what's hidden under the mud, rocks, tree trunks, anything you can imagine. There are also many types of mud, from thin and soupy to thick and slimy. In fact, driving in two different kinds of mud can be as different as driving on sand and ice. Each type of gunk presents its own challenges and requires variations in your driving technique.

    One of the keys to mudding is maintaining a steady speed the whole way through. How fast you drive when mudding really depends upon the type of mud you're in and your vehicle. The important thing is to assess the terrain and make a safe judgment about your speed. While you can go mudding with just about any tire, specially designed mud terrain tires are the best (and look the coolest). Mud terrain tires have extra-large lugs, with wider and deeper spaces in between them. This arrangement keeps mud from getting stuck in between the lugs, allowing you to maintain your traction, and speed.

    Some things to keep in mind when you are headed out to play in the mud:

    • Don't 4-wheel by yourself.
    • Only use your tow hooks and your hitch for recovery points.
    • Don't get water in the air intake, you can hydro lock your engine.
    • Test some spots to make sure the mud isn't too deep.
    • Don't use chain as a recovery strap.
    • Tell someone where you are going and have a way to communicate with the outside world if everyone gets stuck.
    • Have a good jack.

    If you have ever been to a mudding event, you know it is as fun to watch as it is to drive. Having learned to drive in an old Jeep, and having owned more Jeeps and trucks then I care to think about, I can tell you how wrong that thinking is. Go play in the mud, and if you or your loved ones come home clean, go out again and do it right this time.

  • The Wheels & Tires of Your Dreams

    So you are ready to pay some attention to the corners of your truck. There is no bigger style impact for your truck then tires and wheels.

    Showroom tires

    From mild to wild, we have your tire dreams in stock at BuyAutoTruck Accessories. From racing slicks to stylish street tires to aggressive 4x4 off road tires made by the likes of Dick Cepek and Toyo will keep you rolling safely through your next adventure. Match them up with your favorite wheels from Raptor, Sota, BMF, Dick Cepek, Mickey Thompson, Moto, Method Race Wheels and KMC for that perfect look.Sota Lug Nuts Finish them off with lug nuts and locks by McGard, Gorilla and Sota to keep them safe and sound.

    As long as we are in the area, hubs by Warn, Rugged Ridge and MileMarker, tire chains from Pewag Glacier and a flat repair kit by ARB USA will make sure you get back safely from your off road experience.

    And, if you need them, we have wheel covers by ProMaxx, wheel spacers from Rugged Ridge and wheel chocks by Camco.  What ever your needs are, we have the products you are looking for at the prices you want.

  • What Women Really Want

    Ok, this one took some research …  I spoke with some of my friends who drive, and love their trucks and asked them why. Funny, a few could not give a better answer then “I just do.”

    Woman in old truck

    What’s funnier is that I completely understand that reasoning. I did get lots of good reasons as well, and most of those came down to safety. The higher stance of a truck makes it easier to see over the traffic. This is still the case even though the newer F-150s have a lower overall stance than their predecessors.

    Some said that they love the feeling of invincibility. Lots of metal, big and strong and never going to get stuck. We all know that any truck can get stuck if you try hard enough, but I learned a long time ago that you cannot argue feelings. Putting your truck into four wheel drive is a lot easier than it was 20 years ago, no hubs to lock, just push a button and go.

    Trucks are a lot tougher then a BMW Z4 and are much more suited for hauling around kids and equipment. 3 kids in the back seat, throw their gear in the back and you are off to the next stop. Newer trucks have come a long way in the comfort department as well. Many have vanity mirrors, standard running boards, softer seats and even DVD players to occupy the passengers in the back seat. They also have pedals that adjust for smaller drivers. Sure a minivan would work, but who wants to be seen in a minivan? Most truck interiors are nice as or nicer than a lot of the new cars on the market today, so you do not have to give up any of the comfort you are accustomed to.

    I was told that “I need one.” This I had to check on. I went to the obvious place for research: the Internet. It seems that in the USA, female equestrians represent over 80 percent of all those who are devoted to the field, a shift from a previously male-dominated sport that has taken place over the last 30 years or so. So, this also makes sense. The presence of women is continually growing in traditionally male dominated work areas, so again, I would have to agree.

    Lastly, I heard things like “I like the ride,” “I’m an outdoorsy kind of woman” and my personal favorite, “I like surprising men that I’m a truck girl.” Trucks have a place in our past, our present and the future. Most truck manufacturers see this, and are really starting to build and market their trucks for this growing audience of truck buyer.

  • Types of Tonneau Covers

    Tonneau covers. There are many covers out there, but which one is right for you? It’s not always about price, but more about functionality. These break down into 2 different categories.

    Soft Covers: Vinyl

    Snap and snap-less covers are by far the least expensive way to go, and they let you use all of your truck bed when needed. If you are living in an area with great weather most of the time, and you don’t want to spend a lot, these are a great way to go. Just remember, they are difficult (at best) when it is cold or snowy out.

    Roll-up covers offer a tighter fit, are easier to use and install. Again, the cover rolls out of the way when you need to use your truck as a truck. They do tend to cost more, but with the stronger materials being used, they will last and look better, longer.

    Hard Covers:  Fiberglass, Abs Plastic or Aluminum

    Hinged covers tend to be the strongest and the most secured covers you can get. Weather is no longer an issue, but you can lose some of the use of the bed (they can be removed, when needed). They also give your truck a smooth classy look. Just think of it as turning your bed into a big lockable trunk.

    Folding hard covers give you a little bit of both tonneau worlds. These covers use panels made of ABS plastic that give all of the benefits and security of a hard cover, but then fold out of the way to let you have access to the bed.

    Retracting hard covers are the cover of covers. They have it all. Style, strength and security. All of the benefits of the hinged cover. Weather stays out, and cargo stays in. All of the benefits of a soft cover, it rolls up and out of the way when you need your truck to be a truck. The only thing to keep in mind is that sometimes they can freeze up if you live in a cold weather climate.

    Budget, function and looks all need to be looked at before you make your decision.

  • Everything You Need to Know About Off Road Lights

    Off road lightingSo you have decided to add some auxiliary lighting to that new truck, but you’re not sure what to get. There are 4 basic types of aftermarket lights, and they all have their place. We will cover all 4 here, and then it is up to you to figure out what your needs are.

    Long range lights

    These are what most people think of when they say off road lights. Rather than the wide beam of your headlights, these have a long, narrow beam that lights up the horizon, even at higher speeds. These lights are perfect for true off-roaders such as hunters and off-road aficionados. They are also great for driving in rural areas with limited street lights or where lighting is generally poor. Long range lights can be blinding though, and are generally not legal for the street, so use common sense when using them.

    Driving lights

    Just as the name implies, these are everyday driving lights. They shine farther and wider than the headlights, and compliment the stock lighting on your truck. Driving lights are very useful to create visibility near the sides of roadways and out in front of the vehicle. They are great for all around trail riding as well.

    Fog lights

    Fog lights are intended to be mounted below the headlights and project a beam pattern which is very wide horizontally and narrow vertically usually called a cut-off. This pattern lights up a pathway close to the ground but does not light the airborne particles in the line of sight while driving - this increases the visibility in harder to see conditions. Fog lights are intended to be used when visibility is poor and obstructed by fog, rain, or snow. They are intended to light the road surface and the curb, shoulder, and edges of the road. Fog lights have a limited range and are most effective at low speeds. Because of their design, fog lights reduce the glare back from fog or falling snow which makes them a better choice in such conditions.  But only if mounted properly 18-20” off the road as discussed above.

    Flood Beam

    Flood beams create a large wide pattern of light that floods an area with an extremely tall vertical and wide horizontal light pattern. These lights are typically used as work lights and back-up lights to see a broader area at shorter distances, again, perfect for serious off-roading.

    Now, you have the basics, and you have to choose. Long range, driving, fog or flood lights. It can be a tricky decision to make. To make the right decision you really must have a clear understanding of what kind of driving you do most. The sensible way of going about it is to buy what suits your driving pattern. If you do mostly highway driving, for example, your requirements will be different than someone who drives mostly on rural roads. A long distance highway driver might require and use all 4 kinds of lights.

  • Do Bug Shields Really Help?

    Sure, sounds like a pretty dumb question. I mean, it’s in the name, right? So let’s take a look at the first generation bug shields compared to the newer shields that are on the market today.

    Truck with bug shield

    When bug shields first came out, they were pretty simple. A long flat piece of Plexiglas attached to the front of your truck to redirect those little kamikazes up and over your windshield. They didn’t look very nice, but hey you could get them in clear, smoke or even red! Sorry, sometimes the sarcasm comes through.

    The mounting was universal, as was the deflector itself. As manufactures started seeing the real benefit of these, and as the auto makers started making their cars and trucks sleeker, real testing started on the deflectors. They found that you could create the upstream of air with a wind deflector that was smaller, fit the couture of the vehicle and that worked better than the old flat ones.

    So, with this upstream of air pushing at 55 plus miles an hour, the bugs are theoretically swept up and over your vehicle. The bug shield will catch its fair share of bug guts, but that’s unavoidable. But, since most of the bugs will never even touch your vehicle, they are very effective, and that is exactly how bug deflectors work.

    In addition to protecting your visibility and your windshield, bug deflectors also protect the finish of your hood. Not only will your hood deflector keep rocks, stones, road gravel and other road debris from pitting, denting or scratching your hood, but by deflecting bugs, your bug shield is also protecting your vehicle's finish because dead bugs fuse to the paint and etch and pit your vehicle’s finish in a way that can be as damaging as rocks.

    Bug deflectors are now "vehicle-specific", which means they are custom designed to fit individual makes and models. Because deflector angle and curvature is customized to the natural airflow of each specific vehicle, they can be extremely effective while complementing that vehicle's own lines and keeping its attractive appearance.

    So, do they really work? I guarantee you that they definitely do, but the degree of success greatly depends on the vehicle. Do the research, get a quality deflector, follow the installation instructions and you will find that it is a great addition to your new ride.

  • Fill Your Suspension Needs!

    It’s time to get your truck sitting the way you want it to. Whether you are looking for a full-on lift kit like the ones from Fabtech and Daystar, or just wanting to level it out with an air spring kit from Air Lift or Firestone, we at BuyAutoTruckAccessories.com have the kits you are looking for.

    Lifted Jeep with suspension

    If you are looking to simply upgrade or repair the lift that is already on your truck, we also carry single components to help you build it the way you want. Shackle kits from Belltech, brake light kits from CTS Performance, JKS adjustable track bars and even stabilizer kits from Icon Vehicle Dynamics will get your ride back into the shape that you want.

    We carry some of the best shocks known to mankind! Lifted, lowered or stock, we have got your shocks. With brands like Daystar and Rancho, you can get yourself into a great set of off road shocks without breaking the bank, and the Fabtech and Bilstein shocks are always an improvement over the stock ride.

    With the kits and components we carry at BuyAutoTruckAccessories.com, your truck will have the stance, clearance and ride at a price that you have always dreamed about.

  • Prepping Your Truck for Winter in Florida

    So, we have talked a lot about getting your truck ready for winter in various parts of the country. Today let’s talk about prepping your truck for the cruel, harsh winters in Florida. First, are your window regulators in good working condition? There may come a time this winter when you will want to roll your windows up, if for no other reason but to run your air conditioning.

    Get the Right Accessories

    Truck in sunsetOpen up the tool box, and make sure you have the essentials. Tow rope (in case a tug-o-war breaks out), lawn chairs, horse shoes, badminton set, life jackets and flip flops. You never know what kind of emergency will come up.

    Make sure you check the lock on your tool box; Disney world averages 75,000 visitors every day, during Christmas and New Year’s Weeks. That is a lot of strangers, and you may want to lock your truck for safety reasons. Tool box is set, so now you need to turn your attention to the cooler. Is it large enough for all that needs to go in (beer, soda, juice boxes, ice… It is important to stay well hydrated during the rough times of the year.) Check it for leaks. Small leaks can be fixed with a simple application of silicone, or duct tape. Larger leaks will require you to replace it - sorry.

    Prepare Your Truck

    Now, let’s talk about the truck itself. This part is real, so pay attention.

    Oil. CHANGE IT! Use the recommended weight. I know we cover this a lot, but it really is the best thing you can do for your vehicle. Don’t skimp on it, good oil and good filters are always worth the cost.

    Transmission fluid should be checked at this point. Check the color, is it brownish? It might be time for a change. While you are under the truck, check for alligators, snakes and turtles. Also check all of your u-joints, they tend to snap (just like turtles) at the worst possible times. Check your differentials for play (excessive wobble), and top off the fluid if needed.

    Check the antifreeze. In Florida we call it coolant, and it needs the same attention as all of the other fluids in your truck. Check the mileage, it may be due for a flush and fill. Just remember, your truck needs to stay hydrated as well.

    This is a good time to rotate the tires. Also check out your brakes at this time, you should check them every time you have a wheel off.  Brake maintenance is cheap, brake repair is not.

    Check your windshield for cracks and chips, swap out those old wipers and top off the washer fluid, and you should be ready to roll.

    Have fun, be safe, and enjoy your truck this winter!

  • Preparing Your Truck for Winter in the Great Lake States

    It is cold … really, really cold. It’s so cold, the best thing I can suggest for your truck is to attach a U-Haul and head south. You could go to Disney World and be one of the 75,000 people that visit daily. Florida is nice this time of year, and the trucks there are always ready for the harsh Florida winters (check their coolers when you get there).

    Tire tracks in snow

    So, if you’re still reading this, I will assume that you have decided to stay and rough it out this winter. I will try and help, as your truck should not suffer due to your poor decision making skills. Block heaters. Block heaters. Block heaters…. Guess where this is going. Got one? Check it. Make sure it is in good working condition. Make sure there are no leaks around the freeze plug hole where it is installed. Make sure the cord is in good shape, and routed away from anything that could hurt it. MAKE SURE IT WORKS!

    If you don’t have one, it may already be too late. She was a good truck, and she will be missed. There are many kinds of engine heaters, and you should get a good one. Get one that is rated for your truck, and if you are not sure how to install it properly, have it done by a professional. They deserve the money they get paid.

    Now, let’s get going with the real information. We have covered so much in the last few articles that you should know the basics about getting your truck ready for winter. Fluids, check, change or fill. CHANGE YOUR OIL! Check and rotate your tires. Check your brakes (really, please check your brakes, trucks that don’t stop are weapons of mass destruction). Tools: have some. Jacks, tow ropes, kitty litter, blankets, food and water, phone numbers of friends that can come and save your stuck butt, you know, the basics.

    What I would like to cover now is really for the new people in the area. Rust… Ever seen plastic rust? What about rubber? Welcome to the neighborhood where the air can rust around you. The best thing you can do for your truck was last winter. Wash it. Wash it all the time. If you see the sun, wash your truck, and don’t forget about behind the ears. Get it clean, and keep it clean. The winter can literally eat your truck alive. You need to keep it clean, and not just the places you can see, but the real trouble comes from the places you can’t see. Take your time and make sure you washed it thoroughly.

    As stated in the last blogs, don’t forget to fill the washer fluid, and change the wiper blades.

    Next year, think about Disney World, if you get there early, you can get a great parking spot (75,000 people per day). Your wife, your kids and your truck will love you forever.

  • Are You Ready For Winter? (Pacific Northwest)

    Ok, I know we have covered some of this already, but it really is that important! Getting your truck ready for winter means taking some very specific steps if you live in the Pacific Northwest. Failure to plan ahead for the cold months can cause failure to systems in your vehicle.

    Truck in the snow

    What sort of steps should you take to get your truck ready for winter?

    Antifreeze

    Your coolant does not need to be changed every year, but it should have the level and the temperature range checked. If the mixture is not right, adjust it accordingly. The old standby of 50/50 water and antifreeze is not always accurate, so check your owner’s manual.  Make sure to not mix types of coolant. An easy way to keep it straight is to not mix colors.

    Other fluids should be check at this time as well. Differentials, transfer case, brake fluid (should be changed every 2 years) and washer fluid … Always washer fluid!

    Change your oil every 3 months or at the recommended mileage. Heat breaks down oil, and it can become gummy or watery. When this happens, it can’t lubricate properly. The longer it's in the engine, the dirtier it gets. Replacing old oil with new fixes all these problems. The fresh oil lubricates and cools the engine better. When you flush the old oil out, you also flush away the dirt and grit. Make sure to replace the filter at the same time. There is no better thing you can do for your engine.

    Tune Up & Filters

    Most newer trucks don’t need a tune up as often as older trucks, but this is the time to check. Check your mileage and compare it to the recommended schedule. While you are under the hood, check all the filters. Air, fuel, breather and your PVC valve (if equipped). Change if needed.

    Electrical System

    Electrical systems can freeze if they are in bad shape once the frost settles in. It is smart to have your battery and electrical systems checked out as winter arrives. Most parts stores will perform tests for free. Take advantage of the service before it gets too cold out.

    Tires

     

    Snow chainsCheck and rotate your tires. The air pressure in your tires will change with the changing temperatures, and to keep your fuel mileage at its best, keep your tires filled to the specification listed on your door tag (not on the tire). Rotating them regularly will help get the most miles out of them. While your tires are off, have your brakes checked. This is also the right time to have your alignment checked and corrected if needed. This will show if you need any front suspension work, and may save your tires as well. Now is also the time to check your snow chains, try them on and don’t forget about the tensioners.

    Don’t let your truck down, and it won’t let you down. Keep in mind, check your owner’s manual for specific times and mileage intervals for any questions you have. There is a maintenance schedule listed, and should be followed to the letter.

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