Tool Kit Thoughts/Ideas


Well-known member
I'm putting together a few tool rolls to keep in the 110 and I am looking for ideas/suggestions.

I'm not trying to replace the motor on the side of the road. I'm looking for recommended wrench sizes, anything must have, or tools that can serve multiple purposes. I don't want a big, heavy kit in the back. I've gone that route and it's just wasted space.

Ideally I can fit these under the 2nd row so they are out of site and easily accessible without emptying out the cargo area. I'm going with soft sided rolls but if there is a box that will fit in that space and is a better fit I'm open to suggestions.



Well-known member
My tool kit:

Leatherman classic
Small hammer
Metric combo wrenches 8-19mm
10in adjustable wrench
Wire cutter
Slip joint plier
Hex key set
Electrical tape
Bundle of rope

All in a $1 soft tool roll from harbor freight, actually everythjng except the Leatherman is hf.

I Have a seperate toolbag with recovery gear


Staff member
Here is an article I wrote a few years ago.

An Amateurs Guide to Off-Road Trail Spares and Self Sufficiency
Dave Smith - Hobby Mechanic and Off-Roading Enthusiast

As a lifelong off-roading enthusiast the subject of trail spares has come up with friends countless times. What should I carry? What do you carry? What have you needed? Have you ever been stranded? There is no short answer to any of the questions. Let me tell you about a friend who does a lot of solo remote treks. This friend never takes the easy road. He always takes the dirt road, forest road, or the rocky trail that somewhat resembles a road. Anyway, on his last trip he hit a rough patch of trail and broke his rear axle tube quite far from civilization. A weld broke and he was “dead in the water”. A $1500 tow bill and 12 hours later he was at a welding shop where they re-welded things up for him and he was back on the road. With perfect 20/20 hindsight he stated “I should have had an onboard welder”.

As a general rule, we as responsible off-roaders don’t carry onboard welders. We also do not travel to such remote places alone, but are we prepared for a trail breakdown? Obviously, the first step of this preparation would be to maintain and inspect our vehicles before any trip. A pilot doesn’t just jump into an airplane, start it up and take off. We, as responsible off-roaders, shouldn’t be doing that either. The first step is to start inside your vehicle and look around. Do you have a set of tools you know how to use? How about a maintenance guide book? Flashlight? Glow sticks? Duct tape? We will come back to all of this in a bit. Now lets pop the hood/bonnet and look around for the following:
  • Is the coolant tank filled to the “Max level” line?
  • Is your oil dipstick showing full?
  • When was your oil last changed?
  • Brake/clutch fluid levels topped off?
  • Power steering reservoir full?
  • Windshield washer fluid full?
  • When was the last time you changed your air filter?
  • How does your battery look? If it is maintenance free what color is the “eye”?
  • If you can remove the caps does it need a top off of DISTILLED WATER?
  • If you live in AZ/NV or somewhere hot your battery probably will last 2 to 4 seasons on average. If you are using a battery on borrowed time consider replacing it before trouble arrives.
  • Lets close the hood/bonnet and make sure it is latched closed.
Now lets do an exterior check:
  • Headlights work?
  • Tail and brake lights?
  • Flashers/hazards?
  • Windshield wipers work and the blades are fresh? No smearing?
  • Check the tires pressure and don’t forget the spare.
  • Now peek underneath from the front, back and both sides. Is anything hanging off that shouldn’t be?
Our preflight is now ALMOST complete. We still want a full tank of fuel for the truck and a second set of keys just in case we drop the first set and can’t recover or find them. Now let’s talk about tools and spare parts.

Trail Tools
All the tools in the world won’t help you if you don’t know how to use them. There are literally thousands of Youtube videos on how to fix things and just by watching them you can learn how most tools are used for most jobs. As far as tools go, I’ll share what I carry and use. Everyone has their own ideas and preferences of brands so please don’t take my opinion as the only correct one. Also this list is geared towards Land Rover Defenders, Range Rover Classics and Discoverys. I’m not super up to date on modern Landies.
  • Quality socket set. I carry a Craftsman 220ish piece set. I like the plastic case it comes in and it has a 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 ratchet handles and a huge assortment of both standard and metric, 6 point and 12 point sockets. Ninety-nine percent of the time, 6 point sockets are what you need but brake parts require 12 point sockets. If you want to be trail ready you will also want to add a 27mm deep socket (Lug nut removal), 30mm standard depth (Pinion removal) and a 52mm (Hub removal) sockets.
  • Quality open and box end wrenches. I like the Craftsman ratcheting variety, but if money is an object the ratcheting variety isn’t a requirement. For a Landy you can get away with a metric set but you will need a standard 9/16” to remove the propshaft.
  • Quality screw drivers in both flathead and phillips. Again I own Craftsman screwdrivers but not for their quality but for their replacement policy. I break them frequently and Sears swaps them out with no questions asked.
  • A Vise-Grip plier set is a must. They work like regular pliers and they can double as a clamp. You can loosen a nut or pinch off a leaking brake line if need be.
  • Quality wire cutters, a volt meter, OBD2 code reader (if your vehicle has an OBD2 port) work gloves and a hand full of latex gloves should round out your trail tool kit. I keep the socket sets in their original case and everything else is housed in a Rigid brand case from Home Depot. Also enclosed is a bunch of zip-ties, electrical and duct tape, tubes of silicone, gasket maker, a spool of 12 gauge electrical wire and bailing wire.
  • Quality jumper cables
Why did I mention the word “quality” before every tool listed? Nothing is more frustrating than figuring out what you need to fix and your tool snaps, falls apart or just won’t work. You are still stuck because you went cheap. Snap-on, Matco are just two of the many “professional grade” tool companies out there. As an amateur, a middle of the road tool works out just fine. The cheap stuff can be hit or miss. I recommend you stick with known brands. I live by the philosophy that you “cry once and buy once” . In a word, pay the money for the good stuff and it lasts forever. The cheap stuff will need to be replaced over and over again.

Trail Spares
Spares are going to differ by vehicle type and configuration but here is what I would consider.

Under the hood stuff:
Mechanical fuel pump
Relay for an electric LR fuel pump
Fuel filter
Starter 100% necessary w/ an automatic transmission and optional w/ a standard
Water pump
Air filter (for desert trips)
Complete set of belts and hoses
Assorted sizes of hose clamps
Radiator cap and plug
Oil filter and enough oil for a complete oil change
Spark Plugs (Gas motor)
Ignition amp module (Gas motor)
Spare coil (Gas motor)
Ignition wires (Gas motor)
Cap and rotor (Gas motor)

Driveline stuff:
U joint
Set of wheel bearings and seal
Drive flange and bolts
Transfer case and pinion seals
Lug nuts
Tire plug kit
12v air compressor

Enough oil for an oil change
Brake/clutch fluid
Grease for wheel bearings
Gear oil (Motor oil could be used to limp back to civilization)

Misc stuff:
Repair manual
Tarp (Clean work area, instant shade or to keep dry)
Glow stick
Waterless hand cleaner

Again, knowledge is key. The repair manual will guide you through what you will need to do and pre-watching Youtube videos will plant the seed in your memory. The earlier Land Rovers are designed for “field repairs” and some have never seen the inside of a proper garage. They are still running around in 3rd world countries with half a million miles on their odometer. Stuff happens that you can’t predict and you can’t drag a parts truck with you but hopefully this is a good start. Also, don’t forget to channel your inner MacGyver when the chips are down and you didn’t bring the part(s) you needed.

Here’s to a lifetime of successful Roverlanding!
Last edited:

Jeff B

Well-known member
13mm socket and spanner
maybe a 10mm...

Ducttape and WD40.
If it moves, but ain't suppose to = Ducttape
If it doesn't move, but's supposed to = WD40



Well-known member
Dave's article is pretty comprehensive. One thing I did while building my D1's tool kit (pelican 1510 size, with sockets + two larger tool rolls, 2 smaller wrench rolls and some misc stuff is if I made a repair that was something I was likely to encounter in the field the tool went into the case-this isn't absolute mind you, as there are things now in my garage I will use out of convenience but that's borne from the confidence of working on her from what was onboard for a year or two.

That will drive things like quality, and if you use a 1510 or equivalent size you won't overload yourself.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Well-known member
I've been thinking about picking up some Husky tools for a truck set. They seem pretty good for the money, and I like the idea that if a tool breaks, I can swap it out at a Home Depot. I normally try to buy used Snap-on tools when I can for the garage set.


Founding Member
Callsign: KN4JHI
I have three tool rolls. One for wrenches, and two for all other tools. I keep all of my 1/4" sockets in a coffee tin. I hate the tool rolls. It is always a pain IMO to have to roll them out just to get a screwdriver. I keep them in a Bucketboss bag.

Next time I pull them out, I'll take some pics. Using only the tools I keep in my truck, I've done diffs, a D1 transmission, brakes, an engine, an engine reseal, and loads of other random small stuff.


Well-known member
I keep this Craftsman set in the Rover plus a small peli of misc crap. If I plan to go farther than AAA+ 100 mile tow I'll throw more stuff in a bag.

That set is on sale for $89.


Founding Member
Callsign: KN4JHI
My problem with the big sets is that you get so much crap you don't need. For example, I only carry two 1/2" drive sockets (24mm and 27mm). If you buy one of those big sets you probably get a full set of 1/2" drive, but none of the sizes you need. Also, you generally don't want to use 12 point sockets unless you have a 12 point fastener.

I would recommend a full set (8mm-19mm)of shallow 6 point 3/8" drive metric sockets. Then a a couple of standard ones in select sizes (1/2", 9/16", and 5/8"). Deep sockets in a few sizes, metric and standard. I also carry a double square socket for the swivel ball fill plug, but I can't remember the size. While unnecessary, I have a full set of metric allen sockets in my kit. It is also good to have a full set of adapters and universal joints for all drive sizes. Often times you only have room for a 3/8" drive socket, but need the torque of a 1/2" drive tool, which is when the adapters come into play.


Well-known member
Good info on various tools to include in a couple rolls I picked up on Amazon (with a 20% coupon on page). I'll still use a canvas boat bag for those bulky items ie. duct tape, meter, tie-downs/straps, lubricant (bourbon), etc. that I can easily grab and toss in another vehicle when needed.



Well-known member
Atlas 46 tool roll

I purchase 2 of these, one for SAE and one for METRIC. Unfortunately I carry both, all the time, which is a PITA but occasionally I do encounter an SAE nut, bolt, or hex head allen.

Each bag carries a full 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 set, fully organized and ready for anything. They have saved me more than once and I basically nixed my rolling tool box for them. Full loaded they probably weigh 40lbs each.

I also carry an extra standard set of wrenches (in case I need 2 for a hard to reach area), a screwdriver set (full, gear-wrench) and and bag of various lube, locktite, and assorted fluids. It’s a lot but with the prevalence of breakdowns or other unforeseen issues I can generally get myself back up and running from the side of the road.


Well-known member
Oddball suggestion for an add to the list. Get a small magnetic dish. They're $3 or so at HR. Great spot to put those nuts and bolts you take off during a repair.


Well-known member
I'd add in zip ties and Rescue tape, self fusing Silicone Tape.

I carry
large and small flat tip screwdriver
ratcheting snap-on screwdriver with all the bits, including hex and torx
Metric combo wrenches with ratcheting closed ends 7-21mm with matching 12 point sockets (some deepwell) extensions, etc
Old adjustable wrench
Wire cutter
Good set of pliers
vise grips
Duct tape
Electrical tape
Bundle of paracord
Full tang fixed blade knife

Amazon Air compressor and old tire gauge

I've traveled all over the states with this. I've fixed fuel and coolant leaks. alternator replacement, door and window issues and general preventative maintenance on the road. In addition I've helped a few people out with driveshaft issues and engine malfunctions
Last edited:


Founding Member
Callsign: KN4JHI
Oddball suggestion for an add to the list. Get a small magnetic dish. They're $3 or so at HR. Great spot to put those nuts and bolts you take off during a repair.
That's actually a really good suggestion. I always seem to manage to get greasy/oily bolts covered in dirt.