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The eighty-fifth episode

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Episode 435 – Sway Bars Cause Death Wobble?

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This Week In Jeep:

The Death Wobble Lawsuit Continues

So pretty much ever since the release of the new generation of Wranglers, there has been a resurgence of death wobble complaints. In the beginning it was first deemed more or less normal since this was a solid axle off road vehicle after all. Well then more and more complaints rolled in and from people who were merely test driving a completely bone stock new model Jeep. “Oh it’s probably the steering stabilizer.” they said… “We’ll just do a little recall and take care of that.”  Nope, didn’t work, and the complaints kept coming. It appeared as if the newly redesigned dana front axles were apparently not playing nice with the new Jeep steering and suspension geometry. How dare they! So who’s fault is it?  The axle maker or the automaker using the axle? We may soon find out, since a new lawsuit points the finger at one of Jeep’s subsystems…. but I’m throwing a flag on the play. This week a new class action lawsuit was filed against FCA for allegedly knowing that its sway bar disconnects are faulty, but taking no action to address the issue, and continuing to sell vehicles equipped with the failure-prone systems, all while denying warranty-covered service. Replacing the sway bar disconnect’s control module out of pocket is said to cost upward of $1,500 in parts alone, before labor costs. In this latest case, plaintiff Josh Flores claims he took his 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon into various dealers to have his nonfunctional sway bar disconnect system serviced after it failed. He rounded up other owners of FCA products with similar malfunctions to organize the suit, which implicates the following vehicles. 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JK and JKU) 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JL and JLU) 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon (JT) 2005-2020 Dodge or Ram 2500 Power Wagon For those not in the know…. electronic sway bar disconnects allow the operators of select Dodge, Jeep, and Ram products to disengage and re-engage their vehicles’ sway bars from inside the cabin. Disconnecting the sway bar allows for greater suspension articulation over rough terrain, enhancing off-road capabilities, while reconnecting the sway bar improves on-road handling and stability.  It’s the latter—the reconnecting part (or the lack of it)—that’s at the core of the issue. In theory, electronic sway bar disconnects offer drivers the best of both worlds, but according to the suit, the system’s design puts it at risk of premature failure, even on late-model vehicles.  To all of this …and specifically to the pansy ass plaintiff in this case – who I might add is giving Josh’s a bad name everywhere – is that sway bars or even a lack thereof do not control, dampen, or otherwise have a direct effect on the back and forth forces an axle see’s in the throws of a death wobble. The anit-sway system on any Jeep, albeit connected to the axle, are on pivot points that are attached to the body of the vehicle via links, each with their own pivot points, and are joined by a common bar known as the sway bar, that travels laterally across the vehicle connecting one side to the other. Even though there is a distinct and drastic change in the handling of a Jeep when the sway bars are disconnected, it IS entirely in the realm of BODY ROLL,l or how much sway the body sees as the vehicle goes around a corner. I fail to see how this in any way can be the CAUSE of something like death wobble, which occurs to the AXLE not the body as you travel in a straight line. I have been driving my Jeep for no less than 8 years without any kind of sway bar whatsoever. Not in the front, and not in the rear either. And I’m not talking about merely being disconnected, no no… they’re GONE. In fact removing the rear sway bar was one of the first mods I did to the damn thing nearly 15 years ago. At least two or three of those years were daily driving including lots of freeway speeds without sway bars. In the likely 50 thousand miles or more that Jeep has seen since both sway bars were removed, guess how many times I’ve had death wobble?…..ONCE and it was because I had sheared my track bar off the frame after a rigorous day in the rocks, and had ratchet strapped it together enough to limp home at 40 miles per hour. But not once has the lack of sway bars left me with any feeling of death wobble in any way shape or form.  And if this “Josh Flores” person knew the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground I think we could avoid these misinformation spreading frivolously-filed-fear-mongering-I-need-attention-mommy tells me I’m special and my feelings have been hurt because the truck daddy bought for me isn’t as cool-as-I-want-it-to-be class action lawsuits and the bad reputation they spread. I have half a mind to counter sue this jackass just on principle alone.  Look, driving a vehicle without sway bars is NOT for everyone, and most may consider it unsafe. And to some degree it’s true, it means you have to actually pay attention to what the hell you’re doing, and what’s going on 10 vehicles ahead of you on the freeway. It’s not for the weak willed, the weak minded or anyone who thinks lane departure warning technology is the best thing since sliced bread. I know there are countless Jeepers out there who drive all the time disconnected and have never experienced death wobble either. So if you’re with me, SOUND OFF Jeeper! Call in and let the world know you wheel AND drive disconnected because in the end it’s just a matter of knowing how, and because we can and they just WISH they could!

Big Jeeps Delayed

Just about every automaker around the globe felt the effect in one way or another from the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. For some it was merely supply chain issues, and for others it was a full scale shut-down. As a result, new vehicles intended to be debuted or released in the coming months have been delayed. Jeep is unfortunately not excluded. In a web based press-release yesterday, FCA said that it would be delaying production of the all new 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee by three months. FCA estimates that both vehicles will reach the market sometime in 2021. News of the delays come as FCA, among other automakers, have begun examining ways to resume production across North America and abroad. In the webinar, the manufacturer said that it would progressively restart production at factories in the U.S. and Canada on May 4 and May 18. 

Welder Advice:

I’ve been eyeballing a Hobart 220v MIG welder for a while now.  I have things I need to weld on my Jeep and I have no way to do this!  I know nothing about welding but that won’t stop me from learning.  I need your help.  I’ve decided on the welder but what about the shielding gas?  I’m pretty good at Google searching but Welding Supply doesn’t seem to get me the results I’m looking for.  Also does $380 sound right for a bottle with argon and c o 2? I want to hear from you and we’ll share your comments and recommendations here on the show not only to help me out but some other wanna be welders. Head over to jeeptalkshow.com/contact to find out how to let me know what you think about beginning to weld.

Jeep Life:

Places to Take Your Jeep

In Episode 433 during Campfire Side Chat we talked about everyone’s favorite kind of wheeling. There are so many different places you can take your Jeep. In the sand, the mud, on the rocks, on the beach or on dirt roads, thru water crossing and on the asphalt or even to the mall. And there is no one right answer or wrong answer. I have videos on my YouTube Channel, Jeep Momma .com,  of all the places I have wheeled my Jeep. There are two videos that always seem to get those negative comments… “That’s Not a Real Trail”  well I would have to beg to differ. In my opinion a trail doesn’t have to be difficult with rock obstacles on it… to be a trail. And it’s okay if you only like to wheel those easy trails. We all have different likes and dislikes. While we were at the Roof Top Tent rally hanging with Dan Grec with the Road Chose Me he said something that stuck with me.  During his last adventure in Africa he realized to be more inclusive and we need to do this as Jeep community. To be more accepting of other peoples wheeling preferences.  Just because you don’t rock crawl doesn’t mean you’re not a true Jeeper. During the past 6 months I have found I really enjoy those “Not Real” trails. I still love those adrenaline pumping trails, but to be out in my Jeep checking out the natural beauty of nature does wonders for my soul even if it’s on the black top. So I wanted to share with you some tips. Tips to finding those out of the way “Not Trails”. The first tip… With the hustle and bustle of today’s world… well yesterday’s world, I forgot about those Scenic By-ways my parents used to take us on. So you can just google scenic By-ways and find some really great black top road trips. There is one in Moab and it parallels the Colorado river and is absolutely amazing. Another tip…  if you aren’t in a hurry and you use Google Maps to get to your location, go into your settings and click the avoid toll roads and highways. There could be some cool discovery you might make on these backroads. Neil and I did when we were in Arizona. We discovered Area 66 The actual sight of the alien crash in 1953 before the military scooped up the spacecraft and alien bodies! Another source is Trails Off Road . com This website is cataloging trails all over the US. It will give you information such as length, difficulty, location, elevation, duration, plus a map with waypoints that have directions and mileage.  Another spectacular black top ride is outside of Gunnison, Colorado  Hwy 92 through the Black Canyon National Park. There’s a video of it on my YouTube Channel. If you are afraid of heights or ledges it’s a pretty intense Ride. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is another one. It’s said to be one of the most scenic drives.  Some more backroad tips… head over to the official Trans American Trail website. The link will be in our show notes. https://www.transamtrail.com/ The founder Sam has been mapping public backroads and forest roads all over the United States for decades. He still is and is up in the Minnesota area right now mapping. When he originally mapped the roads back in the 80’s they were all gravel, but now some have been paved over time. This trail was originally designed for motorcyclists, but Jeepers have begun to use these trails. It’s a great way to get away from big cities and get a look at America’s country Roads.  You can also hop on Amazon.com and search for Backroads and 4 Wheel drive trails. There are guides for Colorado, Arizona, California, and Moab. These  Guides have tons of photos that show the scenery as well as trouble spots on the trails. There are tips and advice from local experts to help get you through the trails. The trails are BLM approve and are legal routes. These are just a few of the tips I have learned over the past several months as I have begun to adventure outside of the east coast. There are so many other great trails out there I would love for you to share yours!

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Sorry Tammy, But Purple Tint SUCKS!

As someone who worked as a professional in the automotive aftermarket industry for over a decade, and who still does regular vehicle modification work on the side, I can speak with confidence about a topic that many take for granted every day. And that’s window tint. If you own an older Jeep like a YJ Wrangler, and it has tinted glass windows, then chances are that the tint has faded, or has maybe shifted from black to some shade of purple or maybe just has some unsightly bubbles in it. Any purpling, blueing, or bubbling of any kind is a sign that the tint and/or it’s adhesive has broken down and it needs to be removed and replaced. Pretty much all tint will eventually break down in some way, but the quality of the tint will determine how long this will take and to what degree. High quality tint may outlast the vehicle, and low quality tint may not make it ten years. Automotive window tinting is one of those things that is regulated and controlled differently state by state. So I’m going to avoid getting into specifics like percentages, brands, and what windows you can or cannot put a tint on. For information like how dark of tint you can have, or what windows are ok to put how much tint on, I’d recommend talking with your local state patrol, inspection station or local window tinting professional to get the particulars for your state. Ok, now you may not be a window tint pro, and we’ve all seen what those auto parts store supplied back yard tint jobs look like… No thanks! (am i right?) …So we’re going to leave the tinting to those who do it best and offer a warranty behind their work and the films they use. In fact that’s worth talking about because we don’t want you getting screwed. If you think you can do it yourself and it will turn out looking like a million bucks for the life of the rig? Try again. There are tricks of the trade and techniques that you and I can only come close to duplicating, so let’s not screw up the thing that we have to see through every day as we drive. The guys who know what they’re doing and who you can trust, will work with films that offer 10 year or lifetime guarantees against fading or hazing. And any reputable shop should offer a lifetime installation guarantee. If the guy you found on craigslist doesn’t do this, then call someone else. Although the nation’s number one top rated tint manufacturing company is offering pre-cut templates for virtually any vehicle, I would stay away from installers who use these. If something were to happen in either the shipping of the kit, or in the installation, they have to get ingenuitive to make a fix happen, and by that point, you’ll always be able to see it, and the install will forever be compromised. Window tint is actually extremely easy to crease and is fragile before it’s bonded with glass. So anything can happen in between manufacturing and installation. That’s why the installers who use high quality film from a roll are the best to use. If they screw up, it’s on them, and they’ll just take a fresh pull from the roll to re-do said window. Prices are going to vary, as will selection, but stay away from any shop that doesn’t have at least two kinds of film to choose from. Colored, mirrored, and gradient tints will all degrade faster over time than a high quality black or carbon tint. Outside of that I cannot make specific recommendations since things are going to vary so much state by state. I will say this though, if your Jeep doesn’t already have tinted windows, then tinting your Jeep has so many benefits that it is one of those things that you really should consider moving up on your mods list. From UV protection to temperature reduction, and from style points to additional security, having your Jeeps windows tinted has way more pros than it does cons. In the next episode, I’m going to teach you how to save hundreds on your tint job by removing an old, degraded or poorly installed tint from the windows of any vehicle.

Newbie Nuggets:

Finding a place to get your Jeep serviced

At some point you will need to get some work or service done on your jeep. This may be regular maintenance like a lube, oil and filter, tires rotated or maybe even some modifications and fabrication. When you are new to jeeping you may not realize that there are some things to consider as owners of jeeps beyond that of just a regular HWY car.  When you get an oil change on a Jeep, it’s not just an oil change. Your service tech should be checking, ball joints for wear, upper and lower control arm joints, drive shafts, u-joints and any other working part of the suspension for wear, cracks or other signs of fatigue and greasing every spot where there is a grease fitting. Depending on the equipment you’ve added there may be many. I know on our Jeep there are around 20 spots that require grease. If you do any off-roading, your Jeep is subject to a much harsher working environment than just driving down the asphalt. Also, depending on how dusty your travels have been, it’s a really good idea to have your air filter serviced more frequently, like maybe every oil change.  But just how do you go about finding a place that you trust, that does good work and/or knows what they are doing. Here are a few things to look for when deciding what needs to be done and by whom. The first and maybe the most fun is Do-it-yourself. If you are a mechanical kind of person or a gearhead, then by all means do it yourself. It’s fun to tinker and it’s also good to really know/understand your jeep. My husband is particular with our jeep and after every run, he inspects underneath, tightens bolts that may have come loose, and checks to see if there is any wear and tear that needs attention. We also power wash the rig to make sure dirt is clear of moving parts and it’s a good way to look for cracks and fatigue while you’re cleaning them.  Now the do-it-yourselfer will need the correct tools. If you don’t have what you need, you may have to weigh the price of purchasing tools with having it done by someone else. But remember, you only have to buy the tools once and they’re good to have on the trail. Another thing to consider doing it yourself, is what space do you have to work on your jeep? Are you on pavement or dirt, and do you care? This may be an issue if you are trying to get underneath your jeep in the dirt or on rocks. I think any do-it-yourself skills are probably the best. You know your jeep and you have been there and can hear/know when something isn’t quite right.  Just this week we were on the trail and there was a clunking sound coming from the rear (when isn’t there a rattle or clunk on a jeep?). Bill said, “sounds like a shock coming loose”. Sure enough he got underneath, spotted that a bolt had come out at the top and he simply replaced it – on the trail. If you’re working on your Jeep at home, it’s a lot easier for trail repairs when you’re familiar with your own Jeep. On a side note: it’s always a good idea to have a selection of the most common size bolts and nuts.  Another way to get your jeep serviced is to phone a friend. You know the one with all the tools and expertise. This is an option if you are not sure what you are doing and with guidance you can learn. I think gearheads LOVE to work on cars/jeeps and having someone else to share that passion with is probably what drives most of you to tinker. Only concern here is does that “friend” know what they are doing? This is something that may be a trial and error on your part – Did they do a good job or didn’t they. Only time will tell and hopefully you aren’t on a remote trail, but if you are hopefully that friend is there with you to fix the problem they may have helped create. And I hope it’s not too expensive. The third and probably best option for a beginner is to find a quality shop to take your jeep to. But how do you know what shop is quality? How do you know they know what they’re doing? If you don’t have a referral, you need to do some homework. Check out their Yelp reviews and/or ask the group you jeep with if they have used them and for what. NOT all shops are created equal and lots have great intentions, but their staff (the people working on the jeeps) may not have the skill set or experience to do a proper job. Just because they install a lot of lift kits, or bumpers, or lights does not mean they understand the mechanics of how things actually work and how best to maintain them. Have you checked out how and what they fabricate? If the shop has a fabricator on site, chances are they have a good idea how things actually work versus just installing parts that came in a box with a set of instructions. These kinds of shops will typically know what to look for while servicing your Jeep. If it’s just a shop that does quick oil changes for example – move along. Jeeps need and require regular and specific maintenance with oil and lube with an eye towards what’s broken or about to break. We are lucky here in So Calif, as we have (I think) one of the premier jeep shops in Southern California:  All J Products  (http://www.boulderbars.com/) ( FB: All J Products – Big Bear’s Jeep Shop and 4×4) has been servicing Jeeps from all over Southern California for the past 40 years.  Quinn and Heather Thomas have been working on all Jeep models and know all there is to building from the ground up, custom fabrications, to servicing and maintaining jeeps. Their knowledge is extensive and they are great to suggest upgrades when you are ready. I love that they are always working on something and of course always have suggestions for adding to our wish list. It’s pretty common that when we get the jeep serviced, Bill comes back with, “hey…. guess what we can do to the jeep next”… and then I hear $$$ signs LOL Picking a shop can be a hit or miss too. If you can’t get a referral, or find one close to you, you may be limited. Keep in mind that people you ask are always willing to suggest where they have gone because they went there. We have a number of shops in the Southern California area that are popular, but not necessarily good. And of course, it all comes down to the actual tech doing the work. There is always learning through YouTube or videos on line, but I think I would recommend phone a friend with experience that you trust before attempting something beyond basic maintenance if a shop isn’t an option. However, if you are a gearhead, this could be a fun way to spend a weekend, or two. OK Tony, Josh and Tammy: what is your preference on basic maintenance for your jeep – yourself, phone a friend, a street shout-out, or a shop?

Must Have Stuff:

Rugged Ridge A-Pillar Switch Pod Kit with Rocker Switches (2011-18 JK/JKU only) The A-pillar is a long lost area of prime real estate in Jeeps. For years the aftermarket has been making accessories for the part of the vehicle that rests between the windshield and the door frame. It’s a great location for things like switches, gauges, or even small displays. Not to mention it’s the perfect place for a grab handle too! Having switches for auxiliary lighting or other accessories on the A-pillar as opposed to near the shifter makes them easier to access so you won’t have to fumble around to get past the shifters while on the road or out on the trails. No cutting or alteration to the stock interior is needed for this install. The switch pod is textured to match the interior of the 2011-2018 JKs, and has pre-molded cut outs to mount four rocker switches. This kit comes with four rocker switches in addition to the switch pod. One blue, one red, one orange, and one green.  Rugged Ridge backs this kit with a 3 year limited warranty. If you want to match the switches to something you already have, or want a different kind of switch than what this particular kit comes with, then they do offer a version that does not come with switches, for about half the price.

-$69.99 WITH Switches:
https://www.extremeterrain.com/rugged-ridge-black-a-pillar-jk-1723596.html
-$27.49 WITHOUT Switches:
https://www.extremeterrain.com/rugged-ridge-black-a-pillar-jk-1723558.html

Camp Fireside Chat:

Water Crossings! Are you like a Navy Seal or The Wicked Witch of The West? Where’s my goggles? Or Where’s the bridge?  We had five visitors around the campfire in addition to Wendy, Tammy Josh and Tony.  You can join too!  Follow us on Facebook to get notifications and how to join each Thursday night.

Jeep Weather: 

Mitch

Hey Jeeper, in case you forgot, well I’m Mitch and I’m what they call an “essential worker”. Today is the 30th of April 2020 and it’s time for your weekend Going Topless-Jeep Weather Report.  Since most of the country is locked down due to a “global situation”, I figured we would cruise topless in places to look at things. First, we start in Memphis, Tennessee. A city known for rock and blues music, here it will be partly cloudy all weekend with 79 today, 82 tomorrow, and 80 on Sunday. Next, social distance correctly with a buddy out in Elkins, Arkansas. Near some trails and in a state not mentioned often. Cloudy again all weekend, but today is 81, tomorrow 84, and Sunday more 81.  Maybe you just need to get away from everyone and quarantining with your family is driving you crazy, well look no further than Gorman, California. Gorman is right in the middle of the Transverse Mountain Range amongst several off road trails. Today windy at 69, and sunny tomorrow and Sunday at 70 and 69 degrees. Don’t forget to use the #JeepTalkShow on social media for us to see those pictures. If you have any suggestions or want to know YOUR local weather in an upcoming episode. Go to JeepTalkShow.com/contact in order to find all the ways to get a message to me. I’m Mitch and its always great weekend to Go Topless if you’re brave enough! Just Go Topless responsibly.

Links Mentioned in Episode 435: 

Trans America Trail Info: https://www.transamtrail.com/ 

Find New Trails: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/

All J Products: http://www.boulderbars.com/

4 x 4 Radio Network: http://4x4radionetwork.com/

Jeep Momma’s Blog: www.JeepMomma.com

Jeep Momma’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJeepMomma

Jeep 4-1-1 https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrydriver

Jeep Must Have Stuff Pick Of The Week For Your Jeep:

Rugged Ridge A-Pillar Switch Pod Kit with (or w/o) Rocker Switches 

-$69.99 WITH Switches: 

https://www.extremeterrain.com/rugged-ridge-black-a-pillar-jk-1723596.html

-$27.49 WITHOUT Switches: 

https://www.extremeterrain.com/rugged-ridge-black-a-pillar-jk-1723558.html

Area 66: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/arizona/area-51-az/

Episode 435 – Sway Bars Cause Death Wobble?

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This Week In Jeep:

The Death Wobble Lawsuit Continues

So pretty much ever since the release of the new generation of Wranglers, there has been a resurgence of death wobble complaints. In the beginning it was first deemed more or less normal since this was a solid axle off road vehicle after all. Well then more and more complaints rolled in and from people who were merely test driving a completely bone stock new model Jeep. “Oh it’s probably the steering stabilizer.” they said… “We’ll just do a little recall and take care of that.”  Nope, didn’t work, and the complaints kept coming. It appeared as if the newly redesigned dana front axles were apparently not playing nice with the new Jeep steering and suspension geometry. How dare they! So who’s fault is it?  The axle maker or the automaker using the axle? We may soon find out, since a new lawsuit points the finger at one of Jeep’s subsystems…. but I’m throwing a flag on the play. This week a new class action lawsuit was filed against FCA for allegedly knowing that its sway bar disconnects are faulty, but taking no action to address the issue, and continuing to sell vehicles equipped with the failure-prone systems, all while denying warranty-covered service. Replacing the sway bar disconnect’s control module out of pocket is said to cost upward of $1,500 in parts alone, before labor costs. In this latest case, plaintiff Josh Flores claims he took his 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon into various dealers to have his nonfunctional sway bar disconnect system serviced after it failed. He rounded up other owners of FCA products with similar malfunctions to organize the suit, which implicates the following vehicles. 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JK and JKU) 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JL and JLU) 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon (JT) 2005-2020 Dodge or Ram 2500 Power Wagon For those not in the know…. electronic sway bar disconnects allow the operators of select Dodge, Jeep, and Ram products to disengage and re-engage their vehicles’ sway bars from inside the cabin. Disconnecting the sway bar allows for greater suspension articulation over rough terrain, enhancing off-road capabilities, while reconnecting the sway bar improves on-road handling and stability.  It’s the latter—the reconnecting part (or the lack of it)—that’s at the core of the issue. In theory, electronic sway bar disconnects offer drivers the best of both worlds, but according to the suit, the system’s design puts it at risk of premature failure, even on late-model vehicles.  To all of this …and specifically to the pansy ass plaintiff in this case – who I might add is giving Josh’s a bad name everywhere – is that sway bars or even a lack thereof do not control, dampen, or otherwise have a direct effect on the back and forth forces an axle see’s in the throws of a death wobble. The anit-sway system on any Jeep, albeit connected to the axle, are on pivot points that are attached to the body of the vehicle via links, each with their own pivot points, and are joined by a common bar known as the sway bar, that travels laterally across the vehicle connecting one side to the other. Even though there is a distinct and drastic change in the handling of a Jeep when the sway bars are disconnected, it IS entirely in the realm of BODY ROLL,l or how much sway the body sees as the vehicle goes around a corner. I fail to see how this in any way can be the CAUSE of something like death wobble, which occurs to the AXLE not the body as you travel in a straight line. I have been driving my Jeep for no less than 8 years without any kind of sway bar whatsoever. Not in the front, and not in the rear either. And I’m not talking about merely being disconnected, no no… they’re GONE. In fact removing the rear sway bar was one of the first mods I did to the damn thing nearly 15 years ago. At least two or three of those years were daily driving including lots of freeway speeds without sway bars. In the likely 50 thousand miles or more that Jeep has seen since both sway bars were removed, guess how many times I’ve had death wobble?…..ONCE and it was because I had sheared my track bar off the frame after a rigorous day in the rocks, and had ratchet strapped it together enough to limp home at 40 miles per hour. But not once has the lack of sway bars left me with any feeling of death wobble in any way shape or form.  And if this “Josh Flores” person knew the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground I think we could avoid these misinformation spreading frivolously-filed-fear-mongering-I-need-attention-mommy tells me I’m special and my feelings have been hurt because the truck daddy bought for me isn’t as cool-as-I-want-it-to-be class action lawsuits and the bad reputation they spread. I have half a mind to counter sue this jackass just on principle alone.  Look, driving a vehicle without sway bars is NOT for everyone, and most may consider it unsafe. And to some degree it’s true, it means you have to actually pay attention to what the hell you’re doing, and what’s going on 10 vehicles ahead of you on the freeway. It’s not for the weak willed, the weak minded or anyone who thinks lane departure warning technology is the best thing since sliced bread. I know there are countless Jeepers out there who drive all the time disconnected and have never experienced death wobble either. So if you’re with me, SOUND OFF Jeeper! Call in and let the world know you wheel AND drive disconnected because in the end it’s just a matter of knowing how, and because we can and they just WISH they could!

Big Jeeps Delayed

Just about every automaker around the globe felt the effect in one way or another from the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. For some it was merely supply chain issues, and for others it was a full scale shut-down. As a result, new vehicles intended to be debuted or released in the coming months have been delayed. Jeep is unfortunately not excluded. In a web based press-release yesterday, FCA said that it would be delaying production of the all new 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee by three months. FCA estimates that both vehicles will reach the market sometime in 2021. News of the delays come as FCA, among other automakers, have begun examining ways to resume production across North America and abroad. In the webinar, the manufacturer said that it would progressively restart production at factories in the U.S. and Canada on May 4 and May 18. 

Welder Advice:

I’ve been eyeballing a Hobart 220v MIG welder for a while now.  I have things I need to weld on my Jeep and I have no way to do this!  I know nothing about welding but that won’t stop me from learning.  I need your help.  I’ve decided on the welder but what about the shielding gas?  I’m pretty good at Google searching but Welding Supply doesn’t seem to get me the results I’m looking for.  Also does $380 sound right for a bottle with argon and c o 2? I want to hear from you and we’ll share your comments and recommendations here on the show not only to help me out but some other wanna be welders. Head over to jeeptalkshow.com/contact to find out how to let me know what you think about beginning to weld.

Jeep Life:

Places to Take Your Jeep

In Episode 433 during Campfire Side Chat we talked about everyone’s favorite kind of wheeling. There are so many different places you can take your Jeep. In the sand, the mud, on the rocks, on the beach or on dirt roads, thru water crossing and on the asphalt or even to the mall. And there is no one right answer or wrong answer. I have videos on my YouTube Channel, Jeep Momma .com,  of all the places I have wheeled my Jeep. There are two videos that always seem to get those negative comments… “That’s Not a Real Trail”  well I would have to beg to differ. In my opinion a trail doesn’t have to be difficult with rock obstacles on it… to be a trail. And it’s okay if you only like to wheel those easy trails. We all have different likes and dislikes. While we were at the Roof Top Tent rally hanging with Dan Grec with the Road Chose Me he said something that stuck with me.  During his last adventure in Africa he realized to be more inclusive and we need to do this as Jeep community. To be more accepting of other peoples wheeling preferences.  Just because you don’t rock crawl doesn’t mean you’re not a true Jeeper. During the past 6 months I have found I really enjoy those “Not Real” trails. I still love those adrenaline pumping trails, but to be out in my Jeep checking out the natural beauty of nature does wonders for my soul even if it’s on the black top. So I wanted to share with you some tips. Tips to finding those out of the way “Not Trails”. The first tip… With the hustle and bustle of today’s world… well yesterday’s world, I forgot about those Scenic By-ways my parents used to take us on. So you can just google scenic By-ways and find some really great black top road trips. There is one in Moab and it parallels the Colorado river and is absolutely amazing. Another tip…  if you aren’t in a hurry and you use Google Maps to get to your location, go into your settings and click the avoid toll roads and highways. There could be some cool discovery you might make on these backroads. Neil and I did when we were in Arizona. We discovered Area 66 The actual sight of the alien crash in 1953 before the military scooped up the spacecraft and alien bodies! Another source is Trails Off Road . com This website is cataloging trails all over the US. It will give you information such as length, difficulty, location, elevation, duration, plus a map with waypoints that have directions and mileage.  Another spectacular black top ride is outside of Gunnison, Colorado  Hwy 92 through the Black Canyon National Park. There’s a video of it on my YouTube Channel. If you are afraid of heights or ledges it’s a pretty intense Ride. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is another one. It’s said to be one of the most scenic drives.  Some more backroad tips… head over to the official Trans American Trail website. The link will be in our show notes. https://www.transamtrail.com/ The founder Sam has been mapping public backroads and forest roads all over the United States for decades. He still is and is up in the Minnesota area right now mapping. When he originally mapped the roads back in the 80’s they were all gravel, but now some have been paved over time. This trail was originally designed for motorcyclists, but Jeepers have begun to use these trails. It’s a great way to get away from big cities and get a look at America’s country Roads.  You can also hop on Amazon.com and search for Backroads and 4 Wheel drive trails. There are guides for Colorado, Arizona, California, and Moab. These  Guides have tons of photos that show the scenery as well as trouble spots on the trails. There are tips and advice from local experts to help get you through the trails. The trails are BLM approve and are legal routes. These are just a few of the tips I have learned over the past several months as I have begun to adventure outside of the east coast. There are so many other great trails out there I would love for you to share yours!

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Sorry Tammy, But Purple Tint SUCKS!

As someone who worked as a professional in the automotive aftermarket industry for over a decade, and who still does regular vehicle modification work on the side, I can speak with confidence about a topic that many take for granted every day. And that’s window tint. If you own an older Jeep like a YJ Wrangler, and it has tinted glass windows, then chances are that the tint has faded, or has maybe shifted from black to some shade of purple or maybe just has some unsightly bubbles in it. Any purpling, blueing, or bubbling of any kind is a sign that the tint and/or it’s adhesive has broken down and it needs to be removed and replaced. Pretty much all tint will eventually break down in some way, but the quality of the tint will determine how long this will take and to what degree. High quality tint may outlast the vehicle, and low quality tint may not make it ten years. Automotive window tinting is one of those things that is regulated and controlled differently state by state. So I’m going to avoid getting into specifics like percentages, brands, and what windows you can or cannot put a tint on. For information like how dark of tint you can have, or what windows are ok to put how much tint on, I’d recommend talking with your local state patrol, inspection station or local window tinting professional to get the particulars for your state. Ok, now you may not be a window tint pro, and we’ve all seen what those auto parts store supplied back yard tint jobs look like… No thanks! (am i right?) …So we’re going to leave the tinting to those who do it best and offer a warranty behind their work and the films they use. In fact that’s worth talking about because we don’t want you getting screwed. If you think you can do it yourself and it will turn out looking like a million bucks for the life of the rig? Try again. There are tricks of the trade and techniques that you and I can only come close to duplicating, so let’s not screw up the thing that we have to see through every day as we drive. The guys who know what they’re doing and who you can trust, will work with films that offer 10 year or lifetime guarantees against fading or hazing. And any reputable shop should offer a lifetime installation guarantee. If the guy you found on craigslist doesn’t do this, then call someone else. Although the nation’s number one top rated tint manufacturing company is offering pre-cut templates for virtually any vehicle, I would stay away from installers who use these. If something were to happen in either the shipping of the kit, or in the installation, they have to get ingenuitive to make a fix happen, and by that point, you’ll always be able to see it, and the install will forever be compromised. Window tint is actually extremely easy to crease and is fragile before it’s bonded with glass. So anything can happen in between manufacturing and installation. That’s why the installers who use high quality film from a roll are the best to use. If they screw up, it’s on them, and they’ll just take a fresh pull from the roll to re-do said window. Prices are going to vary, as will selection, but stay away from any shop that doesn’t have at least two kinds of film to choose from. Colored, mirrored, and gradient tints will all degrade faster over time than a high quality black or carbon tint. Outside of that I cannot make specific recommendations since things are going to vary so much state by state. I will say this though, if your Jeep doesn’t already have tinted windows, then tinting your Jeep has so many benefits that it is one of those things that you really should consider moving up on your mods list. From UV protection to temperature reduction, and from style points to additional security, having your Jeeps windows tinted has way more pros than it does cons. In the next episode, I’m going to teach you how to save hundreds on your tint job by removing an old, degraded or poorly installed tint from the windows of any vehicle.

Newbie Nuggets:

Finding a place to get your Jeep serviced

At some point you will need to get some work or service done on your jeep. This may be regular maintenance like a lube, oil and filter, tires rotated or maybe even some modifications and fabrication. When you are new to jeeping you may not realize that there are some things to consider as owners of jeeps beyond that of just a regular HWY car.  When you get an oil change on a Jeep, it’s not just an oil change. Your service tech should be checking, ball joints for wear, upper and lower control arm joints, drive shafts, u-joints and any other working part of the suspension for wear, cracks or other signs of fatigue and greasing every spot where there is a grease fitting. Depending on the equipment you’ve added there may be many. I know on our Jeep there are around 20 spots that require grease. If you do any off-roading, your Jeep is subject to a much harsher working environment than just driving down the asphalt. Also, depending on how dusty your travels have been, it’s a really good idea to have your air filter serviced more frequently, like maybe every oil change.  But just how do you go about finding a place that you trust, that does good work and/or knows what they are doing. Here are a few things to look for when deciding what needs to be done and by whom. The first and maybe the most fun is Do-it-yourself. If you are a mechanical kind of person or a gearhead, then by all means do it yourself. It’s fun to tinker and it’s also good to really know/understand your jeep. My husband is particular with our jeep and after every run, he inspects underneath, tightens bolts that may have come loose, and checks to see if there is any wear and tear that needs attention. We also power wash the rig to make sure dirt is clear of moving parts and it’s a good way to look for cracks and fatigue while you’re cleaning them.  Now the do-it-yourselfer will need the correct tools. If you don’t have what you need, you may have to weigh the price of purchasing tools with having it done by someone else. But remember, you only have to buy the tools once and they’re good to have on the trail. Another thing to consider doing it yourself, is what space do you have to work on your jeep? Are you on pavement or dirt, and do you care? This may be an issue if you are trying to get underneath your jeep in the dirt or on rocks. I think any do-it-yourself skills are probably the best. You know your jeep and you have been there and can hear/know when something isn’t quite right.  Just this week we were on the trail and there was a clunking sound coming from the rear (when isn’t there a rattle or clunk on a jeep?). Bill said, “sounds like a shock coming loose”. Sure enough he got underneath, spotted that a bolt had come out at the top and he simply replaced it – on the trail. If you’re working on your Jeep at home, it’s a lot easier for trail repairs when you’re familiar with your own Jeep. On a side note: it’s always a good idea to have a selection of the most common size bolts and nuts.  Another way to get your jeep serviced is to phone a friend. You know the one with all the tools and expertise. This is an option if you are not sure what you are doing and with guidance you can learn. I think gearheads LOVE to work on cars/jeeps and having someone else to share that passion with is probably what drives most of you to tinker. Only concern here is does that “friend” know what they are doing? This is something that may be a trial and error on your part – Did they do a good job or didn’t they. Only time will tell and hopefully you aren’t on a remote trail, but if you are hopefully that friend is there with you to fix the problem they may have helped create. And I hope it’s not too expensive. The third and probably best option for a beginner is to find a quality shop to take your jeep to. But how do you know what shop is quality? How do you know they know what they’re doing? If you don’t have a referral, you need to do some homework. Check out their Yelp reviews and/or ask the group you jeep with if they have used them and for what. NOT all shops are created equal and lots have great intentions, but their staff (the people working on the jeeps) may not have the skill set or experience to do a proper job. Just because they install a lot of lift kits, or bumpers, or lights does not mean they understand the mechanics of how things actually work and how best to maintain them. Have you checked out how and what they fabricate? If the shop has a fabricator on site, chances are they have a good idea how things actually work versus just installing parts that came in a box with a set of instructions. These kinds of shops will typically know what to look for while servicing your Jeep. If it’s just a shop that does quick oil changes for example – move along. Jeeps need and require regular and specific maintenance with oil and lube with an eye towards what’s broken or about to break. We are lucky here in So Calif, as we have (I think) one of the premier jeep shops in Southern California:  All J Products  (http://www.boulderbars.com/) ( FB: All J Products – Big Bear’s Jeep Shop and 4×4) has been servicing Jeeps from all over Southern California for the past 40 years.  Quinn and Heather Thomas have been working on all Jeep models and know all there is to building from the ground up, custom fabrications, to servicing and maintaining jeeps. Their knowledge is extensive and they are great to suggest upgrades when you are ready. I love that they are always working on something and of course always have suggestions for adding to our wish list. It’s pretty common that when we get the jeep serviced, Bill comes back with, “hey…. guess what we can do to the jeep next”… and then I hear $$$ signs LOL Picking a shop can be a hit or miss too. If you can’t get a referral, or find one close to you, you may be limited. Keep in mind that people you ask are always willing to suggest where they have gone because they went there. We have a number of shops in the Southern California area that are popular, but not necessarily good. And of course, it all comes down to the actual tech doing the work. There is always learning through YouTube or videos on line, but I think I would recommend phone a friend with experience that you trust before attempting something beyond basic maintenance if a shop isn’t an option. However, if you are a gearhead, this could be a fun way to spend a weekend, or two. OK Tony, Josh and Tammy: what is your preference on basic maintenance for your jeep – yourself, phone a friend, a street shout-out, or a shop?

Must Have Stuff:

Rugged Ridge A-Pillar Switch Pod Kit with Rocker Switches (2011-18 JK/JKU only) The A-pillar is a long lost area of prime real estate in Jeeps. For years the aftermarket has been making accessories for the part of the vehicle that rests between the windshield and the door frame. It’s a great location for things like switches, gauges, or even small displays. Not to mention it’s the perfect place for a grab handle too! Having switches for auxiliary lighting or other accessories on the A-pillar as opposed to near the shifter makes them easier to access so you won’t have to fumble around to get past the shifters while on the road or out on the trails. No cutting or alteration to the stock interior is needed for this install. The switch pod is textured to match the interior of the 2011-2018 JKs, and has pre-molded cut outs to mount four rocker switches. This kit comes with four rocker switches in addition to the switch pod. One blue, one red, one orange, and one green.  Rugged Ridge backs this kit with a 3 year limited warranty. If you want to match the switches to something you already have, or want a different kind of switch than what this particular kit comes with, then they do offer a version that does not come with switches, for about half the price.

-$69.99 WITH Switches:
https://www.extremeterrain.com/rugged-ridge-black-a-pillar-jk-1723596.html
-$27.49 WITHOUT Switches:
https://www.extremeterrain.com/rugged-ridge-black-a-pillar-jk-1723558.html

Camp Fireside Chat:

Water Crossings! Are you like a Navy Seal or The Wicked Witch of The West? Where’s my goggles? Or Where’s the bridge?  We had five visitors around the campfire in addition to Wendy, Tammy Josh and Tony.  You can join too!  Follow us on Facebook to get notifications and how to join each Thursday night.

Jeep Weather: 

Mitch

Hey Jeeper, in case you forgot, well I’m Mitch and I’m what they call an “essential worker”. Today is the 30th of April 2020 and it’s time for your weekend Going Topless-Jeep Weather Report.  Since most of the country is locked down due to a “global situation”, I figured we would cruise topless in places to look at things. First, we start in Memphis, Tennessee. A city known for rock and blues music, here it will be partly cloudy all weekend with 79 today, 82 tomorrow, and 80 on Sunday. Next, social distance correctly with a buddy out in Elkins, Arkansas. Near some trails and in a state not mentioned often. Cloudy again all weekend, but today is 81, tomorrow 84, and Sunday more 81.  Maybe you just need to get away from everyone and quarantining with your family is driving you crazy, well look no further than Gorman, California. Gorman is right in the middle of the Transverse Mountain Range amongst several off road trails. Today windy at 69, and sunny tomorrow and Sunday at 70 and 69 degrees. Don’t forget to use the #JeepTalkShow on social media for us to see those pictures. If you have any suggestions or want to know YOUR local weather in an upcoming episode. Go to JeepTalkShow.com/contact in order to find all the ways to get a message to me. I’m Mitch and its always great weekend to Go Topless if you’re brave enough! Just Go Topless responsibly.

Links Mentioned in Episode 435: 

Trans America Trail Info: https://www.transamtrail.com/ 

Find New Trails: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/

All J Products: http://www.boulderbars.com/

4 x 4 Radio Network: http://4x4radionetwork.com/

Jeep Momma’s Blog: www.JeepMomma.com

Jeep Momma’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJeepMomma

Jeep 4-1-1 https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrydriver

Jeep Must Have Stuff Pick Of The Week For Your Jeep:

Rugged Ridge A-Pillar Switch Pod Kit with (or w/o) Rocker Switches 

-$69.99 WITH Switches: 

https://www.extremeterrain.com/rugged-ridge-black-a-pillar-jk-1723596.html

-$27.49 WITHOUT Switches: 

https://www.extremeterrain.com/rugged-ridge-black-a-pillar-jk-1723558.html

Area 66: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/arizona/area-51-az/