CentreSteer #89 – Final Alloy+Grit

Sponsor: Commonwealth Classics

The Eighty-Ninth episode

Buy me a TeaBuy me a Tea

Guest: Bryan Joslin, editor, former Alloy+Grit

Vintage Euro podcast

Guest: David Short, Oxford In America


Episode 452 – Don’t Pinch Your Controller Cable!

This episode brought to you in part by, ExtremeTerrain!  ExtremeTerrain has released a new video aimed at helping Jeep Wrangler owners choose the best soft top just in time for their summer adventures. The video is an upgrade to XT’s comprehensive Jeep tops tech guide covering everything needed to help customers shop, swap, maintain and winterize their top with confidence.

This Week In Jeep: 

“I fought the law, and the law… LOST!”

What happens when you fight the law? Well as the song goes, the law wins… usually. But there are those (very rare) times, when innocent people stand up to government bullies who use things like civil forfeiture laws to steal their property, and the bullies, unaccustomed to such resistance, fold like a cheap suit. That is the basis behind this harrowing story of a Handyman who nearly lost his Jeep to a crooked city government.  Kevin McBride is a successful handyman and his Jeep, the vehicle he uses to make a living was seized by Tucson Arizona Police, after his girlfriend allegedly used it as transportation during a $25 marijuana sale. Ohhh boy watchout, serious cartel action here people! Until last Friday, the Pima County Attorney’s Office was demanding a $1,900 ransom for the safe return of McBride’s lovingly restored Jeep, saying “an outright return of the vehicle is inappropriate in this case.” But the day after the Goldwater Institute threatened to sue on McBride’s behalf, arguing that Arizona’s civil forfeiture law unconstitutionally requires property owners to prove their innocence, …the prosecutors very quickly changed their tune. “Upon inquiry pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-4309(3)(a) & (b), remission is declared,” says a letter dated August 21st from Deputy County Attorney Kevin Krejci, the same official who told McBride in an August 11th letter that he would have to pay $1,900 under a “mitigation” agreement to get his Jeep back.  “The 2000 JEEP WRANGLER…is released from seizure for forfeiture. The seizing agency and any person holding property for the seizing agency are hereby authorized to arrange the release of the seizure for forfeiture on this property.” Goldwater Institute spokesman Mike Brownfield says there was no explanation given. But I will go out on a limb and suggest that the government’s swift reversal has something to do with the negative publicity and legal risk generated by a case like this. A case in which an innocent man lost his only means of transportation and the basis of his livelihood as a handyman because he let his girlfriend take his Jeep to a convenience store so she could fetch him a cold soda while he was working. The cops claim she then sold marijuana to an undercover officer for $25. Although the charges against her were severe enough at the time to both warrant the arrest AND the seizure of a vehicle, they …..have since been dropped.  (Gee shocking, it’s almost as if they had no case at all, no evidence, and no merit for either arresting this poor girl or impounding the Jeep to begin with”.  Yet for reasons which have not yet been explained to the public by the Tucson city police department, the Jeep remained in custody, accused of participating in criminal activity. What? Were they planning on giving the Jeep its own day in court? It’s ridiculous. Arizona law would have allowed McBride to challenge the forfeiture by arguing that he “did not know and could not reasonably have known” about the alleged illegal use of his property. But the burden would have been on him to prove that, and it would have required months of investigation and evidence collecting, and spending thousands of dollars on a lawyer with no guarantee of winning. If the Goldwater Institute had not agreed to represent him for free Kevin McBride would literally be destitute. Law enforcement agencies now rely on and count on those kinds of barriers as a revenue stream. I mean did you know that Arizona law enforcement agencies, among many other state law enforcement agencies, get to keep 100 percent of the proceeds from the forfeitures they handle? It is basically extortion when innocent property owners like McBride, when faced with the insane financial obligations that are required to fight forfeitures like this, find out it will cost more than what the property (a Jeep in this case)  is likely worth. Average people typically just give up, not being able to afford the costs of fighting, they cut their losses and walk away. If the city government sold McBride’s Jeep for $15,000 (which is what McBride estimates it is worth), local cops and prosecutors would have split the money. Even without risking a legal challenge, they would have gotten $1,900 for the price of a letter if McBride had done the sensible thing by surrendering. Multiply those ill-gotten gains by all the seizures that happen in just the state of Arizona, and you’ve got nearly $30 million to pad law enforcement budgets each year. And if you don’t think that tends to warp policing priorities, you’ve been watching too much TV. While the public safety payoff from seizures like this one are zero, the profit adds up pretty quickly for the crooked agencies operating like this year after year. Goldwater Institute senior attorney Matt Miller said in a press release that ((QUOTE)) “Kevin isn’t the only Jeep owner who’s been targeted by civil asset forfeiture schemes—and unfortunately, he probably won’t be the last. The Goldwater Institute will continue to put pressure on states to reform or repeal these unfair laws—whether through legal action or through state legislatures amending these laws to require a criminal conviction.” So kiddies… What’s the moral of the story here? … DON’T LET ANYONE, ESPECIALLY YOUR SUPER HOT STONER GIRLFRIEND, BORROW YOUR JEEP!

Jeep’s Top Canine Winner Announced!

National Dog Day was Wednesday, August 26th. And this year’s 16th annual celebration of all that is dog was emphasized by a very special tribute from Jeep. You may remember back on episode 447, that we talked about Jeeps national search for a new furry representative for the Jeep brand. One that would proudly take center stage in all of the brands Social Media advertising and marketing. Dubbed as Jeep’s Top Canine Search, and using hashtag #topcanine, Jeep set out to find the perfect Jeep pooch. Applicants were asked to submit pictures, and people could go onto the site portal and vote on their favorites. We of course posted up that link, in that episode, and we sincerely hoped you supported the brand by voting. Well, the numbers are in, and this week, the results were announced. The top 7 finalists in the Jeep Top Canine Contest are: Louis from Edwards, Illinois. Stark from Ivy land, Pennsylvania. Luna from Pflugerville, Texas. Rollo from Columbus, Ohio Floyd from San Diego California. Macy from Edmeston, New York Peaches from Madison, Virginia. All cute and very much Jeeping dogs. Jeep waves and milk-bones for all… for all you Jeepers who submitted your own dog and helped out the Jeep brand by voting for your favorite. But despite what the grade schools are teaching our kids, there can be only one winner. And that pooch, picked from thousands of other Jeep dogs, Man’s AND Jeep’s best friend, crowned king of all doggies, and now proudly with the official title of Jeep’s Top Canine, The Ultimate Jeep Dog… and undisputed winner is: Bear from North borough, Massachusetts! Bear looks to be a mostly all black Australian shepherd and lab mix perhaps. His winning picture has him standing in the back of his Jeep Wrangler, his paws are draped over the spare tire, as a US flag handkerchief sits comfortably around his neck, and another hangs off the corner of the Jeep in the foreground. Bear’s smile and tongue hanging out adds a perfect touch to the charm of this Jeep dog. Chief marketing officer for FCA Olivier Francois, noted that ((QUOTE))  “it’s almost an unwritten law that if you take your Jeep out, your dog is coming with you.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Bear will retain his title for one year, until National Dog Day of 2021, when a new Top Canine will be picked. Congratulations from all of us here at The Jeep Talk Show to Bear and his humans.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk: 

Ball Joint (and other front end component) Testing

Ball joints are one of those often overlooked components of our Jeeps that we typically don’t pay any attention to. That is until they fail. And a failing ball joint can produce all kinds of problems from poor tire wear, bad alignment, poor steering response, and even (dare i say it) …the condition whose name shall not be spoken ….death wobble.  Ball joints are much like the human hip in the sense that they work just like the ball and socket design of the joint on our body. A ball joint consists of a bearing stud and socket enclosed in a casing. The bearing stud is tapered and threaded, and this is the end that fits into a tapered hole in the steering knuckle. A protective encasing prevents dirt from getting into the joint assembly. Usually, this is a rubber-like boot that allows movement and expansion of lubricant. The joint itself is designed to articulate and provide soft and controlled steering. If the protective boot has ruptured or the grease has leaked out, the joint could be compromised, causing dangerously excessive movement vertically or horizontally. A quick visual inspection will be sufficient in determining the condition of the grease boot if yours is so equipped. So other than looking at the things, how else can we tell if this critical component of our Jeep’s front end is going bad? If you have a dial indicator handy, you can check vertical and horizontal movement that way, but that gets into knowing the specific allowances of that ball joint when compared to the factory tolerances, and these are numbers that most of us don’t have access to.  Ok, so now what? Well another test you can do is with a jack and a friend.  Jack up one front corner of the Jeep until the wheel is off the ground. Have your friend use their super sharp, eagle-eye vision to watch one of the two ball joints at that corner of the Jeep very carefully. Now would be the perfect time to take off and have a nice cold beer. When you get back, thank your friend for keeping an eye on your parts and watch out for the left hook. Next, take a pry bar, a big stick, broom handle, or anything long and strong enough to give you some prying leverage, and place it in between the floor and your tire. Using the pry bar, push up on the tire a couple of times. If your friend sees any slight movement between the ball joint and the steering knuckle then it is likely worn out and should be replaced. Allowable ball joint play is measured in the millimetres, so If there is any “obvious” movement, the ball joint has likely failed.  So long as the knuckle freely rotates, and there is no side to side play, then you are fine. Have your friend watch the other ball joint for that wheel and do the test again to see if the second joint is worn out. After you finish testing both ball joints on that side, move to the other side and repeat the tests. Speaking of tests… “While you’re in there” … you might as well do the test to check your wheel bearings. Good thing you didn’t bail on that friend helping you to go have a beer or something…. Because you’re going to need another set of eyes again. This next test is going to look at the tie rod, or more importantly its ends. This will be as easy as grabbing the tire in the 3 and 9-o-clock positions, and while having your friend watch the tie rod ends, try to wiggle the tire from side to side. If your friend sees the tie-rod end wiggle back and forth, but the tie-rod bar itself is not moving, then the tie-rod end is worn out. If the rod end is worn out or if the rubber boot on the tie-rod end is damaged (or missing altogether) then that rod end should be replaced. Note that on some stock Jeep steering systems, the entire tie rod will need to be replaced, as they were designed with a non-serviceable end, that is actually all one piece with the rod itself. If this is the case, this will be the perfect time for an upgrade! (Cue Wendy’s “uh-huh”)  Repeat this test on each wheel to check the other tie-rods. During these tests, you or your friend should be watching for other signs of front end component wear and excessive movement as well. The track bar ends should be inspected as should the axle and frame side mounts. Those should be checked for excessive play where the bolt goes through the mount itself. This hole can get wallowed out over time, and cause all kinds of steering  and handling issues too. Now just as easy as the last test, and another one of those “While you’re in there” moments, is the wheel bearing test.  The wheel bearings on your Jeep are tested in a manner much like your tie-rod ends. With one of your front wheels off the ground, place your hands on the 6 and 12-o-clock positions of the tire this time. Try to wiggle the wheel from the top and bottom, if you feel movement, your wheel bearing is most likely worn out and should be replaced.  Move to the other side and repeat this test. These three tests I just taught you are the basic critical steps in diagnosing death wobble. So now you can teach this to other Jeepers, and we might just be able to keep this scourge of the solid axle away for good!  As with any time you are working with a vehicle that is jacked up off the ground and has a wheel in the air, be sure to exercise extreme caution and safety.  And as always, if this or any of the topics covered in tech talk are above your skill set or comfort level. Please take the Jeep in to a qualified mechanic.

Newbie Nuggets: 

Why we air down

We were on a training run helping Don with a student when along came a small Toyota truck, fairly set up for off-roading, but as he passed this one particular hill climb, he stopped, backed up and decided to “climb” this obstacle. Now I wish I had the video camera because I just knew he was going to provide a great video on what not to do. Well he didn’t disappoint. He revved up the engine and “hit it”, climbing the hill on the wrong line, in my opinion, and as he got to the top, there is a huge hole on the right side of the hill that if you don’t pick the right line, and you cannot make it up all the way. Well he took the wrong line and as he “fell into the hole” he got stuck and began to spin his tires – a lot. So much so that the rooster tail of dirt he created was exactly what I was describing to the students that you don’t do in trail climbing. Well he continued to spin and the tires eventually “grabbed” the dirt and pulled him slightly upward, however he was not on the right line and darn near flipped it over backwards. I have no idea how he stayed upright, balancing like a top, back and forth. Since he wasn’t going to make it up, he started to back down the hill and almost flipped it again. He got to the bottom turned around and went on his merry way down the trail. This got me thinking, I wonder if jeepers really know why it is a good idea to air the tires down when off-roading.  Airing down the tires for rock crawling, desert riding, snow and mud offer several advantages for wheeling. We have discussed in previous episodes the types of tools for airing down and airing up, and we have discussed how much to air down which is determined by your tire sidewall stiffness, what vehicle you are driving and the type of terrain or obstacle. 1)  Airing down offers a much smoother ride on the trail. It can smooth out the bumps driving on a fire road and if you have passengers you may want to consider airing down to give them a bit of comfort too. 2)  Airing down allows the tire to grip to the obstacle by allowing more surface area and improved traction. This extra traction can mean the difference of getting over an obstacle or struggling and creating wheel spin that is unnecessary in crawling. 3)  Aired down tires actually tread lightly. This means less erosion to the trail system because you are distributing the weight of the vehicle over a larger contact patch. This reduces the wear and tear on the trails and gives you more traction. 4)  Finally, airing down reduces the possibility of a puncture. Think about puncturing a fully inflated balloon vs a partially deflated balloon. It would be harder to puncture the deflated balloon. Less air means less chance of a puncture. We always recommend airing down when on a trail, even an easy road. It’s amazing when a driver does and then says later, “wow that made a huge difference”. So let’s all try to reduce our footprint on the trails by airing down. It’s easier on the roads and easier on the body. Do you air down and have you noticed the difference by being aired down in crawling or driving on the fire roads?

Must Have Stuff:

Skid Row Off Road – YJ Logo Foot Peg Set – JP-1022 – $58.00 Summer has been hot, it’s no question… in fact many regions have seen record heat waves this year. And one of the best ways to beat the heat is to take the doors off when you drive. Going doorless and topless is one of the best things about owning a Jeep. And nothing makes that open air feeling better than sticking your leg out into the airstream, NO not that large silver trailer in the lane next to you, keep your foot out of that! No what I’m talking about is Wrangler foot pegs. If you need a comfortable spot to place your foot after your doors are removed, then look no further than Skid Row Offroad. They’ve been making amazing armor and accessories for the Jeep community for many years. Their entire line of Foot Pegs install in the lower door hinge on both the driver and passenger side of your Jeep. They’re set at a comfortable angle and have something many of the other manufacturers don’t include…  rubber bumpers to prevent damaging your Jeeps paint. No tools are required to install the Foot Pegs, once your doors are off that is. The ones that we are highlighting this week are specific to YJ Wranglers, in the sense that they have a custom YJ letter logo cut out of the foot rest. They have them for CJ, LJ, TJ, and even JK owners as well. And if you want something a little less on the nose… they even have “his” and “hers” versions as well which have the word his or hers cut out of the foot rest respectively. All are made in the USA from 3/16” steel. They are powder coated with a semi gloss black and come with all the hardware and instructions you need to install them. Another cool line of products from Skid Row. BEWARE OF IMITATORS! https://www.skidrowoffroad.com/product/foot-pegs-for-jeep-wrangler-yj-1987-1995/

Campfire Side Chat:

This episode’s topic was; Accidents happen. Carnage happens. Wear and tear happens. Whatever happened, how long was the longest that your Jeep was down for repairs or modifications? Our list of attendees! Thanks for joining us via the Zoom meeting guys! (Sign up for our newsletter to find out how to join in on our weekly Zoom meeting https://jeeptalkshow.com/newsletter)

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

Jeep 4-1-1  https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrydriver
Must Have Stuff Pick-of-the-Week for your Jeep! Skid Row Off Road – YJ Logo Foot Peg Set – JP-1022 – $58.00 https://www.skidrowoffroad.com/product/foot-pegs-for-jeep-wrangler-yj-1987-1995/


Episode 451 – Centerforce Clutches and WARN Wheels!

This episode brought to you in part by, ExtremeTerrain!  ExtremeTerrain has released a new video aimed at helping Jeep Wrangler owners choose the best soft top just in time for their summer adventures. The video is an upgrade to XT’s comprehensive Jeep tops tech guide covering everything needed to help customers shop, swap, maintain and winterize their top with confidence.

This Week In Jeep: 

Warn (The Winch Company) Is Making Jeep Wheels!

There is no doubt that WARN winches and Jeeps are almost synonymous with one another. And in fact, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who knew about winches but never heard the WARN name. Aside from making world famous world class winches for the front of our JEeps, WARN is also known for their manual locking hubs as well. WARN is now trying their hand at making Jeep wheels, and to be honest, they look pretty sweet. Just this week, WARN in a world wide press release announced that they are officially entering the wheel market. The statement reads: “WARN Epic Wheels are TPMS-compatible and work with factory lug nuts. They’re also tested to meet stringent SAE J2530 certification for durability, ensuring a long service life both on and off the trail. Additionally, WARN Epic Wheels are covered by a lifetime structural warranty.” Right now, the only line Warn has is the Epic line, which is meant for Jeep Wrangler JKs, current-gen JLs, and JT pickups. They’re hub-centric cast-aluminum wheels weighing in at just over 24 pounds apiece, sized 17×8.5 with a 5×5 (5×127) bolt pattern and 0 offset. That lack of an offset may become a problem if 1 ton steering is used, and I’ve seen aluminum wheels get utterly destroyed in the rocks, but that will remain to be seen with these. As far as price goes, well consider this… WARN is a top-tier offroad accessories manufacturer, and most of what they sell comes at a premium price.  So if you were thinking these brand spanking new wheels from WARN Industries were going to be cheap, think again, especially considering they come with a lifetime warranty. There are three designs in the Epic line to choose from currently,  Diamond Cutter, Jackhammer, and Moonsault… and they are all currently listed on WARN’s website for about $260 each. That’s not outrageous as far as truck wheels go, but it’s no soft 8 either. All three wheel designs are also available in a matte black or a gunmetal grey. Personally, I think they look pretty cool, and they even incorporated a nod of the cap to the original locking hub design in the layout of the center caps. I think it may be time to reach out to Warn again for another interview especially considering they have some cool new products out. My personal favorite is hands down the Diamond Cutter model in Gunmetal Grey. What’s yours? https://www.warn.com/products-epic-wheels

The Debate Is Over!

If you’ve been an offroader for any length of time, you are undoubtedly aware of the long standing feud between Jeepers and Toyota owners. No I’m not talking about the Wrangler vs. Prius crowd, although that is hilarious for sure… What I’m talking about is how every Tacoma owner thinks every Jeep owner is a pretentious snob who doesn’t know the first thing about wheeling, and how every Jeeper has first hand knowledge of Toyota owners making the rest of us offroaders look bad by their trail etiquette. Well now that debate has extended to ON ROAD vehicles as well. And after this week’s video which has gone viral on multiple platforms, showing a Toyota Tacoma owner, deliberately pushing a Wrangler into a pair of motorcycle cops, I’d say the debate is over, and Toyota lost big time! And before you jump down my throat for being insensitive or making assumptions, yes… it was very much deliberate. How can I tell you ask? Well, you can CLEARLY see and hear the Toyota owner getting pissy and impatient because the line of traffic isn’t moving as fast as they want. After demonstrating to everyone watching that his manhood is being measured with the increase of the revving intensity, he then steps up his outbursts by lunging the truck multiple times toward the Jeep in front of him. As it usually goes with Tacoma owners they don’t know how to stay off the skinny pedal, and this douche bag’s display of impatience further proves this trend among these people, and will likely have landed him in Jail on charges of oh i dunno, let’s see here, public endangerment, reckless or at the very least negligent driving, assault with a vehicle, I mean we can go on and on. Thankfully no one was hurt in the video, but it cuts off right before the one cop who was ejected from his bike gets up and nearly drags the passenger out of the Toyota and out onto the street for what would be a vicious beatin…  I mean detaining them in a civil manner. I hope this person gets the book thrown at them, and the passenger too for not doing something to stop this kind of behavior, like pulling the keys out of the ignition and calming the roid-rage from this testicularly challenged individual. The video says it all, and shows it in stunning high definition. If you want to see it for yourself, we’ll post up the link in the show notes for this episode at Jeeptalkshow.com  https://youtu.be/Mjwwan05pZ8

If only these two could win “Teacher of the Year”

First-grade teacher Patricia Dovi will pull up to St. Barnabas Episcopal School in DeLand, Florida, on the first day of school in her Jeep. She’ll walk down a hallway and head into her classroom, where she’ll be met with 13 mini-Jeeps, which will function as her students’ desks for the entire year. The Jeeps are actually a clever approach to help ensure that her students are social distancing in the classroom. In the classroom next door, what do we see? …why it’s Kim Martin’s classroom which is also filled with similar desks resembling the famous vehicle. The two first-grade teachers share curriculum and learning plans, and this year, their classrooms will both feature the Jeeping desks. The idea came about when a colleague showed Dovi a similar concept from an elementary school teacher in Texas. Dovi, who is obsessed with Jeeps, immediately wanted to recreate the design. The school supplied the Plexiglas tri-folds, and Dovi and Martin paid for the decorations out of pocket. Martin estimates that the desks took about seven days to complete. With the help of friends and family, each of the students will find their own Jeep waiting for them when they get to school on August 26. To make things more personable, on the first day of class, the students will get to design their own license plate for their Jeeps. Martin said she’s embracing a highway theme and Dovi is implementing outdoor and camping elements throughout her classroom decorations. Mark Allen, the head of Jeep exterior design, saw the tweet that went out earlier this week, and said he was impressed by the teachers’ imagination and ingenuity. Schools across the country are currently balancing how to welcome students back into the classroom while keeping them safe. Some argue that plastic dividers will help, but many think they’re still not enough. Either way, I approve of this concept and feel that even if in the future these dividers were deemed not necessary anymore, that the teachers would just cut large openings in the plastic, and give the kids that open air Jeep experience. 

Jeep Life:

Lesson 3 Learned on the Rubicon Trail

Tony, Josh and Wendy. $818 for a new windshield. I am so thankful it was covered on my insurance. I only had to pay $100. I’m not sure what other vehicles’ glass cost but for the Wrangler’s OEM Glass with the seven slot grille up near the rear view mirror and the little Willy’s Jeep on the rocks on the passenger side… you know… Those Jeep Easter Eggs. The glass alone was $622. I was able to also keep my 2 FBomb stickers from the old windshield.  So my 3rd Lesson Learned on the Rubicon Trail. This is a lesson I started learning when I took my first off road trip across the country. It’s knowing the difference between Plan and Prepare. A plan is always good to have but something off roaders / overlanders / Jeepers need to know. A plan can disappoint you. A plan can prevent you from seeing or doing something amazing. We had a very detailed plan for our Across America Adventure. However we had to deviate from it from the moment I left my driveway. That was really hard for me. I am a planner. I plan all the details. When a plan doesn’t go as planned I get upset. It will ruin my adventure. SO after a few days on that trip I learned to let the Adventure lead me. Because of that attitude we saw things we wouldn’t have seen. We did things we hadn’t planned and we met so many amazing people we never would have met. When you are flexible on your adventure it opens up your ability to take that side road.   I worked really hard to remember that when we were getting ready for the Rubicon Trail. One Jeeper who was going to go with us kept asking us what our Plan was. She wanted a detailed day by day where we were planning on wheeling and camping. We shared the meet up time and gave a list of things to Prepare for and a couple of possible “leave the trail” days. She wasn’t up for that and needed a more detailed Plan. This is where Planning and Preparing differ and being Prepared as an off roader / overlander is way more important. Planning can disappoint. Being Prepared makes the trip so much more fun. Preparing for all possible outcomes makes for a better trip. When we headed up Icehouse Road to the trail head it took longer than I expected and I had to keep reminding myself to chill and it’s okay we are off schedule. I kept remembering my trip from this past fall. It’s okay to have a plan but you need to be flexible to deviate from that plan. It is much more important to be prepared. Extra food, extra water, recovery gear, warm clothes, extra gas etc. Be prepared for breaking down, Be prepared for bad weather, Be prepared to help others on the trail. Prepare your mind mentally to expect the unexpected. It is a really good idea to discuss all the possible preparations needed. This will make your experience so much better. Next week Lesson Learned number 4

Interview with:

Will Baty – Center Force Clutch

Will has been working at Centerforce for the past 32 years, doing R&D and Marketing. An off-road enthusiast for decades, Will entered the Jeep world in the last few years with the purchase of his Jeep JKU and has been in love ever since. On the weekends you can find Will exploring the mountains and trails of Arizona. Centerforce Performance Clutch, Headquartered in Prescott, Arizona, is proud to be recognized as the leading manufacturer of performance clutch and pressure plate systems in the USA.

Newbie Nuggets:

A funny thing happened

We had family over this weekend to celebrate my husband’s dads b-day (which was in March but we couldn’t get together) and Bill decides to take a few of the family members out on a quick jeep run. Just to give them a chance to see or do something they probably would not be able to do since they do not own a jeep. He decides that he is going to take his dad, and his brother and his brother’s wife out and just do the first obstacle on Gold Mountain. I asked if he had anyone else going with him and he said, “don’t need it, it’s just the first obstacle, only about 6 miles round trip from home and we have the radios so I can communicate with you, so we are all good”. Well, Bill is an experienced jeeper and knows a lot of stuff and I have driven that part of the trail and it’s fairly easy going and if anything happens Bill can handle it. Who am I to argue, I’m a newbie still (sort of). So off they went. They got to the bottom of the trail and aired down and Bill checked in with us and surprisingly we had a clear signal with the radios. He proceeded up the trail while I, my dad and my father-in-law’s wife stayed at the house and played cards. Great break for us and I know  his dad wanted to do the run, since that’s the kind of stuff Bill learned from his dad growing up.   Some time had passed and I realized I hadn’t heard from them. I wasn’t too worried but it did give me a reason to pause and think of all the possible issues one could have on that trail. Those thoughts quickly passed as I know Bill is experienced and can handle anything. About 20 minutes later he checks in. This is what he said, “You’re not going to believe this, but I ran out of gas”. I said, “WHAT? How is that possible? It’s the first thing we check and make sure of before we go off trial?” He said, “I was heading back down the second obstacle and stopped the jeep on a steep downhill slope, just above the hardest part of the second obstacle, so my brother could get out and take some pictures. As I sat waiting for him to take the pictures, the gas ran to the front of the gas tank and left the pick-up tube for the pump dry and couldn’t get fuel to the engine”. He mentions to me that he didn’t actually run out of gas…. It was just such a steep angle and the 1/3 tank of gas wasn’t enough to cover the pickup pump.”  It literally ran out of gas, even though there was 1/3 of a tank when he left the house. First off: why did he go to the second obstacle without another jeep? Second: I couldn’t wait to share this story on the show because my husband is the BEST wheeler I know and to have this happen is simply priceless! Ok it gets better – so he discovers that they can’t push the jeep off the obstacle and downhill because it’s stuck in a hole or rut at the base of the obstacle, so it’s essentially stuck going downhill!!!! So Bill gets out and has to use the winch to pull himself, downhill! Did you get that, downhill!! BUT to make all this work, he has to be in the driver’s seat, with the brake on (no power steering or power brakes), while he uses the winch AND controls the jeep so it doesn’t keep on going downhill. OK I don’t know about you, but I was laughing the whole time he told me what he had to do. I was envisioning him trying to do all this with a bum hip and no help from the family – they didn’t have a clue on what to do. He truly is an experienced jeeper and handy at all things. He managed to get the jeep off the obstacle to a level part of the hill and the gas filled back up and he was able to start the jeep and continue on. Who would have thought this could have happened? Oh I love a good trail story but it made me realize that in all the episodes I really didn’t talk about the gas level. So three things I want to emphasize today. 1)  Always make sure you have a full tank when you go out. Even a 1/3  tank of gas on a short run can cause some interesting obstacle challenges, like running out of gas on an incline or decline! 2)  Have a good form of commutation, like a CB or Ham radio 3)  Always go out with someone else (or leave a flight plan). Even if it’s an easy trail. Had he not had a winch to get himself free, he would still be there or he would have had to call someone else to come help because I was NOT going to leave my card game to go get him. So don’t be a Bill and go out alone on a black diamond trail with only a 1/3 of a tank – I don’t care how experienced you are or how capable your jeep is, you just never know when you might park on a steep slope and you need to winch yourself out – downhill.  Now his family had a great time and got a very real experience in jeeping, and I’m sure we will laugh about this for a while – I’m still laughing just because this could have gone downhill badly, but everything turned out OK. And on another good note, the radios performed beautifully. I guess we had a great line-of-sight for the signal. Good thing Huh?

Must Have Stuff:

Olympia Tools Adjustable Wrench 24 Inches $36.95 Adjustable up to 2.5” or 63.5mm The Olympia Tools 01-024 Adjustable Wrench is crafted from hardened and tempered drop-forged alloy steel. Chrome plated and fully polished to resist corrosion, the Olympia Tools 01-024 Adjustable Wrench features precision machined jaws and a knurled adjustment worm. The jaw opening is 2.50-inch/64-mm.  Andy’s nuts are 57mm, ahhh lower long arm nuts. https://amzn.to/2YC5TZB

Wheeling Where:

Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion
Aug 20-22
LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, TN

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

Center Force Clutch https://www.centerforce.com/
Olympia Tools Adjustable Wrench 24 Inches $36.95 https://amzn.to/2YC5TZB
WARN Jeep Wheels https://www.warn.com/products-epic-wheels
Toyota Pushes Jeep into Police https://youtu.be/Mjwwan05pZ8
Jeep 4-1-1 https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrydriver