Jeep Talk Show Survey Results

We’ve been running this survey for a few months now.  Thank you to all that took the time for fill it out.  There is nothing sexy about a survey, well maybe in Penthouse, but I digress…

Here are the results at the time of this post.

 

 

Episode 420 – The Jeep Tank Is Here!


Please visit our sponsors:

ExtremeTerrain, Wrangler off-road parts and accessories outfitter. This episode you’ll hear about Merideth Evasew’s latest Throttle Out… featuring a wicked Deegan 38 and Teraflex themed JLU Rubicon build that you’ll want to see for yourself.  

This Week In Jeep:

And the award goes to……

To many Jeep owners around the world, Toledo Ohio is probably the most recognized city of all the cities in the United States because Toledo is where they make Jeeps. And now one Jeep model is being called the best of its kind. The Toledo-made Jeep Gladiator was just officially named the 2020 North American Truck of the Year, giving the Glass City and the Jeep brand as a whole nother honor to be proud of. To win the award, trucks are judged on a number of criteria including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.  The Gladiator beat out the Ford Ranger and Ram Heavy Duty for features like the soft-top removable roof and doors that make it the one-of-a-kind truck we already know it is. Congrats to Jeep for winning an award in a category previously dominated by full size trucks with a first gen pickup right out of the gate. 

The Jeep Tank

If money was no object, I’m sure we’d all have a pretty sweet Jeep. And if you‘ve owned your jeep for a bit now and have spent any amount of money on it making it your own, then you’ve undoubtedly had those “what if money was no object” dreams. It seems an Irvine California business has taken this dream and made it a reality in their own vision.  And to some, what they’ve done leaves us wondering just how much Jeep is left over? Much like other performance companies (like Hennessey Performance for instance) who brought to us a 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds 1000HP Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Rezvani Motors takes an average 4 door Jeep Wrangler and turns it into an ungodly machine of raw power and absolute authority. And it can be yours for just over a quarter million dollars. “Designed For Defense, Built For The Road.” Rezvani Motors Presents to you the toughest and most powerful road going Extreme Utility Vehicle on Earth. The Jeep Tank Military Edition. I hope you’re sitting down because here’s what a six figure Jeep gets you. First off, no… it does not have a rotating turret that shoots 105mm rounds at people who go too slow in the fast lane. What it DOES share with something like an M1 Abrams is this: Bullet proof glass and body armor all around including Underside Explosive Protection for when the trucker bomb thrown from that semi in front of you turns out to be a cleverly disguised incendiary device. This includes a Self sealing fuel tank, Radiator protection, and a highly Reinforced suspension system. Let’s say you need to rescue the wife’s labradoodle from the middle of the blown up nail and spike factory, ….at night. Then the equipped military grade Runflat Tires and the Thermal Night Vision System, will get you in and out with no worries. And if for some reason you need to suddenly go all James Bond by crashing through a door and covering your ex-fil behind a “Spy Hunter” like smoke screen, then this Jeep has the bumpers and smoke screen deployment system to get the job done. Speaking of getting the job done, powered by a 1000 HP 6.2L Demon V8, you will traverse any terrain you want with ease. And in order to stop all that raw power and mass, the brakes have been overhauled with massive 16 inch rotors and eight piston calipers all around, ensuring this tank can stop on a dime. Not that you were (at all) day dreaming of completely screeching through that crosswalk wiping out at least three man-bun sporting hipsters. But if you need to let them know they need to watch where you’re going, It also has Siren and Horn Options not available to the rest of the auto market that you can use to  scare the starbucks right out of those screen addicts in the crosswalk paying more attention to their phone than to where they’re going. The outraged whorde of millennials can also try as they might to get in or even reach your new Jeep Tank, since it has a full suite of defence systems including disorienting strobe lights, high power wide spectrum blinding lights, and a full intercom system for inside and outside communication to keep them at bay. And if your warnings to stay away from your Jeep were not heeded, then you can rest safe knowing the electrified door handles and magnetic deadbolts will keep what’s inside the Jeep safe and sound from forced intrusion. Even when the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) from a nuclear detonation has wiped out all the electronics of your neighbors prius, your Jeep is fully protected behind it’s built in (EMP) Protection. And speaking of protection, you also get military grade first aid kits, gas masks, and hypothermia kits should you need to deal with the coming nuclear winter. Of course we’ll all be laughing later around the campfire at everything that was caught on the video feed from the 360 degree onboard Continuous video recording system this thing has. If a starting price of over $250K is “just a bit outside” of your budget, then Rezvani Motors has both the Tank, and Tank X models starting at $155k if you want to see the images of this thing yourself or to order one, we’ll have the link in the description – just insist that we get a commission when you cut that check. https://www.rezvanimotors.com/tank-military-edition

Rugged RH-5R deja vu?

I try to let people know when they can get a good deal on something, or good quality over savings.  I think most people are the same. I have some background in radio, so when people start talking about Rugged radios I always think about the really cheap handheld radio they sell.  RH-5R I believe is the Rugged model. Recently someone posted how you could get one of these for $68 instead of the normal $85 price. WHAT?!?!?! This is a rebranded Baofeng UV-5R that you can buy from Amazon for $29.95!  I did a little digging and thanks to Jon of our Radio Com Tech segment I was able to figure it out that the Rugged handheld radio was pre-programmed with commercial frequencies, that are shared by Rugged and several other services, including hospitals. Did you know that with a $9 cable, free CHIRP software and a computer you could download the names and frequencies from the Rugged RH-5R and program a $29.95 BaoFeng UV-5R with those same names and frequencies? Now there’s nothing wrong with a company adding value and charging for it, but $55?  Oh and yes you can get the blue BaoFeng radio from Amazon if you like. They also have it in red or yellow. I’ve only looked into the RH-5R from Rugged but the other radios they sell look very familiar, more rebranded radios?  I think so. Did you buy a Rugged radio?  Did you know there was a much cheaper alternative for the same radio?  Would you still buy the Rugged radio today? Let us know, we’d like to hear from you.

Jeep Life:

Wrenching Therapy

I have been in the garage all week. I am now realizing how wrenching is good therapy. We are working on the Extreme Jeep Mash UP. We have the TJ frame meshed with the LJ frame. We have the LS engine out and ready to put into the LJ. In between all that we helped a Jeep Girl with her XJ. Whoever did the work before us put on some cheesy fix for the crossmember. They didn’t use a proper drop kit. So we fixed that. It looks like she needs some more work like the tie rod and wheel bearings. The wrenching therapy has been helping me deal with my personal issues with the separation and missing my kids.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Wet Weather Trail Repair Kit

It never fails, you’ve done this trail a dozen times if you’ve done it once, but something is different this time, a rock has moved, that stump is way undercut now, and ahhh crap…before you know it you’re off your line, and BAM! Trail Carnage! If you go offroad enough, something will inevitably happen where it’s either… find someone to tow you to safety, or you fix something, SOME way, here and now and get back on your way under your own power. Sometimes trail repairs are as simple as replacing a fuse or wrapping a hose with enough tape, and everyone can get one their way before anyone has a chance to even water the flowers. And sometimes it’s a full axle shaft swap while the Jeep is in deep rocks and it’s dusk, and raining sideways. It’s no fun, but when it’s just you and another rig and you’re not getting that C-clip Jeep out of these rocks with a broken axle, you gotta do what you gotta do. Now we can spend an entire show on what to carry for any given trail repair scenario, and honestly, we’d likely have a list longer than what your Jeep has room to carry. And besides, everyone knows their own Jeep’s weak points best, has their own tips and tricks for dealing with the typical kinds of breaks out on the trail that they’ll incur, and usually carries parts and tools accordingly. So I’ll save the big lists for another show and focus on a couple key tips that will make dealing with a trail repair in inclement weather a bit easier. A lot of this will come down to preparation, as it does with a lot of things in the Jeep world. Obviously if the forecast is clear for 4 days either side of your trip in the middle of July, then likely you’re not going to need to plan to deal with the weather too much. But if you wheel in the spring, in wetter climates like mine, or where a rain storm can roll in with little to no warning, then you want to have some key items that will make a trail repair easier to deal with in that kind of weather. One of the things that can just utterly take the wind out of your sails during a trail repair is getting wet. High end rain suits would do the job of keeping you plenty dry, but they are generally thick, take up a fair amount of room, arent what I call fun to crawl around in, and if they get torn, are usually kind of expensive to replace. Cheap survival style rain suits are thin, easily replaced or stored in multiples, and can do a decent job of keeping the majority of the rain coming down, (and the water already ON the trail) from getting into your undies. And if you snag a pant leg or sleeve on a tree root or rock then no biggie. These things can oftentimes be had for under five bucks, and if you really want to cheap out and go with the poncho style, then you can get them for a dollar or less. So having a couple on hand isn’t out of the question. Let’s say you need to get under your jeep out on a muddy trail …in the rain. Having something to lay down on that isn’t sopping wet and muddy or that won’t soak up trail water like a piece of cardboard would, then it will make the process not as bad as it could be otherwise. Cheap small sized tarps from your local hardware store or discount tool store like Northern Tool or Harbor Freight work great for this. And when you’re all done and it’s time to fold up that greasy wet and muddy tarp, do you just want to throw it on the back seat? Of course not! Nor do you want all that grime and muck to find it’s way out of the folds in that tarp and into the interior of your Jeep. Those big clothing bags from department stores work great as a trail repair tarp chuck bag. If storing a couple Macy’s bags in a pouch somewhere in your Jeep clashes with your manliness, then head down to your local tire shop and talk them out of a few tire bags. They take up hardly any room and work great as a place to put that wet and muddy tarp after your done with your trail side repair, and doubles as a place to chuck rags, spent gloves and other debris without people questioning your manhood. When you get home you can deal with it then, or if the tarp inside is disposable to you, you can throw the whole thing out and replace it with fresh supplies. After all, you’re not doing a trail repair in the rain every time you go out. You’re likely not going to stay completely dry doing a trail repair in the rain no matter what, so it’s a good idea to keep a shammy style towel or two in the wet weather kit too. These can be had for about a buck a piece so don’t splurge here either. Even the little dinky ones from the tool stores work well for drying off your head, face, neck and arms after a good soaking. Wring it out, and you’re good to go again. They’re infinitely reusable, cheap, and don’t take up more room than a deck of cards. Between a few sets of gloves, a few ponchos or a rain suit, a small tarp and a couple tire bags and a shammy towel or two, …the whole wet weather trail repair kit can fit into a cleverly packed plastic container or ammo can. Oh, and by the way, I’d be surprised if you spent more than $20 putting one of these together. So it’s practical to have a couple on hand at all times. Let me know if you’ve got something like this in your own Jeep. Next week, we’re going to go over the same thing, but for snow! So make sure your subscribed so you don’t miss out.

Must Have Stuff for your Jeep:

If you’ve even so much as ever SAT in a wrangler you already know that they’re not exactly built with a whole lot of storage in mind.  So any time we see a new wrangler storage solutions product come around that is at a reasonable price and serves a practical function, we like to bring it to the attention of the Jeep world. This week’s must have item for your Jeep is for those who are lucky enough to own one of the new generation of JL wranglers, or the JT Gladiator pickup truck. This is the The Quadratec Grab Bar Tray. and as it’s name clearly suggests, it’s a small storage tray that just slides into that space between the grab handle slot and your dash. At that point the installation is finished. No tape or any tools required! It works great for holding loose change, snacks or a passenger’s cell phone. Made of rigid ABS plastic, this thing is built to withstand the rigors of off road snacking demands. Just be aware that anything you stick in there will become a projectile in the event of a crash or rollover, so prob not the best place for your letter opener or spare framing nails.

Quadratec Grab Bar Tray for 18-20 Jeep Wrangler JL / Gladiator JT $24.99 https://www.quadratec.com/p/quadratec/grab-bar-tray-jeep-wrangler-jl-gladiator-jt

Jeep Weather: 

Mitch

Hey Jeeper, Mitch here, today is the seventeenth of January 2020, and it’s time for your weekend Going Topless-Jeep Weather Report. Winter is still going strong and we still must wheel. Extreme Terrain recommends a few places to go, so I’ll give you the weather there. Known for powdery snow, winter sports, abundant wildlife, and epic scenery. Go Topless in the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming. Conveniently there is a city with the same name just East of the ranges. In Bighorn, Wyoming it will be cloudy on Friday at 28, Saturday and Sunday will be sunny at 28 and 39 degrees. Now if you’re looking for a true test of your off-roading and survival skills, wheel at Mount Washington, White Mountain Range in New Hampshire. This weekend in Sargent’s Purchase, New Hampshire it will be snowing all weekend at 3 for Friday, 18 Saturday, and 27 on Sunday. Make sure you prepack and inspect your Jeep before testing your metal out there. If you want to be “close” to a city but still away from it all, if you love winter sports, and dog sled races then the next location is a must for going Topless. In Wasilla, Alaska it will be sunny all weekend with 7 on Friday, 5 Saturday, and 14 on Sunday. Lots of festivities start out here at Thanksgiving and continue through to the Iditarod in March. Lastly, go topless in St. George, Utah. Known for having huge winter off-roading events in January bringing wheelers from all over the western states with plenty of trails for the novice to the ballsy. Here it will be partly cloudy all weekend: Friday at 51, Saturday 52, and Sunday 57 degrees. If you’re curious on the Extreme Terrain’s recommendation, the link will be available in the show notes. 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.

https://www.extremeterrain.com/5-winter-off-road-destinations.html

Wheeling Where

King of the Hammers
January 31st – February 9th
Johnson Valley, California
More Info: https://ultra4racing.com/

Midwest Overlanding and Offroad Expo
February 15-16
Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Missouri
More Info: #SMORR2MOORE Adventure Route MOORE EXPO 2.5 hour ride, no pavement, all offroad, from SMORR offroad park to the MOORE Expo. 3 guided caravans! 

Links Mentioned in Episode 420:
Rezvani Motors – Jeep Tank – https://www.rezvanimotors.com/tank-military-edition
Extreme Terrain Throttle Out W/ Merideth Evasew – JLU Rubicon Build – https://www.extremeterrain.com/throttleout-january-2020.html

Episode 419 – Jeep Electrical – Parasitic Draw and Spark Plugs


Please visit our sponsors:

Jeep Talk Show is brought to you by ExtremeTerrain, Wrangler off-road parts and accessories outfitter. Stay tuned for later in this episode to hear about Merideth Evasew’s latest buyer’s guide video for Front and Rear Jeep Bumpers.

This Week In Jeep:

Jeep Wrangler – Special Edition – RECON

If you’re a Jeep fan you know the Wrangler is known for two things.  There’s no better vehicle offroad, AND…the Wrangler has has more special edition’s than I bet anyone alive can remember off the top of their head.  We can likely go back to the CJ era for blame and look at one of Jeeps first special editions, the Renegade. Now horrifically regurgitated into what we see today. A far cry from what a Renegade was back in the day. Fast forward to the modern era, and we look at the JK’s who with their three models, and in their 12 year run had at least 19 special editions, which didn’t even start until the 2009 model year, 2 years after the JK’s debut. All jabs at Renegade lovers aside, Jeep is at it again. This time we see the new JL getting revamped with a new special edition of its own, but this isn’t going to be the first, no no! …So far, there have already been the Black and Tan, Willys, and Freedom Editions. The latest special edition model for 2020 is the Wrangler Rubicon Recon Edition. I’m going to stop right here and say that at the time of this recording, this has not been officially confirmed by anyone at FCA and is more or less just highly substantiated rumors at this point, but (so far at least) seem to have credibility. 

So why should any of us care then? If this is just Jeep being Jeep, then what’s the big deal. The big deal is actually the deal itself. THIS special edition is worth getting excited about since it adds a boatload of optional equipment for only $2755. The package is only available on the top-end Rubicon trim, which comes standard with all-terrain tires, locking front and rear Dana 44 axles, and a low 4:1 transfer case.  The changes that come with the Recon Edition start under the hood, where the standard naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 and six-speed manual transmission are replaced by Jeep’s very torquey turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four mated to the optional eight-speed automatic. The exterior sees a plethora of upgrades including LED headlights and taillights, a red and black hood stripe decal, Moab rock rails, new wheels with a black paint finish, a gloss black grille, body color matched fenders, a Recon fender badge, front and rear steel bumpers with recovery points, and a black hardtop roof.  The already near perfect interior gets some extra highlights with red seat belts and seat bolsters with red stitching. If you separately purchased all the listed equipment that comes standard in the package, you could expect to pay over $5600. That’s a pretty significant chunk of change for some decent creature comforts and some serious styling. This is also the only way to get Jeep’s eTorque hybrid engine on a Rubicon model. Again, all this right now is allegedly leaked info and we can’t confirm nor deny the accuracy. However, once Jeep makes their formal announcements on this stuff, you will be the first to know about the rest of the details.

2018-19 Jeep Wranglers Frame Recall

As we all know, the Jeep Wrangler is one of the most popular SUVs in the country, and the world. Unfortunately, there have been raising concerns about the frames under these Jeeps. And some Jeep owners aren’t sure if a recent recall of some models is enough to fix the issues. Some reports show rusted welds, welds with little to no penetration, and welds that should be solid on the frame that had signs of cracking or breaks.  There has even been evidence of 1″ gaps or more in frame welds that should have been a continuous bead… and on some Jeeps they are, but not on all, and that’s the problem. That and what this means for the longevity of these models or their frames. 

What could this mean for a Jeeper who is serious about offroading and puts the Jeep through moments of extreme articulation, really putting stresses on these frames. All it could take is traversing one rock, and *POP* there goes the frame. After so many examples, complaints and reports, the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has now launched an official investigation into frame welding on nearly a quarter-million 2018 and 2019 Wranglers. Oddly enough, all those reports about newer Jeeps having death wobble, are actually tied into this. If you would like to learn more about death wobble, take a listen to episode 393 where we had the man himself, Dr. Death wobble on the show to break it all down. Now, between May 7th and Aug. 21st of 2018, Jeep’s Toledo North Assembly Plant used frames with what are called an “off seam [track bar] weld location” to build up to 18,055 new Jeep Wranglers. 

The result, Jeep says in its NHTSA Safety Recall Report, is that likely around 720 vehicles (or roughly 4 percent of the recall population) have track bar brackets that could potentially “[separate] from the frame.” This sounds like something you’d never, ever want to happen to your vehicle for any number of reasons. So yea, lets get that fix taken care of ASAP thanks. Even though Jeep is fairly certain they have a handle on all this, there still lies the possibility that your Jeep may be affected in some way, but is not part of this recall. The online forums have many many stories of people who, during a routine vehicle inspection found out they had a frame with potential issues, and were advised to go back to the dealership. Some of these folks were able to get repairs done under warranty so if you have any doubt or concern, then check with your dealer or an independent repair shop, and hopefully they can provide you some answers, so you don’t waste your money. Or worse, waste your life or someone else’s in a crash. Be advised though, from what I hear, the inspection process, along with the review of that inspection, along with any repairs done, are all handled by different individuals, and the whole thing can take several days or more, so hopefully your dealer has a loaner program. If you are one of the affected and have gone or are going through this process we want to hear from you, so please reach out to us.

Wrangler Talk:

Spark Plugs, Let’s make it electric up in here.

Hello JTS listener and welcome to this week’s wrangler talk where we are going to play with some electricity. Oh yeah, I am talking about sticking a fork in an electrical socket or at least something close to that. No, we are going to be talking about something that has a whole lot more power than just a wall outlet, we are going to be talking about spark plugs. Well a spark plug is probably the most important part of the engine besides the engine block itself. Your spark plug generates the electric current needed for igniting the compressed air and fuel in the combustion chamber and yes, we all love blowing things up. Also, a spark plug is considered to be a maintenance item on your engine, so they do need to be changed after a certain mile mark and every spark plug is different, so we will cover that later. Although not all spark plugs are created equally, and each spark plug needs to be used in its own application. So, there are 4 different types of spark plugs and they are copper, Iridium, Platinum and Double Platinum Plugs. So first let’s cover the most basic and oldest spark plug there is and that is the copper spark plug. These plugs will be mostly used on some of the older jeeps and when I say older I am talking like 1980 and older. Copper plugs well are made from copper, meaning that the internal components of the plug are made from mostly copper with a central electrode being made from a nickel alloy and the largest diameter tip of all the other plugs on the market. The larger tip means that will need more voltage to generate an electric current across the gap between the electrode and anode of the plug. When it comes to Copper plugs they are not very durable and tend to wear out the quickest among all the other types of plugs. So, since they wear out the quickest it is recommended that they are replaced every 30,000 miles or so. Now let’s jump to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and talk about the most durable and longest lasting spark plugs out on the market, and that is iridium plugs. Iridium spark plugs are the most common spark plug being put on newer vehicles and that is for a couple of reasons. Well first because they last the longest, secondly, they require a lot less voltage to generate the electrical spark needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. Iridium plugs have a very small center electrode meaning that they will require less voltage so in the newer cars were there are a lot of electronic controlling all the other crap in the car these plugs and will not draw current away from your stereo turned all the way up to 50 drowning out your loud tires driving down the road. Although when it comes to iridium plugs you will never want to down grade to any other plug on the market, Jeep put these plugs in the jeep for a reason and if you stray away from these plugs you will be hurting the performance of your jeep. Finally, when it comes to replacing your iridium spark plugs it is recommended to replace them every 100,000 or so miles. Now on to Platinum plugs and there are two different types of platinum plugs there are standard platinum spark plugs then there are double platinum plugs, and both have their sperate application. So first let’s talk about platinum plugs. Platinum plugs have a platinum disc welded to the tip of the center electrode making them much stronger than the copper plugs although not quite as strong and durable as the iridium plugs. Also, platinum plugs tend to generate more heat when they ignite which leads to less build up and debris on the electrode leading to longer life of the plugs. Platinum plugs were designed to just make a longer lasting spark plug for all engine models and tend to work the best in our trusty 4.0L the best. Although they are not designed for any 4.0L that is 2000 and newer that will require the next type of spark plug. So, when it comes to replacing your platinum spark plugs it is recommended to replace them about every 60,000 miles or so. Now on to Double Platinum plugs and these spark plugs were designed to be used with an ignition system that utilizes waste spark meaning that the spark plug will actually spark twice during the combustion process. There will be a spark on the compression stroke of the cylinder and then spark again on the exhaust stroke of the cylinder. The waste spark system was designed to be more reliable and isn’t affected by environmental conditions such as rain or dampness. Secondly Double Platinum plugs were designed to be used with electronic distributor ignition systems or DIS, meaning to be used with cars that don’t have a distributor cap although also cars that do not have individual coil packs so for example the 3.8 litter in the Jeep JK has an electronic distributor system. So, all jeep wrangler made from 2000 and newer have a DIS ignition system. Finally, when it comes to replacing the double platinum plugs it is recommend to replace them every 60,000 miles same as the standard platinum plugs. Finally, when it comes to spark plugs I recommend sticking with the plugs that your engine came with from the factory. Jeep used those plugs for a reason and your engine will run the best when replacing them. Thank you for listening to this week’s wrangler talk and just remember did I miss something or do you want to hear about a specific topic on the wrangler talk well head over to jeeptalkshow.com/contact and send us an email or leave us a voice message and we would be happy to help you out and talk to you next week on the wrangler talk.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Voltage Drop Test – Parasitic Drain – Procedures

Last week I started to tell you about another way to track down and identify the source of a battery drain, or a parasitic draw in your Jeep’s electrical system. I ended just short of teaching you the actual procedures so that I didn’t throw too much information at you all at once. Some schools of thought say that it’s a good idea to get an actual  measurement of the draw, to get an idea of how serious the problem is. 

My train of thought is that if the battery keeps dying on you day after day, then it’s probably serious enough to do something about and this information generally isn’t critical to finding the problem.  However, if you do want these numbers, you will need to disconnect the battery and place your meter inline between the terminal and the battery cable. Plastic chip-clips, tape, or even c-clamps can keep the meter probes securely attached to the terminal and cable end for this part of things, just make sure nothing shorts out. Obviously you will need to have the meter set up to measure and display amps. You will also want to select the highest amp setting on the display selector since car batteries carry enough amperage to pop the fuse in most meters. This is also why we want the vehicle in that sleep mode I was talking about in the last episode. Even something like the dome light coming on can pop the fuse in many digital volt meters.

For most vehicles the process takes about an hour to ensure the vehicle and all its sensors and systems have discharged or turned off and gone to sleep. THIS is when you take your amperage measurement. Note that most vehicles draw at least some battery current when the key is off. This is normal, and due to things like the clock and the internal memory of engine computers, body-control modules, and radio presets. 

Altogether, they draw a very small amount of current though. 50 milliamps would be a safe upper limit for this on modern Jeeps, though older Jeeps I’d say the limit to be closer to 30, and even those numbers I think are conservatively high. Ok, now say for instance you find a parasitic draw of 2 or 3 amps… this is easily enough to discharge a Jeep’s battery. Now that you know just how MUCH draw you have, (not that it was important to begin with) you need to move to the closest fuse panel (at this point it’s usually the one under the hood) to pinpoint the source of the draw. Switching from amperage to voltage, set your meter to read millivolts and make sure it’s in the right range too. Reconnect the battery, and in worst case scenarios, you’ll have to wait again for the vehicle to go back to sleep if reconnecting the battery woke it up. Now with a probe in each hand and the vehicle in sleep mode, probe on each side of a single fuse and note or record the absolute voltage value. Each fuse has two tiny little nibbs of metal that protrude out the top of the fuse body, this is where you will be probing.

It’s important to note that your probes need to be sharp to get into the recess of the smaller fuses where the metal is. If your meter probes have been rounded off real good, take a few minutes with a file or sandpaper to put a new point on them. You also do not want to be using a meter that has a reading that wildly fluctuates. It’s normal for a digital voltmeter to bounce around a little, but if its excessive then it may be time for a replacement or recalibration. Ignore negative voltage readings or switch the orientation of your test probes on the fuse if seeing the negative symbol distracts you.

On most of the fuses there should be a reading of zero. This means that circuit is indeed actually asleep.  But eventually, you will come to the circuit that still has voltage flowing across it when it shouldn’t. A few milliamps is going to be fine, but if you see actual voltage, (really anything over 1 full volt) then likely that circuit is going to be the problem or part of it. You may have to move from the fuse box under the hood to the one or ones inside the vehicle. More often times than not the draw is going to be found in an interior circuit. Something inside the radio, a sticky relay, a shorting seat heater, a faulty switch somewhere, you get the idea. And now you get the idea behind testing for a parasitic drain using the voltage drop method. Like I said, there are several ways to go about doing this test, so if my methods differ from the ones you are familiar with, just know that we’ll come to the same conclusions either way.  Good luck Jeeper, and if you end up having to use this, be sure to give us a call and let us know how it went.

Next week, we’re going to have a quick tip that is perfect for wet weather trail fixes.

Jeep Weather:

Mitch

Jeep Weather: Hey Jeeper, Mitch here, today is the 10th of January 2020, and it’s time for your weekend Going Topless-Jeep Weather Report. So, I was thinking of where to go topless this weekend around North America, well I came up with a few places that you can go. Now I chose these locations as they lend to a good excuse to go topless. First, go topless in Roswell, New Mexico. You can use the excuse if you ever get caught, that the aliens brainwashed you and took your top off. Here it will be 54 and cloudy Friday then 59 and sunny for Saturday and Sunday. Next, suggest going topless in Huntington. Tell her that it will be warm with clouds, Friday and Saturday at 67 and 77 respectively, then Sunday will be dropping to 54 degrees. Just leave out the part that this is for Huntington, West Virginia and not Huntington Beach, California. Alright, maybe Hot Springs, South Carolina will get your tops off this weekend. It will be partly cloudy all weekend with 22 on Friday, 36 on Saturday, and 38 on Sunday. Now out of curiosity I did check, and Hot Springs has hot springs to save you from that nippily temperatures. Lastly, if you can’t convince anyone to go topless with you, then Dodge City, Kansas is where you’re headed. Friday has clouds at 34 degrees, Saturday is supposed to be sunny at 38, and Sunday partly cloudy at 48 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 slash 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. Mitch takes us around the nation in the hopes of finding somewhere to take our tops off. 

Wheeling Where:

61st annual California Four Wheel Drive Association Convention
February 14th – 16th
Rancho Cordova, California
More Info: https://cal4wheel.com/events

Midwest Overlanding and Offroad Expo
February 15-16
Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Missouri
More Info: #SMORR2MOORE Adventure Route MOORE EXPO 2.5 hour ride, no pavement, all offroad, from SMORR offroad park to the MOORE Expo. 3 guided caravans!

Links Mentioned in Episode 419:
ExtremeTerrain’s Wrangler bumper (front and rear) buyer’s guide video
https://www.extremeterrain.com/wrangler-jeep-bumpers-towing.html

Episode 418 – Electrified Jeeps Are Coming

This Week In Jeep:

Head To Head Truck Battle – Ford vs. Jeep

Ordinarily I love head to head videos. Where a famous youtube channel pits one vehicle against another similar vehicle for a head to head showdown in one or more particular categories. One such test which is gaining an almost cult like following is the truck-tug-of-war. You’ve undoubtedly come across a viral video or two over the years of manhood lacking bro-dozer drivers hitching the ass-end of the coal rollers to each other with a rope to see who’s got more room in their pants. Oh sure they always try and make it a Ford vs. Chevy thing, but those of us who don’t require $80k in truck to prove what gender we are, know what’s really going on here. To that end, here’s the secret of a vehicle tug-of-war that a lot of people may not know: It’s all about that mass.

Unless there is a significant difference in available traction, then the heavier vehicle generally wins. So without even watching the video that came out this week from The Fast Lane Truck’s youtube channel, where they pit a new Jeep Gladiator Rubicon against a Ford F-250 (for whatever reason)… the outcome would probably be about as obvious as a drag race between a Ferrari and a Beetle. 

Granted, both these trucks cost about $55,000… but other than that and the fact they’re both pickups, the similarities stop there. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years, there’s not much doubt that the F-250 is the more capable vehicle of the two. It can tow more and has a higher payload rating, and of course weighs a lot more. 

However, the Ford isn’t nearly as much fun as the Jeep and comes with far fewer amenities. Score 1 for the Jeep. Going back to the tug-of-war however, the big F-250 absolutely dominates. Just as you’d expect it to. It can pull the Gladiator even with the Jeep driver holding down the brakes. No surprise there. But I don’t think the point of this was to try and embarrass Jeep in any way. It illustrates a very distinct point, if you’re about to drop $50k on a truck, the choice comes down to what a buyer needs. 

If the ability to function as a work vehicle has a top priority, then the F-250 is likely the best choice. However, if you’re willing to compromise on towing and payload, then the smaller Gladiator has features that the Ford can’t even come close to matching for the same price. Despite knowing the outcome, if you’re interested in watching the video from The Fast Lane Truck – We’ll have the link in the show notes for this episode.

Don’t call them 4×4’s

At least not yet. For now, they identify as ” 4xe’s “ Technical details for the first plug-in Wrangler hasn’t been revealed, but the Compass and Renegade share a powertrain that combines a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and electric motor combination driving the front wheels with a separate electric motor for the rear axle and no mechanical connection between the two ends.  The layout is similar to the one used in the best-selling Toyota Rav4 Hybrid, and delivers up to 240 hp and an all-electric range of 31 miles between charges.

Thats certainly not going to get you far on that expedition trip next year, but who’s doing that stuff in a Renegade anyways?  We’ve known for months now that FCA is investing heavily in electrification. Even going so far as to merge with a French automaker who’s ahead of the game in this department. The Wrangler, which is currently available with mild-hybrid eTorque power units, will likely feature a more robust take on the new technology as Jeep promises it will be a “no-compromise” off-road vehicle.

The new eTorque Mild Hybrid system is a replacement for the traditional alternator. It sports a belt-driven motor generator unit that executes several different functions from charging to drive power assist.  More details will be released in the coming months and all three models are set to go on sale before the end of the year, while Jeep plans to electrify its entire lineup by 2022.  So …is this the death of the Wrangler as we know it? What do you think?

Wrangler Talk:

Cooling System

Hello JTS listener and on this week’s talk we are going to be talking about the cooling system of your jeep and the different parts of it. So, if you follow my Instagram, and if not my Instagram profile will be in the show notes, you have seen that I have been rebuilding my 1998 Cherokee with a 4.0 L straight 6 cylinder and that is the most common jeep engine out there and it has basically all the same components as a wrangler. So, in the rebuild process I have been replacing my cooling system because I had some of those dreaded coolant leaks all over the place, actually to the point of where I could take a shower under one of the leaks. So how does a cooling system work? Well on our trusty 4.0 Liters there is a mechanical water pump that is driven by the serpentine belt in the front of the motor that forces the engine coolant, antifreeze, from the motor through the radiator and then again into the top of the motor. Then the flow of coolant is controlled by a mechanical thermostat that opens and closes when it is subjected to the heat of the engine. When the engine comes up to the operating temperature of the thermostat it will open and allow the flow of coolant through the engine. So, when I was rebuilding I was doing some research on the different temp thermostats out on the market and as I was reading I discover a couple interesting things. So here is what I discovered, the different temp thermostats can be used to your benefit depending on what your jeep is going to be used for. There are normally 3 different temperature ratings for thermostats and they are 160, 180, and 195 degrees, and by nature they will all open at their respective temperature. Although each thermostat should be used for different applications, and if you are just using your jeep as a daily driver do not stray away from the standard 180 or 195-degree thermostat. Although if you are using your jeep for a lot of offroad or rock crawling where you are moving at low speeds but putting a lot of stress on the motor you might want to look into a low temp thermostat. The benefit of a low temp thermostat is that it will let your radiator work more for you by allowing more coolant flow through the thermostat when the engine is not running under a lot of load and it will delay the process of maxing out your coolant system when in that hill climb or rock crawling. So, the next part of your cooling system that directly interacts with the thermostat is the thermostat housing and part mounts right on the engine block. The housing itself is actually prone to cracking because of the heat cycles that it goes through over the life of the engine so if you are looking to go to a different temp thermostat it might be a good idea to replace the housing while you are at it. Also, another fun tip if you are feeling adventurous you can actually shave down the inside of the thermostat housing where the housing makes the hard turn to allow for better flow through this part and in turn giving you better flow through your whole cooling system. Now the next and most important part of your cooling system is your water pump and as I said before your water pump forces the coolant through your cooling system, so it is important to make sure your water pump is in proper working order. Water pumps do wear out over time and can lead to many other problems if they fail. So some of the common failures is the center shaft of the water pump can become bent and lead to the impeller, pump blades, to rub on the inside of the housing and lead to failure and reduced cooling capacity. Another common failure is that the impeller completely breaks off the water pump shaft and will leave you with not coolant flow and overheating. So, one easy way to check your water pump is to just make sure that it spins freely in the housing and this will tell you if there is any rubbing of the impeller or if the water pump’s bearings are going bad. The next important part of the cooling system is the radiator and your radiator is where the heat exchange process happens. So, radiators are pretty simple, they leak, or they don’t. So, if yours is leaking you might want to look into replacing the whole radiator like I just did. Also, when you are inspecting your radiator make sure it is clean and free of all mud. When your radiator is caked in mud you are reducing the cooling capacity of the radiator because the mud is actually holding in the heat and will not let the heat exchange process happen efficiently. Finally there are the coolant hoses. These are rubber hoses designed to carry the coolant to and from the motor. They are made of rubber and will eventually start to leak after some time. The rubber becomes hard over time due to the heat cycling and they lost their tight seal around their connection points. So just go ahead and buy new ones, they are cheap and greatly reduce the chance of spring a leak in the future. So my last point is never use that radiator fix jar of crap you see in the auto part store. It just creates a larger mess in the future when you eventually do have replace a part in the cooling system and need to drain the coolant out of your motor. Well thank you for listening to this week’s wrangler talk and remember if you have any questions or comments about the show head over to our website at Jeeptalkshow.com/contact and send us an email or leave use a voice message and we would gladly help you out. Thank you and talk to you next week on the wrangler talk.

Radio Comm Tech:

FRS/GMRS and Radiodity giveaway

This is Jon and last time on Radio Comm Tech we gave away a CB with the help of Radioddity and then the following week Tony gave away another CB. If you didn’t win one, Radioddity has also offered Jeep Talk Show listeners 15% off of their CB-27 by using the promo code xxxxxxx on their website, Radioddity.com. Thanks again to Radioddity for their support. 

Today on Radio Comm tech we will talk about FRS and GMRS. Why am I grouping them together? Because they use the same 22 channels in the 462 and 467MHz UHF frequency range. FRS is license free while GMRS does require a $70 pay to play license. No test is required and it covers you and your immediate family for 10 years. Skip a latte or two a year and you’ve made your money back. 

FRS is 2 watts or less and come only as handheld radios with a non-removable antenna. They are good for spotters and for those in your group without a GMRS license, though operating a handheld from inside a vehicle will likely result in less than desirable performance. 

GMRS is more than 2 watts up to 50 watts and the radios come in both handheld and mobile. A ¼ wave GMRS mobile antenna is only about 6” tall so it is much easier to mount high on the vehicle and yet not get destroyed by branches. For size comparison a ¼ wave CB antenna is 108” tall. You can get longer GMRS mobile antennas that will provide a more powerful signal towards the horizon where a ¼ wave antenna sends signal up and out. A ¼ wave antenna is good when in the mountains or the city and you are trying to reach repeaters on top of peaks or buildings. When searching for a GMRS mobile antenna look for an antenna that operates between 450-470MHz as they will work on GMRS but typically won’t mention GMRS specifically in the description. Most if not all antennas that work on GMRS will have an NMO mount and require coax with the appropriate NMO end. These are easy to find as they are used quite extensively in ham radio as well. 

FRS and GMRS use frequencies that are line of sight, so it is best if you can get the antennas up high such as on the roof or roof rack. They also require less ground plane so you can get away with mounting them to racks or smaller pieces of metal than you could a CB antenna. A fender mount will work as well though it may shorten your distance a bit. This isn’t as much of an issue if you are using a repeater that is considerably higher unless the repeater is far away. FRS and GMRS are FM so they are not as bothered by environmental RFI and have good audio quality. 

Handheld versions of both radios can typically be purchased at local big box stores or outdoor retailers. For mobile radios, MidlandUSA is the major radio company with multiple choices, but Baofengtech has also recently stepped into the GMRS mobile radio market. Mobile GMRS radios are about the size of a compact CB or smaller. Midland offers one with all of the controls in the microphone, similar to the popular CB radios. 

GMRS has been around for a while but mobile radios were not easily available for those wanting a plug and play option until the last couple of years. GMRS is slowly gaining popularity as it is better than CB in almost every way. Pros: more power, small radios, small antennas, less ground plane, repeater capable, FM audio, license covers immediate family, no test. Cons: $70 license, not as popular or common as CB. If you have any communication questions go to jeeptalkshow.com/contact to submit. Stay tuned for the next Radio comm tech for more info on other communication options.  

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Voltage Drop Test – Parasitic Drain

Last week we went over one of the most simplest ways to find the source of a random draw (otherwise known as a parasitic drain) on a Jeep’s battery.  

Although the fuse pull method will work fine on older Jeeps or other older vehicles, there are too many subsystems on the more modern Jeeps that need to remain dormant for this other method to work. In order for this test to work on newer vehicles or newer Jeeps, we need to allow all these other systems to completely shut down or “fall asleep” before we can begin this test. Pulling a fuse and reinserting it will essentially wake up these subsystems and provide a false positive when trying to figure out where the offending circuit is. Even something as simple as a proximity key system where all you have to do is be close to the vehicle and you can push a button to start it can disrupt things. Once in a sleep mode, the key coming back near the vehicle can wake systems back up, the dash may light up, the fuel pump may prime, any number of other systems can come to life and we don’t want that. The test we are going to go over this week is called a voltage drop test. There are various voltage drop tests that can be done on our Jeeps, but this one is specific to battery drain. Voltage drop is defined as the change of voltage across a resistance or in this case a circuit in our Jeep.  But how do we measure this without activating everything on that circuit or waking it up entirely?

This test will show you how to quickly pinpoint the source of the draw using voltage drop across a fuse while the vehicle is in what is referred to as its “sleep mode.”

The only tool you are going to need for this is a digital multimeter. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter the brand or how fancy it is, so long as it can take voltage and maybe even amperage measurements and in the right scale. And don’t worry, 99% of the mainstream and even budget meters can do this, so chances are, what you or your buddy have in the tool box is just fine. Once you have your meter, we begin by gaining access to your Jeep’s fuse panels. Yes there was an “s” in there because there is likely two and maybe even three.  Refer to your owners manual to find these locations if you dont already know, but generally there is at least one under the hood, and at least one inside the Jeep. Remove their covers and familiarize yourself with the layout of the fuses within. You’ll be probing these fuses later and you’ll want to do so without shorting the probes out to any metal nearby.

Next you want to make sure to close the latch of any door that is open or that needs to stay open to get to the fuse panel. Do this by using a screwdriver to act as the door pin and manually move the mechanism in the door latch inside the door. Just don’t forget to release it before closing the door when you’re all done. You may also need to depress any door pin that is open and keep it depressed by duct tape or a clamp. Sometimes a piece of wood and a clamp are needed. In other words, keep that door pin closed by any creative means you can. If your Jeep has one, do something to keep the hood pin switch in the closed position and make sure the rear hatch and glove box are closed too. Basically start covering every possible “common sense” draw (like the proximity key fob I was talking about earlier) to make sure we don’t see any false positives during the test. Once all this is done the vehicle will begin to enter it’s sleep mode.  This is why we’re doing all this… to get the vehicle to mimic the state it’s in as it sits (or sleeps) overnight….and drains your battery. The only difference is that we have taken steps to leave access to test things without waking it up of course. We need to take measurements while the vehicle is in this state, and in order to do so we need the previously mentioned multimeter. By now those who don’t have a prior understanding of electronics may already be a bit overwhelmed and may be a bit worried about probing their Jeeps fuse panel with an instrument they know little about. On the surface it may seem technical, especially if you don’t own or have never used a voltmeter before. (I mean this is like scientific equipment here!) But let me assure you, all you need to do is look for a difference in numbers, and anyone can make comparisons based on what they see. There’s not even any math involved! Ok, now that you more or less have an understanding of what we’re about to do and why, I feel this is a good place to take a break. Next week we get into the actual test procedures using the digital voltmeter to find the amount of draw and track down its source circuit in the fuse panel.

Must Have Stuff for your Jeep:

Hi-Lift Axe & Shovel Mount by Dominion OffRoad – $69.95
https://www.jeepswag.com/shop/shop/jeep-jk-hi-lift-jack-mount/accessory-bars-quick-fists-combo-deal/

You may know that I’m a big fan of stuff that takes care of multiple things at once. A combination radio and flashlight, or a crimper and wire cutter combo, and who can argue with the ingenuity behind the spork? Although finding something for our Jeeps that does multiple things at once may be a little more difficult than tracking down a tactical spork. I however have got one item that fits the bill, does THREE things at once, AND it doesn’t even care what kind of Jeep you have. This is the Hi-Lift, Axe & Shovel Mount by Dominion OffRoad. That’s right, this thing is a single mount that holds an axe and a shovel using your Hi-lift jack. It works on roof racks, vertical mounts, horizontal mounts, mounts on tire carriers or hood mounts. The combinations are endless. Comes with all hardware and fasteners, uses genuine Quick-fist clamps, and is powder coated to prevent corrosion.

Jeep Weather:

Mitch

Happy New Year Jeeper, Mitch here, today is the third of January 2020, and it’s time for your weekend Going Topless-Jeep Weather Report. New year means new challenges and new resolutions to be broken. Let’s start some of your new year new challenges in locations that are known for people going topless at. First in is Woodstock, Connecticut, with beautiful views and hiking. Go topless this weekend in the rain Friday and Saturday at 42 degrees, and slush showers on Sunday at 34. Next, lets take that top off and cruise in Niles, Illinois. Niles is just outside of Chicago and has the Leaning Tower of Niles and that isn’t a Pisa joke. Weather this weekend in Niles is 37 and cloudy Friday, 35 with snow in Saturday, and 41 and cloudy on Sunday.

Now if you like taking your top off in a more secluded area, then go check out Sandstone, Minnesota. Just an hour north of the Minneapolis-St Paul with lots of trails and wilderness to be topless in. Weather there will be cloudy all weekend at 25 Friday, 26 Saturday, and 34 on Sunday. Hey at least its warming up over the weekend. Let’s find a place a bit further south. Ok got one for you: Birmingham, Alabama. Alabama has lots of great places to go Topless throughout the state but here has some good campgrounds and hiking trails. Rain on Friday at 62, then sun with 53 Saturday and 55 on Sunday. That’s a bit more doable and you won’t freeze your chesticles off!

Jeeper, wherever you’re going topless this weekend just don’t forget to use #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. Mitch takes us from Connecticut, to Illinois and beyond to find topless worthy Jeep weather.

Wheeling Where

Ultra4 Racing – King of The Hammers
January 31st – February 9th
Johnson Valley, California
More Info: https://ultra4racing.com/

7p Overland – Foundation Overland & Expeditionary Driving Course
February 9th
Moab, Utah
More Info: https://7p.io/

Links Mentioned in Episode 418:
https://jeeptalkshow.com/contact
https://www.radioddity.com/

Episode 418 – The Lost Episode

Starting the new decade off with a bang!  Episode 418 is lost!

If you’re looking for your weekly Jeep Talk Show fix, well it’s missing.  We recorded it, but nothing on the card!

It’s so strange even we don’t understand how it could happen.

Keep watching this site for updates.