Episode 454 – Turtle! Turtle!


This episode brought to you in part by NEXEN Tire. Nexen tire has been around for 77 years. Nexen has made passenger and SUV tires along with street performance for many years, most recently have started making off road tires. The Nexen Roadian MTX is amazing long time off roaders with it’s all around fantastic performance in mud or rocks. Find out more about Nexen tires by going to Nexen tire u s a dot com right now. That’s https://nexentireusa.com.

This Week In Jeep: 

Jeep Life:

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk: 

Newbie Nuggets:

Interview with:

Must Have Stuff:

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblr

The post Episode 454 - Turtle! Turtle! first appeared on Jeep Talk Show.

Episode 453 – Expensive Jeeps and Emotional Stories

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. https://www.extremeterrain.com/wrangler-jeep-soft-tops.html

This Week In Jeep:

That Is Going To Be One Spendy Jeep!

Seeing a Jeep in the lineup surpass $60k isn’t as shocking as it once was. With the debut of the top of the line Gladiator trims, you can easily spend $60k on a Jeep nowadays. But what if that was the starting point, and it just went up from there? That’s exactly the price structure for the upcoming Grand Wagoneer. We’ve been talking about Jeeps return to the full size market ever since the rumors dropped a couple years back. Well as the months go by, we get more and more leaked information. More and more concept pictures come out and even a few stories that actually have some merit… like this one about price. Features, specs, and all the numbers behind this vehicle (other than price) have all been kept secret and played very close to the vest by Jeep and its parent company FCA. So what this will actually look like, or what features it will have are all still very much unknown. What we DO know is that The Grand Wagoneer, when released, will have trim levels that top the $100,000 mark – likely making it the brand’s highest priced vehicle ever released as it attempts to compete against the Cadillac, Land Rover, Range Rover and others. According to Christian Meunier, global president of Jeep; The return of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer is the return of a premium American icon. Wagoneer will expand to become a portfolio of vehicles that will redefine American premium while delivering a very unique customer experience. For those born after 1985, The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer names were previously used by Jeep for large SUVs from 1963 until 1991. The company had promised to resurrect the Wagoneer name for nearly a decade as a way to better compete in the highly profitable large SUV segment. But between economic recessions, and massive hikes in gas prices, the plans got put on the back burner, and instead we got the compass and patriot, and now the renegade. Thankfully, the new line of large SUVs will be offered in two lengths and compete in both the mainstream and luxury SUV markets. It’s a similar strategy to how General Motors, the current and soon to be overthrown industry leader in large SUVs, sells its vehicles across the Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac brands. The only other Jeep to top $100,000 is the current Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a low volume, high-performance version of the SUV with Fiat Chrysler’s 700 plus horsepower Hellcat V8 engine. It’s unclear whether the Grand Wagoneer will have similar power or if it will be a separate model…  or if it will be a high-end version of the Wagoneer, or if it will be offered with bullet proof glass and eye tracking heads up displays… Actually I bet there is more that we don’t know at this point that what we DO know. I for one am guessing that the Grand Wagoneer will be a premium version of the Wagoneer, just as GM’s Denali trim is for its GMC brand. But… Time will tell.

Jeep to build solar charging stations on trails for the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid.

Jim Morrison, head of Jeep in North America, dropped a bombshell of news in an interview Thursday. I’m still not sure if this is fake news, because literally everyone is reporting on it right now. But, to coincide with the launch of the plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe, Jeep will allegedly install solar charging stations on select trails in California and Utah. Morrison has allegedly confirmed that Electric Jeep owners will be able to charge up at Rubicon Springs, the halfway point of the 22-mile Rubicon Trail, as well as on select trails in Moab, Utah.  Of course, with 25 miles of electric range, the Wrangler 4xe shouldn’t need a charge while on the Rubicon, and some people are guessing that with  all the braking one has to do while offroad, that this will keep the regenerative power going strong. In fact, FCA is now making claims that the Jeep 4xe completed the Rubicon in all-electric mode with no problems. But it’s always good to wheel with as much fuel — or electrons — as possible, since you never know what will happen.  ISN’T THAT RIGHT BILL?!?  Drivers will be able to fully charge the Wrangler 4xe in about 2 hours, and most chargers will be placed in camping or lunch spots where folks will likely want to spend a lot of time. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe boasts 375 horsepower and a whopping 470 pound-feet of torque. In the aptly named Rubicon trim, the 4xe is 744 pounds heavier than a standard gas-powered Wrangler, but it should still outperform its conventional counterpart with all that instant electric torque. For those who are interested in the first generation Electric Jeep…. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe will go on sale later this year.

Jeep Life: 

Lessons Learned on the Rubicon Trail

Hey Tony, Josh and Wendy. Tony Thanks for the reminder that it was show day. I guess when you don’t have a regular job and you live in a camper it seems like every day is the weekend and I lose track of my days. My apologies for last week. Travis must think I’m losing my mind. He commented asking if I was going to join zoom and I said I will be there tomorrow. That’s when it hit me last week it was Thursday not Wednesday. I also wanted to give you an update on my Jeep. Finally replaced that torn boot on my Yeti steering system. I called steer smarts and they sent on right out. Remember when we interviewed Black Magic Brakes and he sent us some brakes. Well it was finally time for me to replace my front brakes and I was able to put them on my Jeep. I will keep you posted on how they do. And I am running new shocks  Rough Country 2.0. I am thinking after 80K miles it might be time to get new shocks. Okay back to the Jeep Life and my series on Lesson’s Learned on the Rubicon Trail. Lesson #4 and note these aren’t in any particular order. On Episode 450 I shared how important it is to be prepared mentally and with your supplies. This time we are talking about making sure your Jeep is Trail Ready. This not only means the mechanical part of your Jeep but the items to keep your Jeep moving forward on the trail. We were using metal gas cans we got from a friend. We assumed they were good to go. Unfortunately they weren’t and were full of debris which clogged up our whole fuel system which was the big contributing factor to having to leave the CJ5. Making sure all your equipment and Jeep is trail ready is so important especially on a trail like the Rubicon. This is a 22 mile long trail and there is no easy quick “get off the trail” point. Once you go in thru the trail head you either go the full 22 miles or turn around and go out the in. Performing Pre-Trip maintenance on your Jeep and equipment is vital. Even those little things like checking your tool bag to make sure all your tools are still there, your gas cans & water jugs for leaks and to make sure they are free of debris. Check your winch, you may even want to pull the line and re-spool, double check all your recovery gear, pull it all out and inspect it. Check your engine and transmission fluid, your brakes and fluids,radiator coolant, secure your battery, check your belts and hoses for cracks and leaks, your power steering system If you even have power steering, your tires. Check for loose nuts and bolts your lug nuts I notice one of mine was loose. Grease all your fitting and check those seat belts. Double check you have all your items needed to keep your Jeep moving forward like extra parts, ratchet straps or bailing wire, extra bolts and spare parts even the leak kit Josh mentioned on Episode 4__  You would be surprised what you may need on this trail. Now if you have something on your Jeep that is leaking fix it or leave it at home. One item that is a must on the Rubicon Trail is a spill kit. While we were on the trail near Little Sluice we ran across a Friends of the Rubicon representative. Super nice guy. He gave us a spill kit for our Jeeps. They actually provide them at the Loon Lake Kiosk. If you experience a leak on the Rubicon trail, actually any trail. There are 4 steps to remember 1. Control the leak. 2.Contain what has spilled using an  absorbent spill pad. Which the Rubicon spill kit has or you can buy them online. Just google Absorbent spill pad. 3. Make sure you carry out those Absorbents in a plastic Ziploc bag or trash bag. If the spill soaks into the soil take that out too. 4. Treat the spill area with Bio-Response which is included in the Rubicon Spill kit or you can search on google for a bio detergent. Call in if you have used a detergent for clean up so we can share with others. I am told kitty litter works too. There are hazardous material storage sheds located at the Loon Lake Kiosk, Wentworth Springs Campground and the trail head in Tacoma. Just remember to Tread lightly, what you bring in you must bring back out. Next week I will share Rubicon Guidelines which for the most part are common sense but unfortunately not all off roaders have this.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Throw Those Plans Out The Window!

…And learn to expect the unexpected. A famous Prussian field marshal whose name Tony would spend a week trying to pronounce, is famous for a few reasons, one of which is this quote: “No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.” …and the same can be said for working on Jeeps. Although our Jeeps are far from being anyone’s enemy, save for when you drop a socket in the frame rail or you rip your knuckle wide open trying to get a bolt loose. But aside from those curse filled moments when you’d almost rather push the damn thing off a cliff, a lot of us enjoy working on Jeeps. But after decades of working on vehicles, and over 15 years of building and working on Jeeps alone, I’ve learned a very important lesson. When it comes to working on a Jeep, the first last and only thing you should EVER plan for,  ….is for something to go wrong. Jeep has been around for over 75 years, and there are a TON of Jeepers whose trail rig or even daily driver may be in excess of 20 years old. And when it comes to working on an older rig, well, it’s always a good idea to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Trying it the other way around is just going to land you in trouble, trust me, I know. So when I hear stories of someone wanting to tackle an engine rebuild or an entire lift kit install in a weekend, I almost have to laugh. Sure it can probably be done in a day… with the right tools, right environment, and probably an extra hand or two, and given that absolutely nothing goes sideways. But when something doesn’t line up, or a bolt breaks, or a nut gets rounded off, then suddenly you are faced with a lot more work than what you were expecting or had “planned for.” So here is where the advice comes in. Anytime you are planning on doing anything to your Jeep, be sure to give yourself double the amount of time. At the very least. For instance, if you know you can do something in a day, plan for two. Obviously there isn’t much that can go wrong when doing something as simple as rotating tires, doing an oil change or replacing a serpentine belt. I mean i suppose you can drop the Jeep off the jack, let a tire roll down the neighborhood and into that busy intersection, or you forget how that belt you literally JUST took off was routed… but that’s sort of pushing things a bit too far, I mean what are you… a distant relative of Disney’s Goofy? But it’s the little routine maintenance things like that, which give us a false sense of security.  “Oh well the last three times I did something to my jeep it went so smoothly, what could possibly go wrong with me installing this adjustable track bar?” …famous last words.  All the sudden you find a crack in the mount, or missing hardware in the new kit, or maybe you got the wrong part, and now you have to wait for the right one to get shipped. Anything can happen, so don’t count on things working out as if you live in a perfect world. We don’t, and Murphy’s Law can smack you upside the head at any time. This advice doesn’t apply as much to those of us whose Jeeps aren’t our daily drivers. Obviously we have the luxury of letting the Jeep be down for days, weeks, or even months or more, as we aren’t under the gun to get things done in order to drive into work the next day. That being said, if you planned on doing something to the “weekend warrior” one day and playing the next, your plans may be ruined by a single broken bolt. From rust issues, to missing parts. From broken fasteners to poorly detailed instructions. From a lack of the right tools to having to work on gravel in the rain… Anything can suddenly get in your way and ruin your plans. So the next time you are about to plan to work on your Jeep, think about everything that CAN go wrong, what tools, parts, or supplies would you need at that point? Do you have the means to drill a bolt out, or cut a new flat spot on a rounded nut? Maybe you don’t have a tap and die set to fix the threads on that fastener you just stripped out and it’s 9:30 on a Sunday night…. How far will you have to go to get the things you need, how much will it cost, and will that fit in your budget? Are you even prepared to deal with these sorts of issues if they come up to begin with? If not, it may be a project, modification or repair that will have to wait until you are in a better position to deal with the inevitable Jeep gremlins. Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do whatever it is you were planning on doing to your Jeep or that every time you turn a wrench on it something is going to break. What I AM saying is to make sure you plan for every possible contingency. That way if something DOES happen, it’s better to be prepared for it, then to not be, and end up sitting there wishing you had more time off, more money, and that you had listened to your best pal Josh.

Must Have Stuff: 

GEAR AMERICA HEAVY DUTY TREE SAVER / WINCH STRAP 3″ X 8′ 35K LBS MINIMUM BREAK CAPACITY

They call them trunk savers, tree straps, or even tree savers. Whatever YOU call them, you should have at least one. A critical tool for self recovery, or recovery of any vehicle for that matter is a stable and secure anchor point. Usually that large tree adjacent to where you are stuck makes the perfect point if there isn’t another vehicle with recovery points nearby. Tree savers are designed to do just that. They save the tree from getting cut as your winch line tightens and takes the load of the vehicle.  These straps also save your winch line from getting buried in fresh green wood or getting covered in sap. Tree straps also give you a much stronger, secure point to mount a snatch block to, or even just to winch from, rather than wrapping the winch line around the tree and hooking it to itself. First off, this should never be done for many reasons, not the least of which is safety. Second, a tree saver can be used for other things too. These things typically are rated at a much higher load than tow straps, and make for good winch line extenders, or even as a winch line dampener or pull strap for a quick tug off a rock. Tree savers are generally short and wide. Typically ranging in the 3 or 4 inches wide and 8 to 10 feet long.  I’d warn against getting the tree straps that are 20 or 30 feet in length, that is unless all you ever wheel in, is the national redwood forest where the diameter of these trees can be in excess of 10 feet. Although tree straps can range from as little as 15 dollars, they can also be in excess of 100 bucks, so it’s going to come down to reliability and reviews. I’m not usually going to recommend the cheapest of anything, and I’m not a fan of finding the most expensive option out there either. I’ve had pretty good luck going with the middle of the road so long as I do my homework and pay attention to the reviews.  So the tree strap I will recommend has had over 650 reviews on Amazon alone.  ALL of which were 5 stars. The Gear America, Heavy Duty Tree Strap is 3 inches wide and 8 feet long. Constructed using military grade webbing, this is able to withstand extreme loads in excess of 35K lbs, and resist the worst weather including freezing temperatures and blistering sun without sacrificing any performance. The high visibility design allows the strap to be seen well, even in low light conditions. And at a price point of around $30, with free returns and a lifetime no questions asked guarantee, I’d say this tree saver from Gear America is a safe bet. https://www.gearamerica.com/products/gearamerica-heavy-duty-tree-saver-winch-strap-3-x-8-30-000-lbs-rated-capacity

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

4×4 Radio Network http://4x4radionetwork.com/
Tru Patriot https://trupatriot.com/
Jeep 4-1-1 https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrydriver
Extreme Terrain https://www.extremeterrain.com/wrangler-jeep-soft-tops.html

Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblr

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/

Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblr

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
https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/great-smoky-mountain-jeep-invasion

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

Center Force Clutch https://www.centerforce.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/CenterforceClutches
https://www.facebook.com/CenterforceClutch
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

Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblr

Episode 450 – Buy a Postal Jeep For Only $6.00!

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: 

Jeep Transforms Its Gladiator EcoDiesel Into an Overlanding Dream Concept

Since the Bronco’s reveal last month, Jeep has rolled out a V-8-powered Wrangler concept, started testing the production version on public roads, and added a diesel engine to its Gladiator. Now it’s revealed the Gladiator Farout Concept built for overlanding, and if the concept proves popular we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the features end up in the Mopar catalog. But Jeep wants to make one thing very clear: the new diesel-powered Gladiator pickup can go a long way. And to drive the point home it has created the aptly-named Gladiator Farout Concept, a custom truck designed for long-distance adventuring, otherwise known as overlanding. For those not in the know, Overlanding is the practice of traveling across very remote areas, often for weeks, or even months at a time, all while carrying everything you’ll need along the way. Built as a showcase for the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari in Utah, (which was canceled this year due to the corona virus pandemic) the Farout Jeep Gladiator concept is equipped as an overlanding truck which features a purpose built canopy over the trucks bed equipped with a refrigerator and stove, table space and fold out chairs. Above that are two fold out awnings, one on each side of the canopy, and a four-person roof-mounted tent with a cargo space roof rack over the passenger area. The Farout Gladiator Concept has a two-inch suspension lift with Fox shocks, 37-inch mud-terrain tires and a steel front bumper with a 12,000-pound Warn winch. The truck is powered by the 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine currently offered in the Jeep Wrangler. Allegedly, that engine will be available in the Gladiator this fall. According to Jeep, it will have an EPA highway rating of 28 mpg, which is 20 percent better than the Gladiator’s available gasoline version. Combined with a 22-gallon tank, that means it can cover over 600 miles — at least until the pavement ends. Trail and forest fuel economy have not been released.

Get Yourself a Jeep from the U.S. Postal Service for less than SIX DOLLARS!

You might have heard that the U.S. Postal Service is in need of funding.  The USPS is legally obligated to deliver and pick up mail to every address in the United States, all while receiving zero tax dollars for operating expenses. Instead, it makes its money via retail sales and the postage we all pay to mail this or that. With that in mind, and if you already have enough stamps, there is another way to help the USPS while expanding your fleet of Jeeps. The USPS’s retail site has a section devoted to toy cars of all things. And for just $5.99 you can get either a white or a blue 1971 USPS Jeep. Okay Granted it’s not a full sized, running and driving DJ-5, but it’s still pretty cool. So you can get a sweet (toy) Postal Service jeep, and the Post Office will get some much-needed funds to make sure everyone continues to receive the mail. How else is grandma going to get you that check for 2 dollars on your birthday!? If you want to grab one of each of these little Jeeps and help out the Postal Service all at the same time, we’ll have the link in the shown notes for this episode on our site.  https://store.usps.com/store/results/gifts/_/N-nnxamr

Is it still considered offroading?

On or around 8:42 pm in Chatham Massachusetts two Jeeps somehow simultaneously landed on top of a police cruiser. The Chatham police officer had minor injuries from the literal pile up on Crowell Road the other night, but the two Jeepers however were more seriously hurt. There are no details released about this accident or the sustained injuries other than the pictures we see and a brief description. But in looking at the photos, I am utterly baffled how two lifted Jeeps, an XJ and a Wrangler BOTH ended on TOP of a police car. Ok, so it’s one of the ford explorer versions, and it’s only technically not a car, but still, that puts the roof line at least a foot over the top of what a crown vic sits at, and then there’s the fact the cop is on the wrong side of the road, WITH two jeeps on top of it… “Yes officer Goofy, would mind telling the city council just why your cruiser was on the side of the road, totalled with two different offroad vehicles on top of it.?”  ….”AH-HYUCK” It’s almost like the two jeeps were just parked somewhere next to each other, minding their own business, sharing stories about flavored diff fluid, and tire sizes when all the sudden, this cop comes out of nowhere at like a hundred miles an hour and just wedges himself under the both of them and just kept going until one of them started to fall off.  If you know anything about this very odd pile up, you must let us know. And if you want to see the pictures for yourself, we’ll have them posted in the show notes for this episode. 

Jeep Life:

Top 5 Lessons Learned on the Rubicon Trail

Josh and Wendy. First a quick update on My Jeep and me. I am now on Plan G. I left Texas and made it to Colorado. We went back to California and rescued the CJ5 That was a long slow drive back.  Now I am in back in Colorado with a Jeep that needs many repairs. I never made it to Utah. A torn boot on my Yeti steering system. A cracked windshield. Squeaky brakes. That check engine light is on again. Misfire cylinder six again. Even with new spark plugs it’s looking like I need to change out the ignition coil. Tony I will be taking your advice. I am going to do it myself. Well kind of. Oh, and there may be a leak somewhere in my exhaust. And I am watching that front axle. Of course, my Jeep is my priority as it’s all I have. And I am on quite a budget so do it yourself is my new motto. Now Lesson number 4 of my Top 5 lessons learned on the Rubicon Trail. This is similar to what Wendy shared several episodes ago on newbie nuggets. Something I previously had not experienced on the level I did when we wheeled the Rubicon Trail. Now this isn’t just for newbies either. It’s a good reminder for all levels of off Roaders. When you go off road, whether it’s your trail ride or you are going with others Know Your Group. There are so many aspects of Know Your Group. This is vitally important on the Rubicon Trail. Like we talked about previously this isn’t just a one or two day trail ride. This can be 4 to 5 day ride. Possibly even longer. A side note here. I highly suggest if you do wheel the Rubicon Trail keep the Jeep group to 5 or less. Especially if you go with inexperienced rock crawlers. It will be much more enjoyable for the whole group with a group of 5 or less. Okay Know Your Group. Just because you are wheeling the Rubicon Trail don’t assume all the folks in your group know what the Rubicon Trail is all about… like the level of difficulty the trail is or how long it can take. Make sure everyone in your group is clear on what they may expect like there will be body damage and most likely other trail damage while you are on the trail or even damage you may not notice for days after you are off the trail. Make sure you know what kind of previous wheeling they have done. Just because they have a badass looking Jeep don’t assume they have the skills to match. Some of those obstacles on the Rubicon are exceedingly difficult and there could be a lot of time spent spotting others through those obstacles. Your group should have an experienced spotter, someone experienced in recovery and trail fixes. The Rubicon Trail is no joke mainly because of the length of the trail 22 miles with no place on the trail to jump off the trail. There is an entrance and exit. Well 2 entrances there is the Loon Lake Trailhead and the Wentworth Springs Trail entrance. And unless you have a Ham Radio there is no cell service to call out for help. Make sure you discuss expectations before you even hit the trail like What to bring, how long it will take, what happens if someone breaks, food and water prep, Jeep prep, off roading skill levels. and Jeep capabilities. This is vitally important especially if folks are coming from all over. It is highly important to have these discussions so everyone knows what to expect so you can avoid issues and misunderstandings.  For some people this is a once in a lifetime trip. And some folks come from a long ways to wheel this trail so expectations are so important to know to avoid any issues on the trail. You are out in the middle of nowhere and once you get on the trail it’s not an easy thing to turn around or hop off.  You want everyone to enjoy the Rubicon Trail. Next week I will share Lesson number 3 of my Top 5 Lessons Learned on the Rubicon Trail. Note these aren’t in any order of priority. I feel everyone is a number one lesson learned.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk: 

Newbie Nuggets:

I see and hear this all the time: I got a new jeep, what should I do to it first? Or I just bought a gently used jeep and what do you think I should do first? Well it all depends on what you plan to do with your jeep. First thing; is this your daily driver, is it just going to be a mall crawler or just to pick the kids up from school? Do you just want to modify it to look cool? Depending on your plans for your jeep, determines the type of upgrades you may want to look at. But what if you want to drive off-road, or rock crawl, or go mudding. First I would say, decide what type of wheeling you want to do. If it’s just fire roads, or light camping, or easy to barely-moderate trails, your stock jeep may be set up enough and work just fine. Now if you want to rock crawl and venture onto medium to difficult trails, you will need to make some adjustments to your jeep, UH – HUH… So for the purpose of this segment I am listing the top 5 things to consider for the jeeper that wants to upgrade, add mods, but isn’t sure where to start. This list is something that probably needs some pre-planning on how to pay for these items, like maybe a coin jar set aside with all your extra coins. Upgrades will set you back a bit, however, you can do these upgrades over time and as you decide how much crawling or off-roading you want to do. #1 suggestion: CB/Ham Radio. In previous episodes (415 for CB’s) and (432, 132, & 153 for ham radios) we discussed pros and cons of both. But if you are going to wheel, even on easy roads, it’s a really good idea to get some sort of communication and learn how to use it. You just never know. They range from inexpensive $40 to $300 radios and up. #2 suggestion: A lift – between 2½” and 4” lift depending on what size tire you think you may roll into. What I mean is don’t spend the money on a 2½” lift if you plan to go to 35’s or 37’s. It would be a waste of money to have to do another lift down the road. But, if the tire size you have fits and a 2 ½” lift works and you don’t plan to ever go bigger (UH- HUH) then go for it.  Lift kits will set you back about 2-3,000 dollars. #3 suggestion: Wheels and/or Tires: Once you do a lift, you will most likely realize that your jeep looks funny sitting on those 31’s and you naturally want to get bigger tires (Uh-HUH). There are lots of tire brands to choose from, so make sure you do some research and figure out the type of wheeling or daily driving you will do. Select something that will last as you venture out on the trial. Of course I am going to recommend the Nexen Roadian MTX, but Nexen makes AT and other tires for everyday cars and daily drivers.  Wheels are a whole other game. Do you go with Bead locks or not? Again what type of wheeling are you doing and what look are you going for? Bead locks are good for low tire pressure, around 10psi, which is good for rock crawling. The bead locks help keep your tire on the wheel. Wheel selection is typically a personal preference, so start looking at everyone else’s wheels and find a brand or wheel you like the look of. Then do your research because you want a good reliable wheel as you probably won’t be changing this again. Tires will run around $1,500 (for the Nexen MTX) and wheels can vary from $200 to $500 per wheel depending on what you choose. #4 suggestion: Bumpers and a winch: Bumpers are an important addition to your jeep because they help protect the jeep body when you are rock crawling and or recovering other vehicles, like the new Bronco. Deciding on just a bumper or a bumper/winch combo is something else you need to research. The type of wheeling could help you decide on what you need. Steel bumpers are a nice upgrade to the standard plastic bumpers on stock jeeps. And there are all kinds of options from big & beefy to stubby to all kinds of extras they throw on a bumper. Make sure there are attachment points on the bumper for D-rings (or soft shackles) that way your friends can pull you out. Bumpers come in all sizes, shapes and styles so you have lots to choose from. The winch is also a great addition; it might even be closer to the top of the list if you plan on wheeling black diamond trails anytime soon. Having a winch can give you peace of mind when wheeling, however, I do suggest going out with someone else and not alone on the harder trails. And if your buddy has a winch you may not have to invest in one as quickly. Winches have steel cables or synthetic. I prefer the synthetic rope for several reasons that I list in episode 434. Of course you will need additional equipment with your winch, like soft shackles, a tow strap, tree saver, etc.  Bumpers can run $500 to $1500 and winches will set you back about $300 to $1500. You may be able to save some money by buying a bumper winch combo.  And the final suggestion #5: Rock sliders and Skid plates. Once you start crawling over rocks, you will want to upgrade the rock sliders and add the skid plates. It’s body armor that really does make crawling a bit easier with less body damage to your jeep. Rock sliders attach just below the doors to the frame and protect the jeep when climbing over obstacles. They can help the jeep “slide” off the rock instead of getting hung up and damaging the body. There is a huge market for rock sliders including ones with retractable steps, to things that look like something out of a Mad Max movie. We have GenRight rock sliders and I like them because they fit close to the body (no overhang) and they continue down under the body and butt up to the frame underneath. So nothing gets caught in between and I can safely and confidently maneuver over large rocks. Now skid plates are another thing. This covers the underside of the jeep. As you rock crawl this is another benefit so that you aren’t taking out your transmission, transfer case, gas tank or your oil pan. You can do the skid plates in sections, starting with just one that covers the engine or transfer case and then add them on as your budget allows. We have the Rock Hard 3-piece skid plate system and that has worked out very well for us.  Rock sliders could cost as much as $1500 and the skid plates can run as high as $1,000 depending on what you choose. No matter what you do, or don’t do, to upgrade your jeep, it’s still drivable and very capable just the way it is. You don’t have to upgrade anything on your jeep if you don’t want or need to. Usually we upgrade because we have upped our game and want to tackle something more difficult, OR we broke something and as the saying goes… You know… while you are in there. Josh, Tony and Tammy, What do you think of my suggestions for the top 5 modifications? Would you add anything else?

Interview with:

David Bell TabooCustoms.com

Dave is the owner of Taboo Customs He has been building and wheeling jeeps for the last 25 years He is a degree’d engineer who has worked in the OEM and aftermarket auto industry for 20 years Dave also spent 8 years in the Army Reserves as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic and competed in RRock and WeRock for 4 years. You can learn more about Dave and Taboo Customs by visiting taboocustoms.com, following Taboo Customs on Facebook or watching the Taboo Customs YouTube videos.

Must Have Stuff:

TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller $50.00 (and free shipping) https://amzn.to/30VkmkG

Having a winch is great, it makes those stressful situations when you get stuck seem… not all that bad. But what do you do when you can’t afford a winch, or the bumper to put it on for that matter? For most that’s a thousand dollars or more, and that’s providing you have the means and skills to install it all yourself and don’t have to pay for labor. Now more than ever, those of us who enjoy the offroad need less expensive alternatives to the go-to options most Jeepers have always turned to. So if a winch is out of your budget, then it’s time to really focus on building a good recovery kit, and the most useful and powerful tool for self recovery is a come-along. Look, if you ALWAYS wheel with another vehicle, and you each have straps, d-rings, and recovery points, then this is a bit of a moot point. But you and I both know that you don’t always go out with another vehicle, so there’s those times, that despite saying you weren’t going to do any serious wheeling that day, you find yourself in a single vehicle self-recovery situation. Having all the tow straps in the world isn’t going to save you at that point. So you  better have something that can pull you out. Sometimes referred to as a power puller, these are devices that operate like a winch, but manually, using a large lever, gears, springs and pawls. The mechanism is centrally located while a static line with a hook is at one end, and the cable and pulleys are at the other. If you’ve never seen one before, they’re about as big as a chainsaw and take up about as much room in the Jeep. The one I’ve picked for you is one I’ve actually used myself, but don’t own. It has a maximum rated capacity of 8,000 pounds and a safe working load of 4,000 pounds, the TEKTON 5547 is a 4 Ton Dual Gear Power Puller which uses a ratcheting gear pulley system to move your stuck Jeep with a single hand. With the three-hook design, it can be used as either a single line or double line system. Safety latch hooks are self-closing for secure connections and are installed on both ends. Strong 1/4 in. aircraft-grade braided steel cable has a maximum pull length of 12 ft. 7 in. (7 ft. 3 in. used as a double line) which should be plenty to get your Jeep moving again. Dual gears and locking pawls distribute the pulling force evenly so there’s no binding or twisting internally. This has an all-steel construction with a corrosion-resistant galvanized finish which makes it built to last. The high-leverage, 21” steel ratchet handle with cushioned non slip grip is comfortable to operate even in wet weather. With secondary pawls released, pumping the handle offers safe and controlled, notch-at-a-time letdown of the load. Look, you can go down to Harbor Freight and get something kind of similar for about half the prince and a fraction of the reliability. I could also direct you to the completely made in the USA all hardened steel and fully OSHA compliant option that  also just so happens to cost “lit-trally” over 5 times as much for the exact same specs and capabilities. With Tekton being voted as one of the top three best power puller manufacturers in the world by The Drive, JP magazine, and several others, I thought this might be an affordable and reliable option for those who need something like this to finish their recovery kit. And if you don’t yet have a recovery kit, then consider getting this come-a-long to start things off with. You’d be off to a very good start. I’ll do you all a favor though, and post up the link to the expensive one as well, so you can choose for yourself. ($270.23 option) Maasdam Pow’R Pull 8000SB 4-Ton Cable Puller https://amzn.to/30SpHZW

Campfire Side Chat:

CB Antennas – They come in all sorts of sizes and lengths, do you run a metal or a fiberglass Antenna? Why? And how big is it? …Are you a “Stick” or a “Whip” kind of Jeeper?

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

Contact Us! https://jeeptalkshow.com/contact
Buy Postal Jeeps for $6 https://store.usps.com/store/results/gifts/_/N-nnxamr
Taboo Customs https://taboocustoms.com/  https://www.facebook.com/taboocustomsinc/
Jeep 4-1-1  https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrydriver
Must Have Stuff Pick-of-the-Week for your Jeep! TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller $50.00 (and free shipping) https://amzn.to/30VkmkG
($270.23 option) Maasdam Pow’R Pull 8000SB 4-Ton Cable Puller https://amzn.to/30SpHZW

Jeep Wrangler Driver Almost Gets Impaled By Tree…

Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblr