Episode 448 – Badges? We Don’t Need No Stinkin Badges!

This episode of the Jeep talk show is brought to you in part by Quadratec.com. Quadratec has delivered quality products and expert advice to Jeep enthusiasts around the world for more than 30 years. All the top brands at the best prices. Visit Quadratec.com to satisfy your Jeep needs today! Quadratec was founded over 30 years ago to provide Jeep enthusiasts with the best products at the best prices, and today it is the world’s largest independent retailer of Jeep parts and accessories. Whether you own a Willys, Wrangler, Cherokee or anything in between, Quadratec has what you need for whatever you drive. With more products than you’ll find anywhere else at the best value, Quadratec is your number one resource for everything Jeep. Visit Quadratec.com today!

This Week In Jeep: 

Got an Eco-diesel Jeep? Hows About a Suspension Upgrade?

Ever since the debut of the JK line of Jeep Wranglers, there has been a factory line of official Jeep upgrades, mods and accessories that new Jeep owners can use to make their Jeep their own… AND make it more capable, all without voiding the factory warranty. This trend continued and expanded as the JK line aged and factory authorized modifications got more and more traction. Fast forward to this week, several months after the release of the JL, and JT Wrangler and Gladiator lines and the Eco-diesel options now have a vehicle specific factory upgrade. It’s no secret that one of the easiest ways to make your Jeep more capable is to improve the performance of the suspension. Hard to do with a brand spanking new Jeep under a strict manufacturer’s warranty. Seeing an immediate need for some love, Jeep just this week introduced two new, two-inch lift kits tuned specifically for both the Eco-diesel Wrangler and the Eco-diesel Gladiator.  Since the kits are official Jeep Performance Parts, their ability to manage each model’s increased weight as well as offer higher ground clearance and more useful approach and departure angles has been approved to OEM standards. Compared to stock, the Mopar lift kits increase suspension articulation by a very noticeable 18 percent and feature aluminum-body Fox mono-tube shocks measuring 2.5 inches in diameter. By comparison, the factory shocks that come on the Jeep originally only measure two inches in diameter. That’s a significant increase in shock absorption capabilities and the extra fluid capacity means less shock fade on those high speed runs or washboard roads. The lower front control arms are longer as you would expect with a tuned lift kit, and feature optimized caster settings as an added bonus. Another improvement in this kit over the stock form is that the new control arms have larger more heavy-duty bushings that apparently improve vehicle control and should improve longevity of the kit as a whole. All in all, the entirely bolt-on lift kit (Mopar says no drilling, cutting, or welding is required) includes four springs, four Fox shocks, front lower control arms, front and rear extended sway bar links, front and rear extended bump stops, the necessary fasteners and, of course, a Jeep Performance Parts badge. It all comes in a cool wooden crate you can reuse to store various nick-knacks or old Jeep parts in. Or take it apart and use as firewood in the event that your significant other sees how much you just spent on Jeep parts, and you are now living in the back yard with the dog cooking your own food over an open fire. Although the kit for the Gladiator isn’t immediately available, FCA is claiming that orders for that kit will ship later this summer. The Wrangler Eco-diesel lift kit is now available for purchase, and will set you back just under the $1500 mark. If you are using this kit to stuff larger tires under your brand new Jeep or have already done so, be advised that Mopar is also offering a Custom Calibration option through its dealer network, for $125 that corrects speedometer and odometer readings when rolling on oversize tires measuring 33 inches and up. 

I’m Not Going To Talk About It….

You know I was GOING to talk about the latest details surrounding the Jeeper from Colorado who in a shockingly familiar situation as the one in California a number of weeks back, found himself on a highway that was being illegally blocked by a large mob of protesters. But in my coverage of the similar event in California a few weeks back, I apparently pissed off a great number of snowflake…i mean people. So you will NOT hear me this week talking about what happened to THIS particular Jeeper in Colorado as he attempted to flee from a mob of law breakers physically attacking his Jeep. I won’t be talking about how his Jeep was not only attacked with baseball bats and rammed by a truck but was even fired at by one of the protesters who had a gun. I won’t tell you that the Jeep is in more or less OK condition, as are the two occupants who were in the vehicle at the time. And I won’t be talking about how neither man sustained any serious injuries, however…. I will tell you that two innocent bystanders were shot by the gun wielding cry baby from the crowd of law breakers.. But I’m sure to the listeners whose feelings were hurt by my hard stance a few back …. it is still somehow the Jeepers fault. Look, I don’t EVER “WANT” to get political on this show, and honestly I do my very best to stay away from politically heavy topics. And in both these cases it’s got absolutely nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with how a Jeeper just like you and me reacted to a very tense and dangerous situation that frankly any one of us could find ourselves in with the way things are right now in some cities. So if you find me pointing out the stupidity of people illegally throwing a temper tantrum in places they have zero right to be, and insisting they deserved any injury sustained by said idiotic activities as offensive as you claimed it was…. than by all means, go and tell the Jeeper whose rig now has several bullet holes in it that he was in the wrong for driving down the freeway because your feelings were hurt on the Jeep talk show.

Jeep Life:

From JST Listener Joe. Hey, love you all, the show is awesome! Thanks for all the great content. Can you discuss the Jeep badge of honor trails sometime? I live in Scottsdale, AZ and I am the organizer of a local Jeep club (Scottsdale Family Jeepers). We do runs just about every Saturday, sometimes 2x per week. Jeep recently added a “badge of honor” trail here in AZ, it’s the second trail that AZ has gotten. The puzzling part is, this trail is literally nothing more than a graded dirt road. No obstacles, no amazing scenery either. So how does Jeep select these trails and why would a boring 9 mile dirt road earn the designation of a badge of honor trail?? Thanks in advance and keep up the great work, I really want to make the fireside chat here one day too!!! Joe First off… what is the Jeep Badge of Honor?  Well it’s an app that you download called the Jeep Badge of honor. Once downloaded you put in your info like name address Jeep make and model and vin number. There is a map of specific trails across US and one in Canada. So when you are at one of these trails you open the app and click on the trail and check in. then you run the trail and Jeep will mail you a badge. The reason it is called Jeep Badge of Honor is that Honor is the key word. Jeep is taking it on your Honor you truly ran the trail. There is no GPS capture of you running the trail nor do you need to upload any sort of map. The badges used to take a really really long time to get. They realized they had a problem and hired someone to fix that problem. Now you get your badges fast. Almost before you get off the trail. I know in the past two years they added a trail in Virginia Peters Mill Run. I ran that trail. It’s an old mining road winding a mountain in VA. Nothing spectacular or anything super scenic. But I know some folks petitioned the Jeep Badge of Honor and they added the trail. There is a wide variety of trails from difficult to super easy. So I decided to reach out to Jeep to find out their criteria. Here is what they told me. “There aren’t any specific criteria that we use to select a trail. We take into account many factors however such as number of users who have requested a trail, the trail location, difficulty (not always the most difficult trial gets selected), etc.” So on the last episode I was on I said I would share my Lessons learned on the Rubicon Trail. There are five of them. This week I will share Lesson Number One! Exhaust trail damage is no joke. A while back when I was wheeling in Kingman Arizona or Moab I remember coming down hard on my exhaust pipe. I put a little dent in it. That little dent made the pipe just a tad smaller in circumference. I thought no big deal. Well fast forward to the Rubicon Trail. Again I came down on the exhaust pipe squeezing it together just a little bit more. During the trip my check engine light came on. Then if would go off. Then come on again. When we got back to Colorado we checked it with a code reader. It read misfire on cylinder 6. We cut off the damaged part of the exhaust pipe and the check engine light went away. UNTIL… I was eating my lunch of tacos in a fast food parking lot while idling my engine so I could have AC. This was in TX and if ou know anything about TX in the summer… Right Tony. AC is definitely needed. So while in I was here in Corpus Christie TX I got the guys at Sinister 4 x 4 to replace the spark plugs. They said it was a good thing I cut the pipe. If I hadn’t I could of really messed up the heads. So for right now I am good but it would be a good idea to replace the injectors. Not absolutely necessary but a good idea. The issue is when I am in idle the valves are not open like they would be when I’m driving So for now I am not going to do to much idling. So if you do any trail damage to your exhaust pipe fix it immediately. Now I am researching replacing my exhaust system. Tony and josh I am sure you have something to say on all this.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk: 

Fluid Leak Trail Repair Kit

If you’ve listened to the show for a number of years, then you may likely think that I have a library of kits that I pull off a bookshelf in the back of my jeep for any one particular trail fix. And to a certain extent it’s true. I’ve got different kits for different kinds of repairs because I’ve learned the hard way, that having everything you need to do one particular type of repair in a single easy to grab container makes doing a trail repair to begin with, a whole lot easier, less time consuming, and with a lot less damage to the moral of you or the group. Look, why would you want to be digging around the bottom of a bucket, box or tool bag to find the one thing you’re looking for to complete a repair? This is why all my electrical stuff is one kit. This is why all my tire repair stuff is in one kit. It’s why I have a spill kit and a recovery kit and all these kits, each serve a very specific purpose and don’t cross with each other at all. Why would I keep my tire plug punch tool with my electrical connectors and fuses? So it’s time to do some organization with the stuff you take out on the trail with you and we’re going to start with an easy one. Fluid leaks. Fluid leaks can happen or be caused by any number of factors from an errant rock on the trail, to neglect or even rust. Whether it’s a hole inthe fuel tank, a separated diff cover, or a broken fuel or brake line, having the right stuff can make repairing any of these kinds of leaks a breeze. Here’s what I carry in my kit and I’ll explain why as I go along. First and foremost is going to be a good tube of RTV. If you deform your diff cover, or separate part of your oil pan or suddenly develop the mother of all valve cover leaks, then smearing a glob of RTV may be all that you need to staunch the flow of vital fluids and get you back down off the obstacle, trail, or maybe even be good enough to get you home. RTV can dry out over time if the tube is compromised or the cap doesn’t seal good, so periodically check the condition of the contents to ensure you have a workable tube in your kit. Next up is going to be self sealing silicone tape. I carry a roll of this in my kit because this stuff can fix almost any leak on any kind of hose or tube. It selas to itself, usually cures to an unwrappable semi permanent barrier able to resist several hundred degrees of temperature and pressure. It won’t seal an exhaust leak, but that’s not the kind of leaks we’re talking about here. If it’s a power steering line, brake line, or even a radiator hose that is nearly split in two, you can fix it with a roll of self sealing silicone tape. Speaking of hoses or tubes, it’s a good idea to carry a couple feet of a couple different diameters of hose. I like to have a section of ⅜” and ½” hose that will work for anything from repairing a vacuum line to fixing a section of fuel line to even fixing a busted brake line. Having a little hose, even if it’s not the right kind could be the difference between you getting off the trail and spending the night there. Just be sure to get the thick wall or reinforced stuff so that it can work equally well as a fuel line, brake line or even transmission or vacuum line. And what good are hoses without hose clamps? I have an entire assortment of hose clamps that will make a hose repair that much more reliable. And you can’t piece together a couple sections of hose without a few hose clamps so be sure to grab an assortment. You will of course need replacement fluids, and every Jeeper should have at least a quart of every fluid they rin to make sure that if you need to top off after a repair you won’t be left high and dry so to speak. And there;s going to be one other thing I’m going to add to my kit soon and that’s going to be something from the FLEXSEAL line of products. I really like the idea of the flex tape, a super adhesive watertight barrier that can instantly be put in place and adheres to just about anything and everything. I’m not sure of its ability to resist petroleum products like gas or oil, but if nothing else, it may be able to keep that back window together that just got blown out from that tree you got too close to. I don’t know but I’m going to try it out on a couple things and get back to you. I have other things in the kit like gloves, zip ties (i have those things everywhere) and even electrical tape, because yes, that too can work to seal a hose leak in a pinch. Think about what you may put into your own fluid leak repair kit, and let us know if there’s something you think I missed.  

Newbie Nuggets:

 Jeep Badge of Honor

Thank you to Joe B from Arizona who reached out to the show and suggested a topic for Newbie Nuggets. Joe asked about the Jeep Badge of Honor program.  Jeep started the Badge of Honor program in 2013 with 49 trails in 17 states rewarding jeep enthusiasts who complete various off-road trails as they conquer them by putting their vehicles to the test and have fun while they are at it. The trails range from easy to demanding to very challenging and everything in between. The Badge of Honor program is a fun way to earn unique trail designated badges for your vehicle and tackle some awesome trails. The program is limited to registered jeep owners by submitting your 17-digit VIN # when you register. Registration is simple and you will also need to download the app (Apple & Android supported) on your phone. You can own any type of jeep to participate, however, most of the trails will need a fairly well set-up jeep for off-roading to accomplish. This program is free from Jeep and is an honor system. The trails are located throughout the US with some states having more than one. Utah has the most with 10 trails, California and Colorado tie with 6 and all others have 4 or less with most having only one trial. The trails are each rated for difficulty from rugged terrain to steep climbs, etc. They rate the trails with a number designation followed by a description – for example: John Bull, in So Calif is rated 7-9 (demanding to very challenging). The Rubicon trail in Northern California is the only trail with a #10 designation. It is listed as 1-10 (easy to most difficult). All others are a 9 or less. For those of us on the show, our home states have some of the hardest Badge of Honor trails: Colorado has 6 trails, California has six (three of which are in Big Bear and we have all three of those badges), Oregon has two trails and Texas has two. Now for Joe in Arizona, there are two trails. You can find out if your state has trails in a link I list in the show notes. The app gives you directions, locations, information and trial highlights along with trail difficulty ratings. Once you have the app on your phone and you arrive at the trailhead; you simply log in, select the trail you are starting and continue on the trail. The GPS on your phone tracks your progress and Jeep does the rest. A few weeks later you receive a badge in the mail.. There has been some talk as to where to place the badges you earn. Most of us place them on the front fender just in front of the door. They come with self-adhesive and attach easily. I have seen these attached to the back/side windows, tailgates and doors.  Wherever you display them, do it with Honor, These trails are tough!! On the jeep badge of honor website you can sign-up for the community newsletter and connect with other Badge of Honor members. You can also earn trail points for checking-in at the trailhead, sharing photos, and commenting on the trails. Jeep also welcomes trail suggestions to the program. In July 2019, Jeep Badge of Honor announced a redesign of the badges. If you had older badges Jeep was offering to replace them, however, that offer may not be available today. Check out the website for details.  And this past June, Jeep announced it was adding 7 additional trails for a total of 56 trails in 21 states now. You can google the Jeep Badge of Honor and find all kinds of information. I have several links in the show notes on resources I found to be helpful. And there are some photos of what the badges look like. The best way to start is to download the app, find a trail or destination and start earning those badges. And don’t be shy, show us the pix of your badges on jeep talk show Facebook page Jeep Badge Of Honor: https://www.jeep.com/badge-of-honor.html Find your state Badge of Honor trails: https://www.cjponyparts.com/resources/jeep-badge-of-honor 7 new trails link:  https://www.fourwheeler.com/news/jeep-adds-new-badge-of-honor-trails/ Complete list of all trails: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/blog/the-complete-list-of-jeep-badge-of-honor-trails 

Interview with:

Rory, Owner of RADesigns Products is best know for shifters and shift controllers since 2008. Need, Design, Build, Use is his motto. When not being able to find the right accessory for his or others builds he designs his own and then offers it for sale. This is how the product line expands and he keeps Making Shifting Great Again. Currently the proud owner of 4 Jeep, 2 stock XJ’s, one project V8 XJ and a 1972 Jeep Commando. See all of the products at www.radesignsproducts.com

Must Have Stuff:

Official Jeep Brand Performance Parts Badge – $26.99 I bet the words “Official Jeep Performance Parts Badge” had your ears perking up earlier too. And since you already know that I was likely going to be fielding a hundred emails next week about this badge I mentioned on the show, I thought I’d get ahead of it early, and make sure that if you want one of these badges, and you don’t want to buy a $1500 lift kit to get one, that we’d have the means to hook you up. And our friends at Quadratec are stepping in to help. Premium forged aluminum logo badge measures 3” in diameter and features the iconic Jeep logo and a profile of a gear that will instantly get recognized. Automotive trim quality adhesive backing ensures this emblem will stay put wherever you decide to stick it. And before you say it, NO…the pair of chrome ones you can get off of WISH for five bucks are NOT the same thing.  Not even close. https://www.quadratec.com/p/mopar/jeep-performance-parts-badge

Reviews:

Campfire Side Chat:

“It’s too hot out” / “there’s not enough light” / “It’s raining out” “Why do I have to do it – YOUR the one who broke it?!?”  We all have a list of things that we WANT to do to our Jeep and most of us probably have a list of things we NEED to do to our Jeep… So what have you been putting off fixing/upgrading on YOUR Jeep?
We had a great time with these folks that joined in the campfire by using our Zoom conference call!  Watch our Facebook page, and/or subscribe to our Newsletter to receive information on how to join every week!

Links Mentioned in this Episode

http://www.radesignsproducts.com/
https://www.facebook.com/shifting.r.us/
https://www.quadratec.com/p/mopar/jeep-performance-parts-badge

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Episode 447 – Jeep Stories Galore!

This episode of the Jeep talk show is brought to you in part by Quadratec.com. Quadratec has delivered quality products and expert advice to Jeep enthusiasts around the world for more than 30 years. All the top brands at the best prices. Visit Quadratec.com to satisfy your Jeep needs today! Quadratec was founded over 30 years ago to provide Jeep enthusiasts with the best products at the best prices, and today it is the world’s largest independent retailer of Jeep parts and accessories. Whether you own a Willys, Wrangler, Cherokee or anything in between, Quadratec has what you need for whatever you drive. With more products than you’ll find anywhere else at the best value, Quadratec is your number one resource for everything Jeep. Visit Quadratec.com today!

This Week In Jeep: 

Say Goodbye To The Grand Cherokee As You Now Know It.

The current-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2) will continue for one more year as the automaker continues to prepare a pair of successors. Jeep is planning on sending  off the large SUV with a unique 80th Anniversary Edition model. This continues the trend the automaker set in 2016 with the Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary Edition model. So what is going to make this so special? Well, Jeep is going to start with the Grands top of the line Limited trim and then build and improve from there. Currently there are no specifics to what the package will actually offer. Jeep has been playing things pretty close to the vest this year… However, if we look back at the last Grand Cherokee Anniversary Edition model as an example, we can expect things like a unique front fascia and grille. Perhaps Jeep will reuse the low gloss bronze accents, or introduce all new exclusive seats, badging. That will likely be the least of it… if we know Jeep. Whatever trim or luxury upgrades are in store for the 80th Anniversary Edition model, you can be sure they will impress…. But from what I can tell so far, don’t expect anything too crazy like a 707 Hellcat horsepower upgrade. The new anniversary edition model will join the Grand Cherokee’s other core trims like the Trailhawk, Overland, and Summit, along with the rest of the lineup. The next model year will also see the SUV get redesign. The entry-level Laredo trim will have new 18-inch wheels, for example. The Limited and Limited X models will receive a new Sun & Sound package that includes a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a nine-speaker Alpine audio system capable of off road camera upgrades using Alpine’s offroad line of electronics and audio accessories already available. When the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee does arrive, it’ll also feature two- and three-row interior layouts, allowing the model to compete against the Ford Explorer and other large SUVs. Powertrain details remain anyone’s guess, but interested buyers should expect some hybridization options soon if not right away. Initially we thought we would see the new Grand Cherokee for the 2021 model year, though Jeep canceled the Detroit Auto Show reveal and has yet to announce the reschedule date. So thanks for that too covid!

Do YOU Have a Jeep Dog? …Do You Have THE Jeep Dog?

There’s a lot of things in this world that just seem to go together better than anything else; Peanut Butter and Jelly, Music and Sunshine, Dirt and Rubber, Jeeps and Dogs, My hand and a winning lottery ticket… Ok maybe that last one is more wishful thinking than anything, but seriously, dogs love Jeeps. Maybe it’s the open air, or that Jeep owners seem to go outdoors more, or maybe it’s they just smell a superior vehicle, i don’t know. But I’ve never seen an unhappy dog in a Jeep. Well now your Jeep loving pooch has the chance to be the official canine representative for the Jeep brand. Fans can post pics of their pups with the hashtag #JeepTopCanine on Instagram and Twitter, or upload an image to www.JeepTopCanine.com, until Monday, August 3rd. Dog lover or not, any Jeep loving individual can also visit www.JeepTopCanine.com at any time to check out all the “good boys and girls.” Voting for the eight possible finalists will be open from August 11-18, so make sure to go back and visit again to cast your vote for the winner then. Jeep’s 2020 Top Canine will be crowned on National Dog Day, Wed. Aug. 26th, 2020 The most Jeepiest pup will be crowned the Jeep brand’s “Top Dog” and will be featured in exclusive Jeep brand social media content for one year. That’s right, your Jeep doggie is about to become a world famous icon.  For more information on the #JeepTopCanine search, visit https://jeeptopcanine.com/

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk: 

I can See Clearly Now….

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for doing things as inexpensively as possible without compromising the quality of the end product… or going full redneck in the process. But one of the things that I keep seeing or hearing get thrown around is bad advice for headlight restoration. Toothpaste is not a good idea, neither is chocolate or peanut butter or anything else you grabbed from the kitchen or bathroom for that matter.  And here’s why. Toothpaste is just a paste that contains a fine abrasive (usually pumice) designed to help scour plaque and food off your chompers. This means that toothpaste should hone, grind, and polish off all the crap and road grime from the surface of your faded, old-looking plastic headlights too, right? Well yes and no. Although on paper the science tells us this will work, in reality, all you’re doing is adding a million micro scratches to the lens, which over time will add to the yellowing and will actually attract and hold water instead of repelling it. Not every Jeeper has to worry about this, and in fact, most Wrangler owners are probably laughing and putting their feet up as they hit the fast forward button. But for other Jeep owners and all those Wrangler owners who have other cars in the driveway, this may be of some importance and use. Just about every automotive wax and polish company this side of Jupiter is manufacturing, marketing, and selling headlight restoration or polishing kits. And the reason why is there is a huge demand for these products and there are a lot of people out there who try to skimp out by using beauty products in automotive applications and are having to fix the results. Getting back to the science of this, toothpaste may have the grit to knock down oxidation buildup or road grime, but it is lacking the polymers and UV shields that these other products have in them. And although some of the more extreme restoration kits will actually have a two or three stage polishing compound, it’s these final stages and a polymer filler and coating at the end that smooths out all those millions of micro scratches into a smooth clean water repellent surface. Toothpaste can only go so far, and will have you working harder to undo what you’ve done to get the lens back to as clear as it was the day it was made. Not all products are created equal, and in my experience, the ones that are simply a wet sponge in a tin foil packet dont work for crap. These simply have a mild acid in them that melts the micro imperfections of the surface of the plastic and leaves a pseudo layer of protective film behind that will not last past a couple of washes.  In the end I can’t recommend any one product for any and every headlight out there.  The level of oxidation, the amount of UV damage and what sort of road grime and other buildup that’s on the lens is going to vary too much from region to region. I will say this though, you probably can’t go wrong with either the Sylvania Brand Headlight Restoration Kit, or the 3M Brand Headlight Lens Restoration System. Both of those have long lasting reputations in various automotive circles for products that work and results that last. Consumer reports recommended both these products over all others in 2016 – 2018 and they usually don’t get stuff wrong. Here’s the bottom line, if its “ease of use” is what they are marketing, it’s not going to work as good, and the results don’t last as long as a product that requires a bit of elbow grease.

Newbie Nuggets:

The Beast

The experience you get from owning a Jeep isn’t just about exploring trails, meeting new jeepers and modifications. It’s all that and more. The experience you get from jeeping can come in handy when you get a call from a friend in need. Our 4×4 club in Big Bear does all kinds of trail runs from easy fire roads to black diamond rock crawling. And from time to time someone may need assistance. Well our friend Shelby has always been one of those people you can count on for help. He drives a 1990’s surplus military blazer he calls The Beast. It’s a diesel that he has thrown Dana 60 1-ton axles in, with hydro assist Ram steering, on 40” tires. It’s a short wheel base but a great “go anywhere” rig that is topless and set up for crawling. The Beast has pulled people out of some crazy situations from simple obstacles to black diamond trails. One time on a night run with our club another jeepers drive shaft broke mid-way through a couple mile long trail. The Beast pulled him through the rest of the obstacles and I can tell you that was some spotting challenges for me. It was dark, late and we had two vehicles connected by a short strap, climbing through tough obstacles including sharp turns. Great experience for me as the spotter and Shelby was a trooper for pulling him through. He always steps up to help where needed Well it was time for me to return that favor. Shelby called two weeks ago when he was heading up the mountain in The Beast towing his military trailer with steel supplies for a project. It was a very hot day, around 102 degrees down below and the engine was heating up so he pulled over to let traffic by and let The Beast take a break. Next thing he knows is that his rig is on Fire! Yep full blown engine and front end on fire. The tiny fire extinguisher we always talk about needing to have on board was no match for this inferno. Sad to say The Beast was destroyed. He might be able to save the rear axle and other rear end parts but what a devastating thing to happen, to anyone. Shelby LOVES his Beast. That was NOT part of his plans that day. Turns out AAA would flat tow The Beast up the mountain but not the trailer, unless he wanted to pay $800. His trailer has a pintle eye hitch and he didn’t have any other options to get the trailer home so he called us to use our flatbed trailer to put his trailer on. Bill was off the mountain working so I went into rescue mode and hitched up the flatbed trailer to the Chevy and headed down to the scene with a friend of mine in the passenger seat. After the Beast was towed to his house, Shelby and his wife Belinda drove our jeep down – after all, we needed the winch on the jeep to get his trailer on our flatbed trailer. This is when I was excited to put my winching skills to use. I have seen and used the winch on trails to move jeeps, rocks, downed trees and we have also used the winch at home to move huge eucalyptus logs off the trailer for firewood and we used it to move a huge loaded tool shed on the property. This experience had me primed and ready to tackle this new challenge: Getting his trailer on our trailer. I jackknifed our trailer so I could use the jeeps’ winch line to pull Shelby’s trailer up onto our trailer.  It was like auto pilot for me – all the training and experience just kicked in like I was a pro. I got the soft shackles out, the tow strap and connected the points of his trailer with the strap, then let the winch line out, and secured it all together. After making certain everything was safe and people were out of the winch line swing zone, I began to winch his trailer up the ramps and onto ours. It must have been a strange sight for passing drivers to see three women and one guy hoisting the military trailer up onto our flatbed trailer. I can’t imagine what must have gone through their minds. It was so easy to get that trailer up with the tools and equipment we had. We secured his trailer with chains and chain binders in a well-orchestrated 20 minutes and we were on our way. The funniest part of this adventure was after we got to Shelby’s house and dropped his trailer off, using his tractor, I now had to turn around to get home. He lives on a narrow dirt road with no exit – one way in, one way out and I have a lifted crew-cab long bed Chevy truck on 37’s with no real turning radius and I’m towing a 16 foot trailer. Oh Boy, now I needed my trailer backing skills to kick in. It was dark and hard to see fences and bushes. I had to remind myself that I have backed up horse trailers many times and this would be no different. After a few stabs at it I got the right line up and Yee Hah, I turned that rig around. I can tell you I slept very well that night.  I’m thankful I had the skills and the mindset to help a friend out. It goes to show you that we all learn something on the trail that can come in handy at other times. I am also thankful for my ability to “go into action” when needed with a calm presence. I’m sure Bill’s skillset and mindset have rubbed off on me. Bill says I’m a good student!! Update: The Beast is totaled and Shelby is dealing with the insurance company. He isn’t sure what he will do to replace The Beast. It was a love of his to tinker and build. I am secretly hoping he liked driving our jeep off the mountain and perhaps would consider a Jeep in his future. No matter what he decides, we can’t wait for him to get back on the trails with us and we will miss The Beast.    Josh, Tammy & Tony any skills you learned on the trail that came in handy off the trail?

Interview with:

Harry Lewellyn, from Coyote Enterprises – Internal beadlocks and automatic tire deflators.

https://www.coyoteents.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CoyoteEnterprises/

Campfire Side Chat:

Have You Or Your Jeep Even Been A Victim (or cause) of Vandalism?  A viral video going around this week (here) shows a pissed off (probably former) girlfriend breaking into a Jeep and setting it on fire.  (getting blown on her ass in the process)  Has this ever happened to you? Or were you the one holding the match? Time to tell some stories or relive some nightmares!

The JTS hosts along with the following sat around the virtual campfire this episode.  Thanks for joining us!

 

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

Coyote


https://www.facebook.com/CoyoteEnterprises/

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Episode 446 – Clean Up Your Trail!

This episode of the Jeep talk show is brought to you in part by Quadratec.com. Quadratec has delivered quality products and expert advice to Jeep enthusiasts around the world for more than 30 years. All the top brands at the best prices. Visit Quadratec.com to satisfy your Jeep needs today! Quadratec was founded over 30 years ago to provide Jeep enthusiasts with the best products at the best prices, and today it is the world’s largest independent retailer of Jeep parts and accessories. Whether you own a Willys, Wrangler, Cherokee or anything in between, Quadratec has what you need for whatever you drive. With more products than you’ll find anywhere else at the best value, Quadratec is your number one resource for everything Jeep. Visit Quadratec.com today!

This Week In Jeep: 

To “Quietly” Go Where Many Have Gone Before

We’ve been talking about Jeep going electric for a while now. I think it was back in October when FCA made the move to acquire French Automaker PSA Group, who in the 50-50 merger now make Jeep’s parent company Fiat Chrysler Auto the world’s fourth largest automaker. PSA was invested heavily in automobile electrification, which made this move a smart one, as FCA didn’t have a big background in this arena. FCA’s now claims it will have 30 models with electrified powertrains by 2022, an ambitious target for an automaker that only had the Pacifica Hybrid and the Fiat 500e as anything resembling hybrid or electric vehicles, but is now expanding quickly. Absorbing all that tech for electrifying cars and trucks of course had many of us thinking it was only going to be a matter of time before we saw a hybrid Wrangler. And sure enough, not more than three months after the merger, we get an announcement that Jeep will be coming out with a fully electrified lineup in the coming years, and that we could see an electrified Wrangler as soon as 2021. The time has come, and this week Jeep released a 15 second promo video showcasing the Wrangler 4xe. Sweeping meadowlands, and vast high plains backgrounds foreshadow majestic mountsides in this mini commercial along with fleeting glances at a group of wild horses lounging nearby, ….as a ..wait what was that ….there in those trees, and what did I just see turning the corner of that trail? …. It’s a Jeep Wrangler as it comes silently rolling down the hillside with nothing more than moving air and the sound of tires moving over ground. “”OH WELL CLEARLY HIS MOTOR HAS FAILED AND HE;S JUST COASTING BACK DOWN TO THE ROAD!”  The caption across the screen simply reads: “The electrified Jeep Wrangler 4xe – So quiet it won’t disturb naptime.” Nothing about range, price, or capabilities of any kind other than what’s so briefly displayed in the short promo. IT more or less looks like a new 4 door Wrangler JL, I wouldn’t expect any major outward design changes between the gasoline and electric versions, save for some badging that would obviously be unique. In a recent press release, Mike Manley, chief executive officer of FCA, said the global unveiling of the electrified Wrangler is coming in the third quarter of this year. So all the final details will be out very soon. Thanks to spy shots and a recent social media teaser of the vehicle, as well as the Jeep Wrangler 4xe concept from CES and now with this latest video though, we can make some educated guesses about the upcoming Electric Wrangler. Predictably, the model will rely on an electric motor to boost power while also improving fuel efficiency, as well as offering enough power for short stints of all-electric driving. We expect Jeep to pair the torque-rich E-motor with the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that Jeep already has in its line up. The Wrangler 4xe is expected to offer up to 31 miles of electric-only driving. And being as this is still a Jeep, I’m not going to be  surprised to see the Wrangler 4xe’s powertrain serve as an external power source for things like Jeep branded personal camping equipment or the occasional margarita blender. 31 miles isn’t a whole lot, but that could potentially get many people to work and back, making the 4xe a potentially very attractive commuting vehicle too.  

Uh, Yes, …Can I Have Some Grunt With That Please?

Jeep says that customers have been asking for a V-8 Wrangler for some time now… but tell us something we don’t already know. Jim Morrison, the head of Jeep, said that the V8 concept vehicle that was just unveiled (coincidentally on the same day the Ford Bronco came out, which I’m sure was a tactical PR move) proves it has the ability to make that happen. For what it’s worth, Dodge did just squeeze the Hellcat supercharged V-8 into the Durango three-row SUV, but Jeep has had the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for quite a while now. So big power SUV’s aren’t all that new.  HOWEVER, from day 1 of the new Wrangler JL and the Gladiator JT, the masses have been clambering for a new V8 Jeep Wrangler or at least a factory V8 option.  I think our wishes are about to come true. In order to fit the burly V-8 into this Wrangler, Jeep had to upgrade the engine mounts and modify the frame. To which I say.. SO WHAT?!..totally worth it! The eight-cylinder engine is FCA’s 392 Hemi, which is a 6.4-liter (392 cubic inch) V-8 that produces 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. Numbers which when applied to a Jeep Wrangler, has parts of me literally tingling in anticipation. Jeep claims that the Rubicon 392 concept can go from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds, and it has a dual-mode exhaust system for some obnoxious V-8 rumbles if the driver so desires.  The 392 concept also has the off-road chops to back up the monstrous powertrain including Dana 44 axles, a full-time two-speed transfer case, electronic front and rear locking differentials, and a two-inch lift with upgraded Fox shocks. I’m not a fan of the all time 4WD but it may be needed to keep 450 ponies from getting out of control in the hands of an unsuspecting soccer mom. What may make up for that is a full set of 37-inch mud-terrain tires, Rubicon rock rails, steel bumpers, and a Warn winch up front.  All these upgrades allow for over 13 inches of ground clearance, a nearly 52-degree approach angle, 29.5-degree breakover, and 40.1-degree departure angle. If enough people let Jeep know that they’re interested in this V-8 Wrangler, it seems likely the company will actually make it. And unlike many of Jeep’s concept vehicles, this one looks straight off the showroom floor and less like something we’d see rolling on an alien planet. We hope to hear more about it in the coming months, like confirmation that they’ll actually build it—meaning that you all did your job. So find Jeep on social media, and start hounding the crap out of them to build the 392. And be sure to tell them The Jeep Talk Show made you do it.  

Jeep Life:

Tony Josh and Wendy a couple of episodes ago, Episode 439, I talked about the Jeep Code.  I mentioned the Jeep Wave and stopping for a Jeep on the side of the road that could be broken down. There are other Jeep Codes as well… like tread lightly, if you pack it in pack it out, Stay on the trail, and never leave a Jeep — or is it Jeeper — behind. Well, that last one sits heavy in my heart. It’s not always an easy decision to make when a Jeep breaks down on the trail sometimes there are several other variables in play. Yes, You can arm chair quarterback back at home but in that actual moment so much is in play. As you know I just recently got back from wheeling the Rubicon trail. I took my 2015 Rubicon and Neil was in our 1969 CJ5 we call Bumblebee. My kids also flew into Denver to join us. My oldest son Michael was hesitant to make the trip as he is taking summer college classes. Even though they are online he still had homework deadlines and tests. Neil convinced him to join us. Michael agreed as long as we got him back to the airport on Sunday. I made him that promise – I would get him to the Airport on Sunday. I was looking forward to spending time with them especially showing them the beauty of the West and tackling the Rubicon Trail. It was about 5 months since I had seen them. I picked them up at the airport and the next day we headed for California. Michael rode with Neil in the CJ5 and Ben and our dog Dixie rode with me. We took the back roads since we were driving the CJ5 and her max speed is 60 mph. Our pick up was having issues so we couldn’t tow the Jeep. The CJ5 has a smaller gas tank which meant limited mileage so we had two extra gas cans. A sneak peak into my top 5 lessons learned. Do NOT use used gas cans even if you get them from a trusted friend. You never know what’s been in them. Especially if they are metal. So at one point early in the trip we needed to stop on the side of the road to put gas in the CJ5. It was nothing but issues from that point on. We had taken and driven this Jeep on several trails here in Colorado previously with NO issues. There were several times along the way we needed to stop, and Neil did some repairs on the carburetor and fuel filter. The night before trail day Neil spent hours in the hotel parking lot working on the Jeep. The next morning, we stopped at the Auto parts store and got some extra parts. Before we even got to the trail head we had to stop on Icehouse Road and Neil rebuilt the carburetor. This trip we had invited some of our fans. They all had requested vacation to spend the week with us. We had one come in from Arizona, one from Southern Cali and a Dan a JTS listener drove all the way from Illinois. It was everyone’s first time on the trail. Dan had been on the beginning of the trail before but never made it all the way through. Everyone was looking forward to wheeling the Rubicon Trail. For the most part we were all strangers when we met but now are lifelong friends.  So we finally entered the trail around 2pm Monday afternoon. We were all pumped and excited to be ON THE RUBICON TRAIL. Not to long into the trail the CJ5 had the clutch knocked out. Easy trail fix for Neil. It happened again a little tougher fix this time but Neil fixed it. He is the master of trail fixes. Now understand our CJ5 was on 31’s not a whole lot of mods. We had watched video after video of this old school Jeep guys tackling the trail with not a whole lot of issues. Neil is an amazing wheeler. He wheeled some of Kingman’s trails with no lockers in the YJ and conquered obstacles no one thought he could. I had all the faith in his abilities. We knew there might be some winching but that is to be expected. By the second day the CJ5 was not doing good. We ended up have a broken U bolt which Neil had trail fixed and the engine was having serious issues. We began to have to tow her or him. Neil says he’s a he. By the third day just after Little Sluice we came across some California guys. They said we needed to turn around there was no way we could tow her out the rest of the way. This is where it gets hard. It was extremely hot we were all frustrated with the slow go. I felt responsible for everyone’s trip. There were some who wanted to push forward. There were some who said they would go back. The cali guys said if we got permission we could leave it and come back for it or hire someone to tow it out. I felt at the time that was our best solution. I would pay someone to tow it out and come back after I dropped Michael at the airport. There were other discussions of what to do but we all weren’t apart of them at the CJ% was at the top of a hill and some of us were down at the bottom. Eventually it was decided to leave her so everyone could finish the trail. This is most likely a once in a lifetime trip for some. Honestly it was my understanding once we got back to cell coverage I would call some names given to me to get the recovery done. I also felt if I would have posted on Facebook I might have someone help out of the goodness of their heart. We made it off the trail late Thursday night. So Friday morning I put in some calls. Neil posted on the Rubicon Gazette. He actually was so upset he said on his FB page whoever gets it could have the Jeep. Well some guys in Calif with Race buggies came to the rescue. They went in late Friday and got Bumblebee out. It was a 12 hour process with Ultra 4 racing vehicles. They even tried a couple of trail fixes but no luck. She is safe in California until we can go get her. I don’t think Neil will ever forgive me. Friday morning he was under the assumption we would go to the parts store then head back on to the trail to get her. I had a promise to fulfill to my son. It was a 20 hour ride back to Denver. I didn’t think it was a good idea to go back in by ourselves. The other Jeeps had issues and were not capable of making a recovery. My Jeep seemed good to go but going in alone with 2 kids and a dog with no back seats didn’t seem like a good idea. I honestly had total faith in the Jeep community. Neil a very old school Jeeper says you take care of your own problems. I get that but we were in a unique situation. So now we work on getting back to Cali to get the Jeep then figure out if we go our own ways as we fundamentally disagree on the decision made. The guilt sits heavy with me for leaving the Jeep. My instincts as a mom said get my kid to the airport and don’t take all of us back into the trail with limited supplies and one Jeep. The Mom in me superseded the Jeeper in me. We can all sit back and say we should of done this or should of done that. It’s too late for that now. Now we can only learn from our decisions and make better ones the next time.  

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk: 

So you want some bass. We can’t blame you, even the Jeep Talk Show sounds a little better thru a well designed system. But you don’t have to go through another mid life crisis, break the bank, or lose your hearing to enrich your sound. And ultimately that’s what we want out of anything we listen to music through, a warm rich sound that isn’t lacking …or in excess of… anything in the audio spectrum. A phrase we used a lot in the industry when I worked in mobile electronics to describe a poorly tuned or designed system was bump and sizzle. The person had a thousand watts going to a trunk full of subs and nothing to back it up but deck power and factory speakers. What that created was a lot of bass (the bump) and nothing but sizzle (the high frequencies). Virtually everything else in the music was drowned out by a poorly designed system. You don’t want to be that person, in many ways. But for most, we would love to add some lower end to our music without sacrificing too much space or budget. So that’s the point of this tech talk, to outline what options you have when it comes to adding bass to your ride and what you need to consider if you do. First and foremost we need a basic understanding of what these speakers are doing and how that affects the listening environment. Speakers reproduce sound by moving the surface of the speaker, the cone, to produce sound waves. The smaller the speaker, the faster the cone moves and the easier it is to produce higher frequencies like a cymbal, a flute, or a bird singing. Conversely, the larger the speaker, the easier it is to reproduce lower frequencies like the rumble of a V8, the kick drum or tuba. They have too much surface area to move fast enough to create high frequencies, but move enough air all at once to create sound we can actually feel. These are subwoofers, and they are what produce the bass you feel in the beat of the music you’re listening to. All the stuff in the middle is everything else, and comprises the majority of the human vocal range. These frequencies can easily be made with mid sized speakers which have both enough surface area to produce a little bit of sound we can feel, as well as some high range, but alone would sound a little muddy. Typically in order to achieve a more balanced sound, the speaker has an accompanying tweeter. A tweeter produces very high frequencies and not much else since they are usually very small. So they compliment a mid range speaker like those typically found in most dashboards and door panels in most cars and trucks. And adding to what you already have with a larger speaker and a little more power is doing the same thing but at the other end of the audio spectrum. And that brings us to another important point. Power. The larger the speaker, the more power is required to move it enough to produce sound efficiently. This is where an amplifier comes into play. Some of the factory premium sound systems in Jeeps came with a small subwoofer mounted either in a back corner or in the bottom of the center console. These usually had a small on board amplifier which handled the need for extra power that the factory stereo, or even any aftermarket stereo just doesn’t possess.  Many creative Jeepers will cannibalize junkyards for these factory sub systems and modify them to work in their own Jeeps. Obviously the aftermarket has been addressing this need for decades, and has stealthy, secure, space saving options that can produce good bass, but come at a premium price since they are usually custom designed to work with specific vehicles. As with most aftermarket options, an external amplifier is needed to drive the sub, which may be an enclosure as large as the whole back end of your Jeep if that’s what you want. I’ve seen creative false floor designs in a variety of Jeeps that house multiple subs, and don’t sacrifice much storage area. Tuffy Products has been making additions for Jeeps to keep the subwoofer enclosure inthe back of Jeeps safe no matter what for decades. So even if you can’t find a factory option to fill your bass needs, the aftermarket has enough options to make you go blind. Budget is going to be your biggest factor. An amp can easily run in the $300 range brand new, and you still need a place to put it. You could spend just as much or more on the enclosure and the subs themselves. There is going to be the power cable and necessary signal delivery from the stereo to the amp, and this may require other equipment depending on what you have for a head unit, so you need to factor in a basic amplifier installation kit and those are usually in the $20 to $60 range. Your local stereo shops can always do custom work to fit big sound into small spaces, but this too usually comes with a premium price tag. If you go brand new and name brand… bass can easily run you in excess of 500-700 dollars.  There are of course budget variations, off brand gear, and second hand systems. Craigslist is a great source to see what’s out there as is your local facebook marketplace. This will give you an idea of what stuff is worth and what sort of stuff is out there. Don’t be afraid to canvas your local pawn shops too. These guys test all the gear they bring in (usually) and you may be able to find a more trustworthy source of used gear through a shop like these. Lastly, don’t settle for the first thing you come across. Every Jeep is different, as is every set of ears. So make sure you do some research to see what’s  out there for YOUR Jeep, and get some time listening to some different systems. There’s another great reason to look into joining a local club. If your area has a large group of Jeepers, then it’s going to be a lot easier to get access to other peoples systems for a demo of what they got and get an idea for what some of this stuff sounds like. You may find you want more wattage and sub than you previously thought.

Newbie Nuggets:

Trail Clean-up/repairs

With the weather finally cooperating, and bans lifted, we are all getting some much needed time in our jeeps. I started seeing lots of posts on social media that several different off-road and jeep clubs/groups were organizing clean-up days or trial maintenance events. Well our club, Bear Valley 4×4 club in So. Calif was no exception. Through our Adopt-A-Trail with the forest service, we maintain three trials up here in Big Bear. Gold Mountain got some much needed fence repairs and of course trash clean-up. I love that jeepers are out and enjoying the trials, and mountains, mud and sand or whatever the views may be. What surprises me is how much destruction off-roaders create. I know it’s typically a few that are ruining it for the rest of us. So I won’t discuss what group I think it may be, but why can’t the trial motto be that IF you can’t get through an obstacle, turn around? Is this an ego thing? Is it, “I have to make it through what my buddies did”, Or “I’ll look foolish if I don’t make it?”.  We discussed in episode 430 about basic trail etiquette, like leaving the trail better than you found it and pack it in/pack it out. I don’t think some off-roaders understand the importance of that. Gold Mountain is a black diamond trail that is visited by so many people in So. California and neighboring states each year. It offers some trail challenges, unique terrain, rocks to climb over and views of the mountains and lake. It’s an overall 10 on the scale of WOW factor and it is a Jeep Badge of Honor trail as well. The trial is easily marked with traffic patterns and fences have been installed to keep drivers on the trial. So here’s my first question: Why can’t drivers STAY on the Trail? What is the big deal with staying on the designated trail system? Is it Ego? Is it an embarrassment that your “truck” can’t make it through an obstacle so you decide to cut down the fences and make new paths because you couldn’t or wouldn’t get the proper vehicle, like a jeep, to make it through? We spent a day replacing driven over/bent t-posts and cut wire fences in areas that idiots decided they are too wimpy to make the obstacles and made new paths. These same idiots created a new path that “looks” like a trail to others that also can’t make it up the trail. Once one does it, the rest think it must be OK to do it too! This trail is near the pebble plains that are protected and have 3 species of plant that only grows in this area and are endangered. The forest service could close the trail permanently. All they need is a few more illegal bypasses or traffic on the pebble plains and they will have their justification to shut it down. This is a Black Diamond trail. How come people without the proper set-up vehicles think they can make it through? Not sure there is an answer and as I mentioned I’m sure that most jeepers are not doing this. Again, it’s just the few idiots out there ruining it for the rest of us. My second question is: Why can’t you (especially women) pack out your toilet paper? What is the big deal and why do you leave stuff like that in the forest? Typically we would bury it. Is it that you didn’t know what the proper way to dispose of paper is? Is it that no one told you? Well I’m telling you and here’s a tip: bring Ziploc baggies for the toilet paper. If you have kids you are used to cleaning them up and if you have dogs you are picking up their waste, so why can’t you pack up your toilet paper? And the same goes for diapers, kids wipes and women’s “that time of the month” stuff. It’s disgusting what humans discard. We need to be better stewards of the land and not leave traces of our visit. And now for the beer drinkers out there: first off why are you drinking while off-roading? It’s just a bad idea. Most clubs prohibit drinking while on the trail runs. You can drink all you want off the trail, but drinking on the trail, someone is bound to get killed or seriously hurt with that behavior. But here’s my question: if you brought the bottles in a six pack container WHY can’t you put the empties back in the container? If you brought the bottles in a cooler, WHY can’t the empties go back in the cooler? What is the deal with throwing the bottles, so they shatter and break, in the mountains? Or wherever you off-road? Does it make you a bigger man, or woman? Do your friends think it’s cool to see you toss your bottles like that? Did you ever consider the clean-up it takes to pick up all those tiny broken glass shards? Do you think glass is biodegradable? Did you consider the wildlife animals that get their paws cut walking over your broken glass? STOP IT!!! If you see someone throwing bottles, or trash, ask them to stop. If someone in your group is doing this, make them clean it up. If you are the leader of a group, set the tone and stage to be good stewards. If you don’t want someone throwing trash, leaving toilet paper, diapers or breaking down your fences at your home and driving through your yard, DON’T do it on the trails. This goes for anywhere in the US. Be good stewards! I’m normally a very nice and easy going person but this kind of preventable stuff drives me nuts. Josh, Tammy & Tony anything you want to add? If you want to see the video of the repairs and clean-up of Gold Mountain, check out our YouTube channel. We got so many likes and comments from other jeep clubs offering to help clean up the mountain and other trails it’s very exciting.

Interview with:

Jason Larson – Jason has been working at Tuffy Security Products for 3 1/2 years. He is Tuffy’s Sales Manager and knows just about every detail when it comes to a Tuffy product. In his spare time, Jason always finds himself working on a project. Whether it is turning a wrench or using a saw, his wife jokes that the garage is his second home. Living in Southwest Colorado, he has access to some of the best trails that Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico have to offer. You can find out more about Tuffy Security Products by visiting their website at tuffyproducts.com.

Campfire Side Chat:

Some stay away from mud. Some won’t go near water. Some Stay away from sand, (that stuff gets everywhere though, so…) Is there anything or anywhere you stay away from in YOUR Jeep?

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

https://www.tuffyproducts.com/
https://www.facebook.com/tuffyproducts
https://www.instagram.com/tuffyproducts/

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Episode 445 – CEO of Quadratec Steals The Show!


Please visit our sponsors:

This episode of the Jeep talk show is brought to you in part by Quadratec.com. Quadratec has delivered quality products and expert advice to Jeep enthusiasts around the world for more than 30 years. All the top brands at the best prices. Visit Quadratec.com to satisfy your Jeep needs today! Quadratec was founded over 30 years ago to provide Jeep enthusiasts with the best products at the best prices, and today it is the world’s largest independent retailer of Jeep parts and accessories. Whether you own a Willys, Wrangler, Cherokee or anything in between, Quadratec has what you need for whatever you drive. With more products than you’ll find anywhere else at the best value, Quadratec is your number one resource for everything Jeep. Visit Quadratec.com today!

This Week In Jeep: 

Proper Justice

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase lately “we are living in strange times.” And despite living in a city whose official bumper sticker reads “Keep Portland Weird” … I see even stranger stuff more and more every time I turn on the TV or radio. It used to be that when you saw someone on the freeway …they were trying to commit suicide, since in every single city in the entire nation it is illegal for you to just walk onto a freeway. If you were there, it was clear your only intent was to kill yourself by jumping in front of a dump truck or something. So when I see people being completely retarded by doing something as stupid as try and take their tiny little temper tantrum, I mean protest  onto the freeway, I’m blown away when people are shocked they get struck and killed by the high speed machines that lawfully occupy these roadways. But a small itty bitty bit of my faith in the justice system has been restored this week when I hear about the charges being dropped against the Jeeper who used his vehicle to push stupid protesters out of the roadway where they were illegally blocking traffic. My only complaint is he didn’t warm the tires up with a little heel-toe action beforehand. More than a month after the incident took place at this Visalia Commiefornia Black Lives Matter protest, Tulare County district attorney officials say the driver acted out of fear for his safety. Witnesses at the protest say they’re both shocked and angry at the outcome. (Gee, didn’t see that coming.) I mean if you’re stupid enough to think that it’s ok to march out onto a highway and start hitting people’s vehicles chanting and yelling your war cry, then you prob are the same kind of person who would be shocked that a gun shot a bullet into you as you looked down the barrel and pulled the trigger.  The District Attorney’s office said in a statement multiple protesters were on the road, illegally blocking the Jeep and other vehicles on the roadway. Attorneys say the protesters made it impossible for the driver to move forward without contacting them, and after doing so, they later went to the Visalia police department to report the collision. To me this sounds more like a responsible citizen concerned for the law, and the safety and well being of the mob who had started to surround him and throw objects into the roofless vehicle, than a ruthless racists intent on pulling off a hit and run. There is a flurry of legal-speak surrounding this case, and although the DA considers the matter closed, there are those who just can’t let their butt-hurt go because their feelings are more important than the law. 

So Just How Dumb Do You Have To Be?

So apparently Jeep and FCA have determined that not only are you too stupid or lazy to stay in your own lane, or brake properly in your new Jeep you are also too dumb to read a tire gauge. I don’t know about you, but I learned how to count at a pretty young age, and although reading a dial or the stick of a pressure gauge isn’t something they teach in grade school, it’s not that hard to figure out what the numbers mean. So as I’m going through the specs for the 2021 Wrangler this week, I have to stop and facepalm as I see that FCA is incorporating a whole suite of previously optional tech into the lower trim models. And they’re upping the ante for the new model year.. In addition to “we’re going to insult your intelligence as a competent driver” tech like blind spot monitoring for those too damn lazy to rotate their head 30 degrees, and forward collision warning for those more interested in looking in the back seat instead of forward, we now have the first offroad tech for you too stupid to properly air up your tires after a day on the sand snow or trail. ORDINARILY, one would air up using an on board air compressor, or compressed air tank of some kind. Heck, even the gas station down the road could air you up, and all you need on hand to make sure you’re properly inflated is one of those air gauge things. But those are way too complicated to operate,and who has the time to learn how anyways? Don’t you need a degree or certification to use those?  No. And you are stupid. Or at least the engineers at FCA think you are.  Now as of the 2021 model year, all Wranglers equipped with the 7.0-inch touchscreen, will also have a special tire-fill alert system built into the vehicle’s programming. Working in conjunction with the sensors in the TPMS, or tire pressure monitoring system, or as I like to call it the “you’re too oblivious to realize you’ve been driving on a flat tire since you pulled out of the driveway light.” This fancy new super helpful feature will honk the horn at you once when the optimal tire pressure has been reached when you’re topping off your tires, and three times when the pressure is too high or too low.  Ahh I can see it now, it’s been an awesome day on the trail, you didn’t even have to touch the wheel or the pedals once, your jeep did it all for you, but now you have to air up your tires, and you’re going to get confused as all the other Jeeps in the staging area are all airing up at the same time… and nobody can figure out how much air they have because everyone else’s horn keeps going off. BOO-HOO I’m so utterly sick of this level of babysitting that the automotive engineering field has insisted be adopted into every new vehicle that hits the road.  Pretty soon, there WILL be a Jeep with no steering wheel, and an electric vehicles only sign hanging over the gatekeeper at the Rubicon, and at that point, screw it!  ….I’m leaving the planet.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Hard-Wiring An Accessory.

There’s nothing more off putting than looking into a bad ass Jeep and seeing 17 cigarette lighter splitters sitting in the center console with a dozen power cables strung all over the place. I know that not everyone is or can be a wiring expert, but there is little excuse for poor wire management. Mostly all we have now is a power cable for our cell phone. But oftentimes there’s an accessory that you just can’t live without that needs power. It could be that Valentine-1 radar detector, or one of those inclinometers that are backlit and need their own power supply. Maybe it’s just that GPS unit that you cant live without. Whatever it may be, it’s time to get that power cable off of the dash and out of the way of everything else. The term for this is called Hard-Wiring.  And even though it’s not difficult there are a few rules that must be followed regardless of what you’re working with. First off, this is going to involve cutting that power cable, taking off that cigarette lighter adapter, and wiring the cable straight into the Jeeps power systems. That little black cable is then a lot easier to snake in through small passages without that big bulbous plug on the end of it. NOW it can get tucked under trim along the dash. Once you’re behind the dash you can tap into the ignition, the fuse panel, the back of an auxiliary power port, or even better give it it’s own run straight to the battery. No matter where you pull power from, make sure it’s keyed, meaning it turns off when the key is pulled out of the ignition. And rule number 1? Fuse it! No matter where you get the power from, it needs to be protected, so along with the necessary supplies needed to tap into a wire or hook up to the battery, you will need an inline fuse holder to protect your device and the vehicle’s wiring. If you’re hesitant or unsure of what you’re doing, then leave it to the pros. Most shops will do something like this for virtually any device for about $20 to $30 in labor and a small supplies charge for connectors, fuse and fuse holder. OR you can buy a spare power cable from online in case you screw something up. Sometimes the wire will have to be extended, and this will require additional wire, and possibly solder or additional connectors. Ok, so how do you determine what wire is power and what wire is ground once you cut the power cable? Here’s a hint, the center position on the cigarette lighter adapter, the plug that goes into the hoe in your dash will always have the center pin be positive. That’s the way every cigarette lighter or 12v power port has ever been made. Using a multimeter set for continuity, probe the center pin on the plug, and then each of the wires in turn to find which one is the center pin. This is the wire in the cable that will get hooked to your 12v positive source. The other by process of elimination is ground. Make sure you are not tying into things like light circuits, or critical systems like the fuel pump. With a little no-how some basic and inexpensive supplies, you can clean up that over crowded power port or cigarette lighter in your Jeep or any other vehicle for that matter.

Interview with:

Ted Wentz – Quadratec

Ted Wentz grew up in the family business, Quadratec, and is a lifelong Jeep and automotive enthusiast. Quadratec was founded 30 years ago by Ted’s father. Ted got an early start in the automotive industry, pushing a broom around the Quadratec warehouse. To expand his professional and entrepreneurial experience, he spent several years working for the Department of Homeland Security and then starting his own venture, FireCraft, a BBQ grills and accessories manufacturer and retailer. Ted returned to Quadratec in 2017 and currently serves as CEO. He was elected to the SEMA Board of Directors in June 2020.

Must Have Stuff: 

Action Camera – Just Get One Already!

If you’ve spent any amount of time on off road related forums there is one phrase that gets typed a lot when someone is bragging about something they did with their JEeps. And that is…. “Pics or it didn’t happen” There;s not much worse than leaving the house and realizing your phone is still on the counter. Our phones have become our lives, and it sux even worse when you realize that single device is the only means you have of recording your adventures. It used to be if you wanted those cool below the Jeep shots as you crawl over an obstacle or those wide sweeping views of the trail as you roar over some rocks that you either had to have a professional camera crew with you, or you spent hundreds of dollars on action cameras  like a GoPro. Those cute but extremely powerful cube cameras have become very popular over the years and now that they’ve been out for a while, the prices have come way down and there is plenty of competition. Oh sure you could easily drop $3k in an offroad camera rig, with a 3 axis active stabilizing gimbal and enough frames per second to choke a super computer in processing. But it’s really not needed. Now you can get gopro like performance for a fraction of the price and have a dozen varieties to choose from. So this week i’m not going to give you one specific brand or model of thing to go after. Instead I want you to make a commitment to yourself and the rest of the Jeep world that you are going to make the summer of 2020 the year you finally get an action camera for your Jeep. Get a mount for the dash, get one for the bumper, get a suction cup mount for the side, and a bogh clamp mount for the roll bar. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get good footage, but it helps to have a few accessories. Although I’m not giving you one particular selection to go buy I will tell you to look out for a few features that will help set things apart for you. First, Get an extra battery, no matter what, you’re going to use it. Second, make sure the camera you’re getting has an app that is compatible with your phone. Being able to mount the camera in a remote location and then start, stop and monitor your footage is incredibly useful. Also, make sure that it can at least do a full 1080p with 120 frames per second. That’s going to be the mark to reach for clarity of shot, and ability to have some good smooth slow motion shots if it came down to it. But honestly, you can get a waterproof 4k action camera with a case for under $50 on amazon and have it here in two days if you want, so why not right? And that’s about it, if you can’t find a decent accessory package to go along with the camera you’re looking at, move on to another one. You’ll want one with at least a little bit of support behind it to make your offroad video making a little easier and more enjoyable. When you get home there are a ton of free, very easy to learn and use video editing programs out there to put the final touches on it, edit out the boring spots or where you had to pull cable, and get it posted up to youtube or your social media accounts. It’s never been easier or cheaper to get great Jeeping videos without having to rely on your cell phone.

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 445

https://www.quadratec.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Quadratec
https://www.youtube.com/quadratec
https://www.instagram.com/quadratec/
https://jeeptalkshow.com/

Video mentioned in the show:

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Episode 444 – Could You Give Your Jeep Away?


This Week In Jeep: 

Another Six Figure Jeep – With WHAT?!?

I’m not a huge fan of baseball. (gasp) I know… I know…, I might as well have just insulted half of America. But if you are of the countless few who still love the sport, then you may undoubtedly be aware of The New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman. They call him a closer. Because he closes the game down with his 100mph fastballs, and is known as “The Cuban Missile” for being able to bring such a fast pitch. Clearly if you’re on a team like the Yankees, and you’ve got a name with the word missile in it, then it’s safe to say you’re also getting a pretty fat paycheck.  And it became quite evident that Chapman IS getting paid quite well, as this week he took delivery of one of those 6 wheeled, six figure Jeeps from a company we’ve talked about recently here on the show. Just 10 Episodes ago in fact. In Episode 434 we Talked about South Florida Jeeps in Fort Lauderdale, who now apparently have created a one of a kind custom 6×6 Jeep for the baseball player. As stated on the Instagram post of the delivery from South Florida Jeeps, ((QUOTE)) “The man who regularly throws over a 100 mph now has a truck to match.” And a truck this thing is, as each one of the SF6X6’s are hand built to order with a baseline of 600 ft pounds of torque and a bunch of other quite impressive features to come with that impressive price tag. But this one has been custom outfitted with a unique Kevlar coating. Is it bullet proof? Radar Absorbing? Will it deflect a rocket strike? They won’t say, and some of the specs of the beasts this shop builds are kept under tight wraps too. All in All the project took about 60 days to complete. What it cost Chapman was right around $150,000 — a small price to pay for a Jeeper who just signed a 3-year, $48 MILLION contract with the New York Yankees. Yea, how’s about he kicks one our way?!?! …Since it was probably US who gave him the idea after hearing about it on the show in the first place! Hey YOU do the math. That was exactly 70 days ago, and it took 60 days to build, and he took delivery this week. Like Pee-Wee Herman used to say… “CONNECT THE DOTS LA-LA-LA”  

Teen shot dead in a Jeep in Seattle’s CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest)

The teenagers shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest area earlier this week were being chased after stealing a Jeep at knifepoint. According to various reports from both eye witnesses as well as people who were close to the two young men who were shot, a slightly different story comes to light. Initially dispatchers received multiple 911 calls after gunfire erupted just after 3 a.m. near 12th Avenue and Pike Street, according to Seattle Police. Witnesses reported several unidentified people had fired shots into an SUV. Well on the surface that seems like the two young boys in the Jeep were tragic victims of senseless violence. But as the story unfolds, we find that apparently the two boys, one 16, and the other 14, had beat someone up, and stolen their Jeep at knife point. They were being chased at one point, and got advice from one of their friends to run to this CHOP zone where they would be safe and could hide out because there were no police up there. Once there there was some confusion since the six block area of anarchy was at that point being self policed. According to one witness a vehicle that had the word “Security” written on the side of it was one that had engaged the two boys as they recklessly drove into this area of high tension and lawlessness. To me it comes as little surprise, and it’s going to piss a lot of people off when I say they got what they deserved. You beat someone up and steal their Jeep from them at knife point and then go carening into an area of sheer anarchy and expect there to be something other than bullets greeting you, then I’m afraid that falls under the you sleep in the bed you make category. Friends of the thieves insist they were not gang members, yet have already been identified and are known to regularly associate with known blood gang members. They thought that there was honor among thieves and that if they made it to an area with other people who are circumventing the law, that they would be safe. The moral of the story? Don’t steal Jeeps!  

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Tighten That Tire!

As summer creeps up on us we find ourselves hitting the trail a little more often, and that might mean you may be noticing some things that developed over the winter or from last year’s trail runs that has you thinking you need to make repairs. All too often a new creak or rattle has us worrying more than we should. This is especially true for those of us Jeepers who have a spare tire carrier bumper.  Aftermarket bumpers are great but they all have their own quirks and flaws. In my mind no bumper is perfect, even the one that a buddy of mine is building that he will eventually have sunk over $2500 into. And I bet when it’s finally done, he still won’t be happy. Over time, trail use and just general driving loosen up tolerances that may have otherwise been tight at one point. This may introduce a little slop in something and present a new rattle or noise that is sometimes hard to isolate. Spare tire carrier bumpers are notorious for making noise, especially on the trail. From rattles to bangs and everything in between I know for a fact there are Jeepers out there right now wishing they could do something to quiet down their rear tire carrier.  One of the biggest sources of noise in these bumpers is from the tire itself. And the bigger the tire, the bigger the culprit. The sheer mass and size of that tire being suspended just inches above the main support of the bumper is exerting a lot of shear forces on its mount, which is oftentimes just a 10″ ring of steel with three lugs sticking out of it welding to a piece of tube steel. As you bounce down the trail all those forces are being transmitted through that mount and are turned into rattles in all those areas where tolerances may have opened up a bit. This is a tip that a friend of the show CPO turned me onto a number of years back. And that’s to get that tire secured to the rear supports of the swing arm. Almost every rear tire carrier bumper I’ve seen has a vertical post for the spare tire mount itself, as well as at least one triangulated support that comes off the side, but usually two. And it’s where this angled tube meets the face of the tire is where support needs to be maximized.  How this is done is by using anything from rubber exhaust hangers, to bump stops, to a section of an old tire or anything that can fill that void, and give you a mountable, securable and very rugged cushion to cinch the tire down to. This will create a much more positive engagement between the tire and the bumper making them much more of a single mass than several masses all vibrating and shaking differently. The key here is durability, but you will be limited to how much of a void you need to fill. A chunk of floor matt zip tied around the support might be all you need. Or it may be that you need a full size bump stop bolted to the face of that support because your tire sits so far out from it. Rattles aren’t the end of the world, but they are a sign of something that still needs to be addressed.

Newbie Nuggets:

At some point you may run into a situation that requires a Band-Aid and maybe even a little first aid on the trail. In episode 426 I discussed several items to have in the jeep including a first aid kit. The question has come up, what’s kind of a first aid kit do I need? Great question and thanks for suggesting as we explore some options. Most first aid kits available might be the blue metal box that says “first aid with a big red cross” or the white plastic box that says First Aid and they contain basic essential items that are generally enough to handle those silly scrapes and bumps you can acquire while jeeping. Here is a list of items that should be in the basic kit. 1)  Band-Aids – all sizes (small to large & wide) 2)  Dressing gauze with tape 3)  Flexible gauze (ace bandage) 4)  Antiseptic wipes 5)  First aid cream/Neosporin 6)  Alcohol swabs 7)  Some kits may have a triangular bandage and a cold pack Now you may ask yourself, why would I need all this first aid stuff? Well, when you jeep, things tend to happen and it’s always best to be prepared. My husband always says, “Better to be looking at it, than looking for it”. Or as I always say, “if I have it, I won’t need it”. Needing a bandage is NOT the time to wish you had put a kit together. We were jeeping last weekend on John Bull with Don Alexander and helping some students get through the obstacles. The rocks are huge and the dirt is like powder and very slippery. I know this and mentioned and reminded the drivers to be careful when stepping/walking around before we tackled the obstacles. Well as I was spotting a driver through the obstacle, I needed to adjust my position and I hopped (yes I said hopped) to the next rock and as my left foot landed it went down and “swoosh” I’m on the ground. Landed hard on my left hip and elbow/forearm on a slanted rock covered in fine dirt. I know better, but why I hopped and didn’t step as I moved is beyond me. As I hit the ground I realized that the driver was still waiting for me to help and I sprang up like a gazelle (it was more like “I meant to do that”) and continued like nothing had happened. Turns out I scraped my forearm pretty good. No blood and I didn’t hit my head so we continued on and I got everyone else through the obstacle. A little bit later I realized I had a pretty good scrape and it was stinging. I used the first aid cream and a Band-Aid to help the pain and put my big girl britches on and dealt with it. I probably didn’t really need the Band-Aid but having it was good because you never know when something like this could have been worse. So what other types of first aid kits are out there? Basic kits are easy to find and generally require very little to figure out how to use the items. There is always a basic first aid booklet in these kits, so it’s a good idea to preview it before going on a trial run. But what about other types of kits and items. There is every level of kit (and expense) from Trauma kits to full blown medic kits. Depending on your experience and/or training you may want to bring additional items in your kit. Bill and I are first aid, CPR, trauma trained and certified, so we carry extra kits on board.   A few other items to consider: SunBurn cream, it’s not just for sunburns, you could get a burn reaching under your hood and touching the hot engine or exhaust. An Israeli pressure bandage would be good to have for a puncture or head wound or even a deep cut on a leg/arm (learn to use it properly).  A wound like this could easily happen by wrenching under the jeep and the tool slips, or you fall on a jagged rock and hit your head or worse. Whatever you choose for your first aid kit, make sure you know what’s inside and how to use it, especially, if you are the trail leader. There are classes offered for all levels of first aid and trauma training. You need to know how to help if needed. And don’t forget to check the kit for missing items just to make sure kids and family members haven’t raided the kit because they needed a Band-Aid.  Josh, and Tony, what’s a must have for your first aid kit?

Interview with:

Dr. Pamela L. Gay – Donated Her “beloved” 1997 Jeep Wrangler To NPR after 21 years of fun and adventures! Dr Pamela Gay is an astronomer and host of the Daily Space podcast. She is also someone who owned a Jeep Wrangler SE “manual” for 21 years. In that time she has done many jeep things both scientific (like lugging telescopes) and stupid (like transporting a love seat roped in between the roll bars). She just donated her beloved Jeep to NPR and remains in mourning.

Must Have Stuff:

Carabiners For Wrench Control / Storage

I used to work with tools for a living. And keeping my tools clean and organized was a key part of my routine. This has transferred to the tools I carry offroad too. And although not everyone can have a dedicated set of tools just for the Jeep or for offroading, this tip will help anyone organize a specific set of tools in their collection. Having access to the right tool for a trail repair or last minute adjustment of something makes all the difference in the world. So why carry a full set of wrenches with you if it’s going to take you forever to find the right one? To this end I have used a simple Carabiner to keep each of my wrench sets complete and organized.  Long gone are the days of searching endlessly through a tool box or bag to find one single wrench. I know right where my wrenches are and the one I’m looking for will always be easy to find. My quick tip for you would be to keep it simple stupid. Seriously. You can go out and spend as much as $40 on a pair of these spring clips and get them home only to find they don’t fit but a third of your wrenches. Oh sure they will be titanium coated and have an integrated bottle opener and bluetooth link to feed real time tool data to the cloud for better storage optimization, as if that’s even a thing. Honestly the cheap anodized NON-locking aluminum clips that you can get several of for less than 10 bucks works the best. And here’s why.The ones you want to look for will have a round body and clip that sets flush with the body. Not some big chunky twist or sliding locking mechanism. That’s just going to get in the way. Just a simple spring loaded lock tab of the same diameter as the rest of the carabiner. This will allow for easy cycling through the wrenches to find the right one, but will also facilitate easy removal and replacement of the needed wrench. Not to mention it’s nice having a different anodization to tell which set is metric at a glance. The bigger the Carabiner the bigger the diameter of the body, so you don’t want anything over a 4″ clip because you won’t be able to get your smaller wrenches over the body. Other than that it’s up to you where you get them, how much you spend and how many you buy. I will say this though. Stay away from the Pittsburgh brand Wrench Rings. Although they look like they might be a better design, they are made of a soft steel and bend out of shape too easily. Think old school shower curtain rings, stretched. Yea, not a lot of beef there. 

Amazon $7.49 for (QTY 6) 3″ Multi Colored – https://amzn.to/3dVinQG
Amazon $11.99 for (QTY 12) 3″ Black – https://amzn.to/3dViZps
Harbor Freight $0.89 for (QTY 1) comes in various colors https://www.harborfreight.com/3-inch-snap-clip-fastener-47658.html

Campfire Side Chat:

Do You Have The Means To Fly a Flag (or two) On YOUR Jeep? What Flags Do You Fly, And When?

Wheeling Where:

July 4th Jeep Rally WILL HAPPEN!

In the parking lot of Apache Field – Gonzales, Texas
6pm July 4th, 2020
Event coordinators encourage Jeeo owners to decorate their vehicles with Independence Day themed decorations, including but not limited to flags, streamers, window paint, lights, etc.The rally is intended to uplift Gonzales and its residents, and help give the town some life and hope to remain strong. Organized by Lisa Brown, who previously worked on the Light Up the Dark Christmas Light event.

Links Mentioned in this Episode: 

Jeep 4-1-1 https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrydriver
Jeep Spare Tire Carrier Flag Carrier (Freedom Flyer) https://oldsoldierironworks.com/
Zippered Flag Holder For CB Antenna “Forever Wave” https://foreverwave.com/

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