Bonus Episode: Offroad Expo Interviews

Here is the bonus content that we weren't able to get to on our regularly scheduled podcast. There are a lot of good interviews and general ramblings. Check it out and let us know what you think:

1m:50s - Rough Country

5m:41s - King Shocks

13m:51s - Radflo

18m:06s - Bilstein 

13m:04s - Jeremy @cj5_sheila

36m:40s - Grid Offroad

42m:20s - Red Barron Tools

46m:14s - Rockslide Engineering


Episode 405 – Hard Top Removal and Storage

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Whether you are upgrading your Jeep’s suspension, swapping axles, changing trannies or modifying your transfer case, one component of your Jeep almost always demands attention—the driveshaft. It’s the critical link in your drive line, and a sensitive one at that. A little off here, a little off there, and if you’re not careful, you could find yourself in big trouble somewhere you can least afford it.  This is why you should put your trust in the biggest name in drive shafts, Tom Woods. Just go to find out more, that’s

“Do you even lift, Bro? Well, whether you lift or not, chances are, if you are listening right now, you probably drive a Wrangler or know someone who does. When it comes to jacking up your Jeep, there are several things you need to take into consideration depending on your personal usage, budget, and even desired tire size. To help make lifting your Wrangler as easy-peesey as possible, the writers at ExtremeTerrain have compiled their definitive guide to Jeep Wrangler lift kits—AND ITS JACKED!

This Week In Jeep:

Third Quarter Jeep Sales Figures are in! 

To most these sort of reports are pretty dry and useless, but some find this information and interesting so we will occasionally report on how our favorite automaker is doing fiscally speaking. FCA US LLC announced three sales records for the third quarter as a new generation of shoppers snapped up muscle cars and a strategy of premium technology and interior upgrades attracted new heavy-duty truck buyers. Wrangler notched a record quarter as well on the back of new limited-edition models. Muscle cars and full size trucks aside, BOTH of which produced record sales figures for the third quarter of 2019, we’re more interested in how Jeep is doing aren’t we? 

It’s not exactly breaking news that the Wrangler has been a strong seller since its redesign last year, but the nameplate received a boost this quarter from the start of a special-edition campaign. New limited-edition models include, for example, the 2020 Wrangler Black & Tan and the Wrangler Willys. Jeep intends to offer more Wrangler special editions in 2020 aqs well, so if this trend continues, we should see strong sales figures for the second and third quarters of 2020 as well. For the quarter in question however, overall sales were 565,034 vehicles for the three-month period covering July, August and September. Retail sales accounted for 438,649 vehicles while fleet accounted for 22 percent of total sales. Over the last few years fleet sales have accounted for nearly 25% of all sales to date. IMpressive numbers when compared to those from say just 5 years ago. Lower interest rates, a more stable economy and consumer enthusiasm bolster FCA’s belief that new vehicle sales in the U.S. are heading for a strong finish. Speaking of strong, this guy has a strong name just like Mike Manley CEO of FCA…. The Head of U.S. Sales Reid Bigland says:  “For us, vehicles like the new Gladiator, our Ram pickups and Dodge muscle cars are pulling customers into showrooms. Our customers are also choosing to purchase higher trim levels or extra features, which are increasing our transaction prices.” The bottom line? Not only is Jeep selling more vehicles, they’re selling more of the higher trim level models. So, if you have FCA in your investment portfolio, you might be looking pretty good as we move into the next quarter. 

If you own a Jeep Wrangler MOAB edition, it may have just went up in value.

Speaking of Jeeps special editions…. Just this week, a Federal Circuit Court made a ruling that says Jeep can NOT get the ‘Moab’ name Trademarked. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office upheld a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision, where a trademark examiner correctly rejected an application from Fiat’s FCA US LLC unit to register a “Moab” trademark. The reason behind the ruling is because consumers might confuse it with a Jeep customization company called Moab Industries. This is more or less the final nail in the coffin as it were for Jeep to legally use MOAB for any of it’s trim levels in the foreseeable future. This also puts an end to the rumors that Jeep was about to announce the release of a MOAB branded factory authorized suspension package designed for more of a rock crawler build than just a general offroading upgrade that we see with some of the current set ups available. What this means for anyone with a MOAB Trim Wrangler, is that this is now a limited release trim package that we may never see again. And with MOAB utah, still being one of the worlds most sought after offroad destinations, there won’t be a lack of attention or want for this level trim. The MOAB trim package is based on the four-door Jeep Wrangler Sahara, the Wrangler Moab Edition is offered with a smorgasbord of features, some of which it shares with the rugged – and more upscale — Wrangler Rubicon trim. Basically this sits right between the Rubicon and Sahara packages giving Jeep buyers another option. And if you got one, you might want to hold on to it, and make sure to keep the miles low, as this new court ruling just made your Jeep a rare one which should increase its value in the coming years. Time and further developments to this may change things, but we’ll of course keep you up to speed.

Jeep Life with Jeep Momma:

8 Days and Counting

My Jeep is pretty much ready to go. Last episode I shared how I had just got my Jeep back from the shop. I had new Synergy ball joints installed and man was the steering scary. I had to drive up to Rausch Creek last Friday with the sticky steering and the lack of self centering. The manufacturer instructions noted that it would take around 500 miles for the ball joints to seat. The guys at Adams told me on my way back from Rausch it would be fine, which was around 300 miles. They were spot on! So now my steering is back to normal. While at Rausch during the Women’s Wheeling Event I was able to try out my new Nexen tires.They were amazing. I aired down to 20 PSI and they did great. We wheeled 10 blue trails consisting of rocks and mud and some wet terrain.  Maggie May update on the Timing Chain Fiasco. In 1980-81 there was a change in the timing chain. The NAPA computer didn show the change. When this new what we thought was a correct timing change  was install there was an off set in the lower sprocket, just a 100 thousandth of an inch. This caused metal shavings to go thru the motor. Neil and his friend Larry, who by the way is an amazing friend, he has been by Neil’s side the whole time, Larry is another Jeeper, well they dropped the oil pan and cleaned up the metal but it was too late. The metal damaged the bearings bent push rods the main bearings. This all caused oil starvation to the top of the engine. Now Neil is in a crunch and doing a 3 day motor job. Yesterday he spent the day on the road getting two 360 AMC engines. Today was tearing them all down and cleaning up and sorting out the parts. They are able to mix match from all three engines however out of the three not one had a good cam or cam bearings luckily a machinist in the area has some good bearings to pick up in the morning. There just isn’t time to get another cam because of shipping time constraints. So we will deal with what we have. Neil and Larry are confident it will all work as all tolerances are on the good end of good. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It’s been a very stressful week for us. Neil will need to leave Monday or Tuesday to meet me in Virginia next Saturday!

Wrangler Talk:

First episode with our new host, Bill Gushue

Hello to all my fellow Jeepers and Jeep Friends and welcome to the new Wrangler talk. On today’s Wrangler talk we are going to be covering Gear Ratios, how to choose the correct gear ratio for your jeep, style of driving that you mostly do and why it is important to do lots of planning before you make this major modification. First off Jeep has done a lot of research and development and planning in choosing the correct gear ratio for your jeep from the factory and this plays a huge part in the gear ratio that you want to choose when you finally make that decision to change gears. The biggest reason is as a Jeeper mostly all of us want to put bigger tires on our rigs and when we put those bigger tires on the jeep we are changing a major factor in all that planning that Jeep did for us from the factory. So let’s, start with what a gear ratio is, and that is the numerical value of rotations that the drive shaft has to make to make the tires spin one full rotation. For example, if you have 4.88 gears like I am running on my 2015 wrangler, that means that my drive shaft that is going to my rear differential must spin 4.88 times for my tires to make one full rotation. This leads us to the next most common question people ask me when we are taking about gear ratios and gear sets is how do I tell what gears I have in my jeep. Well the first way is to look on your window sticker you got when you purchased your Jeep, but we may have not bought our jeep new or lost that sticker and looking it up through your vin is very difficult. So, the easiest way to figure out that gears are in your jeep is to have a friend’s help and jack up the rear end of your jeep and place a mark on your tire at noon or 6 and a mark on your drive shaft with some chalk. Then have your friend watch the tire that you marked as you rotate the rear drive shaft and count the amount of rotations that it takes so make one full rotation of the tire. Finally, to the good stuff, how to calculate the new gear size that you are going to need when you put those beefier tires on your jeep. So for this you are going to need to need 3 numbers to calculate your new gear set. These three numbers that you are going to need and that is your original Stock Tire size, the stock gear set that came with your jeep from the factory, and the last number you are going to need is your desired tire size So with these three number you are going to use a very simple equation to calculate the new tire size. For this equation you are going to take you original Factory gear set size and multiple that with your new desired tire size. Then you are going to divide that number by your factory tire size. This is going to give you the new gear set size that you will need to get your jeep back to the factory gear ratio that jeep did when designing your jeep for you. So you might come to a point now that you are trying to find that new desired gear set size and discover that the number that you calculated for your new gear set is between two different gear set sizes when you are looking online And this is where your style and type of driving that you mostly do. So if you are sitting between two different gear set size there are some things to consider. A numerically higher gear set size will need more rotations from the drive shaft to spin your tires and in turn your engine will run a higher RPM and vice versa with a lower gear set size. So this mean that is the numerically higher in the gear set will be causing your engine to have to make more rotations to spin your tires one time so out on the highway you will have to run at higher rpms to achieve the cruising speed you are looking for. Although there is a trade off with a higher gear ratio you will feel more torque and power at the lower end speeds and it will be a bit easier for your drive train to spin those beefier tires you are looking for. And vice versa with a numerically lower gear set size your engine will not have to run at a higher rpm on this highway when at that highway cruising speed but when driving at that speed your jeep might struggle with the amount of power that you will have readily available when trying to pass someone or traveling up a hill. So if you keep these few tips in mind when you are choosing your new upgrades gear set, it will make this decision much easier. And this concludes today’s wrangler tech talk and please if you have any further questions or comments please our contact page at Please tune into next week’s tech talk we will be talking about Lockers and the different types of lockers on the market.

Interview with:

Brett Petersen is the Vice President &  co-owner of J-BARR INC. J-BARR INC. Manufactures and sells the J-BARR. The j-Barr is a complete Jeep hardtop removal hoist and storage system. The system works with both wranglers and the new gladiator and is manufactured in the USA. To find out more please visit

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

3.6L Pentastar V6 operating temp (about 7 mins) 

Can you direct me to any episodes where u discuss Jeep JK engine temperatures and fan operation? I’m a new JK owner… 2017 Rubicon. I’ve heard stories of the cooling fan on the new JL is really loud… at what temp?  My JK has never been above 228 degrees and my fan is always quiet..Will it get loud and at what temp? I’m not used to an engine running this hot.

Signed – Mike P. 

Many of the newer engine manufacturer’s have designed today’s more modern motors to run a little hotter than the engines of yester-year. This is primarily to help burn off emissions and the other things that come out of gasoline engines that the EPA and eco-nuts have deemed will kill us all. Operating temps about 10 degrees above what we consider “normal” are now the new normal. That being said, normal operating temps in the 220’s under normal driving conditions (nominal engine load, no heavy cargo/towing, not too many giant hill climbs, no wide open throttle accelerations, etc.) is pretty normal for a 2017 JK/JKU with the 3.6L engine. . HOWEVER…. That’s not to say there isn’t room for some “improvement” but I’m using that term loosely here. A cold or “cooler” running engine may not perform as well as a warmed up engine, or one running at a normal operating temp. Acceleration, throttle response, economy, all will be affected if the engine is running below its intended operating range. There are many Wranglers of that generation (more common in the 14-15 model years) that had some issues with the cooling system collecting sediment. This sediment would build up in some of the passages in the radiator and other places along the cooling system and cause issues like leaks, pressure build-ups (think hot spots – as the higher the pressure of the coolant, the higher it’s temperature) and even cooling system performance issues or outright failures. Going back to the pressure issue…. Radiator caps are designed to allow the pressure in the cooling system to build up so that it can pull away more heat. An under pressurized cooling system will not perform as well as one that is under the correct pressure. Many shops will test your cap for free or do it while you get your oil changed (if that is something you have done and not do yourself.) You CAN rent the tool that will test your radiator cap from SOME parts stores, but not all, so call around if this is something you think you can do yourself. If your Wrangler has seen many freeway miles, or a lot of trail miles (or both), there is a chance that the radiator might have some debris buildup. Bugs, dirt, mud, and road tar can all build up across the thin fins that are the heat-sink of the radiator. If these fins and the passages between them get clogged up with bugs, tar, or mud, the cooling system as a whole then cannot move enough air across the radiator for it to do its job properly. Also, in this same spirit of decreased airflow, there can be an issue with aftermarket coolers getting in the way. For instance… lets say an aftermarket oil cooler, transmission cooler, AND a power steering fluid cooler are all placed in front of the radiator. This is going to decrease air flow across the radiator, AND even supply a source of pre-heated air to move from one cooler across the radiator basically simulating a giant hair dryer in front of your jeep robbing the cooling system of cool air for the radiator. Another thing to think of: Thermostats don’t last forever. This is a device that is meant to be swapped out over time and miles. The thermostat is one of the main devices in the cooling system that controls the regulation of the vehicle’s temperature. They can clog up with debris from the system, get sticky over time and not operate as well as they should, or just plain and simply fail. For $20-$40 and an hours worth of work (or less) this may be something to look into, but please don’t take this as advice to start throwing money and parts at a problem before identifying whether or not you even have a problem (and more importantly) what’s causing said problem. So here is my advice moving forward: Do a ridiculously thorough examination of every square inch of your radiator (and the rest of the cooling system too.) You may even want to remove the top of the core support (the metal body/part going across the top of the radiator.) to look for signs of small leaks. Closely scrutinize the areas of the radiator where the body of the radiator meets the tanks (sides) of itself. These seams are the most common spots for leaks to form, but are by no means the only places it can develop a leak. Have the system flushed, or do it yourself, and pay close attention to whether there is any evidence of sediment in the system. If having this done by a shop, be sure to convey this to the techs that are actually going to be doing the work, not just the person behind the desk writing the work order. If there IS evidence of sediment in the cooling system, you will likely want to start looking at replacing the radiator very soon. If you DO decide to do a flush yourself, be sure to refill the system with the RIGHT COOLANT! – I’ve seen it too many times where someone wasn’t paying attention and just went for the pre-mixed green stuff. The 3.6L Pentastar engines requires the orange colored OAT (Organic Acid Technology) formula coolant. This is the stuff meets all the requirements to ensure you aren’t creating jello in your engine or eating away the different plastic and metal components that make up the cooling system. During your overly cautious and super intense examination of your cooling system, pay attention to fittings, the area around the water pump, and even the hoses going to and from the thermostat and heater core. Also keep a nostril or two open for the smell of coolant. If you don’t know what this smells like, pop the radiator cap and have a sniff. But for the love of god, do this with the engine off and cool! If you notice that same smell in the cab of the Jeep, or coming thru the vents at all, this could be a sign of a leak somewhere else in the system, and possibly be the heater core leaking. (the heater core is a small radiator like device embedded in the blower housing that either turns hot or cold and supplies you with hot or cool air as the blower motor moves air across it and into the cab.) Have the radiator cap tested, ensuring that it is allowing the system to come up to the proper pressure. If all else looks good, and this is just something you cannot live with, then you have some options. The easiest is going to be using a tuner, or programmer. These aftermarket devices, can allow the driver to change certain factory settings in the Jeeps operating system. For instance, the JK/JKU Wrangler has a three speed fan for the cooling system. The low speed fan is set to come on somewhere around 215° – 225° or so, and will ramp up from there. The mid/high speed fans come on when the AC is turned on or when the operating temps reach above 229 degrees or thereabouts. To be honest, I cant remember off the top of my head the EXACT coolant temperature threshold parameters for the JK’s/JKU’s, but i know i’m close. That “loudness” that people talk about in the fan is just the difference between the more common low speed fan setting and the occasional high speed setting coming on. If you only occasionally hear the high speed side of things kick on, then it may seem abnormal to the untrained ear and will obviously be “louder” as the fan is spinning at a higher RPM and moving more air. A tuner, or programmer from companies like Diablo may be an option for you. Some chip/programmer/tuner companies don’t offer fan threshold setting adjustments in their software, so you may need to do some research there to get what fits your needs. These programmers can open up a whole new world of performance out of your Jeep so don’t be dissuaded by some of the price tags. With the DiabloSport tuners, you can bring that fan setting down to come on earlier in the temperature range. For instance, you can adjust the threshold for the low speed fan to come on at say 205 degrees, instead of the factory setting which is much higher. This may help keep things cooler, but again, that may or may not be what you need. Also take this into consideration, if you DO have a cooling system issue, and it is not addressed properly, changing a setting is only going to mask the problem and delay it from showing up until things get much much worse. I don’t think I have to explain why this can be bad. 			</div><!-- .entry-content -->
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Ep 92: Offroad Expo 2019 Recap

Presented by Nexen Tire: We spent the entire weekend in the @nexentireusa booth at #offroadexpo We gave away a lot of swag, got Omaha'd a bunch, and had an epic weekend. Thank you to Nexen for setting us up in their booth and to all of the people we talked to. Interviews include:

Joe K (15m:56s)

Sergio (20m:33s)

Dave w/ TrailAdventuresUSA (23m:58s)

Tony May (28m:20s)

Francis (53m:55s)

Syndicate Offroad (1h:20m:24s)

Sara Price (1h:32m:00s)

John Currie (1h:43m:24s)




CentreSteer #78 – New Defender

The Seventy-eighth episode

Guest: Thomas Enston, Instagram: LandRoverPhotoAlbum, Twitter: landroverpa

Sponsor: Commonwealth Classics

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