Monday, October 16, 2017

The Jeep Smile




I checked another Jeep Part of my Wish List ~ The Yeti Xtreme Steering Kit.







Steer Smarts recommends a professional front end alignment, which I did. A front end alignment is important to the life of your tires. It ensures that all four tires are consistent with each other to optimize maximum contact with the surface of the road. It will also prevent uneven wear on your tires. 




After my alignment was complete, I was given a print out for my records. It shows your before and after.  My Jeep was hooked up to the alignment machine which measures the camber, caster, and toe. The caster came out in the green. However, the Camber and Toe were in the red. 




The shop realigned the toe. The camber can't be adjusted unless I get new axle parts. It was off by less than a degree. Which is okay for now, but down the road I most likely will have to make some upgrades to my axle. 


What most likely is happening, is the axle housing is bent or the inner C’s are bent. Maybe from my bigger tires. Maybe from the wheeling I do.  


I am told it could be because of the thin axle tubes on the Wranglers. This is also known as the Jeep Smile. My Rubicon's smile isn't that "smiley" yet. 


The number in the red is only off slightly. I will just need to keep my eye on it. The great mechanics at Adrenaline Off-Road showed me what to look for. Grease leaking, and the spots where I  would see it. Just another thing I learned about my Rubicon! The knowledge just keeps growing. 


Monday, October 9, 2017

The Yeti XD Upgrade


One of the best things about having a Jeep is getting Jeep Parts. Another best thing about having a Jeep is getting those parts installed on your Jeep.






About 3 weeks ago I came home to a surprise from Steer Smarts. 



September 21, 2017 








A couple of weeks after I received the Yeti XD Steering Kit with the Griffin XD it was time for the install. So I headed over to Adrenaline Off-Road. There have been some people who call me a wimp because I didn't do the install by myself.






First Yes! I would have loved to do this install by myself. But I was lacking the power tools, a lift and the knowledge of the steering components and operation. 





While at Adrenaline Off Road, I was able to watch and learn with Mike, my Mechanic. He took me step by step through the install process explaining everything he was doing along the way. 




Plus, he's a super great teacher showing me how everything worked together. There were little tips and tricks I learned from Mike during the install I never would have known doing it myself. 




Now I do, and I am have an arsenal of information that will allow me to fix those parts should anything go wrong. 

Being in the garage was awesome. Learning all about my Jeep and hearing those sweet sounds. Check out this video. 







Thursday, October 5, 2017

Winterizing My Jeep

Old Man Winter is just around the corner and wintertime can be hard on a vehicle. The cold temperatures, the salt on the streets damaging our under bellies, snow and ice on the roads making for difficult driving -- okay this part maybe not so much for Jeep Wranglers. But... it is important to take extra care of your Jeep during these winter months, so you can continue to enjoy many years of fun with your Jeep, no matter what the weather. 

Here are some tips I have gathered from my own experience, and from other Jeepers.  First, I will start with a Myth-buster. Auto experts say you should warm up your vehicle for no more than 30 seconds before you start driving in the winter. It doesn't help your vehicle to warm it up any longer than that. 


Washington Post Article - Winter Myth 



If you have a hard top, it is time to start thinking about putting it back on. I don't have a hard top, so I make sure my soft top is cleaned with special soft top cleaners, and I use a soft top protectant. Now for those of you in the deep South and Southwest, it may be time for you to take off the hard top to enjoy those cooler winter temperatures.  







Keep a Full Tank of Gas -- this helps prevent condensation from forming on the walls of the tank and dripping down into your gas. 

Carry an Emergency Kit -- include a shovel, ice scraper, blankets, jumper cables, flashlights, extra clothes, recovery gear, and food & water.




Wintertime also requires extra preventive care and maintenance like checking your brakes. On older models you should flush your coolant. Don't forget a useful set of new windshield wiper blades can be helpful during ice, sleet or snowstorms. There are special winter wiper blades that offer shielding from snow, sleet and ice build up.  



Do not use an ice scraper on your mirrors as it could scratch them. Add some de-icer to your windshield washer fluid. And check your heat and defrosters to make sure they are operating properly. 


WRANGLER Owners: Lube the door hinges and put the torx bolt back on.






Wash and wax your Jeep to help protect the paint from the salty roads. 







Also, if you off-road and have scraped your under carriage, I suggest spending some time on those scratches to prevent rust from forming. 





First, I sand away as much rust as I can. I used sand paper. I am told a wire brush on a drill is the best way. The wire brush isn't supposed to take of the metal.  



Second, I use Permatex Rust Removal Spray from Napa Auto Parts. You are supposed to let it sit for 24 hours. 






Then I use Krylon Black Spray Paint with Rust protector. Make sure you don't get the spray paint where it shouldn't go, i.e. brake lines, the exhaust. 




The final step I learned from a Jeep friend, Fluid Film. I spray it as an added measure of protection against all that nasty chemical concoction they put on our roads in the winter. Some folks bedline their undercarriage but I like this less expensive option. Check out my blog post below. 







Viewer tips! 
  • Make sure your antifreeze in the radiator is good to -40 or colder. 
  • If you run wide mudder / flotation tires in the summer for off road to replace them with narrow snow tires for snow and ice. 
  • Open differentials in 4 x 4 work good on ice. Fully locked, Detroit lockers, and true trac can be unpredictable and dangerous on ice. So if it is icy, I believe it is better to have your Ox, ARB, and factory lockable s unlocked in 4x4 for better control on ice.



Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Steer Smarts Story

About three years ago a company, Performance Stability by Power and Sons, contacted me. They asked if they could use my picture on their website. I said of course.

At the time they were marketing their new product called a steering attenuator to JK/JKU Wrangler owners, specifically “soccer mom” Wrangler owners. This aftermarket part helped during highway and city driving. It was their first venture into the aftermarket performance parts.


They also wanted to send me one to review on my blog. Back then I was a big chicken about putting stuff on my Jeep as I didn’t get this whole modification thing. So I had a Jeep friend in Delaware agree to put it on his Jeep and review it for my blog.





Steering Attenuator - The Griffin - Blog Posts
 


At the same I met another Jeeper on the internet who is super knowledgeable about Jeeps. He is also a moderator of a Jeep Wrangler Forum. I was unsure of the steering attenuator. He looked into it, and contacted Ron with the company. He told me to go ahead and install it on my Jeep. He also started sharing about it on the forum. This new aftermarket product started to take off.







A year later I finally got the guts to test it on my Jeep. I could kick myself for not installing it sooner. It made such a huge difference in my driving.








Performance Stability is now Steer Smarts. And boy have we both come a long way from that fateful day.  Now they have several great products and are growing fast.

They are also Ford Motors oldest supplier. They started delivering product to Ford back in 1905 by horse and wagon. 112 years in the OEM business and now 3 years in the performance aftermarket business. 3 years is about the same time I got into the aftermarket business.





I am very excited to try out their new Yeti Steering Kit. Jeff with Adrenaline Off Road is going to help me with the install. Remember, all this is so new and foreign to me. It is really hard for me to understand just from hearing descriptions or even seeing pictures. I need to get underneath my Jeep to see it all first hand.








When I had my front driveshaft replaced I was there during the whole install with two very experienced professionals explaining everything to me at the same time showing me. It helped me to understand it so much better. Hands On is the way to go.  









SO when I get my new steering parts installed I will get to see and touch. I will have a better understanding how it all works and comes together. It will help me understand more about the steering components of my Jeep. Getting underneath my Jeep working on the mechanical components starts me moving into that next level of Jeep Life.





A Huge Shout Out to Steer Smartsfor upgrading my steering system.

 _______________________________________________________


THE YETI STEERING KIT - Made in the USA

1 1/2 ton Yeti draglink with the Griffen XD attenuator

BALL JOINTS:
  • 30mm 1 1/2 Ton ball joints designed specifically for the JK.
  • Cold headed medium carbon alloy steel ball studs provide incredible impact toughness for extreme duty usage.
  • Induction heat treated ball studs provide ultimate fatigue strength and superior off-road durability.
  • Steel on steel bearings provide exceptional ball joint wear resistance and robustness.
  • High quality seals ensure long ball joint life. Our superior seals have been rigorously tested to minimize leakage between grease service intervals which greatly improves our ball joint reliability over our competition.
  • Fully greaseable.

DRAGLINK ENDS:
  • Powder coat over E-coat for a long lasting appearance under harsh conditions.
  • External threads are e-coated for durability and long term serviceability.
  • Forged from medium carbon high harden-ability steel and heat treated for greater buckling, impact, and fatigue strength.
  • Forged from medium carbon high hardenability steel and heat treated for even greater buckling, impact, and fatigue strength.
  • Large 1 ¼ inch rolled threads at tie rod adjuster and draglink ends provide significantly increased strength over the original equipment threads.
  • Unique “Reverse Pin” technology prevents our linkage from flopping or rocking. This technology is built into the socket unlike the weak external supports on some competitor linkage.

GRIFFIN XD ATTENUATOR: 
  • Reduces harsh and negative feedback to your steering wheel.
  • Draglink adjuster is manufactured from large diameter ¼ inch thick wall high strength 4130 Chromoly steel tubing for maximum buckling strength.
  • Adjuster clamps assure proper clamp force using conventional tools without the possible risk of loosening like large jam nuts.
  • Designed with right hand and left hand threads for quick and easy adjustment when installed on the vehicle.
  • E-coated for a long lasting appearance under harsh conditions.
  • Internal threads and tube are also e-coated for long term serviceability.
  • Designed for the proper clearance to other chassis components to eliminate interference.

YETI XD Tie Rod Assembly

Easy bolt-on installation.
Engineered for proper clearance to other chassis components to eliminate interferences.
MADE IN THE USA

BALL JOINTS:
  • 30mm 1 1/2 Ton ball joints designed specifically for the JK.
  • Cold headed medium carbon alloy steel ball studs provide incredible impact toughness for extreme duty usage.
  • Induction heat treated ball studs provide ultimate fatigue strength and superior off-road durability.
  • Steel on steel bearings provide exceptional ball joint wear resistance and robustness.
  • High quality seals ensure long ball joint life. Our superior seals have been rigorously tested to minimize leakage between grease service intervals which greatly improves our ball joint reliability over our competition.
  • Fully grease-able


TIE ROD ENDS:
  • Powder coat over E-coat for a long lasting appearance under harsh conditions.
  • External threads are e-coated for durability and long term serviceability.
  • Forged from medium carbon high harden-ability steel and heat treated for greater buckling, impact, and fatigue strength.
  • Forged from medium carbon high hardenability steel and heat treated for even greater buckling, impact, and fatigue strength.
  • Large 1 ¼ inch rolled threads at tie rod adjuster and draglink ends provide significantly increased strength over the original equipment threads.
  • Unique “Reverse Pin” technology prevents our linkage from flopping or rocking. This technology is built into the socket unlike the weak external supports on some competitor linkages.

ADJUSTER TUBE: 

  • Tie Rod adjuster is manufactured from large diameter ¼ inch thick wall high strength 4130 Chromoly steel tubing for maximum buckling strength.
  • Adjuster clamps assure proper clamp force using conventional tools without the possible risk of loosening like large jam nuts.
  • Designed with right hand and left hand threads for quick and easy adjustment when installed on the vehicle.
  • Internal threads and tube are also e-coated for long term serviceability.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Big Surprise!





There was a big surprise waiting for me in my garage today when I got home from work.  Two big boxes arrived from the Brown Santa. 










It was so exciting to see that Yeti logo on the box.  That means beefier steering is in my future.

A Huge Shout Out to Steer Smarts for upgrading my steering system. 








A few years back Steer Smarts, AKA Powers and Sons, contacted me about trying out their new steering attenuator, now called the Griffin.  I tried it out, and loved it! Now I get to try out the new Griffin XD along with the Yeti steering kit.





Jeff from Adrenaline Off-Road has agreed to help me out with the install. I am extremely excited about this install. It is going to help me understand more about the steering components of my Jeep. Getting underneath my Jeep working on the mechanical components starts me moving into that next level of Jeep Life. 

Stay Tuned to my blog. I will be sharing more on this cool thing called the Yeti! oh and the Griffin too! 


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tips to Find a Trusty Jeep Mechanic

Finding a reliable mechanic to work on your Jeep ~ if ~ you don’t do the work yourself, can be difficult. Especially if you are making upgrades and changes for off-roading. 

Last week, I was at Adrenaline Off Road getting some "How To" tips on how to grease my front drive shaft. While there I asked about the work they were doing on the two of Jeeps in the shop. 



The work that needed to be done on one of the Jeeps at the Adrenaline Off Road shop shocked me. Jeff and Mike were fixing and replacing some pretty messed up work done by a local franchise shop. In the end it is going to cost this Jeeper thousands of dollars most likely $10,000 to fix and replace parts. 






Jeep Momma You Tube Video


I cannot stress enough how important it is to get a good reliable mechanic to work on your Jeep, especially when you are upgrading and making aftermarket changes. 

Tips to Finding a Good Jeep Mechanic

  • Stay away from your average run of the mill car mechanic or even a franchise shop that deals in lifts. 
  • Reach out to your local Jeep Club for suggestions.
  • If you are an off-roader make sure your mechanic has knowledge of off-roading or is an off-roader. 
  • Get references from fellow Jeepers/Off-Roaders



Jeff pointed out most of the work he is seeing lately is fixing shoddy work from other local shops. He is backed up with so much work in his shop ~~ at least 4 to 6 weeks out. Basically for two reasons, fixing shoddy work from other mechanics, and lack of good mechanics. 





Jeff at Adrenaline Off Road is currently looking for an experienced full time automotive technician. If you are a Jeep tech looking for work or know of one, send resumes to sales@adrenalineoffroad.com 

Scroll down for the job description.


Good news... Jeff and Mike have fixed all the shoddy work done by the other shop. The two twins and their Jeeps headed out this past weekend to Big Dogs for a first time crawling on the rocks. 

Wrangler Talk Topic Tips to Finding a Good Mechanic



Help Wanted 



ADRENALINE OFF ROAD LLC. - OFF ROAD SPECIALTY SHOP  
SPECIALIZING IN JEEP VEHICLES 

We are currently looking for an experienced full time automotive technician

Hours M-F 8am - 5pm - NO WEEKENDS, NIGHTS OR MAJOR HOLIDAYS 
Paid holidays and vacation 

Technician must have a minimum of 10 years professional experience working full time as a technician in the automotive industry. We are not looking for a parts re-placer. 
Applicant should  be reliable, positive and work focused.  It is critical to be able to think outside the box in order to do custom work that we do.

What we do:

The majority of the work is performed on Jeep vehicles.
We do everything from custom engine conversations to oil changes.
We  install suspension lift kits, bumpers, custom wiring etc..
A good portion of work that we do is general repair work.

Skills needed:

Work mostly unassisted and have knowledge in all areas of a vehicle
Full automotive troubleshooting and testing with diagnostic equipment 
Follow manufacturers instructions and service manuals
Maintain a clean work area 
Lift heavy parts

Special skills desired 

The ability to correctly set up ring and pinion gear sets
Welding  and metal  fabrication 
Experience using a tubing bender to fabricate roll cages , bumpers , sliders etc
Experience using machinery  such as -  mill, lathe , plasma table 

Competitive flat rate pay with a guaranteed hourly salary based on experience  and demonstrated abilities 
Our shop is climate controlled and has a laid back environment 
All tools are provided


Located in Burtonsville, MD. 


Send resumes to sales@adrenalineoffroad.com