Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jeeps Are Not Meant to Stay Dirty!

So you must have read the title to this blog post and thought, she has lost her mind.  Well -  I will stick to my guns, and say yes, that this a true statement.  
"Jeeps Are Not Meant to Be Dirty!" 

However, they are meant to GET dirty just not stay dirty. And there are certain types of dirty that are good, and one particular dirty is really, really bad for your Jeep.


Our Jeeps hold a special place in our hearts. We spend so much time devoted to the care and modifications to our Jeeps I don't understand why anyone would not take the time to show a little loving care for their Jeep

If you follow me on my many social media sites, you will have
noticed I am a tad annoyed with our road crews, and Old Man Winter. Old Man Winter, at least where I live, has not produced the snow like a Jeep lover would want. The only thing we have received this winter is a slushy, salty brown mess that is coating the undercarriage and body of my Rubicon


The road crews are spreading salt for the safety of road travel, I get that, it is a necessary evil. But, this over use of salt is getting to the point of ridiculous. 





CBS News aired a story on the damage road salt can do to your vehicle. -- CBS News Story -- Road salt is a corrosive chemical. It will rust the undercarriage, body, and frame of any vehicle. 

I must be a proactive Jeep owner, and keep the nasty chemical slushie off my Jeep. There are tons of tips on how to keep this salt concoction off your Jeep... but I will break it down into 3 easy tips.


1. Wash your vehicle - at least every two weeks, no matter how cold it is, just make sure you dry it off with a towel. 

2. Use a high pressure sprayer and make sure you get the wheel wells and under carriage paying special attention to brake lines and fuel lines. 

3. Wax and re-wax!                          DMV Salt Tips 

All I can say is I think Old Man Winter has over stayed his welcome. I have grown tired of the road salt slushies.  I am ready for a little topless in the sun therapy, and soon, very soon!


 - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - 





Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Soft Top & Zipper Care



I have been researching on how to take care of my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Sunrider soft top. There are lots of tips on cost saving cleaning techniques. But we spend thousands, tens of thousand of dollars on our Jeeps, why not spend a couple extra bucks to buy the products made for keeping the soft top clean and long lasting. 

There are a number of trusted brands out there you could use: Bestop, Raggtop and Mopar. I used the Bestop products on my Sahara, and found they are simple and easy to use. -- A Cleaner, Protectant, Polisher --  In a 2013 Blog Post I wrote about these products.






Once the weather warms up, I will begin my monthly maintenance on my Rubicon's soft top. Plus, I found some other helpful tips that will increase the life of my soft top - which is one of the main reasons I love my Jeep so much. The ability to go topless!
Reduce the exposure to the elements by parking in the garage. I all ready do that. Even though we love the outdoors and the sun, and the Jeep is the most rugged vehicle for the great outdoors, we still need to pamper our Jeeps to keep them lasting a long time. The sun causes the fabric to fade, threads to fail and our vinyl windows to yellow, crack and fade. Spending quality time and hard work on our soft tops can make it last plenty of years. 

Never use  bleach, detergents, ammonia or alcohol based products, stick with the products specifically made for the soft top. Clean it monthly, and don't forget the inside.

The three areas of the Jeep Soft Top you should concentrate on are the fabric, the windows and the Zippers.  I like to use a zipper lubricant. Check out my Vlog on my zipper care. 



Just a couple extra dollars and a little time each month could save you thousands of dollars in soft top replacement. 

             - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Shackle Mystery

As I left for the gym today for a much needed workout, I noticed something didn't look right on the front of my Jeep. Upon a closer look, I noticed one of my shackles was missing. Or is it called a D-ring? I'm confused. Anyways, my first thought was -- thief!!! After posting the picture on my social media sites, some folks said maybe it vibrated off.
That's what my husband guessed too. I guess I am too cynical and still think someone stole it. How in the world could it had vibrated off. I drive to the grocery store, the gym and my kids' school. I very rarely hit the highway, usually when I head up to Rausch Creek. 

Upon further investigation by looking back at my pictures, it's been gone for at least a week. Looks like I will have to break open the piggy bank, and splurge for a new one and some new isolators. 

When they come in I will be painting them "Plum Crazy" purple to match my grille inserts. That should keep the thieves at bay. Plus, I will finally break out that new bottle of Loctite threadlocker -- nope not the super glue, I know the difference.  

It was also suggested that I get a spacer/bushing -- that would help it from vibrating off. But the question is... how do I keep those evil thugs from stealing them again?

   - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -
   

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Which Jeep is Right For You?

When I bought my first Jeep it was the JKU Sahara. At the time that was the perfect Jeep for me. 






It had the one thing I was looking for in a Jeep -- the ability to put the top down, feel the wind in my hair and the sun in my face. But as the weeks went by, I became immersed into the Jeep Community.  My eyes began to open to a whole other world I did not know existed -- Off-roading and Jeep Modifications. 


As I began my journey into this new realm, I realized I wanted more from my Jeep. I found my new hobby in off roading. The countless hours of researching the right modifications for my needs began. 
The idea of changes to my
Jeep started to take hold 
which generated many 
frustrations as I realized I wouldn't be able to make these changes myself like so many other Jeepers could.I didn't have that skill set. 

That meant I would have to seek out professionals which meant more money and a longer wait to get my Jeep how I wanted it. My new philosophy -- Life is too short to wait round for the things to happen.


So came my decision -- just upgrade it all at once. I traded in the Sahara for a Rubicon. Granted the cost was higher, but it is spread out over time. I may have lost some in the trade but I am much happier with my new Jeep. It gives me what I want.  


The Rubicon package boasts a stronger transfer case with a lower low range. It has front and rear Dana 44s factory-loaded with locking differentials and lower gears. The Rubicon has electronic sway bar disconnect and offers some additional rocker protection. And -- off-road-oriented mud-terrain tires.

Now this Jeep isn't for everyone. Each Jeep owner has different wants and needs. 

  • If I were a capable mechanic and had the garage and tools a Sport might have been the better option. The upgrades could have been unique to my needs. 
  • If my off roading consisted of fire trails, gravel roads, the beach -- the Sahara would have been the better option.
  • If I wanted to just have that lifted look without the off-road package again the Sport would have been the better option.

It all comes down to what you want from your Jeep. A great article I recently read shed some light on the issue. The editors at Four Wheeler Network shared their take on the issue. 



"Where a Rubicon does make sense is if you're looking for a multi-use vehicle that you can drive on the street and then hit moderately difficult trails with on the weekends." 


"The Wrangler Rubicon is the most capable production vehicle ever offered. But a Rubicon only makes sense for someone who uses it mostly in the rocks or on other slow crawling trails."

I'm glad to see I made the right decision by picking the Rubicon. It is the perfect Jeep for me! 

But a Rubicon is not for everyone. Each person has their own wants and needs. AND no one Jeep is better than the other. I am thankful not everyone wants a Rubicon to go rock crawling. Can you imagine if every Jeep owner wanted to go rock crawling. UGH... The lines at Rausch Creek Off Road Park would be worse than the lines at DisneyWorld. I'm glad we are all different. It makes for a more interesting world. 

   - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Review: Steering Attenuator Part 2

In a December Blog Post, I posted Part 1 of the steering attenuator review.

Earlier in the fall,  I was approached by the folks at Performance Stability - Powers and Sons LLC to test out their new product, the JK Jeep Wrangler Steering Attenuator. This product is suppose to reduce the harsh road feedback inherent in the stock JK steering system. They claim it makes the Jeep safer and gives you peace of mind while improving your driving experience. 

I debated on whether I would be a good candidate to review this product. My Jeep driving experience at the time was very little. I also didn't have the skills to install this product myself. I wanted to be able to give a fair and honest review of the product. I believe it's important when reviewing a product you have all the facts and a good background knowledge before stating your opinion. So I contacted a fellow Jeeper, Jeff,  who I knew was fair and honest as well as had lots of driving experience in a Jeep. He was also very capable of making this install himself. 

Jeff's initial response to the product was positive, but he still wanted more driving time to give a full review. 

Jeff: "Definitely notice less jerking when hitting pot holes so far. Steering seems a little tighter as well, less play in the wheel." Dec. 2014


After giving Jeff another month or so of driving I contacted him to see what he had to say about the steering attenuator by Performance Stability  I sent him a couple of questions and here is his review. 






  • Pretty easy to install I'd give it a 2 wrench out of 5 difficulty level. 
  • Only took me about an hour to install. 
  • Very noticeable difference upon first ride on the road.
  • Less wheel jerk hitting bumps and a tighter overall feel in the steering. Making road driving more stable. 


  • Offroad isn't really noticeable as much except on fire roads and flatter trails . 
  • Overall I would give it a 4 out of 5, losing a point for a price point I think is a little high. Would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to smooth and stabilize their ride. 





You can also check out what fellow Jeepers have to say about this product on the Wrangler Forum. 


"Did another 120 miles today, almost all highway at 70 mph. Effortless steering and absolutely no lane pull from ruts or grooves. No jumping or jerking when changing lanes and bump feedback was totally minimized. Very happy."

"I am in the middle of the first long road trip since putting this on. About 1700 miles of a plan 3000 mile trip. On the first day of the trip I drove for 17 hours. Pre attenuator after 10 hours I was beat. This really does reduce the stress of driving."

Even though I don't do a lot of highway driving I think this would definitely be a great product to put in my Rubicon. However, I will have to add it to my long list of Jeep parts. I will also need to find some handy Jeep guy who could help me install it, Hmmmm wonder what Jeff is doing this summer?

For more on the Steering Attenuator Click Here 

          - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -


Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Camp Jeep Experience

This past weekend the Washington Auto Show was in town. I kept hearing that "Camp Jeep" was there, so I headed down with my family to see what it was all about. After making our way through the crowds of people on the show floor we found Camp Jeep. 





The line for this experience was longer than a line at Disneyworld. I was able to use my media passes like a fast pass, and a little help from Beth one of the managers, to skip to the front of the line. 





Once there I checked in with my driver's license, answered a few questions, and got my Jeep pass to Camp Jeep. 


Then came my turn to take the Wrangler Sport for a spin. But wait... the attendant opened up the passenger door for me to get in. I was thinking I was going to get to drive. I even let the attendant know who I was... and I owned a Rubicon... and took her off-roading all the time. I was even willing to show him my hundreds of selfies and off roading pictures, but no such luck. At one point my husband told me to "just get in the Jeep, you are holding up the line".


So I got in the passenger seat, and met my driver Chris, who by the way, owns a Cherokee back home. Of course I had to tell him I was a somewhat experienced Wrangler driver off road. Normally during the drive they give you the pitch of the capabilities of the Jeep you are in. 






But, since I understood all that, Chris and I, on our leisurely stroll through the "Camp Jeep" obstacle course, talked about the Jeeps we both owned. 




The obstacle course showed the many great capabilities the Jeep has when off roading. 






Ground Clearance



Traction









Maneuverability







Stability




Off-Camber


I was glad to get the opportunity to share this ride with my family. My husband finally got to see what the thrill is all about. Also, I was able to experience the ride, as a passenger. I found I prefer to be behind the wheel as a driver. 





As an Jeep owner with some off-roading experience I all ready knew of the impressive off-road handling of the Jeep. But for someone who has never been in a Jeep or driven their Jeep off roading this was a great experience to get to know what the Jeep is really all about. It was fun to watch all the reactions of all the passengers enjoy their Jeep rides. 


I expect there will be even more Jeeps out on the trails soon after Camp Jeep rolls around the country.

If you want to hear more about my Camp Jeep experience check out the XJTalkShow tonight when I share my experience LIVE on Wrangler talk at 11pm Eastern time.  

  - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jeep Tips: Winter Cleaning

With the arrival of Old Man Winter our roads are becoming nasty, dirty pathways turning our Jeeps into salt coated crawlers.  Now a dirty Jeep isn't a bad thing, but a salt covered Jeep is not a good thing. We must take extra special care of our precious babies. It takes more than just a spray from the hose. 




So I found a mechanic who sees these salt covered vehicles on a daily basis. He shares his tips and stories.   


"As a mechanic being under cars in the winter sucks, constantly getting dripped on and (we termed it "cow patties") falling to the floor making a mess. We noticed when they started using calcium chloride over standard rock salt about 10 years ago as it burns your skin when it drips down the back of your neck. Luckily they only use that on the interstates and not on secondary roads. The brine solution is better in that it works all night at temps rock salt won't and it doesn't accumulate up inside fender wells between the steel and plastic. I've taken cars apart in August that still have literally 1/8" thick sheets of rock salt on the backside of the inner fender wells."

--Extra pressure washing on the backside of inner fender wells is a must.

--Pressure washing underneath your Jeep.

--Keep your vehicle cold when dirty is better as well, meaning a cold garage or outside rather than parking it in a heated garage which will keep the rock salt active.

--The frame has holes in the side that get filled with crap, and there's no good way to get it out other than meticulous digging and scraping with various tools, coat hanger/homemade scrapers to reach deep inside. 

--Drains holes in the bottom are definitely a must. Pressure washing inside those holes and/or using a shop vac with smaller hose attached shoved in the larger side holes in the summer will help keep the dirt from building up, getting wet and rotting your frame in half. 


"Most older CJ & TJ Jeep owners know this (I don't own a JK and can't recall noticing in the shop) but drilling a few holes in the bottom of the frame for drain holes is needed as well." 


More Cold Weather Jeep Tips

--Vinegar/cold water on your windshield will also melt ice or prevent it from building up if applied the night before. 

--Keep more fuel in your tank to reduce air inside the tank that can condense and freeze in your lines. 

--Squeaky wipers annoying? Straight up rubbing alcohol on a rag clean the blades themselves to quiet them. 

--Light oil (Pam spray or cooking oil or something similar) on your weatherstripping to stop your doors freezing shut.

--Don't let your vehicle idle for an extended time warming it up. Engines aren't really designed to idle, it's not good for it. (Crazy I know but the truth) 

--alcohol based hand sanitizers in the personal carry size squirt bottles can help free up a frozen door lock if you squirt it in the key hole. 

--Alignment alignment alignment!!! I can't stress it enough. Sure it may seem fine as you've driven all over the country with just your knee all summer but if the alignment is off it can greatly affect how it handles in the snow and ice. The tire with the most traction will force the vehicle to change directions rapidly and repeatedly if out of alignment.

Thanks DJ Dragon for these great winter tips!

 - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! The Jeep Momma Way -