Monday, March 30, 2015

Jeep Momma Reviews the Raxiom 3" LED Lights on the XJTalkShow



The latest edition of the XJtalkshow is ready for download.

I review the 3 inch Raxiom LED lights I just installed on my Jeep. Plus, during my "Wrangler Talk" segment I talk about my wiring install.

You can download the podcast here.

or go to www.XJTalkShow.com to watch.  

Don't forget to join us this Thursday Night at 11 pm Eastern time where I will let you know about a purple gift I received, and I'll review my Barricade Trailforce HD Bumper


Friday, March 27, 2015

Jeep Rubicon Rust Removal -- Part 2


Like I said yesterday in my blog post -- my missing, stolen or rattled off shackle was a blessing in disguise. With the shackle not attached to the tow hook, I noticed that rust was starting to develop on my front bumper. If the shackle had not gone "missing", I do not believe I would have noticed it. 

That nasty, corrosive rust must be stopped. I have begun the Rust Removal AND Prevention Process. Yesterday, I used a wire brush and sanded away as much of the rust as I could. I then sprayed on a Permatex Rust Treatment. I let it dry for 24 hours.
Today, I finished the last step. I used a semi-flat black spray paint -- Krylon Rust Touch spray paint. I let it dry for about three hours, then I pulled off the tape and paper. Now it is ready to put on my "Plum Crazy Purple" painted shackles.  

I added some extra security by tightening them with a screwdriver. I also added some Loctite Blue Threadlocker to the bolt. With the color purple and the extra tightening I am hoping these will stay on and no one will take them. 

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stolen Shackles on my Jeep Rubicon a Blessing in Disguise


One day I saw that one of my shackles was missing. The thought of someone stealing something off my Jeep made me very angry. I know some folks say it could have rattled off, but I do not believe that was the case in this instance. I told myself not to dwell on the fact that it was gone. So I turned it into something positive.


I decided to paint the two shackles I received from Jeep when I bought my Rubicon. And I bet you can guess what color I decided to paint them. Yep -- Plum Crazy Purple to match my grille inserts. I will put the original shackle in my recovery bag and order another one. So I will have 4 in all. 





I emailed John from Regenbogen Auto Works. He did a fabulous job! When we were putting the purple shackles on the Jeep I noticed there was some wear in the paint and rust in the hooks where the shackles were. So I guess the theft was a blessing in disguise. 




I got to work today on removing the rust and fixing up the chipped paint. I am sure this might be a yearly maintenance for me but it is worth it. 

The first step was to sand off the existing rust. I used a wire brush and sandpaper.  









Then I sprayed it with a rust treatment. I used this Rust Treatment spray from Napa / Permatex. This spray is suppose to destroy rust on contact. Now I will wait 24 hours for it to dry then add the top coat. 

This will be the same process I will take on my skid plates that have been scratched up from my trail rides at Rausch Creek Off Road Park. 


Tomorrow I finish this process with step 3 which is adding the final coat by using a black spray paint.

This will be my first attempt at any sort of Jeep maintenance. When I had my Sahara I began this process with the skid plates but never finished it because I traded her in for the Rubicon.

If the shackle never went missing or was stolen I would have never discovered the rust. So now I am able to take care of it before it gets too bad. So now I will start looking for the silver lining in my black clouds! 

Check in tomorrow to see the finished project!

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

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jeep Momma Now a Podcast Host!


I have been making some guest appearances on the XJTalkShow.com recently. It all started back last fall when Tony from the XJTalkShow asked if I would do an interview on his podcast. We talked about my new found interest in Jeeps and Off Roading. 

Eventually Tony and Josh asked if I wanted to record a "Wrangler Talk" segment. Which of course I did, and had a really great time. I ended up filling in for Josh one night when he was sick. Then my recorded "Wrangler Talk" segments turned into live segments.  




I am excited to announce Tony and Josh have asked me to be a permanent host on their -- now our -- XJTalkShow.  I will still continue to have my "Wrangler Talk" segment, and will also be doing weekly product reviews.  I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with fellow Jeepers. I am also thrilled that I will be able to continue to gain experience in the World of Jeeps. 

Every Monday night at 11pm Eastern time we record the podcast live at www.XJTalkShow.com.  There is also a chat room where we interact with folks listening in. Then on Mondays, the podcast is available for download. This week's Jeep Momma Product Review is on my Barricade Rock Sliders I got from Extreme Terrain. 




On my "Wrangler Talk" segment I discussed my options on how to beef up the undercarriage of my Rubicon. I'm still debating and researching all the many possibilities for this upgrade to my Jeep.







The audio download -- Episode 170 "Big Announcement"

Or the video version -- Episode 170 "Big Announcement"

Either one you listen too I hope you will continue to come back and each week!

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


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Part 2 Take 2 - Wiring my LED lights in my Jeep


Now that my Raxiom 3 inch LED Lights are mounted to the A pillars of my Rubicon, it is time to wire them up. I am using the Lifetime LED Switch and Wiring Kit from Extreme Terrain. It will make for an easier job to wire the lights.  

--Lifetime LED Switch and Wiring Kit - Universal Application 
--The power to relay wire has a in-line fuse rated at 20a and is ~36 inches in length
--The relay is a mini-type 30a relay
--The switch is a mini toggle switch
--You can run 1 or 2 lights off of this wiring harness
--Universal application ('87-'15 Wranglers)


The initial wiring, I did on my lights, was based on what my husband uses when wiring inside our home. Well -- this just will not work in a vehicle, especially a Jeep that goes off roading. Thanks to the wonderful Jeep community for giving me lots of advice on how to properly connect the wires. 


So -- the first thing I did with my original wiring was undo the tape, wire nuts and wires. I re-stripped the wires. Then I set forth on soldering all the wire connections.


I connected the driver side light wires to two wires, and strung them along the hood. The connection I used was soldering the wires, then adding some heat shrink material. Just for a little added protections I used liquid tape, and then some Super 33+ vinyl tape.    



The next step was to connect the driver side light wires, passenger side light wires and the wiring kit together. I used the same connection method with these wires as I did with the driver side light. 


The next step was to find the firewall hole, and pull through the wires for the switch.  It took me quite awhile to find the hole. Finally -- I went online and asked the Jeep community for help. I used the hole on the passenger side. I just removed the side panel on the dash, and there it was. It took a little work to pull the wires through. I did need to cut those wires because the plug was too big for the hole. If you watch my You Tube video you can see exactly where this hole is. 

Once the wire was pulled through, I again soldered and added heat shrink, liquid tape and tape to those wires. 
The final step before I tested the lights out was to hook up the wiring kit to the battery. NOTE: Check out this blog post for proper wiring at this point. Post 7-27-15
Then it was time to see if I hooked it all up correctly. I did, and boy are they bright. They are brighter than I expected, and the glare wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
 
This is a huge accomplishment for me working outside my comfort zone. I now have a new skill under my belt. I can't wait for the next modification. I wonder what it will be?


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

 ExtremeTerrain provided the LED lights for review. No additional compensation received. 
All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Installing My New Raxiom LED Lights on My Jeep Rubicon

With the signs of spring, and the warmer temperatures, I finally got around to installing my new Raxiom 3" LED Lights I got from Extreme Terrain.
A while back, I was struggling with where to place the lights.





After much thought, a lot of research, and many, many suggestions from fellow Jeepers, I decided to mount them on the A pillars near the windshield. So -- I went ahead and ordered two light mounts as well. I like the look of them on the windshield. I am thinking I might want a light bar on the bumper.


The installation of the mounts and lights were a pretty simple job. 



  • 3" square LED auxiliary light
  • 40 degree flood beam pattern
  • (4) 3w high intensity LEDS
  • Output - 1254 Lumens
  • Color temperature - 6000K
  • Diecast aluminum housing with polycarbonate lens
  • Waterproof rating of IP 67
  • Dimensions 3" long x 3" wide x 3" tall
  • Universal application
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty







You can also see the install in my You Tube Video

Once these 6 steps are completed the wires can be connected. Thanks to the Jeep community (JKOwners Forum) for helping inform me of the proper wiring for vehicles lights. In Part 2 of my lights post I will share the new skill I'm learning and the new way I will be connecting my lights. 

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

  •  ExtremeTerrain provided the LED light for review. No additional compensation received. 
    All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Adding Extra Protection to My Jeep Rubicon


Once I discovered the joy in off roading, I began to delve into the world of Jeep modifications. Last summer I struggled with the decision on my Jeep's first modifications. 


But being part of the Jeep Community has made those decisions so much easier. The input from fellow Jeepers has been extremely valuable. 

My first modification was my Barricade Trailforce HD front bumper then I added the Barricade Rock Sliders.  The next modification, my biggest one yet, ended up being my Rubicon.

Eventually, I would like to get a lift and bigger tires on my Rubicon. But I feel the wiser choice right now is to gain more experience driving off road while she is still stock. My plan is to spend as much of my limited free time at Rausch Creek Off Road Park this spring and summer. I would also like to try the more difficult trails, but to do that my Rubicon needs to get a little more armour under her belly. 

I have been researching all the possibilities. Currently my 2015 Stock JKU Rubicon comes with the factory Jeep transfer case and fuel tank skid plates. It is my understanding these will hold up just fine. 

But there are other areas underneath that have the potential for rock damage, mainly the engine, transmission and oil pan. There were also suggestions on protecting the lower control arm and possibly relocating the steering stabilizer. 

One of my worries is putting too much weight on my Jeep, therefore I will be looking at aluminum skid plates as well as steel ones. There are pros and cons to everything, and I will need to make the best decision for my Jeep within my budget. In the meantime I will be looking around to find the best fit for my needs. And once again reaching out to fellow Jeepers for their thoughts on the subject of underbelly protection. 

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jeep Shift Knob Install - Quick & Easy But...


Finally -- the weather warmed up enough to be able to do some Jeep work in the garage. I was able to start checking off some of my Jeep "To Do" list items. The first thing I decided to tackle was changing out my shift knob to match the transfer case shift knob I received for Christmas.  

As you may remember that was not an easy task. 

I also produced a "How To" video as well. 


So... this time I was prepared, knowing how difficult the last one was to remove. I vowed I would try it myself first. But I did have my husband on stand by, again.

Click to see Drake Shift Knob 

The first step was to remove the old shift knob. First, with a flat head screw driver I needed to detach or pop the bottom collar down away from the shift knob. There is no reason to remove the top silver cap. 
Once the bottom collar is detached you need to just to pull up on the knob. It is suppose come right off. Now -- when I tried to pull up the transfer case shift knob, I had a difficult time and wasn't able to get it off. It was quite difficult for my husband too. 


So... this time I braced my legs on either side of the shifter, and grabbed onto the knob with a tight grip. I then pulled as hard as I could. Guess what?  - I did not need to call in my stand by. It popped off on the first yank!


The next step was to slide the new Drake Shift knob onto the shaft. Then the directions stated to use the original screw removed to tighten it onto the shaft. This was a little confusing since I never removed any screws from the old knob.


I was informed that I needed a set screw, so I posted the question on a Jeep forum asking where I could get such a screw and what size.  Well... needless to say my blond moment didn't last too long. After looking at the knob again and inspecting the two holes that are under the rubber tread I had a "Duh" moment. The set screws were all ready in the knob. All I needed was a small allen wrench to tighten it on. Thank goodness I was able to delete my question from the thread as I felt pretty stupid not seeing something so easy.


Now the question is should I use some of the blue Loctite threadlocker to keep this screw from rattling loose?







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

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Jeep Community is Full of Amazing People I Can Call My Friends

When I bought my first Jeep back in 2013, I never realized what I would be getting myself into. I remember the salesman talking about off-roading. I just laughed at him and said, "I will never do that". I just bought the jeep for the joy of being able to drive topless. 

My Jeep has turned into so much more than just a new topless vehicle to get me from points A to B.
I found my new passion in off-roading. But the best experience has been the kinship with other Jeep drivers. You won't get that from any other brand. We look out for each other, help each other, and share a common bond. 


There  Jeep Clubs to join, and those clubs will rally together to carry out important ecological work in their local area. 




There are Jeep Forums you can join to bounce ideas off of, and ask for much needed Jeep advice. I have found some great friends on these forums and in these clubs. It's been a truly awesome experience and I can honestly say I love my Jeep, I love the Jeep Community, and I love my Jeep Friends.



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