Monday, August 31, 2015

50 Before 50: Day one of #46

The kids are back in school, and it's  time to get back into a routine. Summertime can get a little chaotic with vacations, summer camps and the kids home from school, and I have neglected my exercise routine. 

Today is Day One towards #46 on my 50 Before 50 List -- Losing 10 pounds. Of course I would like to lose a little more than that but I figure 10 is a good start. So it was back to the gym for weigh lifting. Then back home for some core exercises, and my run.
 - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - 

              - The Jeep Life! -

Friday, August 28, 2015

50 before 50 -- Changing up My List

I was doing a little research for my 50 Before 50 list. I am thinking I want to change two of my items on my list. #33 and #44. 

#33 is name a star after myself.   Well.... this is all just a scam to get your money. Nope not up for that.

#44 is cook something with Truffle Oil. The Truffle Oil I can afford is synthesized and really, really bad for you. It's made with a putroleum product.  

So now #33 is get a Glamour Shot

#44 is Smoke a Cigar

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Next Jeep Project - Fortify the Undercarriage

Now that my rear bumper has been installed, it's time to start looking for my next Jeep Wrangler project. I have decided I will start fortifying my undercarriage. 

My Rubicon came off the factory floor with a factory skid plate over the gas tank. 

A cover over the evap canister.

A skid plate over the transfer case. 

And the factory cross member.   

I plan on starting with a skid plate for the oil pan and transmission. I was looking at the M.O.R.E skid plate at Extreme Terrain. And lucky me since I submitted an installation guide for the Barricade Adjustable Brake Light Bracket w/ LED Light I received a coupon on my next purchase. Now I just need to sell some more Lego's to make up the difference.

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Missing My Jeep Wrangler!

There's a quote... 

"Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder"

I find this true with my Jeep Wrangler. But you may ask -- how can anyone love their Jeep Wrangler anymore than they all ready do? Well, I certainly can.

This past weekend we took a trip down south to visit some family. Instead of driving the 10 long hours with the kids in the back seat, we decided to fly which meant we had to rent a car. We ended up with a Toyota Camry. 

After driving my Jeep Wrangler for so long, this was an odd experience. It felt strange to be so low to the road. I began to experience a sense claustrophobia in this vehicle. As smooth as the ride was, and the great gas mileage from this car it wasn't worth the displeasure... it felt uncomfortably like we were in a very small confined room with super tiny windows. 

This weekend's rental experience gave me a greater appreciation for my Jeep Wrangler -- Not that I didn't appreciate and love my Jeep Wrangler before -- but this only enhanced that appreciation and love. 

Hopping back into my Jeep Wrangler once we got back home was like what a caged animal must feel like once it's released from it's cage unto the open range.  

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

Monday, August 24, 2015

50 Before 50 -- #10 Checked Off the List

Like most all kids I hated my veggies growing up. Now that I'm an adult I have a greater appreciation for them. As part of my 50 Before 50 list I decided I would try a new vegetable I have never tried. 

So I picked Eggplant. I made eggplant Parmesan. 

First I sliced the eggplant to let it sweat. Apparently salting the slices and letting them sit for 30 minutes they begin to sweat. This helps remove some of the bitterness of the veggie. 

Then I coated them with garbanzo bean flour, egg, and bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese.

Then I browned them in a frying pan with some olive oil.

Next using my homemade marinara with veggies I set them in a baking dish and topped them with mozzarella cheese. 

Then I baked them. They turned out really yummy. I can't wait to make them again. However this time -- I will slice them thinner and take off the skin. 

My goal now is to broaden my horizons and try veggies I've never had before like turnips and leeks.

50 Before 50: 4 down 46 left to go...

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jeep Wrangler Mods - Sorting out the Law

As I was in the process of installing my new Barricade Trailforce HD Rear Bumper with Tire Carrier...

...I realized I needed to do some research on the 3rd brake light. My new bumper did not come with this light. So did that mean I needed to replace the factory 3rd brake light? 

Maryland law states -- 
"Section 22-206(a)(1): Every motor vehicle registered in this State and sold as a new vehicle after June 1, 1967, shall be equipped with at least two stop lamps."   

In the section on brake lights, there is no mention of a requirement for a third operable brake light.

But then... there is the Code of Maryland Regulations...These deal with the inspection of vehicles in Maryland. These regulations state that in order for a vehicle manufactured after 1985 to pass inspection, there must be a center operable brake light in addition to the side brake lights.   

According to Maryland law, if the statute (Transportation Article) is in conflict with the regulations (COMAR), then the statute is controlling. So an argument can be made that if you are stopped for no 3rd brake light, the stop is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, since the statute does not specifically allow an officer to stop for this. That means the statute should trump the regulation.

However, some judges will agree with the prosecutor that the officer can issue a repair order for a center brake light out and thus make a valid traffic stop for the purpose of writing the repair order. 

So since the law is not clear cut I just went ahead and played it safe. I ordered the Barricade Adjustable Brake Light Bracket w/LED light. Plus it was a fun, easy install. 

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jeep Wrangler 3rd Brake Light Install

Last week I told you about my new rear bumper install.

Jeep Momma Rear Bumper Install Blog Post - 10-14-15 

As I was taking off the factory bumper, spare tire mount and third brake light, I realized I wouldn't be able to put that factory 3rd brake light back on my Jeep Wrangler. 

So I went in search of an after market 3rd brake light. I found one at -- The Barricade Adjustable Brake Light Bracket w/LED light. I ordered the part, and it arrived the next day. 

This install was a pretty simple install once I figured out the wiring. First, I needed the factory wiring harness, which I had all ready removed from the old brake light.

With an Allen Wrench I removed the LED light adjustable bracket from the mount. 

Then bolted it to the pre-drilled holes for the factory spare tire mount. 

Now it was time to wire up the LED light to the factory wiring harness.  I needed to cut the factory brake light wires at the plug and connect those wires to the LED wires. However I was a little puzzled. The LED has three wires and the harness had too. 

The directions stated -- Connect the black factory wire to the white LED light wire and the white/orange factory wire to the red LED light wire. There was still the third black wire. I didn't know what to do with this wire. I was told to just secure it with heat shrink and leave it so that is what I did.

I'm told by a fellow Jeeper this is a standard STT trailer light used with this application. That is because they are inexpensive, readily available and mount easily with the grommet. These lights have a circuit for running lights and turn signal/stop. Hence the name STT - Stop Turn Tail.

Now you could attach these wires with butt connectors.  But I decided to solder, heat shrink and liquid tape them together. Just like I learned when I wired up my Raxion LED lights. 

Jeep Momma Raxiom LED Light Install Blog Post -- 3-19-15

Once all the wires were connected, I inserted Insert the LED 3rd brake light into the adjustable bracket with a firm push.

Then attached the brake light bracket to the mount attached to the tailgate.

I had to get creative with the wires by running the wiring harness down the bracket to the hole in the tailgate. Then plugged the wires back into the brake lights. 

Now it was time to test it out. Of course all was good thanks again with the help of fellow Jeepers. 

You will notice that the 4 LED's in the middle don't light up. That is because the black wire is not hooked up. It doesn't need to be because the light is bright enough with the outside LED's. I'm told it will not make a difference in the brightness either way. 

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

50 Before 50 - #21 Checked Off the List

Yep... It only took me 49 years to buy my first ever power tool -- But I returned it the very next day. I think I took on more than I could handle.  

The weekend before my 49th birthday, I installed my new rear bumper on my Jeep Wrangler. A friend suggested I get an impact wrench to make it easier to take off and put on the bolts. So I headed out to Home Depot, and bought a $180 Impact Wrench kit. When I got home I unpacked the impact wrench and plugged it in.

Jeep Momma Rear Bumper Install -- August 14, 2015 

I hit the trigger and was overwhelmed by the power. I immediately set the tool down and went back to my old fashioned ratchet. Fortunately for me, I was able to loosen the bolts the old fashioned way -- my muscles. 

I took the impact wrench back to the store the next day.  I didn't think it was a good idea for someone with my lack of expertise to use something so powerful.  So I played it safe and got myself a Black and Decker cordless drill.  I think it best I start out small and work my way up. 

50 Before 50 -- 3 down only 47 left to go...

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

Friday, August 14, 2015

Jeep Wrangler Rear Bumper Install - Part 2

Yesterday, I told you about the removal of my factory rear bumper and spare tire mount. It was a very simple and easy removal of the factory parts. 

Jeep Momma Blog Post - August 12, 2015 

I was preparing my 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon for the installation of my new Barricade Trailforce HD Bumper with Tire Carrier
This rear bumper will allow me to upgrade my tires to a bigger size, eventually. The tire carrier will take the weight off the tailgate. 

There are many different types of bumpers to choose from with ExtremeTerrain Rear Bumpers --  but I figured it would look best to have the rear bumper match my front bumper, which I installed last year. 

Jeep Momma Front Bumper Install - August 11, 2014 

Once the factory bumper was removed, it was a pretty simple process to install the my new rear bumper. 

First, I attached the mounting bracket to the inner side of the rear bumper support beam. These bolts are about 5 inches long. It was a tight space in between the muffler and the support beam. By pushing slightly up on the cover over the muffler, the bolts will slide in.   

Then I slid the L-Shaped mounting brackets into the frame rails with the nut backing up to the pre-drilled holes in the frame. All the parts fit to the existing holes all ready on the frame. There was no drilling necessary. 

Now it was time to slide my new rear bumper over the brackets and bolts I set into place. However, it was all hands on deck for this one. This is something that needed two people. The rear bumper weighs 110 pounds. I called in my husband to lift the rear bumper, as I guided it into the bolts that were attached to the support beam. It took some adjustments, but we eventually got it into place. Unfortunately -- there are no pictures of this step as my photographer had gone off to play with his friends -- my nine year old son. And my back up photographer -- my husband -- was my helper. The picture you see is from the instructions on the website. 

Once the bumper was on it was time to thread the supplied bolts to the side bumper support and tighten. 

Then I crawled under the Jeep and threaded the nuts onto the bolts and began to tighten all four bolts. 

Now that the rear bumper was installed and secure, it was time to get the tire carrier gate installed. First make sure you pull the plastic off the post. It is also good idea to add some grease to the post for a smoother operation. To secure the gate on the post I added the cap and secured it with the allen-head bolt. 

Next up was the tire carrier gate latch. I slide the latch into the end of the swing arm and secured it with the two supplied bolts and nuts. 

Finally, the last step -- install the rear tire carrier by securing it to the rear swing arm. Then adjust it to the desired height. 

I had to move the this piece to the top holes because my tire wouldn't fit right otherwise. This meant my view out of the back window was obstructed. Which would be okay if I had bigger tires. 

I couldn't figure out why my tire wouldn't fit at a lower height. Then it hit me the next morning -- DUH!!! The piece is adjustable.

All I had to do was loosen the bolts and slide the piece out and the tire now sits at the right height. I'm thinking I might need to get those shackles painted purple now.

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

 ExtremeTerrain provided the rear bumper with tire carrier for review. No additional compensation received. 
All opinions are my own.