Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Jeep Wrangler Grilles Through the Years

Thanks to Scott Huntington for this Guest Blog Post!
Check out Scott's Car Blog offthethrottle.com
You can spot a Wrangler from a mile away. The rugged Jeep’s silhouette has retained its major stylistic elements for over 70 years. It’s like the off-road equivalent of the Porsche 911 — the ongoing refinement of a classic design.
At the core of that design is the unmistakable Jeep grille. Its seven upright slots have graced the front of every Jeep model since the CJ. Each Jeep iteration has gone about it a little differently, but to depart from such an iconic Jeep element now would be blasphemy. Check out the slight differences in this visual history of the Wrangler grille:

From Humble Beginnings
The first CJ Jeeps had 60 horsepower from a four-cylinder “Go Devil” engine. The most attractive thing about them for the off-road crowd was reliability and simplicity, which meant they were easy to service in the field. Keeping the little devil cool was a simple, upright grille with openings to let the Jeep’s radiator breathe. It’s a formula that remains in place to this day.
Enter the Square Headlight
Another instantly recognizable feature of the Jeep was its round headlights. When Chrysler first introduced the Wrangler in 1987, they rolled the dice on departing from this design, by introducing square lights. Needless to say, the look didn’t gel with Jeep enthusiasts, and the YJ will forever go down as the jeep with the ugly eyes. They’re easy to spot, though.
Wider and Rounder
The TJ, introduced in 1995, demonstrated that Jeep/Chrysler had learned from their mistakes. This Jeep was better equipped for on-road use as a daily driver. It was also better looking than the YJ, thanks to retro-style round lights and softened edges around the grille. The TJ retains the wide, narrow appearance of the YJ, but with round headlights and driving lights.
The JK Returns to Its Roots
The JK design we have today is even more round than the TJ, using a taller profile with chamfered edges. Driving lights have been removed, and a single set of larger, rounded headlights replace them. If you squint, it looks like a grown-up version of the CJ-4 grille.
New for 2018
The JL body style is coming around the corner, and while it hasn’t officially been released, a healthy supply of press photos and accidentally leaked spare hoods gives us a good idea how it will look. The design is both modern and a fitting tribute to the Jeep lineage. It maintains the seven-slot design, but in a handsome, wider profile that sets the rounded headlights at the corners of the front end.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Jeep Mom in the Garage

It seems Mother Nature is eager for a little Topless weather. This weekend was absolutely beautiful with the sun beating down bringing temperatures in the high 60's. The only thing missing was leaves on the trees and green covered lawns. 

The warm temps made it perfect to fill up my bucket with some sudsy water and give my Jeep a bath. In the salt belt a good washing helps prevent corrosion. 

Since I was out in the garage, it was the perfect time to finish up a couple of small projects I couldn't get to because of the winter cold. These two projects should have been quick and easy. However for a Jeep Mom, working on your Jeep never is quick, and not for reasons you may be thinking.
I was constantly interrupted. A dog bark from inside the house meant I needed to go in to let her outside. Then some hungry boys came out in search of mom the cook. I have learned over the years to plan a little extra time for my projects because a mom's work is never done. 

Okay back to my projects...    

Earlier in the month I broke out my purple spray paint to brighten up a Christmas present. I added a couple of coats of Sumptuous Purple to my Drake Off Road JK Door Handle Inserts

These are super easy to add to the door handles. A few simple easy steps:

Mark a drill location

Drill two marked spots

Secure with screws       

Once all four inserts were were attached to the door handles, it was on to my LED headlights. 

At the beginning of 2017 I shared my headlight flicker dilemma. 

It was suggested I buy anti-flicker decoders. These decoders will help with the pulse width modulation. So with a pop of the Jeep grille, I switched out the harnesses that came with the lights. Pretty simple swap out. Once the grille is off just unscrew the four screws holding the headlight to the housing. Then unplug the wiring harness to swap with the decoder.

Unplug and plug

Simple and easy

Hopefully the decoder works. I will know shortly if the flicker stops. I will keep you posted. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Jeep 101

Last Tuesday on the Jeep Talk Call In Show we had a special guest, Mike from TPT Fabrication Specialties. They are in the fabrication of bumpers business, among other Jeep accessories. It was a very informative interview for me, I learned something new about Jeep parts more specifically, Wrangler Tramp Stamps and their use. Now I am excited to add another Jeep part to my wish list. 

So not only do they fabricate Jeep parts, but they also have a blog. A very informative one with great info for folks new to Jeep, plus how Jeeps work. I found their blog posts helpful to me so I wanted to pass on the links. 

Jeep 101 - What the Heck is Under My Jeep...

Jeep 101 Part II - Jeep Suspension Confusing? Not Anymore     

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jammock GiveAway

At the beginning of February I reviewed, the Jammock. I am excited to announce we are now going to #GiveAway that Jammock on the Jeep Talk Show Podcast. 

Here's how you can earn a chance to win. 

  • Create a Facebook Live video explaining why you want the Jammock
  • Tag the Jeep Talk Show in the video - @JeepTalkShow
  • "Like" the Jeep Talk Show's Facebook page if you already haven't 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Life After My Lift - Part 1

I am a co-host on the Jeep Talk Show podcast. On the past couple of shows, during my "Wrangler Talk" segment, we have been discussing “Life After Your Lift”. The discussion turned into a 3 part series. You can check out Episodes 265, 266, 267. 

"What changes can you make to your Jeep for a better off-roading experience?"

That question from a listener has made me really think about what is next for my Jeep. There is a lot to consider when your Jeep is a daily driver, as well as, your Weekend Warrior on the trails. 

Protection is my number one goal as I continue to make those hefty Jeep payments each month. So as I think about what's next on my Jeep parts list, I find it helpful to have these discussions, and hear from other Jeepers on their experiences. 

In my experience so far, one of the first things I noticed -- as a first time ever off-roader, during my first ever off-roading instructional class at Rausch Creek Off Road Park over two years ago -- in my 2013 Sahara with no aftermarket modifications --- was my articulation--- or should I say lack of articulation.  May 2014 BLogolg

At one point on the trail, I swear I was going to tip right over. There is even video on my You Tube channel where you can see my passenger side tire rise about, what looks like four feet in the air. Watching that video, and that scary feeling I had -- that was the moment in time, where I knew I wanted sway bar disconnects.

I did it the expensive way -- some call it cheating -- I traded my Sahara for the Rubicon. But at the time it would have been pretty simple, and inexpensive to install sway bar disconnects. 

Sway Bar disconnects are vital in reaching the type of articulation you want on the trails. I feel this is a must for off-roading. You don’t even need to wait for a lift to make this change. 

The second front end mod, in my experience, should be a steering stabilizer re-location bracket. That is actually my next front end change. 

Last October, while at the Women’s Wheeling event, I came down pretty hard on a rock, and slammed my steering stabilizer bracket. It rotated into a position that prevented me from being able to turn my Jeep. I had to do a lot of reversing to get off that trail. 

Once we got off that particular obstacle, we took it off until we got to a spot on the trail to re-install it properly. I learned that day you don’t really need that part to drive.They can run between $20 to $60 depending on if you get just the bracket or a new stabilizer and bracket.

So hopefully, I will have the relocation bracket on very soon. Stay tuned for next week's part 2 of Life After My Lift Series. Or check it out at the Jeep Talk Show Podcast. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jammock Product Review

Jeeps are tough!  And so is this Jeep Mom. 

Which is why I tested out the Jammock on a cold snowy day. One of my motto's is "Dare to be Different"! 

As one of the hosts of the Jeep Talk Show I was asked to review the Jammock. The company sent me a Jammock for the Wrangler. Once I review the product on the show, we will give it away on the Jeep Talk Show Podcast. So here goes.

First off you might ask, What is a Jammock? Well... it's a Hammock you can use on top of your Jeep when you are topless. It fits all Jeep Wranglers from 1987 to the present.

It also has some other uses, but I tried it out on top of my Jeep over the front seats of my 4 door Rubicon. 

Installing is a snap! 


Tip #1: Make sure you thread the strap from the bottom of the buckle. 

When I first installed the Jammock, I threaded the strap the wrong way. Thankfully my 17 year old son suggested I test the Jammock before I sat in it. I would have fallen straight through. 

They use NRS Buckles. These buckles are the industry choice for corrosion resistance and strength. They are rated for 2,000 lbs each. I was impressed with these buckles. They are strong, and very easy to use.

The material is made of 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon and it's coated for water resistance. The straps are one piece throughout for added strength. This product is definitely made with a good quality material.  

Strong, Simple & Easy 

The instructions on their website show where you should place the straps. I wasn't able to place the straps in the same location as the picture on their website. 

My roll bar and frame are just too close together to slide the NRS buckles through. So I improvised. It worked. 

The Jammock has many other uses as well.  

  • Hammock over the front or rear seat 
  • Overhead storage 
  • Pet barrier (between the front and rear seats)
  • Wind jammer (between the front and rear seats)
  • Lounge chair on the back roll bars 
  • Sling seat hammock off the vehicle

I only tried it out as a hammock over the front seat. Because I wasn't able to put the straps like the instructions indicated, keeping the Jammock up when not in use didn't work for me. It did not pulled tight and got in the way of my driving.  

Tip #2: When getting into the Jammock I found climbing in from the back seat was the best. Especially in a lifted Jeep. 

I do love the idea of hanging out chilling at the top of my Jeep. This would make for a great accessory out on the trails or at a campsite. The cost of $137.99 is well worth your money.