Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Raxiom Lights Location Pros & Cons

I'm still struggling with where to put my new Raxiom 3 inch square LED lights. I'm pretty confident on how to wire it up. It should be pretty simple. I also have the the Raxiom LED lighting switch kit which should be pretty easy as well.

My issue is the cosmetic aspect of the location of the lights and wiring. I figure I have couple of locations to mount my lights. But each location has it's pros and cons. 

First is where they normally are mounted -- on top of my
Barricade Trailforce HD Bumper.  Mounting the lights here would require an additional washer and a longer bolt, which I can easily get at the hardware store. But then the question becomes the wiring. I could drill holes into my bumper to hide the wires, but I don't want to do that. I've seen other Jeepers use zip ties. At first I was against the whole zip tie route, but others have sent me pictures and they don't look too bad. 
Then it was suggested I put them on the A pillar. I didn't even know what that was -- but now I do -- learn something new every day.  I was leaning towards the A pillar option. No zip ties and no drilling into the bumper.  But I would need to get mounts for this option. The wiring would not be as difficult. The con is the glare coming off the hood. 

So I got on the phone with Ryan at ExtremeTerrain. He was super helpful.  He helped me to understand how each of the different locations light placement would work in regaards to the lighting. He also suggested I could get the matte black vinyl decal to help with the glare if I go the A pillar route. 

He did mention if I did go the A pillar route I could position the lights to aim more to the side of the Jeep which could also help with the glare.  But, he said if it were him -- he would go the bumper route which would give me better lighting in front of the headlights beam.

I was really leaning towards the A pillar route -- like this really cool looking Jeep. Thomas a fellow Jeeper who likes to hit the trails at Rausch Creek loves the A pillar location on his Jeep. But since talking with Ryan at ExtremeTerrain -- he has steered me back to the bumper. But... I'm really wanting the lights up on the A pillar too. 

It would be cool to get more parts in the mail with having to get the mounts and decal. Plus positioning the lights out to get the "peripheral vision" will help when the Zombie apocalypse happens. 

Now, I have been bitten by the light bug, and I want both. I guess I can relax a little as I don't need to decide this until next year.  Oh NO! wait a minute... 

It's almost next year! 

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Steering Attenuator Review

This past fall I was approached by the folks at Powers & Sons, LLC. They are a premier designer and provider of machined steering and suspension components, systems and assemblies. They manufacture steering components for Jeep Wranglers. 

They just launched a new product (and website Performance Stability) called the steering attenuator. This product is designed for improving the performance and safety of Jeep Wrangler steering systems. 

The attenuator is constructed to reduce the harsh road feedback attributed to the stock JK steering system -- jittery steering wheel. It is a highly engineered direct swap-out for your drag link adjusting sleeve. It is intended to make the Jeep safer while improve your driving experience.

They asked it I would try it out on my Wrangler.

In all fairness to them and my followers, I did not think I had enough driving experience in my Wrangler or qualifications to make a fair and just review on the product. I am still just a "beginner" in this whole new world of Jeeps and mechanical things. 

I decided the best route was to let a friend, who has experience with the inner workings of a Jeep and has been a long time Jeep owner, try it out. He does his own modifications, and likes to take his family out in the Jeep. So, I sent him the Jeep Wrangler Steering Attenuator for him to install, test it out, and give us a review.  

He was able to install the attenuator this weekend, but hasn't had enough time logging some hours driving for a full review. 

Jeff: "I finally got the chance to install the JK steering attenuator by Performance Stability. Haven't had enough time yet for a full review, but here is the install video on how it installs. Pretty straight forward install, only took about an hour. Pics and review after I've logged some drive time with it." 

How to install the attenuator

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

I'm looking forward to Jeff's full review of this product. 

In the meantime here's a look at what others though of this at the Wrangler Forum

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

Friday, December 26, 2014

Transfer Case Shift Knob Install

On Christmas morning, I unwrapped a handful of fantastic Jeep-themed presents that brought a big smile to my face. Among them were items I had eagerly anticipated, as well as a few delightful surprises.

One gift that I was particularly thrilled to receive was a CB radio, which I believe is now a crucial addition to my Jeep arsenal. As I plan to indulge in more off-roading adventures, having effective communication with fellow Jeep enthusiasts on the trail is essential. The CB radio I received is the Cobra 25 LTD Classic, chosen for its simplicity and nostalgic charm. It instantly transported me back to my childhood, when my dad used to have a CB radio in his vehicle. This new addition to my Jeep is not just a practical tool; it's also a wonderful reminder of all the cherished memories from those fantastic car rides with my father.

Of course you can't have a working CB radio unless you have the antenna.

Then the unexpected surprises came, a new black Jeep hat. Every Jeep Mom should have one.

Three sets of purple Jeep socks. They are so warm and comfy. I think I will wear them every day this winter. 

Then an acesssory for my Jeep. A Drake Off Road transfer case shifter knob. It looked pretty easy to install, but I was quite mistaken. Check out my Jeep Momma "Mod-Vid" on You Tube. 

Jeep Momma Installs her new Drake Off Road 4X4 Transfer Case Shifter Knob 

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

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a theory. In the works of fiction this Butterfly Effect involves points in time at which a story line diverges during a minor event resulting in a significantly different outcome than would have occurred without that small divergent in time.

Did you get that?

Basically, it is something small that alters the path you are on in your life. It takes you in a whole other direction. 

For me -- I can pinpoint three exact moments in time that have altered the my life's path. The first moment in time was the moment I realized I have to have a Jeep. I was never into what kind of car I drove. It was just a vehicle to get me from point A to point B. But the day I saw the dad, who was taking some Boy Scouts on a camping trip, get out of his Jeep to put his top down was the moment in time when I realized I want one. I want a Jeep!  So I can put the top down and drive to the beach to go camping. A couple weeks later, I bought my first Jeep Wrangler. 

The second moment in time that altered my path was the day my good friend and neighbor suggested I start a blog. As a stay at home mom I realized it's time to work my way back into the work force. Now that my boys are getting older I'm not needed as much. But being out of the work force for fifteen years --- it's hard to get back in. So that night I went home and Jeep Momma was born. 
My Friend's Blog -- Check it Out!!!

The third point in time was the day I found videos of a fellow jeepers wheelin' adventures on the Rubicon Trail. Once I started my blog I became more involved in social media. I started meeting other Jeepers and was introduced to the whole new world of Jeeps and off roading. That day I started watching those videos what the day I was bit by the off road bug and my desire to modify my Jeep.
Rubicon Trail Videos - FamilyJK1 - Check them out!!!

There are always these little points in time that alter our course. At those moments we are have no idea how such a small event is going to change our current path. I am so thankful for those three moments in time because they have brought me so much joy and happiness. I have found new friends and a new passion.

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Plugging in My New Raxiom Lights

I'm a little puzzled on how to plug in my new off road lights -- Raxiom 3 inch square LED lights. Extreme Terrain sent them too me last week, and I've been searching the internet for install videos, but no such luck. They said they would put me in touch with someone at their shop who could help me. But I really wanted to try to figure this out on my own.

I also have the Raxiom LED lighting switch kit. This way I can push a button inside my Rubicon to switch on and off the off-road lights. I started to attach them to my Trailforce HD Front Bumper, but realized I need to get different hardware for the mounting. 

As I was attaching them to the front bumper I wondered what am I suppose to do with the wiring? Where does it go? I've seen people zip-tie the cables to the bumper, but I really don't want to do that. Maybe I'm suppose to drill a hole into the bumper -- I'm not even sure the pipe is hollow. 

So, then I wondered if placing them atop the bumper is where they are suppose to go. I've seen other Jeeps with lights in many places. Some put lights up near the windshield, but I think those are the big round lights. Then I've seen them attached hanging from the bumper mounts or even directly on the bumper itself.  

Now I wonder... not only about where to put the cables, but the placement of the lights. I have two quandaries...  Or wait... I think I have three.

I think the cables for the lights are missing something. How in the world do I plug them in? Oh what's a Jeep Mom to do.

In all seriousness folks I'm pretty sure I will end up talking to a person at Extreme Terrain. Unless one of you out there has some great suggestion about the placement of the lights. And a great idea on what to do with the cables. Don't worry I know how to splice the wires. I won't be attempting to use an extension cord. 

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Another First!

Back when I had my Sahara, I had run over a roofing nail. I had to get my front drivers tire plugged. Feeling uncomfortable out on the trails with a plugged tire, I took my Jeep to the dealer to get the tires rotated, and the plugged tire put on as the spare. I had locking lug nuts on all the tires at the time. I assumed the dealer would have put them back on after they rotated the tires. 

Well -- mistake on my part. They did not put the locking lug nuts back on. I didn't notice it until I traded in my Sahara for the Rubicon. I called the dealer to find my locking lug nuts. They didn't have them. So, they gave me a new set. Now I could put them on my Rubicon.

Yesterday was the first day in a long time where I had a free moment to do that. This would be my first ever attempt to removing lug nuts from a tire -- Yes... in my whole long life -- I have never had to change a tire. I would always call AAA or who ever was available to come help me. 

Back when we originally put the locking lug nuts on the Sahara -- before I was into this whole Jeep-Build-Do-It-Myself-Mode -- my husband did it. 

So yesterday it was time for me to suck it up --To see how strong I really was. I vowed I wasn't going to get muscle help on this one. In the past that is what held me back from doing it myself. The thought of those power tools tightening those lug nuts scared me. Well no more, I have JEEP GIRL POWER now.
I went to get the lug-nut-turney-thingy out of my "trunk".  I couldn't get the jack out no matter how hard I pulled. So instead of getting my husband, I thought I'd check the manual first. Maybe there was some secret button I had to push. And there was. All I had to do was make a small turn of the plastic wing nut and Wah Lah -- the jack came right out. 

Okay -- I know! --  I didn't need the jack to change the lug nuts, but... the lug nut wrench -- Yes I did know what it is called -- was under the jack. 

Once I got the wrench out, I tried to loosen the lug nuts, but I wasn't having any luck. Then I remembered the install of my Barricade rock sliders. If you remember that post I had a hard time with my righty tighty, lefty loosy. 

So, I did have to go in and ask my husband. But I made him stay in the house. I went back out, and turned the wrench counterclockwise. That works better than my rights and lefts. I did have to put some muscle into it, but I did it! Thank goodness the neighbors weren't out because I think I made a spectacle of myself when I cheered and jumped up and down. 

Now all five wheel have locking lug nuts and I did it all by myself. It feels good to accomplish something I feared for years. Now I know I will be capable of changing my own tire. 

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Topless Jeep Therapy


The one and only reason -- to be #Topless - that is what inspired me to buy my Jeep spontaneously one day in the Spring of 2013. I was at a point in my life when I realized time goes by too quickly to wait for the right moment to do the things you want to do. So my new motto is to "Live Life".  Live means to "be alive" and when I'm in my Jeep -- with the top down -- feeling the warm sun on my face -- and the wind blowing through my hair that's what I feel -- ALIVE!


Music can also make you feel that way.  We all have those songs that provoke excitement, and invigorate us. But add that music while driving a Jeep with the top down -- those favorite songs blaring from the speakers at full blast and you are at the pinnacle of feeling alive.

My top ten songs for those days with the top down on my Jeep are:

Livin' After Midnight - Judas Priest

Highway to Hell - AC/DC

Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
Hair of the Dog - Nazareth
Lonely Is The Night - Billy Squier
More Than a Feeling - Boston
Rainbow In The Dark - Dio
Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden
Tom Sawyer - Rush
Thunderstruck - AC/DC
Hold On Loosely - 38 Special
Rock and Roll Band - Boston
Rockin' Into The Night - 38 Special 

Okay so that's not ten, but thirteen.  I couldn't pick ten. There are just so many songs that energize and inspire me.  So what songs inspire and invigorate you?

One thing I wonder about -- what will it be like to be in my Jeep with the top down, music erupting from my speakers while I am out wheeling on the trails of Rausch Creek? Heaven?

A Question for the Masses:

Should you off road with music? Do you off-road with your radio on?

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

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How To - Axle Lock Button

Last month on my JeepMomma Blog I was questioning some off road advice I received. I was confused, on how, and when to use my axle lock button. I thought for sure I understood the mechanics behind open differential and locking differential. 

But when I got back from a day of wheelin' at Rausch Creek Off Road Park a friend was shocked I didn't use the lockers the whole time. I didn't see a need from what I understood of the use behind the axle locks. 

Open Differential vs. Locked Differential 

It was my understanding that driving with open differential your wheels rotate at different speeds depending on the situation you are in. When you engage your lockers - Locking Differential - your tires will rotate at the same speed. 

Use of Axle Locks 

You would want to "push" the axle lock button in situation where you will need more traction such as up a rock or steep incline, or on a muddy straight trail. Like in this video I took when I was taking my "201 Class" . This is what I was taught during my Instructional Trail Ride at Rausch Creek. 

Well -- after further research and more advice from fellow Jeepers I'm rather confident in my initial assessment of the use of axle locks. 

However, I am still puzzled at why some one would use their lockers during their whole off road trip. My only guess is they are crawling rocks - big rocks - the whole time. 

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

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Is it Cheating if I Push the Button?

Rubicon Mom

When I originally bought my Jeep Wrangler Sahara, I never envisioned myself going off-road and engaging 4 low. Now -- I can't imagine my life without being able to take my Rubicon and hitting the trails. 

First Time  

I still remember my first time -- who doesn't. It was exhilarating, exciting, and I never wanted it to end. No, I'm not talking about sex, this was so much better than that first time. 

What I remember the most was the amazing off road proficiency of my Jeep. I never knew it had such capabilities. My instructor, Kyle, guided me through the trails. He taught me all the different aspects of off-roading and my Jeep.  At one point I was on top of a steep, rocky hill ready to go down. He told me to push the button on my control panel - the Hill Descent Control button. A button I always wondered about -- thinking I would never use it. 

Magic Button 

I pushed the button, and started down the hill. He told me to take my foot off the brake. It was a hard concept to accept, but I had the utmost trust in him.  Once I reached the bottom of the hill, I was speechless and absolutely amazed at how my Jeep performed. To this day it still boggles my mind that the Jeep drove itself down that hill.

Since that time I have used the button a total of three times. 

Rausch Creek Drving 201 Instruction Hill Descent Control Systems ENGAGED!

Women's Wheelin' Day  Hill Descent Control Systems ENGAGED! 

Rausch Creek Driving 201 Instruction -- Driving down hill without Engagement

The Hill Descent Control system helps monitor throttle, speed and braking while traveling down a steep hill. Monitoring throttle and braking is one of the tips a fellow Jeeper said was an important off-roading tip. I would have to agree. Not understanding the full potential of your Jeep and the proper use of the brakes and throttle could get you and your Jeep into a not so good situation.

Off-Road Cheating ???

While I believe using that button is kinda like off-road cheating, it is giving me the experience and understanding on how to properly operate my Jeep while off the beaten path.

So, while I learn more about throttle and braking control, I will continue to use the magic little button until I feel more confident in my driving abilities. Each time I hit the trails I become more and more confident. So some day that magic button won't be so magic anymore. 

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

Off-Road Tips


A little over a week ago I shared some of my Wheeling Tips and asked you to share yours.

Well, here's a few I thought I'd share. 

"One tip I could have used when I was a beginner, if your climbing a hill or going through a deep ditch and your vehicle starts to bounce, stop and try to take a different angle, bouncing can lead to breakage. I've broke Dana 44 axles and that wasn't a cheap repair."

So stay clear of bouncing. Good to know! I don't want to be flipping anytime soon or breaking anything. I'm out of Jeep Parts money - for now.   

"throttle control and brake modulation. Learn 'em."

I wasn't sure what this was, so of course I asked.  

"Throttle control means only applying the needed amount of throttle for the task at hand. Too much throttle breaks traction, while too little can lead to getting stuck, or not making it to the top of an obstacle. Especially when climbing, you want to keep a "load" on your tires. Many people let off the throttle too soon, which leads to many of the rollovers you see on YouTube videos. Other people goose the throttle too much which, when climbing, can lead to bouncing, leading to many of the other rollovers. 

Brake modulation is like when you would pump your brakes in vehicles that did not have ABS (Anti-lock Brake System). Applying the right amount of brake at the right time often keeps a person from breaking traction, spinning, rolling, or breaking parts on the vehicle. Many of us do these things in everyday driving, but do not realize it. Thinking about these things, and understand how the weight of your vehicle shifts from front/back and side/side whenever the steering, brakes, or throttle are applied will really increase a person's driving skill set, whether off or on-road." 

I had to really think about this tip. I would have to say, it's all about knowing your vehicle, and being cautious, in a sense. It isn't always about speed and power. I'm sure it all comes with practice. Which supports my view on taking my off-roading slowly, and not jumping into a lifted Jeep and hitting difficult trails. Getting to know my vehicle, and it's limitations, I feel is the best way for me to learn. And truly there are not limitations in a Rubicon, it's my fears I need to overcome. With time that will happen, I just need to be comfortable. In the meantime I'm having a fantastic time!     


"My #1 off road tip as a do is DO know your vehicle before an adventure. #1 don't trail without a charged phone."

This again supports my "getting to know my Jeep" philosophy.  And of course this last one is definitely one we should all follow. 

"Don't ever holler out the window "Hey Y'all! Watch this!" This violates redneck survival rule #1 and guarantees you to have an accident while doing anything. Extra care must be taken to not make this mistake if you are holding a beer between your legs, have recently drank a beer, or have a cooler full of beer in your rig. The fates have made it clear that if you violate this rule while holding a beer 2 things are certain. 1 you are about to do something really really stupid. 2 it will be caught on video and be published on the Internet." 

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Thanksgiving is an American tradition of feasting on turkey, stuffing and cranberries. But it's also a day for us to reflect on the year, to give thanks for the harvest, and the preceding year. So... as I sit and reflect on this past year I have many things I have to be thankful for.

Wonderful Family

Always at the top of my list is my wonderful family. I know there are days when they drive me crazy, but every night before I fall asleep I am grateful for how wonderful they truly are and thankful they are healthy and happy. My boys are the most amazing boys in the world and I am grateful they are in my life. 

My Health  

As I get older, doing things I did when I was younger becomes more difficult each day. I am truly blessed that I am healthy and fit. But that does not come easy. It takes dedication and hard work everyday.

My Friends 

Without friends this world would be a very lonely place. In this new era of instant communication the term "Pen Pal" takes on a whole different meaning. My friends have grown these past couple of years. I have made new friends and re-connected with old friends. I am thankful for all these friends old and new, in person and online. 

My Jeep

As I grow older I realize how time goes by too quickly. Since purchasing my first Jeep back in 2013, I have adopted a whole new attitude - Live Life to the Fullest with No Regrets. Originally my Jeep was a fun vehicle to drive around topless, but... now it has become a lifestyle. I have finally found my passion -- my blog, off-roading and everything Jeep. It has given me a new outlook on life and opened new doors for new friendships I would have not otherwise had. 

I am also thankful for all the military men and women who sacrifice their time to allow me to have the freedoms I enjoy everyday. 

I am thankful to live in a country where I have the freedom to drive the vehicle of my dreams and write whatever my heart desires. 

I am thankful for the room over my head, the food on my table, and the friendships I've formed. I am thankful for all the simple things in life we sometimes take for granted.  

So... as I sit and reflect today about what I am thankful for, I will remember to be grateful for the things I do have, and look for the good in everything I have. There is always someone out there worse off than me.  Don't sweat the small stuff, Right?!?

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

Off-Road Tip #1

When I venture into something new, I always do a little research before I start. Just so I know what I'm getting into. Like when I started off-roading. I watched a lot of videos online, read a lot of articles, and I took four off-road driving classes. The same should go to everyone who goes wheeling on the trails.  Off-Roading isn't something you just go do. You really need to know what you are getting yourself into because you could get hurt. Even worse you could damage your Jeep.

Off-Road Tips 2 to 4

Never go off-road alone on the trails.
Use a spotter if you don't feel confident going over obstacles.
Have a recovery kit and plan.

#1 Off-Road Tip 

My number one Off-Road wheeling tip -- Use the words passenger and driver instead of left and right. 

This is one of the first things I learned from Kyle. He was my 101 & 201 instructor at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park.  Instead of telling me to turn right or left, he would use the words passenger and driver. Which means to turn your wheel in that direction.  This was perfect for me since I am Right-Left Dyslexic or --  is it Left - Right Dyslexic.

Jeep Video at Slick Rock in Northern California 

Here is an example of this is in a video by Family JK1 on You Tube 

Can you imagine if Kyle would have told me to turn right, and I turned left. I could have ended up in one of those sink holes that litter the mountains at Rausch Creek or I could possibly flip my Jeep if I ever go to Slick Rock and try those obstacles. 

Which won't that be fun to see - Jeep Momma and her Rubicon at Slick Rock! Well, I still have a lot of practicing before I can head out West.

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Inspiration

My good friend and neighbor, Jessica sent me a text today.  It was a link to her blog post. She featured me on her a Parent in America blog  yesterday. Her words touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.  Yes, I am a little sappy some times -- okay maybe a lot of times. But, her story made me pause to reflect on the great neighbors we have in return.

While Jessica may feel we host more playdates, those playdates are truly a welcome blessing. Jessica's girls are avid dog lovers. They keep my dog entertained for hours. Sterling thrives on their attention and is one pooped puppy when they leave. 

It's also nice to know our kids will grow up together in the traditional sense of neighborhood friends, where they play in each other's backyards or play basketball at the local park or just ride their bikes up and down the street.  An American past time we are slowly losing to technology.

There are a lot of those American neighborly and family past times that are fading away into the past. But, Jessica is keeping them alive in her family and passing them on to ours, and she doesn't even know it. Jessica will bring over her favorite bowl of chicken soup and home-made granola when I'm sick. She throws a family Halloween get-together with the best Chicken Tortilla Soup on this side of the Mississippi. She will even share her great recipe, making me a hit with my husband.     

Secretly Inspiring 

When I first started my blog, I was beginning to go through - and am still in the midst of - a major change in my life. As I try to find my new path, I have begun to reflect on my life and my family's life, trying to find what truly makes me happy, and what makes us happy. One of my goals was to slow down and simplify. Sometimes I find myself, and our family, slipping back into those old habits. But then, I look out the window across the street and see Jessica and her family sitting around the kitchen table sharing dinner together - every night! Or on the weekends, when they are always on some sort of family adventure together, whether it be a walk to the local park or a weekend trip to the mountains. 

It's a great reminder about what is most important to me - my family. She is secretly inspiring through her glass window. 

Other Inspirations

My re-kindled love for the gym and running... Yep Jessica! She invited me to the gym as a guest and I signed up that day. I have been working out ever since.

Jeep Momma Inspiration

With out Jessica's initial push and constant positive encouragement I would not be Jeep Momma. She was the inspiration behind Jeep Momma. One day last summer we were sitting around at a neighborhood party. Jessica suggested I start my own blog, a blog about my new Jeep and motherhood. What I thought was going to be a part time hobby has turned into my passion. Without her constant positive encouragement I would not be where I am today. 

Is your neighbor the inspiration behind your passion? Is your neighbor the inspiration to re-kindled old loves? Mine is.  A great woman with a great family - I'm so glad they moved in across the street from us five years ago! #BeMyNeighbor    

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

60 Before 60

I recently shared about revisiting my bucket list on this new season of my life.  Bucket List Revised - 2023 As I approach another milestone...