Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Jeep Air Dam Dilemma

To Keep or Not to Keep?

My Plastic Jeep Air Dam

(Updated February 2024)  Jeepers, like myself, often find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to certain modifications. One such modification is the removal of the Air Dam which has it's pros and cons,. The decision to keep or remove it ultimately depends on your priorities and preferences.

What is an Air Dam and What Does it Do?

An Air Dam is a plastic shield that is found under the front bumper of many vehicles, including Jeeps. Its primary function is to improve the vehicle's aerodynamics by reducing air drag. This, in turn, can lead to improved fuel efficiency and reduced wind noise.

Since the removal of mine, along with a lift and bigger tires, I have not seen a significant drop in my fuel efficiency. Most people who have Jeep's expect them to be noisy, especially with a soft top. 

The Air Dam's Purpose According to the Internet

There are several claims and theories about the Air Dam's purpose floating around on the internet. Some of these include:

  • Preventing water from entering the engine
  • Providing additional engine cooling
  • Reducing hood "flutter" at high speeds
  • Protecting the engine from flying debris
  • Maintaining fuel efficiency

Debunking the Myths and Misconceptions

While some of these claims may have a kernel of truth, many are exaggerated or misunderstood. For example, the Air Dam may help prevent some water from entering the engine, but it's not the only factor in keeping your engine safe from water damage.

The Wrangler Engineer's Take on the Air Dam

According to a Wrangler engineer, the Air Dam serves two primary purposes: reducing air drag and providing engine cooling. This aligns with the main functions of an Air Dam and helps to clarify some of the misconceptions surrounding it.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of the Air Dam

Improved aerodynamics
Potential for better fuel efficiency
Engine cooling

May not provide significant protection from water or debris
Hood "flutter" concerns at high speeds (although this may not be as significant as some believe)

The Hood Flutter Concern: Fact or Fiction?

While there have been concerns about hood "flutter" at high speeds, it's important to keep in mind that this issue may not be as significant as some believe. However, if you frequently drive at high speeds and are concerned about this issue there are upgraded hood latches you can purchase.  

Daystar Hood Latches 👉 Buy Here

Personalizing Your Jeep: The Choice is Yours

Ultimately, the decision to keep or remove the Air Dam comes down to personal preference and priorities. If you prioritize fuel efficiency and aerodynamics, keeping the Air Dam may be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you value a more rugged appearance or are less concerned about the Air Dam's benefits, removing it may be a viable option.

If you plan on taking your Jeep off-road the benefits of removal far out weigh the the benefits of keeping it on. 


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Monday, August 11, 2014

Front Bumper Install

Barricade Trailforce HD Front Bumper

If you would have told me ten years ago or even two years ago that I would be sitting out on my driveway underneath a Jeep installing a new bumper I would have laughed at you. Well, that's exactly what I did on Saturday during my Birthday Weekend Celebration.

After about a month of earning money for my Jeep Parts Fund, I finally had enough to purchase my first Jeep Part -- the start of my Jeep modification. 

When the big brown truck arrived with my 79 pound bumper I was ready to get to work however, mom duties needed to be taken came first. Dinner needed to be made, Pokemon cards needed to be bought and of course the neighbors Game Truck Party needed to be attended. A mom's job is never done.

The next morning my kids and I began unpacking the bumper and gathering up the needed tools -- The ratchet set and some screwdrivers. 

The first thing we did was remove the plastic air dam that attached to the factory front bumper. 

The toughest part of the job was loosening those bolts on the factory mounted front plastic bumper. 

Once the stock bumper was off and set aside it was time to line up my new - heavy duty steel - - black powder coated bumper. 


It seemed all the reviews I read were correct about the stock fog lights not lining up with the new bumper. But all we needed to do was take the wires out of the loom and pull out the excess wires. There didn't seem to be any excess. I was bound and determined to find that excess wire.

I figured it out. There really isn't any extra wiring. All I needed to do was separate the passenger side fog light from the main wiring and bring it under and around the frame -- a perfect fit.

Next we mounted in the fog light covers -- definitely a good idea to do this before you bolt on the bumper. However I'm not sure how most men get this done. It's a real tight fit getting those screws in and the teeny tiny nuts. Luckily my thin, nimble fingers were able to do the trick.

Now time for the part I was waiting all those long hours for -- bolting on the big bad bumper. It was a pretty simple and easy install.

Barricade Trail Force HD Front Bumper 👉 Buy Here

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