Thursday, December 21, 2017

Protecting My Jeep: New Skids

A Lesson in Rear Lower Control Arm Skids


Jeep Wrangler In the Garage
Oil Change

Banged Up Rear Control Arm Bracket

While I had my Jeep in the shop for an oil change, it was pointed out to me that I could use some protection on my rear lower control arms. Here's how I discovered the need an took steps to fortify my Jeep.

The rear control arm brackets are a low point in the back of my Jeep. Over the years, I've scraped them on a few rocks. Although they weren't severely damaged, they were on the way to becoming a problem. The bolts holding the shocks in place were getting deformed from all the scraping over rocks.

Updated 2024: These control arm skids have taken a beating over the years. They have definitely protected that low spot on my Jeep.


Banged Up Rear Control Arm Bracket


Scraped up Bolt from the Rocks.

Adrenaline Off Road Garage

The new skid plates I got are weld-ons. This is the first Jeep part I had welded onto my vehicle. When I first bought my Jeep, I would have cringed at the thought, but now I understand what it takes to fortify my Jeep for the trails.


Adrenaline Off Road Garage
Mike Welding on Skid Plates
 
Mike from Adrenaline Off Road 


Rear Shock Protection

These weld-on brackets offer protection for your control arm joints and rear shocks, preventing your factory control arm brackets from bending.

These skids are constructed of 3/16″ steel, laser cut and CNC bent. They conform directly to the rear JK lower control arm brackets, providing robust protection.


Rear Shock

Mike working on my mounts. 

Shout Out!

A big SHOUT OUT to Adrenaline Off Road for the great suggestion. I would have never known you could add this to your Jeep. Also, a SHOUT OUT to Mike for being patient with me, answering my many questions, and explaining the step-by-step process for getting these skids welded on.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

67 Designs Jeep Wrangler Phone Mount

Jeep Phone Mount: Money Well Spent


67 Designs Phone Mount

67 Designs Jeep Wrangler Phone Mount 👉 Buy Here

Install Video 👉 Watch Here

Super easy install in existing factory screw on your Jeep's Dash.  I love that I can rotate my phone 360 degrees on the 20 mm ball for a portrait or landscape orientation.

It's a simple one handed operation - no buttons to open or release the device. Just push one side away and slide in the phone.  After trying other phone mounts in my Jeep this one is my favorite. 


Simple & Easy Install 

Step 1

Remove the plastic change tray on your dash. 

Dash plastic change tray

Step 2

There is a OEM hex head screw in place that you use to attach the phone mount. Unscrew this screw.

OEM hex head screw removal
Step 3

Attach the 20 mm ball mount in the dash with the OEM hex head screw.  

67 Designs Ball Mount

Step 4

Attach the carbon fiber arm to the 20mm ball mount.


67 Designs Arm & Mount

Step 5

Attach the Universal Aluminum Squeeze mount with 20 mm ball to the carbon fiber arm. 


^& Designs Phone Mount


Monday, December 11, 2017

My New Soft Shackle - Gator Jaw

A Must Have in Your Recovery Gear Bag

Jon with NORA 4x4 Recovery Training Class

During a Women's Wheeling Day event, NORA 4x4 ~ NorthEast OffRoad Adventures ~ held a hi-lift / winching class.


Jon with NORA 4x4

Jon, a i4wdta certified trainer, shared some really great recovery tips. He also showed us the many different types of recovery gear. One piece I had very little knowledge of was the soft shackle. 

Jon demonstrating a recovery situation

Jon sold me on the importance of this cool Jeep item.  I decided to go with the GatorJaw 7/16" Synthetic shackle 

Gator Jaw Soft Shackle 👉 Buy Here

Gator Jaw Shackle

These things are beast. They have a 32,000 lb breaking strength. They are stronger than the steel shackles, and 10 times lighter. These flexible synthetic shackles float. Plus, you don't need to unscrew your shackle to use them. They just slip right thru the D-ring.

I used this shackle dozens of times on the trail over the years. It holds up amazingly. 

Jeep Momma contains Amazon affiliate links. I receive commissions for purchases made through those links, at no cost to you. I recommend products and services because I think they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Project 100 Challenge

It's An On Going Process - Clearing the Clutter


Jeep Momma Selfie at Rausch Creek

Finding New Ways to Reduce the Stuff in My Life

As I get older I find having stuff is not really that important in my life. As a matter of fact I don't like having a lot of stuff. 

Several years ago, I began a life journey. I was searching for something, but I didn't know what it was. My kids were older, and there need for me changed. I was left with an emptiness I needed to fill. So a new life journey began. Along the way I began to share what I found helpful for me. 



Selfie driving topless

A Journey of Simplicity and Purpose

Discovering more about myself has been a transformative experience. I've found a new sense of confidence and self-assurance, reigniting passions I long forgot or didn't realize were central to me. However, as time passed, this personal revival wasn't enough. I've discovered joy in decluttering my life through challenges such as Project 100 or simplification techniques. These efforts provide me with more time to relish the things I truly love.

Finding Peace through Faith 👉Read More

Embracing a Simpler Life

This exploration has got me thinking about what truly contributes to happiness. I began embracing life by paring down possessions and simplifying my lifestyle. It's an ongoing, evolving process for me.

One significant change was altering my approach to Christmas decorations. Previously, I used to decorate seven Christmas trees, a time-consuming tradition that I once enjoyed. However, as my life goals shifted, it became more of a burdensome task than a joyful tradition.

Rethinking Traditions and Clutter

Realizations dawned upon me: many elements in our lives are mere clutter, obstructing our experiences, distractions from the true meaning of things. Consequently, I'm committed to discarding unnecessary possessions. Life, I believe, shouldn't revolve around accumulating things but rather around accumulating memories and experiences.

My Book
How to Declutter Your Life: A Step by Step Guide 👉 Purchase Here

Project 100: A Personal Challenge

Inspiration struck when I encountered a fellow enthusiast of decluttering, starting her version of Project 100. Researching this project unveiled numerous individuals setting their own rules and embarking on this minimalistic journey.

Project 100 aims to live with just 100 items, with participants establishing their own criteria. My personal journey with Project 100 began by streamlining my personal items, currently down to 60. I've chosen to count some items collectively, such as yoga equipment or computer setups, but individual items like shoes and coats are accounted for separately.

Evolving Project and Gaining Perspective

My Project 100 is an ongoing evolution. Initiating with a decluttering process, it also resulted in earning approximately $400 through yard sales and online selling.

Liberating Benefits of Decluttering

The act of removing items from my life has alleviated mental burdens and reduced unnecessary stress. It's become a cathartic process for me.

How to Simplify Your Life 👉 Read More

Exploring Alternatives

For those finding the concept of living with only 100 items too daunting, the Reverse Project 100 offers an alternative. This challenge focuses on discarding 100 items within a set period, making the process of giving away or selling belongings more manageable for those who find extreme minimalism challenging.

This journey towards simplicity has not only reshaped my physical space but also redefined my perspective on life and the pursuit of true contentment.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Women’s Wheeling Day at Rausch Creek 2017

A Jeep Adventure to Remember


Women’s Wheeling Day at Rausch Creek Off Road Park is hands down one of my favorite events of the year! This year marked my fourth year attending, and over 200 amazing ladies joined the fun.


Jeep Momma Off Road at Rausch Creek
Jeeps posing on the rock for a picture

From Humble Beginnings to Epic Gatherings

Back in 2013, the first event saw only eight women hit the trails. Fast forward to today, and the event has grown exponentially, becoming a highlight for many Jeep enthusiasts.

My Jeep flexing on a rock


Friday Fun: Swag Bags and Meet & Greet

I arrived early to help stuff the swag bags. These bags were filled with JeepMomma bracelets, purple Jeep Talk Show koozies, and other fantastic vendor goodies.


Swag for the Swag Bags


Then it was off to the meet and greet at O'Neal's Pub. It was a blast catching up with old wheeling friends and meeting some new ones too.

My friend Mandy and I


Early Start and Smooth Sailing on Saturday

The next morning, I was up at the crack of dawn to assist the event organizers, Christie from OK4WD and Susan from Jeep Girls Rock! These ladies know how to run a smooth event!

Jeep Momma wheeling at Women's Wheeling Day at Rausch Creek
Sunrise at Rausch Creek

Hitting the Trails with Mandy


For the second year in a row, I paired up with Mandy as my Trail Guide, and I served as the tail gunner. We had such a fantastic time last year, so we teamed up again.

Advanced Winching and Hi-Lift Class


Our group of five Jeeps started the day a bit differently by attending an advanced winching and hi-lift class presented by NORA4x4, an off-road driving school in New York. Jon, our instructor, was incredible at explaining vehicle recovery techniques and shared some great tips. This class was a game-changer for me, and I’m definitely planning on more training in the future.

NORA 4 x 4 Recovery Class at Rausch Creek
Off-Road Training Class


NORA 4 x 4 Recovery Class
Jon demonstrating recovery techniques


Diverse Group, Diverse Adventures

After our class, it was time to hit the trails. Our group featured a range of drivers, including the "little Red Jeep that could" – a stock Jeep tackling blue trails for the first time!

We also had the pleasure of wheeling with JoMarie, a Gazelle Rally 2014 competitor and an excellent photojournalist from USNomads.org. She captured some great shots of me on the rocks.
   
Red Jeep on Pizza Rock

My Jeep on Pizza Rock

Partner in Crime: Amanda

My trail buddy, Amanda, is a fellow Jeep mom I met online years ago. We’ve wheeled together a few times, and she’s usually my co-pilot. We always have an incredible time together.

My co-pilot Amanda and myself


Jeep Moms Off Road at Rausch Creek
Amanda and I

Jeep Moms Off Road at Rausch Creek
Amanda & I 

Pizza, Prizes, and Perfect Memories

After a day on the trails, we gathered at the pavilion for a delicious pizza and salad dinner, courtesy of OK4WD, followed by a generous raffle with prizes from awesome vendors. I was thrilled to win a gift certificate from Northridge 4x4, which I used to buy a Bartact Fire Extinguisher Mount for my Jeep.

Winner of a gift certificate


An Unforgettable Experience

This event is truly special, thanks to the amazing women who attend. They’re supportive, uplifting, and encouraging, leaving everyone feeling empowered. I can’t express how much I love the Jeep Community and can’t wait for next year’s Women’s Wheeling Day!


             

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tips to Find a Trusty Jeep Mechanic

How Not to Get Ripped Off


My Jeep in the shop

Finding a reliable mechanic to work on your Jeep ~ if ~ you don’t do the work yourself, can be difficult. Especially if you are making upgrades and changes for off-roading.

Off Road Insiders Podcast: How to Find a Trusty Mechanic 👉Watch Here

[Top 5 Tips] How To NOT Get Ripped Off Conman Mechanic Scam Alert 👉 Watch Here

How to Spot Bad Mechanics Work on Jeep 👉  Watch Here

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get a good reliable mechanic to work on your Jeep, especially when you are upgrading and making aftermarket changes. 

Tips to Finding a Good Jeep Mechanic


  • Stay away from your average run of the mill car mechanic or even a franchise shop that deals in lifts. 
  • Reach out to your local Jeep Club for suggestions.
  • If you are an off-roader make sure your mechanic has knowledge of off-roading or is an off-roader. 
  • Get references from fellow Jeepers/Off-Roaders


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tuffy Security Console Insert Jeep Install

Enhancing Security and Convenience in Your Jeep

Tuffy Security Console


Security Console Insert for Jeep Wrangler 

In the world of Jeep enthusiasts, the safety of our belongings in our Jeeps, particularly for those with soft tops, is a paramount concern. To address this issue, I went with the Tuffy Products JKU Security Console Insert, a fully enclosed 16-gauge steel console safe that combines security and convenience while preserving the sleek lines of the factory center console.

I use mine all the time to keep my valuables locked up, especially when I am topless in my Jeep. 

Tuffy Center Console for the Jeep Wrangler 👉 Buy Here

Key Lockable - Tuffy Center Console

This heavy-duty, lockable console drops into the factory console. It effectively shields valuables from potential theft. It stands as an ideal solution for keeping valuables secure, especially during those open-top adventures, providing me peace of mind for my valuables. 

Jeep Momma Install Video 👉 Watch Here

Step by Step Install


Tools needed for install

Gather necessary tools & supplies. Then remove your personal items from your center console. 

Plastic Tool Removal Kit 👉 Buy Here

Step 1 

Remove console rear plastic panel. 

Using the plastic trim tool to remove center console plastic

Removal of the back of the center console

Step 2 

Remove plastic hinge cover panel. 

Using the trim tool to remove plastic hinge cover

The plastic hinge cover

Step 3

Remove plastic tray & remove the liner. 


Removal of the plastic tray & liner

Step 4 

Remove the cover attached with four screws. 


Removingscrews 

Center Console Cover

Step 5

Insert the Tuffy insert then re-install the cover placing the hinge under the Tuffy insert mounting plate. That's it! Super easy, and now your valuables are secure.   


I purchased this product. This review is not sponsored not paid for. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

An Unforgettable Jeep Assembly Line Adventure

A Jeep Momma Exclusive

A Tour of the Toledo Jeep Plant

Toledo, Ohio, might not scream "vacation hotspot," but for Jeep aficionados, it's nothing short of paradise. This city, steeped in Jeep lore, turned into the unexpected highlight of my summer family road trip. Forget the typical travelogues; let's dive into a world where rugged trails meet assembly lines, and where I got an exclusive sneak peek at the Jeep world’s next big thing—the JL model!

The Exclusive Invite

Royal & I in the Jeep parking lot

The journey began with an unexpected invitation from a fan who works at the Jeep assembly plant. Royal, a JK Specifications Analyst and a passionate third-generation employee, offered me an insider's tour of the revered site. The anticipation built as we navigated through the iconic Jeep and Willys Parkways, the streets themselves a nod to the rich heritage of the brand.

First Impressions: Entering Jeep's Heartland

Jeep street signs
Chrysler Dr.

Toledo Plant Entrance

Driving onto Chrysler Drive was like walking into a Wrangler convention. Everywhere you looked, Wranglers lined the roads—a testament to their popularity. The plant's entrance was just as impressive, featuring a sleek black Wrangler and doors painted a vibrant purple, welcoming me into the fold.


The No-Camera Rule: A Blessing in Disguise

picture courtesy of cars.com

Inside, the plant had a strict no-pictures policy, which honestly, let me soak in every moment unfiltered. The assembly line was a spectacle of efficiency and craftsmanship. Witnessing the creation of Wrangler bodies, from the chassis by Mobis North America to the bodies by KUKA Systems, was nothing short of mesmerizing.


Meeting the Makers

picture courtesy of cars.com
picture courtesy of cars.com

The true magic, however, came from the people. Workers, possibly even those who assembled my own Jeep, radiated pride in their work. Royal shared stories that brought the line to life, like the buzz of excitement when a new color Wrangler rolled off the line. It was clear—these folks loved their jobs, and their passion was infectious.


Behind the Scenes: A Logistical Ballet

Jeep assembly line - Photo courtesy of Cars.com



Jeep worker on Jeep assembly line

The organization behind the scenes was just as impressive. Robots and humans worked in harmony, delivering specific parts to each Wrangler with pinpoint accuracy. From the meticulous door latch adjustments to the precise loading of outsource parts like seats and tops, every detail mattered. Watching these procedures was incredibly fascinating. The assembly line worker had a knack for knowing just how much adjustment each door needed. 

Jeep hard top storage 

Those outsourced parts like the seats or the Wrangler tops from Bestop come in on the semi's pre-determined to a specific Jeep. They load the parts to a specific spot on the truck so they match up to the correct spot on the assembly line. Robots unload the trucks and place the parts onto the assembly lines in just the right place to match to the correct Wrangler. The coordination is astonishing.


Inside the Assembly Line: Where Magic Happens


Jeeps on assembly line Photo courtesy of Cars.com



aerial of Jeep facility

The facility is pretty big. Here is an aerial picture of the site. The yellow dots are the part of the plant I toured. The red arrow points to the conveyor that brings the bodies and chassis over from the on-site suppliers.  Once these are assembled and painted they are shipped over thru a tunnel (see the red arrow in the picture above).


Driving Course Testing Facility Tour


Jeep outdoor test center 

Exclusive photo of hidden wrapped JL

Once all the Jeep Parts are assembled, it's off to the water test to test for any leaking. Then it's almost time to be shipped out to various dealers across the USA. But there is one last stop, a indoor driving course to make sure there are no rattles and squeaks. I was allowed to take pictures here. It's where I was able to snap a photo of the JL all wrapped up 


The JK Farewell

One of the most poignant moments was realizing I was witnessing the end of an era for the JK and JKU models, soon to be replaced by the new JT Truck. It felt like saying goodbye to an old friend, but the excitement for what was coming next was palpable.

The Last Wrangler Drives off the Assembly Line 👉Watch Here

The JL Reveal: An Exclusive Sneak Peek

Here's where I really hit the jackpot—I was among the privileged few to witness the unveiling of the new JL model! About a month after my visit, pictures of the JL leaked, and believe it or not, the folks at Jeep thought I might be the leaker. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t me. But the early glimpse into the future of Jeep was a moment I'll never forget.

Toledo Jeep Plant Tour - Lasting Memories

This tour was more than just a factory visit; it was a pilgrimage to the heart of Jeep. Behind every robust Jeep that conquers the trails, there’s a dedicated team pouring their hearts into each vehicle. For anyone who loves the thrill of a Jeep, Toledo is not just a destination—it’s an experience.

The People Behind the Jeep Plant 👉 Watch Here 

Inside Jeep: The Toledo Tradition 👉 Watch Here

Building a Jeep 👉Watch Here


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