Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My New Headlights at Night

Last fall, I promised you my take on my new Auxbeam headlights at night. I know that was quite a while ago, but here goes.

I installed my new Auxbeam headlights back in August. It has been about four months of driving with the new headlights at night. I must say the difference has been nothing but amazing. I can see the road so much better with these new lights. It has made a huge difference in my night time driving experience. I am not squinting to see the road in front of me anymore. 

Not once during this time have I had an oncoming driver flash their lights at me, which tells me they are not as blinding as everyone makes them out to be. I believe making the adjustment in the vertical positioning of the headlight has help with that issue. 

I did report back on January 12, 2016 about the headlight flicker issue I had with my LED's. This is a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) issue, which I bought a pair of anti-flicker adapters to solve this problem. It all relates to the TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module), the brain of your Jeep. 

Check out my other posts on this issue I have added below. I will also be updating you on how the headlights handle the snow. If it ever snows here on the East Coast.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Always Striving for More

Last Fall on Social Media, I noticed this thing, called the Rebelle Rally. Two of my online friends were participating, so I decided to check it out.

Rebelle Rally ~ a 7 day competition. A race, but not a race for speed. A unique & demanding event based on the elements of headings, hidden checkpoints, time, & distance using maps, compass, & roadbooks. 2016 was the 1st women's off-road navigation rally in the US.

I watched the live tracking over the seven days of competition as the women trekked across California and Nevada. I watched with awe and respect as these women stepped up to the challenge. I also dreamed of me being one of those racers. Although at the time I felt it was a dream out of reach until... this weekend.

I thought to myself, "Why does this dream have to be out of reach?" I can make this dream happen I just need to strive for it and not be afraid. It can be a dream I make happen. So that is what I will do. I have added it to my bucket list. I will look into educating my self on navigation and go from there. 

In the meantime I plan to follow along with my Instagram friend Crawler Chick as she builds her Jeep Gecko for the 2017 Rebelle Rally. She has started a blog as well. crawler_chick.edge4x4.com   

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Headlight Flicker

Many Jeep Wrangler owners have opted to get aftermarket LED headlights. They are a very popular solution to the headlight woes of the Original Manufacturers headlights on the Wranglers.

Back in August I replaced my headlights with Auxbeam headlights. Auxbeam asked me to try out their headlights so I gave it a try.

Well...I was driving home from work the other night when I noticed one of my headlights seemed to be out. When I got out of the Jeep my driver’s side headlight
was at “half light” for the lack of better terminology. My husband came out and fixed it the professional way. He hit it with his hand. The light came back up to “full light”.

I also noticed some flickering, but only on the driver’s side. Which makes me wonder if I properly installed and plugged in the lights. Well, it has been just too darn cold to work on the lights. And my garage is not heated. So instead, I decided to do some research, and ask around.

I have come up with 4 possible solutions.

FIRST: Do a little detective work swap the lights to see if it’s the same light or the housing mechanism. Maybe I just didn’t plug it in good enough.

SECOND: would be to try what a former auto mechanic friend suggested and that is to use dielectric grease. You apparently use this on the plug and it’s suppose to help conductivity. Or so I am told. But I also read. The most frequent Internet complaint is that dielectric grease insulates connections, making connections less conductive.

THIRD: Check to make sure my connections are good and not gunked up.

FOURTH: During my research I found that flickering among LED’s is common. I came across what’s called Anti-flicker decoders. I am told the flicker is because the headlight high and low beam circuits have a PWM regulation on them - pulse width modulation. A mode that basically pulses DC power to keep at average wattage. This is not compatible with LED headlights.

iJDMTOY (2) H4-To-H13 For Jeep Wrangler JK Anti-Flicker Decoders 

I bought the anti-flicker adapter. As soon as it warms up I will hit the garage. I will check out those connectors, as well, making sure they all clean and fitted good and tight.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year Cleanse

There are many milestones in our lives. Turning 50 is one of those. When it was my turn, I struggled with it. One of those struggles was knowing I would need to get my first colonoscopy. I dreaded it. I heard lots of stories of how awful it was ~ the prep part anyways. 

Well, I finally scheduled mine. To be honest it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. The lack of solid food was the most difficult part for me. I spent 42 hours without solid food. 

TIP #1 -- Schedule your Colonoscopy in the morning! 

My appointment was at 12:15 pm. The whole process ~ checking in, prep, procedure and follow up took two hours. 

The prep drink was "icky", but not as "icky" as the orange drink I had to drink when I was pregnant.

TIP #2 - I chilled mine before I drank it. 

The cleanse process... well if you have ever been sick with the stomach bug, this cleanse is easy peasy! I was expecting to be up all night, but I got the best night sleep I had in a long time. Normally I wake up several times a night because of hot flashes or my weak bladder. Not this night. WHOO-HOO! 

Tip #3 - Just do it when the time comes. So easy compared to waiting until you have cancer. 

All in all, it was not a bad experience, just time consuming. The best part was my lunch after the procedure. After 42 hours of no solid food you appreciate the food much more. I went to California Tortilla and ate two blackened chicken tacos and loaded chicken nachos. YUMMY! YUMMY! 

Oh!  Another good thing... I started the new year out with a cleanse, minus the tacos and nachos. That motivates me to eat healthy. I can't wait to try out the new soups I found online. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Steel vs. Aluminum

Well I am getting that itch again -- to buy some more Jeep Parts. Even though I have lifted my Jeep and added bigger tires, I still need to be cautious of messing up my under carriage. 

The last time I was out wheeling taught me that lesson, when I came down hard on a rock and messed up my steering stabilizer. 

I will be looking to get a relocation bracket for my stabilizer. But the next big item I am looking at is an aftermarket gas tank skid. 

Currently, my stock skid is pretty scratched up and dented. However, I am not sure if I should go aluminum or steel or stainless steel. 

Here is what I know...

Steel is strong, stronger than aluminum, but a lot heavier.

Aluminum can bend & dent easier than steel, but it is lighter.

Aluminum is pricey than steel. 

Here is what I need to consider... added weight, durability, cost and what I use my Jeep for. 

WEIGHT: Adding more weight could be an issue, but on the Rubicon I understand that shouldn’t be an problem. They were made to handle the extra weight. 

DURABILITY: If you don’t do a lot of wheeling where the undercarriage can get beat up, but you still want some protection and not a lot of extra weight aluminum would be the way to go. If you do a lot of rock crawling then steel is your answer. But with steel you need to worry about rust. So a good powdercoat is necessary. Plus you will need to maintain the steel by watching out for dings, scratches and gouges that could eventually rust if you don’t take care of them. 

Now if you want durable, rust proof tough skids stainless steel is your best bet. Now that I have the pros and cons of the different metals it is time to seek out the skid options out there on the World Wide Web.      

INSTALL: I need to do my homework as some skids require the removal of the whole gas tanks. The skid could double as a fuel tank cradle. 

The other question is does my stock gas tank skid give me the protection I need. Do I need to replace it?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Top 5 Mods for Winter

Old Man Winter is here and it is never to late to be prepared. These modification are a great addition to help you get through the season easier.

Hard Top

Soft top Wrangler covers are great for warm sunny days. But when the cold comes some of you might be looking for a hard top. For places with extremely cold temps a good hard top will provide a solid seal and keep the cold outside. It also keeps out moisture build up and hold ups to extremely cold conditions. Make sure you inspect it for cracks in the seal and other damage. These cracks will let in the cold air or moisture from the snow. 

As for me! I will be skipping this modification. The weather here in Maryland very rarely reaches those extreme low temps. My Jeep heaters do just fine when I am out and about. 


Winter driving in the ice and snow takes good winter driving skills.  This and good winter ~ snow and ice ~ tires go hand in hand. Make sure your tires aren’t old and bald. This will cause you to slide on the snow and ice no matter how careful you are. In snow country you will want snow tires with thicker tread or studded tires. They provide additional grip when stopping and accelerating. 

I am pretty excited to try out my new Goodyear Duratracs I got in June when I lifted my Jeep. I am told these tires are one of the best in snow and ice conditions. I will keep you posted on how they do.

Grille Guard

The grille guard is not just for looks, it’s for protections. In the winter there will be a point when you slip and slide while driving your Jeep. It could be a minor slide or a 360 degree circle --- those sometimes can be real fun.  Or another car could be doing the slipping and sliding dance. Either way a grille guard on the front of your Jeep could protect your Jeep from front-end damage.

4wd Tune Up

If you haven’t  engaged your 4 wheel drive in a while or ever, you will want to test it out. Better yet go to your mechanic and get a tune up.


Now this depends on where you live. In some states chains on your tires aren’t  permitted. But a set in your winter toolbox could be helpful. Traction is the key to winter driving and a set of chains in the snow will help with that traction. I remember growing up my dad using these from time to time on our car.

Whether you get an inch of snow or several feet it pays to be prepared. Don’t forget your emergency kit for your Jeep as well. Depending on where you live and what kind of weather you get will determine what to put in your kit. 

Some things I have in mine… shovel, emergency blanket, hand warmers, flashlight, emergency signals, jumper cables, kitty litter for traction, my off-road recovery kit, hat, mittens, extra socks, and extra food and water.   

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...