Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wild Boar Grab Handle Install

I am such a Nervous Nellie!

When I wheel, especially on those off camber or steep down hill inclines, I tend to tense up.  I am constantly holding onto something in my Jeep. Mostly the center console. Like that will prevent me from tipping over. Yes I know... Two hands on the wheel, but sometimes my fear takes over.

I have seen many Jeepers with these "Oh Shit" handles. I thought I would give them a try. They look super easy to install. Well, Chris from Chris' Corner on You Tube makes it look real easy.


Simple and Easy, or so it looks. There are two stand off's for each handle. You insert the bolt through the handle into the stand off. Then you line up the bolt with the holes on the A pillar. Easy right?! 

I was having one heck of a time trying to line up the bolt just right to go into the existing A pillar holes. Finally after two hours, of jiggling, maneuvering, manipulating the bolts, swearing and screaming, I was able to get the bolts lined up, and in the holes. Then with a couple of spins of the rachet screwdriver, I tighten them up, and they were ready to go.

I don't know how Chris in the install video was able to line up the bolts so easily. Maybe it's a guy thing. Even though I had a difficult time lining up the bolts, these grab handles are tough and sturdy, that's for sure. A great buy at $28 for the pair.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jeep Momma Unzips Her Top with Ease!

Now Getting Topless is Simple & Easy!

One of the many reasons I love my Jeep is the abilty to feel the sunshine on my skin and the wind in my face. This is possible because I can take the top down.

It's a very simple process to pull the top back and take the windows off. It's pretty much a one person job. But you can't always keep the top down as it may rain or the weather gets too cold. That means zipping back up those windows.

Zipping up (and down) the window was a very difficult part of the process for me. My fingers weren't quite strong enough to grasp the little zipper handle and pull up and around.

I discovered a very useful tool a few years ago. It makes taking down and zipping up my windows a snap.

Zipper Pulls!!! I used to spend several frustrating minutes in the driveway trying to get my windows zipped back on.  These zipper pulls have made it a simple, easy process. Now I don't struggle trying to zip up the back window anymore.

Some folks say oh you can make those pretty easy. Well not me, I'm not very crafty in that way. 

I found fellow Jeeper who makes them. Originally I had black ones. Just recently I bought a set of four purple ones. Now taking down and putting up my windows is fast and easy.

Top-Zip Zipper Pulls from Ken Johnson owner of Top-Zip Paracord Products for Jeep Wranglers. You can check him out @JeepJKguy on Twitter or send him an email z3roady@gmail.com  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

UndertheSunInserts Review

Oh No! What happened to my Jeep! My purple grille inserts have been replaced. How in the world did this happen? Well keep reading and you will find out.

On Episode 29 of the Jeep Talk Call In Show Tony and myself interviewed Joe from Under The Sun Inserts. The founders and owners of are two good Jeep friends who offer custom made grille inserts for the Wranglers and TJ's. 

Well after the show Joe and I got to talking. He shared with 
me how easy they are to install. Truthfully the idea of changing my Jeep grille caused me some anxiety. 

But hey! Change is a good thing! Right!?! 

Joe understood my hesitation and suggested a purple American Flag. I agreed to give it a shot and review the custom made grille. So this past weekend that's what I did.  

The install was so easy. The first step is to pull back your grille. This is very easy to do. Just follow Step One from my post from August 25, 2016 when I replaced my headlights. 

Took about 2 minutes, once I removed my purple grille inserts, which by the way are still intact. I can switch them out when ever the mood strikes. 

These grille inserts are so much easier than some of the homemade, DIY, ideas you find on the internet. These aluminum inserts are durable and strong. Easy to clean up with a spray of your garden hose.

The best part... they are like a t-shirt for your Jeep. You could get one for every season. Chose from their many styles or get one custom made.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Grille Changes

Why are we so resistant to change? 

One Reason People Resist Change Is Because They Focus On What They Have To Give Up, Instead Of What They Have To Gain. 

I believe change is good. Change helps us to grow as people. But any kind of transformation can be really hard to do sometimes. We must resist these fears and take a leap of faith.  

This past weekend, I said good-bye to my purple grille inserts, at least for a little while.

An East Coast Jeep products business, UnderTheSunInserts, asked me to try out a new grille look.

So I said why not! 

I was nervous removing the Rugged Ridge inserts. The inserts only come in about 3 or 4 colors. My purple inserts were custom made just for me. 

I was told during the removal process the tabs could snap off. I wanted to keep mine intact so if I wanted to, I could use them again.  

The inserts are easy to install. They just snap into place and held there with the plastic tabs. I was very careful pushing in the tabs to slide out my precious, purple inserts. 

Whew! Not one broke! 

Now that the inserts are removed, and the grille freshly scrubbed; it's time for another transformation. However, you will have to wait until tomorrow's blog post to see the final results. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Topless Jeep Driving Do's & Don'ts

I am so excited that Spring will be arriving soon. Enough of Old Man Winter. It was a mild winter expect for that supposed snow storm that did transpire, I missed the sun in my face and wind in my hair days. 

With Spring arriving that means I can start driving with my top down, but there are always precautions you must take. 

When you have a Jeep Wrangler you can't just put your top down, hop in, and hit the road. Well... if you get prepared, you can do just that. But it takes some thought to "Be Prepared".

Here are some tips I learned
"Going Topless in My Jeep".

Topless Jeep Driving DO's & DON'T's 

1. Make sure your top folds back into the perfect Jeep"W". This keeps the soft top lasting longer.

Jeep "W" Instructions

2. Don't park under trees that are shedding their blooms or under trees with lots of birds hanging out in them. 

3. When you are going 65 mph down the interstate, and you have long hair, tie it back, or put on a hat. There is a high potential you will go blind momentarily, and crash.

4. Leave No Trace is definitely a principal you should use for the inside of your Jeep.  You don't want that "litter fine" when trash goes sailing out the top of your Wrangler.

5. Anything you want to keep in your Jeep make sure it's tied down.

6. When you bring your drink in the Jeep make sure it has a lid. Those Jeep rides become very bumpy.

7. When you have kids you will want to have a blanket for each of them.  Even when it's warm outside the back seats tend to get a little chilly for the little ones.

8. Spray your floor mats with bug spray.  Some say spiders like to spin their web inside your Jeep.  Fingers Crossed -- I haven't had this issue yet.

9. When it's sunny out, keep sunscreen handy. 

Or get a purple sun shade

10. Don't leave valuables laying around. Leave 'em home or lock 'em up in the glove box or console.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Practice, Practice, Practice

I wonder if I will ever stop worrying about damaging my Jeep when I go off-roading. It is a fear I have every time I sign up to wheel at Rausch Creek.  

I know I am always in great hands with the groups I wheel with. The trail guides have always been so fantastic, patient, and very helpful.

Maybe I feel the anxiety because I'm still paying off my Rubicon. Or maybe I just need more confidence in my abilities. That will take practice. So that is what I will do this Spring and Summer. 

Last month I signed up for a wheeling event. I can't wait to meet new Jeepers and hopefully see some old friends! 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Getting Ready for Topless Weather

That Jeep Wrangler Topless weather is almost upon us, which reminded me of a post I did in the fall of 2015.

Putting Down that Jeep Soft Top - Are You Doing it Wrong?

I have noticed over the years that there are a lot of Jeep Wrangler owners who don't know anything about the Jeep W. In case you might be a little rusty on the mechanics of the Jeep W here is a little refresher course.    
As I was driving around in my Jeep Wrangler the other day, I noticed a fellow Jeeper with his top down. The way his soft top rested on the tailgate was quite different than mine. I thought maybe I was doing it wrong. 

So of course I went to the trusty internet to do some research, and found I was right. But is there really a right way or wrong way? I decided the best way to go is with the company who makes the soft tops as seen in this video.  

This picture shows how that fellow Jeeper had his soft top resting once he folded it down. In the instructional video this is not the proper way to lay the soft top back on the tailgate. As you can tell in this picture, the side bars are parallel to roll bars. They need to be resting along the body of the Jeep.

Just like in this picture where the side bars are resting on the Jeeps body. I noticed this Jeeper had bungee corded his sot top as well. Although I have never tried this it looks like a good idea.

Another soft top mistake Jeep Wrangler owners make is the folding of the Jeep Wrangler "W". 

When folding back your soft top, which can be a one person job, you need to make sure the fabric of the soft top is pulled away from the bars.

When you are putting back your soft top in the first position where it lays right above the passenger seats you want to make sure the fabric is not squished between the bars. 

The Perfect Jeep "W" 

And guess what... They even make a Jeep soft top storage bag. I guess that is one of the reasons we love our Jeep Wranglers so much, all the fun aftermarket parts and accessories we can buy for them. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ram Mount Camera Mount

During my Wrangler Talk Segment on Episode 269 the Jeep Talk Show Podcast, I shared my system for recording my Jeep trail rides. I like using my "old fashioned" Sony HD Handycam. 

The suction cup mount I use isn't too sturdy. It's mounted to a weighted base which just sits on my dash. Well... that's not too safe when you are wheeling in your Jeep up and down steep hills or over rocky paths. There have been several times it has fallen off. 

A fellow podcaster heard my segment and responded on twitter with a suggestion. I decided to check out the mounts Dan Cole from the 4 x 4 Podcast suggested. 

After I saw Dan's video I headed right over to the Ram Mount website. I bought the Ram Mount Suction Cup Twist Lock Base  to mount my camera to the windshield of my Jeep Wrangler. 

The twist lock is super easy to secure to the windshield. It is Designed to have a strong hold on glass and non-porous plastic surfaces. And boy does it. It is extremely secure.  

"I absolutely LOVE it!" 

This mount is versatile. It is designed with a Ram 1" diameter patented rubber ball and socket system that has adjustment points at both ends of the double socket arm. 

This allows for almost infinite adjustment and perfect viewing angles. I can move my camera with ease to change the angel any angle.

The socket arm is compatible with all 1" ball bases and adapters. Which I bought the base with a male post for cameras. 

Ball attachment

This ball attachment comes with a round plate and camera thread. It is a universal camera and camcorder base. Works perfect with my "Old Fashioned" camera. 

I can't wait to test it out on the trails! This is the perfect solution for me! I give is a two thumbs up. 10 out of 10 stars! Thanks Dan! Great tip! 


Thursday, March 2, 2017

New Jeep Parts

At the beginning of this week I took a little journey up I-95 just North of Baltimore to the little town called Aberdeen. The place were I discovered my purple accents, and my precious black Rubicon. It was time for my oil change, my last "free" oil change. 

Since the mechanics at Adams Extreme Motorsports had my Jeep on the lift, I asked them to check out my steering. Ever since I slammed my Jeep down, hard on a rock, back in October at Rausch Creek, my steering has seemed a little off. While turning to the right, I wasn't getting the full range of my turn radius. 

When I heard, and felt, that big "clunk" on the trail, I knew I had done some damage. At the time however, we thought I just twisted up the steering stabilizer bracket.

I Broke My Jeep blog post 
October 26, 2016

But today, I found out I did a little more than that. My steering stabilizer was leaking fluid. I wasn't too upset because I planned on replacing it anyways, just not this soon, and not by professionals.

My little bit of trail damage back in October was a great lesson. It helped me to learn just another new little tidbit about my Jeep. 

The factory steering stabilizer on a Wrangler isn't really built for off-road conditions or over-sized tires. They are ridiculously small. The thin-gauge body caves easily under the slightest pressure, and they are notorious for leaking. 

Well, that is exactly what happened to mine. That "thud" on the rock caused some body damage which in turn caused the small leak. 

Jeep Momma TIP: If you are still running your OE stabilizer take off that boot. This original equipment stabilizer also comes with a plastic boot. All this boot does is collect dirt, sand and salt, and traps it, which can cause premature wear on your piston rod.   

Since they took off my damaged stabilizer, and they had a aftermarket one in stock, I said why not! I planned on putting one on anyways.  

We put on a JKS Manufacturing Steering Stabilizer a direct replacement steering stabilizer that outperforms the OE damper in every aspect.

OE = Original Equipment
Stabilizer = Damper

steering damper, or steering stabilizer is a damping device designed to inhibit an undesirable, uncontrolled movement or oscillation of a vehicle steering mechanism, a phenomenon known in motorcycling as wobble.

The heavy-gauge steel body is considerably larger allowing greater fluid capacity, while the increased shaft and piston size provide improved damping performance. 

A tight fluid containment seal uses higher quality materials and a better design to prevent oil loss regardless of mounting position. And superior polyurethane bushings at each end last longer and reduce loss of motion.

Plus, if you notice it sits up higher and snuggles behind the tie rod. The stock stabilizer hung down below my tie rod. 

This was the exact reason I wanted a new one. To move it out of the way to help protect it while off-roading. Plus, I get the bonus of a beefier stabilizer. 

[Jeep Tips] Updated - Top 5 Recovery Gear

Five years ago I share my Top 5 Must Have in your Recovery Kit.  Top 5 Must Have Items in Your Recovery Kit Blog Post   Since then I have wh...