Thursday, June 29, 2017

Easy Steps To Shift Into 4 Lo

In the past I had a hard time shifting into 4 lo when I'm out on the trails. Every time my gears would grind. Which tells me I am doing it wrong. I tried several different ways. While I was out in Moab my trail guide, K.L., showed me the "right" way to shift to 4 Lo.  I tried it the last time I went to Rausch Creek. 


No problems at all. Easy Peasy! 

3 EASY Steps to Shifting your JK or JKU to 4Lo
Step 1: While in Drive shift your transfer case to 4Hi.
Step 2: Once in 4Hi shift your transmission shifter into N
Step 3: Now shift your transfer case shifter from 4Hi thru N to 4Lo.  

Slow roll between 1 and 5 mph in neutral. Also shift quickly, don't drag it out.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

New Front Drive Shaft

I finally found a local mechanic!

Adrenaline Off Road! 
A fellow Jeeper!  
And... the shop is just 15 minutes from my house. 
Maryland's Best Kept Secret!!!

Monday, I took my Jeep to get the tires rotated. Rotating your tires increases the life span. Plus, throwing your spare into the rotation adds even more life. Sadly, I neglected to do this, and have gone about 9,000 miles without a rotation. 

Jeff from Adrenaline Off Road also looked at my diff's. A little oil leaking, yah think? Turns out, I didn't get the plugs in tight enough. I hope anyways. That would suck if I got faulty diff covers. 

The plugs have tapered threads. They need to be tightened more than I did. So we took them off to add some RTV silicone to help keep them sealed, and the oil in. 

Jeff also showed me how to measure the gear oil. Just a simple zip tie. Just bend it, and use it like your oil's dipstick.

He shared that most people over fill their diffs, and should be at a level shown in this picture. 

Then he took a look over the undercarriage of my Jeep. He pointed out some leaking from the front drive shaft. I still have my stock drive shaft. It isn't suitable with a lift, and will eventually break under the pressures I put on it. So looks like I'm getting some new Jeep parts. 


Jeff put a new front drive shaft on order, and hopefully by next week my Rubicon will be just a little bit tougher. We are ordering a custom drive shaft from Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shafts. These drive shafts use what is called a double Cardan CV joint, which has been around for decades. They can live and run happily for over 100,000 miles if you service it properly. A little tender loving care goes a long way. 

They have a smaller diameter which allows the suspension to drop on 2012 and newer 3.6 Wranglers without touching the exhaust, which could possibly damage the drive shaft. 

Typically you see this issue with 3" or more of a lift after of 20K to 30K driving, or after off road use when the suspension stretches "droop". The Wranglers driveshaft will come into contact with the exhaust cross pipe, requiring an exhaust spacer or new driveshaft. 

I am told The 07 and up Wrangler JK's & JKU's drive shafts
come with Rzeppa joints. They are stronger than the typical driveshaft, but the Rzeppa joint is designed to run as straight as possible. When they run at steeper angles than what the factory set them up for after extended periods of time they will prematurely wear out. 

The first thing that will happen is the boot will tear and grease will eventually leak. Like mine you see in this picture. There could also be clicking noises.  

I am so thankful for finding Jeff and Adrenaline Off Road. Jeff is an offroad enthusiast and has many, many years experience under the hood, every day since 2002! He has been a Jeep enthusiast since 1993.  

The cool thing about all this, besides beefing up my Jeep, is I am learning more about my Jeep and how it works. 

Thanks Jeff & Adrenaline Off Road for some Jeep 202

What Does the Drive Shaft Do?

The Wrangler’s driveshaft performs a crucial function. It moves power from your engine to the wheels and transfers torque to the differential from the transfer case. Torque is the strength of your Jeep's engine.  A driveshaft transmits that raw power to the differential. The differential spins the wheels to move your Jeep, whether along the highway or up over those rocks or even through the mud. 

The stock driveshaft is designed to match the suspension travel of the factory suspension. It's not too tough either, just enough for average driving and fairly mild off-roading. It lacks grease fittings due to cost cutting during the engineering process. 

The factory shafts can't be greased. The Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shaft can, but you need to keep up with the greasing.


Which is why I'm replacing mine before problems arise. Hopefully, my Jeep will last another week while I wait for my new Jeep Parts. . 

More Information of Driveshafts Source: Extreme Terrain 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cool Storage Solution

I love my new Storage Solution! I may even get a second one! 

We all know cargo space is a premium in a Wrangler, even those JKU’s. I have tried several different options. There is that awkward space in the "trunk" of the Wranglers that make storage difficult. 

For example, the space above the inner fenders in the cargo area of an Unlimited is curved, sloped and irregularly shaped, so it's often wasted space. 

The MorRyde Ammo Can Carrier is designed to use that space very effectively. Bolted in place using the same holes that the hardtop is secured with AND no drilling.

A few simple steps, and your Ammo Can Shelf is done. The carrier shelf supports all common ammo cans. I bought one on Amazon. 

Then there is the Molle grid for attaching standard Molle pouches. I am using my shelf for my recovery gear ~ recovery strap, tree saver, shovel, gloves, and other gear needed for recovery.

I was even able to use the space behind the Molle panel to store more Jeep Stuff. Just writing this blog post reminds me how much I love the shelf. I am going to sign off now, so I can go buy a second one for the other side. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What to Know Before Off-Roading in Your Jeep

Every once in a while I like to have a guest blog post. Scott Huntington from Off The Throttle has guest posted for me before. He is an automotive journalist. Here is his take on prepping for a first time off-road trip.


Far too many SUVs go their entire lives without venturing off paved roads. Jeep owners are notorious for being the most likely to take the plunge and experience what their vehicles can do on dirt trails. It’s a good feeling to know you’ve enjoyed the all-terrain capability of one of the finest off-roaders available today, but there are certainly right and wrong ways to explore off-roading for the first time.

While you should be excited to hit the trail, you also need to keep your wits about you. Making sure your Jeep is ready for a day in the dirt and taking preparatory steps before your off-road adventure is the best way to come away happy and guarantee more fun in the future.

Prepping Your Vehicle
Even if your Jeep is bone-stock, it has the off-road pedigree to tackle rough terrain just the way it rolled off the lot. During my most recent adventure in Virginia, I witnessed first-hand how capable a stock Jeep Rubicon is. Even if you’re running a Wrangler Sport or Sahara without the upgraded four-wheel-drive system, you’ve still got one of the scrappiest trucks on the road from the factory.

If you feel compelled to bolt things on, underbody protection is a good place to start. Skid plates to protect your oil pan and differential make an great first modification. A set of off-road tires like the Destination MT2s I tested will also do you well, just make sure you find the right balance of off-road and street ability in the tread pattern.

More important than adding parts is knowing how to use the ones you’ve got and trusting they’re in working order. Before your first outing, make sure your fluids are all where they should be and understand how to operate your Jeep’s transfer case.

Tips for Trail Newbies
What’s more important than outfitting your Jeep with new parts is having the foresight to plan your trail outing right. That could mean bringing a friend with you in case you get stuck, packing enough food and water to make it through the day and telling other people where you’re going. Remember that when you’re done, it’s important to wash your Jeep and check for things like windshield damage.

You can also prepare for your first mud-slinging ride in the woods by visiting technical terrain nearby. This will be easier for some drivers than others since those who live in urban settings can’t get the tires dirty without going on a long journey. If there’s a creek crossing or steep unpaved road that you can access without committing to a day on the trail, give yourself a preview to get a feel behind the wheel.

Have Fun and Be Safe
Off-roading is a great hobby that just about anyone with a Jeep or four-wheel drive can take part in. Hitting the dirt is enough to put a smile on most people’s faces, but keep things within reason. You’re not Ivan Stewart, and this isn’t the Baja 1000. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll come away with an intact Jeep and happy passengers. That should be enough to make you smile, too.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Krawlin' For Cops

With excitement and apprehension, I headed up to Rausch Creek Off Road Park this past Saturday for a very worthy event, Krawlin' for Cops. These emotions plaque me every time I take my Rubicon out to wheel. 

My Rubicon is my daily driver. I still have several years of payments. And I am not very good at mechanical fixer' up problems. 

I absolutely love to wheel, especially over the rocks. The problem with that is, possible breakage and my skill level. Or so I thought my skill level lacked.

I arrived early Saturday to a parking lot full of Jeeps from all over. I selected to wheel green and blue trails. For me that was very exciting to move up to the next level.

My group, Group 2, was led by a very experienced Jeeper, so I was not worried about having a great spotter to help me over the rocks. 

I lined up behind the other Jeepers in my group. I was smack dab in the middle of the group. As time grew near to head out, I ended up being the tail gunner. We had three stock Jeeps in our group who had never wheeled before. 

So those Jeeps moved up to the very front for guidance.
Being tail gunner I was pretty much on my own. I have done that before, but this time was a little different. 

We were wheeling on blue trails. Blue trails are the next level up from green. My Jeep Wrangler is more than capable of blue trails, it's myself that lacks the confidence. 

I am happy to say, I came out of the days ride without any breakage. Plus, and a whole new level of confidence. I wheeled Blue 23 all by myself with NO spotting what so ever. I rocked it! 

I attribute that success to my training. I am a very lucky wheeler to have had training from four, yes count them four, I4WDT certified trainers. My first ever experience off road was with Kyle from Off-Road Consulting. His expertise and knowledge was just what I needed for a great foundation for off roading. 

Then just this past Spring I took a training class with Northeast Off-Road Driving School. Even after three years of wheeling, Scott and Jon gave me more techniques to use on the trails. 

Then of course there is Charlene Bower with Ladies OffRoad Network, who also shared some great wheeling techniques with me. But most importantly she gave me the most important words of wisdom I could have out on the trails. My new Motto ~~ I've Got This. 


On Blue 23, I was on my own to wheel across the rocks. But I was not alone. I pulled what I learned from all four of these great people to get me through the trail. Each one bringing me so many great techniques. 

I can't forget our trail guide who never wavered in his confidence in my ability, telling me I was a pro. 

So I just need to remember next time ~~ I've got this!    

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Top 100 Topless Songs

 1. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
  2. Hold On Loosely - 38 Special
  3. Livin' After Midnight - Judas Priest
  4. Tom Sawyer - Rush
  5. More Than a Feeling - Boston
  6. Sign of the Gypsy Queen - April Wine
  7. Flirtin' with Disaster - Molly Hatchett
  8. Hotel California - Eagles
  9. Have a Drink On Me - AC/DC
10. Bad Boys Running Wild - Scorpions
11. Thunderstruck - AC/DC
12. Hair of the Dog - Nazareth
13. Lonely is the Night - Billy Squier
14. No One Like You - Scorpions
15. Highway To Hell - AC/DC
16. Foreplay - Boston

17. Rock and Roll Fantasy - Bad Company
18. Dust in the Wind - Kansas
19. Round & Round - Ratt
20. Stone in Love - Journey
21. Slow Ride - Foghat
22. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
23. Burnin for You - Blue Oyster Cult
24. Closer to the Heart - Rush
25. Working Man - Rush

26. Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple
27. Boys are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy
28. Rainbow in the Dark - Dio
29. Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
30. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath  - Black Sabbath
31. Come on Feel the Noize - Quiet Riot
32. We're Not Going To Take It- Twisted Sister
33. Fat Bottom Girls - Queen
34. Caught Up In You - .38 Special
35. Photograph - Def Leppard
36. When I'm Gone - 3 Door Down
37. Enter Sandman - Metallica
38. Bawitdaba - Kid Rock
39. Cowboy - Kid Rock
40. All Summer Long - Kid Rock
41. 3am - Matchbox Twenty
42. Rock and Roll Band - Boston
43. I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick
44. Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
45. Saturday Night - Bay City Rollers
46. Blaze of Glory - Bon Jovi
47. Bad Moon Rising - CCR
48. Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
49. Rock of Ages - Def Leppard   
50. Cinnamon Girl - Neil Young
51. Southern Cross -  CSN&Y
52. Jack and Diane - John Mellancamp
53. Come Get Your Love - Redbone
54. Smokin' - Boston
55. I Love Rock N Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
56. Ride Like the Wind - Christopher Cross
57. Houses of the Holy -  Led Zeppelin
58. Rock and Roll - Led Zeppelin
59. Do You Feel Like We do - Peter Frampton
60. Nothin' But a Good Time - Poison
61. Show Me The Way - Peter Frampton
62. Pinball Wizard - The Who
63. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
64. Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Suede
65. Desperado - The Eagles
66. Country Roads - John Denver
67. Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty
68. Baby, I Need Your Loving - Four Tops
69. Hells Bells - ACDC
70. Peaceful Easy Feeling - The Eagles
71. Highway Star - Deep Purple
72. Ice Cold Summer  - Trailor Chior
73. Ain't Even Done with the Night - John Mellencamp
74. Limelight - Rush
75. Go your own way - Fleetwood Mac
76. Push It - Salt n Pepa  
77. Animal - Def Leppard
78. Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions
79. Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith 
80. Crash into Me - Dave Mathews Band
81. Squeeze Box - The Who
82. Just What I Needed - The Cars
83. Let's Go - The Cars
84. Jukebox Hero - Foreigner
85. Runnin' Down A Dream - Tom Petty 
86. For Those About To Rock - AC/DC
87. Ramble On - Led Zeppelin 
88. Don't Stop Believing - Journey
89. Rock and Roll All Night - KISS 
90. Feel Like Makin' Love - Bad Company
91. Magic Man - Heart
92. Free Fallin' - Tom Petty 
93. Black Water - Doobie Brothers 
94. Listen to the Music - Doobie Brothers
95. Maggie May - Rod Stewart
96. The Thunder Rolls - Garth Brooks
97. Blinded By the Light - Manfred Man's Earth Band
98. Mississippi Queen -Mountain
99. Paradise City - Guns and Roses 
100. Afternoon Delight - Starland Vocal Band

Bonus Song 

Joe Nichols - Take it Off

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...