Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Jeep Compass - Review

We had the opportunity to hang at the Outer Banks with some friends this summer. I was excited to check the beach out as I have never been to the OBX. I lived several years in Charleston, SC, so I was curious to compare the beaches. 

I suggested to my family we take my Jeep. It was only a five hour drive. I was hoping they might agree. Well, I was out voted again. We rented a car instead, because my husband didn't want to put anymore miles on his older truck. 

They day before we left he picked up the rental car, expecting to get a mid-sized sedan. Unfortunately, when he arrived to pick up the car there were only two vehicles left - a Jeep Compass and a Jeep Compass. 


The Compass turned out to be a great rental - for me anyways. Read on...

As we headed South on I-95 towards NC Beaches, my oldest complained the whole time. I will have to admit the Jeep Compass has very little leg room and is quite snug. 

Complaints my son had... 
...there was only one plug for the phones. 
...no leg room.
...rough ride in the back seat.  

The best was when he said, "Mom, we would have been better off in your Rubicon!" I can't wait for our next trip. I will remind him of the Compass. Maybe even threaten him with it, just so we can take my Rubicon.

My experience with the Compass...
(remember my heart will always be true to my Wrangler). I found the center console in a awkward position. It was too far back, not very comfortable to rest your arm. 

My son was right, there was very little leg room, and it was a bumpy ride. I know you get the rough ride with the Wrangler, but you expect that. It's an enduring quality for a Wrangler.  

I did like the open shelf above the glove box, but I found myself wanting to close the shelf. The Compass was a fine vehicle to rent. There was nothing remarkable about it, except for the seven slots. A good little car to get us from point A to point B. 

Nothing will ever compare to my Jeep Wrangler. Nothing could ever live up to my Rubicon's standards. I am hoping this experience will make it easier to convince my family to take the Rubicon on our next trip. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top 10 Signs You Have Obsessive Jeep Disorder

It's a Jeep thing you wouldn't understand.

 All us Jeepers get that saying. We say it a lot to our non-Jeep friends and family. We love our Jeeps. Our Jeeps make us happy. Our Jeeps are like a part of the family. For some of us our Jeep has changed our life. But how do you know if you have Obsessive Jeep Disorder? How do you know if Jeep is your obsession? 

My name is Tammy and.... 

One or more and you have OJD, and that's OKAY because you are not alone! You are part of a big, wonderful family!   

Top 10 Signs of Obsessive Jeep Disorder

1.  You are sad when you are not with your Jeep. 

2.  You get angry when your Jeep Wave doesn't get returned.

3.  You ask the hostess at a restaurant to seat you at a table  by the window, so you can keep an eye on your Jeep.

4.  You are constantly buying Jeep parts, whether they are serious mods or silly little accessories, just to get your Jeep Parts fix.

5.  You are constantly opening the door to the garage to make sure your Jeep is okay. 

6. You have more pictures of your Jeep on social media than of your kids.  

7.  You park next to any Jeep you see no matter how far you need to walk to your destination. 

8.  You think about your Jeep even when you are not driving it. 

9.  You have a pile of worn Jeep part catalogs in the bathroom for serious reading

10. You have a pile of tool catalogs so you can install the pile of Jeep parts from the pile of Jeep parts catalogs

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Center Console Insert Install

Jeepers are always concerned about the safety of the "stuff" we have in our Jeeps. Especially us soft top owners. So I purchased the Tuffy Products JKU Security Console Insert.

The Wranglers do have a locking center console, but this extra added locking insert adds a peace of mind for me. Keeping my valuables safe during those topless days is important!

Made from 1/8" steel and a pry-guard locking system this product is made to fit into the factory console keeping the factory look. It's a durable product and a very simple install.

Tuffy Products JK Security Console Insert
 - Step by Step Install

Gather necessary tools & supplies - Plastic Tool Removal Kit

Remove personal items from center console 

Remove console rear plastic panel 

Remove plastic hinge cover panel

Remove plastic tray
Remove liner 

Remove the cover

 (4 screws) 

Insert the Tuffy insert. Re-install the cover placing the hinge under the Tuffy insert mounting plate.

That's it! Super easy, and now your valuables are secure.   

Thursday, August 10, 2017

One of the First Jeep Girls

Recently I told you about my awesome journey to Toledo, Ohio ~ where I got to meet my online Jeep friend, Royal Barber. Royal ~  who is one lucky guy, by the way ~ works at the Toledo Jeep facility. 

He took me on an amazing tour through a sea of Wranglers being built from scratch. The one thing on that tour I won't ever forget was the extraordinary vibe I felt inside that Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio. It was a sense of fierce pride, overwhelming joy, but something even more than that. The feeling is something words cannot describe. 

Royals wife, Amber, is in Florida helping her Grandmother, who is in hospice, pack up her belongings. She wants to spend the remaining days of her life back in the place she loves, home in Toledo. Phyllis, called Busia by her family, is a decedent of Polish royalty. Her grandmother was a princess. Before Amber left for Florida her grandmother had one request ~~ to bring her a Jeep t-shirt.       

Jeep is a way of life. As a Jeep owner I get that. For the community of Toledo there is not a more fitting statement.  It literally is.... their.... way of life. This community is extremely proud of Jeep. 

James Jefferson, millwright, Toledo Assembly Complex. "We buy what we build. This is our passion. I couldn't be prouder. We work some long hours, but my attitude is: I don't have to come to work, I GET to come to work, and I enjoy that."  Cars.com 

The Jeep facility is the largest employer in Lucas County,
Ohio. It is vital to the stability and well-being of the community. This community is a passionately, proud bunch. They have fiercely fought several times to keep Jeep in Toledo. They know that even in those tougher times the Wrangler will always sell. To them it is not just a Jeep it's Toledo Jeep.  

Joe Nudi, team leader, Toledo Assembly Complex. "Anywhere you go around here, [the plant is referred to as] Toledo Jeep. It's never just Jeep, it's Toledo Jeep. Everybody knows somebody throughout the community, either directly here on the line or at another supplier plant ... Somebody you know builds a Jeep — somehow, some way." Cars.com

Jeep has been a part of the Toledo community since 1941, even earlier when it was Willys-Overland. Even back then Jeep was vital to the community. More so than we can ever imagine. The area was still feeling the effects of the depression. The Toledo plant meant a lot to many families back in the World War 2 era. 

Phyllis Miller, Amber's grandmother, now 93,  took a job at the Jeep plant back in 1942 with several other women. They were from a Polish Village right next to the plant. Dirt poor not knowing where the next meal was coming from, Phyliss found her job at the Willy's/Kaiser/Jeep plant as a way out of "the life of poverty". Phyllis recalls, "It was the first time in my life I could remember having food on a consistent basis."

Life during the depression was like nothing any of us can imagine. As Amber helps her grandmother pack up her belongings, she is on a scavenger hunt for money. Busia, tells Amber of all her secret places she has left her money. She hides it everywhere.

This is a natural reaction a lot of people have because of the Depression. She doesn't trust the bank so she hides $1000 here and $1500 there. 

Jeep brought consistency to Busia's life and many, many others. Jeep gave her financial security during a time when they were dirt poor. She found new friends because of Jeep. These ladies were "forever friends" way before the phrase BFF's became popular. She met the love of her life, her husband, at Jeep. She also loved her job sewing seats. She worked at the Toledo Jeep plant from 1942 to 1978.

In Phyllis's words... Jeep gave me a means to a good life. Jeep means everything to me. I met the only love of my life at Jeep and Jeep gave me the means to raise two children. It gives me pride and I love that I worked on the Wrangler. I am proud to be a Union Sister. She said, "We weren't taking shit from anybody!"

Soon Phyllis will be back home in Toledo, the place she loves, with her family and friends as Jeep continues to change peoples lives. It certainly changed mine. However, Phyllis was lucky to find Jeep at an early age. It took me decades to find my Jeep. As Jeep changed Phyllis's life, Jeep forever changed my life. So to all those great Toledo Jeep workers past and present, my sincere thanks for your dedication to an American icon! 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Jeep Wrangler Assembly Plant Tour!

     ~~ Toledo, Ohio ~~
Not a popular destination for most vacationers. For my family, it was our last vacation stop this past weekend. 

We spent several days in Michigan City with my family relaxing on the shores of Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is amazing! I will be heading back again soon. 

After some much needed fun in the sun, it was off to Toledo for my private tour of the Jeep Wrangler assembly line. 

As a host on the Jeep Talk Show podcast I was able to meet a fan who works at the plant. Royal is a JK Specifications Analyst, a 3rd generation, Local 12. He started working on the Jeep assembly lines in 1994.

He also helps out the Jeep Talk Show with our social media. He said, if I am ever in Toledo he would give me a tour. So I took him up on the offer. 

I was so excited ~ and nervous ~ once we pulled into Toledo. Seeing the Jeep Parkway and Willys Parkway signs, I could feel the butterflies in my tummy. It meant we were closer to the plant.  

Then it was a right onto Chrysler Drive. We saw Wrangler after Wrangler after Wrangler. My oldest son said he has never seen so many of one vehicle in one place.

My family dropped me off then headed for lunch in Toledo. We were heading back home from our family vacation, and still had about seven hours left to drive home. Because my kids were under the age of 18 they weren't allowed on the plant floor. Which meant my time was limited for the tour.  

Just the entrance alone was pretty impressive! A black Wrangler and purple doors greeted me! A perfect welcome for me. Once inside I needed to watch a safety video, then it was on to the JK assembly line. 

picture courtesy of cars.com
Once inside the revolving door, pictures and videos were prohibited. For me I was torn. I was thankful for no pictures, and at the same time bummed. I wanted the memories for myself to remember and to share. But thankful I could just enjoy the tour without taking pictures. 

picture courtesy of cars.com
However, there is an article about the people of Jeep Toledo with lots of pictures. What is really cool is I recognize some of those people. Some of them were assembling the Wranglers on the line while I was there. 

picture courtesy of cars.com

Some probably even assembled my Jeep. I can honestly say the vibe I felt from everyone of them was pride in their work. They wanted to be there. They enjoyed their job. There was an intoxicating vibe in the air. It was a strong sense filling the air which probably feed into my excitement being there.   

Click here Cars.com article 

Click here for a video of the Making of a Cherokee

The first two and a half minutes of this video
 are the assembly line I was on! 

Photo courtesy of Cars.com
There was so much to take in, it was overwhelming. Seeing the Wrangler bodies on the assembly line being built piece by piece was astonishing. To be honest, for me it was a lot to take in. With time ticking away, I felt I needed to rush, and soak in as much as I could. Did I mention I was extremely excited!!! 

Royal said to me later "If I had know how excited you were going to be I would have found you some Xanax"

He went on to tell me the most excited they get working on the line is when the first Jeep of a new color comes down the line. For most of them they see the Wranglers everyday. They do this day in and day out, but there is still a pride they feel that you can sense the moment you walk into the plant. It must be a Jeep Thing!    

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. 

I learned quite a few things about the making of the Wrangler. There are two on-site suppliers who make the different parts of the Wrangler. Mobis North America assembles the chassis, axles and power train. Then KUKA Systems makes the body. Once these are assembled and painted they are shipped over thru a tunnel (see the red arrow in the picture above).

Photo courtesy of Cars.com

Once the robots attach the body to the frame it is on to the assembly line where the loving care of human touch is used on all the Wranglers. Pretty much every part from this point on was assembled by human hands. 

It was so very cool to be down on the assembly line floor up close an personal with the Toledo Jeep workers assembling every part of the Jeep. 

The logistics of all the Jeep parts is incredibly amazing. Mind boggling the organization and coordination needed to get the right part to the right Wrangler. There are robot carts that carry the part needed for each Wrangler in bins to the necessary points. Each part is pre-matched to a specific Jeep.

Even the outsource 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.

Truly Amazing! 

Attention to detail is wide spread. Even down to the door latch. One guy's job is to make sure the door shuts just right. If it doesn't he will use his special tools to make sure the door latch is just perfect. Watching this procedure was so cool. This guy had a knack for knowing just how much adjustment each door needed. 

The door latches can also be used for a bottle opener. Check out my Jeep Tips page for more cool Jeep Tips Ideas.  

Once all the Jeep Parts are on 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. There is even a indoor driving course to make sure there are no rattles and squeaks. 

The opportunity I had to see the JK Wranglers on the assembly line was truly a once in a lifetime event. The JK and JKU will soon be a thing of the past on the assembly line as the new JT Truck will take their place. They have had a pretty good run as one of the more popular Jeeps. 

I was also lucky enough to be one of very few people in the world to see the JL unveiled. It will be unveiled to the general public in November of 2017. Check out my story on the JL spotting. The New JL Spotted by Jeep Momma

A huge thanks to Royal Barber III for this most spectacular tour! I cannot thank you enough!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trail Food

Deciding what to bring for lunch when I trail ride is always a chore. Packing a sandwich or cheese and crackers is my usual go to. 

Since being a host on the Jeep Talk Show I have discovered so many cool things. One of those many things is Nom News with Gina. Gina is an award winning recipe developer, and has appeared on several episodes of the Jeep Talk Show

She has shared her Jeep Trail recipes where she cooks the food while wheeling on the trails. I had no idea you could do this. Check out the shows to see how easy it is to cook with your Jeep.

I hope to someday try out this using my Jeep to bake. 

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...