Monday, October 30, 2017

Women's Wheeling Day 2017

Jeep Momma Off Road at Rausch Creek Women's Wheeling Day at Rausch Creek Off Road Park is one of my favorite wheeling events of the year. (Okay, all the wheeling events are my favorite.) This year was my 4th year with over 200 ladies wheeling. 

The first event was in 2013 in which only eight women wheeled. Word spread and this event grew immensely since that first event.  

I came up early on Friday to help stuff the swag bags. There were Enjoy Life ~JeepMomma bracelets along with purple Jeep Talk Show koozie's, among some other vendor goodies.

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

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

Saturday morning I was up at the crack of dawn to help out the organizers of the event, Christie with OK4WD, and Susan with Jeep Girls Rock! What a smoothly run event! 

I was matched up with Mandy again this year. She was the Trail Guide for our group, and I was the tail gunner. We had such a great time last year we decided to team up again this year! 

NORA 4 x 4 Recovery Class at Rausch Creek
Our group of 5 Jeeps started the day out a little different than most of the other ladies. We were part of an advanced winching and hi-lift class. The class was presented by NORA4x4, an off-road driving school in New York. 

NORA 4 x 4 Recovery Class I haven't had much training in off-road recovery, so this was a great bonus for me. Jon our instructor was awesome at explaining and teaching the ins and outs of vehicle recovery. He also shared some cool tips!  

I definitely will be taking more of these types of classes in the future. Vehicle recovery is such an important part of off-roading.    

Once our hour class was complete it was time to hit the trails. Our group of Jeeps had a wide range of drivers. There was the little Red Jeep that could. A stock Jeep hitting the blue trails for the first time! 

Then there was the Silver Jeep driven by JoMarie. How cool to be wheeling with JoMarie. She was a competitor in the Gazelle Rally 2014. A off-road navigation race in Morocco. 

JoMarie is also a photojournalist and blogger ~  She is a great photographer and I was lucky to get some pictures of me on the rocks. 

Then there was my partner in crime, Amanda. I met Amanda, a fellow Jeep mom, online several years ago. We have met up a couple of times to wheel. She is usually my co-pilot when we are on the trails. We have the most amazing time. 

Jeep Moms Off Road at Rausch Creek

Jeep Moms Off Road at Rausch Creek

After a day on the trails it was off to the pavilion for pizza and salad provided by OK4WD,  plus a very generous raffle. There were a lot of donated prizes from many awesome vendors. 

I was one of the first winners, something that is pretty rare for me. So I was pretty excited when I won a gift certificate from Northridge 4 x 4. I ended up buying myself a Bartact Fire Extinguisher Mount for my Jeep.

It was an awesome event!  I am looking forward to next year's event. The women are absolutely amazing. I have never been a part of a group of women who are so supporting, uplifting and encouraging. Leaving this event leaves many women feeling empowered! I can't express how much I love the Jeep Community. 



Monday, October 23, 2017

Jeep Friends

Some people say ~ the people you meet online aren't real friends. Well, I have to disagree with that statement. 

Back in 2014 I met ~ online ~ a mom who shared the love of Jeeps just like me. We started chatting, and became facebook friends. 

Around that same time, I asked her to ride shotgun with me in my Jeep at Rausch Creek Off Road Park. She took me up on the offer, and met me for a 201 training class. We had an absolute blast that day. We just clicked. 

It wasn't until 2 years later that we hooked up again to wheel. It was at Women's Wheeling Day 2016.  Once again it was like we had been friends for years and years. We picked up right where we left off.

And nothing changed this weekend. We spent the whole weekend having a great time. Staying up til all hours of the night talking, and laughing so hard our bellies hurt. 

We may be many, many miles apart and many years apart in age, and have only seen each other in person less than a handful of times, but we have forged a friendship through the tapping of a keyboard that will last a lifetime! 

Everyday I am so thankful for my Jeep. I have met so many wonderful, amazing people because I am a Jeep owner. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Jeep Smile

I checked another Jeep Part of my Wish List ~ The Yeti Xtreme Steering Kit.

Steer Smarts recommends a professional front end alignment, which I did. A front end alignment is important to the life of your tires. It ensures that all four tires are consistent with each other to optimize maximum contact with the surface of the road. It will also prevent uneven wear on your tires. 

After my alignment was complete, I was given a print out for my records. It shows your before and after.  My Jeep was hooked up to the alignment machine which measures the camber, caster, and toe. The caster came out in the green. However, the Camber and Toe were in the red. 

The shop realigned the toe. The camber can't be adjusted unless I get new axle parts. It was off by less than a degree. Which is okay for now, but down the road I most likely will have to make some upgrades to my axle. 

What most likely is happening, is the axle housing is bent or the inner C’s are bent. Maybe from my bigger tires. Maybe from the wheeling I do.  

I am told it could be because of the thin axle tubes on the Wranglers. This is also known as the Jeep Smile. My Rubicon's smile isn't that "smiley" yet. 

The number in the red is only off slightly. I will just need to keep my eye on it. The great mechanics at Adrenaline Off-Road showed me what to look for. Grease leaking, and the spots where I  would see it. Just another thing I learned about my Rubicon! The knowledge just keeps growing. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Yeti XD Upgrade

One of the best things about having a Jeep is getting Jeep Parts. Another best thing about having a Jeep is getting those parts installed on your Jeep.

About 3 weeks ago I came home to a surprise from Steer Smarts. 

September 21, 2017 

A couple of weeks after I received the Yeti XD Steering Kit with the Griffin XD it was time for the install. So I headed over to Adrenaline Off-Road. There have been some people who call me a wimp because I didn't do the install by myself.

First Yes! I would have loved to do this install by myself. But I was lacking the power tools, a lift and the knowledge of the steering components and operation. 

While at Adrenaline Off Road, I was able to watch and learn with Mike, my Mechanic. He took me step by step through the install process explaining everything he was doing along the way. 

Plus, he's a super great teacher showing me how everything worked together. There were little tips and tricks I learned from Mike during the install I never would have known doing it myself. 

Now I do, and I am have an arsenal of information that will allow me to fix those parts should anything go wrong. 

Being in the garage was awesome. Learning all about my Jeep and hearing those sweet sounds. Check out this video. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Winterizing My Jeep

Old Man Winter is just around the corner and wintertime can be hard on a vehicle. The cold temperatures, the salt on the streets damaging our under bellies, snow and ice on the roads making for difficult driving -- okay this part maybe not so much for Jeep Wranglers. But... it is important to take extra care of your Jeep during these winter months, so you can continue to enjoy many years of fun with your Jeep, no matter what the weather. 

Here are some tips I have gathered from my own experience, and from other Jeepers.  First, I will start with a Myth-buster. Auto experts say you should warm up your vehicle for no more than 30 seconds before you start driving in the winter. It doesn't help your vehicle to warm it up any longer than that. 

Washington Post Article - Winter Myth 

If you have a hard top, it is time to start thinking about putting it back on. I don't have a hard top, so I make sure my soft top is cleaned with special soft top cleaners, and I use a soft top protectant. Now for those of you in the deep South and Southwest, it may be time for you to take off the hard top to enjoy those cooler winter temperatures.  

Keep a Full Tank of Gas -- this helps prevent condensation from forming on the walls of the tank and dripping down into your gas. 

Carry an Emergency Kit -- include a shovel, ice scraper, blankets, jumper cables, flashlights, extra clothes, recovery gear, and food & water.

Wintertime also requires extra preventive care and maintenance like checking your brakes. On older models you should flush your coolant. Don't forget a useful set of new windshield wiper blades can be helpful during ice, sleet or snowstorms. There are special winter wiper blades that offer shielding from snow, sleet and ice build up.  

Do not use an ice scraper on your mirrors as it could scratch them. Add some de-icer to your windshield washer fluid. And check your heat and defrosters to make sure they are operating properly. 

WRANGLER Owners: Lube the door hinges and put the torx bolt back on.

Wash and wax your Jeep to help protect the paint from the salty roads. 

If you off-road you most likely have scraped your under carriage, I suggest spending some time on those scratches to prevent rust from forming. 

First, I sand away as much rust as I can. I used sand paper. I am told a wire brush on a drill is the best way. The wire brush isn't supposed to take of the metal.  

(Since this post I have updated the product I use for this. Check out the links below)  

Second, I use Permatex Rust Removal Spray from Napa Auto Parts. You are supposed to let it sit for 24 hours. 

Then I use Krylon Black Spray Paint with Rust protector. Make sure you don't get the spray paint where it shouldn't go, i.e. brake lines, the exhaust. 

The final step I learned from a Jeep friend, Fluid Film. I spray it as an added measure of protection against all that nasty chemical concoction they put on our roads in the winter. Some folks bedline their undercarriage but I like this less expensive option. Check out my blog post below. 

Viewer tips! 
  • Make sure your antifreeze in the radiator is good to -40 or colder. 
  • If you run wide mudder / flotation tires in the summer for off road to replace them with narrow snow tires for snow and ice. 
  • Open differentials in 4 x 4 work good on ice. Fully locked, Detroit lockers, and true trac can be unpredictable and dangerous on ice. So if it is icy, I believe it is better to have your Ox, ARB, and factory lockable s unlocked in 4x4 for better control on ice.

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...