Monday, February 26, 2018

Tire Deflators Pro Test

One of the first accessories I bought for off-roading were my tire deflators. They were the J.T. Brooks Automatic Tire Deflators. They come in a set of four, and make for a quick, easy airing down. However, there are quite a few steps to calibrate the deflators to your desired PSI. Okay not really, but it requires deflating your tire.

This accessory has been an awesome addition to my off road gear. But now J.T. Brooks has come out with a new set called Automatic Tire Deflator Pros. They are so much more simple to callibrate, basically you dial in your desired PSI and go.

One of the reasons I got them was because my deflators are set at 18 PSI, but a lot of folks recommend I air down to 15 PSI. So, I decided I will try 15 PSI. 

If I don't like it I can always go back to 18. However, I really didn't want to have to calibrate them twice. Yeah you can call me spoiled. So I decided to get the Pro version.

Depending on where you get them the Pro version are about $30 more. They are so worth the extra money. They are super easy to set. Loosen the lock ring (nut) until you see the PSI Scale. 

Then you turn the adjustment knob or body until your desired PSI lines up with the top of the body.
Then tighten the lock ring carefully. You don't want to turn the adjustment knob. 

This is an approximate PSI. You will want to test them out to verify your PSI. I suggest you do this before you hit the trails. That's precisely what I did in the video below. Thankfully I tested them out, because I adjusted mine all wrong. They ended up being set to zero.  I set the PSI to the top of the lock ring not the top of the body. I should of read the directions. Lesson learned, read the directions carefully. 

I didn't the first time and dialed them into the wrong place.   
These are super easy to set (if you read the directions). And super easy to use. Plus you can see how close I was to 15 PSI in the video below. Well worth the $99 for the set of Pros. 

Now what to do with my original set. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

JK Pockets Install & Review

The amount of Cool Jeep Stuff out there for your Jeep is so amazing. I am always adding to my wish list, which is getting quite costly. So it was a nice surprise when I found out I won a social media contest I entered. 

A big shout out and thanks to, and CPO from O3DJeeps for putting on this contest! 

I won a set of 5 JK Pockets for my Jeep Wrangler. These things are a really cool idea. The first "real" door pockets for the Wranglers.  Two pockets for the front doors, two for the rear, and one for the center console. 

The OEM cargo net pockets were really bothering the OCD part of me. Granted you can stuff a lot into the netted pockets, but that only stretched out the netting. 

You were also limited to what you could stuff into the pocket because smaller items could fall out.  

With the new JK pockets I can stuff smaller items into the pocket. Plus they look awesome. They are made from aircraft grade plastic. They don't get in the way and are perfect for storing your stuff!  

Plus a bonus is they are super easy to install, less than an hour. Check out my JK Pockets install video below. 

I give these pockets 5 out of 5 stars and recommend them for every Jeeper out there! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Top 5 Must Have Fluids

Last week I shared the Top 5 Must Have Tools to take in your Jeep when you go off road. This week I share the Top 5 Must Have Fluids to take on the trails. 

Again I don't have a whole lot of experience with this, so I reached out to my fellow Jeepers for their suggestions on the fluids to take with you on the trails. 

Top 5 Must Have Fluids 

#1 Oil
#2 Coolant
#3 Water
#4 Brake 
#5 Differential (gear oil)
#5 Transmission
#5 Gas

And don't forget to take fluids for yourself and passengers. Water and Gatorade were big vote-getters. Save the adult beverages for back at the campfire. Never Ever wheel and drink so many horrible accidents have happened because of mixing alcohol and driving.  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Top 5 Must Have Tools

Continuing on with my Top 5 Must Have Series. This time it's all about the tools to take on the trails. 

I decided to reach out to my fellow Jeepers, because I don’t have a whole lot of experience with breakage on the trails. My one incident of breakage was my steering stabilizer. I banged into a rock. This pushed up my steering stabilizer bracket which messed up my steering. It was an easy fix.

The two tools needed to fix the bracket on my Jeep were an 18 mm wrench and my rubber mallet. Did you know an 18 mm wrench doesn't come in a wrench set? You need to buy is separately. These two tools are exactly what you need for the stock steering stabilizer bracket on your Jeep Wranglers.

Now for the other tools on the list compiled from fellow Jeepers.

#1 BFH - Hammer
#2 Adjustable Wrench
#3 Big Screwdriver or Pry Bar
#4 Socket Set and Ratchet
#5 Vice Grip Pliers
#6 Screwdriver and Bits
#7 Zip Ties
#8 Duct Tape
#9 Bottle Jack
#10 Flashlight

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Working Through My Fears

On a chilly day earlier this February, I geared up my Jeep for a day on the trails at Anthracite Off Road Adventure Area. AOAA is about 30 minutes North of Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Pennsylvania. It was an up and at 'em early morning as I met up with other Jeepers, my first big Jeep convoy.

I looked forward to this day as it was only my second time at the park.  A day for new trails as well as wheeling with some great Jeep friends I met through the internet. It was also the first time wheeling with a fellow YouTuber, and Jeeper, CPO from 03dJeeps. We met a couple of years ago, but were never able to get our calendars to mesh for some wheeling time. 

Nate, AKA SWBCrawler, was our appointed guide as he knows the park well. He is also a fellow podcaster who contributes content to the Jeep Talk Show podcast, and fills in as host from time to time. He also trail guides for Off Road Consulting and Driving Instruction. He is an awesome spotter!  

The plan was to wheel as many blue trails as we could hit. In the past the mention of blue trails terrified me. But this day, I was filled with excited anticipation. 

Trusting in Nate's spotting abilities I put my Jeep in his hands.  Well that, and I was in a Rubicon. AND... I have had several good teachers over the years. It was time I trusted in my driving abilities.

Another reason my mind was at ease, I knew the type of Jeepers I was hitting the trails with.  All with the same mindset of, out on the trails with our daily drivers looking for adventure in some more difficult trails, but not wanting to go home with damaged Jeeps. 

As we traversed our first blue trail we came upon Trail "W", a black trail. I was met with indecision. Should I try it? I knew my Jeep could do it easily. It was my abilities that I questioned. I stepped out of my Jeep, and walked the trail myself. 

Yep, I decided. I needed to up my game so Trail W it was. I made it through the trail, over the rocks to the end with no damage. However, not with out a few expletives.
See my video below. 

All in all it was an amazing day, on amazing trails, with amazing friends. I gained so much confidence in my driving skills, knowing I am great at picking out lines. I do need to work on my confidence on the fact my Jeep will not tip over. Actually I don't think I will ever loose that fear nor the fear of heights. It makes for a fun adrenaline rushing day. 

Here's the complete Trail W

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Top 5 Must Have Mods

When I first started off-roading, I took it slow. I got to know what my stock Jeep Wrangler could do by taking some instructional off-road driving classes. As I gained experience and confidence, I knew it was time to start making some modifications to my Jeep. But what changes and where to start was a daunting task. 

Here are my Top 5 Modifications to make to your Jeep Wrangler for off-road readiness. These Top 5 aren't all the modifications you can make, but a great basic start. 

#1 Tow Points
When you go off-roading there is always a possibility your Jeep could get stuck. To help in your recovery efforts you should have good, strong tow points on your Jeep. I decided this was the first place for me to start. I replaced my plastic bumper and hook type tow points with a steel metal bumper from Extreme Terrain, The Barricade Trail Force HD Front Bumper.

#2 Rock Sliders
While I off-roading in my stock Sahara my plastic side step would get caught up on a rock. One time a rock pulled off my side step. However, I was able to knock it back into place.  I would have been better off with out them. My suggestion is to remove the stock side steps if you plan on doing any sort of trail rides with medium sized rocks. 

If you are getting into some more serious rocks you may want to consider rock sliders like my Barricade Rock Sliders. They help to protect the body of your Wrangler. 

#3 Diff Cover
It seems I am always running into rocks. The first thing they hit are my diff covers. I replaced mine with the Riddler Diff Covers which are cast from high grade iron with a lip free transition. This helps prevent a rock from 'grabbing' the cover. 

#4 Skid Plates
Your stock Jeep is outfitted with some skid plates and they hold up well in mild to medium rock crawling. Your transmission and oil pan are not protected. I added the M.O.R.E oil and tranny skid plate. 

I also added skid plate to the rear control arm and shock mounts. That's another place I tend to get hung up on. I used the EVO Rear Lower Control Arm Skids.

#5 Air Dam Removal
What is an air dam? It is a piece of plastic under the front of your Jeep. Some say it's to help hood flutter, some say it's to prevent debris from flying up into your engine or possibly to keep your engine cooler. Whatever it does I ended up removing mine when I installed my new front bumper. This plastic piece also has a potential to being ripped off while rock crawling. 

Should I remove my Jeep Wrangler Air Dam Jeep Momma Blog Post - April 2014

Stay tuned to next week when I share my Top 5 Tools to take with you when you off-road. 

Episode 17 Jeep Momma's Garage - 
5 Must Have Off Road Mods To Your Jeep 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

5 Must Have Off-Road Accessories

Every where I look I keep finding cool new Jeep acccessories to buy. It is a very daunting task trying to buy the right things. This is why I decided to start my Jeep Momma's Garage Series ~  5 Must Haves. 

As a new Jeeper or off-roader it can be very overwhelming trying to figure out what to buy and where to start. So I decided to share the five basics Off-Road Accessories to get you started. 

My latest Jeep Momma's Garage - Vlog features 
My Top 5 Must Have Off Road Accessories.

5 Must Have Off Road Accessories 

First and foremost, if you decide to take your Jeep off-road you should always have an Off-Road Recovery Kit.

Click here for blog post


Check out Episode 15 of Jeep Momma's Garage for the Basic 5 Must Haves. 

Airing Up after a Day on the Trails

If you plan on doing a little, or a lot of off-roading, no matter what terrain you wheel on, you most likely will be airing down your tires. Having a set of tire deflators makes this job much easier. I use the JT Brooks Tire Deflators. They come in a set of four so you can air down all 4 tires at the same time.

When you are out on the trails you never want to go alone. Most likely you will be with others in a group. Communication is the key to a great time out on the trails.  It’s a good idea to remain in contact with the group so a good CB Radio comes in handy

Safety out on the trails is important. A good fire extinguisher paramount. This should be considered standard gear for any rig that goes off road. You are so far away from any help, it could prove to be beneficial in an emergency. There are a ton of mounting options however, I like mine mounted on the roll bars near the back windows. All I need to do is unzip the window to access my fire extinguisher. 

Finally, number 5 - grab handles. I have two different kinds in my Jeep. A set on the A pillar and a set on the roll bar. The Wild Boar grab handles are great when you have a lifted Jeep and need to get into your Jeep. Super sturdy and durable. 

The EK Sports grab handles on my roll bar are perfect when you are bouncing down those bumpy trails. Plus, they come in a variety of colors. As you can see mine are purple

There is so many more off-road accessories out there, but but this will give you a great start.

[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...