Blog

Jeep JK Jack Base by AEV

0

Jeep JK Jack Base by AEVInstalling a suspension lift on your Jeep Wrangler is one of the most exciting and most common upgrades any Jeep owner can think of. Lifting your Jeep results in better approach, departure and break over angles, as well as the ability to put on larger tires. When you install larger tires, that’s when you actually increase your vehicles ground clearance. Since the lowest point on your live-axle Jeep is the differential, and it’s part of the axle, only increasing the size of your tires will give you more ground clearance. One aspect of installing a lift and putting on larger tires, which many Jeep owners forget about, is the ability to change your new tires in case you get a flat. Due to your axles being raised, your factory “scissor” jack becomes unsafe to use (remember: since the axle tubes are the proper jack points on your Jeep, it’s the tire size that impacts the location of those points and not the amount of your suspension lift).
You have to consider what you want to use from now on in the event of a flat tire. There are of course several options available. The simplest is to get yourself a couple of pieces of 2×6 lumber and store it somewhere in the Jeep. They would be wide enough to provide a stable base for your stock jack and would raise the jack about 3 inches from the ground.
Other options are: an aftermarket base for the factory jack, a high-lift jack, a bottle jack, or an inflatable exhaust jack.
Here is a good video explaining the differences and advantages of the different options.
A high-lift jack is a very useful recovery tool and can perform several functions on the trail, however it was never really designed for tire changing and can be very dangerous if you are not careful when using it.
A bottle jack is a very good option for lifted vehicles, especially for maintenance performed in your garage on a hard, level surface. It is however a very heavy tool with a small footprint, that will need to be stored in your Jeep, together with probably a couple of pieces of 2×6 lumber serving as a base in soft terrain.
Inflatable exhaust jack offers a very wide footprint preventing it from sinking on soft surfaces, however it will not provide much lift, is very bulky and heavy making it difficult to store inside the Jeep, and is quite expensive. For those reasons exhaust jacks are not very popular in offroading community.
After considering pro’s and con’s of all the options I decided that for everyday driving as well as wheeling trips, I am going to stick with the factory scissor jack. It comes standard with a Jeep, it’s compact, easy to use, much more practical and safer to use than a Hi-Lift jack for changing tires and stores away nicely and out of sight when not in use.
For all the maintenance tasks I perform on my Jeep, I keep a floor jack and a bottle jack in my garage as well. Based on experience installing my lift kit, there are situations when you might need all three jacks at the same time.
Since the stock jack will get extended beyond it’s safe limit when using on my lifted Jeep with 35″ tires, I considered simply carrying couple of pieces of 2×6’s, however after coming across the AEV’s Jeep JK Jack Base and seeing how it perfectly fits inside my rear floor compartment, I decided to give it a try.
I understand that due to it’s pretty high price, it might be considered a luxury item by some Jeep owners.
(more…)

June 28, 2020 |

Jeep JK Tailgate Tire Carrier by Rugged Ridge

0

Jeep JK Tailgate Tire Carrier by Rugged RidgeInstalling a suspension lift on your Jeep Wrangler is one of the most exciting and most common upgrades any Jeep owner can think of. Lifting your Jeep results in higher ground clearance, better approach, departure and break over angles, as well as the ability to put on larger tires. Upgrading your tire size will require a new tire carrier to accommodate both the heavier weight and larger diameter. Factory tire carrier of a Jeep JK is made of thin aluminum and designed to carry a maximum weight of 50 lbs. under normal to light trail conditions. Exceeding that weight limit could cause damage to the tire carrier or even the tailgate itself. The Wrangler’s tailgate is comprised of an outer and inner shell, spot welded on the inside. When more weight is introduced to the tire carrier, it pulls the carrier back, along with the outer shell. Eventually, the force will begin to pop the welds along the inner shell, separating both pieces and causing damage to the tailgate.

Before you install larger tires, you need to consider how you’re going to carry that new full size spare. Similar to most aftermarket parts for the Jeep, there are a variety of tire carrier options available.
The first decision to make is whether you would like to retain the stock look, by running a larger tire on the tailgate itself, with heavy reinforcement, or run an aftermarket rear bumper with an integrated tire mount. Both solutions will solve the two major issues involving weight and clearance.

If you decide to go with the tailgate option, there are several manufacturers of the body mounted tire carriers: TeraFlex, Rugged Ridge, MetalCloak, Rock Hard 4×4, EVO Manufacturing, Barricade, Smittybilt.
This option replaces the factory hinges and tire carrier itself with a heavy gauged robust hinge system. The system no longer relies on the tailgate for support and alleviates any stress on the spot welds. It also allows you to adjust the mounting height in order to take into account larger tires and is rated to carry up to a 37” tire.
Body mounted tire carriers retain your Jeep’s one handed, easy access to the rear cargo area.
Compared to a stock spare tire carrier, which weighs less than 10 lbs, an aftermarket body mounted tailgate tire carrier kit will weigh around 50 lbs.

If you’re looking to upgrade your rear bumper and are looking for an even sturdier solution, than a steel bumper with an integrated tire carrier might be a better option.
This system floats independently from the tailgate, requiring you to first swing open the tire carrier, followed by the tailgate, in order to access the cargo area. This solution however introduces a great deal of weight to the rear of the Jeep, with the bumper often coming in at around 100 lbs. and the carrier itself an additional 50 lbs.

I decided to go with a heavy duty Jeep JK tailgate tire carrier option. This step-by-step write-up describes installation of the Rugged Ridge tire carrier kit. The kit includes the hinge casting, wheel mount with lug plate and brake light extension.
You can also watch these installation videos if you prefer: from CJ Off-Road or Rocky X TV. Be aware however that in both videos, I noticed they forget to install the spacer plates on the driver side of the new wheel mount, or simply fail to mention that it needs to be inserted between the wheel mount and tailgate.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

June 8, 2020 |

RedRock 4×4 Fastback Soft Top – Black Diamond

0

Types of Jeep Wrangler Tops & How to Care for Them

PAOLI, Pa. (May 1, 2020) – ExtremeTerrain’s (XT) Ryan Huck produced this week’s video as an overview and how-to guide for 2-door Jeep Wrangler JK owners who are looking to install the RedRock 4×4 Fastback 2-in-1 Soft Top.

Ryan introduces the video with tips on what to look for when shopping for soft tops. He provides an informative summary of the three categories of soft tops; highlighting cost, functionality and the need for additional hardware. As Ryan explains, the frameless, fast-back style, Jeep Wrangler soft top is a “very easy one out of three wrench installation”, delivering a “little bit of a different look and functionality from a factory soft top”.

Next, Tony from XT’s installation team, takes the helm, showing customers how to remove the factory top and install the new frameless soft top. The video ends with some pro tips on achieving a secure, formed fit.

Featured products: RedRock 4×4 Fastback 2-in-1 Soft Top; Black Diamond (07-18 Jeep Wrangler JK 2 Door), Jeep Wrangler Soft Tops.
(more…)

May 7, 2020 |

Jeep JK Axle Vent Hose Extension

0

Jeep Wrangler Axle Vent Hose ExtensionInstalling a suspension lift on your Jeep Wrangler is one of the most exciting and most common upgrades any Jeep owner can think of. Lifting your Jeep Wrangler results in higher ground clearance, better approach, departure and break over angles and ability to put on larger tires. That means you can take your Jeep out to the backcountry and enjoy some real offroading. With all that fun, you might eventually find yourself doing a water crossing, or simply playing in mud.
Lifting your Jeep Wrangler increases the distance between the frame/body of your Jeep and the axles. In addition to installing longer shocks, springs, control arms and sway bar links, there are several hoses and cables that connect the body of your Jeep to both axles, which will need to be extended as well, especially if you’re lifting your Jeep more than 3″. One of the elements that is often overlooked, is the axle vent hose.
On any Jeep Wrangler, both front and rear axles have vent hoses installed, right next to the differential, which run up from the axles and terminate at a higher level, typically on top of the wheel well.
The purpose of the vent hose is to keep the vent opening further away from the axle tube where there is dirt and moisture (water) that might enter the axle and differential. Using the hose restricts debris while allowing air in and out easily. Axle vents allow pressure inside the differential to equalize with the atmospheric pressure.

There are in fact a total of four elements of your typical Jeep Wrangler that have vent hoses installed: front axle, rear axle, transfer case and auto transmission. While you can consider extending all four during suspension lift installation, it’s the axle vent hoses that are impacted directly by the lift. Those are also the hoses that terminate inside the wheel wells, and need extending if you plan on doing any water crossings in your Jeep. The transfer case and transmission vent hoses terminate inside the engine bay, right below the plastic engine cover.

Leaving the axle vent hoses at their stock length might result in them getting disconnected from the axles during flexing on the trail, and can lead to debris and water entering the axles and differentials, contaminating gear oil and ruining your axles and gears.
It is a good idea to plan on running the extended axle vent hoses higher that the stock termination location. For the front, it could be the top of the engine bay, and for the rear it could be right behind the passenger side tail light. That way there is less chance of water being sucked into the hose and eventually the axle, during deep water crossing. If the water level is higher than that, you have bigger problems 🙂

Under normal operations, drivetrain assemblies heat up and the air inside expands, increasing the pressure and thus the need to be vented to the atmosphere is created. When the drivetrain assembly cools down the air inside contracts and creates a vacuum.
Driving through water crossings creates a vacuum caused by the drivetrain assembly being cooled rapidly by the water.

You could run into a situation where the cap at the end of the vent hose is clogged by mud or debris, due to being located right inside the wheel well. Pressure inside the axle can’t be equalized so the air will be sucked thru the axle seals. Many times the seals are still submerged below water, leading to the water being drawn into the drivetrain.
Even with the vent hose cap not plugged by debris, if it’s below water level, it’s going to pull water inside the axles as well.
It is highly recommended that you perform a differential fluid change after your Jeep has spent any extended period of time in water.

In order to avoid vent hoses coming off the axle housing during flexing while offroading, and assuring that the open end of the breather hose is always above water level, I would highly recommend that you put in this Jeep JK axle vent hose extension after installing a lift.
You can simply buy extra 3-4″ of fuel line and add it to the length of each vent hose with the help of a hose mender, or you can replace the entire hose with a longer one. I opted for buying new, longer hose. You want to purchase fuel line and not a plastic or vinyl hose, because gear oil and ATF are too aggressive towards regular hoses. The chemicals will coat the inside of the vent hose and break down plastic eventually. Any hose mender or adapter used, should be made of brass and not plastic.

I have a 2012 Jeep JK so if you own a different Model Year Wrangler, some things might look different, but hopefully you can use most of the information provided.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

February 16, 2020 |

Slickrock Gear JK Pockets

0

JK PocketsI have never been a big fan of the netting used by Chrysler on the doors and dashboard of the Jeep Wrangler JK, instead of actual pockets. I honestly do not use the door netting at all, since I try do drive doorless as much as possible. I am lucky to live in a warm climate of Arizona, which makes it possible to enjoy doorless driving most of the year.
I tried using the lower dash net pocket few times, when my JK was brand new, however it didn’t take long before the netting stretched out and started sagging so bad, that it became completely useless. On top of that, the netting started to deteriorate and fall apart. I ignored it for a very long time, and simply accepted that I will never use that pocket again.
I was doing some research online and came across a product recently, that offered a solution to the issue of the “sagging netting”. The company called Slickrock Gear, located in California, started manufacturing JK Pockets™ as replacement for the often useless netting in Jeep JK. These plastic pockets replace the netting and give you actual real storage on the inside of the doors and the dashboard.
I decided to purchase the Lower Dash JK Pocket™, since I had no need for the door pockets at this time. I bought the JK Pocket™ with my own money and did not receive any special deal on it. I do want to mention that these products are not cheap, however they are made in the USA.
This might be considered a luxury item by some Jeep owners.
Slickrock Gear’s website provides a lot of information and reviews about their products as well as installation instuctions.
It literally takes five minutes to install these things, however per provided instructions, you will be removing the factory netting permanently.
I did find a forum thread where some creative jeepers demonstrated that it’s possible to install the Slickrock Gear JK Pockets without removing the stock netting.
(more…)

January 28, 2020 |

Jeep JK undercarriage rattle

0

Jeep JK undercarriage rattleAny Jeep Wrangler owner have experienced weird noises their vehicle makes occasionally. We all realize that Jeeps are not really known for comfort and refinement. They are made for offroading and that’s where they shine, however daily driving, although fun, might make you go insane if you listen to every little unexplained noise your Jeep makes. Some of those noises are due to Wrangler’s shape, resulting in terrible aerodynamics. If you take the top off and install it back without making sure all the seals are perfectly aligned, you will experience loud wind noise. If you upgrade your front bumper or the fenders, you’ll increase drag and the noise will become even louder. Larger, more aggressive tires can be very noisy on asphalt. During daily driving you will most likely hear some squeaking inside the cabin, from the doors or seats for example. There might sometimes be some whining sounds coming from behind the dashboard.

Many of us driving Jeep Wranglers learned to react to all these noises by saying “It’s a Jeep thing” and cranking up the music. As long as the Jeep still runs, it’s totally normal.
Any Jeep owner who installed upgrades to their vehicle, and wheels their rig once in a while, accepts the fact that sooner or later there will be some hard to identify noises or rattling coming from the Jeep’s undercarriage.
These noises could be occurring at different times. It could be while the Jeep is not moving and simply idling, while you go over speed bumps or potholes, or when you’re braking.
Determining the source of the noise depends on this timing.
We all tend to expect the worse, but sometimes quick inspection of the undercarriage will reveal the culprit.
I would suggest that if the noise occurs while braking, you should obviously check your braking system. Inspect all brake rotors, calipers, anchor brackets (check the anti rattle clips), brake pads and of course the bolts securing all those parts. Putting the Jeep on jack stands and taking the wheels off will make this process much easier.
If the noise occurs while going over “obstacles” in the road, than it will most likely point to an issue with suspension. I would definitely check all the bolts for your shocks, control arms, sway bar links, track bars and drag links. You can find suspension torque specs here.
Noise or rattling occurring during idling will most likely be caused by a loose part of the exhaust system. There are of course other possible causes, like loose bolts or nuts in your driveshaft (more likely however to make noise while your Jeep is moving), or motor mount or transmission mount rubber dampeners deteriorating, however the noise would most likely be accompanied by vibrations you could feel when sitting in the driver seat.
Provided there is no vibrations, I would always inspect the exhaust first.

This post is meant as a quick guide to inspecting your vehicle’s exhaust system in order to locate the source of a Jeep Wrangler JK undercarriage rattle. I put this post together after experiencing rattling coming from underneath my own Jeep. In my case the noise would only occur while idling, after a cold start and only after putting my Jeep in reverse. It drove me crazy for few days, but I was finally able to locate and fix the problem. For me it was a broken spot weld on the crossover pipe heat shield, as well as a rear clamp which appeared tight however it wasn’t and it allowed the exhaust pipe to vibrate.

When it comes to the exhaust system, the most common cause of a rattle is the heat shields becoming loose, due to rocks hitting them, weak welds or corrosion. Your driving style and your climate will have a big impact on the shape of your exhaust system.

Remember: Let the exhaust system cool down before touching anything.

You can perform the inspection without any tools, however a screwdriver, mallet or a hammer might be useful. You will need few wrenches or sockets and possibly a hose clamp or two, in order to fix the problem. If you determine that the bolts securing heat shield above your muffler are rusted and the shield is loose, you will need few large washers and small u-bolts.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

November 17, 2019 |

Jeep JK Front and Rear Driveshaft by Adams Driveshaft

0

Jeep JK Front and Rear DriveshaftLifting your Jeep Wrangler JK results not only in higher ground clearance, better approach, departure and break over angles and ability to put on larger tires, but it also causes changes to your driveline as well as steering geometry. Make sure you educate yourself on this topic before installing a lift on your Jeep, especially anything over 3″.
Lifting your vehicle will cause your front and rear driveshafts to operate at different angles, as well as your axles to rotate. It will result in rolling your differentials upwards, causing changes to the caster/pinion angle in the front, and pinion angle in the rear. All these angles are carefully set in stock Jeeps and the original parts installed guarantee smooth operation and ride quality. Installing a lift messes with all these aspects and you need to make sure that everything works together as close to perfect as possible. Stock driveshaft is too short to handle suspension travel and might break under stress. It’s also not designed for larger, heavier tires.
I did realize at the time I was installing my new lift that I would need new driveshafts, however my plan was to replace them a couple of months after the lift, since I was not going to wheel my Jeep during that period (middle of Arizona summer). I knew that especially the stock front driveshaft is vulnerable while operating at higher angles, and might possibly be coming in contact with the exhaust cross pipe (I did install an exhaust spacer during lift installation, however I always considered it a temporary fix). My assumption was that city driving will not result in any issues.
Unfortunately I was wrong.
A stock Jeep JK front driveshaft includes a RZeppa joint on the transfer case side, and a single U-joint on the differential/pinion side. This low angle stock RZeppa joint is not designed for a lifted Jeep. The rubber boot protecting the joint will get damaged by the driveshaft, even during daily driving, for example going over speed bumps. This rubber boot keeps the grease in the joint from coming out.
The way my Jeep let me know that the front driveshaft needs immediate replacement was quite unnerving. I was driving topless and doorless, and one day after my morning commute to work, after parking and turning the ignition off, dark smoke began to come out from underneath the Jeep.
I have never seen that before…
I immediately started to look for the source of the smoke, and came to find out that the rubber boot was completely destroyed, which caused the grease to splatter all over different parts including the exhaust pipe. The heat of the pipe resulted in the grease smoking. Luckily it didn’t cause a fire. After returning home that day, I removed the driveshaft and spent couple hours cleaning the undercarriage to remove all the grease.
That experience prompted my purchase of replacement driveshafts sooner than I had planned. I decided to buy both front and rear driveshafts to take advantage of a package deal. The rear stock driveshaft will however work fine for a while after lifting the Jeep, provided the pinion angle is properly set.
Choosing an aftermarket driveshaft comes down to your personal preference. Do your own research and read comments and reviews on the Jeep forums. Depending on your rig and your driving style, you’ll need to also decide on the U-joint size, choosing between 1310 and 1350 series driveshafts. Both 2-door and 4-door JK’s have the same length front driveshaft, the rear is of course different. I would highly recommend that you visit the manufacturers’ websites for instructions on measuring and determining the correct length of the rear driveshaft, and calling them if you have any questions.
Two most highly regarded driveshaft manufacturers are Adams Driveshaft and Tom Wood’s Custom Drive Shafts.
Both manufacturers offer double cardan driveshafts. This design is considered to be a much better option for lifted Jeeps. These driveshafts are also commonly called CV driveshafts. Most in the Jeep community use the terms double cardan and CV to mean the same thing. They are really referring to the double cardan style shaft with two u-joints and a centering ball on the transfer case end and a single u-joint on the differential end. Both the Rzeppa joint and Double-Cardan joint are types of CV joints.
CV joint means constant velocity joint, meaning that it theoretically does not change speed as it rotates through it’s range of motion when operated at an angle.
In this post, I will attempt to describe installation of Adams Driveshaft Jeep JK front and rear driveshaft which I purchased to replace my stock driveshafts, following a lift install on my 2 door JK. Prior to the installation, I reviewed all available instructions online and watched several videos. Check out this video for example, showing the installation process.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades. I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

November 11, 2019 |

Reservation Lake Campground

0

Location: South of Greer, Arizona.

Elevation: 9,050 feet

Season: April through November

Access: Gravel road

Fee: $9.00 per vehicle per night

Reservations: No reservations. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Usage: Low / Medium

Days Limit: 14 days

Amenities: 60 camp sites, tent camping, trailer camping, no hookups, no potable water, picnic tables (at most campsites), rock fire rings, vault toilets, pets must be restrained or on a leash

Information: Pinetop Game & Fish Department (928) 367-4281, the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest at (928) 368-2100 www.fs.usda.gov/asnf or White Mountain Apache Tribe Game & Fish Department @ (928) 338-4385.

 

 

 

 

Directions: From Show Low, take SR 260 east, 20 miles past the Hon-Dah Convenience Store to SR 273, turn right onto SR 273 and travel 14.3 miles to FR 116. Follow this graded gravel road for 11 miles to the entrance of the Reservation Lake recreational area.
(more…)

September 24, 2019 |

Jeep Wrangler Fluid Capacities

0

Jeep Wrangler Fluid Capacities

PAOLI, Pa. (September 19th, 2019) – Motor oil, coolant, brake, transmission, power steering, and differential fluids are the lifeblood of automobiles everywhere. Supporting the mechanical functions necessary for acceleration and braking, these vital liquids lubricate, isolate, and thermally protect a vehicle’s mechanical components. Knowing what type, as well as the quantity, when replenishing or replacing fluids can save a lot of headache as well as prolong the life of your Jeep Wrangler’s engine.

To provide the ultimate Wrangler fluids reference, the writers at ExtremeTerrain(XT) have assembled their definitive Wrangler fluid capacities technical guide. Providing all YJ to JL Wrangler with the fluid specifications needed to maintain their Jeeps, XT’s guide comes in handy — especially if your vehicle’s owner’s manual has gone missing!

View it here: https://www.extremeterrain.com/jeep-wrangler-fluid-capacities.html
(more…)

September 19, 2019 |

Jeep JK Winch Bumper by ShrockWorks

0

Really popular modification that most Jeep owners will do to their Wranglers is to replace the factory front plastic bumper that came with their stock Jeep JK, with a heavy duty offroad bumper. Aftermarket bumpers offer a ton of advantages over the factory bumper, providing better protection for the front of the Jeep, but most of all allowing you to install a winch and additional offroad lighting. Depending on the design, aftermarket offroad front bumper might also increase your Jeep’s approach angle and expose the front wheels, making it easier to put tires on large obstacles. It might also include steel skid plate, protecting the electronic sway bar disconnect motor, if your Jeep has one.
Aftermarket bumpers generally come in three sizes: full width, mid width, and stubby. When choosing your new offroad bumper you will need to decide on the width, which depends on the way you plan on using your Jeep. You need to also decide if you’re going to mount a winch to it, and whether you prefer a top mounting winch bumper or an in-bumper mounting option with winch plate located between frame rails.

There are plenty of manufacturers offering aftermarket offroad bumpers. You can find different designs made by companies like: Poison Spyder, Rugged Ridge, Rock Hard 4×4, Teraflex, ShrockWorks, Evo Manufacturing, Smittybilt, Artec Industries, M.O.R.E., Crawler Conceptz, LOD, Rampage Products, ARB, Bestop, DV8, Or-Fab, AEV, Rough Country, Warn, Barricade, JCR Offroad, and others. You can often order your new bumper from an online store like Northridge4x4, ExtremeTerrain or Quadratec and if they have it in stock, you’ll receive it in few days. Some manufacturers build your new bumper after you place an order with them, so you will have to be more patient since it might take few weeks before you receive your bumper.

Depending on the brand and design of your new offroad front bumper, there might be some modifications to your Jeep that are necessary before installation. If you go with a bumper that has a winch mounting plate between the frame rails, you need to make sure that it will fit, and that might mean that your vacuum pump needs to be relocated and it’s stock mounting bracket needs to be cut off. Refer to instructions that come with your aftermarket bumper to be clear on requirements.

Obviously before installing your new aftermarket bumper, the factory bumper needs to come off. This is often the part that takes the longest, and if you have factory fog lights, you need to pay close attention to the wires and disconnect everything before pulling off the stock bumper.
Here’s a good video showing you how to remove factory front bumper on your Jeep Wrangler JK.

There were several requirements I had for my new offroad bumper. I decided that I wanted a stubby bumper, with low winch mounting position between frame rails, allowing good air flow to the radiator, integrated recovery points, no fog lights but instead brackets for offroad flood lights, welded-on bull guard providing additional protection, and included skid plate.
After researching for a very long time and reading countless reviews, I decided on a Shrockworks stubby front winch bumper. It checked all the boxes for me, and other owners seem very happy with the quality of their products (especially the quality of their welds).
I contacted the sales person at Shrockworks and discussed all the options. They were very knowledgeable and helpful, and after mentioning that I already own the Superwinch Tiger Shark 9500 winch, I was advised to get the “offset” version of the bumper, with the fairlead slot cut off center, towards driver side. It is due to the position of the drum on the Tiger Shark winch.

This post will describe steps to install a Jeep JK bumper by ShrockWorks, including removal of the vacuum pump bracket to fit the winch plate, as well as installation of the Superwinch Tiger Shark 9500 winch.
Whatever combination of bumper/winch you select for yourself, I would advise you to contact manufacturers of both, to confirm fitment. You can also contact the authorized dealers, including aftermarket offroad parts stores, since they should be knowledgeable in this topic.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

September 1, 2019 |

The Definitive Guide to Jeep Wrangler Wheels

0

The Definitive Guide to Jeep Wrangler Wheels

PAOLI, Pa. (August 22nd, 2019) – The invention of the wheel spawned the creation of everything from potter’s wheels, to wheelbarrows, and even Jeep Wranglers! Wrangler wheels come in a variety of sizes and finishes so when it comes time to replace or upgrade your current set, a little bit of research goes a long way to ensure you have the right diameter wheel, coupled with the correct lug pattern, offset, and backspacing for your application.

ExtremeTerrain’s Jeep Wheel technical guide provides everything you need to know about Jeep Wrangler wheels in an easily digestible format armed with table of contents (for easy navigating), before and after imagery, specification tables, infographics, pros and cons, and video. There is even a section on choosing the best tire for your Wrangler for those looking to order a Jeep Wrangler wheel and tire kit.

View it here: https://www.extremeterrain.com/wrangler-jeep-aluminum-wheels-steel-wheels-explained.html
(more…)

August 23, 2019 |

Win $5K on ExtremeTerrain from RedRock 4×4

0

JL Hill Descent Control Tested

PAOLI, Pa. (August 1st, 2019) – Attention all 2005+ Toyota Tacoma owners: here is your chance to win $5,000 in parts and accessories for your rig on ExtremeTerrain (XT), brought to you by RedRock 4×4. RedRock 4×4 is fast becoming one of the most trusted names in the Tacoma aftermarket by offering performance and styling parts that easily surpass factory OEM standards for outstanding quality.

The RedRock 4×4 Giveaway is an “enter – daily” sweepstakes which runs now until September 30th, 2019. For the best chance to win, participants can visit the RedRock 4×4 page on XT’s site and complete the entry daily — no purchase necessary. A winner will be selected on or around October 7, 2019 to be awarded with a $5,000 shopping spree on XT’s site. Everything is on the line; from Tacoma Bumpers to Lift Kits to Wheels & Tires. See official rules on entry form for exclusions and full details.

Enter to win here: https://www.extremeterrain.com/redrock-4×4-tacoma-parts.html

___________________________________________________________________________________________

About ExtremeTerrain

ExtremeTerrain.com is a leader in providing enthusiasts with aftermarket Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Tacoma parts. Located just outside Philadelphia, PA, ExtremeTerrain is dedicated to providing Wrangler and Tacoma owners with the best parts at the best prices while also ensuring the conservation and protection of off-road trails. Visit https://www.extremeterrain.com/

 

August 12, 2019 |

Jeep JK Cargo Area Light

0

Jeep JK Cargo Area LightJeep Wrangler JK unfortunately lacks proper lighting in the rear cargo area. Any Wrangler owner probably experienced a situation when they were loading or unloading their Jeep after dark and could not see anything in the cargo area behind the back seats.
The interior dome light in a Jeep Wrangler JK is very weak and does not provide sufficient light for the cargo area, especially in a 2 door JK. With the rear lift gate open for extended period of time, dome light turns off after maximum of 10 minutes, unless you set the interior lights to “always on” on the multi-function switch/lever by the steering wheel. This timer is logical for courtesy lights, however it is impractical for overlanding or camping, when you might need to open the back of the Jeep multiple times while the engine is off, and leave the liftgate open for more than few minutes.

You can replace the dome light bulbs with LED to improve visibility a little bit, however it does not completely solve the problem at the back of the Jeep. The cargo area is notoriously dark. There is a clear need for additional light source under the liftgate.

There are several products available on the market, which try to solve this problem. One of them is the iKonic Cargo Light, which replaces the stock wiper motor cover and comes ready to install. It operates on a 9V battery which needs to be replaced periodically.
Another popular product is the Brawlee Jeep Wrangler LED Rear Glass Lift Gate Dome Light Bar, which attaches to the inside of the liftgate and can be plugged in to the rear power outlet or hardwired to the dome light.
You can purchase one of these products and it will most likely work great for you, depending on your needs.
You could also simply get a wireless, battery operated puck LED light and attach it to the inside of your Jeep’s hardtop.

Being more of a DIY person, I wanted to create my own custom solution, which would seamlessly integrate with my Jeep and look like it was there all along.
Inspired by the available products, I decided to combine some of the features together and install my own version of the cargo area light. One that would be integrated into the wiper motor cover and hidden as much as possible, provide just the right amount of light for either the rear of the Jeep OR the interior of the cargo area, and be hardwired to the constant power from the Jeep’s battery, thru the rear power outlet wiring, allowing me to switch it on & off at any time while the Jeep is parked and the engine is off.

I enjoy car camping with my Jeep and while spending the night in less developed campgrounds, I use my tailgate fold-down table a lot.

This post will describe a step by step fabrication and installation of a Jeep Wrangler JK cargo area light, however some of the details might apply only to my Jeep’s model year and trim level. If you own a different model year JK, you are welcome to follow all or most of the steps described below, or adjust anything you find necessary. Use this post as an inspiration for your own cargo area light solution.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

June 4, 2019 |

ExtremeTerrain’s Clean Trails Program

0

JL Hill Descent Control Tested

PAOLI, Pa. (May 29, 2019) – ExtremeTerrain, the auto parts retailer known for customizing Jeep Wranglers and Toyota pick-ups, continues to give back through the Clean Trail Initiative program in 2019. Launched in 2015, the program seeks to reward local clubs and organizations with small, project-specific, grants to be used for trail maintenance and restoration. In the approximately 4 years since it started, the program has given out $21,650 in trail project grant funds.

The community of off-roading and 4×4 enthusiasts sometimes get a bad rap for their treatment of trails. There is a negative impression that many members of the off-roading community work hard to combat. There are dozens of non-profit organizations filled with conscientious 4×4 owners around the U.S. that organize excellent programs to clean and maintain the trails they use, while also educating the community of fellow 4-wheelers about the proper rules and regulations that govern lawful use of public and private lands.

ExtremeTerrain’s Clean Trail Initiative program was designed with these very organizations in mind. The clubs and groups that are out in the woods, are the front-line ambassadors for the good name of law-abiding, conscientious members of the Jeep and 4×4 community. Therefore, any little bit of support that the e-comm parts company can supply to these great folks is helping to bridge the divide between non-motorized outdoor recreational enthusiasts and the OHV community.

As 2019 ramps up into the spring and summer season, the need to support trail clean-ups and stewardship increases. Therefore, ExtremeTerrain is rededicating itself to the program. Application for 2019 trail grants are being accepted right now! It is very easy to submit a grant request.

Leaders of trail projects can visit the page https://www.extremeterrain.com/clean-trail-initiative-program.html, and sign-up through the easy online application. Members of the ExtremeTerrain team will notify grant winners within just a few days and get a package of trail cleaning supplies shipped out soon thereafter.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

About ExtremeTerrain

ExtremeTerrain.com is a leader in providing enthusiasts with aftermarket Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Tacoma parts. Located just outside Philadelphia, PA, ExtremeTerrain is dedicated to providing Wrangler and Tacoma owners with the best parts at the best prices while also ensuring the conservation and protection of off-road trails. Visit https://www.extremeterrain.com/

 

May 29, 2019 |

Horse Springs Campground

0

Location: West of Alpine, Arizona.

Elevation: 7,610 feet

Season: May through October

Access: Dirt road

Fee: $14.00 per camp unit per night

Reservations: No reservations. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Usage: Medium / High

Days Limit: 14 days

Amenities: 27 single unit sites, tent camping, trailer camping, trailers and motorhomes up to 32 foot, no hookups, picnic tables (at each campsite), rock fire rings, potable water faucets, vault toilets, pets must be restrained or on a leash, concessionaire operated

Information: Alpine Ranger District, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, (928) 339-5000 or www.fs.usda.gov/asnf

 

 

Directions: From Alpine, drive two miles north on US Highway 191 to Forest Road 249 (Three Forks Rd). Turn west and follow this paved forest road 5 miles to Forest Road 276 (graded dirt road). Turn south and follow Forest Road 276 for 10.5 miles.
(more…)

May 26, 2019 |

Jeep JK Differential Fluid Change

0

Jeep JK Differential Fluid ChangeChanging the fluid in your Jeep JK front and rear differentials is an important part of routine maintenance. Fresh gear oil insures your differentials are well lubricated and function properly. And, unlike previous Jeep Wranglers, it is not necessary to remove the differential cover in order to do this. It is however recommended that you do so anyway from time to time (possibly every other fluid change) as it will give you a chance to inspect your gears and catch any damage or unusual wear.

Following “Schedule B” in the Jeep owner’s manual (heavy driving), you should change your differential fluids every 15,000 miles. However it is always a good idea to do this IF you’ve submerged your axles in deep water for prolonged periods of time. This post will provide instructions on how to perform a Jeep JK differential fluid change that applies to either Dana 30 or Dana 44 axles.

Front Dana 44 differential needs 2.7 pints (1.35 quarts) and the rear needs 4.75 pints (2.375 quarts). If you have factory covers, all you need to do is fill up your differentials until gear oil oozes out of the fill hole. If you have an after market differential cover that has a higher fill hole than factory, DO NOT be tempted to add any more gear oil than is needed. Doing so will result in a differential that is over-filled and will cause gear oil to get pumped out of the breather tube, creating a stinky mess. Gear oil level only needs to reach the bottom of your axle tubes.

NOTE: Rear differentials with Trac-Lok (limited slip clutch type differential, not used on the Rubicon), require the limited slip additive for the clutch plates. You can also use synthetic gear oil as it will have friction modifier in it.
Jeep JK Rubicon requires regular gear oil. The Rubicon uses Tru-Lok which is a mechanical lock to lock the left and right axles together. Tru-Lok does not have clutch plates, so an additive is not required. In the Rubicon with Tru-Lok differentials, when the rear differential is not locked, the vehicle uses the TCS (Traction Control System) to monitor the amount of wheel spin of each of the driven wheels. If wheel spin is detected, brake pressure is applied to the slipping wheel(s) to provide stability. This feature of the TCS system functions similar to a limited slip differential and controls the wheel spin across a driven axle. If one wheel on a driven axle is spinning faster than the other, the system will apply the brake of the spinning wheel. This will allow more engine torque to be applied to the wheel that is not spinning. This is how the Rubicon gets by without a limited slip rear differential.

As with any other fluids, refer to your Jeep owner’s manual for the recommended gear oil viscosity. I own a 2012 JK Rubicon, with both front and rear Dana 44 axles, and the recommended gear oil is 80W-90.

Differential Fluid Capacity:
Jeep JK Rubicon front Dana 44     2.70 pints (1.35 quarts)
Jeep JK Rubicon rear Dana 44      4.75 pints (2.375 quarts)
Non Rubicon front differential        2.10 pints (1.05 quarts)
Non Rubicon rear differential         3.80 pints (1.90 quarts)

 

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

April 14, 2019 |

Massacre Grounds hiking trail

0

Location: Apache Junction, Arizona

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Route Type: Out & Back

Length: 5.0 miles round trip

Usage: Moderate

Trailhead Elevation: 2,117 ft.

Elevation Gain: 1,087 ft.

Park Fee: No fee

Trailhead Amenities: parking, trail map and information

 

 

Directions: From central Phoenix, take I-10 east to US 60 east. Exit on Idaho Road, follow Idaho Road north to N Apache Trail, bear right onto N Apache Trail and follow it 0.5 mile past the Lost Dutchman State Park entrance. Turn right onto N First Water Road. Follow this dirt road 0.5 mile where you’ll find a trailhead parking. Parking lot fits about 30 cars and there might be horse trailers used by guided horse tour groups.
 


(more…)
March 31, 2019 |

Moonlight Trail / San Tan Trail hiking loop

0

Location: San Tan Mountain Regional Park

Park Hours: Sun-Thu: 6am – 8pm / Fri-Sat: 6am – 10pm / 365 days a year

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Route Type: Loop

Length: 3.5 miles

Usage: Moderate

Trailhead Elevation: 1,400 ft.

Elevation Gain: 131 ft.

Park Fee: $7.00 per vehicle

Trailhead Amenities: parking, visitor center, restrooms, gift shop, trail map and information

 

 

Directions: From central Phoenix, take I-10 east to US 60 east. Exit Ellsworth Road south to Hunt Highway. Travel east on Hunt Highway to Thompson Road south. Turn west on Phillips Road to the San Tan Mountain Regional Park entrance.
 


(more…)
March 16, 2019 |

Jeep JK Stainless Steel Extended Brake Lines

0

Jeep JK Stainless Steel Extended Brake LinesThe most common situation when extended brake lines are necessary is when you install a lift on your Jeep. The distance between the frame/body of the Jeep and axles increases after a suspension lift, therefore longer brake lines are required during articulation. You might also want to replace your stock rubber brake lines with stainless steel braided brake lines when you realize that the stock lines are deteriorating due to weather conditions (very high temperatures in the summer or lots of salt on the road due to ice and snow in the winter) and when you begin noticing a much softer, spongy brake pedal feel. That feeling is most likely due to moisture getting into the brake lines, which leads to reduced boiling point of the fluid and forming of air bubbles, as well as corrosion of the metal components of the system and consequently contamination of the fluid.
Any time you open up the brake system, like when you replace the flexible brake lines, you must perform a proper bleeding procedure. When bleeding the brakes you will need to add more fluid to your master cylinder. I would suggest that while you’re at it, you might as well flush the entire braking system and replace all the brake fluid with fresh one. It is actually recommended that modern vehicles have their brake fluid replaced once every 2 years.
This is due to the fact that most cars today use DOT brake fluid, and the characteristics of that fluid.
DOT brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture. Over time brake fluid will accumulate a certain amount of moisture; a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 20 percent of the cars they tested had brake fluid with 5-percent moisture content. A 3-percent moisture content in DOT 3 brake fluid reduces the boiling point of the fluid by more than 100 degrees.
When moisture in the brake fluid boils because of the tremendous amount of heat generated by the brakes, you can actually lose the ability to stop. In addition to that, the moisture can cause corrosion of the wheel cylinders or brake calipers and eventually cause a leak.
The other thing to watch out for is dirty fluid. Brake fluid can get very dirty if left unchanged year after year. I have seen some master cylinders that look as if they were filled with mud.
With newer model vehicles like the Jeep JK, most common issues stem from the levels of dissolved copper and depleted additive package in modern brake fluids. When the additive package of brake fluid is depleted, one of the negative results may be internal brake system component corrosion and sludge build up.

In this write-up I will be describing the procedure of replacing all four flex brake lines as well as flushing the entire brake system and bleeding the brakes. With brand new, extended stainless steel flex lines and fresh brake fluid flowing thru the entire brake system, as well as replaced brake pads and new, larger brake rotors (see my post), my Jeep’s brakes are going to work as new again. I am performing a complete brake system overhaul in preparation for a suspension lift, to make sure I can confidently drive my lifted Jeep on a daily basis, as well as enjoy wheeling it over some fun obstacles.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

February 24, 2019 |

Jeep JK Big Rotor Kit by Teraflex

1

Jeep JK Big Rotor Kit by TeraflexWhen it comes to Jeep upgrades, brakes are often very low on the list of priorities. After upgrading wheels and installing larger 35″ tires, your stock brakes will have a very difficult time stopping your vehicle, both on the road and especially while negotiating thru an obstacle while offroading. When you increase the size and weight of your tires, you should really think about upgrading your brakes as well. It will improve your confidence while driving and just might help you avoid a collision or an accident. New, upgraded brakes are not cheap, however knowing that your braking power has been increased and stopping distance has been reduced is definitely worth the investment.
There are few options when it comes to aftermarket brake kits, which include new rotors, anchor brackets, calipers and brake pads. Most popular options are Teraflex brake kits, Crown Automotive brake kits, Power Stop brake kits and Dynatrac brake kits. You can find kits with rotors and brackets only or kits with rotors, brackets and calipers included. New brake pads sometimes are included with the kit, or you can purchase your favorite brand of brake pads separately. When it comes to rotors, you can find kits with standard vented rotors, slotted rotors, or drilled and slotted rotors. Your decision comes down to preference, your driving conditions and of course your budget.
After a lot of internet browsing and research, I decided to go with Teraflex Performance Big Rotor Kit for both front and rear wheels. I selected standard vented rotors (I believe smooth rotor surface is the best option for a combination of daily driving and weekend offroading, conventional rotors provide highest mass which improves cooling, and with no slots I don’t have to worry about mud collecting there and damaging brake pads prematurely), with included larger anchor brackets which allow for use of the stock calipers and brake pads. After reading reviews on the Teraflex Big Brake Kit, I decided that I don’t want to switch to a two piston caliper and affect the brake pedal feel, as well as possibly having to replace master cylinder.

The TeraFlex JK/JKU Front Performance Big Rotor Kit includes larger 13.3″ (338mm) rotors for improved stopping performance – stock is 11.9″ (302mm), and larger brake caliper relocating anchor brackets. It retains factory brake calipers & brake pads. Rear Performance Big Rotor Kit includes larger 13.5″ (343mm) machined rotors and larger brake caliper relocating anchor brackets, also retaining factory brake calipers & pads.
When installing the Big Rotor Kit there is no need to disconnect the calipers from brake lines therefore you don’t have to bleed the brakes if you don’t want to.

The way this kit works is pretty clever. Moving the location of the caliper outward just a bit accommodates the larger diameter rotor which allows for more efficient heat dissipation and better mechanical advantage in stopping. The increased clamping distance from the rotor center results in greater braking leverage to allow stopping distance to be decreased. It is however worth noting that neither the caliper clamping force nor the pad-to-rotor contact area are increased (as they are with the complete Big Brake Kit).

One thing to remember is that this Jeep JK Big Rotor Kit by Teraflex requires a minimum of 17” diameter wheels.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
(more…)

February 7, 2019 |
© 2020 AZoffroading.com - Arizona off-roaders' website. All Rights Reserved.