First time winter wheeling

so-closeWhat
a great day out at the Alberta Safari Park with the Jeep club.
Incredible weather, and great discovering what my Rubicon can do…. I
definitely chickened out on a few spots – the hill to the left for
example (Widow’s Hill)…but hell, I don’t have 4000K on this thing
yet!
I learnt quite a bit – finally had the Jeep in 4-Lo, locked front and
rear, and sway bar disconnected – and about using reverse when you
don’t make it to the top of a hill – instead of neutral and brakes ;^)
(thanks Steve!). And also learnt how effective using 2nd can be when
trying to get up some of the hills.
The only downside I experienced today was the damn batteries to my
digital camera dying on me prematurely. Shan managed to get a number of
shots while we were on the early trails, I might have gotten a couple
more shots – and then the battery died – even after swapping in a
battery that I charged up last night… oh well – next time!
Here some video from OilTownXJ – was a shame he busted things up early
– of a few of the folks that attempted the hill:
EJC Newbie Run – January 17, 2009One
thing that this run has done, is change my thoughts a little on the
accessories that I want for the Jeep.  I think that a winch will
be a sooner rather than later acquisition – hopefully with a new front
bumper, and lose the factory plastic one…
Still have to keep the safari cage rack on the list in the short term
though – as I think that this is important for fishing this spring!
img_2774medium img_2778mediumimg_2779medium2778-cropped
Thanks to Snow Dog Marc for these photos!

Tailgate mod

It’s surprising that Jeep designers didn’t incorporate this to start with. It’s a potentially hazardous design flaw. That tailgate is pretty heavy – especially with a big tire on it, yet if you park anywhere there is a bit of a slope, the door can come swinging closed on you. Anyway, some clever folks on the jk-forum have put together a simple mod to the door, by adding a gas shock to it.  They had part numbers and everything, but some of the companies don’t ship to Canada (free trade failure, or ‘merican attitude?).  Here’s a link to one of the variations that got posted.
I found a company in Saskatoon, called LSTechnologies (LST) that sells the parts needed.  They were very helpful in matching up a few of the parts I was after:
* B8-210-505-190N Gas Spring
* T1GPB-145 Angle Bracket 10mm Ball
* T1BKT-04 Angle Bracket
Some additional parts/materials that I’ll be using include:
* mounting bolts
* metal bar to help strengthen the mounting point on the tailgate
* rivet nuts? Still trying to determine exactly how I’ll attach the mounting brackets to the vehicle
Looking forward to receiving the parts from LST in the next few days… I’ll try and add some photos of the install.
UPDATE — Oct 27, 2008 I’m shocked!…(sorry, no pun intended).  The new shock and mounting brackets arrived today! I just ordered them Friday afternoon.  Kudo’s to LST and Canada Post for amazingly fast delivery.  Everything was packed exceptionally well.  Just need to pick up some stainless steel bolts, and some metal to reinforce the tailgate.

Bumpers again!

Have thought about building a bumper – even bought a little welding machine.  However, a couple months back, Genright came out with a new bumper for the JK – made from aluminum (they also have a steel version).

the fenders look good too!

Looks great I think – wish they could have fit some cutouts for fog lamps though!

Some threads of interest… mods to do or have done

JK-Forum

  • Winter Soft Top storage
  • DONE! Grill mod – a metal mesh screen to fill the slots in the front grill, yet still allow ample airflow through to the radiator.  A couple approaches are discussed in the thread – I like the single sheet of perforated stainless steel the best – as it requires no drilling or gluing.
  • DONE! Marker light mod – the light on the front bumpers is merely a running light from the factory – unless you have a European JK.  This is a simple mod – and it’s surprising that the vehicle didn’t come from the factory with it working as a running/signal light already!
  • DONE! Fuel Door Installation – the instructions from Mopar are apparently shiat!  So this photo thread should be a big help…
  • hard-top hoist – this is a pretty slick plan – and a complete materials list – uses a hand crank winch
  • DONE! tailgate shock mod – a great mod to keep the tailgate from swinging closed all the time
  • removing the front factory bumper
  • Installing a winch – and keeping the front factory bumper

Jeep Forum

  • hard-top hoist – another nice plan – some aspects of the JK Forum approach above are executed a bit more cleanly (and without requiring any welding), but this one uses a powered winch instead of a hand crank.

Northern Alberta Radio Club