Time for a Winch!!!

What’s everyone’s experience with a Badland Winch???

During my most recent wheeling trip at Bundy Hill, the Jeep with the winch in our group recovered not only myself as in the video below, but also my buddy Dan after he took a measurement for a snorkel!!!

When your passenger headlamp is half-filled with water, maybe it’s time to consider a snorkel?!?!?

With this most recent experience at Bundy Hill, and my misfortune at Silver Lake Sand Dunes this past Summer, I have decided that it is time for a winch!!!

AND…Harbor Freight has a great Black Friday deal on their Badland ZXR 12,000 LB. electric winch!!!

And with a winch, comes the time to decide on what type of bumper to mount it to?  Replace the factory plastic Sport bumper, or just got with a winch mounting plate???

I am leaning towards the Rock Hard 4×4 Patriot Series Winch Mounting Plate for Factory Front Bumper for Jeep Wrangler JK 2/4DR 2007 – 2017, and the Rough Country 1047 Bumper Cap for Jeep Wrangler JK 4WD, Wrangler Unlimited JK 4WD/2WD, 1 Pack to complete my winch install.

What is your experience, insight and advice on adding a winch?




It’s time for a snorkel!  Besides looking cool, it’s cheap insurance while off-road!

During my most recent off-road adventure, I turned out into a puddle, that was on the backside of an opening that we had been playing in just a few minutes prior, that was a bit deeper than it looked!

While this situation did not pose REAL any risk to my air intake/engine, it got me to thinking while I watched the water seep in thru the passenger door seal, I need a snorkel!!!

Now my buddy Dan…came damn close to the point of REALLY needing a snorkel!!!

Notice the passenger headlamp 1/3 full of water, and still draining?!  CLOSE CALL!!!

For the JK, I cannot recommend any other snorkel than the one from American Expedition Vehicles (AEV)!!!

The AEV Snorkel is a one-piece design that plugs directly into the air-box, giving the best possible seal against water into the engine.

The AEV Snorkel also fits nicely around the antenna, which appears to be an issue with the JL Snorkel from Jeep Performance Parts???  Notice that the antenna has been removed, and there does not appear to be a provision for it in the Mopar Snorkel?

The AEV Snorkel also allows for the rock-catcher to be folded down flat, although I have still yet to understand why anyone would want to do that!?!?

If you don’t already have yours, order your snorkel today!!!





Who is going to SEMA?

Who is going to the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show next week?

What new products could they come up with for the Jeep?

I am looking forward to what American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) will have for the JL.

I will be at the AEV Open House, right after SEMA to get an up close look at the JL products.

Where to buy Mods and Accessories

“Where does everybody buy their mods/accessories?”

This is a question that many new Jeep Owners ask, and I would like to offer my opinion/advice on where to buy.

I would tremendously appreciate it if everyone would click thru the link below and order as many Jeep parts that they can afford! 😉 HA!

In all seriousness, Amazon is a good place to start.  Amazon now offers a fitment tool, so you can sort products by your specific Jeep.

Amazon makes it simple to purchase, and the Customer Reviews are always helpful.  I have found valuable product information by reading the 2, 3 and 4-Star reviews, as you get the real story, and not the professionally written, fake reviews.

By reading up on the real reviews, you can find some deals on the product that you are after.  I was able to buy Mopar 82213860 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4-Door Black All-Weather 3-Piece Floor Mat Set for less than what my local dealer wanted.

Quadratec (quadratec.com) is a GREAT resource for Jeep parts and information.

Quadratec offers product from most all major brands, and what I believe sets them apart is the wealth of information available via their monthly catalog, as well as their YouTube Channel and Quadratec Academy.

Quadratec’s Customer Service is second to none, via on-line chat, or phone support.  I have not yet attended one of their on-site events, however they have several throughout the year.

There’s never anything wrong with supporting your local 4×4/Jeep/Truck accessory shop either.  Some parts you just need to get a good look at in person before purchasing, and may need installed.

I have been fortunate to have Mumbly’s Off Road (mumblys.com) near me for nearly 30 years!

Other local sources to look for parts are your vehicle out-fitters.  I am VERY fortunate to live not too far from American Expedition Vehicles (https://www.aev-conversions.com/) and was able to purchase new OE take-off Rubicon Rock Rails for my Jeep Wrangler Sport for $200!

AEV also sells other take-off components, such as Rubicon suspensions, and wheel/tire sets.

AEV also sells all of their parts direct via their website.

Extreme Terrain https://www.extremeterrain.com/ is another good on-line source for parts/accessories, although Extreme Terrain seems to have mostly bumpers, armor and lifts, vs. a complete vehicle offering from Quadratec and AEV.

Rugged Ridge http://www.ruggedridge.com/ offers great products as well, similar to Extreme Terrain’s offerings.

Eventually you’ll need a replacement part for a repair, and what better time to upgrade?!  If it’s more of a maintenance/repair part, and you can plan/wait for it, I have been very pleased with Rock Auto https://www.rockauto.com/ for my basic parts needs.

And let’s not forget JC Whitney!!!  https://www.jcwhitney.com/  JC Whitney was my go to back in the day when I was beating up on my Jeeps.  Mostly because of their GREAT catalog support before the internet existed, and I lived in the Chicago Land area at the time!

So this is where I would suggest buying your mods and accessories from, based on my experience, and I would love to hear your suggestions?

Thank you,


7/9/2018 – Mod Monday / “Oh Nuts!”

This weeks mod is for most all Jeep owners, replacing OE lug nuts.  Many will ask, “How is this a mod?

I don’t recall that my 1978 CJ-7 had them, however I remember that my 1990 YJ had the lug nuts with the stamped chrome cap over top of the lug nut itself.  This design has been used on most newer cars for many years.

This stamped cap lug nut will eventually cause you an issue.  These type of lug nuts are prone to corrosion between that actual lug nut and the cap, causing the cap to bulge, loosen and eventually fall off.  The lug nut will be a different size than that of your lug wrench, and very difficult to remove when necessary.

I ran into this issue with my YJ many years ago, when I had a branch puncture a front tire.  I may, or may not have been wheelin where I should not have been, and I had a hell of a time changing the wheel.  One of the lug caps had been missing for a while, and the exposed wheel stud had corroded, and made it very difficult to remove the lug.  Another cap came off and got stuck in the lug wrench.

Replacing the OE lug nut with a quality 1-piece lug nut, will alleviate these concerns, as well as make your wheels look a little bit better.

I installed a set from Gorilla, however there are several quality sets available from your local tire store, Amazon, Quadratec and others.

Replacing the OE lug nuts is not a mod that will enhance the capability of your Jeep, however when you need to remove a wheel, you’ll be glad that you did!

Thanks for reading,


Mod Monday (7/2/2018) – HMMWV / How To Install Locking Spindle Nut

This Monday’s Mod, installing locking spindle nuts on your HMMWV comes from my good Facebook Friend, Rub Muradian of Damage Control Customs.

This article will focus on installing a Locking Spindle Nut, which can be purchased here.  At the end of this article, there will be a few bonus items.

Note: This article is not intended to replace your Training Manual / Owner Manual, please use this article to only supplement.

You want to first start with draining the existing gear oil by removing the drain plug using a 5/16 Allen wrench.  The drain plug is items number 4 within the first image below.  You want to open this plug and allow it to completely drain.

Next you want to remove the steering arm cover, which will expose the existing spindle nut.  To do this, you’ll need a 3/4 socket.   Within the first image below, item number 5 is the steering arm cover, and items 6 and 7 are referencing the nuts to be removed in this step.

Note:  You may have to remove the tie rod end / radius rod end from the steering arm cover.  On trucks with CTIS, disconnecting of the arm may be required since it is almost impossible to get the cover back on without folding the lip of the seal.

Next you want to remove all of the old gasket from the steering arm cover and the geared hub.   After which you want to dry off any of the old gear oil.

Next you want to bend back (away from the retaining nut) the locking tabs on your existing lock-washer.  Then, using a retaining nut wrench / socket you want to remove the retaining nut, lock-washer, and keyed washer.

Next you want to install your locking retainer and and the snap ring.   The locking retainer will have one of 6 position to which it may securely lock onto.   To install the snap rings you will need large snap ring pliers.  It is critical to make sure your locking retainer and snap ring are in place correctly.

Next you want to install your steering arm cover.  To do that, we applied The Right Stuff One Minute Gasket around the steering arm cover.  Then you want to place the steering arm cover in position and hand tighten the 4 bolts previously removed.  Then using your torque wrench, you want to tighten all four bolts to the appropriate torque, in our case 65 pounds per foot.
Next you want to clean off your drain plug and reinstall it.  After which you want to remove your fill plug and replenish your gear oil to the appropriate level.  Once the gear oil has been filled you want to reinstall your fill plug and torque it to the appreciate setting.  In our case, we used 80W-90 gear oil, and torqued the fill plug to 10 pounds per foot.

Bonus content:

Since you have the geared hubs exposed, you might as well as check your bearing.

Since you have the tire off, you might as well as check to make sure your shafts are seated completely.

Since you have the tire off, you might as well as check all of your joints.  In this case we’re going to look at the boll joints. If needed, such as in this case, refill the grease, or maybe consider changing the boll joints.

6/25 – Mod Monday / Rock Rails

This Monday’s mod looks at a critical area of body protection and rock rails.  Rock rails or rock sliders, jack rails as they are sometimes called provide protection to the body sides when off road, especially in rocky conditions, as the name implies.

Rock rails not only provide an upgrade to the aesthetic and protect the body, they can actually help get your seven slat vehicle in getting off of an obstacle.

I am not sure if the HMMWV ever came with rock rails from the factory, however they should have, and if you still need some for your HMMWV, check out the HMMWV Jack Rails and Rock Sliders from Damage Control Customs.

The HMMWV Jack Rails and Rock Sliders will provide much needed protection to the body of your HMMWV.

I do know that the HUMMER H1, H2 & H3 were available with rock rails as an option.  And like the H1/H2/H3, rock rails are an option with a Jeep.  When it comes to the JK Jeep, the Rubicon model came standard with them, and some folks even call them Rubicon Rails.

Rock rails are also standard on the Willy’s Wheeler models, and show up on many of the other JK special editions.

Many folks will remove rock rails for side steps, which makes take-off rock rails available to folks like me, who purchased a JK Sport model, without any body protection.

Even if you don’t plan on doing any serious rock crawling, make sure that your seven slat vehicle has a good set of rock rails bolted on for protection!

– Chris

Jeep JL Hood Latch for JK / Mod Monday – 6/18/2018

This Monday’s Mod covers all three categories as defined in last weeks post, aesthetic, upgrade and functional with the Jeep JL Wrangler Hood Latches installed on a Jeep JK Wrangler.

Any JK owner that has driven over 52 MPH knows about the Jeep JK “hood flutter”, and with the release of the JL, it appears that Jeep has addressed this issue with a better designed metal hood latch.


The good news for JK owners is that the JL hood latches are easily installed onto the JK, and are available for under a $100.00 from Mopar Parts Direct – https://moparonlineparts.com/jeep-wrangler-hood-latch-upgrade-p-8715.html

Check out the GREAT video from the guys at JK Gear and Gadgets for insight on the install.

As always, I look forward to your feedback on this weeks mod, and would love to hear about what mods you have done, and are planning for?