The Best Roof Rack for the Jeep Wrangler (JK/JL)

The best roof rack in my opinion for the Wrangler (JK/JL) is the Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System.

The Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System is the only roof rack that I have found that can truly meet the dynamic, as well as static needs of a roof rack.  And this capability still allows removal of the Jeeps hardtop, just as it was prior to the install of the Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System.

The Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System is able to accomplish this remarkable performance by utilizing a “back-bone” within the interior of the hardtop.

The Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System can handle all of your gear-hauling and Overlanding/RTT needs with a Dynamic Load Rating of 264 lbs., and a Static Load Rating of 800 lbs.!

While there are other roof rack systems available that may offer the same dynamic and static load capabilities and may cost less, I believe that the Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System is still the best rood rack system for your Jeep!

These other systems may add overall size to your Jeep, and not only the top!  With the Rugged Ridge 11703.02 Roof Rack, you are creating a small exoskeleton that will add wind noise to your Jeep as it goes down the road, and there is a big potential for squeaks and rattles.

I am sure that there are some Jeepers that may claim to like this exoskeleton look, however, it reminds me too much of the “Supermarket Safari” racks that we always made fun of on the Land Rover Discovery II’s!

Removal of the hardtop cannot be that simple either, by the looks of the exoskeleton Rugged Ridge 11703.02 Roof Rack system.  I imagine over time that the metal tubes of the exoskeleton will become corroded if you live in any part of the “rust belt”, or in a warm salty air climate.

All of this assumes that your Jeep has a hardtop, and if it does not, an exoskeleton type roof rack is what you will need, however, if you have a hardtop, go with the Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System.

Why all the EXCITEMENT over an Electric Jeep?!?!?

“Instant torque!”…”Sealed drivetrain for water crossings!”…”No more MPG worries!” and the list of silly comments goes on about the announcement from Jeep about the electrification of the complete Jeep line up.

With the Jeep brand experiencing record sales volumes, nearly year over year, they are faced with the conundrum that the rest of the automotive industry is, electrification.  Jeep is simply electrifying their line up to meet the government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards.

I have written about my take on an electric Jeep previously, and you can link to that post here.

Jeep is electrifying its entire line up simply to satisfy the CAFE standard as their sales numbers have made Jeep a greater player in the overall automotive market.

I find it laughable how many “sheeple”  believe first in global warming, and secondly that electric vehicles could have any impact on the fallacy of global warming!!!

Prager University has produced the most succinct explanation of why electric vehicles are NOT “Green”.

IF electric vehicles were ultimately more efficient AND better for water crossings and instant torque, why didn’t Jeep electrify their line up years ago?!?!?

I am sure that I’ll get all kinds of hate for my take on electric Jeeps, and I say thank you!!!  Thank you for buying an electric Jeep, so that Jeep can continue to produce an internal combustion engine-powered Jeep for me to buy!!!

And Then There Were Seven!!!

Of the MANY topics Jeepers argue and debate, the origin of the sevenslat/seven opening grille that is now THE definitive symbol of the Jeep brand.

The origin of the sevenslat grille is VERY simple!!! It is is not a romantic and mysterious story, it was created out of simple manufacturing necessity.

After WWII, Willys-Overland re-engineered the Jeep for civilian use by upgrading the transmission with gears better suited for civilian use, as well as larger headlamps.  To accommodate the larger headlamps, the stamping die was reworked, stations were removed and reworked to allow the original tooling to be utilized.  The remaining seven openings provided sufficient airflow, just as the nine opening grille did.

Look at the photos below, it’s clear that the overall shape/size of the CJ grille is the same as the MB grille.

  • Ford did not patent the nine opening grill

Henry Ford did not want to have anything to do with the war build-up and only entered the war movement when his son Edsel began working with the Army Air Corp to mass-produce B-24 Liberator bombers.  A.J. Baime chronicles Henry Ford’s ambivalence about getting involved in WWII in his book The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War.

The U.S. Government needed to ensure a reliable supply of Jeeps, and enlisted Ford to produce the Jeep under license.  Henry Ford insisted that parts produced for the GPW were stamped with an F on them, so Ford could not be held responsible for Jeeps produced by Willys-Overland.

Why would Ford patent the nine opening grille?  And if Ford did, why was this design never seen on a Ford product after the war?

  • The Jeep was not the first vehicle on all seven continents

The idea that the Jeep was the first vehicle to traverse all seven continents sounds good, however, I believe that the VW Beetle was the first vehicle to set a tire on all seven continents.

 

If the Jeep was the first vehicle on all seven continents, why didn’t Willys-Overland use that in their marketing of the CJ Universal after the war?

  • It was a simple tooling change to allow for larger headlamps!!!

As boring as it sounds, Willys-Overland needed to sell vehicles to the civilian population after the war.  The CJ needed larger headlamps, and with limited funds, Willys-Overland reworked the existing tooling

It was just a simple necessity that gave the Jeep the sevenslat grille!!!

FAKE NEWS!!!

FAKE NEWS gave us the Wrangler name!!!

Contrary to popular belief American Motors Corporation, AMC, the parent company of the Jeep brand from 1970 – 1987, and NOT Chrysler Corporation, created the Wrangler as the replacement for the CJ-7.  I recall at the time when Chrysler Corporation purchased Jeep in 1987 that they were “blamed” for “ruining” the CJ-7 and giving us the Wrangler.  

New vehicles are in development for several years, between 5 and 7, prior to launch, therefore Chrysler Corporation could never have pulled off a CJ-7 replacement in less than a year!

So, why did AMC drop the CJ naming?  Because of FAKE NEWS!!! Yes, FAKE NEWS existed long before the Communist, or Clinton, I mean Cable News Network (CNN).  Before CNN, we had good ole’ 60 Minutes, with that stupid stopwatch!!!

60 Minutes did a piece in December of 1980 based on rigged vehicle tests and miss-leading studies, helping to create the idea that the CJ was an unsafe vehicle.

The 60 Minutes segment was based on a report issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on “the extremely hazardous tendency of the Jeep CJ utility vehicle in highway use.”  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found during a 1981 review of the testing that Dynamic Science Incorporated performed for IIHS, used “abnormal test conditions and unrealistic maneuvers…generated by an automatic control device which…which was programmed to provide input not entirely representative of driver input”.

Several lawsuits followed, some involving the tragic loss of life, alleging that the CJ was the cause of the incident and not simply the risks associated with motor vehicle travel?!

More than one insurance company either refused to issue policies to new Jeep CJ owners or sent warnings to existing policyholders.

The CJ may have also suffered from the bad press that the completely unrelated, however still military “jeep”, M151, did justly receive due to its propensity for rollovers due to a new and unproven front/rear independent suspension system.  Because of the rollover issues, the US Military experienced with the M151, NHTSA did block the sales of the M151 for civilian use, which it had not done to the CJ-based military jeep so that certainly did not help the image of the CJ!!!

AMC began development of the Wrangler in the early 1980s making the vehicle more “user-friendly” with a lower center-of-gravity, softer ride, and added creature comforts, and the square headlights!!!

I am unsure of why the name Wrangler was chosen, however, the CJ name was killed due to FAKE NEWS, and after 30+ years, the Wrangler name has now morphed into us calling our Jeep’s TJ, JK, JL, and JT.

RESOURCES

The Liability Maze: The Impact of Liability Law on Safety and Innovation

edited by Peter W. Huber, Robert E. Litan

High Beam Off Road

It’s well known and well documented that the Jeep Wrangler comes from the factory with poor headlamps – https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/jeep/wrangler-2-door-suv/2017#headlights

While walking the vendor area of the 3rd Toledo Jeep Fest, I came across High Beam Off Road, and it looks like they have a solution!!!

High Beam Off Road offers LED lighting solutions for XJ, YJ, TJ. JK and JL!!!

All of High Beam Off Road’s products come with a Lifetime Warranty!!!

High Beam Off Road has some GREAT looking products, at GREAT prices!!!

Check out High Beam Off Road today to upgrade your Jeep’s lighting, and tell them you heard about them from sevenslats.com!!!

It’s a Jeep, NOT a boat!!! IT ALREADY HAS A NAME!!!

As my buddy Dan demonstrated at Bundy Hill last year, a Jeep is not a boat, they don’t float!!!

Boats were given names, THOUSANDS of years ago when humans still believed in all kinds of superstitions such as the world was flat, and there were Gods of every season and any other unexplainable phenomenon.

RiverKeepers.org explains the origins of boat names very well.

You DO NOT need a name for your Jeep, and stop asking this INSANE question on social media!!!


Wrangler Wednesday – KiNSMART

While standing in line at a CVS Pharmacy recently, I looked over at the toy car rack and found a 2-door JL model that was VERY well detailed and under $10!!!

KiNSMART is the maker of die cast toy cars, and their JL toys look great!!!

While I didn’t find the JL on the KiNSMART web site, I did find them on Amazon, with and without a top.

Check out Amazon and get yourself a JL today!!!


Trail Mirrors – Motor City Aftermarket

Tomorrow is Go Topless Day and for some, it may be a go naked day!!!  When running with the doors off, you’ll need mirrors to stay legal.  If you drive a JL, you should really check out the Trail Mirrors from Motor City Aftermarket.

Motor City Aftermarket has designed a mirror system that utilizes the windshield hinge as the mounting point, to ensure little to no vibration.

Chris from Motor City Aftermarket explains in greater detail what makes their trail mirrors superior to competitive products.

As with all Motor City Aftermarket product, the JL Trail Mirrors come with a Lifetime Structural Warranty, and a 5-Year Coating Warranty!!!

I am excited to see Motor City’s trail mirror solution for the JK!!!

It’s NOT the steering stabilizer!!!

Aside from “What should I name my Jeep?” posts on social media, I believe that the age old question of “Why does my Jeep have death wobble?” is the most common question posted.

Listen to me, it is NOT the steering stabilizer, NOR is it time to install a dual-steering stabilizer!!!My JK recently developed death wobble at +90,000 miles and after proper diagnosis, which is explained very well in the video below, I determined that it was my track bar bushings.

I am happy to report that after having Mumbly’s Off Road install a STEERSMARTS Track Bar, no more death wobble!!!

The moral of the story is that death wobble is not going to be the least costly, and simplest part to replace.  I will go out on a limb and state that bad track bar bushings are ultimately the most over-looked cause of death wobble, once properly diagnosed.

I have also heard through the grape-vine that Jeep may be replacing track bars on new JL’s that experience death wobble???

Not only is the STEERSMARTS track bar a solid replacement, it adds even more red to the underneath of my silver Jeep!!!