Enough already!

Well, I decided the whole Black on Black thing just wasn’t working for me anymore, so I decided to add some color to the Jeep. Took out the trim rings around the vents and the doors, as well as my D-rings and painted them blue. Not too much color, but just enough.

Heavy duty diff covers

Ordered a couple Tereflex heavy duty differential covers from Rebel Off Road. You can see the major difference in thickness between the stock and after market covers. The stock covers are like paper.

This was a fail simple install. I opted NOT to use a Lube Locker but to use off the shelf RTV for differentials I picked up from my local auto parts store. After removing the old diff fluid and the covers, I scraped off any remaining RTV from the factory. Some of it didn’t want to come off, so I put a wire wheel in my rotary tool to make sure it was perfect. I cleaned out the gears with brake cleaner and made sure there was no other debris. After applying RTV to the new diff covers, it was just a matter of lining up the bolts and tightening them down.

Bantam 2014

My son and I went out to the Jeep Bantam Festival in PA. The guys from JCR Offroad were gracious enough to deliver my new Dagger front bumper to me at the festival! Without missing a beat, my son says, “Let’s go put it on!” So off to the grass parking lot we went to take off the old OR-FAB bumper, which was going back anyway.

I also picked up a Smittybilt Gen 2 X20 10K Comp winch. I like this winch because it’s wireless and has synthetic line. Of course, my son had to have that installed, too.

I was glad to oblige, knowing that he was going to be leaving for the Navy in just a few days after getting back home.

Rust shouldn’t come this fast

The OR-FAB bumpers on my Jeep are strong enough, but the powder coat on these bumpers is horrible. They started rusting within weeks of being installed in January. I fully expected to get SOME rust on them after wheeling with them a little, but these started almost immediately. Especially at the welds. This tells me the powder coater didn’t clean them properly before applying the coat.

After months of back and forth emails with OR-FAB, they finally agreed to take the bumpers back and arranged shipping at their expense. I was disappointed in the quality of the powder coat, more disappointed in the run around I seemed to be getting from OR-FAB, but satisfied that they finally decided to take them back and I ended up with 100% of my money back.

JK Freak Fest 2014

Went to my first Freak Fest with my sn and we had a blast. I happened to have won a bumper in the raffle! It was a really nice bumper from Expedition One, but it wasn’t the bumper I really wanted. I already had OR-FAB front and rear bumpers on the JK, but they haven’t impressed me.

JCR Offroad was at Freak Fest and I have always admired their bumpers. I was able to make arrangements to have a JCR Dagger shipped to me and to have the Expedition One bumper taken off my hands. Big win!

I think we ended up with three JK Freaks hats, too.

My most important mod so far

I decided to go to the 2014 JK Freak Fest at Rausch Creek. But I want to add a little additional protection to the underside of the Jeep. The stock skids (as if there is such a thing) just don’t protect enough. I didn’t have the money for a full set of Rock Hard skid plates. I heard some buzz about an engine skid plate from the same people that make the cheap knock off bumpers, e-AutoGrilles. This were priced for $109, which may have been a mistake on their part, since I see they are now going for $200.

It came packed fine and went in fine, except one of the bolt holes didn’t line up on the transmission cross bar. I might take it off next spring and fix that. Should be easy enough.

Mag light and sill guards

Added my Mag Light to the side of the driver’s seat. This was a pretty easy addition. Picked up the Mag Light mounting kit and screwed it to the plastic trim on the side of the seat. I also added the Mopar door sill guards. Stepping in and out of the jeep with mud and rocks on my boots was sure to scratch the sills up.

CB Antenna Mount

I built a bracket to attach my CB antenna to the space behind my license plate bracket. I modeled it after something I saw on the interwebs. I had just picked up a welder and I wanted to try my hand at fabricating something small.