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Month: May 2016

Rubbing is Racing…. Right?

Rubbing is Racing…. Right?

So…. The Jeep Xperience in Texas was truly an amazing trip and weekend.

This said, we didn’t exactly leave unscathed 😯 😳

In other sad news….. It looks like my beloved #HondaLights might be leaving… We took on some very deep water this weekend and some got in one of the fog lights (which were flaky anyway) and zapped several LEDs. I also noticed that moisture has started to build in one of the headlights a couple of times.

The Halos have been a love/hate thing with me. They are a PITA to install, are plagued with quality issues, and they keep me spending money on them. Yet, I love the look and attention we get with them. ❓ 😥 🙄 ❓

Extreme Weekend Warrior-ing! JEEP XPERIENCE – Hidden Falls Adventure Park, TX

Extreme Weekend Warrior-ing! JEEP XPERIENCE – Hidden Falls Adventure Park, TX


Whelp…. Mrs. SSS and I are in full preparation for an extreme weekend warrior trip to the great state of Texas! I pondered making several posts for this due to the miles we will be covering, but since this really is only an extended weekend, I thought it was best suited to just cover it with one and edit to add as we can.

Where are we going?…. We are headed to the Jeep XPERIENCE weekender at the Hidden Falls Adventure Park. You read that right, “Jeep” and not “JK”. While the weekend is being planned and organised by the same sponsors, there are two major differences. The first being that this is open to all Jeep makes, and the second being there was not a closed selection. If you meet the criteria and registered, you are in!

There are a few motivations for us to make this trip, but with limited vacation time from work we have to go into hard core mode. So, we will be driving the ~18 hours there, participating, and then driving the ~18 hours back to be at work for Tuesday… (If all goes as planned).

This is also the first trip in a very long time where it will just be us… That’s right, Kegan will be hanging with GMA at home while we play. It seems he wasn’t too excited about the windshield time (I can’t blame him).

…..Our plan, is to share the whole trip with you here in this post (or as much as we can). So keep an eye out, as more updates will come!


To kick this off….

Not having Kegan means the Fridge would have to move from it’s normal spot so we can reach it and it’s contents from the front seat…. So, we whipped up this little shelf to kick the back of the fridge up so it will ride level on the rear seat when folded down.

I failed to get a picture with the fridge on it, but will try later… it worked out really well. 🙂


Packing has begun….

We are close… We gotta’ make a store run tonight to pack the fridge and then our clothes, camera(s) and personal stuff. I think we might be able to hit the road a bit earlier since Kegan’s GMA was able to get out of her work a tad sooner to head out to the place. The new plan is for me to take Alana to work so we can leave from there as soon as she is off tomorrow. Hopefully this will allow us to put in some decent windshield time through TN. This might make the difference in us having just a bit of exploring time 😀


9:40 AM

I was hoping a toe adjustment would bring in my steering alignment that has been a bit off lately, but it didn’t so while we are just about packed and ready… I have to find some time today around lunch to make a drag-link adjustment. Typically this is pretty easy, but the custom d-link we run on Dirty is difficult to adjust and keep clear of the hydraulic ram. 🙁

11:15 AM

All packed… and D-Link adjusted. 😀 6(ish) hours until GMA arrives and we hit the road!

5:10 PM

We’re on the road… And hitting traffic. 👿 Don’t they know we’ve got places to get to? 😆

11:50 PM

It was a bit rough getting through Cincy, but once we did it was pretty much smooth sailing through Louisville and Nashville…. We stopped just southwest of Nashville. The rest will be covered tomorrow. Kegan is already wishing he had come. It seems boredom with GMA at home is about as bad as in the Jeep traveling. 😛


8:20 AM

Back on the road! Next Stop… Memphis!

11:20 AM

Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee done, on to Arkansas  😎

2:20 PM

Lunch/Dinner Stop…. Mmmmm!

4:00 PM

Right State, now just to get into the middle of it….

10:20 PM

Finally made it to our hotel for the night, which is about an hour from the event and park.

If I ever have to drive a long interstate trip through Texas again, it will be too soon….

The jumbled patch of pavement that T-Dot is calling an interstate is a travesty to technology, planning, and infrastructure. The TX drivers do not help. I’m pretty sure vehicles are NOT equipped with turn signals here and I’ve never seen so many cars cut across multiple lanes in my life. It’s all okay though because they are very good at slamming on brakes for no reason.


8:30 AM

We made it and we’re early! They’re still setting up 😆 😀

6:40 PM

Sorry for the lack of update, but we had our hands full most of the day and no data anyway….

– It was a great day, and other than a little body damage…. Everything went well.

Without data other than up top in the parking lot, it may be difficult to update until later than we had hoped 🙁


Well, we are home… and back to the normal grind.  🙁  I will get some pictures and video done soon.

Almost 2800 miles round trip, but worth it! It was awesome to formerly meet people we have been following for years and to join them on the trail. Hopefully we can join another ‪#‎JKeXperience‬/ ‪#‎JeepXperience‬ event soon.

Oh yea…. The sponsors sent us home with a pretty sweet swag pack too!


Video Time!


Here is a great shot that Ali took (with Nitto’s Driving-Line). More can be seen HERE

Jeep Door Cart

Jeep Door Cart

Sure, driving your Jeep around naked (topless and doorless) is great, but what do you do with the doors when they are off? It seems no matter where we go a Jeeper will tell us, “I wish I could take my doors off, but I have no place to put them”. We get it, they can be tricky to store off the Jeep and keep free from damage, especially with the larger JK doors… But here is an idea that may help.

This is the cart I made for Dirty’s doors a few years ago and, other than getting too cheap of casters, have been extremely happy with it. It is an easy day project and very cheap to make.

Since it was made for Dirty, there are spots for all four doors even though only Lil Punkin’s two doors are shown below. You could easily modify the cart for those only interested in holding two doors.

Here is my bill of material:

The shelving board or 1×12 fills many pieces so it will need to be cut as follows:

I cut a groove in one of the 2x4s as shown in the detail below. If you do not have a good way of doing this, you could replace this 2×4 with Qty. 2 2”x2”x8’ boards and leave a gap between them for the bottom of the door to be secured in.

For the other 2×4 it only needs to be cut in half to make runners:

Once you have all of the pieces cut, it all goes together like the diagram below. (Hopefully, this makes sense as I tried to color code everything for ease of understanding.)

I know this may be a bit confusing, so if you have any questions at all feel free to ask. I am happy to add clarity.

A case of the “bland butt”

A case of the “bland butt”

Whelp, her butt sure isn’t as sexy as it used to be, but I still love her! 😆

We actually have just a weeee-bit more down travel in the rear and the same in the front. 😎

Turns out… the other rear Bilstein shock is not so good either. The rebound is shot. Fronts are still good though. Kinda sad… I know we work the Jeep kinda’ hard but it seems they should’ve held up better.

….With this job done, we are headed to Texas for the 1st ever Jeep Experience hosted by EVO, Discount Tire, and Nitto! 😀



Purdy new shocks

Purdy new shocks

So, with a tight budget and time crunch to the next gig, we opted to try Metalcloak Rocksport shocks.

Unwilling to put red under Dirty, I just put the last coat of paint (clear flake) on the shocks this morning. This was after three coats of silver.

For those that are running the Metalcloak Rocksport shocks and deal with winter salted roads like we do, I HIGHLY encourage you to take your shocks off and paint them, even if you like the red. They had a super thin coat of paint on them that even when scuffing with 320 before repainting got me to bare metal very quickly in several spots. I also noticed a few bubbles and bumps where the paint was damaged.

This isn’t a knock on MC… Every set of painted shocks I have ever gotten were this way. If anything, I would say their packaging was the best I’ve ever seen for a shock.

I sure hope we like these things…. This seems like a pretty big step backwards from the 5160s but who knows… ❓

Bilstein bites the dust

Bilstein bites the dust

One of these things is not like the other… 😆 It might look funny, but it brought us home. 🙂  That being said, I was amazed how well the Jeep drove without a rear shock!

So, after a tap with a rock while backing up for a better line took out our driver rear shock our day was done…. Without the shock there was no way to keep our rear spring seated so we finished the day either by foot or in the open seats of other rigs.

What an odd break, Huh?

Rausch Creek – Season Opener – 2016 (pictures & video)

Rausch Creek – Season Opener – 2016 (pictures & video)

It seems every trip to Rausch Creek is a good time…. While this year’s season opener run got off to a pretty slow an painful start, the end of the day moved at a much better pace and we were able to hit some cool trails. This definitely wasn’t one of those “everything went our way” kind-of trips. In fact, I think the only person who finished with a fully functioning rig was the guy with the trailer. 😯 It’s funny how that works huh! 😛

Everyone was patched and made the trip home under their own power and although they might have some pride bruises (self included) seemed to have fun. We know we sure did!

At first glance, we are not sure how much video we will be able to use due to people walking or standing in front of Kegan when he was taking it. Jay worked his magic in editing though and cam up with some nice pics and a fairly cool video if I do say so myself. 😛 :mrgreen:

…now, how about that video!

ARB failure testing

ARB failure testing

I thought this was a cool video to share. We run an ARB along with 35 spline axle shafts in the rear of Dirty. We made this change when we needed to replace the factory locker and have been very happy with the upgrade.

Yukon now has a line of air lockers that I believe are essentially the old ARB design. After watching this video you might get an indication of why they should not be compared. ARB continues to test and look for improvements. (Good for them) :mrgreen:


Spa Day

Spa Day

The new Ram Rod ends arrived and seem to have resolved the popping in the steering! 😀 I am also liking that the new ones are greasable!

To celebrate… Dirty had a spa day :LOL:


…and she also has a new skid for the rear. We have never had an issue with the carrier when the tire gets rubbed coming off ledges, but this is cheap and easy insurance.

Down to the wire!

Down to the wire!

After resetting the P0600 DTC everything seems to be okay…. ❓  I’ve been questioning my battery for some time. Perhaps we need to pull the trigger there.

In other news… we still have a small “pop/knock” when steering under load. Not when we change direction but rather in motion. I was hoping this would be resolved with the Ball-Joints but, of course, it wouldn’t be that easy. 👿

I know the rod ends for the ram are worn a bit and have some play in them, so I have new ones on the way… I also have new TREs coming from Poly Performance (hopefully by Thursday) for the tool bag, just in case. Having Dirty ready for the weekend is going to be down to the wire! 😯