Category Archives: Technical

Components, upgrades and fabrications; how they work & how to make them work better.

A JK is a JK by Any Other Name

By any other name it could be a Wrangler, and so would a TJ, YJ or even JL. Keeping it percise, Vegas Dave has put together a handy little list of Model Codes to Vehicles.

Nice thing to refer to when someone’s telling a story and throwing around a unfamiliar model code (“I rolled my ‘BU’ on the trail this weekend, but I’m okay”… right, I’m sure you are.). Now if we can get Dave to include the matching pix we might have the beginnings of a cool spotter’s guide. Not that it’s too likely I’ll see a VJ or C101 just tooling down the street and wonder what kind of Jeep that was, but then again, you never know.

Shocks, Often an After Thought of an Upgrade

Looking at some recently lifted Jeeps and getting ready for a build of my own, I came to a better understanding of how critical the role shocks play in a suspension systems. In selection we often don’t give them much thought other than do they fit.

Funny thing is short of the high end and esoteric units, they’re very cost effective and on average often run less than the lift hardware (springs, corrective brackets etc). Tuned right, shocks can give a rig that sleeper “Wow” factor of superior ride both on street and trail.

Here’s a quick primer we put together to help sort out some of the concepts and terminology.

Shock Absorbers – A Quick Primer

Maintaining Diff Oil at Correct Level is Critical

After Jeep Beach and several hard rides the Jeep Off Road Adventures build light TJ needed a little down time.

If anything this, this is a cautionary word to how critical it is to maintain proper oil levels in differentials. Before leaving on the 500 mile trip I topped off the rear diff… perhaps a bit too high. By the time I pulled into Titusville I already had gear oil pushing out of the rear vent tube and the rear pumpkin was definitely warmer than the front. So close to Daytona I pressed on.

The following day the TJ completed the extreme course, served as transportation to some of the night events and made the beach ride the next morning.

Before making the the 250+ mile return leg the diff oil was checked again. Levels looked good. About ten miles out from home the rear started to makes a whining noise. After a ride or two later and some commutes into work, in all another 500 miles the whine got pretty bad and the TJ was dropped off for servicing. Considering the original over fill, I’d have to guess the seals and bearings were stressed.

The short of all this know and maintain the correct fill level for your differentials. If you’re not sure what it should be, the current level is a good starting point. Even better, consult your owner’s service manual or have a trusted mechanic have a look.