because complaining and ranting on facebook gets tiring

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Offroading in NY causing smug

adjective: smug; comparative adjective: smugger; superlative adjective: smuggest
having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one's achievements.

Seem like in the recent months, the local offroading community has become a victim of smug. I believe there are some key events that have led to this smug problem, but I won't mention any specifics as some individuals may become butthurt. I remember when I first started wheeling and meeting more and more people from the offroading community, young and old, guys new like me and some veterans, everyone got along. Fast forward...

These once new wheelers now are finally all grown up with better paying jobs (or a better line of credit) and are finally able to afford bigger and better thing like tow rigs, daily drivers, being part of organized offroad clubs, etc. Since all this has happened, this big dark cloud seems to have grown and lingered over the local offroad community. It seems like even newer guys that haven't been doing it that long have somehow developed a smug problem. Social media is partially to blame since it magnifies the problem by 100x. Maybe everyone is in on a competition that I don't know about, after all, I wasn't around for a year or so. I'll end it here before I go into details

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mishimoto install and review

since the JK is creeping up to 50k I figured it's time to flush the coolant, and since I'm doing that I might as well change my pump, thermostat, and radiator.
first things first, grill off.
 The whole install took about 2:30-3hrs, between when I popped the grill off to when I turned the key.

fan shroud off

radiator unbolted from condenser

the four 8mmmm bolts holding the condenser to the radiator are a pain in the dick to get off, and even worse to get back on.

side by side, OEM vs Mishimoto. There was nothing wrong with my OEM radiator, just felt like upgrading since I've been eyeing that radiator for a long time.

OEM water pump next to a Crown pump. The OEM pump uses a plastic impeller. There was nothing wrong with my water pump...actually, there wasn't anything wrong with anything I was changing. The main concern was the coolant, all the new parts were just a bonus.

almost there

all done and ready to go

So since I'm making this post weeks after it's been installed I can actually give decent information on how it's running. To make it simple, it works as expected; in a way the radiator is overkill for a stock engine. With the stock radiator, the temperature would hold steady at around 204 on the highway. Wi the Mishimoto radiator it holds 194 and on cold days it actually ran at around 192. Cold is good but not too cold since heat dissipated is energy lost, which is potential power lost. But that's a whole other can of worms. Until next time

Friday, July 31, 2015

Post #10 "wheeling alone"

Wheeling alone. I'm sure a lot of guys do it and are fine, but if you're going to do it then at least be safe about it. Before we even begin to discuss your vehicle capabilities, I don't care if you have a KOH buggy or a stock XJ; TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU'RE GOING. And make sure that someone has a vehicle that can get out to you or at least knows someone who is willing to come get you if something happens. Besides letting someone know where you're going, you should know where YOU are going too. Don't go exploring new trails/areas by yourself, and if you don't know the trail, chances are you probably gave your buddy very vague details about that trail/area which will just make it that much harder to locate you. You might be in for a long night...

Pic-1. we came across this loner in Keene, NH. Prime example of what not to do
 Be prepared, again, a fully built buggy or a stock jeep, shit happens. Even if you do tell someone where you're going it may take them a couple of hours or more just to find you if something happens. Bring food, water, a blanket, change of clothes, maybe something to start a fire, like I said, you could be in for a long night, be ready for it. Even if it's 100 degrees during the day, that can plummet real quick once the sun goes down, and the last thing you need after breaking down alone is to freeze and starve overnight. You should also consider reception in the area you're in, even if you let someone know where you're going, if you can't send out your SOS you're screwed unless the person starts to wonder why you missed dinner plans or something. I'm sure some guys carry around satellite phones or some sort of GPS so people know where they are, I honestly don't know anything about them so I can't give any details.

About two years ago I went wheeling with the Long Island Offroad Club in Keene, NH. On our way out of the trails we came across this ZJ stuck in a mud pit up to his tires. This kid was the prime example of what not to do when wheeling alone. Bald tires, no winch, no brain and too much teenage hormones, the closest thing he had to being prepared for wheeling alone was a bunch of teenage girls in his backseat which probably didn't help with getting stuck. We have no idea how long he was there, but when we showed up he was bouncing off the rev limiter trying to move. It ended up taking two trucks winching him to get unstuck. Who knows how long he would have been there for if we didn't show up.
Another angle of the genius

Being prepared also means make sure your vehicle is prepared too. At the very least, if you plan on going wheeling alone, get a winch and proper equipment to recover yourself if you need to, that includes snatch blocks, shackles, tree saves, etc...and learn how to use them, this includes learning how to winch yourself backwards. The worst time to learn how to recover yourself is when you're by yourself in the middle of the woods when the sun is setting. Aside from winches and all that crap, make sure your vehicle is reliable. If your vehicle has a history of shutting off and not starting back up, you may have a bad time. You don't need a built rig to go wheeling by yourself, you just need to know your limit and stay well below it.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Post #9 "dont be a douche"

I don't care if you have a buggy or a mildly built daily driven Jeep, everyone was a newby at one point or another. And as long as you're into wheeling and part of clubs, you will meet others who never have wheeled before or have very little experience and will want to join your group on a trail ride; given that the trails are at a level they can wheel. When you are wheeling with guys and know they dont have, or have little experience, don't be a douche. I know I sound like that douchey guy when you guys read my posts, but I would never make a new guy do stuff I feel he/she cant or speed through a rocky area I know they may have trouble with. Whenever I lead I always make sure no one is having trouble, and always make sure everyone is through an obstacle before I move, almost seems like common courtesy. Don't be that cocky guy that needs to show the new guys that you can out do them at something they've never done, that's not how wheeling works.

I was invited by one of my buddies once to go wheeling in Jersey and we were to meet up with locals that were familiar with the spot. At this point I'd still consider myself fairly new and a cautious wheeler. Long story short, the lead guy ended up being a jersey redneck wannabe douche. Of course he had the most built rig out of everyone and he would just speed along as fast as he could, with no regard for anyone behind him. At one point I radio'd over for them to wait up because I was falling behind uncomfortably far, and he just said "for what?" addition to that, in the middle of the day after a few hours of wheeling, suddenly the line up stopped in the middle of the trail, out of curiosity I radio'd on the CB asking why we were stopped, his answer was "what do you wanna know?". Turns out he was stopping to eat, of course not telling anyone. So yea, don't be a douche. Guy never said a word to anyone the entire day except for his passenger.

note the douchy deer skull tattoo and douchy camo attire
Funny, I was looking through my pictures on my computer and found a picture of that trip, which is what sparked this article. The guy is the text book jeep douche bag. He even had a big "REDNECK" decal on his hood where "Rubicon" is supposed to be written. You know what, if he were a nice trail guide I really wouldn't give a shit about what sticker is on his jeep or how retarded he looks in kids size camo shorts with his deer skull tattoo. Being a douche and thinking you're a big shot in front of newer guys is stupid.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Post #8 "know your rig

Know your vehicle.

 I'm not telling you to be able to piece together your rig blind folded. But you should know the basics of your vehicle, like I said, nothing crazy. Even if you're not mechanically inclined, you should know the parts of your vehicle so if things go south, at least you know WHAT is wrong, and if you can't fix it someone else can.

On a recent trip, one of the guys started complaining that his ABS light and traction-control lights were on because his steering wheel wasn't centered after wheeling. I told him how to recenter the wheel so the lights would go off which was to just loosen the two 15mm nuts on the draglink turn buckle and adjust it until the wheel was straight. His response to that was "oh I can't do that, I'll just bring it to ******"...really? You would rather drive 4 hours like that from Rausch back to NYC with a crooked steering wheel and trouble lights on your dash instead of trying to fix the problem? For all those that own Jeeps with stock draglinks, you know how simple that procedure is.

 Earlier in the day in the parking lot, this was the same guy using a lump hammer to try to disconnect his swaybar links. I watched him for a couple of seconds trying to make a clean swing at the link behind his tire until I offered to let him use my prybar, he responded "no I got it"...of course I watched the cave man-like attempt for a couple of seconds again until I went and just got my bar. One, two, both links off with the pry bar...very simple, very the way; after prying this guys swaybar loose I turn around and see another person in the group make failed attempts at hammering off his links...brings me to my next tip...or rant.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Post #7 "wheeling 102 continued..."

Spotters. Actually, not really the spotters specifically. Were you ever in a tight spot on a trail and while you're trying to listen to you spotter, there are two or three more people trying to spot you to? Yea, don't be those people. One spotter at a time, if you feel the spotter isn't seeing what you're seeing, let him/her know. There is no need to try to spot and confuse the person driving, it's annoying as shit. Imagine looking for parking and you have three passengers all pointing out different parking spot yelling over each other...yeah it's like that.

Keen, NH
Drivers, listen to your fuckin' spotter. He sees what you don't.

here's an example. I was just looking at the rig behind me though
The head-pokers/quarter drivers. The guys who stick their head out the window and stare at their front drivers side tire as they are navigating an obstacle. Put your damn head back in the window, first of all, you're only looking at 1 of 4 tires, so that whole method is a bust. Second, you can't see whats in front of you; and if you can, it's just whatever is on your left. What's even worse? When someone is spotting you and you stick your head out the window and don't listen to a word the spotter says because according to your quarter-field of vision you're fine. I'm not saying you cant stick your head out the window to see whats going on, just dont do it and think you can be your own spotter because you can see your drivers side tire.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Post #6 "wheeling 102"

On my most recent wheeling trip; which was during winter time, I was the the trailguide for the group since I knew the trail system well and had the most experience (I'm not a veteran or anything I just happened to have the most experience out of the group) wheeling. There were 2 or 3 guys that have never been wheeling before and the rest of them have maybe 3 or less trips under their belt, no big deal. We did a lot of blues that had bypasses or were easy enough to get through for a first timer given a spotter...Anyway, I'm not going to bore you with details about the trip, I'm writing this post to give tips to first timers and/or guys with less experience...

First off, skid plates. Use them, even if you dont want to, you will, whether you like it or not. Reason I say this; at one point during the trip I was spotting the 2 first timers through the toughest part of the trail. I later heard that the guy in the first Jeep wasn't happy with my spotting because he hit a rock after I was done spotting him through the hard part because I moved my attention to the 2nd first-timer so he can get through the tough part. Rocks happen, you're offroading, you can't expect the spotter to spot you all the way down the rest of the trail that's dirt and gravel with one large rock that could've easily been avoided. So yeah, skid plates, that's what they are there for, don't be afraid to use them...stay tune until next time