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post #1 of 14 Old 10-03-2007, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Jeeping for Newbies / Jeeping 101

OK, I'm sure there must be a whole lot of experiences and knowledge for those of us semi newbies (rented before so not completely a virgin but this is my first in the garage) to try to avoid some of those common sense gotchas like we are having the privilege of experiencing!

Maybe each can be a thread in a Newbie / Lesson / Experience section....Sand - Mud - Rocks - Water - Snow etc kind of thing....


Things like ...

1) The wave - the returns from other JKs is abysmal - the new owners just don't know about it yet...

2) When the top is off (or in the sunrider position) - one should not park under trees for shade - the leaves and twigs weren't the issue - but the bird droppings were! Fortunately all came off the seats!

3) Just because it is a Jeep doesn't mean it can go anywhere - ok maybe almost everywhere but some of those submarine Jeep and toppling Jeep videos definitely should be seen BEFORE those of us with less common sense decide why not try anyway!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3jcTVb4iSU (Although probably not a jeep)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwmNmQP-KL4 (my wife made me promise not to intentionally do this)

4) Never wheel alone

etc etc...

I'm sure there are lots of things that you Jeep vets can come up with in reference as to the best ways to handle sand / snow / rocks - when to use the lockers - and which ones - and when to most appropriately use the swaybar disconnect.

Sure the manual has basic stuff but clearly those of us reading the manual were still doing the sunrider folds incorrectly until photos were placed.

I'd rather learn form those with the experiences and hear some great stories in the mean time.

MIGHT HAVE TO START A NEW THREAD BUT HERE GOES...Jeeping 101 in progress

CRITICAL (some should be on a placard on the jeep kind of things...)

1) NEVER wheel alone - seems to be a recurring theme and makes a bunch of sense
2) KITS (depend on trip, length, etc):
A) Safety / First Aid / Survival kits - water, shelter/tent, sleeping bags, food, poncho, blankets, lighter/matches, signal mirror (may not want to rip off the rearview), whistle, toilet paper
B) Toolkit - Shovel, axe, torx, sockets, screwdrivers, duct tape, multipurpose knifes (Swiss Army / Leatherman/Woodmans / Hunting - containing bottle opener and corkscrew), bungee cords, gloves
C) Communications - Cell phone (and charger), CB radio, Ham radio
4) Tow Strap - Winch or come along
5) Fire extinguisher - more than just in a safety kit - there is a thread on installations!
6) Lotions - but beware of sand dunes - Wear Sunblock regardless, insect repellent, carmex
7) Sunglasses
8) Flashlight - LED recommended with photolith batteries
9) Map and compass and let people know where you're going (leave a note / flight plan!)
10) Watch the videos above!

10a) New addition - compressor!!! At minimum one of those boost start / compressors for emergencies and when you want to go in the sand if you haven't already bought that big daddy Warn winch.

COMMON SENSE ITEMS (For some - for the rest of us new info!)

11) Don't wheel alone
12) Don't park under trees with the top off
13) Thieves will cut the soft top to get at what they can see (leave a window open!)
14) Don't drive around in 4-lo because you feel cool LOL
15) Don't drive into anything you don't scout out first or know.(ie common sense)
16) Don't go 40 into a mud hole (personal experience LOL)
17) Don't diss another mans/womans jeep.
18) Don't wear lip gloss at the sand dunes
19) It is a Jeep - while it might not seem like it - it can and will get stuck
And the video...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrwTPlogv3Q
20) Join a 4X4 club


DON'T FORGET (mostly for men...):

21) Don't wheel alone
22) Blonde, Redhead, or companion in passenger seat (over 18 please)
23) Jeep women are sophisticated so don't always assume beer (or PBR) hence the corkscrew above
24) Libations / adult beverages are for the destination
25) Avoid anything oral while in motion - thanks Jeep 888
26) The plastic windows WILL and DO scratch. Clean before storage. Use LOTS of water to get the majority of the dust off before using a microfiber towel with cleaners.
27) Several cleaners have been highly recommended but the 303 line seems to have the biggest thumbs up.
28) When the horn gets wet - it will sound like a duck - or worse
29) CARRY A CAMERA to show off your trip!


DRIVING IN SAND

From lots of folks and personal experience:

1. Some suggest 4Hi to keep you from hitting the throttle, over-torquing and breaking the threshold of traction and burying yourself in the sand. Some suggest 2wd until you start sinking.

2. Minimize turns and braking--steady movement is best to get you through the soft stuff. Turning creates resistance to the forward power being applied by your rear tires.

3. Handling appears to be improved by turning OFF the ESP

4. If DEEP SAND - lower tire pressure to 15 psi or lower (some suggested as low as 3 and 6 but I found some issues with loss of bead around 6). In any event - 15 worked great for us in deep sand going up hill!!!

There is a great little compressor (under $50) from Costco that we use now that runs the pressure per tire from 15 to 35 in under 3 minutes!


HILLS and ROCK CLIMBING and MUD

I'll post more here shortly....



Other honorable mentions:

Keep the wave alive!
The sunrider folds will all go behind the back seat - 2 Ws! click here
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-03-2007, 12:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZToad View Post
<snip>
25) Avoid anything oral while in motion - thanks Jeep 888
<snip>Keep the wave alive!
Hello there AZToad - you're very welcome. There's no smilie for it yet, but :wave: .
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-03-2007, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MJS_Jeep_888 View Post
Hello there AZToad - you're very welcome. There's no smilie for it yet, but :wave: .
That one was just too classic!!!
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-03-2007, 03:06 PM
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Here's a video for #15. This guy definitely didn't scout out where he was going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_ZC_...elated&search=
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-03-2007, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by seiken01 View Post
Here's a video for #15. This guy definitely didn't scout out where he was going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_ZC_...elated&search=
Very nice! ...and scary! My second navigator (the wife) thought that our primary navigation's GPS coordinates (Garmin 7200) was "close enough" to our expected turn and informed me that I needed to turn. Yep - I blew it - I listened without checking myself.

Can't tell you how happy I was to stop and get out of the Jeep when I couldn't see where I was driving. No exaggeration - a 500+' cliff.

We casually went back to the "real" coordinates and made the appropriate turns...

Oh yeah, then on the way back at the end of the week we heard about two Jeepers that are no longer with us after going off the trail (RIP)

Last edited by AZToad; 10-03-2007 at 09:35 PM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-29-2007, 12:01 PM
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As a newbie, let me say great advice and keep it coming!
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-29-2007, 02:39 PM
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I've been serious about off-road adventures for about 15+ years now, I don't rock race, I don't have unlimited funds, I haven't done every trail in the world...

My tips...

-Before you spend money on your jeep in modifications learn how to drive. I'm not saying that everyone that buys a new jeep doesn't know how to drive, but I tend to see a good deal of people out on the trail or at club rides that have almost ZERO real world experience yet seem to have lockers, lifts, huge tires, etc. Invest a little money in yourself, buy some fuel, take some time off work and get out on the trail. Seat time is VERY important.

-Carry the proper equipment. Every vehicle should come with a good trauma style first aid kit ( not the little boo-boo type kit! ). Follow that up with a shovel, axe, and tow strap.

-Learn how to properly air down your tires!!! I cannot stress enough the difference in real world off-road performance this makes! I am not talking about 20psi here. I am talking about single digits. There is no reason that you can't run low pressures without bead locks. Yes, if you turn the tires full lock at 3 psi in the rocks and floor it your going to loose a bead. Learn the limits carefully but don't be afraid.

-The first two modifications you should make to your jeep is a winch and an on-board air system. Being able to air up your tires after a trail ride is great. I have been without air more times than I could count. I've driven around the Moab area for a week with my tires at 9-12psi without issues. Sure, I had to go a little slower but it really isn't that big of an issue if you keep your speed down and drive smart. Being able to air up is a great feeling though. It also makes you a very popular guy on the trail Along with filling tires its also a great source of power for tools. Changing a spare tire with an air jack and impact wrench is so very nice! A winch is a great addition because it not only allows for efficient self-recovery. In my opinion its one of the best things you can bolt to a jeep. Lower gears, lockers, and big tires just get you stuck farther from home. Those things come in time...but are NOT needed right away to be able to enjoy the sport.

-I know this is going to be against the grain, but don't be afraid to go out in one jeep with just a buddy in the passenger seat. I know this goes against the grain, but a lot of the time I don't see the need to go with a bunch of vehicles. It can be fun to have others along, don't get me wrong, but a lot of the time I can cover a lot more ground without a bunch of vehicles. If you find the right bunch of guys it can be great fun. I'm not saying that there are not situations that don't warrant another rig going along, but don't limit yourself to only going out with other vehicles.
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-29-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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How do i quote?

Anyway as michaelkern said :As a newbie, let me say great advice and keep it coming!:

I agree 100% with that, it's great advice. I am somewaht new at 4 wheelin, I had a 02 TJ until I got my JK so...

Oh and another tip:

Dont Judge A Puddle/Mud Pit by how deep it LOOKS. I did that a couple years ago and a big old truck with huge wheels must have made ruts, and stupid me over here went through it and nearly tipped lol. I wish I had pics for ya to see
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-29-2007, 08:34 PM
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If your a newbie I say,
Get er done!
No time like the present to go for it... getting stuck/broke suks in the moment but when you look back its just an adventure! you may learn a thing or two also.

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-30-2007, 08:53 AM
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Excellent thread. I have to say though, just because you aren't a newbie, doesn't mean that you shouldn't go over a checklist like this before venturing out. People forget things, or think they can go without for this trip, and get themselves into trouble even when they know better.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-30-2007, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gib View Post
Excellent thread. I have to say though, just because you aren't a newbie, doesn't mean that you shouldn't go over a checklist like this before venturing out. People forget things, or think they can go without for this trip, and get themselves into trouble even when they know better.
Can't stress enough the previous posts: Get your safety gear first, then mod for capability later. After you've discovered what you want it to do.
And always check your list before you go out. ESPECIALLY if you have wife/kids. "But dad, we NEEDED your flashlight from the Jeep because it's brighter than ours!" or, "I'm sorry, Honey. But I couldn't find my gardening gloves and I knew your golves would be in the Jeep because you ALWAYS put your stuff away when our done!" ... thanks you guys.

2008 Rescue Green UJK Rubicon 6 spd with a bunch of super cheap mods!
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-30-2007, 11:30 AM
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Mieser
Quote:
-I know this is going to be against the grain, but don't be afraid to go out in one jeep with just a buddy in the passenger seat. I know this goes against the grain, but a lot of the time I don't see the need to go with a bunch of vehicles. It can be fun to have others along, don't get me wrong, but a lot of the time I can cover a lot more ground without a bunch of vehicles. If you find the right bunch of guys it can be great fun. I'm not saying that there are not situations that don't warrant another rig going along, but don't limit yourself to only going out with other vehicles.
AZToad, Good thoughts, but you may be a little overly concerned about Wheelin Alone. I agree with Mieser, I've been off-roadin for some 35 years and Wheel Alone (with navigator wife) much of the time. It's really not whether your with a group or alone that's the issue, it's being prepared that counts. I'm NOT saying something unexpected won't happen, but if you're prepared you can work through most any situation.
Get a good winch, a powerful on-board air system like C02, good safety equipment/extinguisher/first-aid, etc.
Learn Navigation, get yourself good maps for the area your visiting, a mapping GPS, learn to watch for and identify landmarks, cell phone and CB are good items also.
On our many trips we see lots-a other jeepin folks out alone and doin just fine and havin a Hell of a Good time.
Just Do The Adventure!

WHEN in DOUBT, GAS-IT !

EARTH FIRST! We'll JEEP the other planets later!
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-30-2007, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Great comments - Keep 'em coming!

As for the wheeling alone - I too have gone out alone but can also state from experience that it seems things get much worse when there is no one anywhere to be found after something goes horribly wrong!

The one time you think you're covered from a communications standpoint - you'll come to the realization that most cell phones don't work in deep canyons - and neither do CBs! We learned that the hard way this summer and weren't able to communicate until we cleared the trail!

From a few other sites - the "never wheel alone" comment seems to have been a common theme but as folks above are stating - the idea of seat time and learning time is invaluable and as long as folks know where you're going and time tables of when to expect you back (like a flight plan) - I too think that venturing out with one vehicle is acceptable - as long as you really are prepared for the worst!

Keep the comments rolling folks...
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-30-2007, 04:54 PM
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Round two...

-Front Swaybar disconnects. I can't count the number of people I have seen with lifted vehicles that don't disconnect there swaybar off-road. Its a very simple modification that does wonders or your suspensions ability to follow the ground. This helps with traction...especially for the open differential crowd. If your lucky enough to own a new Powerwagon or Rubicon you can even do it from the drivers seat. I have tried the Anti-rock systems in the past and found them to be lacking in the on-road area, especially in panic type situations. They do work off-road rather nice and keep the suspension under a bit more tension keeping things a bit more predictable. A set of high quality sway-bar disconnects is a great modification for the dollar.

-Know thy jeep. If you don't have the ability to fix common jeeping related problems please learn. The most common things I have seen break in my years have been the u-joint at the rear diff or a front axle u-joint. I can't say enough about having a good tool kit on board. There is a limit here though, don't carry the world!!!! For myself I have used a cloth type workmans toolbag for years and found it to be the perfect size. It allows me to have a large selection of tools but prevents me from packing too much. Its a little harder to find tools when they are loose in a bag, but you get use to it. Take enough tools to do the job but don't try and take your entire tool chest. If you have access to a service manual you can even find a tool list for common repairs you might have out in the field.

-Don't pack the kitchen sink. A light jeep is a happy jeep. You don't need a full set of front and rear spare axles! Carry what may commonly break and upgrade the critical parts that you have found to be questionable. If you pack a ton of weight on your jeep chances are your going to need the spare parts not because your jeep is weak, but because you overloaded it. Continually go through your jeep and pare out the stuff you don't ever use, or try and find lighter alternatives. As an example. Instead of carrying spare axle shaft upgrade the stock unit to a 'moly unit. The weight will be about the same as stock, but much stronger. This means you should be able to ditch the spare shaft....eliminating that much weight and freeing up that much space.

-Weight. Build it light. Don't think that you need to armor everything with 1/4" steel to venture off the pavement. As a general rule a lighter jeep will out perform a heavier jeep with everything else rather equal. Sure its not going to work 100% of the time, but as a general rule you will break fewer parts, get better mileage, and have better performance both on and off road. Also, whatever you do resist the urge to add weight to the rear of your jeep. I have found that generally every vehicle will perform better off-road with a slightly front bias weight distribution. Keep the weight between the tires, down as low as practical, and try and keep it conservative in general.
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