Monday, 20 February 2017

Upgrading the headlights (sorta) on the TJ

This isn't really upgrading the lights, it's about upgrading the wiring to the headlights. Stock Jeep (CJ/YJ/TJ apparently JK) have piss poor headlights. I was recently out with my wife on a stretch of road with no streetlights, it was as if I had no headlights. Cars passing me had these beautiful bright lights and I probably could've used a lighter and a mirror
and had better output than my TJ lights.

Enter Relays. Relays a triggered by a switch, but carry far more power through the relay than a switch can handle. It's safer for your fuses and switches, and relays should be used whenever high-draw items are used.
If you check out the diagram to the left, you'll see a basic relay. In this case when the switch is closed on the input to 86, it triggers a spring loaded internal switch, which is capable of much higher amperage, to close between 30 and 87.

After reading around I discovered that Jeep routed power through the switch in the cab, and than to the light. All that extra wire causes a voltage drop, which means less power to the lights themselves. By using a relay, you can have the power go directly from the battery to the lights, and use the switch in the cab to activate the relays. Better for the switch, and better for night driving.
Octane Lighting Harness

For a really good write up, check out Jeepfan.com. While I'm handy with a soldering iron, and not afraid of hacking up my wiring, I found a simple solution. That solution is the Headlight Relay Wiring Harness H4/9003 by Octane Lighting on Amazon.ca. For just over $30 Canadian, I was able to easily add relays, and I didn't have to hack up my harness in the process.

It was a nice February morning, a whopping 3C out (37F). Throwing my hoodie and coveralls on, I tackled the job.

Really easy install. About 30 minutes start to finished. Run the harness, attach to the existing grounds by the headlights, run power and zip tie it all up.

I grabbed a video of me doing the install to try something new. 10 out of 10 would recommend the harness for ease of install. Not too long, not too short, everything was soldered and had heat shrink.

Amazon.com link for the same harness

The video is embedded below.



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2017 To Do List and news about 2018!

So, last year was a bust, here's my updated To Do list for 2017. Sorta sucks that I only managed to really scratch one item off the list. But hey, I did at least see a trail!

For 2016 2017, this is what I have planned



  • Centre the steering wheel. 
    • Despite my best efforts last year (July 2015), my steering wheel is still slightly off to the left. Annoying, yet easy to fix.
  • Front Fender repair.
    • As anyone with a TJ can tell you, the damn fenders just rot away into nothing. Mine are patched together with left over duct work and rivets. This is the year I take advantage of a brakepress and metal shear to cut me some new fender tops.
  • Front extended flares.
    • Thanks to changes in the MTO's vehicle safety standards, my front tires need full tread coverage. I blame the MTO, but in reality, I'm tired of the dirt and mud sprayed up the side of my Jeep due to the front tires.
  • Rear turn signals
    • Again, thanks MTO. The previous owner of my Jeep flush mounted the taillights, and under the new rules, I require a visible rear turn signal on the side of the Jeep. Already got the lights, just need the weather.
    • Need new taillights since mine rotted out inside. May go back to stock housings and lose the flush mount
  • Battery Lug Replacement.
  • Removable Mud Flaps.
    • Going to fab something up for the rear to keep Johnny Law from getting too interested in my "Excessive Road Spray"
  • Electric Radiator Fan.
    • Been sitting in my garage for two years now. Maybe I should install it. At least I wired the switch into the cab already.
  • New Fan Belt.
    • To do when I change the fan.
  • Rear Diff Service.
    • Bought some Royal Purple max gear oil to change up the rear to see if it makes a difference on the Detroit unloading. Just gotta do it.
  • Transmission Service
    • Picking up some Redline MT-90, 'cause I hear it makes the AX-5 smooth as butter.
  • Delrin Bushing for my Tire Carrier
    • I run a pipe on a bolt tire carrier (homemade) and it could use a bushing in there. Gong to try and source some Delrin to use.
  • Emergency Rear Axle Retainer.
    • Got a thought on something that'll hold my axle together should I snap a shaft in the Dana 35c.
  • Aim Headlight and Fog Lights.
    • Pretty self explanatory. Just need a nice warm night
    • Got new wiring on it's way in to make lights brighter (https://goo.gl/HFVs9V). So aiming will be a bigger priority
  • New Winch Cable
    • Again, pretty self explanatory.
  • Missing bolt in Winch
    • Snapped a bolt that holds the gear housing on. Has been fine for years. One of these days I'll head to Bolts+ and get a replacement.
  • Jerrycan and Mount
    • One day I'll get around to building a mount for a Jerrycan
  • Hi-Lift Mount.
    • See above. One day
  • Lockable storage
    • Now that I have a kid, and need all the seats in, I need to build a new locking storage box for behind the back seat. Has to work with the CJ tailgate on the Jeep.
  • Hitch mounted vice.
    • I have a spare vice, I have spare 2"x2" square tube. I need to merge the two to have a vice that can travel with me.

Also, I plan to be on the trail more this year. Either doing some overland travel to awesome camp sites, or just packing up and running some trails a couple hours from home.

Also big this year, is planning my 2018 trip to Moab. Yeah, you heard me, Moab. It's my 40th birthday gift from my wife to our family. We're travelling 6000 kms (3728 miles) round trip to go from Ontario to Utah to experience Moab. I'll update the site with my planning and thoughts through the year.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Merry Jeep Christmas

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But having a Jeep is so delightful
And since I'm the only one who could go
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

It doesn't show signs of stopping
And I've lockers in my axles for popping
The transfer case is set way down low
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When we get moving tonight
How I'll hate other drivers in the storm!
But if you're a newer model and still tight
All the way home I'll be warm

The engine is slowly dying
And, my Jeep, we're still driving
But as long as you're locked in low
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Jeeps are like Lego

I mean, they are aren't they. Lego for adults... well, how about some Lego for everyone.

I came across this and had to whip up a quick post to promote it. If it gets 10,000 supporters, Lego will move it into consideration.

I've used this platform to support models before, and I now have a Back to the Future Delorean, Ecto 1, and the TARDIS (I'm a geek, what can I say).

So check it out and lets see if we can get Lego to give us a real Lego Jeep.

Link to Support - Lego Ideas

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Bought my son a Jeep

Since my son was born, maybe a little before even, I've been on the lookout for a project Jeep for him. Something I could spend a few years fixing up and have ready for him when he's old enough to reach the gas peddle. I finally secured the perfect project last week for a total of $50. It needs a new paint job, some body work, and a new battery. Otherwise, it's in great shape.

Making sure everything works

I'm planning on adding a remote kill switch, 'cause daddy doesn't want to run in the park. The lights will be converted to LED, and I'll probably build a trailer, maybe even a snow plow.

This is the "Why is it Pink?" look

These won't do, they aren't KC Highlights!

























We haven't chosen a style yet. Make it black like daddy's Jeep? Maybe a Jurassic Park Style? What about Olive Drab with a mounted Nerf gun on the roll cage?  What are your thoughts on the direction?

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Throwback Thursday

What the hell, let's have a throwback to my YJ days. Just some random shots of the original Pavement Sucks and I out having a good time.



This was up in Ardbeg Ontario. Doing a small climb off the main trail. Just messing around really. Ardbeg was great for that. Easy, stock friendly main trail, and 0-10 side obstacles to try your luck on.

Up in Ardbeg still. This climb had a rather violent toss to the right, and it's where I managed to dent my cowl pretty good. Fun times though. Good place to stop for lunch as well



This was shot out in Minden, Ontario. Can't remember the trail name now, but we came across this rather mucked up bridge that was barely capable of foot traffic. I like, it could handle quads and skidoos. The indicators were that the route for heavier vehicles was down beside it through the small stream. 


And one of my favorite shots. Up on top of Greens Mountain in Ontario. Just north of Bobcaygeon. It was a pretty serious trail back in the day. Inspired fear among rookies. Now it's just a moderate run. The view from the top is awesome


Monday, 23 May 2016

Stopping the Splash (aka Avoid Johnny Law)

Last year I installed wider rear fender flares on my TJ. It was to keep the "Excessive Road Spray" down, as our Highway Traffic Act (HTA) refers to it. Starting this year, changes were made to the vehicle inspection standards requiring full tire coverage. Not that I was overly worried about being pulled over for my front tires sticking out, but I was actually getting tired of the road spray up the side of the Jeep and onto my elbow when the roads were wet. It was time to put on the matching front wide flares.

Care of: https://imgflip.com/memegenerator/29205172/mechanic
It should've been an easy job. 10 bolts per fender off and on. Unfortunately three body mounted bolts were seized up. I had to cut the bolts off, fix a little body rust, and install new nutserts. Went from an hour job to a 4 hour job. Such is Jeep Time, eh.









In typical "I want to work on the Jeep" fashion, I forgot to snap a before picture. However, my Jeep looked like any other TJ with stock flares and 33x12.5 tires on it.




Should keep the road spray to a minimum