Space-Age Polymers and Advanced Technology Makes for Instant Fun – Just Add Water!!!

I believe that it is written, somewhere deep within the yellowed pages of an old Jeep owner’s manual, that you have not officially achieved full-fledged Jeep ownership status until you have been baptized into the Jeep church. Don’t get me wrong…despite the name this isn’t a religious ceremony of any sort. It doesn’t require a priest and is not likely to be followed by a reception, complete with little finger sandwiches, fruit punch or a cake. This ‘baptism’ is one of deep water, of pouring rain and probably of mud. Sure, it tends to be a messy ordeal but it always washes off and things dry out long before the memory ever fades.

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I can’t even recall the first time it happened to me, or begin to count the number of times that followed. What I can easily recall is that some of the best times I’ve had in my Jeep have been when things are NOT going the way they should. I could go as far as to say, with reasonable certainty that I’ve been set up. Jeep made plenty of allowances in their design to allow for the unexpected and undesirable to happen. The roof is configured to come off the vehicle entirely, as well as the doors, which both seem pretty suspect to me. There are even plugs in the floor that, when removed, allow for water to drain out of the cab, although the diameter of the drain holes are much too small to keep up with the water flow demand so your ankles will usually remain completely submerged in a heavy downpour. It’s like Jeep knew what kind of trouble Jeep owners were likely to get into and they wanted to make sure we were equipped to handle it and make a full recovery.

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My first ‘baptism’ was innocent enough. It was a sunny spring morning in Georgia and I opted to give my daily driver wheels the day off, choosing to enjoy a sun-soaked trek in to the office in the Jeep. The fresh aroma of budding trees triggered by winters end, accompanied by soft, cool breezes was just the right way in which to start your day and an even better way to end it. Mother nature, however, was hard at work in the background, enacting plans to make sure those blossoming trees had ample water- a plan she would put into full action about the time I began my homeward jaunt. As a steady stream of water trickled from my interior rearview mirror, as though a water faucet had been left on, it occurred to me that a bikini top was probably a well-chosen name for a product that basically guarantees that you are going to get wet. My thoughts then shifted to relative gravity of the situation that unfolded around me as my vehicles entire interior electrical system was being exposed to the one element of nature that it has the least in common with. All these years I spent avoiding the urge to use the hair dryer while lying in the bathtub were all for naught, as I was most certainly about to perish in a freak electrical fire.

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The most redeeming part of the Jeep baptism is probably the impression it makes on those around you that get to witness the event. The look of complete and total pity expressed on the faces of onlookers as they watch you brave the torrential floods must be seen to be believed. A look that could only be outdone by the shock and dismay that their faces would reveal, if they only knew that you were having a blast! I recall on one occasion a fellow in a black luxury sport sedan who pulled up next to me in one such monsoon, partially rolled down his window and made a verbal gesture of his compassion for my plight. “Bad day to own a Jeep! Ain’t it?” he said, to which I replied “No… Thursdays are as good as any day.”

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Of course, there is a flip-side to that coin. Every rose has its thorns; or at least that is the rumor I’ve heard relayed in a song. When it comes to having fun while in a Jeep, water is clearly the magical multiplier. Whether it’s a wide water crossing that runs up to your rocker panels, skirting a majestic waterfall on an isolated backwoods trail or adding equal sums of dirt and water together to make mud- the end result is always the same. Everything you do in a Jeep is “funner” when you add water, but be careful. When you are out wheeling and you add water, things can get really slick really fast! While I don’t mind an occasional struggle for traction, if your adventure has you on any sort of an incline, you will soon be unwillingly finding the shortest route down the mountain; bouncing off anything and everything that is in your path. While this still makes for vast amounts of fun, for those who value pretty painted sheet metal, this can be a real downer. For those Jeepers who are still sending the bank a monthly payment, it’s a downright unacceptable activity to use your Jeep to clear-cut forest land. For that reason, splashing through puddles is the recommended watersport until you have title in hand (with the top off, of course).

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So if you’re out in your topless Jeep and the dark clouds seem to conspire to rain on your parade, don’t despair. It’s just part of your baptism. Sit back, breathe in the air and enjoy it. Most importantly, try not to look too crazy. It’s a Jeep Thing! OlllllllO

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Weighing the Pros & Cons of Insanity

Over the years, I have come to realize that I do my best thinking at night. In that short period of time between lying down and actually falling asleep, I solve some of life’s largest quandaries. To be honest, what I consider to be “my best thinking” is probably substandard to most other people but, at least to me, it’s pure genius-level stuff.

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In stark comparison, I seldom if ever have a lucid thought when I first wake up. At the earliest hint of the first shrill tone from the alarm, my mind is prone to produce such mindless gibberish that I’m left wondering on what occasion I received a head injury. “Where’s the dog!?!!”…”Lefty Loosey” or even “Hello!”, as if answering a phone in my slumber, are some of the first things that come across my mind and therefore cross my lips in mornings earliest seconds. I’ve even been known to grasp desperately at a non-existent handrail, while still comatose, because my mind convinced me I was falling. Trust me…at night time, I am freaking brilliant!

I am currently deeply engaged in the planning of a cross country trek to Toledo, OH for the annual Toledo Jeep Fest in August. And this is not just any trek, but one taken in my 25 year old Jeep. As I laid in bed last night planning what mechanical tasks I needed to address this weekend in preparations for my voyage, it occurred to me that, amongst all the other pertinent planning, I needed to address how my Jeep was going to dress for the trip.

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If you have or have ever had a Jeep, you probably know what I mean. Anytime you take your Jeep out, you have to assess your itinerary and determine the best and most practical set-up for the occasion. If you have a hardtop, most of that decision making is pre-determined for you. Since my YJ is a soft top, I need to ask myself “Do I run the fastback soft top so I have my windows ready in waiting in case the weather goes south or do I roll the dice and don the more-risqué bikini top?” I decide that the fastback top would be the wisest choice and offer the most versatility. See! Nighttime-Me is ridiculously sharp. Isn’t he?

Then my mind progresses to the subject of doors. Do I mount up my half doors to the Jeep with a plan to then store the uppers in the rear cargo area when the weather permits or do I just leave home without any doors at all? I can even store the doors in the hotel room for short jaunts without doors. Or, do I drive half a dozen states away from my home with no means of protecting myself and my vehicles occupants from the elements during what might be one of the hottest Augusts in recent memory? Why, of course I do. Wait…what??

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I think if my wife was accompanying me on this trip, I would have to give the topic of going door-less for 1,300 miles some more intense thought. Bottom line is that I’m taking my teenage son and I love the open-air Jeep lifestyle as much or maybe more than anyone. Face it! I’m never gonna be able to tell my son about walking to school, ten miles each way, uphill in the snow. I need him to remember that time we drove across the country in a Jeep for no reason other than we could. And, worse yet, we wanted to! My exhausted and heavy-eyed self could not pose a single counterpoint as to why I would complete this trip in anything other than true Jeep fashion. Limited top and no doors!

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I hope, beg and pray that you will follow me along my journey beginning on August 8th, 2018 as we make our way to Toledo, the birthplace of Jeep. We’ll be posting pictures from the road and sharing the experience on our Rugged Ridge Facebook page and at YourJeepYourAdventure.com . We hope to see you then! OlllllllO

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Jeep® Jamboree 2013 Schedule

Jeep® Jamboree 2013 Schedule Announced

The official Jeep Jamboree schedule for 2013 has been released, including several new locations. Registration begins December 1st, make sure to visit their website for more information: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com

Trip Name Date City State
9th Texas Spur March 21-23 Llano Texas
20th Pine Barrens March 21-23 Hammonton New Jersey
1st Parker Arizona – New! April 18-20 Parker Arizona
20th Cajun April 25-27 St. Francisville Louisiana
9th Tennessee Mountains – 3 DAY EVENT! April 24-27 Oak Ridge Tennessee
23rd Arch Canyon April 25-27 San Juan County Utah
6th Top of the Ozarks May 9-11 Seymour Missouri
21st Big Bear May 9-11 Big Bear Lake California
16th Land Between The Lakes May 16-18 Marshall County Kentucky
25th Palo Duro May 30-June 1 Amarillo Texas
22nd Canyon de Chelly May 30-June 1 Chinle Arizona
4th Badlands May 30-June 2 Attica Indiana
21st Drummond Island June 20-22 Drummond Island Michigan
16th Penn’s Woods June 20-22 Bradford Pennsylvania
7th Killington July 18-20 Killington Vermont
18th Northwoods – Mole Lake July 18-20 Crandon Wisconsin
1st Roof of the Rockies – New! August 1-3 Snowmass – Aspen Colorado
2nd Coal Mountain Aug. 1-3 Shimoken Pennsylvania
16th Rubicon Trail Aug. 8-11 The Rubicon Trail California
5th Big Horn Mountains Aug. 29-31 Dayton Wyoming
21st Black Hills Sept. 5-7 Deadwood South Dakota
3rd Laurel Highlands Sept. 12-14 Farmington Pennsylvania
26th Ouray Sept. 12-14 Ouray Colorado
16th Catskill Mountains Sept. 19-21 Monticello New York
24th Maine Mountains Oct. 3-5 Bethel Maine
24th French Lick Oct. 3-5 French Lick Indiana
15th Moab Oct. 17-19 Moab Utah
20th Gateway to the Cumberlands Oct. 24-26 Williamsburg Kentucky
24th Ouachita Oct. 24-26 Hot Springs Arkansas
4th Cullman Alabama Oct. 31-Nov. 2 Cullman Alabama

Jesse’s Custom 1950 CJ-3A Jeeprod

This custom CJ-3A is a project that Jesse over at Fortec Atlanta had worked on for well over a year. Using a bunch of Omix-ADA, Rugged Ridge, and Alloy USA parts, as well as some custom fabrication – the build finally came to completion just before the 2012 SEMA Show! Be sure to check out the gallery at the bottom of the post.

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Body:
Omix-ADA fenders stretched 8”
Omix grill
Omix “WILLYS” branded tailgate
Original windshield frame chopped 12” and 1” added to opening to accommodate bigger glass
All Omix lights
Original headlamp bucket assemblies
Aluminum tub
Omix stainless steel front OE style bumper shortened
Omix stainless steel OE style rear bumperettes
Omix side view mirror 

Frame:
72-75 CJ-5 frame, boxed and fitted with custom cross members
Custom tubular trans mount
Custom motor mounts 

Suspension, Brakes, and Steering:
Independent front suspension with adjustable coilovers
Parallel 4 link rear with adjustable coilovers on custom mounts
Custom rear track bar and mounts
103” wheelbase
Manual rack and pinion steering
Under dash master cylinder and booster
4 piston front brake calipers
Disc brakes on rear
All hand bent stainless steel brake lines with braided stainless hoses 

Engine:
5.7 Hemi form 2008 Dodge Ram
426 Hemi intake
6.1 Hemi fuel rail and injectors
6.4 Hemi front accessories and oil pan
– 224 / 228 @ .50” lift Cam
High Flow Electric Fuel Pump
15 Gallon Aluminum Fuel Cell
Custom Headers with Gibson Sand Rail Mufflers
Custom Aluminum Radiator
Omix Dipstick handles and oil filler cap 

Transmission:
Built 545RFE from 2008 Dodge truck
3000 Stall 

Rear End:
Dana 44 from 72-75 CJ-5
– Limited slip
Precision Gear 4.10 Ring and Pinion, and rebuild kit
Alloy USA replacement shafts
Alloy USA diff cover 

Wheel and Tires:
Front: 26 x 4.5 / 17 M&H Racemaster tires on 17 x 4 Aluminum Wheels
Rear: 28 x 12.50 / 15 M&H Racemaster tires on 15 x 12 American Racing Outlaws 

Interior:
Omix OE style CJ-3A seats
Omix Leather wrapped steering wheel re-wrapped in brown leather
Omix glove box door and grab handle
Stainless steering column
Custom Aluminum Console

Crush Recovery Build: SEMA Ready

Well, just it’s just about complete! At the time of this shoot the paint matched seats and hood mentioned on the previous post hadn’t been installed yet. Everything else is good to go, and everything has come together very well! You’ll notice some the great details in the paint matched accents in the gallery below. The build features more than 60 of the latest products from the Omix-ADA family of brands; some of the newest products from Rugged Ridge such as the new Aluminum Hood Latches and Aluminum XHD bumpers, and Alloy USA’s high-strength axle shafts.

The final outcome of this Rubicon has definitely met the original goal of the build. Crush Recovery is designed to be the ultimate off road vehicles to recover 4x4s stuck in the toughest terrain. Inspiration stems from both Jeep’s trusted reputation and and unmatched versatility. Additionally, the new for 2012 Jeep color, Orange Crush, provides added utility and safety to Crush Recovery. The vibrant color stands out amongst the green and brown hues of the outdoors, making rescuers easily visible to those in need. Make sure to follow the coverage of the SEMA Show 2012 from Rugged Ridge to Crush Recover completely finished, as well as all of the other vehicles featured this year!

Crush Recovery Build: Custom Painted Seats and Hood

We’re less than a week away from the 2012 SEMA Show, and the Crush Recovery build is coming to completion. The custom painted ProCar Evolution seats and Truck Master Designs hood are a couple of the last finishing touches. Drew Brothers Customs did an awesome job on these! Check out the photos below:

Crush Recovery Build: October Update

A lot of work has been put into Crush Recovery recently, and since the last update I’ve also started working on a second JK dubbed Crimson Sol! Within the past few weeks I’ve finished installed the following:

Rugged Ridge XHD Aluminum Rear Bumper, Tire Carrier, and spare tire
– Rugged Ridge JK Flat Flares
– Rugged Ridge Cowl Armor
Procar by SCAT seats with custom rear bucket seat mounts
Daystar™ Can Cam System
Recon fog lights and marker lights
– Custom gauge cluster and custom paint matched Rugged Ridge HID lights
– Doetsch Offroad Headrest Covers
– Rugged Ridge Half Doors

We’ll continue to keep you all updated as the build progresses to The SEMA Show 2012 – along with Crimson Sol!

Come See Rugged Ridge at The 2012 Off-Road Expo

Visit Omix-ADA/Rugged Ridge at this year’s Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo powered by General Tire! Check out some of our newest products and promotions! The show is held in Pomona, CA from October 6th through the 7th. Find us at Booth# 4719 in Building# 4.

The expo offers you the greatest collection of off-road companies, parts, equipment, gear, and experts ever assembled in America. From off-road racing to rock crawling, trail riding to sand sports, to motorcycles and ATV’s, to camping and adventure travel, you have the unique opportunity to meet and talk with the most knowledgeable people in the off-road industry. With a full weekend of excitement and 10 acres of off-road vendors in one location, you will see everything that is going on in the dynamic world of off-road.

Crush Recovery Build: Rugged Ridge Aluminum XHD Bumpers


Finally got the Rugged Ridge Aluminum XHD front and rear bumpers installed, along with the tire carrier, and winch as well. The build is really starting to come together and is looking more and more like the rendering every day!