Ep 144: OEM Audio Plus

Daniel LeBlanc from @oemaudioplus joins us to talk about the new products they are launching for #jeep products. We have personally heard their systems and they are awesome! Then the guys talk about Cody latest injury and how it is amazing that he is still alive.

Episode 456 – Leaf Spring Repair Kit from Hellwig


This episode brought to you in part by NEXEN Tire. Nexen tire has been around for 77 years. Nexen has made passenger and SUV tires along with street performance for many years, most recently have started making off road tires. The Nexen Roadian MTX is amazing long time off roaders with it’s all around fantastic performance in mud or rocks. Find out more about Nexen tires by going to Nexen tire u s a dot com right now. That’s https://nexentireusa.com.

This Week In Jeep: 

Where’s The Wood On The New Waggy?

What are two things most people think of when they hear the words “Grand Wagoneer” It’s usually “Big Jeep” and “Wood Trim” … but when it came time to revive the name for a brand-new 2021 concept, designers chose to go against it. But why? I originally thought that Jeep was pandering to the tree huggers, but then I dug a little deeper. The era where vehicles wore wood panels on their flanks carried through nearly three decades between the ’60s and ’80s. And even before that, automakers thought “woody” wagons, with part of their body actually made of real wood, were a stylish way to show off the craftsmanship of the vehicle. Fiat Chrysler considered sticking the design element on the new Grand Wagoneer Concept, and even tried to implement it in a way that emulated the Wagoneers of the past. But it didn’t quite work. At least to some. I personally liked some of the artist renderings of the concept that DID include a nod to the old waggy’s of the past. Apparently the original wood side trim on the Wagoneers was contact paper with a vinyl that was applied to the side of the old Jeep. It looked OK, and it made a statement, but they were desperately trying to establish a sense of luxury, which wood at the time was how you did it. Today’s design and manufacturing standards are using vastly different tools and design elements to get the “this is a luxury vehicle” message across to anyone who lays eyes on a vehicle. So, in that spirit, FCA decided that putting wood on the NEW Wagoneer would have actually just cheapened it, instead of highlighting the luxury aspects of the new full size Jeep. While the wood-grain would have been a fun throwback, it may have been at odds with today’s standards of what a luxury vehicle is supposed to exude from the outside. I’m pretty sure we have all seen those 20 and 30 year old vehicles rolling around, where the fake wood has fallen off the outside. It looks like crap, and I’m sure I’m not speaking out of turn when I say that I’m sure Jeep wants to keep its new Wagoneer as far away from the “crap” moniker as possible. So while the sides of the new Grand Wagoneer will be devoid of wood, there could be a subtle throwback to that golden era if the teakwood headlight and roof rail accents make production, along with the real wood that we are told will adorn much of the interior.

Actual Jeep Customer Care Program Good For 3 Years of Free Maintenance

Did you know that the Jeep brand will be turning 80 years old in 2021? That’s a real thing! Not fake news! So to celebrate, the automaker is expanding its Jeep Wave Customer Care program. Now everyone who purchases a new 2021 Jeep will get this perk. The program gives three years of free maintenance, 24/7 phone and online support, trip interruption and first-day rental coverage, and, for the adventurous, VIP access to “select exclusive Jeep brand events,” that I would be surprised if they didn’t include some off-roading. There are no exceptions in the lineup this time either. The deal includes ALL 2021 Jeep vehicles. For those looking for something to mark the occasion, the automaker is also offering up special 80th-anniversary-edition vehicles. They’ll be equipped with “unique wheels, grille accents, and commemorative badging to set them apart from the rest of the Jeeps on the lot. If you or someone you know may be interested in seeing or test driving any of the new 80th anniversary Jeeps… the special-edition versions will land in showrooms by the end of this year.

Jeep Life:

Shackle Confession

My Shackle Confession…Finally I admit my shackle wasn’t stolen.  I am going to talk to you about wheel spin, and why it is a bad thing for several reasons. As responsible off-road enthusiasts, we want to do our best to minimize trail damage. Trail damage is one of the reasons we are getting our trails shut down. Sometimes off roaders may not be aware that certain types of wheeling is damaging our community, our trails and their own Jeeps. They see a type of wheeling on YouTube… by off road leaders, or others doing it out on the trails, and they think it is okay. Well, wheel spin is one of those types of wheeling that is bad for your Jeep… and our trails.  Just because you see a high-profile YouTuber doing it does not make it right. The off-road community is being looked at with scrutiny nowadays, so we all need to be on our best behavior so as to not give the government any reason to close any more of our trails.  Our trails are under fire. They are being closed across the country for several reasons. One of those is irresponsible wheeling that is destroying our trails There are many ways to destroy the trails and excessive wheel spin is just one. Excessive wheel spin is irresponsible wheeling.  The organization Treadlightly.org says, “How we wheel today affects how we can wheel tomorrow and how are children can wheel in the future.”  They also say every true 4 wheel drive enthusiast should know the basics of minimizing the impact on our great outdoors” Here are some ways to minimize the impact on our trails.  travel only in areas open to 4×4 vehicles – drive over not around obstacles to keep from widening the trails. Now I see a lot of this happening out on the trails where they are getting wider than originally intended. Unfortunately, this is due to speeding on the trails and a lot, not all of the time the culprit is the side by sides. So slow down and go over that obstacle  – straddle ruts, gullies & washouts even wider than the Jeep – Cross streams only where the road crosses the stream – when possible avoid mud in soft terrain, go easy on the gas to avoid wheel spin as it can cause rutting. So let’s stop there and talk about wheel spin and how reckless it is. What does excessive wheel spin do… it tears up soft terrain like mud and creates ruts, It also tears up the soft terrain of gravel and rocks. It shoots all that gravel and rock from the tires. This can be very dangerous when people are on the trail watching Jeeps wheel through obstacles. Some rocks can be flaky and wheel spin tears up that rock and changes the terrain and eventually that trail will get worn down. This can change a difficult trail to an easy trail.  Sometimes wheelers don’t know when to let up off that skinny pedal and the wheels continue to spin and then the rig starts bouncing and sliding which in some cases widens the trails which we want to avoid. The other part of this is excessive wheel spin puts your vehicle in harm’s way and can cause damage to your vehicle. As that rig bounces up in the air with the tires continually spinning… Once it comes down onto the ground it shock loads the suspension. That is not good. That is when axles and driveshafts break. You want to keep traction on those tires and you would be surprised by picking the right light and slowly crawling that obstacle you will make it. . So as I read on one website with Off Road tips. Don’t Spin To Win. Not only does such behavior tear up the trails, but it gives off-roading a bad name that can be used against us when environmentalists and disapproving lawmakers make regulations restricting our activity. For more on being a good steward of our trails head over to Treadlightly.org.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk: 

The Benefits and Dangers of a Dual Battery System

As the cooler weather starts to set in, we are reminded about the electrical needs of our Jeeps moving into the later months of the year. Colder weather usually means drained batteries, and hard starts. One of the best ways to avoid those slow starts, or coming out on a cold morning to find a dead Jeep is to install a dual battery system. This is something we’ve talked about several times here on the show. But when I start talking about running dual batteries outside of the show, most people assume I’m talking about a 24 volt system.  That’s not necessarily the case, especially in a conversation about Jeeps and not Semi Trucks. But having more voltage isn’t really the reason that you’d want to run a dual battery system. Most people want to run dual batteries because they want the power reserves, and raw amperage of two batteries to run their 12 volt system.  But how you hook them up makes all the difference in the world. So if you want 12 volts but the capacity of two batteries you need to hook them together the right way. And for our Jeeps, and virtually any other production vehicle except the aforementioned Semi-Trucks or some select BMW’s…. that means you need to hook up the batteries in parallel. What that means is that the negative of one battery connects to the negative of the other and the two positives go together. This can be done using bus bars, thick strips of metal specifically sized to span and mount onto the battery terminals, or with regular battery cables with terminals on each end. Then you will use the positive of one battery as your positive output, and the negative of the other battery as the ground.  What you got then at this point is still 12 volts, but with the capacity and amperage of two batteries. This is perfect for if you’re running a winch or lots of off-road lights, a big stereo system or anything that sucks a lot of power. What’s even better is that your alternator will still charge both of these batteries, and do it at the same time. There is one CRITICAL piece of information here that absolutely must be followed.  And that is that you need to make sure the two batteries match so that they don’t draw on each other and discharge. That means brand for brand, amp for amp.  Now if you DO want 24-volts you need to hook the batteries up in a series which means the negative of one battery connects to the positive of the other battery. Then the same as before, you use the positive of one battery and the negative of the other. When you hook up two batteries in series like this, the voltage of the two batteries is added together and you’ve got 24 volts. But,  you need to be careful, you do NOT want to do this with the batteries still connected in any way whatsoever to the vehicle’s wiring.  24-volts will do some serious damage to a 12-volt system so you need to make sure you’re hooking things up right. So why might you want 24 volts if it’s so dangerous to the Jeep? You’ve probably heard me talk about how to set up a welder for trail side repairs by using a pair of jumper cables, a set of vice grips, and a welding stick. The voltage of two or even 3 batteries hooked together in series will provide plenty of juice to wled just about anything together. Be advised though, this is hard on the batteries and I don’t suggest welding for long periods with them hooked up like this as the massive draw, and near dead short condition can damage the batteries over time. So the next time the Jeep is ready for a new battery, think about getting one of those dual stack battery trays. They bolt right in and at just 100 to 150 bucks, they are an affordable way to give you immediate room to run your own dual battery system.

Newbie Nuggets:

Root fires

After last week’s fireside chat about overlanding, and all the fires the west coast has endured over the past several weeks, and all our forest service trails closed in our state, I got to thinking about an issue that would be good to discuss. When you travel with your jeep and overland, or camp out in the middle of nowhere, and you want to have a fire for warmth, or roasting marshmallows, please consider the following: My Dad is a retired fireman and arson investigator and has some firsthand knowledge about this issue. When you build that campfire “ring” for your camping needs, or use one that someone else made, have you considered your location? I know you probably won’t make a fire underneath a tree, or low hanging branches – that seems common sense to most of us but have you considered what’s underneath the ring you made? I’m talking about root fires. Root fires are dangerous fires that start underground with tree roots that you cannot see. They can smolder for months underground long after the surface part of the fire has been extinguished. With abundant fuel and plenty of oxygen, a root fire travels underground and eventually surfaces elsewhere as an above-ground fire. You douse the fire at night or early morning and head out about your day with no care or consideration of what could happen. The fire got so hot that it literally caught the roots underneath on fire and can last days, weeks, even months in some areas and travel slowly along the root system until it finds a stump, or tree and a tiny bit of oxygen and BAM you have a fire in the forest. There have been studies and cases where the fire erupted so far away from the fire ring that it took a while to determine that the “ring” was the cause. Having fires at all during the “fire season”, yes we have a season  on the west coast, is about as dumb as ever. Just look at the news and all the destruction. I wonder how many of these fires are a result of a fire ring not placed in a proper location. We had a fire here in Big Bear a few years ago on a trail called Jacoby Canyon. This was one of the most breathtaking trails with a canopy of trees overhead, creeks with running water that you crossed and overall a fabulous trail. Hikers made a campfire a ways away from this trail and didn’t extinguish it properly that morning. They left and continued walking the Pacific Crest Trail and the next day, fire erupts and completely destroys this beautiful area. They traced the origin back to this fire ring. Careless on their part and they probably never knew they were the cause of the fire!! And they never found out who they were. Campsites that have designated fire rings, tend to be placed where there are no roots or tree system to “catch” fire. It’s the people venturing out into the “wild” blue yonder without a care in the world, enjoying their jeep life, exploring the areas and having a campfire. Nothing wrong with exploring and camping out in nature. But PLEASE be smart; -Please do not build a fire during fire season – in any part of the US. Drought conditions help aid in underground root fires. -If you build a “fire ring” it is suggested you dig down about 11 inches to make sure there are no roots in that area. Most trees have roots out to their leaves however others travel far to seek water and could be quite a ways away from the trunk. Use sand to build the base and make sure to add rocks around the ring to help keep the fire contained. -Another suggestion if you need to build one of these rings is to lay a fire resistant cloth on the ground and then pile mineral sand, like beach or stream bed sand on top of it. Once the mound is created, you build a fire on top of it, instead of bare ground. The mound creates an insulation barrier that prevents the ground under the fire from being scorched and preserves the micro-organisms or plants living there. The mound also prevents root fires because it stops the propagation of the fire below the fire resistant cloth. I’m not sure how many jeepers or over landers will actually carry a fire resistant cloth, let alone pack it up and take it with them as they travel. But this is an alternative to setting a forest on fire. -If you build a fire, please make sure to extinguish it completely – not just smothering the fire, but completely out with lots of water – then verify there are no embers glowing underneath. It truly is a matter of life AND Death!! The forest, the wild animals and nature depend on us to preserve it. Leave the forest the way you found it – pristine! Josh, Tony, I know we are safe around our fireside chat each week with the zoom people, but did you know about the root fires?

Interview with:

Mike Hallmark of Hellwigproducts.com

Mike Hallmark is the International Sales and Marketing Manager at Hellwig Products. Hellwig Products is a world class suspension manufacturer that produces sway bars and helper springs. Founded in 1946, Hellwig provides load and sway control for all types of vehicles, everything from Jeeps to firetrucks and RVs. An off-road and overland enthusiast, Mike owns a collection of vehicles, including a 1948 Willys CJ-2A (Willis) that he took wheeling in Moab at the Easter Jeep Safari in 2019. When he’s

 not in Willis, Mike is spending time in his classic Land Rover and fleet of vintage Volkswagens. Mike has been in the aftermarket automotive industry for 15 years and currently sits on the SEMA TORA (Truck and Off Road Alliance) council. For information on the worlds best load and sway control products head to www.hellwigproducts.com.

Spring Sling! Broken Leaf Spring emergency repair Kit. Best Insurance for getting your vehicle home or to a repair shop when you crack a spring. Simple Bolt on Installation with basic hand tools.

Must Have Stuff:

Lifetime LED Light Bar Cover 50″ no More Whistle Made in USA

Some States now require you to have your light bars covered.  It is the law, so don’t get pulled over because you did not cover your bar!!! The Lifetime 50 ” light bar cover fits most dual row light bars up to 52″. They are made of waterproof polyurethane backed UV protected polyester with 1/4″ open cell foam backing for a cleaner fit and extra protection. Guaranteed to not fade for 3 years minimum. These covers will not turn that ugly Purple that other brands do. Made in the USA https://amzn.to/3mM4nOZ     $69.00 – FREE Shipping

Campfire Side Chat:

Nobody likes a skinny Jeep, well maybe in some cases, like historical restorations, it’s ok. But i don’t know one fan of Jeeps, that doesn’t like a wide track look with big knobby tires sticking out to give the Jeep a nice wide stance. Some do it by swapping out the axles, some do it with specific types of wheels, others, opt for the wheel spacer. So… the question is…. Are they safe or dangerous? Would you or have you ran them before? Have you or someone you know had issues? Why do you think they may or may not be safe or unsafe? Guests around the virtual campfire! Chris, Greg, Isaac, Travis, Chip

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Hellwig Suspension Products https://www.hellwigproducts.com/
Lifetime LED Light Bar Cover 50″ https://amzn.to/3mM4nOZ
NEXEN TIRE https://www.nexentireusa.com/tires/roadian_mtx

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The post Episode 456 - Leaf Spring Repair Kit from Hellwig first appeared on Jeep Talk Show.

Episode 456 – Leaf Spring Repair Kit from Hellwig


This episode brought to you in part by NEXEN Tire. Nexen tire has been around for 77 years. Nexen has made passenger and SUV tires along with street performance for many years, most recently have started making off road tires. The Nexen Roadian MTX is amazing long time off roaders with it’s all around fantastic performance in mud or rocks. Find out more about Nexen tires by going to Nexen tire u s a dot com right now. That’s https://nexentireusa.com.

This Week In Jeep: 

Where’s The Wood On The New Waggy?

What are two things most people think of when they hear the words “Grand Wagoneer” It’s usually “Big Jeep” and “Wood Trim” … but when it came time to revive the name for a brand-new 2021 concept, designers chose to go against it. But why? I originally thought that Jeep was pandering to the tree huggers, but then I dug a little deeper. The era where vehicles wore wood panels on their flanks carried through nearly three decades between the ’60s and ’80s. And even before that, automakers thought “woody” wagons, with part of their body actually made of real wood, were a stylish way to show off the craftsmanship of the vehicle. Fiat Chrysler considered sticking the design element on the new Grand Wagoneer Concept, and even tried to implement it in a way that emulated the Wagoneers of the past. But it didn’t quite work. At least to some. I personally liked some of the artist renderings of the concept that DID include a nod to the old waggy’s of the past. Apparently the original wood side trim on the Wagoneers was contact paper with a vinyl that was applied to the side of the old Jeep. It looked OK, and it made a statement, but they were desperately trying to establish a sense of luxury, which wood at the time was how you did it. Today’s design and manufacturing standards are using vastly different tools and design elements to get the “this is a luxury vehicle” message across to anyone who lays eyes on a vehicle. So, in that spirit, FCA decided that putting wood on the NEW Wagoneer would have actually just cheapened it, instead of highlighting the luxury aspects of the new full size Jeep. While the wood-grain would have been a fun throwback, it may have been at odds with today’s standards of what a luxury vehicle is supposed to exude from the outside. I’m pretty sure we have all seen those 20 and 30 year old vehicles rolling around, where the fake wood has fallen off the outside. It looks like crap, and I’m sure I’m not speaking out of turn when I say that I’m sure Jeep wants to keep its new Wagoneer as far away from the “crap” moniker as possible. So while the sides of the new Grand Wagoneer will be devoid of wood, there could be a subtle throwback to that golden era if the teakwood headlight and roof rail accents make production, along with the real wood that we are told will adorn much of the interior.

Actual Jeep Customer Care Program Good For 3 Years of Free Maintenance

Did you know that the Jeep brand will be turning 80 years old in 2021? That’s a real thing! Not fake news! So to celebrate, the automaker is expanding its Jeep Wave Customer Care program. Now everyone who purchases a new 2021 Jeep will get this perk. The program gives three years of free maintenance, 24/7 phone and online support, trip interruption and first-day rental coverage, and, for the adventurous, VIP access to “select exclusive Jeep brand events,” that I would be surprised if they didn’t include some off-roading. There are no exceptions in the lineup this time either. The deal includes ALL 2021 Jeep vehicles. For those looking for something to mark the occasion, the automaker is also offering up special 80th-anniversary-edition vehicles. They’ll be equipped with “unique wheels, grille accents, and commemorative badging to set them apart from the rest of the Jeeps on the lot. If you or someone you know may be interested in seeing or test driving any of the new 80th anniversary Jeeps… the special-edition versions will land in showrooms by the end of this year.

Jeep Life:

Shackle Confession

My Shackle Confession…Finally I admit my shackle wasn’t stolen.  I am going to talk to you about wheel spin, and why it is a bad thing for several reasons. As responsible off-road enthusiasts, we want to do our best to minimize trail damage. Trail damage is one of the reasons we are getting our trails shut down. Sometimes off roaders may not be aware that certain types of wheeling is damaging our community, our trails and their own Jeeps. They see a type of wheeling on YouTube… by off road leaders, or others doing it out on the trails, and they think it is okay. Well, wheel spin is one of those types of wheeling that is bad for your Jeep… and our trails.  Just because you see a high-profile YouTuber doing it does not make it right. The off-road community is being looked at with scrutiny nowadays, so we all need to be on our best behavior so as to not give the government any reason to close any more of our trails.  Our trails are under fire. They are being closed across the country for several reasons. One of those is irresponsible wheeling that is destroying our trails There are many ways to destroy the trails and excessive wheel spin is just one. Excessive wheel spin is irresponsible wheeling.  The organization Treadlightly.org says, “How we wheel today affects how we can wheel tomorrow and how are children can wheel in the future.”  They also say every true 4 wheel drive enthusiast should know the basics of minimizing the impact on our great outdoors” Here are some ways to minimize the impact on our trails.  travel only in areas open to 4×4 vehicles – drive over not around obstacles to keep from widening the trails. Now I see a lot of this happening out on the trails where they are getting wider than originally intended. Unfortunately, this is due to speeding on the trails and a lot, not all of the time the culprit is the side by sides. So slow down and go over that obstacle  – straddle ruts, gullies & washouts even wider than the Jeep – Cross streams only where the road crosses the stream – when possible avoid mud in soft terrain, go easy on the gas to avoid wheel spin as it can cause rutting. So let’s stop there and talk about wheel spin and how reckless it is. What does excessive wheel spin do… it tears up soft terrain like mud and creates ruts, It also tears up the soft terrain of gravel and rocks. It shoots all that gravel and rock from the tires. This can be very dangerous when people are on the trail watching Jeeps wheel through obstacles. Some rocks can be flaky and wheel spin tears up that rock and changes the terrain and eventually that trail will get worn down. This can change a difficult trail to an easy trail.  Sometimes wheelers don’t know when to let up off that skinny pedal and the wheels continue to spin and then the rig starts bouncing and sliding which in some cases widens the trails which we want to avoid. The other part of this is excessive wheel spin puts your vehicle in harm’s way and can cause damage to your vehicle. As that rig bounces up in the air with the tires continually spinning… Once it comes down onto the ground it shock loads the suspension. That is not good. That is when axles and driveshafts break. You want to keep traction on those tires and you would be surprised by picking the right light and slowly crawling that obstacle you will make it. . So as I read on one website with Off Road tips. Don’t Spin To Win. Not only does such behavior tear up the trails, but it gives off-roading a bad name that can be used against us when environmentalists and disapproving lawmakers make regulations restricting our activity. For more on being a good steward of our trails head over to Treadlightly.org.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk: 

The Benefits and Dangers of a Dual Battery System

As the cooler weather starts to set in, we are reminded about the electrical needs of our Jeeps moving into the later months of the year. Colder weather usually means drained batteries, and hard starts. One of the best ways to avoid those slow starts, or coming out on a cold morning to find a dead Jeep is to install a dual battery system. This is something we’ve talked about several times here on the show. But when I start talking about running dual batteries outside of the show, most people assume I’m talking about a 24 volt system.  That’s not necessarily the case, especially in a conversation about Jeeps and not Semi Trucks. But having more voltage isn’t really the reason that you’d want to run a dual battery system. Most people want to run dual batteries because they want the power reserves, and raw amperage of two batteries to run their 12 volt system.  But how you hook them up makes all the difference in the world. So if you want 12 volts but the capacity of two batteries you need to hook them together the right way. And for our Jeeps, and virtually any other production vehicle except the aforementioned Semi-Trucks or some select BMW’s…. that means you need to hook up the batteries in parallel. What that means is that the negative of one battery connects to the negative of the other and the two positives go together. This can be done using bus bars, thick strips of metal specifically sized to span and mount onto the battery terminals, or with regular battery cables with terminals on each end. Then you will use the positive of one battery as your positive output, and the negative of the other battery as the ground.  What you got then at this point is still 12 volts, but with the capacity and amperage of two batteries. This is perfect for if you’re running a winch or lots of off-road lights, a big stereo system or anything that sucks a lot of power. What’s even better is that your alternator will still charge both of these batteries, and do it at the same time. There is one CRITICAL piece of information here that absolutely must be followed.  And that is that you need to make sure the two batteries match so that they don’t draw on each other and discharge. That means brand for brand, amp for amp.  Now if you DO want 24-volts you need to hook the batteries up in a series which means the negative of one battery connects to the positive of the other battery. Then the same as before, you use the positive of one battery and the negative of the other. When you hook up two batteries in series like this, the voltage of the two batteries is added together and you’ve got 24 volts. But,  you need to be careful, you do NOT want to do this with the batteries still connected in any way whatsoever to the vehicle’s wiring.  24-volts will do some serious damage to a 12-volt system so you need to make sure you’re hooking things up right. So why might you want 24 volts if it’s so dangerous to the Jeep? You’ve probably heard me talk about how to set up a welder for trail side repairs by using a pair of jumper cables, a set of vice grips, and a welding stick. The voltage of two or even 3 batteries hooked together in series will provide plenty of juice to wled just about anything together. Be advised though, this is hard on the batteries and I don’t suggest welding for long periods with them hooked up like this as the massive draw, and near dead short condition can damage the batteries over time. So the next time the Jeep is ready for a new battery, think about getting one of those dual stack battery trays. They bolt right in and at just 100 to 150 bucks, they are an affordable way to give you immediate room to run your own dual battery system.

Newbie Nuggets:

Root fires

After last week’s fireside chat about overlanding, and all the fires the west coast has endured over the past several weeks, and all our forest service trails closed in our state, I got to thinking about an issue that would be good to discuss. When you travel with your jeep and overland, or camp out in the middle of nowhere, and you want to have a fire for warmth, or roasting marshmallows, please consider the following: My Dad is a retired fireman and arson investigator and has some firsthand knowledge about this issue. When you build that campfire “ring” for your camping needs, or use one that someone else made, have you considered your location? I know you probably won’t make a fire underneath a tree, or low hanging branches – that seems common sense to most of us but have you considered what’s underneath the ring you made? I’m talking about root fires. Root fires are dangerous fires that start underground with tree roots that you cannot see. They can smolder for months underground long after the surface part of the fire has been extinguished. With abundant fuel and plenty of oxygen, a root fire travels underground and eventually surfaces elsewhere as an above-ground fire. You douse the fire at night or early morning and head out about your day with no care or consideration of what could happen. The fire got so hot that it literally caught the roots underneath on fire and can last days, weeks, even months in some areas and travel slowly along the root system until it finds a stump, or tree and a tiny bit of oxygen and BAM you have a fire in the forest. There have been studies and cases where the fire erupted so far away from the fire ring that it took a while to determine that the “ring” was the cause. Having fires at all during the “fire season”, yes we have a season  on the west coast, is about as dumb as ever. Just look at the news and all the destruction. I wonder how many of these fires are a result of a fire ring not placed in a proper location. We had a fire here in Big Bear a few years ago on a trail called Jacoby Canyon. This was one of the most breathtaking trails with a canopy of trees overhead, creeks with running water that you crossed and overall a fabulous trail. Hikers made a campfire a ways away from this trail and didn’t extinguish it properly that morning. They left and continued walking the Pacific Crest Trail and the next day, fire erupts and completely destroys this beautiful area. They traced the origin back to this fire ring. Careless on their part and they probably never knew they were the cause of the fire!! And they never found out who they were. Campsites that have designated fire rings, tend to be placed where there are no roots or tree system to “catch” fire. It’s the people venturing out into the “wild” blue yonder without a care in the world, enjoying their jeep life, exploring the areas and having a campfire. Nothing wrong with exploring and camping out in nature. But PLEASE be smart; -Please do not build a fire during fire season – in any part of the US. Drought conditions help aid in underground root fires. -If you build a “fire ring” it is suggested you dig down about 11 inches to make sure there are no roots in that area. Most trees have roots out to their leaves however others travel far to seek water and could be quite a ways away from the trunk. Use sand to build the base and make sure to add rocks around the ring to help keep the fire contained. -Another suggestion if you need to build one of these rings is to lay a fire resistant cloth on the ground and then pile mineral sand, like beach or stream bed sand on top of it. Once the mound is created, you build a fire on top of it, instead of bare ground. The mound creates an insulation barrier that prevents the ground under the fire from being scorched and preserves the micro-organisms or plants living there. The mound also prevents root fires because it stops the propagation of the fire below the fire resistant cloth. I’m not sure how many jeepers or over landers will actually carry a fire resistant cloth, let alone pack it up and take it with them as they travel. But this is an alternative to setting a forest on fire. -If you build a fire, please make sure to extinguish it completely – not just smothering the fire, but completely out with lots of water – then verify there are no embers glowing underneath. It truly is a matter of life AND Death!! The forest, the wild animals and nature depend on us to preserve it. Leave the forest the way you found it – pristine! Josh, Tony, I know we are safe around our fireside chat each week with the zoom people, but did you know about the root fires?

Interview with:

Mike Hallmark of Hellwigproducts.com

Mike Hallmark is the International Sales and Marketing Manager at Hellwig Products. Hellwig Products is a world class suspension manufacturer that produces sway bars and helper springs. Founded in 1946, Hellwig provides load and sway control for all types of vehicles, everything from Jeeps to firetrucks and RVs. An off-road and overland enthusiast, Mike owns a collection of vehicles, including a 1948 Willys CJ-2A (Willis) that he took wheeling in Moab at the Easter Jeep Safari in 2019. When he’s

 not in Willis, Mike is spending time in his classic Land Rover and fleet of vintage Volkswagens. Mike has been in the aftermarket automotive industry for 15 years and currently sits on the SEMA TORA (Truck and Off Road Alliance) council. For information on the worlds best load and sway control products head to www.hellwigproducts.com.

Spring Sling! Broken Leaf Spring emergency repair Kit. Best Insurance for getting your vehicle home or to a repair shop when you crack a spring. Simple Bolt on Installation with basic hand tools.

Must Have Stuff:

Lifetime LED Light Bar Cover 50″ no More Whistle Made in USA

Some States now require you to have your light bars covered.  It is the law, so don’t get pulled over because you did not cover your bar!!! The Lifetime 50 ” light bar cover fits most dual row light bars up to 52″. They are made of waterproof polyurethane backed UV protected polyester with 1/4″ open cell foam backing for a cleaner fit and extra protection. Guaranteed to not fade for 3 years minimum. These covers will not turn that ugly Purple that other brands do. Made in the USA https://amzn.to/3mM4nOZ     $69.00 – FREE Shipping

Campfire Side Chat:

Nobody likes a skinny Jeep, well maybe in some cases, like historical restorations, it’s ok. But i don’t know one fan of Jeeps, that doesn’t like a wide track look with big knobby tires sticking out to give the Jeep a nice wide stance. Some do it by swapping out the axles, some do it with specific types of wheels, others, opt for the wheel spacer. So… the question is…. Are they safe or dangerous? Would you or have you ran them before? Have you or someone you know had issues? Why do you think they may or may not be safe or unsafe? Guests around the virtual campfire! Chris, Greg, Isaac, Travis, Chip

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Hellwig Suspension Products https://www.hellwigproducts.com/
Lifetime LED Light Bar Cover 50″ https://amzn.to/3mM4nOZ
NEXEN TIRE https://www.nexentireusa.com/tires/roadian_mtx

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The post Episode 456 - Leaf Spring Repair Kit from Hellwig first appeared on Jeep Talk Show.