Product Install: Rugged Ridge Low Mount Snorkel

I installed the Rugged Ridge low mount snorkel kit on my 2010 JK (3.8L) way back when, and remembered that while a tedious install, the benefits of this kit were well worth the effort.  The same can be said about this kit for the 3.6 Pentastar.

I wanted to share some tips and tricks for the install, as well as some mods I have to make so it would accommodate my bolt on coilover kit, and Bushwacker fender flares.  It is impossible for any manufacturer to consider all possible customizations, so I hope this can help a lot of people.

Don’t be alarmed. After removing the fender panel, this is what your Jeep will look like.

Please heed my advice and, before you tear your Jeep apart, run to the store and buy:

I will provide a full product review here, after I have spent some time with the kit.  For now, this post is just on installation notes and helpful tips.

First, Rugged Ridge’s instructions are METICULOUS.  They get an A++ on a 22 page instruction manual that really helps with this.  It helps to read it all before you start, so you know any upcoming issues.

1. Removing the passenger rock rail.  This was a little bit of a bummer, but I am glad I did it.  You will need to access the forward fender bolts, which would have been really hard with the rails in place.  My Rockhard rails use plates and bolts that go through the pinch seam, so if your rails (i.e. ACE Engineering) do not use the pinch seam bolts, you may be OK.

2. EVO Bolt on Coilover impacts:  I noticed pretty quickly that the bolts that pass through the coilover bracket and the stock shock tower were going to cause a problem with the aluminum intake tube.

Coilover bolts and factory wiring harness posed a potential problem I was able to address. Click to enlarge.

To fix this problem, I had to remove the aluminum bracket (for the brake bolt) from the intake tube to facilitate twisting the tube.  It took some manipulation, but fit just right once seated.  I don’t think removing that bracket will be a problem.

Once the tube is installed, you will have a very tight fit with the reservoir and hose for the coilover.  Take care and it will fit.

Tight fit!

3. Use Mechanics Gloves.  The fender sheet metal is sharp, the aluminum tube is sharp, and let me just say I was very glad I had gloves on.

4. O2 Sensor wiring:  Use caution when trying to fit the aluminum tube, as it will make a lot of rubbing contact with the O2 sensor wiring.

O2 sensor wires can be rubbed and cause problems, so be careful.

5. Template issues.  The biggest problem I encountered with this install (aside from the coilover bracket impact) was the printed template in the Rugged Ridge instructions.  This template was not printed correctly (RR says to call them so they can send a new one – I was doing this install on a Saturday night).

Note that both guide marks (square and circle) do not line up. Measure to the circle and do test fits.

So I aligned the round alignment mark to the hole in the fender, and cut to that.  I would have rather needed to trim more, than trim too much.

Trim short, and do a lot of test fits.

6. Bushwacker conflict:  Again, this is not a problem with Rugged Ridge at all.  It would be impossible to design one kit that fit all possible modifications.  That being said, there are two tips I want to share.

First, when removing the fender from the Jeep, remember to remove the small screw on the underside of the Bushwacker in this location:

Remove this screw from the Bushwacker before trying to remove the fender.

The second, and perhaps more significant note is on trimming.  The Bushwacker flare makes direct contact with the plastic down tube from this kit.  Be prepared to trim the flare, so the fender liner can tuck behind the Bushwacker.  I opted not to trim just the liner, to prevent it from flapping.  I wanted a secure tuck.

7: Antenna fit.  I use an aftermarket offroad antenna, and it makes contact with the snorkel body.  I don’t think this will be a problem, just be aware.

8. Airbox alignment:  The new lower airbox changes the angle of the point where the upper airbox connects to the intake tube.  Despite fighting, I was not able to get a solid seal from the factory hardware.I will try this again tonight, now that the kit has had time to settle in.

The clamp would not seat fully.

 Conclusion:  This is a GREAT kit and a wonderful addition to your Jeep JK.  As I mentioned, I will write a complete product review in the coming months once I have put it to the test.

Rugged Ridge’s attention to detail in the instructions was awesome and a welcome part of this installation.

 

Does this Vegan Support Hunting?

I find that a lot of the issues surrounding animal rights nowadays are pretty polarizing.  On one side, we have organizations like PETA that grab headlines with crazy stunts.  On the other hand, we have people like Ted Nugent screaming about how many animals he mercilessly slayed.

I find that the vegans are preaching to the vegan choir, and the hunting, consumptive users are preaching to Ted Nugent.

And, with that scenario, it is impossible to make any progress.

Johnathan Safran Foer, in his book Eating Animals laid out an extraordinary story about a vegan that helped build a slaughterhouse.  Basically this vegan wanted the ability to help build and design an ethical(ish) slaughterhouse.  This viewpoint is similar to my personal objective on hunting.

1. Global Veganism just ain’t happenin.

Do I wish that tomorrow, the World would be vegan?  Yes. Absolutely. We would very quickly improve a lot of the health issues we all face, as well as make inroads on curing hunger, and potentially reverse climate change, as well as countless other benefits.

But we all know that just about will not happen.  So, once we can accept that, we need to ask ourselves the next question.

If the World isn’t vegan, what is the next best moral position?

 

Continue reading Does this Vegan Support Hunting?

Heck Yeah! One Year of ORV – win something!

Thanks to all my readers and supporters out there!  Because of you, my blog has been exploding.  I have just shy of 20,000 unique visitors in my first year.

To celebrate, Northridge 4×4 and Beyond Meat have joined forces, giving me some awesome swag to give away!

The prizes include:

  • Northridge 4×4 mechanics gloves
  • Northridge 4×4 t shirt, decals, 2 coozies, and hat
  • Beyond Meat T Shirt and hat
  • 4 free Beyond Meat VIP coupons for FREE Beyond Meat!

How do you win!?

  1. Find the contest post on Offroad Vegan’s Facebook page.
  2. Make sure you already “Like” the page.
  3. Post a photo as a comment of EITHER your off road rig OR a vegan meal you recently prepared.
  4. I will randomly draw a name and will announce the winner.

All photos must be posted by 12/10/14!  

Have fun and good luck!

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Restaurant Review: Evolution [San Diego]

I’ll be honest.  From time to time I miss the ability to go grab a bag of fried, cheesy, meaty food from a fast food joint.  And, while there are plenty of vegan places that try to fill this niche,  have never found one that did it perfectly.

Until today.

Inside this greasy bag is amazing vegan eats.

When I found out I was heading to San Diego, I knew I’d also haveta make a beeline for Evolution.  Evolution’s tag line is simple “Delicious Vegan Fast Food. “

The building is located in an easy location nicely situated next to Balboa Park and seemed to have ample parking (I walked there).  It was nice to see a drive up window, proving that vegans should also be allowed the occasional lazy fast food experience.

The drive thru window at Evolution.

The outdoor seating area, while a bit sparse was nice, and provided a shady spot to eat out of the sun.  Service was brisk and friendly.

I ordered at the register where they also had a nice selection of grab and go foods, desserts, and drinks.  I picked up an organic Blue Sky organic soda to go with my lunch.  The decision was tough, between the Bacon Cheeseburger and the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, but at the staff’s recommendation I went with the Buffalo.

Lots of grab and go options if you don’t have time to stay.

What was most exciting for me?  Honestly it was the greasy bag that reminded me of lunch at Ronnie’s (a legendary, non-vegan greasy spoon lunch spot in Auburn MA my family would frequent).   Inside the bag was an awesome white bag of fries, the buffalo chicken sandwich, and ketchup.  It was brilliant.  Taking the fast food theme even further, a voice squawked over the intercom when my order was ready to be picked up at the counter.

I opened the bag, and the strong smell of Buffalo indicated I made the right choice.   This sandwich was absolutely amazing.  The “chick’n,” while similar to Gardein seemed housemade and had a great texture and flavor.  The soft bun was also super good.

Messy, saucy, chick’ny goodness.

The fries, made fresh from Kennebec potatoes were cooked to perfection and had just the right salt.

Perfect fries.

I had to save some room for the chocolate shake I ordered.  Made with housemade ice cream, it was not too heavy but perfectly sweet.

Chocolate shake was perfect!

The best part of this meal was that I didn’t leave in a food coma.  While I definitely treated myself to some good ol’ vegan junk food, I still felt good enough to walk the 2 miles back to the hotel.

I still have about four days left in San Diego, so I know I will be back to Evolution!

Product Install Notes: Evo Long Arm Upgrade Kit

One of the last major upgrades I needed to make to my Jeep was a proper lift.  I have been happily running the Teraflex 2.5″ “Budget Boost” but we all know those do not offer the benefits of a real lift.

So I recently ordered the Evo Long Arm upgrade kit and 4 Evo spec King coilovers for my suspension.

The install is cutely referred to as “bolt on” but there is very little bolt on about this.  It actually really irritates me that it is branded as such.

Evo should consider this a “hybrid solution” that requires minimal cutting and easy welding.

You will spend countless hours grinding off stock frame parts and drilling new holes.  No instructions are provided (none as in ZERO, NADA) so you will also spend a good amount of time with puzzle pieces and counting hardware parts to see what bolts go where.

So I wanted to write this huge post as a way to help those that are about to undertake this install.  Hopefully my tips and tricks will save you time and frustration.  Grab a cold one, sit down, and read through this post before starting your own kit.

Continue reading Product Install Notes: Evo Long Arm Upgrade Kit

The Great Illusion: On Glass Windows & Slaughterhouses

Let me start this off with me saying I was a meat eater.

I remember going to a wholesale club in Massachusetts, where there were ham steaks (big ones, too) on a sort of tape.  They were vacuum sealed and perforated between each one.  They came off a huge spool in a cardboard box.  Once you had the quantity you wanted, you simply tore off the last one, and tossed them in your cart.

It was only later that I realized those pig slices were probably like some sort of cross-section of the same animal.  At least for 4 or 5 of the steaks.  It was actually really gross.

I bring this up, as it was probably my first epiphany about what I am actually eating.  Growing up, we are told that meat is an important part of your diet, and that beef is “what’s for dinner.”  Of course I didn’t stop eating meat because of that realization, but it was the first of many small moments that finally ended with me being vegan.

Which image do you think more closely aligns with reality?

The meat and dairy industries spend immense budgets on establishing the “black box” approach to meat.  Their labels have pastoral farm imagery, and catchy phrases like “Smithfield Farms” and even extensive rebranding efforts on the names of cuts.  This is, of course a huge lie being fed to Americans.  There is no “farm” in the  animal industrial complex.  The days of the local farmer, humanely raising and caring for livestock are sadly close to an end.

Continue reading The Great Illusion: On Glass Windows & Slaughterhouses

Restaurant Review: Red Lentil Cafe [Boston]

On a recent trip back to Boston, I was lucky enough to stop by the Red Lentil Cafe in Watertown.  The restaurant was popular and highly rated on HappyCow so I parked on Auburn Street, and headed in for dinner.

The space was very bright, clean, and well laid out.  I was happily surprised at how busy it was.  The tables were set up mostly for couples which lent a nice ambiance to the place, and the bright colors complimented the friendly service.

Continue reading Restaurant Review: Red Lentil Cafe [Boston]

Trail Review: Sand Lake Recreation Area

I have always heard about this mythical place called Sand Lake, but never really wanted to go there.  Maybe it’s the name.  A lake of sand doesn’t necessarily sound appealing.  But when I had an invite from a couple of Jeep friends to camp for the weekend, I took the chance.

Sand Lake is a recreation area just South of Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.  Getting there is a cinch and it is nice to pass Brown’s Camp should the desire for another type of wheeling strike you on your way home.

I headed toward “Derrick Road” where I would eventually meet my friends and set up camp.  The road ends at the camp area, a small sandy (surprise!) enclave of trees with primitive campsites, fire rings, and pit toilets.  The end of the camp area is basically the entrance to the recreation area.

My campsite at Sand Lake.

Once my friends arrived, we aired down and headed out to explore this expansive play area.

Continue reading Trail Review: Sand Lake Recreation Area

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