Category Archives: Install This Stuff

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:

Continue reading Product Install: Rugged Ridge Low Mount Snorkel

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

Product Install: Anzo USA LED Tail lights for JK

UPDATED 10/30/14: I received new resistors from Anzo.  And while they told Northridge they were a “new design” they look identical to the ones that failed, so time will tell.  This company has some pretty abysmal customer service, so be forewarned.  At least I have the crew at Northridge at my back for this!  I did replace the resistors and will report back on any issues.

UPDATED 10/20/14: Since the install, both the passenger and driver side resistors have failed.  While the lights still work, I get the fast flash and errors in my EVIC, where the computer thinks bulbs are blown.  ANZO USA did not respond to my contact request for support, but thankfully Northridge 4×4 did, and held them to fix the issue.  Anzo is sending me two new (apparently redesigned resistors) for me to install.  Hopefully this fixes the problem.


My Jeep has been visited by a really annoying gremlin – the failed right rear blinker.  It is a pretty common problem across the forums, yet there doesn’t seem to be a single fix.

Essentially, the blinker will work once the Jeep is started, then about 5-10 seconds later it fails, going to a rapid flash and throwing an error in the EVIC.

The bulb filament is fine, and the bulb actually works in the driver side tail light.  So it was something else.

Rather than mess around with bulbs and electrical stuff, I opted to just replace the tail lights with an LED option.  Based on what Northridge 4×4 had to offer, I chose the Anzo USA Black tail lights.

They arrived in a non descript box, after an extended drop ship time.  The box included two lights and nothing else.

The packaging wa odd, but everything arrived just fine.

Installation was straight forward and easy.  But since there were no instructions, I figured I’d do a little write up.

Continue reading Product Install: Anzo USA LED Tail lights for JK

Product Install: ARB Air Manifold Kit

I decided to run the ARB V-Twin Air compressor as my air source.  This was due to a couple of factors.  Primarily, I want the ability to run air tools if needed on the trail.  Second, I wanted some fast air for my 35s. Third, if I ever end up running aftermarket ARB lockers, I wanted to have the air situation figured out.

However I mounted mine to the M.O.R.E. underhood mount.  This puts the open air receptacle right at the top of the compressor, and under the hood where the innards could be susceptible to water and dust.

So, I decided to add the manifold to the mix to fix these concerns.

Installation was simple and only needed a handful of tools.

Continue reading Product Install: ARB Air Manifold Kit

Product Install: ACE Engineering Rear Bumper with LEDs

This week, my Black Friday package from ACE Engineering finally arrived!  All the hardware was glistening.  Horror stories of boxes being deformed in transit were unfounded for me.  Everything was in perfect condition…except one thing.  Where are the instructions?

ACE did not include any, and I personally found their video online as missing some key updates.  So I hope this install write up is a help to many!

NOTES: This install is for a 2013 Jeep JK.  I also found that ACE has been making changes to their products, and not everything in their video instructions is accurate anymore.

1. Open all boxes and lay out all hardware.  Ensure you properly protect the bumper and other items from concrete and damage to the powder coat.

2. Remove the factory or other bumper from the Jeep.

Remove the old bumper.

Continue reading Product Install: ACE Engineering Rear Bumper with LEDs

Product Install: J.W. Speaker LED Fog Lights for JK

UPDATE: March 05, 2014:  Received this email from Northridge: “I talked to JW Speaker on the lights and they say that is well within the acceptable limits of moisture inside the light. As soon as the weather levels out and warms up a little you should see that dissipate. Keep an eye on it and let me know if it gets worse but at this point there is nothing to worry about.”

UPDATE: February 26, 2014:  I recently noticed condensation inside my fog lights. I will be contacting JW Speaker to learn about the cause and a resolution and will update this blog post.

NOTE: This install is specifically for installation of the J.W. Speaker LED fog lights into the Warn Elite Stubby front bumper.

Santa arrived a little late this year, but he brought me a beautiful set of J.W. Speaker LED fog lights (model 6145).  My Trucklite headlights put out a crisp LED light, but the OEM fogs were not cutting it and had to go.

Install Notes:

You may want to just remove the entire bumper to make this easier.  I was working by myself and, being lazy did not want to remove the winch.  That being said, I also did not want to remove and reattach a bumper AND winch on my own.  These notes do not cover bumper removal, just adjustments so the install can happen on an installed bumper.

I am also really surprised that such a premium product comes with ZERO instructions.  If these were truly plug and play, I could understand.  However, I had to drill, cut, splice, etc.  Very surprising.

1.  Lay out all parts and ensure you have everything needed.  The following tools will also come in real handy:

  • Work light
  • Magnetic tool retriever
  • Vise grips
  • Drill (w/ 1/4″ bit)
  • Wrenches and sockets (w/extensions)
  • Electrical tape
  • Zip Ties (large)
  • Butt connectors (optional) but recommended)
  • Heat shrink tubing  (optional)
  • Heat gun (optional)
  • Beer (this is a surprisingly frustrating install)

2. Remove the two wire adapters from the back of the OEM lights.

3. Remove the 8 (4 per side) bolts fastening the bumper to the frame end.

4. Remove the driver side frame tie in bolt and flag nut (requires a 24mm socket).

5. Prop the bumper for safety using jack stands.

6. Pull the driver side bumper end away from the frame as far as it will go.  Do not force it.  Only the passenger side frame tie in is holding the bumper.

7.  Remove the single nut holding the driver side light bracket to the bumper.

8. Once removed, the bracket assembly should look like this:

9.  Using a socket and wrench, remove the OEM light from the bracket.

10.  Install the J.W. Speaker light into the bracket using the two top holes in the bracket.  Ensure the script in the lens is oriented correctly.  Note the bottom holes will not accept the Warn bolts.

11.  Drill out the bottom two holes in the J.W. Speaker light bracket (plastic) using a 1/4″ bit.

12. Continue to install using the two remaining bolts/nuts in the bottom two positions on the bracket.  Completed assembly should look like the below:

13.  Install the bracket into the bumper location and hand tighten the bolt.  This is a fitment test.

14.  Tighten the bolt with a wrench and socket.  Note: Lay a socket at the base of the bracket to prevent the bracket from pivoting forward when tightening.

15. Perform steps 7-14 on the passenger side.

16.  Peel back factory wire loom and tape from the OEM light adapter. Cut the two wires about 2″ from the adapter.  Remove insulation for a clean install.

17.  Cut an appropriate length of heat shrink tubing and place above the butt connector.  Using the butt connector, connect the black wire from the Jeep’s harness to the JW Speaker harness.  Do the same for the red and white/yellow (may change).

Ensure the shrink tubing is above the splice before crimping.

18. Perform a light test.

19.  Prepare the wiring for heat.

20. Apply heat evenly to properly adhere the shrink tubing.

21. While the driver side is cooling, perform steps 16 – 20 on the passenger side.

22.  Reusing OEM wiring loom, enforce the connections with electrical tape and loom as desired.  Do same for passenger side.

23.  Tuck the wiring inside the frame crossmember and zip tie in place to reduce movement and the chance of catching on material on the trail.

24. Perform a final test.

Product Install: M.O.R.E. Mount for ARB Dual Compressor

NOTE: This install includes the additional work for removing an aftermarket vacuum pump relocation bracket.  

I need to upgrade my air compressor, and in a major way.  I was using the Smittybilt portable, and the amount of time it took to air up four 35″ Duratracs was waaaay too long.  My wheeling friends can inflate their tires, have lunch, complete a crossword puzzle book, and read War and Peace by the time I am done.

So, a few weeks ago, I ordered the ARB CKMTA12 Twin compressor from Northridge.

Now, the question arose on where to mount this behemoth compressor.   So to answer this, I did what every self-respecting data geek would do; I made a table.

A table with considerations on mounting locations.

After weighing all the options and their pros and cons, I elected to install the compressor under the hood.  I trust ARB’s testing and figure it will survive well being so close to the firewall.  I will also be using this mostly with the hood open (tools and tires, no air lockers yet) so the cooling factor is less of a concern.

I ordered the MORE under hood bracket from Northridge.

Once it arrived, I happily skipped out to the garage to start the install, cold beer in hand.  I opened the hood, and went to lay out the bracket to ensure it would fit.  Houston, we have a problem. Continue reading Product Install: M.O.R.E. Mount for ARB Dual Compressor