" 2016 proved to be a productive year for Project Wrangler. "

How much did we accomplish? Project Wrangler 2016

My Wrangler has changed quite a bit since we first drove it off the lot back in March 2016.

Costly maintenance put a damper in my plans for a small lift, bigger tires, steel bumpers and a roof rack. Countless trips to the dealership and mechanics revealed a laundry list of repairs. Some of the repairs were covered under warranty, but most were not. The Jeep’s suspension, in particular, had taken a beating.

I think I spent more time and energy this summer under my Jeep repairing it than I did outfitting it. I have to thank my sister Frannie and her husband Dusty for opening their home to me, and more importantly their driveway, so I could complete the repairs. Oh and thank you so much for the shop jack and jack stands. Now I don’t have to borrow yours.

Despite constantly “breaking” my Jeep, 2016 proved to be a productive year for Project Wrangler.


Introducing Project Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

The thing about owning a Jeep — Specifically a Wrangler — is once you start working on one you never really finish.

I wish I’d known that before I purchased mine earlier this year. Honestly, it wouldn’t have stopped me. I was hell bent on owning a Wrangler…

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LED Headlight Conversion

While the from turn signals were a snap, quite literally, to install, the fender markers took nearly four hours a few cuts and two trips to the parts store to complete.

I’ve wanted to swap the stock headlights on my Jeep with LEDs ever since I left the dealership.

The Wrangler’s factory headlights don’t get very bright. I think that’s why you see some many Wrangler owners driving around with their fog lamps on all the time…

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A better off-road bumper


It wasn’t until recently that I started thinking about swapping my Jeep’s lightweight plastic bumper for one better suited for the off-road abuse I was likely to experience while wheeling.

I wanted something that looked good, would improve my clearances and allow me to modify my Jeep in the future…

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Suspension Overhaul

After having an opportunity to test out the Monroe Reflexes, I decided to replace the rear shocks.

This summer, I started picking away at my Jeep’s suspension. When I bought my Wrangler this past spring, with a little over 50,000 miles on it, I knew that there was a good chance I’d need to do some work on it before long.

I never thought I’d end up doing so much work on it so soon. I certainly didn’t expect my suspension to be a source of trouble…

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Swapping the Springs

Jeep proped up on jack stands

Last weekend, I manged to complete the suspension overhaul on my Wrangler I started back in August. Ever since I got my Jeep back in March, I’ve had no end of suspension trouble. I’ve had everything from bad shocks to bent steering components.

With the availability of perfectly good take-off parts available on the cheap, I decided that for the price of solving one problem I could probably rebuild the entire suspension…

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A Troubling Tick

Jeep Compass

“Tick, tick, tick, tick,” this is is the sound my Wrangler’s engine was making this week when I dropped it off at the dealership Wednesday.

I was concerned my Jeep had developed the notorious Pentastar tick, a loud knocking sound that resonates from the left side of the engine….

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Plans for 2017

I’ve learned a lot in the last few months, I’ve made some mistakes, like when I almost put my Wrangler into a ravine, or when I found myself surrounded on either side by mud-bogged Jeeps during a trail ride.

Obviously, I still have a lot to learn and plenty of mistakes to be made…

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  • Did you have a project this year?
  • What did you do to your rig in 2016?
  • For me it’s a Jeep what’s your preferred adventuremobile?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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