Cheap Jeep Tricks
Inexpensive Ways to Enhance Your Jeep
I've been wrenching and reading for a number of years and I am always ready to learn a new trick, or two. There are a lot of mechanical tips that you can find in various places. Automotive magazines and web sites. Hardware store and tool brochures and catalogs. Jeep people have their own unique set of tips and tricks. From the simple cab comfort tips to time and knuckle saving maintenance tips for the home mechanic.
I am not going to claim invention or ownership of any of these tips and tricks. I can't recall where I read or learned most of these and I hope I am not offending anyone. If you have a tip or trick you would like to submit, please send me an email and I'll try to include yours in the list.
- Rear View Mirror Flip
- Got big tires? Does that 33" spare tire make it a bit hard to see what's behind you? Grab that rear view mirror and rotate it 180° and push it up to the top of the windshield.
- Cheap "Hands Free" Air Down
- You've been eyeing those automatic air down gadgets but can't quite bring yourself to drop $50 on them. So there you are, bending over holding the valve stem for each tire, wasting precious trail time. Here's a cheap way to get all 4 wheels to deflate at the same time. The only catch is that you have to watch the pressure. I saw this idea somewhere on the web a while ago. If I recall correctly, the one I saw used a sheet metal screw. I opted for a bolt and a couple of nuts, but the principle is the same. Its much easier to show than to tell, so click on the picture link.
- Cup Holder Pads
- The TJ console has 2 nice cup holders that come with some thin rubber pads in the bottom. You can replace those by cutting the same size circle out of an old mouse pad.
- Hard Top Eye-Bolts
- The hard top for your Jeep has 3 or 4 Torx bolts along each side of the tub that you'll want to replace with standard hardware. That's a good idea, but how about this? Use eyebolts instead. The eye on the head gives you a place to hook a bungie cord or other tie-down.
- Stop Slippery Pedals
- Every have your foot slip off the clutch or brake because your feet were muddy or wet? Don't let that happen again. Grab a couple of sheet metal screws with a good size hex head, not pan heads, and screw them into the pedals. The heads will give you the extra traction you need.
- License Plate Winch Fairlead Cover
- Pickup a Maglite® mounting kit for the D-Cell battery version and use the two clips to mount your license plate to the roller fairlead on your winch. Make a backing plate from wood, metal, or whatever you have around.
- Stop Hi-Lift Jack Handle Rattles
- Sure, you could buy the $10 molded foam parts. But why would you when you can stop by your local hardware store and get some pipe insulation. Unfortunately, the base keeps rattling on mine. I used a couple of long tie-wraps to put some tension on it - that helps.
- Black Headlight Rings
- A simple mod that can dramatically change the looks of your Jeep. Take those chrome rings from around your headlights off (3 screws). Clean and sand them with a fine grit paper and then paint them black. Paint the screw heads black, too or they will look silly. Shove the screws into a piece of cardboard so you only paint the heads.
- Limit Door Open Width
- Ever open your door in a parking lot and find you're just a little too close to the car next to you? You can shorten those limit straps on your doors by removing one end and twisting the strap a few times before reconnecting it.
- Neater Oil Changes
- When I installed my oil pan skid, I also replaced the drain plug with a Fumoto Valve. When it's time to drain the oil I attach a hose to the nipple on the valve and the oil drains straight into a container that I can take to my nearest oil recycling center.
- Non-Permanent Stickers
- Sometimes I want to support a manufacturer while on the trail with a group, and sometimes I like the clean, sticker-free look. Some folks have placed all of their stickers on the inside of the engine bay, under the hood, and I guess that works for them, but I took a different path. I place my stickers on flexible magnets and cut them to fit. That way I can run with or without stickers, or rearrange them as I add or remove them from my Jeep.