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John Stewart

Do It Yourself U-joint Replacement

Painless Axle Shaft U-Joint Changing

Changing front axle shaft U-joints, what could be simpler? If you are asking that question you have obviously never dealt with severely rusted joints from an older street driven Jeep that's never been in 4wd and has an open knuckle front end. Many a Jeeper has discovered that newly acquired Jeep that has 'never been off-road' equals rusted front axle shaft U-joints that are thoroughly seized into the shafts as well.

The question of the easiest way to change those U-joints at home is a common one for the new owner of a vintage CJ5 or CJ7, so I'll give my explanation of the best way that I've see that doesn't involve expensive tools. I saw this done by Ken Niles of Ken's 4x4 and tried it myself after seeing how easy it was. I've tried a variety of other methods in the past including the 'hammer and sockets' method and using a 20-ton press, but over the last two years I'm convinced that the method I'm about to describe is the best for a home shop.

Read more of Do It Yourself U-joint Replacement on 4x4Wire Archives.

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John Stewart

I’ll take metal....

I’ll take metal....

Four wheeling involves a vehicle with capabilities enhanced by modifications to suit the owners preference.  One of the more popular modifications involves an external tire mounting rack that includes holders for extra gas or water.There have been many changes to the standard GI style containers over the years in the name of safety and pollution control.  While metal is still primary, plastic is growing in popularity.  Personally, I’ll take metal.  

As evident by the picture at right, metal has a certain durability.  The pictured gas can is full and was mounted on external on a Garvin Industries Wilderness series rack.  The metal material survived the weight of a jeep while the holder was bent beyond recognition.

Granted, this is (or was) a new gas can and the seams remained intact.  It is debatable whether an old metal can would have stayed intact.  I am convinced that a plastic gas container would have ruptured spraying gas in a large area creating a potentially dangerous situation.I’m convinced, I’ll take metal.
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John Stewart

Driving tips for seniors and seniors

OSRAM SYLVANIA offers tips for seniors and seniors

HILLSBORO, N.H., May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring and summer bring out the drivers. High school students hit the roads for prom, graduation, summer fun and summer jobs. Senior citizens get out more to see family, shop and enjoy the weather. Unfortunately, both high school seniors and senior citizens are at higher risk for dangerous traffic accidents.

Studies show that vision, hearing, and reaction time decline with age, while teen drivers tend to underestimate dangerous situations. Fortunately, there are tips to help seniors and seniors stay safe on the road.

Help improve safety and visibility by upgrading to high-performance headlights like SYLVANIA SilverStar(R) ULTRA headlights.

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John Stewart

With Summer Driving Increasing, Goodyear Has Key Tire Advice

AKRON, Ohio, May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Although miles driven have been declining in the past year, the nation's most well-known automotive travel authority predicts a higher number of drivers during this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

And the best-known American tire company predicts that many of those travelers will simply jump into their vehicles and drive, unaware of the condition of the only part of their cars that comes in contact with the road - the tires.

Officials from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company urge motorists to take a few minutes to inspect their tires, or to visit a local tire and service outlet for a check-up. This advice comes at the outset of the holiday weekend in which AAA (American Automobile Association) estimates that larger numbers of Americans - 32.4 million, versus 31.9 million a year ago - will travel 50 miles or more from home. This represents a 1.5 percent increase from last year.

AAA says 83 percent of those holiday travelers are expected to go by car, truck or van. With Memorial Day considered the beginning of the summer travel season, this rise in expected driving is accompanied by gas prices that are averaging about 28 cents per gallon more this week, as compared to average pump prices just a month ago.

According to Goodyear, an increase in the price of gas is even more incentive to check tire condition and air pressure before heading off on any vacation journeys.

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John Stewart

4x4Wire Tech Hint: "Check Engine" Light

"Check Engine" LightVehicles manufactured since 1974 began sporting a variety of engine and emission control systems.  As the engine control and monitoring systems became more complex, on-board diagnostic systems were developed to record fault codes and assist in problem diagnosis.

In general, all vehicles equipped with on-board diagnostic systems (OBD-II is the current standard) will store error codes that can be read using a portable code reader or scanner.  A "Check Engine" light comes on to indicate that the engine management computer has detected a problem related to emissions or engine operation.  It is your notice that something needs to be fixed in order to comply with federal emissions requirements or to keep your engine running. Many of the trouble codes relate to engine or emission sensor inputs that have failed or are out of tolerance.  The sensors control the "engine management computer" and keep the engine running at optimum efficiency.  Failed or out of tolerance sensors mean your engine is not operating at optimum efficiency.While it is easier to read the fault codes with a code reader/scanner, most vehicles provide an option to display the codes without a scanner.  To view the error codes, start with the engine turned off (Ignition Key in the OFF position).  Turn the ignition key to the "ON" (not "IGNITION/START") position, then turn it off for about a second.  Turn it on for a second, then turn it off for a second.  The third time you turn it on, trouble codes should begin flashing on the odometer display.  (NOTE: this process works with newer Jeep vehicles.  It may or may not work with out models.)Once the error codes are recorded, interpretation will indicate the likely source of the fault.For a comprehensive listing of ODB-II error codes for all manufactures vehicles, check these websites:http://www.obd-codes.com/http://www.engine-light-help.com/
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