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About you, your 4x4 and access

General information about the various mods available to 4x4 vehicles covering pros and cons to assist in the decision of "Is this the right mod?"

John Stewart

Grab handles for your Jeep

 

Other grab handles are offered in any color you want as long as it is black.  And, other grab handles have a hard rubber handle.  The Surprise Straps Grab Handles are made using only 100% Nylon, American made #550 Paracord from the same Manufacturers that supply the US Military.  And, they provide a variety of color combinations to suit individual tastes or match vehicle color.  As my Jeep is red with black interior, I opted for the red Paracord over black nylon straps. 

John Stewart

Brake Booster Replacement

Brake problems can manifest themselves in a number of ways. Shoes or pads can wear out, leaks can develop in the master or slave cylinders, or the power booster on a power brake system could fail. In this case, the problem was the brake booster leaking vacuum on a 1994 Land Cruiser FZJ80.

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John Stewart

Born again, new life for old grill

BBQ Stand to Chopsaw StandThe old grill had seen better days.  Weather and rust had taken it toll on the cast iron body.  But, before heading to scrape pile of history, there was life left in the stand.  The frame was sound.  There were wood platforms on each side.  One end had wheels.  It was the perfect base for my chop saw stand.

John Stewart

Lock your stuff - Console Vault Install

I found the console vault from ConsoleVault, Inc provides an convenient and elegant solution to hidden secure storage for many vehicle owners.  My Ford F-150 has a fold-down console/armrest in the front seat arrangement.  ConsoleVault provides drop-in key or combination boxes that are an exact fit for the console.  The vault is a 12 gage steel with pry-resistant hinges - sturdy construction.  The interior measurements are 7 inches by 9 inches.

The instructions are brief and claim 5-10 minutes installation using simple hand tools.  While installation was easy, it did take more than 10 minutes and did require more than simple tools.

To explain, the vault drops into a plastic frame which is the standard material in the fold-down console.  It is held in place with four self-tapping bolts.  While the bolts are supposed to pierce the plastic, I found 2 out of 4 would not.  And, a third bolt bottomed against a piece of metal before fully inserted.  So, one went in with no problem while the other three required pre-drilling a starter hole.  

Console Vault - Secure mobile storageWith the install complete, the vault does provide a secure storage place for those valuables that need the protection from “smash and grab”.  The combination is based on a three number selection which can be changed when desired.

Yes, the vault is pricey.  Cheaper options are available.  Once installed, it does provide a layer of security.  The fit into the console is snug leaving little room for a screwdriver or pry-bar to force it out or force the lid open.  And, a product used by law enforcement does provide a certain amount of comfort knowing your valuables are protected with a quality product.

The console vault does come with a thin carpet liner.  I did cut a piece of rubber-backed indoor-outdoor carpet to use in place of the carpet liner provided.

Console Vault provides a wide range of mobile secure storage options that are designed for the specific vehicle.  Visit their website for additional information.

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John Stewart

Replacing Worn Seatbelts

b2ap3_thumbnail_seat-belt-extender.jpgSeat belts have been around since the front lap belt was required on 1965 and new vehicles with front shoulder and rear lap belts appearing in 1968.  The traditional 3-point front belt became standard in 1974. One of the more important pieces of safety equipment in an off-road vehicle is the seat belt.

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