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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

Lock your stuff - Console Vault Install

Console Vault - Secure mobile storage

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.  With 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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John Stewart

Simple Cleaning

Simple Green comes in two formulations - the green all-purpose cleaner and the purple heavy-duty cleaner.I use the purple heavy duty full strength in my parts washer. It removes dirt and grease buildup simple and easy.  I keep a spray bottle handy for cleaning around nuts and bolts prior to trying to loosen them and cleaning the hard to reach corners. I find Simple Green does better as a powder and copper solvent for cleaning guns than the old standby Hoppes #9.Non-toxic, bio-degradable, and multi-purpose. A great economical cleaning agent to have around the shop...

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John Stewart

ATS Stabilizer Install

b2ap3_thumbnail_Fox-ATS-Stabilizer.jpgThe 4x4Wire JK recently underwent a slight transformation - from stock to gears, lockers, and lift. That change included new (larger) tires.  And, that resulted in a “bump steer” issue that has now been corrected.

The ultimate solution is the ATS Stabilizer from Fox.  While the Fox ATS Stabilizer is designed to be a direct replacement with a factory suspension, the 4x4Wire JK does have an aftermarket suspension which does entail a little more than just bolting it on.  Installation was quick with little in the way of problems.

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John Stewart

They will let you down...

b2ap3_thumbnail_staun-deflators.png

A timeless ritual for every 4-wheeler when leaving pavement is a brief stop to lower tire pressure for traction advantage and reduced tire spin. Over the years, many products have come along that promise to make it easier and quicker to achieve the desired tire air pressure.

The removal of valve stems (and frequent loss of said valve stem) gave way to hoses that could be clamped onto the valve and deflate two tires are once while keeping a balanced tire pressure.

Having tried all methods, I was a little skeptical when I tried the Staun Tyre Delators. Made in Australia, the deflators screw onto the valve stem and begin letting air out. And, they do know when to quit letting air out -- provided you adjust them.

The deflators are adjustable (from 6-30 psi).From the package, they are pre-set to 18 psi.Set up is easy and should be done prior to your first use.

Step one is to set one tire to your desired off-road tire pressure.The deflator has a knurled lock ring.Loosen that ring.Screw the deflator onto the valve stem and adjust the cap until the deflator pops open.Remove the deflator and tighten the knurled locking ring.

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