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John Stewart

Moving your lifted 4x4

If you call a legitimate auto shipping company and tell them your jeep or truck has been lifted/modified they should be asking you questions like: “How big is the lift kit?” and “What is the vehicle’s height at its tallest point” or “What size tires are the the jeep?”  Things like this are very important in the eyes of the trucker because the way the trailers are setup to move the vehicles.  Trailers are built with the idea of moving just standard cars/trucks/jeeps.  So when your truck has a 6” lift and 35 inch tires with a light rack on the top you could be adding upwards of a 12+ inches to the overall height of a standard truck.  This is key because that additional height is going to be eating the space of what kind of car can go in underneath it.  Generally throughout the U.S. our trailers can’t be over 13’ 6” from the ground, so when you are stacking two vehicles on top of each other and there is a lifted truck that makes a noticeable difference.  When you look at the space between the cars on trailers it is not much, there is an obvious safety margin but there aren’t feet to play with, more like inches.  So depending on the overall height of your vehicle you may end up paying for two spots on a trailer.  OR, the alternative is to go on a flat deck trailer (if the transport isn’t cross country), where you will pay a surcharge because we are hauling less cars at a time.With the range of prices I received, how do I know who to use?Pricing is relative in this industry to the reputation of the companies.  Sadly there are many auto transport companies who will tell you what you want to hear, give you a great quoted price in writing and tell you they can specifically meet your date requirements for transit.  However, they could also tell you they were a famous TV actor and you wouldn’t really believe that would you?  So we always advise people to review the companies they got quotes from on the Better Business Bureau website.  Whether they are members or not is not important.  What IS key is to see the number of years they have been in business and number of complaints.  Don’t be tricked by review websites as often the companies and employees themselves write the reviews about how they are the best auto shipping company ever.  While the review websites make an effort to avoid this, it is difficult to catch everyone.Do your homework on each company and use who makes you feel the most comfortable.  Don’t ever prepay a deposit and 9 times out of 10 it will be a smooth transport for you.  Good luck.

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Tommy Ponder

Winch Remote Extension

I did not want to purchase a wireless remote due to the fact that if the batteries die in it you're out of luck. I also did not want to buy an in-dash remote merely because of the price. What I decided to do was run into the local ACE Hardware and bought 15ft of the wire that has the three individual wires inside of the insulation (like extension cord wire) this cost me about $10.

I decided against merely buying an extension cord because I wanted it to look a little better so I got black wire to match. I was able to choose exactly how long I wanted it, and it was cheaper than buying an extension cord. I then cut my existing remote cord in half and spliced the three wires to the 15 ft section I bought at ACE.

Keep in mind, this method only works with the 3 pin remote plugs, I'm sure there is a way to do it with the 5 pin remotes, but I have a 3 pin. I also used shrink tubing to help secure the connections and I wrapped it up with electrical tape to no end. Good luck!

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John Stewart

A Crescent Wrench and a Creeper: Tips for Maintenance of an Off Road Rig

When it comes to 4x4’s, (Jeeps, trucks, toys, buggies, etc.), it’s as simple as a crescent wrench and a creeper. It may sound a bit simplistic, but it’s about getting under the rig and touching and checking for lose, broken, about to break or leaking stuff! Find it before it’s a problem. For side by sides, ATV’s, snowmobiles, etc., it’s more about the touching and looking, but the idea is the same.

Use a simple large Crescent wrench to check all important nuts. If they appear to be loose, use the Crescent or get out the right tool; but get it tight! If something is supposed to be torqued to specs, use a torque wrench and do it right. The handle of the Crescent can be used to pry and nudge things like long arm connections and Heim/flex joints. If you have unusual movement, figure out why and fix it.

For smaller “toys” that you can’t get under, something as simple as cleaning and touching the parts and connections can help you find lose or worn parts. Be sure to look for welds about to give up the ghost also. I like to clean my toys to the point of ensuring I touch about everything important, or at least give it a good eye‐balling.

An online parts seller friend of mine, Mike Monahan, known as Parts Mike (http://www.partsmike.com) says that in his experience it is steering components that fail the most often on 4x4’s. “Stock steering linkage and parts are not engineered to withstand the stress of bigger build ups and tires,” says Parts Mike, “and the best solution is to buy the right stuff and improve what the factory gave you.”

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Adam Fertig

Auto Glym Car Care Products

Auto Glym High Definition Wax Kit

Auto Glym is a British company that is very popular in the UK, and only available to professional detailers in the UK.  Starting in 2010, they offered their products to the US and to the general public.  The HD wax kit can be found in select Wal-Mart stores for around $35.

I began with the Auto Glym High Definition wax kit.  It includes a can of paste wax, 2 sponge applicators, and a terry cloth.

First step is to wash and dry the car by hand.  Once dry, and in a cool location out of the sun, instructions say to pre-moisten the applicator with water, and add a small amount of wax to the sponge.  Next step is to lightly apply the wax to the vehicle, working in circular patterns.  Once applied, let the wax dry for about 30 minutes, and then buff off the wax using the supplied terry cloth.  It went on and buffed off very easy, with very little elbow grease.

Results were pretty impressive.  All of the swirl marks and haze were gone! And I now have a very deep shine.  The only thing it did not do was remove some scuff marks where my power antenna broke and scuffed up the paint, but I was not expecting it to fix that.

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John Stewart

"Check Engine" Light

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.  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 vehicle provide an option to display the codes.  To view the codes, start with the engine turned off.  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, you should see a set of trouble codes flashing on the odometer display.  (NOTE: this process works with most newer Jeep vehicles.  It may or may not work with other models.)Once the error codes are recorded, interpretation will indicate the likely source of the fault. Fixing the problem can be simple do-it-yourself (replace the gas cap) or more complex requiring the services of an auto repair shop.

Search the 4x4Wire.com archives for more information about check engine light posts about your 4x4 vehicle model.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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