|Chad Adams' 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ||Short Cuts|
Up and down the Staircase, Livingston Kentucky
|Owner : Chad Adams||Equipment and Modifications:|
Vehicle: 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ
BAR Offroad custom built full roll cage
JKS Quicker Disconnects
JKS Heavy Duty Tie Rod
Rubicon Express Hand Throttle
Centerforce II Clutch
K&N Conical air filter conversion
Cobra CB Radio
Install Kilby Gas Tank Skid (sitting in garage)
Replace my old winch (Platinum 9000)
Premier Power Welder
HAM Radio and operators license
In the summer of 1997, I decided it was time to join the ranks of the Jeep world. As an "outsider", I had heard stories of the "Jeep family", and the "wave", but never in my wildest dreams could I imagine what the purchase of one vehicle could do to a person. Well, o.k., maybe in my wildest dreams, but I never thought it would get me like this.
The original purpose of my Jeep was transportation to work, cruisin' around in on Friday and Saturday nights, and for enjoyment. I've always liked to tinker on cars and trucks, but didn't realize that I was getting myself into a situation where it would become my livelihood. More on that later.
Shortly after purchasing the Jeep, I began with upgrades... the simple stuff. I added a CD Player, upgraded the speakers in the sound bar, and added some trick looking "black outs" to the headlights. Then I met a group of guys and gals on the internet who got me steered in the right direction... at least the right direction for me. They made fun of my "black outs" and my want to add chrome parts to my Jeep. They steered me in the direction of a 4x4 club in the Cincinnati area, the Ohio River Four Wheelers, and it was all down hill from there.
Shortly after joining the club, I attending my first trail ride. The Jeep was bone stock, and I knew about as much driving off the pavement as your everyday person. Eight hours later, I had folded the rear exhaust around the axle, torn off a CB antenna, and put a big dent in my front bumper... I WAS HOOKED!!!
I was thinking of mods to do to the Jeep before I ever got home from that ride. I started combing the 4x4 mags and catalogs, and started with my purchases. I began by replacing that crumpled up rear exhaust with a Borla unit. Then, began the process of lifting the Jeep. I could bore you with the details, but basically, I am now on my 6th different lift configuration, my fourth axle configuration, and have just recently gone to my fourth tire configuration when I stepped up to 38"x12.50-15 TSL/SX tires. I remember when I went to 35" tires, I stated, "I'll never have a need to go bigger than 35's." In February of this year, I officially had to wipe the egg off of my face for that statement.
All of this is good information, but to me, the real story of a Jeep doesn't lie with the Jeep itself, but with the bond between owner and Jeep. It's amazing the places we take our Jeeps, but even more amazing are the places that our Jeeps take us. Sure, they take us into the back country to see all of the breathtaking things that Mother Nature has to offer. That's a given. I am talking about the places in our lives that our Jeep takes us. The friends we make, the ventures we take, the places we go, and the places we end up... if you are anything like me, your Jeep has altered your life.
The Jeep has given me friends, two of whom I consider my closest. The three of us together, Jerry Blair, Tim Rettig, and myself, began a business known as BAR Offroad in Cincinnati, Ohio. BAR (which stands for Blair, Adams, and Rettig) is a full service shop that does anything and everything there is to do to a Jeep vehicle... from the installation of lift kits to the installation of ARB lockers and setting up ring gears, we do it all. Therefore, the Jeep has became my livelihood.
My Jeep has given me a wife, yes, a wife. I met her when Mr. Rettig got me interested in a job at an Aerospace company in Cincinnati. I met Tim through the Jeep, my wife through Tim... you get the picture. Shortly after we were married, my wife and I had a little girl. You can see where I'm going with this.
I know that this is a little different slant than what you are used to reading here in the Featured Rigs section, but I wanted to attempt to answer a question that I get from a lot of my friends and family. We've all gotten this question, but just in case you haven't heard it yet, or have forgotten it, it goes something like, "So why do you like to do that to your vehicle?" or "Where's the fun in it?" Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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