Friday, July 25, 2008

Gas Saving tips for your Jeep Cherokee

With increasing gas prices, I am having to take a close look at how I drive my Jeeps. I have looked at getting a more fuel efficient vehicle, but none meet my needs for getting me to the places I need to be and carrying all my stuff. I am looking at the idea of getting a dual sport motor cycle but I have not yet justified the cost in my mind yet.

For now here are some tips for improving the gas mileage of your Jeep: Jeep Cherokee MPG

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jeep Cherokee Trouble Shooting

I have started a series of articles relating to trouble shooting problems with your Jeep Cherokee.

I will cover topics like what to do when it won't start and instructions on common repairs like changing the alternator.

For more info see: Jeep Trouble Shooting and Performance Improvement

Monday, July 21, 2008

Making the Doors Removable

One of the most obvious modifications I made to my XJ before gong the the spring fling was making the doors removable. I love the modification!

The visibility is wonderful when crawling over the rocks. I also love the open air feeling. And not having to open the big heavy door when jumping out to check something is a huge plus as well.

At night and on the trip to and from the park, I put the doors back on and felt secure that all my tools and goodies were locked up safe.

For more on how I made my doors removable, click here.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Playing in the rock garden at Harlan.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Comments on Off Roading from another Jeep Girl

I really do not look like the typical off-roading, adventurous person. I'm just a 31 year old single mom of three children ages 10, 5 and 2. But I own a 1992 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4. It has a 3" lift, 31" Maxxis Buckshot Mudder tires, and Craggar Black wheels.
Last year I owned a 2000 Mazda MPV minivan. My kids enjoyed it since it had a video player, but surprisingly they were not sad to hand it over to grandma and grandpa.
In fact, all three of them are protective of "Princess." We have named "our" Jeep (XJ) Princess of the Mud.
I practiced off roading at my best friend's 26 acre property. He has created several trails all around his house along the creek.
Practicing helped prepare me for my first real off-roading adventure in October 2007. I was heading to Windrock located in Oliver Springs, Tennessee. It is 73,000 acres that a mining company has leased out.
I met up with several other XJ owners from the Yahoo XJlist, most of them from Kentucky. I managed to show them that a female in a stock Jeep Cherokee can keep up with the souped up XJ's. I made a couple of dents and scratches which is no big deal to me.
When you are off-roading the world's problems are forgotten otherwise you end up smacking a tree, the side of a hill or expect to go off a cliff/mountain. The adrenalin rush is awesome. Watching the XJ'ers in front of you take a challenging climb up a trail is exciting. When it's your turn, the adrenalin kicks in.
At Windrock on trail 39 I amazed everyone by making it up a part of the trail the rest of the group had trouble with in their lifted, off roading tires. At Windrock I had not made any modifications so mine was still just a street, stock Jeep Cherokee.
Then I blew them away on trail 16 making it up an up hill part of the trail on the first attempt while the veterans took two and three tries.
Nine months later we all meet up near Harlan, Kentucky at Black Mountain. This time my XJ is modified from the street stock it had been.
I have also brought along my oldest child, my daughter Shiloh who is 10 years old. After the Windrock trip she was highly upset I didn't take her so this is kind of a vacation for the two of us.
Myself, Shiloh and my best friend Janice meet up with her husband also my best friend, Mike. He had arrived a day earlier just to hang out with the guys. When I say meet up I mean out in the middle of the entire off roading map. Trail 45 looks innocent at the beginning since it is the main trail. But since it had rained there was mud and alot of slipping.
It was fun though to be able to do some trailing by myself without the guys around. Eventually we met up with them at the bowl. The bowl has numerous trails for ATV's and off-roading vehicles. After the guys kept asking me if I was going to go I got Janice to ride with me. I was looking forward to that adrenalin rush. I got it too.
The guys had been joking around with me since I had a chance to practice a few weeks earlier at Coppinger Cove near Jasper, Tennessee. Mike had me try out what looked like a tiny innocent hill. I nearly did a Dukes of Hazard jump which is why the guys were teasing me.
While in Kentucky, it kept raining. The first morning at camp (for us ladies) it rained and rained. Our plans had to be modified because some of the trails were going to be extremely difficult if not dangerous. We had all hoped to go to the Mason Jar area but that had to be cancelled since the rocks were going to be too slick. Mike had mentioned a section the guys had all been to before would require strapping to avoid going off the side of the mountain. With it being slick from the rain the guys just did not want to risk it.
Most of us went up trail 15 when it was nice and muddy. Half way up the first section it was very slick. It was fun though since I ended up being the last person. Neal, our leader and "expert" was in front of me. After the third section I made him look bad since I made it up all three on the first attempts. Apparently Neal forgot to put his XJ in 4 Low like everyone else had done.
One of the things I had the chance to do was try the beginning of the rock garden. Since I didn't get to have my rock rails put on before Kentucky (only one was ready to be put on), Neal decided just to let me try the first part of it. I hope on our next adventure to have the rails on so I can try a rock garden out.
After we got home, some of the guys expressed how they were continued to be amazed by me accomplishing the trails that some of the amateurs had difficulty on. We all had fun which is the most important part of the Spring Flings and Fall Crawls.
Living in the southeast part of Tennessee it is not unusual to see a lifted XJ or really any SUV or truck lifted with bigger tires. To some of us, off-roading has become a part of life. It is a way to get away for just awhile from a world that can be cruel at times. We get an adrenalin rush that tends to build confidence in a positive way.
Normally it's the men that are doing the off-roading. But for them to see a woman doing it makes it even more fun and exciting.
Jennifer Bryan -
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The ultimate road trip? NEXT Road Rally

Is this the ultimate road trip?

The NEXT group is hosting a Road Rally in September. This road rally will be a tour of nine states in the northeast USA.

The event looks like a lot of fun with entrants competing for $25,000 in prizes.

The NEXT group is also recognizes the potential for environmental impact for such an event and has teamed with to minimize the impact of the event. However, I would have thought the north east would welcome some global warming.

Anyway check out this TSD road rally at

XJlist Spring Fling in Harlan KY

The XJ list returned to Harlan Ky for their annual Spring Fling this year. As usual the event was huge fun. We welcomed new member Evan and his Cherokee.

AS you can see in the photo, I made Scuffy's doors removable for the event. I really enjoyed the extra visibility. And I really did not have too much trouble even in the heavy rains.

I took on a couple of the rock gardens this time and found out how much fun they are. Naturally that got me thinking about more modification I would like to do to Scuffy.

My ARB worked well after the repairs. I now have a few more repairs to make as my alternator and wipers became intermittent during the weekend. Probably mostly from disuse.

I also have an exhaust leak that becomes annoying at times so I need to quieten that down before my next trip.

Look for a full writeup and photos later at