Author: Cary

About Cary

Currently a nonprofit marketing official, Cary R. Varnado also has worked as a writer, award-winning designer and copy editor since 1998. Passionate about multimedia’s role in modern worship, he also has been employed in church media ministry, where he gained experience with website design, projection technology and video production. Cary is a military brat. He was born in Mississippi and also was reared in Nebraska, Texas and Montana. In addition to spending time with his wife, their two young children and numerous pets, Cary is an avid follower of the automotive industry and enjoys reading, bad movies and the outdoors.

Picked up supplies tonight to change my differential oil. Now, where did I put that bottle pump?

Returning to work on Monday after a vacation just makes me long even more to be out on the trail. 

First impressions: Crawler Conceptz Ultra Front Skid

img_1030
The good news is my Crawler Conceptz lower skid is finally mounted. It fought to the last with fitment. A friend helped me remove the bumper (a frustrating necessity) and attach the skid on Saturday. The nine bolts and Nylok nuts that attach the skid to the bumper have just enough clearance to mount. The bolts don’t even extend into the nylon ring, let alone protrude from the nuts.

skidpowderLater, after a test drive, I discovered the bolts already were coming loose, and now some were just hand tight! So, again with a friend’s help because of the 100-pound (combined) weight involved, the bumper was removed. One by one, we loosened or removed the bolts, applying Lock-Tite and re-secured each one.

The look is great and, in defiance of logic, just the addition of the 26-pound skid makes the Jeep feel much more planted and stock-like on surface streets. (I suspect this is the additional weight balancing out the heft of the rear bumper-tire carrier.) The downside is that it also introduced a bit of noticeable understeer on the highway. It’s nothing I won’t get used to and be able to compensate for, but it wasn’t a change I expected.

Overall, I’m glad I added the Ultra Series img_1034skid. It makes the front end look more complete with the Ultra Series stubby bumper look. But, if I had it to do over again, I’d likely go with the company’s one-piece unit that includes a true recessed winch mount.

Two projects done. About to wrap up a third before moving on to a fourth. Getting four of six projects done isn’t a bad day’s work. (And, the day’s not over.) Many thanks to my friend, Cliff J., for his help!

PHOTOS: Jeepend wheeling

I didn’t shoot much in the way of photos this weekend (and, half of these aren’t even mine), though I did capture some video that I’ll post later.