Welcome, global Jeepers!

For the first time, a nation other than the United States, Canada or Australia has broken into this site’s top three traffic-origin locations. And, it’s a nation you might not expect.

I do see fairly consistent traffic coming to STJ from the Middle East, though the numbers are consistently very low. Today, though, someone (or someones) from Qatar has decided to spend a little time with us.

I thought about looking up and posting a traditional greeting to our visitor(s), but with my luck, some linguistic nuance would result in my insulting my guest instead of wishing them well.

So, instead, let me just say this: Welcome. I hope you find this site informative and entertaining!

Measuring up

I was fiddling with a tape measure in the garage, and figured I’d check out Smokey’s stance. (I’d recently reported her back end compressing nearly to the bump stops under a modest load.)

Overall, I’ve lost three-quarters of an inch in height — fully half my leveling kit! And, both rear corners sit exactly one inch lower than the front, effectively reversing the factory rake. 

For those familiar with the eight front and nine rear spring lengths available on JKs, Smokey is running No. 13 springs up front, and two No. 55 units out back. Both are the second-lowest spring rates available. Interestingly, most JKs’ front-right spring is one digit higher than the left, presumably to counter the notorious “JK Lean”.

YouTube user TrailRecon has a great video comparing different methods of airing up your tires after a trail run. Check it out, and please share your thoughts below!

I’m currently using a Harbor Freight single portable compressor, but my plans include a dual-ARB compressor and air tank. That said, that CO2 tank sure looks impressive!


Our son, Tommy, enjoyed his trip to Texas Motor Speedway last summer. View our video of the experience here.


About a month after we brought Smokey home, I took the top completely down for the first time. (I’d fought for a long time after buying her just to get the Sunrider/drip rail area open, as the previous owner had left the top up so long, the area had become packed with dirt to the point the rail wouldn’t rotate out of the inner door surrounds!)

Anyway, my family loaded up and headed south to enjoy a beautiful day in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. We laughed and played in the park all day, finally heading home as the park closed at sunset.

Unfortunately for us, that’s when it hit us the temperature had dropped into the 40s or so.

We started back, but were all miserable with no top and nothing for warmth but our shirt sleeves. I pulled over and put up the top, but we’d left the windows at home. A chilly dash to the Canyon, Texas, Walmart brought blankets to wrap up in, but the ride home was still pretty uncomfortable.

It made for a miserable time, but a great memory!