Hello ladies and gents. Just bought a brand new JKU willys wheeler last week. I traded my trail rig for it so, it was a bitter sweet moment for me. But as my wheeling days have squandered, so did my need to keep the behemoth around.
So where to start explaining this journey?...
My old trail rig and DD was an 06 H2 that I put quite a but of wrench time into to turn it into what it was. I am a member of LS1tech.com and with the help of the members there, I had HEAVILY modded the engine. By heavily I mean it involved pulling it and putting it on a rotisserie. The engine ended up a total beast making well over 550hp.
I also ditched many of the hummer comforts. I had pulled the carpet from the h2, and bedlined the floor pan. (the h2 actually has drain plugs). I also bed linered every piece of trim, including the dashboard. I had a 4" lift and 40" super swampers, along with tons of other things. I also fashioned a quick release to remove the doors. (Which weighed over 100lbs each btw, not an easy task, and I'm not a small guy.)
I really beat the living snot out of it on the trails....then the wife came, then the baby, then the second job, and the 6-7mpg that I was getting in that monster just wasn't cutting it, especially since I hadn't had it offroad in over a year. It just ticked over a hard 200k miles and since I had really beat it up, it was showing it's age. So the time came to part with her and let go of all our memories together.
So, research time. I sat back and tried to organize my thoughts to find a vehicle that best suited me. Car? Truck? SUV?
So I made a short list of features I wanted:
This was really a big factor. I needed something that I could drive, that wouldn't hit me as hard at the pump and have decent highway manners, but would still be able to take me where I wanted to go: The occasional camping trip, emergency situations, snow storms etc. I really didn't want to loose the sense of security I had in my last rig knowing that if the SHTF, I could do what needed to be done.
As stated, I needed something I could rely on. Something I could get it, turn the key and know I could go anywhere I needed.
I'm done with bells. I once sank the deuce in a river, nose up, up to the back of the front seats. The entire rear section was flooded. I chased electrical gremlins for months afterwords. When I see butt heaters, power seats and automatic transmissions, I see a PITA and a liability. So I wanted something as simple as possible. Crank windows, manual locks, very little electrical doo-dads to break.
This was important to me as well. I wanted something with tons of aftermarket support. Most of what I did to the deuce was fashioned or fabricated by yours truly. As a tinkerer, I didn't have much of a problem with this. But trying to find something useful other than chrome covers, was a big problem in the world of hummer. There were a few boutique shops that made useful offroad parts, but they were expensive and very limited selection.
So I wanted something that could grow with me, that I could find easy aftermarket support to help solve a specific problem, and that would be able to adapt to my needs.
I settled on a wrangler. After reviewing all the packages, driving both two door and four door and soft top, I decided on a brand new four door hard top willys wheeler. It seemed the best package for my needs. Capable, simple, economic.....
I made the trade.
I tend to keep vehicles for a long time, and it's always hard on my trading one. I think it's the gear head in me. All you gear heads understand. When normal people see a car, they see just a car. Us tinkering gear heads saw the time we spent fixing a leaky evap canister, the first oil change, etc.
So it was a bitter sweet moment and as she shrunk away to nothing in my rear view, I look ahead. I'm sure my jeep and I will develop the same relationship within the next 10 years or more and develop fond memories of our own!
A little about me:
I'm 34, I'm an RN (come at me with the "meet the parents" jokes). I enjoy being outdoors, Camping, fishing, hunting, shooting. I love firearms and I'm a STAUNT tea party republican. I am married with one little girl. She is 3, and a big trouble maker like her daddy.
I am also a geek. I like sci-fi flicks, I have reef aquariums.
I love cars and engines, and I brew beer. I also enjoy playing music. I can play the guitar, drums, bass, and piano.
I have a bachelors degree in art, and spent many years as a free lance artist drawing portraits. I have another bachelors degree in nursing that I got when I figured out the term "starving artist" was not a joke of any kind. I am currently working on my masters degree.
I used to box and play football in my younger days and I still enjoy and frequent the gym. Most evenings, that is where you will find me when I'm not goofing off with my little sidekick.
Thanks for having me!