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Rust Always Wins

Posted in News on June 24, 2013
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Contributors: AM4W

Easy fix, funny story. There are definite positives and negatives associated with living in a coastal town in the south. For me, my top three dislikes are tourist traffic, hurricanes, and the salt air that eats away at your rig. My ’97 Jeep Wrangler TJ started its life in Pennsylvania, so it was already behind the curve when it came to being rust free. Living next the coast for the remainder of its life hasn’t helped it either. It wasn’t until a few years ago that my Jeep finally received an upgrade and some element protection. That’s right; the TJ made it into the garage. This was maybe one of the best and worst moves I could have done. Sure, it’s nice being able to walk out and tinker on the Jeep as I have time, but for someone as OCD as I am- it’s not always a great thing to have the Jeep so accessible. I find that I am constantly creating new projects for myself that I would have otherwise never done if it was left in the side yard like it was for so many years. This brings me to one of the funniest and strangest TJ ‘wheeling stories to date. A few months back, I made the trek from North Carolina to Moab, Utah for the annual Easter Jeep Safari. The trip out went great, and so did the tow back. Heck, even my week of wheeling was awesome, except for one very laughable moment. With my good friend Kelly riding shotgun, we were coming down a fin, one of many on the appropriately named Fins and Things trail. It was the end of the day and we just wanted to do a quick trail, and then head back for dinner. Not long after we crested the aforementioned fin, we heard what sounded like a glass bottle rolling down the rock face. Being that neither of us had any bottles of any sort, we jumped out to see what it was. To our surprise, my Truck-Lite LED headlight was sighting on the ground! Better yet, it was still intact! One of the original headlight rings had finally given way to the rusty ghost, and when they did, it allowed the headlight to fall out. It really is amazing that the Truck-Lite headlight did not break I would later find that the light still worked (well low beam worked, high-beam, not so much). To replace the rusty rings I did a little digging online and found that Omix-Ada (makers of factory replacement Jeep parts) had some in stock for less than $11.00! The Omix-Ada factory replacement rings are sold individually, so I splurged, and ordered one for each side. You can find the rings here (http://www.omix-ada.com/headlight-retaining-ring-97-06-jeep-wrangler-tj.html). Today, the Jeep now has sturdy headlight rings than fit perfectly in the factory location. Given that the Jeep now spends much of its parked time in the garage, I suspect that I won’t have any headlights falling out any time soon.

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