Things to do with your jeep before it's too late
1.Jeep As a Tractor
The civilian Jeep started life in 1946 as a useable replacement to the farmer's trusty tractor; one that could plow the fields one day, then take the family into town the next. Buy an old PTO-equipped Jeep and plow your neighbor's lawn with it before government regulations mandate the use of electric-only lawnmowers.
2.Drive the Autobahn
Germany's no-limit highway, the autobahn, is to speed junkies what Amsterdam is to a Phish groupie. For us, our Jeep of choice would have a Hemi badge on the fender and the electronic governor disabled.
There's nothing like sitting in the driver's seat of your Jeep as you winch vertically up a sheer wall. The creak of the line, the pucker of the seat, and the oddity of looking out the windshield and seeing sky while a view of dirt and tire tracks greets you from your rearview mirror is unforgettable.
4.Drive the Rubicon
Often considered the end-all, be-all trail for the die-hard Jeeper, the Rubicon Trail in California's beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains is a must do. Get out there before land closures steal the opportunity from you.
We're not advocating the wanton destruction of rental vehicles, but you can have a whole lot of fun in a rented Wrangler. Whether you nab it from Avis or a small local rental joint, check the box for the added insurance and try stuff you normally wouldn't if you were making the monthly payment.
6.Lift It Yourself
There's no more rewarding feeling than taking those first steps back to admire the new lift and bigger tires you just installed on your Jeep. Wipe the tear from you eye with your bloodied fingers, then go inside and douse yourself with rubbing alcohol.
7. Break Parts
Axleshafts, hubs, differentials, pitman arms, steering linkages ... we don't care. Wheel hard and don't stop until you hear the snap. Give yourself bonus points if the snap is closely followed by horrendous grinding noises and smoke.
8.Turn Heads - Drive a Clapped Beater
Don't let the fact that a Jeep has tattered rocker panels that flap in the wind or is missing an entire quarter panel stop you from buying and driving a junk Jeep. As long as your brakes work and it's basically safe, hit the road and impress the natives.
9. Pay Too Much For Not Much
Don't buy an incomplete project, but go ahead and splurge on a rare Jeep that isn't rare or a Jeep with a rebuilt drivetrain that isn't rebuilt. As long as it's complete. It's part of the initiation to get screwed on a Jeep purchase, so look at it as a rite of passage. We just paid $2,000 for a flattie with a blown head gasket, bad radiator, and a wasted tranny, T-case, and front axle. And we couldn't be happier.
10. Swap Engines
Even if your old one is fine, it's a Jeep thing and nobody understands. There's an insurmountable urge to overpower a Jeep's drivetrain and axles to the point of guaranteed breakage. Go for it.
11. Go Topless
While a Jeep may not be the original convertible, in our opinions, it's the only convertible that doesn't make you look like a desperate gold-chain-wearing pervert trolling the junior college for budding dental hygienists. So drop the top and cruise with class.
12. Live In Your Jeep
Not permanently because that would be icky. Cappa wanted to live out of his Jeep for two weeks a few years ago, with no hotels, indoor beds, or showers. Come to think of it, that's icky too, but what a story it would make from your rocking chair when you're older.
13.Round Up Zebras in Africa
Once again, the John Wayne Hollywood influence is rearing its ugly head. We're not sure, but you may need a time machine to pull it off. But we are sure some game preserve somewhere in the Dark Continent would be down with letting you play Hatari! for the right price.
14. Build Your Own Cage
If you just thought, "But I don't know how to bend or weld," kick yourself because that's the point. Learn to fabricate, then enjoy the fruits of your labor every time you drive your Jeep.
15. Rent in Paradise
Fly to Hawaii, Fiji, Jamaica, or any other tropical destination and lay down the Gold card for some island wheeling. If there isn't a rental company, track down a local Jeep owner and throw cash at him until he hands over the keys.
16. Roll Over
We're convinced there needs to be a theme park attraction that simulates a Jeep rollover. Not the nasty ones where people get hurt, but a nice cushy one in the dunes that ends with the Jeep on the tires, still running, and with the occupants emerging with nary a hair out of place. When Disneyland adds that ride to it's California Adventure we'll have one less reason to ridicule the park.
17. Rattle-Can It
There's something about the shape and utilitarian design of a Jeep that makes it OK to have a crappy paint job, so go ahead with your color change. Whether it's emulating a John Deere tractor or playing G.I. Joe with a camo paint scheme, spray away.
18. Sport the Jeep Hammock
It's not sleazy swimwear but rather a comfy way to spend the night above the creepy crawlies. Strap a hammock from your rollbar to a tree or another Jeep. If you've got a long-wheelbase Jeep you can probably string the hammock from one end of your rollbar to the other and hang above your interior.
19.Jeep As a Storage Facility
We've all done it. Pile Christmas decorations, old clothes, and other worthless junk in, on, and around your non-running project. Acceptable timeframes for use as a storage device extend up to and include one decade.
20. Sell Ridiculously Cheap
While we prefer it be to us, everybody needs to lose their shirt on at least one Jeep project. It's another one of those rites of passage. So go straight out, buy a decent, running Jeep, pull it all apart so it doesn't run, dump thousands of dollars into nonessential repairs and upgrades, then sell the whole disassembled pile for pennies on the dollar.
21. Pull Something Huge
Everybody has the story about the guy with the Jeep that pulled the stuck freight train out of the local mudhole or dragged the felled redwood clear of the roadway so the busload of nuns and orphans could pass. We want photos.
22. Pick Up Chicks
While this one doesn't apply to the entire staff, from what we hear, a Jeep can be a handy tool for a fella in the conquest of the opposite sex. Not to discount the lady Jeep owners, please feel free to use your Jeeps to pick up chicks as well. We want photos.
23. The One-Finger Wave
Unlike the one-finger wave most motorists are familiar with, this one is particular to passing Jeep drivers and involves displaying the index finger while the hands continue to grip the steering wheel. We don't know how the Jeep Wave originated, but it's real, and you may as well go with it.
24. Display Stupid Stickers
"It's a Jeep Thing - You Wouldn't Understand"; "If You Can Read This Roll Me Over"; "Got Moab?" If for no other reason than the satisfaction of peeling them off, it seems every Jeep owner is destined to run at least one of these stupid stickers once in their lifetime.
25. Get Lost
Not as in "Hit the bricks," but just point the nose in one direction and see where your Jeep takes you. They're curious critters and often seek out the most scenic and reclusive spots if allowed to roam freely.
26. Run Out of Gas
Early Jeep gauges aren't the most accurate of things, so every Jeep owner will probably find him or herself walking to the nearest gas station with an empty Coke bottle in their hand at some point in time. Live it. You may also try this one while driving the captain of the cheerleaders to the prom.
27.Submerge Your Jeep
Jeeps take to water like ducks, but they don't swim quite as well. Remember the phrase "I didn't think it was that deep" for when the news crew interviews you.
28. Explore Colorado Ghost Towns
We're amazed they're still standing, but there are hundreds of cool little mining camps, towns, and equipment sites littering the high peaks of the Colorado Rockies. Get yourself a good map, a trusty Jeep, and a week to go exploring.
29. Go Rockcrawling
Most people who say it's dumb have never done it, but rockcrawling at 2 mph can be one of the most exhilarating rushes you can get behind the wheel.
30. Blow It Apart
You don't necessarily need to put it back together, but there's nothing like the thrill of ripping out crusty wiring, snapping rusted bolts, and hammering suspension components free. You've got to totally dismantle at least one Jeep before you take the great dirt nap.
31. Dent It
The first one hurts the most, but by the 10th you hardly notice it anymore. Jeeps were made to be dented. They weren't designed to be chromed show queens with $5,000 paint jobs. At least not the ones we consider Jeeps.
32. Drive Dunes
We're not talking about those little sissy dunes. We're talking California's Dumont or Glamis, Inner Mongolia's Gobi Desert, North Africa's Sahara Desert, or Australia's Simpson Desert.
33. Race It
There's ice racing, JeepSpeed racing, tough-truck racing, rock racing, drag racing, shrimp cocktail, shrimp gumbo ... Anyway, no matter what your motorsports thing is, there's a venue in which you'll be able to compete with your old horse.
34. Jump It
Hopefully, it won't explode on landing, but jumping can be lots of fun if done right. Just make sure you know how to do it right before trying it.
35. Drive a CJ-SlowA
Until you've actually done it, you don't know the experience of trying to merge with traffic or pull a grade with the wheezy 63hp L-head or 75hp F-head four cylinder found in early Jeep CJs. It's a hoot.
36.Drive On a Beach
Quick, before the Enviro-Gestapo decides that sand and driftwood are in danger of becoming extinct.
37.Build Something Cool
This photo from Frank Chance in Richmond Hill, Georgia, shows what looks like one of AEV's Brute SUTs. However, Frank sent us this photo of his homebuilt '87 YJ pickup long before the Brute was designed and built.
38.Total Cut UpNot everybody can pull Elvis and shoot a perfectly good working television set, but there's something therapeutic about taking the reciprocating saw to an old Jeep jalopy. Try it. We recommend the feeling.
39. Turn Two Into One
On the opposite end of the spectrum from No. 37, you get a warm, fuzzy feeling once you've taken two derelict Jeeps and turned two or more throwaways into one decent, running, driving vehicle.
40. Do the Paris-Dakar Rally
The grueling 7,000-mile race begins in Paris, France, and winds through torturous terrain to the finish line in Cairo, Egypt. We suggest doing it in a 63hp CJ-2A.
41. Coast-to-Coast Australia
Until you've spent four entire days driving corrugated dirt roads without seeing so much as an outhouse, you can't understand the vastness that is the Australian continent.
If there's one can't-miss-before-you-die wheeling destination, it's Moab, Utah. Get there, drive it, and enjoy it before it's all condos.
They've got Jeeps there that can drive across water and up vertical volcanic ledges. Need more incentive?
44.Drive Over a Car
Play Bob Chandler and pretend your Jeep is Bigfoot. Even a set of mild 33s should let you get up and over a Yugo if you've got lockers. Resist the urge to carry this one out during rush-hour traffic.
45.Drive to Alaska
Rick Pw did it for Jp but never wrote the story. While we feel gypped, we're totally down with his execution of driving a dead-stock GPW from Los Angeles through Canada and into the Alaskan wilderness. Open-top and NDTs forever.
46.Get Hopelessly Stuck
It's a fact that the best stories come from the most miserable experiences. You may even invent a new swear word.
Hopefully, it's not due to bodily injury, but it's always nice to come across the stuck rental car in the middle of Death Valley or in the Everglades and lend a helping tug.
48.Spend Beaucoup Dollars
Whether it's on an LS1 engine, a replacement frame, or that bill from the fab shop, there's something sickl satisfying about plunking down $10K on your toy.
49.Go Night Wheeling
Terrain takes on a whole different look at night for added challenges and surprises. As an added bonus, you can't see body damage as well.
The acid test for any hard-core Jeeper to determine whether or not he's chosen the right woman is if she's willing to ride off into the honeymoon sunset on your white CJ stallion. Taking the captain of the cheerleading squad to the prom in your open-top Jeep is also an acceptable alternative