Almost Turkey Day

11/20/2020

Speaking Frankly:

Hey friends. As you recall in my last post, I said there was a lot of changes happening in life. Well I’m here to give you the skinny on them as I can now speak openly on all topics. First off I’m now working in the Grand Rapids area. Bil-Mac. Doing what? Back working on and with Hydromat’s. We also will have possession of our house in Muskegon area before the end of the year. That’s right we’re going back into the house where this all took off from. But it’s not that cut and dry. See We are also staying up in Kalkaska too. Why? Cause it’s the school that got Xaiver up to speed and wanting to go to college. He only has a year and a half left.

So we’ll be maintaining a home up here for Him and Michelle. I’ll visit every weekend. And I’ll stay in Muskegon Monday through Thursday. In that I’ll start the remodeling on the house we had always talked about doing. It’s not the best or easiest way to do life. But from a income stand point it will get us moving forward.

I’m also hoping it lights enough of a fire under my butt to launch my dream of owning a Off-Road and fabrication shop too. Life has taken a few turns we didn’t see coming. And our road life has been put on pause. But we still plan to travel. Just not as we once had. In the next few months I’m looking to lay out more of that vision.

This 2020 “year of change” has been very much a year of change. It isn’t really going the direction I had planned for or even considered back at the beginning of it. Focus has shifted, goals have evolved, plans have changed. But freedom in life remains the primary goal of this all.

I’m finding that my drive to be free from a normal 9 to 5er is helping push me on dreams that always seem to stop short of taking flight. My goals have never been to be rich. Just comfortable and happy. If that looks like a ranch home, in a subdivision where I build Jeep parts in the garage to make a living. Well so be it. But I don’t know yet what this will look like. I know that I need to keep pushing myself and stop being afraid to fail. I’m finding that through listening to my wife, I’m a lot more equipped to aim for the sky than I’ve given myself credit for. I have a support system better than most. I just need to do it. Stop making up reasons why not and start making reasons why to.

But I guess these are all topics for another post at another time. So for now you know there are bigger, better and greater things afoot.. So till next time stay blessed my friends and by all means keep on A.G.E.ing

As the world Turns so does our life…..

11/3/2020

Speaking Frankly:

Hi friends, It’s been sometime since I’ve sat down and typed much. For any of you following our YouTube, you have seen that I’ve done 2 Vlogs todate. And I’m hoping to do more. Been a bit of life stress over the last few months. Changed jobs again, though I have yet to start. See Redemption (our 97 ZJ) died. Blew motor and broken frame. So now we have a ’04 Grand Cherokee WJ that I’m in the middle of tranny work.

Life has also tossed us a bit more of a curve in that we are looking at a delayed road life launch. What does that really mean? We still plan to build a bus, and travel but a timeline is no longer being followed. We are aiming more so at getting the Jeep done, overland trips with it and getting our Blog, Vlog, FB, and Instagram rolling more. Going to do more in the way of trail rides, local trips, product reviews and Jeep build. We have some major changes that are also coming in life in general that I can’t talk about yet. But will add to the direction things are headed.

As of right now we are looking to lay out a better path for next year. And from there we will see where this all heads us. I’m finding over the last few months that we are taking “1 step back to move 2 steps forward”. Why and how you might ask? Well for starters (what I am open to talk of right now) I’m going back to working on and with Hydromat’s. A machine that I’ve spent the better part of 20 years working with. This machine has been our bread and butter over the years. And I’ll be splitting my time in Northern Michigan with my wife and son, along with being in the Grand Rapids area working 4 days a week. Why? It’s simple, I’m sick of watching my family struggle from a financial area do to low paying, crappy houred jobs up here. When I can work 2 hours away for almost double the hourly wage.

In part this has side railed road life, not forever just a few extra years, But for good reason. It will mean getting the Jeep done without corners being cut. It will get us through our “Want and Need” list without putting a lot of basics on hold. Example would be close, my wife and I over the last 6 months have lost a combined weight of 90LBS. How? Keto. I’m down from a size 38 waist to a size 32. And she’s down quite a bit in waist size too. We need to replace ALL our close, we are way over do for new laptops. She’d love to get a nice new embroidery machine. We are looking to new camera gear, outdoors gear among other things. Things that now and into the future will keep us going.

Now we do plan to keep growing A.G.E. and for all purposes, make it bigger and better. Things will keep growing here, on FB, on Instagram and YouTube. Our content as it always has will vary. But will still be life, family, faith and Adventure driven. And for those that may not know about our other locations, here are the,

links:

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

But like I stated, things are changing for the good side. Directions are still there, just the path to get to them has changed a lot. And I’m sure it will keep doing so. If life has taught us anything since starting this Blog, it’s that change will keep on happening even if you don’t want it to. We started with a RV goal, than a Bus dream and now I’m not sure what to call it. We still want and plan for a bus. But we don’t want to cut corners or miss out on what we want out of it. And then there is the impending “empty nester” issues that my lovely wife sees coming like a freight train. We have less than 2 years until our last child at home graduates High School and starts his moving on. And Michelle in part sees that once that happens she wants stable legs under us before doing something as crazy as moving into a bus and out onto the road. Me, I’m just more openly adventuress and would just like to “roll on”. But that isn’t the case anymore. So I’ll be shifting my adventure driven spirit in more Overland directed adventures.

I still plan and want to document trail rides, and overland trips. No matter where they take us. And even in the mix of all this change we are still aiming for a late next year West run in the Jeep. What and where all this life change ends up leading to. It’s anyone’s guess. I do however feel and believe we are headed into a season of “less change more adaptiveness”. That will give us the tools, time, funds and needs to hit the road in someway or form.

So for now I think I’ll just leave you all guessing what’s next for us in our life’s journey to “live a life that’s a vacation not one requiring a vacation”.

And until next time. Stay Blessed and by all means keep on A.G.E.ing..

Got to Keep Rolling

10/17/2020

By: Franky

Hey all, How you been? It’s been a bit of a up and down here. See we killed another Jeep. Yep Redemption is dead. Broken frame and cracked engine block. So a Jeep build again is ahead for us. This time will be a 2004 Grand Cherokee Laredo we just picked up..

Also wanted to share with you that we have been asked to be a brand ambassador for  Backed by Nature   

Just used code :Navoni when you order and get 40% off on your order.

 

Any how, you have also noticed that we’re working in the background on this Blog. And we did launch our first Vlog as well.

And we’re working on a way to get more to you all on a regular bases.

So till later.

By all means, stay Blessed and Keep on A.G.E.ing!

Going to mix it up abit around here….

Going to mix it up abit around here….

8/2/2020

Hi all, new month new goals, new ideas (OK maybe not). But we’re adding a “new flare” around here. See starting today we’re going to shake it up so that both my wife and I have our voices heard. So you’ll see a Title block, intro areas followed by: Speaking Frankly – that will be my area followed by: Shelly’s Corner – that will be the Mrs. area. See after last weeks post we found that we both have things to say. And they might not always be on the same topic. And that’s ok. But this Blog and our Vlog(more being done there very soon) is about US not just me or her. So we have come up with a way to both be heard, seen and maybe even listened to all in 1 blog zone. So without further ado lets get on it it.

 

Speaking Frank

As we roll into the next month of this crazy year we all call 2020. Things have been far from normal. That however has not stopped us from staying on track to the future. See we are working hard on a plan to buy our bus by the end of August! Yes you read that right by the end of this month. We aren’t full solid on this but about 98% sure we can and will make it happen. Now that don’t change launch time, but does add to more build time. And a swift kick in the behind (mainly mine) of getting things done.

We did however run into a little more work coming for the Jeep. poor thing has that pesky “wrist pin slap” that some 4.0 get. At least I’ve decide to fix it now rather than out on the road. We’ll have a full write-up and probably a good few vlog videos too. No engine swap either, I’ll be doing a full in bay engine over haul. Should be a good time. But will add to peace of mind out on the road.

I’m also working on a 3 month review of my Iron Rock Offroad  3.5″ lift

And don’t even ask I’m not giving any of my thoughts about this lift away before hand. You’ll just have to come back and read it all soon. Maybe even next week.

And I’ll probably give a update on build plans for the Jeep seeing we’re down to the last few things we want done before we really dig into a bus build.

 

Shelly’s Corner 

Staying on track also means we need to stay focused. With August already here, Husband and I wanting the bus by the end of month. My mind likes to travel to detail land, what about this~ what about that…. uggh

IF I go too fast it will make my mind start to over stress about things.  My plan is to stay in the moment, stay focused on enjoying our journey.

Keeping  myself mentally strong is very important in a build like this. My ego tends to want to control everything around me so it “flows smoothly”, what does that create? chaos for everyone else and A bigger ego for me.

Big egos create Big problems, and Big Drama in relationships.

Since our goal is work together on projects, my number one goal is to remain mentally in the now. With the ins and outs of all that we have to look forward to, it can become mentally stressing, and physically draining if not in the right state of mind.

Within the next couple blogs I will share some techniques I will use, on staying positive when the stress starts to build, and on changing my mindset to stay focused on the positive in all the wonderful things we are about it do.

 

So until next then my friends, by all means stay blessed and keep on A.G.E.ing….

 

Stress, Life and changes

7/26/2020

Hi all, been out of it so sometime. Between job stress, Jeep project, life over run and COVID-19. It’s been wacky to say the least. So where do I start this. Hmmm.

Ok I guess I’ll start about my(Frank’s) new job. I ended up leaving Shoreline Fruit. I did enjoy the job and people. But the hours just didn’t work. See 4 on, 4 off sounds great. Until we realize we only get 2 out of 8 weekends with family. Then there was COVID-19 that pushed off Xaiver’s drivers education. After some long talks with Michelle it was fair to say I needed to change jobs. Now the new job came with pay cut. But great hours, 5am to 1:30pm Monday thru Friday. I almost feel as I have a full day after work. The new job is at the Munson Hospital warehouse (Northern Michigan Supply Alliance) . I’m doing EVS/grounds keep. Basically janitor, grounds and maintenance of sorts. It really is a ZERO stress job.

And I also got our Jeep threw what I’m calling stage 2 of its build up.

Before in November 2020 and after in July 2020

It was a bunch of work but so pleased. Michelle picked out the color, it’s Ford Blue. And I painted it with a foam roller. It’s right now sitting on 3.5” IRO lift, Bilstiens shocks and steering stabilizer, 245/75R16 MTRs on 16×8 factory Moab wheels.

And we are also getting closer to a bus purchase.

We have some big things coming that I’ll share soon. But for now. Stay blessed our friends and keep on A.G.Eing…..

Before you take off Friends, Just a word from me (Michelle). I have been sitting back on the sidelines so to speak watching things evolve. As our life keeps changing, so does the way I think. You see I have been working on my inner self a bunch lately, and I have come to realize that life is not what it seems. Let me explain.. you got a minute? … so I have always thought that we learn from the past apply what we learn and hope for a better future Right?!? .. Well I don’t think like that anymore, my new way of thinking is this… My past has already happened so it is no longer real and my future hasn’t happened yet so it is not my reality… What does that leave? RIGHT NOW this very minute. Life happens Moment by moment, I have been practicing being in the moment. Letting go of the past and not looking too far ahead, because those are not real to me… only thing that is real is what I am experiencing right now. 

Right now I am writing to you our readers, and you know what happens to me? Internal Joy, Peace, and Happiness. I truly love being in the moment. If you want to know more about what I have been learning, Or what Franks new adventure is going to be let us know. Thank you Readers for all of your support!  Keep on A.G.Eing….. 

Back at It!

5/22/2020

Life has many roads, try the one less traveled.

Well hi again all. Sorry we’ve been MIA for a bit. Between all this world craziness it’s left me without much to say that wasn’t all a downer. But seeing as normal has kinda set back in. Here I am again. So I’m sure you’re asked what’s been going on. Well where should I start.

The Jeep is about 3/4 the way through phase 1 build up. Lift is installed, axles swapped, getting prep work for paint. Oh and she does well on the trails too.

Bus planning has also been going VERY well. With new ideas, new plans and a new layout. This new “Bus setup” was a big step cause it was one that both my wife and I did together. It’s got things we both want in it. You could say it was really our first planning compromise.

There is also a bit of planning for a Colorado Overland trip the first week of October that I’m looking to do. Kind of a “ManCation”. And part of a pre-run for a few places I want to go with my wife in a few years. She fells as if I’ve been down a trail a head of time. I can better prepare her. See she has a bit of a fear of heights. And being that Black Bear pass is on the bucket list.

NOT MY PHOTO – Used to show the trail

Bus Life launch date is still being aimed at September 2022. So right now we’re about 8-9 months from buying our bus. We still aim to do the full build out over 10 to 12 months. Any of you that recall reading back in our launch 1.0 days we had simple rules. (All we broke – sadly). These were Travel days are only to be 4-6 hours, stick to 2 lane roads. Well we are planning and hoping that for the most part we’ll be following these rules.

Some other topics have been our daughter Madison is getting married next year. Areas around the country that we’re considering for a future root planting home base. And how long we want to live on the road and how long we think we can live on the road. We know we’ll Workamp, and do some seasonal work. With no real bills (fuel, food and insurance) when we launch this go around. It will make our travel 6 months work 6 months much more do able.

By the time we launch, I’ll have had kids at home 27 years. And in that time I’ve never stopped to pick where I want to be. It’s all been about taking care of the family. But we’ll have some time to live our lives and just experience life. Sure it comes with all new challenges. But it will be a whole new book of life for us. It’s about Living a Life that IS a Vacation, not one that requires a Vacation. It really is that simple.

So, that’s about it with where we are and what we’re thinking. So until next time all, stay Blessed and by all means keep on A.G.E.ing!

World on pause!

4/9/2020

So hi all been out of things a bit. Between this world wide virus and being in the hospital with a leg infection. It was a very stress filled March.

But now I’m trying to feel some normal by posting again. For all that followed we did a basic mini series on Overlanding. Not much but tried to keep it simple. We will cover that topic again in the future. Mainly as our Jeep build takes off.

That said we look to be about 1-3 weeks out from starting the ZJ build. So looking forward to that cause right now it’s not ready for any trails. And that’s a bit of a bummer. But once the suspension is done we will be back out on trails with our local adventures firing up. “Trail rides, social distancing at its best.”

Any how just wanted to pop it and say hi and yep we are still alive and still planning. So till next time, stay blessed and keep on A.G.Eing!!

OverLanding: part – 4

What Vehicle he picked and why

3/16/2020

Now that you’re educated about the options out there for a Overland setup. We’re going to get into Our personal pick to build. We will cover a lot of things that we thought over too. So lets dive in.

To start I took a long look back at what I’ve owned, how I used(beat) it, places I’ve gone, places I want to go, easy of repair, available parts, ride comfort and build quality when new. So what kind of vehicles have I had that took us on Adventures/Overland?

  • Jeep Cherokee XJs- 87′-97’s (17 of these in total)
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJs – 94′, 98′, & 97′
  • Jeep Wrangler – 94′ YJ, 15’JKU & 16’JKR
  • Suzuki Samurai – 87′
  • Geo Tracker / Suzuki SideKick – ’95
  • Suzuki Grand Vitra XL7 – ’98 (My wife’s)

In looking for the currant build some of the above got considered. Until my wife’ accident in October we would have built the 16’JKR even though not the best choice. (We’ll get into that later). If you’ve been following this Blog long enough. You know that my wife in a wreck that both freed up funds and killed our 2016 2 door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. This was bought when we hadn’t planned for a OverLand build. So it had the roots but not the needs. It wasn’t that great on long drives, lacked space to sleep inside.

So what on that list made our cut when we started shopping? Jeep Cherokee’s, Jeep Grand Cherokee’s and the Suzuki GV XL-7 all made our shopping list. Why? Size was #1 they all have enough space to sleep us both inside comfortable, yet small enough to go about anywhere I point them. They all offer good transfer case options. I wanted/needed a 2WD, 4WD and Low Range Option. Also the vehicle needed to be a quick/simple setup to flat tow in the future. I also looked for something that could fit a 31-33 inch tire with simple lift/modes. Why? Because we love being off the beaten path and seek the “less often traveled paths”. Aftermarket selection of parts for all these rigs is out there. But being a DIYer that wasn’t as important. Price point also came into play as our purchase budget was a mild $1600.

Now the XL-7 was on the list mainly for size. Good space inside, but the IFS was it’s only down side. In the end they are harder to find here in Michigan so I never really hunted for one.

The Jeeps on our list came from previous builds and knowledge. Both Jeep Cherokee XJ’s and Grand Cherokee ZJs have solid front and rear axles, 2wd, 4WD and Lower range T-cases. Are relatively simple and cheap to lift. Are the same width and within a few inches length wise. And it helps that I’ve built more than a few of them. I was also looking for a Jeep with a 4.0L inline 6 with a Auto transmission. The 4.0L won’t win any sped race but when it comes to reliability and easy to work on, it can’t be beat. I also knew looking for either of these 2 that there are “known” issues with rocker panel rot that would need fixed. Both these Jeeps have Dana 30 front axles. XJs High Pinion and Low Pinion. ZJ’s are all Low Pinion. Both Jeeps have Dana 35 rear axles. There are 2 other axles in XJ rears too Dana 44 (rare) and 2 versions of the Chrysler 8.25. ZJ’s if a V8 also got a HD Dana 44 (very limited aftermarket support). What does this all mean/show? I know my vehicle options.

See when looking for a build base. Knowing what the pluses and minuses are helps lots. And that in part was why I stuck to what I know.

I guess we’ll now dive into what we were looking for OUT of our choice. We wanted:

  • Comfort
  • Good Road manners
  • Go anywhere
  • Space
  • Reliability
  • Easy of repair
  • Mid-Size
  • Solid axles (front and rear)
  • Easy to clear a 31-33″ tire
  • Real Transfer Case
  • Simple to Flat tow

Comfort and Good Road manners: I’ll put these 2 together. See Comfort is more of my wife’s need/want. Road manners is both of us. We wanted a do all well, but still drive coast to coast in comfort vehicle. Heat, air conditioning were important too being this will get used daily.

Go anywhere: Well this one is relative to your own ideas. Mine is I love to explore. Be it woods, hills, desert, forest, old roads or just about anywhere. I just want to get out and go.

Space: For us, space ment room for my wife, me, our dog and camp gear. It was also added that room for 2 extra adults incase we want to share our adventures with another couple was important too.

Reliability & Easy of repair: These are another 2 that go hand in hand. I want to know when I hit that key it will start every time. And that when it breaks I can fix it with relative ease.

Mid-Size: This has more to do with where we life to explore. I class the JKU as Full-Size and never really fit our needs. We like narrow trails so a smaller package was a need.

Solid axles (front and rear): Simple, strong, reliable and simple to lift. It really is for us less moving parts to get the job done. This one comes from years of being a wheeler.

Easy to clear a 31-33″ tire: I need ground clearance for those muddy trails and snow days. And didn’t want a monster truck lift to do it.

Real Transfer Case: I wanted a stick in the floor not some button to push. If it fails I can get out and under it and shift the range by hand. They also happen to be stronger in most cases.

Simple to Flat tow: This is Cause we’ll be building a Bus to be a home on wheels. And will be towing the Jeep behind it.

So what did we get and why? We bought a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. It has the 4.0L inline 6 with a Auto trans, backed by a NP242 T-case (2wd, Part time 4WD, Full Time 4WD and Low Range). Dana 30 front and Dana 35 rear axles. It was bought completely stock so for us it’s a blank canvas. I did hit a deer after only having it a month. So that had to be fixed. What’s our plan for it?:

  • Lift it 2-3.5″ with all new suspension parts
  • 265/75R16 tires
  • Steel bumpers with rear tire carrier and 2 jerry cans
  • winch
  • several LED lights for night adventures
  • CB
  • Paint the whole thing
  • RTT
  • Re-gear to 4.10s and Tru-Trax

The details of each item is not yet in stone. As this started with wanting aftermarket wheels but we got a deal on Rubicon take offs. And right now I have a growing pile of parts that are waiting on Spring.

Well until next time stay Blessed and Keep on A.G.Eing!!

Project Redemption – Our 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

OverLanding: part-3

Gear of Choice

3/11/2020

So we did a run down of what overlanding is. And what different vehicles and options to consider. Today we’re going to change gears a bit and look at gear. Some options out there, what you need verse want. And where should you start. So lets dive right in.

Sleeping! Where do you want to sleep. Well you have options. Here are just a few that we consider and have and will use.

  • Under the stars
  • In your vehicle
  • hammocks
  • tent
  • RTT – Roof Top Tent
  • TearDrop

Under the stars: Yep as simple as it sounds it gets overlooked as a option. I’ve done this more than one. Mostly cause topless Jeep that was stuck/broke waiting on day light.

In your vehicle: Great in Crossovers and SUVs. Weather your solo or with a partner this one helps you pack lighter. But an require more space. For us being short it helps..

Hammocks: Now this one is a cross over from backpackers. They an be simple to super complete 4 season setups. We have basic ones that we take and use through the day. And sometimes it’s just the place you want to be. But you also need to consider where your at. If your in the desert with no trees this don’t even work as a option.

Tent: The old tried and true tent. So many options my head spins reading on them. But again on these seasons can play into it. Ground, location and weather.

RTT – Roof Top Tent: Now these I’m not sure how long they have been out but are starting to reach a price point that us “Frugal” overlanders can afford them. You can mount them like the name says on the roof, or bed of a truck or even on a trailer. So many option. But the best 2 things I find here. They keep you off the ground and make for fast camp setups and takedowns.

TearDrop: These guys seem to be popping up a lot more these days. They fit in with adventure trailers too. Some of their advantages are, your inside, self contained so heading out requires little prep work.

I know that I have not covered 100% of every option or even 100% of details on these. But my aim is to keep it simple and get you thinking, planning and camping.

As for other gear. Food storage comes up alot and you see a ton of electric coolers these days. But they require a power source. And to me can be overkill. Now if your a camper that heads out for weeks or months than by all means you may want one. But me I’m good with a cooler and ice. Than you have cooking, do you need a stove? Or are you good over a open fire. can you even have a fire where your camping? These are things that are more personal preference than needs in my view.

Now there is a list of what I view as my must have list.

  • First Aid kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Maps / GPS
  • spare close
  • basic tools
  • hatchet
  • Shovel
  • Fire starter
  • Water
  • Camera / My Drone

To me other stuff can be brought but by no means are required. Over my years, I’ve found that when planning a overland trip/setup. I look to the backpackers. Those guys are smart. They pack only the needs, light weight and with some of the smallest useable items.

You really need to sit and look at your planned adventure. Are you just going to get away? Are you going to see things you haven’t seen before? Are you going because the trip to get there is your goal? Hell you might hate people in general and are heading out and away. What ever your needs/goals or wants from OverLanding are. There is a setup for you. And by all means keep in mind. “What works for me, might not work for you.” Our needs and wants from this lifestyle of adventure is as different to each of us as our fingerprints are.

So next time I’ll be taking you through Our planned OverLand build. Why we picked it? What options we wanted? Things we considered? and much much more.

So till next time, stay Blessed and by all means keep on A.G.E.ing!!

Adventure is where you find it.

OverLanding: part-2

Vehicle Choice

3/6/2020

We are going to mainly focus on 4 wheeled vehicles that are road legal. Jeeps, SUVs, cars and trucks. Yes I know in some places SXS can be made legal but we’re not looking there.

So your ready to start looking at what vehicle will take you on your adventure. Before you even start brainstorming I’d advice set a budget for purchase. Than from there start your looking.

In doing this I tend to break the vehicles into 5 main categories:

  • Cross-Overs
  • AWD cars
  • SUVs
  • Trucks
  • Jeeps.

Cross-Overs: This would be any car with higher than average ground clearance (6″+) and is typically a hatchback. They can be 2 and AWD drive. Think lifted 80’s station wagon. So in this I would consider Chevy Equinox, Chevy Traverse, Ford Edge and Dodge Journey. Those and there are many more.

AWD cars: This to me is those companies that simply have near perfect AWD systems. And really only one manufacturer comes to mind here, Subaru. About any of their all wheel drive cars fit here.

SUVs: This is your typical “body on frame” vehicles. Chevy Tahoe, Ford Explorer (older models), Dodge Durango (older models) those types. Most of these can be had in both 2 or 4 wheel drive models. And will in most cases have a Low Range option.

Trucks: This would be any vehicle with a bed, body on frame, 2wd, 4wd and low range options.

Jeeps: All Jeeps. Why you ask when nowadays Jeep makes something that fits in all the above does Jeep stand out? Cause from the very beginning Jeep has both been a bench mark for OverLanding and Adventure.

Now that you see there are many types of 4 wheeled vehicles there is more. Start thinking of the kind of adventure you want to go on. Are you just doing 2 tracks, mountain roads, deep woods, solo, Long distances or short, freeway or back roads. challenging or simple. Will there be a chance of mud, water crossing, high clearance needed. Do you plan to use it as it ome new or make it more personal to you. So when you get here you start thinking about the “bones of the vehicle”. So from here the following are things I personally start to consider.

  • Solid axle front or IFS
  • Solid axle rear or IRS
  • T-case Range options -High, Low, 2wd or 4wd
  • Lift kits
  • Aftermarket support

Solid or IFS front end: Solid front axle is like your older Jeeps and only now available on limited newer vehicles. They are simple, strong and work. Than you have IFS-Independent front suspension, all modern cars will have this style. It will lead to a smoother ride and better ground clearance in most cases. There is a lot in the way of personal choice here.

Solid axle rear or IRS: IRS stands for Independent rear suspension. Much like the above but now on about 50% of modern SUVs.

T-case Range options -High, Low, 2wd or 4wd: This one is for me getting harder to understand in newer vehicles. Jeep Wranglers will have a 2wd, 4wd, and Low Range option. Many modern vehicles such as the new Jeep Cherokee will have a Computer driven “range” option. To be perfectly up front here about this I have no idea on the newer stuff. I’m old school.

Lift kits: Do you plan to mode your vehicle. Add ground clearance or bigger tires.

Aftermarket support: Do you plan to mode your vehicle. Want simple bolt ons or are you OK with building it all yourself.

Now you can see there is a bunch to take in when your planning this kind of build. Sometimes you’ll even find that your starting with a base already. But the above will get you looking at what you have in terms of will it work for you over the long haul. Or is it simply a placeholder while you shop for what really fits.

So while you let this all sink in. Stay blessed and by all means keep on A.G.E.ing

No mater the road, take the one less traveled.