I hope Santa was good to everyone! Along with other Jeep goodies under the tree I got a new Warn VR12 12,000lbs winch! At 82 pounds the winch took the crown for the heaviest gift under the tree this year!

christmas 2016

I think the Jeep Juventus jersey is funny. I'm a big soccer fan but not a Juventus fan in particular, I just wanted their jersey because of the sponsor.

For those of you who don't live in an area where the use of salt on the roads is common during the winter (a/k/a "The Rust Belt") here is what it looks like. What you're looking at is not snow, or dirt, road salt, residue from driving around town for just two days. It's the main reason I bought aluminum fenders.

road salt

Snow does not melt on Vision X LED headlights. I had a 2 hour drive home in sticky wet snow, the temperature was just under freezing at 30-31ºF. If VisionX headlights can't melt snow at 31ºF they never will. Also, my AOSI LED fog lights have the same problem. The fog light openings in my LOD bumper filled with snow. I had to pull over every 15 minutes or so and clean off the lights to see where I was going. That is a real bummer. I'll have to see if the snow sticks to them in colder weather as the winter goes on.

snow on visionx

Here is a picture comparing the stock plastic flare with the Nemesis Industries Odyssey front flare.

odysses vs stock flare

Here is a timelapse of the installation for one of the front fenders. The second one took about half the time of the first.

I just received my LOD Signature Series bumpers today. The packaging they used to ship them is the best packaging I've ever seen. The bumpers look excellent.

LOD Signature Series bumpers

LOD Signature Series Mid-Width bumper in it's packaging

Unearthing the LOD Signature Series Mid-Width bumper

can see some of it now

Front view of LOD Signature Series
Mid-width forkbumper

Back view of LOD Signature Series
Mid-width bumper

I updated the Build List to include the Nemesis Industries Odyssey & Notorious Fender Flares. I ordered the Odyssey Series for the front and the Notorious Series for the rear. I'm not a big fan of the naming system Nemesis uses because it's a little confusing. The Notorious Series rear fender flare is "factory width" but the Notorious front fender flare is narrower than the factory flare. However the Odyssey Series front flare is "factory width". There is no Odyssey rear flare, you just use the Notorious. If you want a narrow rear flare you can get the Crawler Series, but they also offer a Crawler Series front flare, which is even narrower than the Notorious. Confusing. It boils down to 3 widths available for the front but only 2 for the rear. See the chart below:

Nemesis Industries Fender Flares

  Factory Width Narrower Narrower Yet
Front Odyssey Notorious Crawler
Rear Notorious - Crawler
Nemesis Industries Odyssey Fender Flare in Textered Black Powder
Nemesis Industries Odyssey fender flare in textered black powder coat.
Construction of Nemesis Industries Notorious fender flare with
Skeletos upgrade
Construction of Nemesis Industries Notorious fender flare with Skeletos upgrade.
Construction of Nemesis
Industries Notorious Fender Flare with Skeletos Upgrade
Another view of the Notorious fender flare with Skeletos upgrade.

I received my Bestop Trektop NX in black twill last week. It's made really well and looks great however it is incredibly tight making it very hard to get on the first time. When I went to install it I left the canvas sit in the sun for about an hour to warm up before I tried putting it on but I could not get the front hooks to reach the loops on the windshield, it was about 1/2" short. I also could not zip the side panels to the back window if I had them properly inserted into the B-pillar. In the picture below you can see the wrinkle in the side window caused by the side panels not being inserted. You can also see that the back windows is as tight as a drum.

I left the top sit unlatched overnight and tried it again the next afternoon, however it was no better. I eventually had to use ratchet straps to pull the middle bracket toward the windshield so I could latch the top. I had to pull the straps so tight it was scary. I was worried for the grab handle hardware that I had the straps hooked on. I don't know how you could possibly get the top on without a mechanical means of stretching the fabric.

Bestop Trektop NX Twill
Bestop Trektop NX in black Twill
Getting the top to hook
Stretching the top with ratchet straps
Getting the top to hook
You can see the bracket that needs to be pulled.

The bracket that goes above the B pilar is held in place by a bolt with a plastic turn knob. I could not tighten this enough to overcome the tension of the fabric and when I lowered the top the bracket would slide backward keeping the front from latching. By hooking the strap to this bracket I was able to keep the bracket in the proper position and latch the top to the windshield.