Articles written by: Jim Brightly

A former editor of Truckin’ and Trailer Life magazines, and tech editor of Four Wheeler, Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road, and Family Motor Coaching magazines, Jim Brightly is now a semi-retired photojournalist living, writing, and wheeling in northern Arizona. He’s been building and wheeling Jeeps for more than fifty years.

Front rotor, pad, and caliper in place.
How Tos / Product Installs / Tech

Slow Your Roll: Upgrading Your Jeep Brake System for Better Stopping Power

You’ve increased your Jeep’s tire size for improved ground clearance, and then you lowered its gear ratio to take advantage of the taller tires. But now, with the taller tires […]

George laid out all the panels on the Jeep’s hood until he could figure out where each panel went.
Product Installs / Tech

Panel Protection: Adding Brush Protection with Rugged Ridge Magnetic Body Protectors

When we get a new Jeep—at least “new” to us—or an actual brand-new off-the-showroom-floor Wrangler, we want to keep it as pristine for as long as we can. But how […]

We would not even think about trying this 6-foot near vertical waterfall before the lift. It popped over the lip with just a bit of a blip of gas.
Tech / Tech Projects

Project GP (Part 1): Installing New Gears, Suspension and Tires on our Jeep LJ/TJ Project

Sixty-some years ago, before our favorite four-wheel-drive vehicle earned the name Jeep, the Army’s 4WD ¼-ton scout vehicle was given the designation of “GP” for General Purpose vehicle. It was given this […]

If you don’t have a hoist, you’ll need at least two people—and probably a third—to position the front bumper and bolt it into place.
Product Installs / Tech

Bumper Booster: Installing Smittybilt XRC Steel Bumpers on a Jeep Cherokee XJ

When building a daily driver for an avid off-roader, who also happens to be a high school student in Southern California, there are a some unique challenges you need to consider. […]

Use the proper spindle nut socket and torque the inner locking nut to 50-ft.-lb. After torqueing the nut, rotate the rotor in both directions to assist in seating the bearings, then loosen the nut a quarter-turn to release some pressure on the bearings.
Product Installs / Tech / Tech Articles

Dana 30 Hub Conversion: Installing an Alloy USA Manual Locking Hub Conversion Kit

When Mike Barnes bought new tires for his 1997 Jeep Cherokee, he had no idea that the increased traction of the Yokohama Geolandar M/T tires might cause a weak link […]

It’s mounted and ready to hook up. Some states no longer allow a tow bar to be mounted and secured upright while driving the Jeep on roads and highways, so I remove it for storage between trips.
Product Installs / Tech / Tech Projects

Flat Towing Tech: The Hows and Whys of Installing a Tow Bar

It’s time to hit the highway for a little summer adventure. Our getaways often include four-wheeling on new and distant trails, and that means towing our Jeep behind a motorhome or some other tow […]

With the top folded back, it’s just like being lidless. However, should the weather turn bad, it can quickly be folded back into place for warmth, comfort, and security.
Product Installs / Tech

Trektop How-To: Installing a Bestop Trektop NX Soft Top

Every once in a while a product comes along that’s not only good for your vehicle and good for your comfort, but is also somewhat easy to install. It’s rare […]

The new rubber grease caps are extremely stiff so it’ll take some muscle to push enough threads through to catch the castle nuts.
Product Installs / Tech

As the Wrangler Turns: How and Why to Upgrade Your Jeep’s Steering with Heavy-Duty Components

It’s much more difficult to bend a strong straight shaft than a strong bent shaft. That’s the reasoning for replacing your curved OEM Jeep tie rod with a straight tie rod […]

Carefully maneuver the frame rail around any obstacles.
How Tos / Tech

Jeep Tech: How to Replace Your Leaky Fuel Injectors

If you’re experiencing leaking fuel injectors, you might think new O-rings will correct your engine’s fuel delivery problems, but you’d probably be wrong. O-rings might do the job but usually they […]

Yet another obstacle that would have been impossible before the lift.
Product Installs / Tech

Jacked Up: Adding Ground Clearance with a Skyjacker 3-Inch Lift Kit

Just as a winch is severely limited in its capability without its accessory kit (tree strap, clevis, snatch block, etc.), a Cherokee is severely limited in its off-road capability without […]