When Jeepers go off-road as a club or group, the rule of thumb is to keep less-experienced wheelers in the middle of the pack. This gives “newbies” an opportunity to observe veteran Jeepers as they maneuver through trail obstacles; noting wheel placement and approach angles that do or do not work before attempting the obstacle themselves.
In similar fashion, when considering the next level in Jeep modification, it is not uncommon for Jeep owners to seek the advice of peers who have already traveled the same or similar path. We naturally want to know what has worked well for others and what products to avoid. For that “expertise”, one of the most common places Jeepers initially turn to is the Jeep forums.
The Jeep Forums
The idea itself is pretty good: Post a question about specific tires, wheels, accessories or upgrade plans and, theoretically, people with experience in those specific areas can comment and act as virtual spotters.
The only problem with this method of gathering information is that many individuals only have “experienctise” and lack credible expertise. What this means is that when a person has a single experience (good or bad) they become either strong advocates or critics for a particular brand. Additionally, some folks that comment on the forums may not have any first-hand experience with a product or brand but still voice a strong opinion based on something they heard from a friend or read online.
We’re not saying that the Jeep forums are bad. In fact, they can be a really fun place to get new ideas or even refine some old ones. We simply caution how much time should be spent trolling through the forums and how much credibility should be given to internet opinions.
Do A Little Research
We suggest following up on things that are posted on the forums with a little of your own research. Once you have a concrete idea for your next modification, we recommend learning a little about the manufacturer. How long have they been in business? Do they specialize in one type of product or cater to a variety of interests? This is also a good time to verify product specifications, vehicle compatibility and warranty information.
Ask an Industry Pro
If questions arise as a result of your personal findings, we recommend consulting with a credible source of information. At Axleboy, we have modified HUNDREDS of Jeeps, working with a variety of manufacturers on a daily basis. We know which products are engineered using quality material and craftsmanship… and which ones repeatedly have problems. When questions of product quality or reliability arise, our professional staff are more than glad to offer insights based on over 11 years of vendor dealings, customer feedback and Jeep repairs.
Give us a call at 636-939-5337 to schedule a consultation with Scott, or stop by and chat with Greg next time you are thinking about Jeep mods.