Category: Vehicles and Mods

Gladiator Comparison

By Nena Barlow
This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

After months of waiting for my ordered Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition, I was dying to throw on a few “Barlow” modifications and hit the trail, and I needed to answer one question: How does the Gladiator measure up? Though I have argued that the Gladiator should be compared to other midsize trucks, like the Tacoma, Ranger, and Colorado, in the end I stuck with what I know best and sized up the Wrangler and Power Wagon against the Gladiator.

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What the Heck Is eTorque?

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

When I first heard there would be a mild-hybrid motor option in the JL Wrangler, I was curious, but not convinced that anything but a diesel would tempt me away from the tried-and-true 3.6L V-6. I reluctantly ordered two for our fleet, just to try them out. First to arrive was a pretty Hella Yella Unlimited Rubicon that we named MaryAnn. Though I can neither confirm nor deny that there was drag racing between the 2.0L turbo eTorque Wrangler and one of our 3.6L V-6 Wranglers, what I can say is that the 2.0L turbo is noticeably faster off the line and in the quarter-mile than the V-6 in the JL Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.

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Preparing a Jeep for 1,000 Miles of Desert

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

The first year of the Rebelle Rally was 2016, and Emily Miller of Rod Hall Racing had put together an all-women’s off-road rally lasting seven days and covering more than 1,000 miles of desert roads. The competition would not be for speed, but for navigational accuracy using only a map and compass—no GPS allowed. I was asked to prep some Jeeps for that first Rebelle Rally and decided to compete as well, and I have ever since. Having completed our third year in the rally, we have fine-tuned an approach to preparing a Jeep for such an endeavor.

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The Value of Old Jeeps

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

Ask any Jeep owner what the best Jeep ever made is, and the usual answer is the model they own. Some of us are lucky enough to own more than one. At last count, Rick Péwé owned 30. Owning old Jeeps can become addictive. I can’t keep count of mine, because new and old ones come and go every month. Though most of my Jeeps are late models for my business of renting and guiding, there are what I call “special-teams” rigs—ladies (all my Jeeps are girls) that aren’t expected to work for a living, but rather just put on special appearances. They’re not for day-to-day transportation. These special-teams girls range in vintage from 1942 to 1991, but I have been ogling TJs lately with a nostalgic eye.

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Four-Wheeling Lessons From a Hellcat

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

I could say that the day spent at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving was strictly for work, but, seriously, it’s just something I have always wanted to do. One can always learn new skills from other professionals. What I came away with, aside from a day of adrenaline-junkie-pleasing driving, was that the same skills we emphasize for 4WD training are just as critical for high-speed driving: where you look, smooth driver inputs and corrections, and constant focus.

Being accustomed to driving lifted rigs on a minimum of 35-inch tires, the first thing I thought while settling into the nearly ground-level seat of my assigned Challenger Hellcat was, “Wow! How can I see anything from down here?” The answer is the same as it is from the seat of the Jeep—look farther. On the track, this meant that as we headed into a 180-degree turn, we were looking almost 90 degrees to our left, at the exit of the turn where we would again start applying the throttle. Because if we were looking over the hood at the tire wall in front of us, we would not be able to execute steering input or the right amount of braking to result in a smooth turn.

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How to Prep a JL for Rental Duty

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

I won’t say I’m old, but I will say that I have been in the Jeep guide and rental business long enough to ride out the transitions between CJ, YJ, TJ, JK, and now JL. So far, other than waiting for the aftermarket to have time to develop the things we need for our typical trail use, the introduction of the JLs into our fleet has been relatively painless. As mentioned in my last article, almost every single thing that we had wished was better on the JK is better on the JLs.

What is required to make a factory Wrangler worthy of Barlow Jeep Rental status is less and less with each new generation. Barlow-worthiness is the ability to traverse the majority of the area trails without billable damage when driven by a novice to moderately experienced driver who will simply pay attention and drive slowly, with the intention to be safe and responsible. Our Jeeps are expected to traverse much of Arizona, Moab, and the Rubicon Trail, with minimal exertion.

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Is the New Jeep Wrangler JL Better Than the JK?

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

With the introduction of the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, one can’t help but wonder how it compares to the previous generation Wrangler, the bestselling JK. If you read no further than this, here it is: The JL is better than the JK. For simplicity, I will only discuss how the JL Rubicon compares to the later-version JK (2012–2017) Rubicon. I won’t even discuss comparisons to any Wrangler built before the 2012 model, because, well, that just wouldn’t be fair.

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The Pressure: Where Should You Run Your Tires?

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

You all know by now that airing down your tires is one of the simplest ways to improve the trail performance and ride quality of your Jeep. The big question is always: To what pressure should I air down? Whenever this topic comes up on forums or social media, the answers vary from to “tire circumference minus rim diameter, multiplied by pi, minus GVWR, multiplied by ambient air temperature, and divided by your age” to “6.” What I have found is that there are two methods to effectively and safely adjust tire pressure that apply to a variety of vehicle and tire types.

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Heads-Up: Tips For Better Trips

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

When venturing out on the trail, most of us take at least basic precautions to deal with some common trail mishaps. We carry tools, emergency supplies, and a first aid kit. But those things only work if you use the most important piece of equipment—your brain. The ability to pay attention, recognize problems as they develop, and calmly utilize available assets are the best tools you can have.

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Tricks for Better Off-Road Performance

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

Whether you are on a tight budget, skimping to save for any upgrade, or on an unlimited modification budget, the fundamentals are often underrated. Here are a few tricks that will only cost you a few minutes of your time to make your Jeep perform significantly better when you leave the pavement.

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