Improving Jeep Wrangler JK lighting with Raxiom LED headlights

The beloved JK version of the Jeep Wrangler was in production for ten years. Being a somewhat primitive vehicle overall, the JK had many shortcomings. One of the biggest ones was its lighting. The factory headlights were as modern as disco ball and as bright, too.

Things got so bad that in 2016 the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety declared the Wrangler to have the worst lights in the industry. Next year Jeep made brighter factory LED lights available. But what about the other thousands of Jeeps out there?

Thankfully there’s aftermarket. Extreme Terrain is one the largest suppliers of Wrangler aftermarket parts. Jeeps are their passion and it shows in the products they sell and in the experienced technical support. I reached out to Extreme Terrain to see if they could help me upgrade the crap factory headlights on my family 2014 Wrangler Sport. Extreme Terrain sent me a pair of the new Raxiom LED Headlights, which are direct replacement for stock 07-18 Wrangler JK headlights.

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Hooniverse Asks: Ever been a victim of hit-and-run?

Afternoon rush hour. My wife was stopped at a red light in the middle lane of a three lane road after picking up my son from school. The left lane was for left turns only and the right lane was for right turns only. The left lane got an early green light for turning left. The line of cars in the left lane drove away as she waited for her light to turn green. The last car turning left side-swiped our 4Runner on its right and our left, and continued on its way.

My wife, and son in the back seat, were surprised by this. It was one of those moments were you don’t know what to do. In the mean time the left turn light turned red and her light to go straight turned green. She couldn’t go left after the car and the cars behind her began hoking, because that’s what the people who work in Boston and live in the suburbs do when they see something, anything, obstructing or delaying them. 

So, what do I do now? The damage is likely to be less than my deductible. The car that hit us is gone, unknown make or model. I, unfortunately, don’t have a dash-cam (yet). There are scratches on my driver’s door and front fender molding. Some will buff out, some won’t. There are tire marks on my beefy rock-slider, which I got just for such reasons. I hope the dickface bent his tie-rod or something. It was a smaller vehicle, so he/she likely has more damage than my 4Runner. 

I hate people. I’m getting a dash-cam so that I can at least get the license plate of the next dickbag that hits me and runs. Now I have to waste my time trying to make this look prettier. 

Quick Spin: 2018 Lincoln Continental

The Lincoln brand was in trouble. The products were nothing but rebadged Fords or aging rebadged Fords. Lincoln had a choice: die or step-up. Ford wisely chose to put some money into the brand, develop a strategy, and slowly begin to execute.

The true first of the new era of Lincoln was an old model name – the Continental. This itself is a refreshing move from the alphabet soup that was the Lincoln lineup. First shown at the 2015 New York Auto Show as a concept, it quickly drew a lot of cheers. At least until everyone realized that it is based on the old MKZ/Taurus platform known as CD4, which drew some jeers.

So, is the new Conti a good car? Well, after spending some time with it, I need to tell you that that this is the wrong question to ask. The real question is; is the new Conti a good Lincoln?

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E.C.D. Automotive Design Modernizes the Classic Range Rover

E.C.D. Automotive Design, formerly known as East Coast Defender, changed its name because of this vehicle. The problem is that the Defender market is quickly becoming saturated, at least here on the Boston area. Old ones are constantly being overhauled and new old ones are constantly being imported. And then there is the new Jeep Wrangler, which should make potential overhauled Defender buyer really question their choice. I know this because I drove them both, and I’d take the Jeep for every reason except the nostalgic one. 

And that nostalgic reason is a biggie but it sure isn’t limited to the Defender. The long wheel base Range Rover now known as the Classic was introduced when I was in high school. I immediately fell in love with it. In the twenty years since I have looked at a few of those but never pulled the trigger, usually ending up with something less reliable and refined. Prices and conditions varied and there was never a time when a Rangie I could afford was in a good enough condition for me to own. And I am guessing that I am not the only one. 

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Quick Spin: Zenos E10S – British Track Day Option now in the Colonies

Zenos is the brainchild of some people who once worked at Caterham and Lotus. They decided to start their own car company, probably with blackjack and hookers, and the E10 was their first vehicle. But then some financial problems came up and the production has stopped. Since then Zenos has been bought out by AC Cars and the production has resumed.

To no one’s surprise the former Caterham and Lotus crew created the E10 as a lightweight, fun to drive, track-focused car like the ones they helped create in their previous lives. It comes in three versions, the base E10, the faster E10S, and the even faster E10R. Sometime ago, the company has begun the process of bringing these cars to the North American market, starting with the E10S. I just happen to know one of their first clients.

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Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski May 25, 2018 Mystery Car

Happy unofficial start of the summer weekend! Those of us in the northern section of country can now officially open our swimming pools, grill some dead animals, and wear khakis without judgement. And we can also drive with the top down and not totally freeze. 

Top-down driving is the theme of today’s reader supplied (thanks, Mike! and you’re automatically excluded from guessing, obviously) mystery car. Make and model, please. You can try bribing Mike for tips if you get desperate. 

It took yous a while to identify last week’s car but in the end someone named mdharrell prevailed. He even gave the proper trim and engine – Zenos E10 S with the 25ohp turbocharged Ford EcoBoost engine. I’ll do an article on that vehicle shortly. 

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Turbo things that aren’t turbo

What is so damn special about the word Turbo? It used to appear on everything in the 80s and 90s. One of my first computers was turbocharged – it even had a little flashing light when the so-called turbo would kick in. There are a million others turbo things, too. But this turbo phenomenon hasn’t gone away. Recently SiriusXM added a station called Turbo. It’s plays heavy rock from the 90s and 00s and it actually really great for those who grew up in that time and were influenced by that music. 

But still, turbo. It’s not like the 80s, 90s, or even 00s were the pinnacle of turbocharged engines. We have the more turbo engines available today than ever before. I’m even guessing that the amount of available new turbocharged engines might now outnumber naturally aspirated engines. And they’re better than ever too! The lag has been minimized and they don’t burn oil or blow seals on regular basis. Turbos owe direct-injection a great thanks, too.

Back to the point at hand. Today we want to identify objects, any objects, that are not even remotely related to cars and/or turbochargers, but are turbo or are in some way named turbo. 

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Said object cannot be a car or any part of a car. 
  • It cannot be a car name, or any part thereof. 
  • Exception – a car with the word turbo in its name that wasn’t actually turbocharged or supercharged. 
  • Don’t give us a damn lesson on what a turbocharger and what a supercharger is, or that even nitrous-oxide can be considered a turbocharger. If you’re one of those people who starts conversations with “well, actually…” please STFU. 
  • It’s got a be a full word turbo, not an abbreviation of any kind, like when Audi called its engine 3.0t when it was really supercharged. Lamers. 

Difficulty: 0.3 out of 11, faster with a turbo. 

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Spy Shots: 2020 Lincoln Aviator or Ford Explorer

Lincoln has shown the 2020 Lincoln Aviator at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. Our own Robbie was instantly in love with it. And rightfully so, too. Lincoln has recently stepped up its game. The first new model of what I will call Modern Lincoln was the Continental. It looked great inside and out but missed out by being based on an old FWD chassis. Then came the Navigator, which nailed down the design of what we all imagined a modern Lincoln to look like. 

The Aviator is the smaller, but far from small, SUV designed to fit between the Navigator and the upcoming two-row Nautilus. It is based on a new platform with longitudinally mounted drivetrain which will send its power to the rear, or predominantly rear wheels in 4WD applications. This will also underpin the next Ford Explorer. Both vehicles are extremely important to the Ford Motor Company. The Aviator will have to carry the Lincoln brand as it will surely outsell the pricier full-size Navigator. The Explorer has to be the workhorse, capable of being comfortable family vehicle as well as a rugged police cruiser. 

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Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski May 18, 2018 Mystery Car

Last week’s Mystery Car was identified pretty quickly by mdharrell. Special credit should be given because it was an obscure French military vehicle that few people have actually ever seen. The fact that I used a picture that I found on the internet made it somewhat easier. Good job!

But that is not the case this week. Today we have a picture I took myself and it was a of a vehicle that I never wrote about. As usual, make and model, please. Engine for super extra credit. 

Image: ©2018 Hooniverse/Kamil Kaluski, All Rights Reserved.

Hooniverse Asks: What’s a fun or interesting to do with an old Volvo wagon?

One thing I learned in life is that if an opportunity comes knocking, I shouldn’t rush to the door. I now have an opportunity to own the above 1997 Volvo V90 for an extremely low price. The wagon supposedly runs well. The body is a little beat up, the radio is missing, and the front seat has a rip in the leather. I don’t know what the mileage is. But there is a catch. There is always a catch. 

In order for me take possession of this fine Swedish luxury wagon I have to promise, and follow-up on that promise, to do something cool or interesting with it. And this cool or interesting idea has to be approved by it’s current owner, first. 

My initial thought was to make a Lemons racer out of it because I obviously need a third slow Lemons racer. I did some research. This last of the true brick Volvos has a 2.9-liter inline-six that makes 181 hp at 5,200 rpm and 199 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm and a four-speed automatic. It weights 3461 pounds. This takes it out of contention of being any kind of a race car unless a V8 is swapped into it. A V8, or honestly any other swap is beyond my abilities and budget.

I kept thinking. Perhaps it could make a cool sports wagon – think lowered on some cool wheels, blacked out trim. Or a raised expedition wagon on some off-road tires, with some lights and a roof rack. But for this model, Volvo has ditched the conventional coil springs and installed a single transverse leaf-spring suspension in the back. It’s a design similar to the Corvette. Needless to say, it cannot be raised or lowered, at least not without some serious fabrication. 

I’d love to do something cool with a wagon like this but I really can’t think of anything beyond these options, none of which are great. The best thing to do with it would be to clean it up, fix up some things, and just drive it. Am I missing something? What else could I do with it?