Patriot Jeepers Tech Session
February 28, 2004
Elias 4WD Center
First off I would like for thank Lou Kiklis for graciously welcoming us to his shop for the tech session. I would also like to thank the members of NEWJO and New England Jeepz, as well as the Patriot members who made the trip.
The session started off with a little background about Lou and his shop, done in typical Kiklis fashion. This was followed by a circle introduction of everyone who was there. After a few latecomers entered the facility, the first question about on board air was asked. Lou answered this question very thoroughly, giving many alternatives and passing around a few of the products he had in stock.
The subject of lockers came up which ballooned into axles and gears. Lou started from the beginning starting with the cheapest solution and up, covering these issues in depth. He created many scenarios to help demonstrate which locker would be suited for what application. He also passed around many of the products and gave the pros and cons of each. About this time the group took a break and had lunch, consisting of 10 pizzas.
Many of the people went outside to chat and look at the many Jeeps outside. People discussed the information they had just heard and looked at some of the products actually installed in a Jeep. Everyone seemed excited for the season to get into full swing.
After lunch Lou put his "billboard" jeep up on the lift for discussion. His "billboard" jeep is a 1976 CJ7 that is highly modified with many of the products that he sells. This is where Lou talked about suspension lifts and issues that can occur from altering the height of your Jeep. Throughout the day many of the "seasoned veterans" added a few helpful suggestions here and there, as well as a few comical wheeling stories.
Overall it was a very enjoyable time, shared by three of the New England clubs. Lou did a great job of keeping the crowd's interest with jokes and great visual examples of what he was talking about. This was a great opportunity to talk to a very knowledgeable man who is more than willing to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase. He wants you to know what you are getting and eliminate "buyer's remorse".
Thanks again to Lou at Elias 4WD Center and Rich Banfield for making this event happen.