Wants Jeep Unlimited Suspension Info
Do you know of any websites that can give me feedback on suspension kits for 2005 Rubicon Unlimiteds? I'm looking for reviews-or maybe you can suggest someone to contact. Thanks for plenty of years of a great magazine also!
Via the Internet
There are plenty of sites dedicated to TJ enthusiasts out there, and a simple Google search will turn up a few of them. We don't know of any sites that are suspension-specific, however, so if we could make a totally self-serving suggestion, how about logging onto fourwheeler.com and starting a thread on the subject in one of our online Tech Forums? Our readers are the smartest guys in the wheeling world, after all. They have to be since they read our magazine each month, just like you. We've also installed a couple of TJ suspension kits on project rigs in recent years, and if you run a search for TJ tech at our website, you'll find the relevant articles.
Building for Mud on a Teen Budget
I've only been subscribing to your magazine for six months now and I love it. I'm new to the four-wheeling scene, and I was wondering what would be the best platform to start from when trying to build a trail/mud rig. I live in northern Michigan, about 30 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge. What tires should I use? What type of rim? Anything like that would be greatly appreciated, especially what vehicle to start with. What are your opinions on the '70s and '80s K5 Blazers? I'm also working on a 16-year-old's budget.
Your last sentence answers a lot of questions right there. A premium set of mud tires in a modest 35x12.50 size, for instance, can easily set you back $1,200 (and the bigger the tire you want, the steeper the price), and a new set of rims can double your cost. So the first thing we'd suggest is to figure out how much money you can afford to spend right away versus how much you will still need to save to build the kind of truck you want. Then peruse the online catalogs of some of the manufacturers and/or mail-order houses, and see what works best for your particular budget. When you get around to purchasing, we'd only recommend you look bias-plys (as opposed to radials) if you're serious about mud-runnin'.
For whatever kind of wheeling you're looking to do, we think that any one of the '73-'87 K-Blazers would be just about ideal for someone on a budget. Their chassis architecture was extremely stout; they're relatively abundant and affordable; nearly everyone in the aftermarket makes parts for them, or did at one time; and a lot of their engines, gearboxes and the like are interchangeable between model years. Also, take a look at our "10 Best Beaters" article from last month's issue for more suggestions on buildable low-dollar trucks.
5.7L Hemi-to-TJ Tranny Swap?
Just wondering if a 5.7L Hemi will hook up with a stock 4.0L Jeep TJ tranny.
Nope. And even if it did, your TJ's stock gearbox and axles (especially the craptastic Dana 35 rear) wouldn't live long behind the 390-plus horsepower the Hemi produces. Besides, you'd also need to swap in a lot of other components besides the Hemi engine to make the swap work correctly. That's why 5.7L Hemi swaps for Jeeps are generally sold in kit form, generally using the 545RFE electronic five-speed automatic along with a complete wiring harness and ECU, transmission and motor mounts, a bigger radiator and so forth. A number of companies, including AEV, Jeep Speed Shop, and Burnsville Off-Road all offer conversions, and while they're not inexpensive (and be ready to swap in beefier axles, along with the motor and tranny), you certainly won't complain that your TJ's down on power again.