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Jeep CJ7 - 4X Forum

Posted in Features on May 1, 2001
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Still Searching
In your Feb. '01 issue, you show two pictures on page 36 that I just have to know about. One is a four-door silver-colored TJ. Where can I get one? I have to have it. The other is the yellow Jeep in the top righthand corner. Where can I get those seats? I have to have those, too. Thanks, and keep up the great mag. Oh yeah, one more thing. How about more stories on southern Arizona (as in south of Phoenix)? We have some great 'wheeling here.Steve BarabasTucson, Arizona

Very good questions, however, we don't have very good answers (or at least answers you will like). Both of the vehicles you speak of are one-off creations intended for use at vehicle shows and for the Camp Jeep Series. The yellow Jeep is a modified TJ called Ultimate Rescue. The seats, to the best of our knowledge, were created for that Jeep, and that Jeep only. You're a little luckier when it comes to the silver Dakar long-wheelbase TJ. Though you cannot have that one, you can buy one similar to it through American Expedition Vehicles (, (406) 251-2100). AEV manufactures a number of Jeep-based creations, including its 112-inch wheelbase TJ. We have seen many of the company's vehicles and can tell you that craftsmanship is not dead when it comes to AEV's products. As for Arizona, we have been there and we liked what we saw. Check out the Arizona State Jamboree coverage in the May 2000 issue.

Buy A Car Or Change The Gears
First of all, I want to commend you on an excellent magazine. I'm just starting out as an off-road enthusiast and I have a few questions. I own a '94 Jeep Wrangler YJ with the 4.0L high-output I-6. I recently installed a 4-1/2-inch RE extreme duty lift, a slip-yoke eliminator, and a custom driveshaft. I'm running 33x12.50 BFG AT/KOs. I expected my gas mileage to suffer, but it is really suffering. I drive a lot of highway miles (about 50 a day), and I'm only getting about 13 to 15 mpg. What is the best and most cost-efficient way of improving my mpg? Would a Jacob's Electronics system be a good start? I am already using a K&N air filter. Thanks for the help, and keep up the great work.Ed V.New Hampshire

Your mpg woes are shared by nearly every 'wheeler we know. Unfortunately, the only real answer we can give you is to either bag the hefty meats or buy a car. Traditionally, big tires and fuel economy don't mix, but you should be able to eke out a few more miles to the gallon by swapping in gears that are more well suited to the 33s your YJ is running. To determine what gear ratio you should go with, use the formula that appears below. You also might consider adding a good exhaust system to your K&N to further enhance engine airflow. All told, however, anything more than 16 mpg with the setup you're running would be a miracle. There's always the city bus.

New Gear Ratio Formula
New tire size= % change x original gear ratiostock tire size

Armchair Jeeper
I sure have been enjoying your magazine lately. I must admit that I'm currently an armchair Jeeper, but the photos and articles that you folks run help me remember some great times we had at Tellico and in the mountains around Chattanooga with the good ol' Mudslingers. I'm currently plotting to build a new toy, and I'm stumped on one issue. During a Smoky Trek in the late '80s, I remember seeing a CJ that was running a bench seat. It looked factory. I think it was a CJ-7, but it might have been a CJ-6. I can't find anyone who makes one. Can you help? I realize we could slam in something from a mini-truck, but I doubt it would stand up to a good washing. Maybe you guys might poll the readers to see if others might like to buy a bench seat. If there's enough interest, perhaps a vendor will consider adding them to their line. Thanks for your time and entertainment.JMWe-query

You rock. Glad to hear that you're reading the magazine regardless of whether you currently take to the trails. As for the bench seat in Jeep CJs, to the best of our knowledge, no CJ was ever equipped with one from the factory; most likely because it would render transfer case shifts almost impossible. We do recall a rather rare option in some of the early MB-series Jeeps called the One-Two. It was kind of a bench seat with a regular-size driver's chair and a double-wide passenger seat. Aside from that, we haven't heard of benches in CJs. If you have any luck using a mini-truck bench, be sure to send us a photo. Read on.

Where In New Jersey?
I am just writing to say I love every issue I read. I really would love to own a jeep CJ-7, but I live in New Jersey and I honestly don't know of any place to go four-wheeling legally. I would go nuts upgrading everything with the toughest parts I could get. This is a dream Jeep I have been dying for. But why bother if all I will do is drive it on the street? It doesn't even snow but once a year. I love the profiles in the magazine. It keeps my love for the Jeep going strong. I had a Jeep for three months in 1992, but I got rid of it. It was a '78 CJ-7. I still kick myself in the rear for getting rid of it. I never realized what I had or wanted until it was gone. Keep those great magazines coming.Anonymouse-query

Veteran Reader
Thanks for the feedback; we appreciate your commitment to our magazine. As for New Jersey 'wheeling, we know a whole slew of enthusiasts who would be mighty surprised to hear that there aren't any hot spots for 'wheeling in the Garden State. In fact, when we checked a club directory, we discovered that New Jersey is home to more than 20 four-wheel-drive clubs. Here's information on just a couple of them: New Jersey Off Road Vehicle Park,; Jersey Wheelers 4x4 Club, Another good source for Jersey 'Wheeling is the OK4WD, Dept. 4WDSU, 2621 State Rte. 57, Stewartsville, NJ 08886, (908) 454-6973. They also have a great Web site at Good luck.

Sidekick Tech
I have a '93 four-door Suzuki Sidekick. I've found that Old Man Emu carries a 2-inch lift and 1-inch coil spacers. I know you don't hear about four-door Sidekicks very much, but can you please tell me what size tires I can put on it, using the lift and some fender trimming? Thank you so much. Your magazine is superb.No Namevia e-mail

No Name
We checked with the crew at Old Man Emu and found that one of them has a Sidekick just like yours and is running the lift combo you asked about. He reported that the maximum tire size you can get away with is a 235 metric, which is just a little bit larger than a 30-inch tire. He suggested the 30x9.5 since it fits the best with the least amount of rubbing and no fender trimming. Good luck.

YJ Head Conversion?
As per an article found on the Web by Tim Weaver, it is to my understanding that it is possible to put a 4.0 head on a 4.2 block with only a few minor changes; the benefits being horsepower and better breathing without swapping in another engine. I have an '87 YJ with a 4.2L and a 2bbl carb. I would like to convert to the Howell TBI kit. Will the 4.0L cylinder head conversion and the TBI kit work well together?Bill E.New Jersey

We hadn't heard of the 4.0L head on a 4.2L block conversion that you mentioned, so we checked with Mark Hinkley at Off Road General Store in Laguna Hills, California, (949) 770-9300, While Mark acknowledged that the 4.0L head allows the engine to flow better, it still doesn't make up for the short stroke of the 4.2L. Plus, with all of the time and money you'd spend swapping in the head and adding the Howell TBI, you would be better off just swapping in an entire 4.0L out of a wrecked TJ (an estimated $1,500-$2,000, depending on mileage). Another option is the Mopar MPI kit for your 4.2L, though it runs about $2,200 and our local Jeep dealer had them back-ordered for two months. But to answer your question: Yes, the Howell TBI will work with the 4.0L cylinder head conversion. How well it will work remains to be seen.

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