Q: I am 18 years old and just joined the Navy. I was looking for a cheap 4x4, and I found a '72 Jeep J Series for $500 and I fell in love with it. I've always liked the look of those trucks, but the problem is I've been looking online for parts for them but I can't seem to find anything. The only thing I can find is a 3-inch body lift. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction and if you guys could show some J-Series vehicles in your future issues. Thanks.
A: Jimmy, J-Series Jeeps are definitely very cool, but we don't have any immediate plans to include them in any upcoming tech articles. Your best bet in finding info on these vehicles is to check out the International Full Size Jeep Association website (www.ifsja.org) where you'll find loads of info on fullsize Jeeps and a forum where you can interact with other fullsize Jeep owners. For parts, you can check out BJ's Off-Road in Gig Harbor, Washington [(253) 265-6678, www.bjsoffroad.com]. You also might check out our little sister mag, JP, which often has fullsize Jeep features and also offers fullsize tech advice.
Flat-Towing With Locking Hubs
Q: My question is regarding flat-towing my Jeep behind my RV. I recently had new Dynatrac Pro 60 front and Trail 60 rear axles installed in my '00 TJ. The new front axle has Warn locking hubs, unlike the original Dana 30. The owner's manual states when towing (with original axles) I must put the transfer case in Neutral and the manual gearbox in gear (I use Fifth). Now that I have lockers, I would prefer to not lock in the front hubs. I figure the less moving parts, the less to go wrong. However, I have not been able to get a straight answer from anyone - dealerships, off-road stores, and so on. Their "opinions" range from "you shouldn't have changed axles" to "Dynatrac axles are tough: Just put everthing in Neutral and don't worry about it." However, they cannot explain the logic behind their assertions. Would you please clarify this issue? I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who is confused.
A: Gary, you can flat-tow the TJ with the hubs unlocked. If they are locked, the axleshafts will be spun by the wheels, which will spin the front driveshaft, which will spin the transfer case. When I flat-tow, I leave the hubs unlocked (if the vehicle is so equipped), put the transfer case in Neutral, leave the transmission in Neutral, and leave the key in the ignition to unlock the steering wheel. If I don't have front locking hubs I will often remove the front driveshaft of the vehicle being towed. It's also not a bad idea to tie off the shifters with a bungee or rope to ensure that they don't pop into gear accidentally. Of course, this risk is nonexistent if the driveshafts are removed for towing. Hope this helps. Thanks for reading.
Needs Extension Straps
Q: In the Mar. '07 article, "Tied Down," there's a photo I'm very intrigued by. In the upper lefthand corner of page 88, the tie-down straps are attached to the forward rail of the trailer via some short lengths of strap. What are these little straps? They almost look like miniature tree-savers. I really could use some of these for the exact same purpose. My trailer doesn't have friendly tie-down points, and I've tried to achieve the same thing as depicted in the photo in many jury-rigged ways.
A: Joesph, the straps you saw in the photo are 3-inch by 3-foot extension straps with sewn-in loops that I picked up at a local trailer/agriculture supply store. They do indeed look exactly like tree-saver straps and are usually available in a variety of lengths. Make sure you get straps that are designed for heavy loads and are rated to support the weight of your vehicle. While the straps do work as a remedy, a better solution would be to weld the necessary hooks to the trailer in the appropriate locations. Good luck.