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November 2010 Letters to the Editor

August Cover
Posted November 1, 2010

Dead Dakota, Weak Links, Strong Readers and More!

Weak Links, Strong Readers
I really liked your article about the "Weak Links and Strong Fixes" (Aug. '10). I am in the middle of fixing a weak link in my '06 Dodge Ram 1500. Have you heard about the weak A/C recirculation and blender doors? A few years back (when it was under warranty), my recirculation door broke. It's made of cheap plastic and is controlled by a very strong little motor. Over time, the dang thing will snap off and block the A/C vents. This is very frustrating because you can hear the A/C blowing hard and not much air comes out. Luckily for me, I had the dealer fix it under warranty. Well, it broke again last month, just before a six-hour road trip. I hate losing my truck for an entire day for a job I can do in two hours, so I searched for a fix online and found some guys that make a strong fix for Dodge, Jeep, and Ford A/C parts. Unlike Mopar and Motorcraft, their replacement parts are made out of metal.

Check out heatertreater.net. They have a guide to help you diagnose your A/C problem, a parts guide, and a video to walk you through the installation. I found out exactly what is wrong with my truck and how to fix it on my own, thanks to these folks. Another good place to get a Stong Fix that I have found and bought parts from is Steiger Performance. They make a Strong Fix for the notorious Jeep Liberty window regulator, as well as other models with cheap plastic parts. It's good to see folks out there who refuse to pay an arm and a leg at the dealer for more plastic junk. Keep up the great work with the magazine.
Nate Richmond
Huber Heights, OH

Your Aug. '10 article on Jeep TJ "Weak Links" left me, as the owner of an '03 Rubicon, with these unanswered questions. First, the SYE conversion: Is there one for the Rubicon's NP241 transfer case? Second, for the front driveshaft, is there a replacement greaseable front CV-joint, or do all driveshafts need to be replaced? Third, the U-joint retaining straps: The Rubicons already have Dana 44s, but are these different? Most of the items that said "all TJs" were correct, and many have already been upgraded on mine.
John Kellogg
Maryville, TN

I wanted to let you know that you have a great magazine and I have subscribed since I was 13! I am now 18 and I have my own 4x4. It's a '92 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4x4. I am disappointed because there never is any coverage on the first-gen Pathfinder, which is a great 4x4 SUV. I was wondering if you could do a "Weak Links, Strong Fixes" on it? I would really appreciate it.
Ruben Murguia
El Paso, TX

Thanks for the suggestion, and duly noted. We'll be reviewing some Strong Fixes for Pathfinders and Hardbody pickups in a future issue.

About the TJ: (1) Your Rubicon already has a slip-yoke eliminator, straight from the factory. Cool, huh? (2) For a greaseable replacement front CV, Spicer part number 5-213X is what you're looking for. (3) The Rubicon's beefier Dana 44 U-joint retaining straps are fine as they are. Thanks to all who wrote in with Strong Fixes.

Dakota = Dead? I recently heard that the Dodge Dakota will be discontinued for 2011. Is this true? Will the truck just be getting a new name? Or will Dodge exit the compact pickup segment? Please tell me that the Dodge Dakota will not be discontinued!
Brendan
Via the Internet

The Dodge Dakota will not be discontinued. The Dodge Dakota will not be discontinued. The Dodge Dakota will not be discontinued. And dinosaurs will return to rule the earth.

Actually, it's more like "yes" and "no." Yes, Dodge (er, Ram) will discontinue building the current Dakota in 2011. However, Fiat is looking at the possibility of replacing the Dakota in the Ram product line with a unitbody, all-wheel-drive SUT a la the Honda Ridgeline, possibly powered by one of Fiat's small-displacement diesels for 2012 and beyond. To the best of our knowledge, no final plans have been made as yet, but if your definition of a "pickup truck" is something that's based on body-on-frame architecture, then sorry to say, it looks like Fiat/Chrysler is going to bail on the midsize truck segment next year. We'll keep you posted either way.

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