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April 2008 4x4 News - Drive Lines

Posted in Features on April 1, 2008
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Well, that's what this concept is being called around the office. Officially, this is the renegade (remember them?) and is "an 'eco-friendly' vehicle with minimized use of materials-designed for those who want to enjoy the earth while taking care of its future," says Jeep. So now you see where it earned its nickname. the renegade is powered by a lithium-iron battery pack with a range of 40 miles and a small-displacement Bluetec diesel engine. the two allow the green Jeep to go 110 miles on a gallon of fuel, says Chrysler.

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To raise public awareness of severely injured service personnel, the Arkansas Crawlers 4x4 Club will raffl e this Jeep a er this year with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior project. the custom '07 Jk, which was donated by Superlift, has been fitted with a 6.1l Hemi and Chrysler 545rF transmission, Advance Adapters Atlas transfer case, Dynatrac high-pinion axles with Detroit lockers and tom Woods driveshafts, a 4-inch Superlift rockrunner suspension system, 37-inch interco irOC tires on 17x9 Walker Evans bead locks, and raffl other accessories from Mopar performance, Street & performance, American Expedition Vehicles, Bushwacker, katzkin, Hi-lift, and powertank. painter Joey Hutson executed the artistic tribute in Dupont colors.

The Wounded Warrior Jeep will be given away in a random drawing on December 1, 2008. the $25 sweepstakes ticket is tax deductible. For more information, log on to

Want diesel power for a project vehicle? gale Banks Engineering is selling brand-new gM Duramax 6.6l diesel engines from its Bankspower warehouses in Southern California. these are new Duramax engines assembled by Dmax-ltd in Moraine, Ohio. They nclude the cylinder block and heads, full rotating assembly, valvetrain, Vg turbocharger, Egr system, fuel system, oil pan, water pump, flywheel housing (with gM bolt pattern), wiring harness, flexplate, and front damper. the engines are priced at $14,989 each (plus applicable taxes, handling, and shipping), come dressed with factory equipment only, and do not include an ECu, fan, A/C compressor, alternator, or starter. Hey readers, wanna see a D-Max in our Avalanche? Contact Banks and request it for us! go to

Here's another name out of the past: Big red (seen here in camo) is what Honda will call its side-by-side utility vehicle (or MuV for multiuse vehicle) when it goes on sale this summer. look for a liquid-cooled, 675cc fuelinjected engine; automatic transmission (with reverse); fully independent suspension; and a tilting cargo bed. No word yet on a price.

Ford is recalling some 1.2 million '97-'03 F-Series Super Duty pickups and Excursion SuVs, all powered by the 7.3l power Stroke diesel, because of problems with the engines stalling. According to a report in Automotive News, a sensor in the engine is prone to failure, which would cause the engine to stall. Ford will replace any faulty sensors.

"I am a loadmaster (flyer) in the united states air force," began brandon fertig's e-mail to us. "I can barely get my hands on your magazine while I am deployed. All my friends and I are 4-wheel & off-road crazed! I love the magazine so much I take it on my c-130 to read when i am not scanning for threats over iraq and afghanistan."

* A research firm that monitors online auctions and retail sales reports that Wrangler owners are among the most active when it comes to buying parts to modify their rigs. During 2007, Wrangler owners bought between $1,300 and $1,500 worth of accessories for their Jeeps per month, with almost half of those being exterior parts-tops, bumpers, bumper carriers, and doors. interior products and tires and wheels round out the top three most-purchased accessories.

* This Is Something The Detroit 3 don't want to hear: Now that their all-new diesel pickups are on the market, rising oil prices have sent the cost of diesel fuel to all-time records. According to the los Angeles times, the cost of diesel rose 20 percent between August and November 2007, hitting a record $3.40 per gallon average in the u.S. in November. We're seeing $3.99 here in los Angeles. rising fuel costs are sure to impact us in other ways, too. Says the times, Diesel is the fuel that drives world commerce. Diesel engines move 94 percent ofall freight in the u.S., 95 percent of all transit buses, and 95 percent of all heavy construction machinery." Sinceso many goods are moved by truck, train, or ship-all diesel powered-"you raise the price of diesel fuel and you raise the price of everything."

* Suzuki has announced it will market a midsize pickup for the North American market based on the Nissan Frontier. Nissan, in fact, will manufacture the truck at its Tennessee plant. the truck will debut at the Chicago Auto Show and go on sale in the fall.

* As we were going to press we learned that the Senate approved an energy bill that would raise fueleconomy standards to 35 mpg by 2020. the reports we read-from reuters and other news agencies- indicated those standards were for cars and light trucks. Current regulations hold trucks to a lower fueleconomy standard than passenger cars-an average of 22.2 mpg compared to 27.5 mpg for cars. the bill will move to the House of representatives, where it is expected to pass and then go to president Bush. The White House has indicated Bush will sign the bill.

* Mileage Requirements may grow even higher in California now that a federal judge has ruled the state can set its own standards regarding greenhouse gas emissions. the state wants to put strict limits on emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, in the "fight against global warming," said governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Automakers, on the other hand, have seen these limits as a de-facto means of raising fuel-economy standards, since burning less gasoline is the primary eans of reducing reenhouse gas emissions. Automakers aren't against better economy, they say, but do not agree that a state should be able to set tandards that are different from the federal rules. According to the los Angeles times, some estimate the fuel-economy standards in the state could rise as high as 43.5 mpg by 2016, far eclipsing the 35-mpg federal standard in that justapproved bill.

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