No Elitist Attitude and No Seatbelt
I just got my November issue in the mail and was looking through "The UA Crew." I just wanted to say for the record that it was a nice cross-section of vehicles you chose to use on this. Yes, there are lots of Jeeps, but from your readers' standpoint, only five vehicles were newer than 10 years old. This relates so much to me as a reader, as I've owned two of the vehicles that people have modified to run this year and have been wheeling with friends in most of the others.
Good job, guys. Keep up the great magazine and I'll be a reader for life.
Carl R. Oliver
Presque Isle, ME
Thanks, Carl. We wanted to show that real people with real vehicles can do the Ultimate Adventure as good as or better than a wallet job. Our mag is dedicated to the regular wheeler, so you'll be seeing plenty more rigs like this as we go forward.
In your U-joint quick fix story ("Universal How-To," Nov. '10) you show the caps being driven out by using two sockets and a hammer. That's fine as long as the caps will come out easily and you don't get carried away putting the new ones in. When you "tap" on the socket, you are beating on the ends of the needle bearings inside the cap.
If you line the sockets up the same way, with the larger socket on the top of a jack pad, and you jack the smaller socket up against some part of the bottom of the vehicle, you can press the caps in or out with no damage. I've done this for close to 40 years with no problem. Thanks for a great magazine.
Good tip, Glenn! I've dropped more than my share of needle bearings in the dirt fixing U-joints. The bottle jack technique is more involved and slower but does make for a more reliable fix.
Mr. Péwé, I doubt you'll publish this letter, but I felt compelled to write anyway. Not only did you offer a totally irresponsible reply to Shala Jeffers in regard to welding in sandals in the December issue (In Box, "Welding Wrongs"), but you have three photos of yourself in the same issue (pages 19, 24, and 50) enjoying our sport, but without a seatbelt shoulder harness on. You speak of personal responsibility. Shame on you. You're a role model to many. Your actions are the same as someone placing an unloaded gun to himself. We all know that no firearm is unloaded, and we all know seatbelts and shoulder harnesses save lives. When in the public eye, lots of things change. Please, for every off-roader's sake, change your evil ways.
Dennis, thanks for noticing the supposed infraction, and yes, I agree that wheeling (or driving on the road) without a seatbelt is wrong and totally irresponsible. It is as simple as that. But the fact is the CJ-17 ( or the CJ-7 it was derived from) never had factory shoulder harnesses, just seatbelts. We fitted it with the improved Mastercraft lap belt/racing harness combo.
For regular street and trail use I always wear the lap belt. I use the racing harness only in dicey situations. My first rollover in 1972 convinced me to keep wearing seatbelts-even in a dirt lot-as anything could happen. It's the only reason I'm alive right now.
Thanks for writing! And I'm still trying to figure out how telling the truth in regard to welding was irresponsible. Should I have lied?
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You Deserve Stickers
I've been an avid reader since I was little. I'm a diesel mechanic in the U.S. Army currently in Iraq serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. I've owned three Jeeps in my life and will own my long-awaited Jeep CJ-7 when I return.
I can't express how much I enjoy learning and reading articles that teach me so much. I even have one of your Ultimate Adventures DVDs that a buddy gave me. It was so awesome! I think I watched it 100 times. Being in the army has its good sides, especially being a mechanic-the army throws away so much cool stuff. I have acquired two big toolboxes. If you have any cool off-road stickers lying around that you want to get rid of, you can send them my way and I'll happily rock 'em out on my acquired toolboxes.
Thanks for all your support and great articles that help me pass the time here.
U.S. Army 3 I.D.
Thanks, Clint. Some license plates and stickers are coming your way. Thanks for keeping America safe at home.