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December 2012 In Box Letters to the Editor

1995 Jeep Xj
Fred Williams
| Brand Manager, Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off Road
Posted December 1, 2012

Our Reader's Write Back

Own OJ Build
After receiving my Sept. ’12 issue I was eager to start flipping through the pages to see what this issue had in store for me to read. I was thrilled to find Part 2 of the Ultimate Orange Jeep with more pictures and information on its buildup. What pleased me more was to see that we are currently in the same boat (page 69)! My Ultimate Orange Jeep also got its rearend cut off this summer . . . but I’m not like you guys. I’m willing to tell you what my plan is.

She started out new in 2005 as an Impact Orange TJ Sport and over the last couple of years has slowly been built and wheeled. Last fall I started into its current build, which includes getting a tub stretch to fit onto an Unlimited frame, 1-ton axles stretched out another 4 inches forward and 5 inches back, 39.5-inch Pit Bulls on H1 rims, and a new transfer case setup.

I have been reading your magazine now religiously for 10 years and am always excited to get my new issue in the mail. I look forward to seeing what you do next with your OJ build, as I hope to get some ideas from it as to what I should do with the wife’s ’12 Orange Crush JKU.
Via email

Man, that is cool! Read on to see what the haters feel about using the reciprocating saw on a Jeep.

Jeep Wave Redoux
In response to Dave Asbridge’s rant [In Box, July ’12], here’s mine. I got over the Jeep wave thing pretty quickly after I bought my JK Unlimited back in 2009. The primary reason for this is that it seemed at every turn I heard comments (primarily from TJ guys) that my JK wasn’t a Jeep/Wrangler since it has four doors and came from the factory with power windows and locks. It got old pretty quick and proved, in my opinion, that the Jeep community wasn’t/isn’t all it was purported to be. As to the transmission thing, I would guess that I’ve seen about a 50/50 mix of automatics and manuals in the TJ and JK rigs I’ve encountered. I will not wave, but I will continue to enjoy my JK and everything that it is capable of, even if it’s not a Wrangler.
Vestal Taylor
Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE

I wave to all Jeeps even when I’m driving a rental Celica. If nothing else, I’m passing along the fact that I am a happy person. Try it; you might be surprised at how other Jeep owners catch the wave. It’s infectious and makes for a happy world. Don’t hate.

Dana Dilemma
While reading through my Sept. ’12 issue I noticed in the ”Do-It-Yourself Dana Install” article that a housing spreader was not used to assist in the installation of the carrier shims. Proper use of a housing spreader (with a dial gauge to prevent overspreading) makes the removal and installation of the carrier and required shims a breeze. Thanks for a great magazine and the awesome information you share in it every month!
Leonard J. Schindler
Salem, OR

Thanks for the reminder. Yes, a spreader is not only the proper way to install gears in a Dana housing, but it does make the process easier. Many shops have them on the wall and use them frequently. In the hands of a novice the spreader can be used too aggressively and the housing might not spring back to the proper shape. Use what you can and get the job done right!

Canadia Rules!
Hey guys, just a quick question. Does Canada have a little brother I didn’t know about? On page 27, caption 4, of the Fabworx front-end article [“Linked & Sprung Solid,” May ’12], where is this “Canadia” that you speak of? On a side note, do you guys have any idea why so many SAS (solid axle swap) kits are available for Chevys and not Fords? I know a bunch of guys that have made their own (, but it just seems a little odd to me, because there is certainly an interest. Just check the SAS section and you’ll see daily newb questions about an SAS “kit” for their Bronco or F-150. Anyway, keep up the good work! I’ve been a subscriber for about 18 years.
Dan Simmons
Rohnert Park, CA

Simple numbers is the answer. Far more Chevys were made with floppy front suspension and need a solid axle. Heck, the Ford line still makes a 3⁄4- and a 1-ton with a real axle. It’s simply a business decision; if someone ran the numbers and found the market needed another Ford SAS kit, it would happen. That’s free enterprise in action. Plus, Ford guys can still go to the dealership and buy a solid front axle truck (the Super Duty); GM guys don’t have that option.

Expensive Stuff
I read the portal article [“Living With Portals,” Aug. ’12] and was flabbergasted by the cost of a pair of axles! I can’t imagine spending $23,500 for a pair of axles. I’m a little surprised that you didn’t make a bigger deal about how outrageously expensive they were. These aren’t high-zoot axles; they are mildly worked over axles that Mopar is aiming towards stock jeepers (hence the test vehicle). There are a lot more effective places to spend that much money. Heck, you could be most of the way towards a custom rock buggy for that price!
Perry Harrington
Boulder Creek, CA

Is it a bunch of cash? Heck yeah, but again, this is a free market where people pay the going rate. Remember that the lowest-price car in America is around $12,000 today, not the $2,500 that a new ’66 Mustang was. You could buy a used Jeep for $500 back then as well. Inflation and the costs of goods increase all the time, even if our salaries don’t. If you can build a better mousetrap the public will buy it, and it seems that the high-tech whiz-bang items that start out expensive usually come down in price, after you’ve bought the first model.

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