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November 2009 Mailbag - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on November 1, 2009
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And We're Child-Like?
I am so glad I dropped your rag! Your opinions are arrogant child-like rants. Jeeping with you would be like hanging out with a bunch of punks! Bragging all the time and telling people they are the only cool dudes. It must make you proud to know most people think you stink. I buy 4x4 mags for inspiration and tech info. I feel no inspiration from your childish opinions. Your writing is right out of some sitcom. At any rate, I am free of your bad vibe, crappy attitude, always having to be right, juvenile writing, poor judgment, and all around lousy crybaby. Steve Gardner N. Bonneville, Washington

Lunatic Fringe
I was reading the July '09 issue of Jp and read the letters from everyone who complained about your April Fool's joke. I just wanted to say it was quite funny and you caught me with my pants down. Nice work. I can't wait to try and spot next years prank. Oh, and the Rubicon article ("Nearly Canceled") was awesome. I'm an engineering student and have always wanted to work for Jeep. Now I am even more inspired to do so and to join the Lunatic Fringe. Jason Roberts New Smyrna Beach, Florida

4:1 First
As a follow up with "Nearly Cancelled" (July '09), my personal first-hand information is a side note to the article written by Cole Quinnell. I invented the 4:1 low range T-case back in 1997 and while struggling on how to market my invention, I did receive one order from Detroit (Chrysler Engineering) for a 249 conversion with a 4:1 gear set. The bill was paid with a personal credit card (which I thought was odd at the time). I remember this T-case as it was the first 249 conversion and while removing the ring gear from the case we broke a mounting lug. Not knowing what to do as it was a one-of-a-kind case, my buddy welded the lug back on. A few days later I got a call back from the folks at Chrysler noting that a repair had been made on the case. The same year I was invited to New Venture Limited to review the operation of the 4:1 gear set (we left out one gear from the magazine photos to try to maintain my patent application). Upon my arrival I was greeted to a conference room of engineers to show the missing gear to them. I was asked if my Jeep had a lift and if I had lockers. I answered yes to both and was immediately referred as a "Jeep Lunatic" by the Union Steward attending the meeting. I was taken aback by the hostile comments and soon left the NV facility to return home. I realized at that point it would be many years before a 4:1 T-case would be an option on a Jeep. Many years later I recall the experience with joy as I have one of the finest factory-equipped Jeeps ever made ('06 Unlimited Rubicon). Patrick Fagen 4 to1 Engineering Salt Lake City, Utah

Rat Flattie
I just came across your Sloppy Seconds rat rod Jeep on and could not believe it. I've been putting together something very similar to yours. Mine is a '45, I was looking for something my age to build. Great minds think alike? Mine is using a '75 Ford Pinto as the donor. It will have the Pinto front suspension and drivetrain. I am channeling the body to get it low. Steve Soltz Temecula, California

We had an amazing number of readers that wanted us to cover the build after mentioning the hot rod Jeep project in an editorial and at So, for part I of our flatrod build, check out "Sloppy Seconds" in this issue.

Hates Tires and Moab
I have been very disappointed in the last few issues. There has been very little about Jeeps and what has been done to them. You show Jeeps and only put in a couple of lines when you used to put a couple pages. How many times are you going to fill up space with crap on tires? Come on, every month you fill half the mag with trips and tires. What happened to showing us how Jeeps were built and how to do cheap swaps, not tires? And who can afford to go to Moab, Utah? What about Jeep tech? How to modify on the cheap using salvage yards not high-end parts? Get back to working on a Jeep, not some trail that most of us can't go to. Help us keep our Jeeps running, I don't need stories of where I can't afford to go or fancy tires that fill the pages. I will buy it again when there is more info for my Jeep and not a travel ad.

I have been working to get my Jeep together for over 10 years. I built the frame to run in tough truck competitions and most of the ideas come from your writing. Now I lost my job so getting the axles and brakes rebuilt, a new clutch, and wiring might be my last 10 years (I am 51). So keep doing the cheap builds. We need them. Dave Johnston New Franken, Wisconsin

Well, sorry but the Moab Easter Jeep Safari is the largest Jeep and 4x4 event in the U.S. and likely the world. And tires are usually in the top 10 modifications Jeep owners want to make to their rigs. Anyway, did you miss the 51 Jeep Tips issue (March '09)? Low Budget Junkyard Swaps issue (April '09)? Or the Garage Upgrades issue (May '09)? That's half the content we've done so far this year dedicated to budget building! And it's still not enough? Hey, we have to cover all aspects, not just cheap parts and upgrades. Besides, did you catch the review of the retread mud tires, the Project J-2008, or the Field Find feature in the August '09 issue? If you truly look I'm sure you will find something in every issue of Jp that fits the budget.

The truth of the matter is that Hazel, Trasborg, and I do 90-percent or more of the modifications and builds you read about in Jp right in our very own garages and driveways. And most of the time we seriously consider them budget builds. I don't think any other off-road magazine title or website can really claim that and still be making the same kinds of modifications we do. They go to shops. We may not be Shakespearean writers, but we can fix and build a Jeep with very little.

Bed-Wetters Beat It
I truly feel you have a great staff to support the rag you send out. I read comments from people that get their feelings hurt if you jokingly (or not) comment on something they drive. Tell the crybaby bed-wetters to go away. The forum you all write on gives knuckle-busters like me a chance to learn a little more and to troubleshoot my way back to the trail. The only thing I would like to see more of is Randy's Electrical Corner. I like his page and think that I could learn more electrically, especially with all of the electronics that are in our vehicles now. Keep up the great work and don't loose your sense of humor! Thank God Trasborg is as bad, if not worse, than I am when it comes down to "seeking" out a Jeep. Mike Parker Fruita, Colorado

I wanted to thank Christian Hazel for helping us get our friend's broken Jeep out of the trail at the '09 Easter Jeep Safari. My buddy broke on Double Whammy and we were not sure of the fastest way back to town. Not only did Christian lead us out of the trail, he also ran one of our guys back to town to pick up the tow vehicle. Once back in town he stopped by to see how we were doing and make sure we had everything we needed. Christian had taken some photos of our Jeeps before my buddy broke and went out of his way to stop by and pick up the information sheets as well. He is a great addition to your mag and it was a pleasure wheeling with him for a short time before it went bang ("Kentucky Long Rifle" Aug. '09). Doug Eberle Floyds Knobs, Indiana

Fact Checker
Let's get to the facts about the M35 and its successions. First and foremost the M35 was originally designed by the REO Corporation in 1949. After WWII the military needed a new design specifically-built for the military, not just some farm truck that was already being manufactured (CCKW). Then the government turned production of this vehicle over to Kaiser-Willys then over the years it was finally in AM General's hands.

So based on your previous statements about the M151, Mighty Mite, and the "deuce" I would suggest that we just drop all the arguing and agree that all three do fall under the "Umbrella" of the moniker Jeep. That way we don't keep furthering this argument. Joe Putney Lansing, Michigan

Nah, The MUTT and Mighty Mite are not Jeeps and the M35 is 'cause that's the way I want it to be. Hmmm, do you think I could get away with saying a CJ-3B isn't a Jeep? I'll work on that next.

Still Cryin' a River
Tell Christian Hazel that the comments he used about "rules of the watering hole" to make his point in the August '09 Mailbag are wrong.

There are in fact rules, and the lion sets them. When a lion approaches a watering hole to drink when prey are present, he raises his tail straight up into the air, which signals to the gazelle and other prey there that he is not hunting, and it is safe to drink. He then proceeds to the watering hole himself, and you will see lion and gazelle drinking, virtually shoulder-to-shoulder. It is an amazing thing to see. Just goes to show that lions are more honorable than men. Doug Jones Via e-mail

Last time I checked, lions and nearly all other predators prey on the slow, weak, or injured. This often results in them taking out the young and old. I don't know about you, but if that's honorable I need to change my values quite a bit and Hazel must be a saint...Nice try though Doug. Need a tissue?

You Watch What?
I have been a subscription holder for a few years now and am very pleased with the info you pass on to all of us Jeep fans out here. It is quite obvious that a diesel Wrangler is in the U.S. While watching Twilight with my daughter I noticed a character in the movie drives a diesel Wrangler. At least it sounds that way in the baseball scene. Check it out. Arthur Gill Kayenta, Arizona

Drinking Dr. Vern Kool-Aid
Just read Dr. Vern bit in the August '09 issue. I really need one of those Teenage Drama Generators! I figure if I use one until my teenager moves out I should earn enough carbon credits to drive a Winnebago to work for the rest of my life (you know, the ones that get about 5mpg going downhill with a tail wind). As for the cat food, not a problem, but the dog is starting to look a little nervous. Stacy Scott Menan, Idaho

For Sale
Reading Jp magazine sure has helped me in choosing a new Jeep project. But I have one good idea for your publication. You need a For Sale section in the back of the magazine with everything from turn-key Jeeps to parts and more. Frank Pobieglo Indian Orch, Massachusetts

Well Frank, we do have a For Sale section. Only it's not in the pages of the magazine, it's on our forums at You can find everything from junkyard axles to completely built and modified JK Wranglers with just a click or two.

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