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January 2011 Mailbag: Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on January 1, 2011
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Non-Normal, Too
I just finished reading the Sept. '10 Trail Head. The first Jeep I owned was a '69 Commando. I drove it for 19 years. I would drive it for nine months of the year with no top. I even owned two tops. One day on the way home from work I saw sunflowers in the rear view mirror. Yep, I was growing sunflowers in the back of my Jeep. It's kind of a shock to see flowers keeping up with you.

I did a frame-off that I got to enjoy for the last four years. It got to see a lot of trails around Ouray and Moab. Your editorial really struck a note, know what I mean?
Eric Bell
Arvada, CO

A/C Again
Pete Trasborg once again helped me with a project on my '96 ZJ. I have cold air thanks to the "A/C Made E-Z" article (Sept. '10). This fix is just in time to make my trip to my favorite Ozarks hideout a little more comfortable. Wheeling in comfort is what ZJ's were built for!
Thanks again.
Steve Paschang
Stilwell, KS

Stop Sign Body Job
First, I love the magazine, keep up the good fight and roll with the changes of the modern media landscape. I am a formerly financially solvent individual who got to build several Land Cruisers by catalog shopping. With the economic winds sweeping across the world today, those days are gone. I am now a Jeep guy in that I still love to wheel it in the mountains here in Colorado. My last two projects have been Commandos (insert snorts of derision here). The first was a '71 that I swapped in a T-5 and Dana 300 behind the stock six-cylinder. Now I am working on a '68 with a locked up V-6 and enough rust in the interior body panels that it appears to have been under water in a brackish swamp. My projected completion date is December 23, 2012, so that I can drive it for a day before the world ends. This project is rolling out with much more in common with Sloppy Seconds than the pretty catalog-built projects favored by your advertisers. If I had the money, I would be filling my garage with shiny painted parts. The UPS guy and I would be on a first name basis.

Finally, I take umbrage at the negative remarks about the use of street signs for sheetmetal repairs ("Cappa's Freefender," Sept. '10). I actually prefer the discarded DOT signs as they are of a heavier gauge aluminum and generally larger. I pop rivet them in place and seal them around the edges with a common epoxy type adhesive made for use with metal. The epoxy keeps water intrusion to a minimum preventing further corrosion of the remaining steel. Three of my five earlier Toyota FJ's had aluminum step plate corner repairs when I purchased them. This only made the rust worse. By cutting out the cancer, cleaning the metal back to where the rust was no longer evident, priming and painting the steel, and then re replacing the cut out section with aluminum, these old repairs have withstood the test of time. The vehicles I repaired in this fashion in 1979 and 1982 are still out and about today in others' hands. Thank you for your patience with an aging fool. I currently get most of my off-road driving in by taking the company Suburban to pick up rail crews off of trains that have run out of time in the middle of nowhere. Keep up the good work.
Matthew Weaver
Pueblo, CO

Sloppy Seconds' New Home
As I'm sure you already know, the attention that you receive when driving this thing is crazy. It's like driving around with David Hasselhoff in a convertible. Here is a pic of its new home.
Thanks again,
Via email

Save Comman D'oh
Please ask Christian not to destroy the Comman D'oh. I would love to have it. I will trade him a basket case '59 Willys CJ for it. It has most of the parts and has been disassembled and in my garage for five to six years. I would love to build the Commando. I live in Ohio about 12 miles south of where Interstate 70 leaves West Virginia and enters Ohio. It's not too far from where Pete wheeled in Wellsville, Ohio, on the trip for the Scrambler. I'll gladly meet Christian halfway and trade him. Please! We can work out a trade or a trade and cash. You guys have good deals fall in your laps all the time. Share the wealth, please?
Kim E. Althar
Shadyside, OH

Uh, you're joking, right? I can't figure out if you're serious or not. Either way, it's hilarious.

Let's see-half way from San Diego to Ohio....

Thanks, but I'm keeping the Commando. Best, Christian Hazel Technical Editor

Flat Out on the Salt Flats
Well we finally made it to Bonneville and actually ran. We got it up to 155 mph. We probably could have gone 165 with the right rear gear. The current record is 173 and is held by an S10. He runs a bored and stroked version of the Chevy 4.3 V-6. He runs a GM performance block with Brodix heads and intake. It's a lot harder to get performance out of the 4.0L than the Chevy V-6 that was used in a NASCAR series.

Anyway the Factory LSR 2 truck went 141mph, back in 1986. We went 155; I guess that makes us the World's Fastest Comanche. We got a lot of help from Hesco and Rusty's Offroad. I have talked to Zach at 505 Performance about borrowing one of his motors, we will see if that goes anyplace. With 650-700 hp we could reach 200mph!

We plan to return next year to take another shot at it. Perhaps I'm just tilting at windmills, but it would be great to beat out a Chevy with a Jeep in a performance battle. We already know a Jeep can beat a Chevy in off-road capability.
Peter Lechtanski
Owner of the World's Fastest Comanche
Via email

Gentlemen, I have been a subscriber to Jp for several years now. I have three Jeeps-a CJ for wheeling, a bone-stock '92 YJ for summer fun, and my workhorse '99 Grand Cherokee. My two daughters love my Jeeps and I know I'm raising them right. But now I have a son on the way. As such, I would like to decorate his bedroom/nursery at my house in a Jeep theme. There's so much crap out there for a baby's room. I want to start the boy out right and nurture his love of Jeep vehicles and the outdoors in general. It seems like a lot of kids are missing that these days. I'm sure my girls will drive Jeeps someday, but I would like to pass on my CJ to my son. I am having trouble finding Jeep decorations to put in his nursery. My Internet searches so far have turned up a lot of Jeep-branded baby equipment, but not much decor. Could you please point me in the right direction?
Via email

I think your best bet is to start your search at

Where's My Magazine?
I sent you my renewal to continue my subscription a few months ago. It took about a month and a half or so to receive my bill. In which it read that it was the second notice. But I had not received my first notice at the time. I paid it last month and now I just received my third notice for renewal. I am wondering if my money order has been lost.

For questions about paper subscriptions contact Jp magazine Subscriber Services at (800) 678-8012, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142. For digital online subscription questions go to

Budget Lifts
First off I'd just like to say how much my son and I love Jp magazine. He's 16 and we just got him his first car. It's a super-clean, one-owner '99 XJ Sport. We want to lift it but like many others these days we don't have a lot of money to spend. We did however see an online article about a budget XJ lift using Dodge Dakota rear leafs and Ford F-150 or Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 coils. I saw another article and they used Chevy S-10 leafs. They are claiming approx. 4 inches of lift. Have you guys ever heard of this? And if so what do you think? I understand that many of your advertisers sell suspension kits, and you may want to stay away from this subject just for that reason, so I wouldn't expect you to print this. But an honest answer via email would sure be helpful. Like I said, times are hard, and there just isn't much extra money for the cool stuff we want. Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can give us.
Rich and Taylor Whittington
Payson, AZ

You're in luck! If you flip to "Boneyard Budget Boost" in this issue there are a few ideas on how to put together your own junkyard-sourced lift kit. Of course there are a few other items you'll still need to purchase such as steering components, longer shocks, and brakelines. But it should get you headed in the right direction. The junkyard kits may not perform as well as the off-the-shelf products (as far as flex, ride comfort, drivability, and so on) but they will allow you to fit bigger tires on a budget. Good luck junkyard hunting.

I am 50 years old. I just had spinal surgery and had three discs fused together. With that in mind, if you were me with a bad back, which seats would you buy, MasterCraft, Corbeau, or Bestop? Price isn't the issue; seats are cheaper than buying a new Wrangler. My lower back and hips thank you.
David Schmidt
Via email

I would definitely find a local 4x4 shop that carries the seats you are interested in so you can sit in them yourself. I am a huge fan of suspension seats like those from Corbeau, MasterCraft, PRP, and others. Suspension-style seats provide a lot of really good support and they are comfortable. However, that extra support and comfort can come at a cost. Sometimes they are difficult to get in and out of, although I'm not sure how bad your condition is. I think it would be a good idea to find someone with a Jeep similar to yours with the seats you are looking at, just to see if you can get in and out easily. Personally, I would rather be really comfortable while I'm in the Jeep and suffer the inconvenience of getting in and out. I like the PRP Premier Series High Backs and the MasterCraft Original, however there are other models available that may work better for you. I like the taller bolsters that typically only come on the race models.

Write Us!
Got a question or comment about Jp magazine or the village idiots at the helm? Drop us a line. Don't forget to include your full name and where you're from or we'll make fun of you. Actually, we may make fun of you anyway. Keep it short and to the point or we'll hack and chop your letter as we please. We get a lot of mail, but we read every letter. Unfortunately, we can't print or personally answer every request. We're too busy surfing the Internet on the company dime. Digital images should be no less than 1,600x1,200 pixels (or 2 megapixels) and should be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file.

Write to:
Jp Magazine, Editor
831 S. Douglas St.
El Segundo, CA 90245
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