April 2011 Mailbag: Letters to the EditorPosted in Features on April 1, 2011 Comment (0)
Still a Reader
Hey Crappa, I've been reading your douche rag since inception. End it now, lock the door and throw away the key. Leave on a high note. You'll never be able to top the Nov. '10 issue.
I found the Nov. '10 issue of Jp to be one of the best I have read in some time. I enjoyed your views on your approach to what Chrysler is doing wrong with the Jeep brand/image ("Cappa's Jeep Factory").
My grandfather had this crazy idea he could sell Jeeps in our small town 65 years ago, and up until June 9, 2009, my family ran one of the oldest Jeep dealerships in the country. For the last 10-plus years we have said that the "Jeep people" were in the minority in Auburn Hills.
Your articles are spot-on this month, and while I don't necessarily agree with the solid axle in the Grand Cherokee idea, I do agree Jeep needs to simplify the line-up and do some derivative packages. Lose the Compass/Patriot and engineer a small Jeep, to place under the JK. I can't put the name on the concept but there was a Samurai-sized Jeep concept in the mid to late '90s. That's my two cents.
As for the Trail Head question...I would say a '45 CJ-2A in Harvest Tan, but that's only because I have one in the garage.
Keep up the great work!
Turin, You Got Your Ears On?
Congratulations guys on a homerun trio of articles on Jeep's future. Great stuff! Hope you had about 50 issues translated into Italian and mailed to Turin. Your articles got me thinking about my dream Jeep, which is a Wrangler diesel-electric. How about a 50 hp motor on each wheel, no drive train, just electric cables. That's 200 hp at the wheels, no drivetrain waste. Imagine, touch the accelerator (can't say gas pedal anymore), and get instant full torque. It would be all-wheel-drive, all the time. There would be plenty of power to run power tools at the job site, weld anything, and power the entire backwoods campsite. It would need a hi-capacity battery (which doesn't exist today, at a reasonable price), but it could be available in a few years. There is an electric car company (Tesla) that produces an electric sports car. It claims 0-60 in 5.6 seconds and 300 miles on a charge. How about a stock Wrangler DE (Diesel Electric) with that type of performance? I figure a 20 KVA gen set should be enough for normal driving, with battery backup for bursts.
Ahh well, it doesn't hurt to dream. How about translating this letter into Italian and sending it to Turin.
Perfect Willys Timing
My dream project is to restore/build a Willy's Wagon. I would like to build for medium rock crawling (35s to 37s) and drive the rig to the fun and back. I would like to hear your thoughts for engine, trans, transfer case, and diffs. Jp mag is my favorite. Far better than that Four... Oh, sorry, your sister mag I also get.
Hopefully you picked up the Nov. '11 issue then! We ran a feature on a '52 Willys Wagon ("Utility Camper") that does just that. It also doubles as a reliable tow rig. The owner uses it to tow a race trailer. It rolls on 37-inch tires and sports a Ford 351 Cleveland engine mated to an NV4500 manual tranny and an NP208 T-case. The front axle is a Dana 44 from a Wagoneer and the rear is a Ford 9-inch.
Of course if it were mine I'd build it a little different. I'd stick with a fairly stock GM V-8 TBI motor, the NV4500, and maybe an NP205 or NV241 T-case (preferably passenger side drop). I'd use a Wide-Trac Dana 44 from a '74-'79 FSJ up front and convert it to five-lug with Ford hubs and rotors. Out back I'd slap in a '74-'86 31-spline Ford 9-inch from an F-150. That way I could avoid expensive axle shortening/lengthening and run them as is. I'd probably go with something as low as 5.13 gears since I had the Overdrive tranny. I'd slap a Detroit Locker in the rear and I'd leave the front open unless I felt I really needed a locker. If I did, I'd slap in an OX Locker or maybe the new TJM locker.
You and your team deserve credit for making an entertaining and informative magazine. As a fellow magazine professional, I appreciate the work it takes to make a title that stands out in a crowded market.
I would, however, suggest that you stay away from the more, as much as I hate to say it, juvenile tactics such as naming an on-going feature the "Sh!%box Derby." Naming a project "Sloppy Seconds" is, in my opinion, extremely poor judgment. These articles may not offend your current audience, but I guarantee that they will not help you grow your audience. These phrases do not offend me personally, but like the rest of your readers, I wouldn't miss them if they were gone. They simply do not add anything to the experience I'm looking for in Jp.
As you might suspect, since I read Jp, I am a Jeep fan. I am currently working on a mild XJ project for hunting, fishing, and family trucking purposes. My previous experience has only been with old CJs. Your magazine and website have been an excellent resource as I relearn about Jeeps. I am pleased to say that it is all coming back to me pretty quickly.
Russia Owns Jeep?
After having recently bought my first Jeep, a '47 Willys CJ-2A, I picked up the Nov. '10 issue of your fine magazine. I loved everything in it, especially the articles about what you guys would do if you owned Jeep. Unfortunately, you don't. Even more unfortunate is that I think the people who do own it now don't care what you or I think about the future of Jeep. I think they have their own agenda for our automotive future, and it doesn't look good. To see what might be in store for us one only needs to look at anything automotive that ever came out of the old Soviet Union. I pray I'm wrong for our sake. Keep up the good work and stay vigilant.
Delusional Libby Lover
In the Nov. '10 issue on page 28 ("Hazel's Heritage Movement"), Christian Hazel, hereafter identified as W.H. (for Witch Hazel), would have hurt my feelings if I had feelings. It appears he read his bosses article on page 24 ("Cappa's Jeep Factory") before writing his own and decided to get some brownie points. Old John the boss has obvious disdain for the Compass and Patriot lines. So W.H. adds Liberty to the list that should be killed off. Bummer! I kinda like my '06 Liberty with its slotted grille, spare tire where they should be, Jeep logos-and the powers that were even thought it deserved a Trail Rated badge. I ride in style with confidence knowing I can back into somebody's flower patch without getting stuck providing: A) I can figure out how to put 'er in 4WD, and B) not twist the pencil-sized front drive shafts (half shafts, whatever) into pretzels.
Now if I go to page 68, "Two Bits" written by Pete Trasborg, I could use the same logic to point out how the Liberty is natural progression to the WWII-era Jeep. The speedometer moved to logical position, there is a well-positioned grab handle, it has an engine (my starter has more horsepower than the first Jeep's engines), there is no bump steer, and it has all the pollution crap that Al Gore and his band of climate change Nazis can force us to buy, etc. As soon as the cheesy factory tires wear out I'm gonna put a set of BFG A/Ts on 'er. Eat yer heart out GPW.
Of course I got some different ideas. Old John the boss and W.H. never mentioned them vehicles the USPS uses or the faux-Wranglers that have no 4x4. If I ran Jeep not one vehicle would leave the lot with a Jeep logo on it without 4x4 capability. But I wouldn't be much of a writer either, since their two articles would be condensed into that one sentence. This ragazine would be pretty thin.
Another suggestion is for W.H. to quit hating on Liberties and get his butt out of the office to find some Liberties for your rag. Try here jeepkj.com.
For a new spin on an old threat, I'm so mad I took out a subscription to your mag (actually I just got tired of paying supermarket prices).
My Trail Rated badge fell off yesterday. I feel vulnerable until I can glue it back on.
Wayne Van Metre
I was reading my Nov. '10 issue of Jp and found a little mistake. I know how you love people pointing these out to you. In "Hazel's Command'oh," the email address for Built Tough Radiator is wrong. It's btr-radiator.com.
I like my magazines to have tech and product articles. After reading 16 pages of opinion in the Nov. '10 issue, I grabbed a beer to alleviate the dryness. Trail Head, Mailbag, and Dr. Vern are about the right mix to stand on the soapbox. But all of the other opinions about the future of Jeep were simply entertainment with a few crumbs of good old common sense (well, maybe full loaves). But really, how are you going to get the suits at Jeep to act on those good suggestions? Oh yeah, by calling the Jeep Customer Assistance Center number listed on page 8 (877/426-5337)!
I read every sentence, have been for years and will continue for decades. Kudos for doing a thorough job. Now please print my email to give the rest of the readership the hint.
Upon bashing the current Jeep name you all forgot one thing that's been spreading like wildfire since the Liberty showed up. Why the heck did the Liberty receive Renegade badging? How did that come about? Seriously, how can you take that away from the Wrangler crowd? Jeep, I hope you wake up and get back to your roots.
Why Not White Out?
I just want to point out that you guys are awesome. You actually work on your Jeeps and print stories about it. Not like another mag I won't be renewing that gives me 100 pages about having new seats installed by a shop on an almost-new, $30,000-plus HD pickup. Who does that anyway? You guys are really more like my friends and me-on a budget, hands dirty, and driving the hell out of chitboxes! The Nov. '10 issue was the most interesting issue I've ever read, plus it was funny as hell, too. Keep up the good work, keep my "friend" Randy and the Jeep chicks! That being said, I have a little question. Why do you always put the white lettering on tires inside? I always put them outside-it looks good! Is it because you're afraid of scratching it against rocks?
Guillaume Poirier Robidoux
Generally we don't run the white lettering on tires facing out because it gets messed up pretty quick when you go wheeling a lot, especially in rocks. Then the tires end up looking like crap. Also, many of our Jeeps are just as you said-chitboxes. Putting the white lettering out is akin to putting perfume on a pig.
I read through the Nov. '10 issue and found it very informative and interesting as usual. I am an electrical engineer by trade so I especially enjoy reading Randy's Electrical Corner. I did notice an error that you guys may want to correct to prevent your readers undue confusion and frustration. The relay device that Randy has drawn in his three sketches are backwards in the schematics. The relay coil should be driven by the low-current pilot circuit, which is controlled from the switch on the dash. This coil then switches the contact to pass higher current from the battery to the high-wattage lighting.
The idea is spot-on, just the diagram has it backwards. Wiring it as shown will cause the circuits not to work correctly and possibly blow fuses as the primary circuit is being switched directly to ground (short-circuit). Anyway, hopefully the error can be corrected easily.
Thanks, and I look forward to the next issue!
Randy was made aware of the mistake and rewrote the story for the Jan. '10 issue-this time with the correct electrical diagrams.
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.
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