Overbuilt Jeeps, Commanders, Humming Birds, and More!
I was very pleased to see your Trail Head for the June ’11 issue. It is about time common sense came into play! I love looking at all the wild Jeeps in your mag but most of them are just not practical for your average, everyday person. I have a ’97 TJ with the 2.5L and a 2.5-inch lift running 33-inch tires. Most everything else is stock. I have not yet found a trail that I could not negotiate in my area. I also have not broken the bank or deprived my children of food and shelter to build up my Jeep. I don’t do much rockcrawling or mud bogging. What I do is a lot of road driving and the mild-to-medium-difficulty trails. People are always asking me when I am going bigger, but I have to say that I am perfectly happy where I am with my TJ right now!
I refer to Trail Head in the June ’11 issue of Jp magazine. I live in Darwin at the tropical north of Australia. If you want some harsh country come to Darwin, I’ll show you harsh. How harsh you ask? Well, from May to November we generally don’t have rain so it gets a little dusty. But from December to April it gets a little moist. In my area of Leanyer we got three meters of rain this rainy season. Yes that is three meters or 3.2 yards. Do you measure rainfall in yards over there? The Toyota 75 Series cab chassis or “ute” as we like to call them, rule the roost. The troop carrier comes in a close second. I did own a Cruiser ute last year and I took it through a crossing so deep the water came half way up the windscreen. My boat and trailer were floating down stream. It wasn’t a short crossing either. I went on for a few hundred yards like this. No problem.
I now have a ’96 Grand with a 4.0L. Mandatory Darwin modifications are an ARB Bull Bar, a Safari snorkel, and Maxxis Bighorns. There are some places I won’t bother going, but not many. While I do agree with the masses in Darwin, 75 Cruisers rule the roost for work vehicles. However, the average bloke going fishing or hunting will be far better placed with something a little more suitable for the other 98-percent of the time. So in conclusion, I enjoyed your editorial because here in Darwin the bulk of the off-road vehicles are Land Cruisers with big lifts, 33-inch tires, and 12,000-pound winches. The drivers of these Cruisers look a little bemused as I drive past them in my mostly-stock Grand and offer them a snatch, recovery that is.
Thanks for the Trail Head in the June ’11 issue. It hits the nail on the head for me. I feel most Jeeps are overbuilt. Mine is driven everyday and has been my only transportation since I bought it new in June, 1999. Also, I want to thank the Jeep chix for the photos in Sideways. Nothing is better than a girl with her Jeep.
Less Is More
I just read the June ’11 Trail Head about having overbuilt Jeeps and I full heartedly agree with you. Currently I am running a ’94 YJ, it has 1-ton axles with 35-spline shafts, 42-inch tires, linked suspension, and a full cage. It’s become an overbuilt vehicle that I can’t enjoy any longer. When I bought the Jeep stock I drove it to work every day, wheeled a little, and truthfully enjoyed it on 30-inch tires. Now that it’s built it sits in the garage, has to be trailered everywhere, and has lost its appeal to me. When we wheel everything is a joke, to get a challenge I have to risk destroying the rig.
Basically I wanted to let you know that this was the best article I have read in a very, very long time! You spoke the truth and probably saved someone from destroying their rig by overbuilding it. Granted, I work in the aftermarket industry and sell the parts to build crazy rigs, but I truly miss being able to just go for a long enjoyable drive with the top off.