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January 2013 Mailbag

Posted in Features on January 1, 2013
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Apocalypse Then
It was with great mounting horror I read your Trail Head in the September ’12 issue of Jp. It brought back horrific nightmares that I thought I had buried through years of imbibing Mad Dog 20/20 and shock therapy. Mine was a ’72 Ford van that I bought in 1974 to haul my dirt bikes around. I am so emotionally distraught from the return of these thoughts that all six of my therapists say not to continue, since I have already rented my garments and covered myself in sackcloth and ashes and burned a Ford emblem in effigy. The horror.

The second thing is the name you used for the nemesis of Inspector Clouseau. You used the name of Kato. That is not correct. Kato was the faithful sidekick of the Green Hornet. I believe the correct spelling is Cato. Both pronounced the same, but two entirely different people. You could prevent a recurrence of this by retaining my services as a proofreader. Since I live in the great state of the EJS, I would have to commute every week, so travel pay would be a necessity.

To make up for all the mental anguish you have intentionally (I know you will say it is accidental) inflicted on me, and since there is no real need to involve lawyers, you could make up for it by contributing to my “I need a ’47 CJ-2A” fund. If you cannot do this, which my therapists say will help me get over the trauma, a magazine subscription would help greatly (lifetime would be best, but I’m really old, so I might not get my money’s worth).
Via email

FSJ Follies
I know where you are at with your love/hate relationship with your FSJ! I bought my ’77 Cherokee two years ago with all intentions to rebuild her to pristine condition so I could pass her down to my 3-year-old daughter when she comes of driving age (figured it would take me that long...LOL). Well the economy tanked and I had to sell my business off and take a major loss. That loss included my new Dodge 1500 SLT, so that left me to make my Jeep my daily driver. Blood, sweat, money, and a lot of cursing and I am winning the battle. She drives great with a few minor leaks that if my work schedule allowed me two days off in a row, I could fix them.

I have nothing but love and pride for my Jeep. There aren’t too many of these vehicles in my town of Wilmington, North Carolina, and heads turn even though she is kinda rough (character). Jeep is not a fad, it is a culture upon which the tough at heart and the smart thrive! Don’t give up on it, but if you do I will adopt it and let you have visitation rights. Thanks and don’t give up!
Name withheld
Via email

Despite my somewhat comical, yet truthful editorial about my full-size Cherokee, I’m still using it as a pseudo daily-driver and weekend fun machine. When I factor cost of diesel at about $4.50/gallon for my Mega Cab and then compare that with 87-octane for the Cherokee at about $3.97/gallon, it’s about the same price to drive one versus the other. So, naturally, I slide behind the wheel of the Chief. However, since I wrote that Trail Head, the 360 has started running a bit warmer on the freeway and has developed a few more leaks, groans, and rattles. Mostly it’s been since I began driving it on the 250-mile round-trip drive to the office. I’m either going to have to bite the bullet and build a new 360 for it soon or stick to shorter around-town hops.

Pig Fan
I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy the articles on Piggy the Pig Truck! I too have a ’78 J10. It has been my project for the past… Wow!!! 21 years! It was a gift from my parents when I was 15, and the truck was my daily driver for the next 18 years. Then, three years ago, I found the crankshaft had so much end-play that the harmonic balancer had nearly worn a hole through the timing cover, and it was the cause of the broken flexplate. Wanting to rebuild the engine properly on a budget, I sourced a new daily driver. This is when the ’88 Grand Wagoneer entered the family, and the J10 took a back seat to life. Two daughters deserve more of my time than the ailing 360.

Last summer my father and I finally managed to rebuild the engine and drop it back under the hood, along with some new 32s, all-new bearings in the front end, and all-new tie rods. The J10 drives better than it ever has; even the interstate is smoother with a properly balanced engine! The Wagoneer now splits the daily routine. The list of things to do ASAP are: track down the remaining electrical problems, driver’s floor pan, transmission overhaul (hopefully a new aluminum tranny pan can be included), then body, paint, and interior. However, the last three will hopefully need to wait, as I hope to start building the ’63 J200 in my garage for my oldest daughter, after I finish getting the clear title for it.
Jared Cooper
Cheyenne, WY

Telling Tellem
I really enjoy Jp magazine. I don’t always agree with you on everything, but you have been very helpful in putting together my ’06 LJ Rubicon.

When I saw “Oh Shoot” on the cover of the September ’12 issue, I thought you were pretty much out of your element, but I have never read an article with more shooting-related things explained—and explained correctly, simply, and in very understandable terms.

I am an NRA-Certified Instructor in several disciplines, a Texas Hunter Education Instructor, and in the summers, I teach riflery and trap at Vista Camps here in the Hill Country.

You can be sure that Tori Tellem’s September ’12 “How To Survive” article will be given to all my students from now on.
Billy Carter
Hunt, TX

He Be Packin’
I read and enjoyed the article on knives in the August ’12 issue and guns in the September ’12 issue. Here’s what I carry when I get away from civilization in the mountains of Arizona.

I have a nylon web double shoulder holster rig that I modified. On the left side I carry a .357 Magnum seven-shot revolver with a 4-inch barrel. The .357 will also chamber .38 Special bullets. The first two shells in the cylinder are .38 Special shot loads with #4 shot in them. These are good for snakes and coyotes and the like. The next two shells are .38 Special jacketed hollow points. These will also work on coyotes, javelinas, bobcats and wildcats, and possibly cougars. The last three shells are “full house” .357 Magnum jacketed hollow points. These will work on cougar and black bear. Remember, what I carry isn’t for hunting, but for protection if needed.

On the right side of the web on the shoulder holster I have riveted a sheath that holds my U.S. Air Force survival knife. I got mine the hard way 42 years ago. This is a fixed-blade knife that I have carried as a member of an aircrew, on family camping trips, and while hunting. It is extremely versatile and strong. It’s not one of those knives with a compass and fishing line in the handle that you buy for $10.99. It has the sharpening stone in a compartment that is attached to the leather sheath. The hilt is leather-wrapped and the blade and handguard are coated with a tough, black non-reflective coating

This rig doesn’t take up any room, is comfortable to wear, and it is easy to access either the revolver or the knife if the need should arise.
R.J. Perry
Via email

We’re pro-gun, pro-knife, pro-self-protection, and pro-America here at Jp. One of my favorite carry rigs when I can pry myself away from my Smith & Wesson SW1911PD .45 is my Smith & Wesson 327 Performance Center snubby with eight rounds of 125-grain Cor-Bon .357 Magnum. And no matter where I am (well, except for the airport), I’ve got a Benchmade folder in my pocket. Hmm, maybe we need a regular gun and knife department here at Jp. Write and let us know what you think at

More Square Headlights
You guys do some really cool builds on such a variety of Jeeps that it makes my head spin. I’m very impressed by the work you do. But over the past 14 months that I have been reading Jp, not once have I seen a YJ build. Not saying that you haven’t done so in the past. Perhaps they’re too simple, I know. Regardless, why not show us some of the projects you guys did on yours? One of your issues (May ’12) featured four of them, one being project “Big Mini,” which looked like a challenging build. It seems that many YJs in their “original” state are becoming more rare as many beasts are being chopped into buggies. It’s cool what they can do, but feature some triangulated four-link suspensions and even the 350 Chevy swap in Trasborg’s Big Mini!

Forgive me for seeming sort of nerdish for keeping so many details in my memory bank. You guys are heroes and I get a lot of ideas from you. Sure, I could read all this stuff on jeepforum and wranglerforum, but reading about the toys you play with at Jp is like having Abraham read me the book of Genesis. Please tickle the fancy of YJ owners in at least one of your issues coming up.
Michael Menendez
Bellevue, NE

It’s not nerdish. Well, maybe it is. However, I do the same thing and can recall minute details from features and project vehicles from stories printed 25 or 30 years ago.

In short, the real reason you haven’t seen a YJ project lately is the prices just shot up around here. I used to find good, buildable projects for $1,500 to $3,000, but that’s about doubled in the past year. I don’t know what’s going on, but for that past 12 months or so I’ve been looking for a decent YJ to build and I either lose out on the good deals (no time to go buy ’em or they sell too quickly), or I just don’t find any worthwhile project fodder. Seeing as I paid only $500 for my last Wrangler (Project Why-J), I have a hard time shelling out real money for one.

Anyway, I’m happy to tell you that our Feature Editor, Verne Simons, doesn’t know any better and just picked up an ’88 YJ with the 4.2L, BA10, NP231 drivetrain, so you’ll be getting your YJ fix on pretty soon. And I’m still looking, ’cause personally I actually prefer the YJ over the TJ—and you can never have enough Jeeps in the fleet.

Pete Props
As a former small-block Chevy-powered M-715 owner, I second your choice of the title “Ill Advised” for the September ’12 issue about Trasborg’s epic trip to Moab in his M-715 for EJS. However, I suspect his girlfriend (who was barely mentioned in the article, but might be identified in the photo credit) deserves at least a medal for bravery or a citation for bad judgment. This would be true even if she followed along in an enclosed chase vehicle rather than riding as a passenger in the truck.

A short trip in the M-715 “5-quarter-ton” would be enough to cure most people of the idea to undertake a 2,000-mile journey in it, even if it had a functional top and a solid history of reliable operation.

I still miss the old big-iron beast, though. Thanks for including it.
Captain Zoom
Isla Cojones, TX

Associate Editor Pete Trasborg replies:

Hell, if it weren’t for Missy having her heart set on an M-715 road trip, I probably wouldn’t have done it!

Chile Con Car
I came across this photo-op while snowboarding in Chile this July. The VIP parking is “Jeep Only” at the ski resort. I guaranteed my traveling buddies that this pic would make your magazine. Don’t make a liar out of me.
Andrew Estrada
Rubicon, CA

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.

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