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Jp Reader Letters To The Editor

Posted in Features on November 16, 2017
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Bucket List Jeeping

I am a lifelong Jeep lover, have followed Jp mag, and have actually met Rick Péwé at the Bantam Jeep Fest in Pennsylvania a few years back. I have a pic of Péwé and me as my Jeep forum pic. Anyway, I need some advice. Along with being a Jeep lover, I’m also a minister of a small church in New York. As I get older, I have been planning and dreaming of one thing: My bucket list cross-country Jeep trek on a budget. We little ministers don’t have too much money. I’m building maybe my last Jeep. It’s a ’98 TJ and it will be my first trailer-only rig. I hope to pack up the wife, Jeep, and trailer and start in New York and head all the way to California. I plan on hitting as many famous trails as I can, including all the trails that I have only dreamed about and read about. Now my question is this: How would I plan such a trip? How would I hook up with the right people to wheel with from state to state? It’s something I hope to do before my life here is over. My Jeep is about 75 percent done. Thanks for your time and passion.

Pastor Scott Kraniak
Via email

There are a few different ways you can plan a trip like this. You can try and plan it down to the minute, you can see where your adventures take you, or you can use a combination of these tactics. Over-planning a Jeep-venture usually means you miss out on something. How could you possibly know everything there is to see in a specific area if you’ve never been there? We typically don’t recommend taking that route. On the other end of the spectrum, we have friends who will plan month-long trips overseas with only a hotel room the first and last nights of their visit. Everything else is done on a whim. This type of unplanned vacation certainly requires a specific type of personality; something that most of us simply don’t possess. Using a combination of these formats will make sure you see and do the things you’ve always wanted, yet it provides enough time to include things you could have never expected or planned for.

You could start with a large map and pinpoint specific locations you’d like to see. Chain them together with a logical route and give yourself plenty of time between stops to take a break and smell the roses or hit an unexpected trail. Follow social media accounts of the off-road areas you want to see, and reach out to others who frequent those areas.

First and foremost, get the Jeep done! Good luck with your adventure planning.

Roped In

I enjoy the Nena Knows Jeeps column; I actually enjoy the whole magazine. Last year, I purchased my first winch after much research. I thought I had it all planned out so well, but I ended up changing my mounting system and bumper after just a few uses. So, when I read the October ’17 Nena Knows Jeeps concerning winch ropes, I got a bit confused. Since my research was still fresh in my mind, I thought I remembered that synthetic rope users should use the hawse fairleads, and wire rope users should use the roller fairleads. Maybe I am misremembering it, or maybe it really doesn’t matter, but I thought I’d ask you for clarification.

Mark Houston
Kansas City, MO

Winch rope popularity has increased immensely over the last decade or so. Many new winch rope suppliers surfaced to capitalize on that consumer demand. Unfortunately, not all winch ropes are equal, and neither are the manufacturer’s recommendations for a winch rope fairlead. Adding to the confusion is a multitude of aftermarket recovery parts that cater to the winch rope market. Knowing what’s right for your winch rope can be quite the head-scratcher.

One of the bigger problems we see is adding a winch rope to a recovery system that has been run with a wire cable. The winch drum, fairlead, and even your snatch block can become scarred and burred by the wire cable. The rough surfaces are no big deal for the wire cable, but they can eat through a synthetic winch rope under load if not properly addressed. Before inserting a winch rope into a used recovery system, inspect all the surfaces very carefully, including the rollers on the fairlead. You may need to smooth the rollers and winch drum with a sander. Make sure all of the fairlead rollers still roll smoothly. Unfortunately, it will be difficult if not impossible to sand the burrs off of a well-used snatch block, so it’s usually better to simply replace it when switching from wire cable to a synthetic rope. ARB ( offers a lightweight snatch block with a polymer pulley wheel that won’t scar and chew into your winch rope. It can be used with wire cable or synthetic rope.

Having said all that, some companies such as Warn ( require the use of an aluminum hawse fairlead with its Spydura synthetic rope. As with any winch fairlead application, make sure that the bumper or mounting plate on the backside of the fairlead is not making contact with the rope or cable. You should have 3/8- to 1/2-inch of clearance here.

Master Pull ( has been in the synthetic winch rope market longer than most companies, and the company has its own recommendations. Master Pull generally recommends a new fairlead with the installation of a new winch rope. An aluminum hawse fairlead is said to work very well because it provides a smooth surface that will not damage the rope. Cast steel hawse fairleads do not have a smooth enough surface for synthetic rope and are not recommended. The company also says that the use of a steel roller fairlead is perfectly fine as long as the rollers are smooth and not burred or gouged. Master Pull does not recommend the use of older roller fairleads that do not have overlapping rollers. The gaps in the corners of the fairlead could cause a winch rope to get caught up and damaged.

If your steel rollers are damaged and you just don’t like the idea of a hawse fairlead, Daystar ( offers fairlead rollers made from polyurethane. They replace the steel rollers on any conventional roller fairlead so you can retain the benefits of a roller fairlead while running a synthetic winch rope.

Ultimately, there are many different ways to damage a synthetic winch rope or steel cable. Proper use, correctly rewinding the line on the drum after each use, and staying on top of maintenance will help make sure your synthetic rope or steel cable lives a long life.

Jeep Shots Correction

Thank you for making our day. Just two weeks after our honeymoon in Moab, Utah, the October ’17 issue showed up with our Jeeps in Jeep Shots. Anyway, my bride’s name is Terri-Lynne and the “his and hers” is backwards in the magazine print.

Bruce Saunders
Via email

Congratulations! Sorry for the mix-up.

Still Willys Wondering

In the May ’17 Mailbag, Ivan Brown wishes you guys would figure out that the Willys pickup came out in 1946, not 1947. He states his title shows his truck was first registered in Arizona in February, 1946. He is the third owner and has met both the previous and also the original owner who bought it in California. In your response to him, you say he is absolutely correct, that the Willys truck was available in 1946. The first year production of the Willys Model 463 2WD station wagon began in early 1946, followed shortly by the Model 463 2WD panel delivery. Those body styles began with serial number 463 10001 and concluded with serial number 463 16534. No Willys pickup trucks were produced for 1946. The ’47 model 463 station wagons and panel deliveries began with the consecutive serial number at 16535. The ’47 two-wheel-drive pickup truck production began around February 1947, beginning with serial and model number 463 2WD T 10001 and concluded with serial number 12642. The 1947 four-wheel-drive pickup production began shortly after the 2WD production, and began with model 463 4WD 4T 10001 and ended with serial number 12346. If Mr. Brown’s serial number falls anywhere in the number sequences for the 2T or 4T numbers shown, his vehicle is a ’47, not a ’46, especially since Willys truck production did not begin until the 1947 calendar year.

My guess is that in the course of title transfers between the previous owners, an assumption or mistake was made in the numbers and February 1946 was entered. We are also aware that Willys vehicles have been titled indicating the year they were sold as new, even though the vehicle was actually built the year prior. My personal ’48 VJ2 Jeepster carries a mid-1948 serial number, but apparently sold new in Phoenix in May 1949 and was mistakenly titled as a ’49 model. Sometimes we have seen even the year before. A ’48 being titled as a ’47. To title a Willys vehicle as a ’46 when production records indicate no vehicles of that body style were even built in the date recorded on the title can only be considered a clerical mistake.

I have been an Arizona resident for over 65 years and dealt with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division numerous times as a vehicle owner (including numerous Jeep vehicles) and in my occupation as a Sergeant with the Arizona Highway Patrol/Arizona Department of Public Safety. I have encountered numerous mistakes on vehicle titles. There are sufficient authoritative sources in the Willys world who will bear out the production records on two- and four-wheel-drive Willys pickup trucks only being built after the calendar year 1947 began and none before.

You guys still put out a great magazine! I do miss Christian Hazel though.

Colin Peabody
Phoenix, AZ

Fire Suppression Revisited

A word of caution to your readers: in Mailbag (Dec. ’17) you stated that “You could very easily install a solenoid or actuator, switch, hardline, and CO2 nozzle onto your Power Tank and plumb it into the engine compartment to use as a low-buck fire suppression system.”

This would not work the way that you might think. The Power Tank and other similar brands are designed to provide a pressurized gas supply for air tools and inflating tires. The CO2 in the tank is a liquid on the bottom with CO2 vapor or gas at the top. It’s that CO2 gas that is powering the tools and inflating the tires. CO2 fire suppression system tanks have a different design. They have a tube extending to the bottom of the tank. The vapor at the top of the tank forces the liquid CO2 up the tube and out the nozzle where it then expands over 500 times into CO2 gas. It’s this massive amount of CO2 gas that disperses the oxygen and extinguishes the fire. Trying this with a Power Tank you would only be dispersing 1/500th the volume of CO2 gas per second. It would not work, even if you mounted the Power Tank upside down. The regulators on Power Tanks are not designed to dispense liquid CO2.

Installing a properly designed fire suppression system like those from Safecraft is still a good idea and I plan on doing that myself when I get to it on my long wish list.

Bob Campbell
VP High Desert 4 Wheelers
Via email

Thanks for the fire suppression system lesson. We are in agreement, the Power Tank ( is not designed for use as a fire suppression system. An actual fire suppression system would be a better choice than plumbing the Power Tank into a fire suppression system. Our response included “These kits (fire suppression) would likely work much better than adapting a system to your Power Tank.” But, it could be done and would certainly provide better results than having no fire suppression system at all. A small fire could probably be extinguished given the confined space of an engine compartment. However, if a large, hot fire were to start, a true fire suppression system would be a much better choice.

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