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Jp Reader Letters To The Editor

Posted in Features on January 22, 2018
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Jeep or Not

I had to give up my Jeep for physical health reasons that include problems with arthritis, my pelvis, hips, and spine. At 66 years of age, I was having painful difficulty entering and exiting my ’05 TJ. I reluctantly had to trade it in. However, wanting to stay in the Jeep culture, I now have a Jeep Renegade, which may not be given a Wrangler purist’s vote. I’ve always offered a Jeep wave throughout my TJ ownership. Am I still in the Jeep culture or am I an outcast? Perhaps your readers might like to offer an opinion. Regardless, I continue to Jeep-wave to all Jeepers.
Derek Povah
Via email

Opinions are like, well, you know. Everyone has one. Of course, to most die-hard off-road enthusiasts, the Jeep Renegade is not a real Jeep. However, what these self-proclaimed purists don’t understand is that Jeep as a brand, including the Wrangler, cannot exist without these “lesser” Jeeps. There simply are not enough Wrangler model Jeeps sold to keep the brand in business. There are only so many people interested in sacrificing some comfort and handling characteristics to purchase a more off-road–friendly 4x4. In fact, many of these buyers prefer to purchase used Jeeps, which does very little to keep the lights on at Jeep. When you look at the total sales numbers of the Jeep brand, the importance of all of the Jeep models becomes much more apparent. In 2016 Jeep sold a total of 94,061 Compass models, 106,606 Renegade models, 121,926 Patriot models, 191,788 Wrangler models, 199,736 Cherokee models, and 212,273 Grand Cherokee models, for a total of 926,376 Jeeps. The JK Wrangler only makes up about 21 percent of the total 2016 Jeep sales, and fewer Wranglers were sold than the more popular and often looked down upon Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. So to all the “purists” out there, if you want to keep Jeep in business and the Wrangler on dealer lots, be glad that someone is buying these other Jeep models.

8274 Winch Correction

I enjoyed “Vintage Warn Winches” (Jan. ’18) on Warn's 8274 winch. While I loved reading about the earlier models, I had some questions and comments for you. Does the 52 feet-per-minute unloaded line speed come from earlier models with lower horsepower motors? The current 8274-50 models list 79 feet-per-minute as the unloaded line speed.

The reference to the 8274's foot-forward mounting being one of only a few mounted this way is true for probably 90 percent of all winches that are rated for less than 12,000 pounds. Once the weight rating gets above that, most manufacturers require foot-forward mounting.

As the 8274 comes with steel cable, the standard fairlead is a roller, though I am sure in the early days they came with a steel hawse fairlead.

Those of us who are International 4-Wheel Drive Trainers' Association Certified Trainers promote roller fairleads for both steel and synthetic rope. As long as steel rollers have never been used and damaged, rollers will provide a superior radius and less friction than a hawse fairlead.

Kind of funny how the winch in photo number eight has an aluminum hawse fairlead, but a steel cable.

Lastly, I didn't think the 50th anniversary edition of the 8274 came with the 6.0hp xp motor? I’m not sure if this motor or the 9.5xp winch were even being made in 1998. I know it was painted black, had a bright T-handle for the clutch, and had a special solenoid box, but not much else. I think the winch in photo 10 was just upgraded by the owner to the xp motor. I actually did the same thing on one of my 8274 winches. I buy all I can find. I think when Warn went from the older 2.5hp motors to the 4.6hp motors the line speed went to 79 feet-per-minute. With the new spur gear on the xp motor I think the line speed may have decreased some, though the pulling capacity may have increased.

Any article on these winches is awesome. Most people don't get it, but it’s music to the ears when you get to hear one pulling.

Thanks, and I hope to meet Rick Péwé one day.
Dave Pullen
Via email

The Warn ( 8274 winch has seen many running mechanical and cosmetic changes over its 44 years of production. This becomes readily apparent when ordering replacement parts for an 8274. The 8274 variants are broken up by serial number. You need the serial number to make sure you get the correct parts for an 8274 winch. As you mentioned, the older 8274 winches had a 2.5hp motor, among other differences. This translated into a slower line speed than the newer 8274 winches with the 4.6hp motor.

The 8274 was first offered in 1974. The 8274-50 was produced to celebrate Warn’s 50th year anniversary in 1998. The 8274-50 received a 4.6hp motor, a new clutch T-handle, and a revised brake assembly. There were some minor cosmetic changes such as powdercoating, and of course the name was changed to the M8274-50. However, you did catch a mistake we made though. The Warn winch in photo 10 is indeed a special winch, but it’s not the 8274-50 that we called it. It’s actually a limited-edition 8274-60, which was produced to celebrate Warn’s 60th year anniversary in 2008. Only 250 of the 8274-60 were made, and each one was individually numbered and shipped in a special wooden crate. The 8274-60 features a black finish, a more powerful 6.0hp motor, and a synthetic rope. Although unlikely, the M8274-60 winch would be a real gem to find for sale in the local classifieds.

If you didn’t already know, the 8274 stands for: (8) 8,000 pounds, (2) two-way operation, (74) released in 1974. It’s regarded as the best winch Warn has ever made by many current and past Warn employees. Did you know there was a Warn 8200 introduced in the early ’70s? There was also an 8074, which was essentially an 8274 without a clutch that was designed as a winch/hoist. Perhaps the most coveted of all Warn 8274 winches ever offered are the five brass-plated 8274 winches that were built in the ’80s. One has recently been donated back to Warn and is currently on display at the Warn manufacturing facility. The location of the other four is unknown. If you find one of those still in the crate, you’ll really have something special. We’re kind of wondering what Warn will do with the 8274 for the 70th year anniversary this year! Could there be a platinum-plated M8274-70 winch coming soon? We hope so.

Flat Wrong TJ Correction

Regarding Best 4:1 TJ Mod (Your Jeep, Jan. ’18), some of the info is flat wrong. No TJ has a speedo cable. Yes, the stock NV231 has a speedo gear, which drives a three-wire hall sensor. The Rubicon 4:1 Rock-Trac transfer case has a tone ring on the output shaft. The Hall sensor reads that. Aftermarket super-short slip-yoke eliminator kits also use a tone ring. When using a Rubicon transfer case or a super-short slip-yoke eliminator you can correct the speedometer with a HealTech ( SpeedoHealer since there is no gear to change for correction.

Great catch, thanks! Clearly we missed speedo calibration day in TJ class. Sorry about that. However, all of the low gearing options mentioned in the column for a TJ Wrangler are still valid, even if some are not very viable when retaining the stock wheelbase.

Roost Ruler

Regarding Trail Head (Nov. ’17), as much as I love my ’70 CJ-5, even I have to admit that the 47-year advance in technology in the new JK is obvious. My CJ can hold its own with JKs on black diamond trails, but the vastly better ride quality of the coil spring JK is painful to watch on the bumpy desert and forest roads that lead to the trailhead. I am seriously thinking of adding a JK or JL to the stable. The cool factor of a CJ-5 is great, but your body pays the price over the bumps.
Noel Park
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

No truer words were ever spoken. It’s really hard to beat the comfort and capability of a newer Jeep when comparing it to 40- to 50-year-old suspension, chassis, and interior technology.

Nena Knows

Thank you for the well-written and informative article concerning keeping trails open (Nena Knows Jeeps, Jan. ’18). She possess excellent journalistic skills. Keep up the good work!
Allan Furrer
Via email

Jeep Living

I loved the Jeep life Trail Head (Dec. ’17). I am 65 years old and have only ever wanted to own Jeep vehicles. I have been driving Jeeps since I was 15 years old. I saved my money and in 1971 I bought my first CJ-5. I still own it and since then I have owned 20 other Jeeps. It is hard to explain, but when I get in my Jeep, I feel like it’s not driving, but rather an adventure, even going to the store or on a short trip. People often ask “why a Jeep?” To me, it’s like getting on a horse and riding into a gorgeous sunrise or sunset. An adventure awaits you that other brands can never copy. Long live the Jeep.
Gayne Darrow
Via email

Jeep Life

Regarding the Jeep life (Trail Head, Dec. ’17), to me the Jeep life is that good ol’ fashioned fun in the great outdoors, conquering a trail, and the trials it brings. It includes overcoming and pushing on, watching new Jeepers gain confidence and skills, hanging around the campfire and reflecting on the funny parts of the day, teaching/watching our kids learn how to have fun without cell service, and staying up long hours in the garage to make sure we can all get out to ’wheel. The Jeep life is making memories and friends while passing down the responsibility by example to new Jeepers and our kids. What it doesn't mean is answering non-stop questions such as what’s the biggest tire can I fit with no lift and what gears and locker can I put in my Dana 35. There are lots of idiots online and the supply of them seems to be growing. Thanks for reading my email.
Nathan Chavarria
Via email

Jeep Life Explained

I am a Belgian Jeeper and Jp subscriber of many years. I want to share my addiction to Jeeps by telling you what we did in 2016 to celebrate the 75th birthday of our brand. For a couple of years we had been talking about things to do with our Jeeps and dreaming about the Rubicon Trail. A good friend of mine and I came up with the idea of shipping our Jeeps to the USA and going for it. After a couple of months and a lot of paperwork, we finally arrived in Baltimore to pick up the seven Jeeps, which came by boat. We drove through the Rocky Mountains and did some famous trails like Mosquito, Engineer Pass, Imogene Pass, and so on. We then continued to Moab for more trails. After a quick visit in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a drive through Death Valley we arrived at the famous Rubicon Trail. We passed through it with nearly stock Jeeps. All were CRD diesel Wranglers with 2 inches lift and 33-inch tires. Apparently, we were some of the first private-owned stock diesel Wranglers who passed the ’Con. After some other stops we turned back to Baltimore to ship our heroes home. All in all we did a good 7,500 miles in the States. A lot of people declared us crazy, but we did it!
Hans Vanranst

More Jeep Living

For me the Jeep life has simply been a collection of memorable childhood Jeep experiences, whether it was merely a form of transportation to get us to and from home in remote Humboldt, or family excursions to places I might have never seen if not for a Jeep. It seems to be an unavoidable part of my being, like it’s ingrained in my DNA. It’s become somewhat of a necessity to continue this way of life and to pass on cherished memories with my children like my parents did for me. There’s so much of this world still to explore. As long as I’m alive and have a Jeep, I’ll do my best see what I’ve yet to see. My Jeep is a ’64 Wagoneer with an OM617 turbodiesel engine, T-18 manual transmission, Dana 20 transfer case, Scout II Dana 44 rear axle with a Trac-Lok differential, stock Dana 27 front axle, 3.73:1 ratio axle gears, and 31x12.50 tires.
Justin Staggs
Lockeford, CA

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