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Jp Reader Letters to The Editor

Posted in Features on March 30, 2018
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Thanks for the Best Jeep Magazine

I wanted to write in and say thanks. I have noticed a change in Jp in the last year or two. I appreciate the move away from provocative images of women in the magazine. I’m sure I will sound prudish to some, but there are so many other places where those who don’t object to these kinds of things can easily go to see that. I am glad to subscribe to a magazine that focuses on a hobby I enjoy and a hobby I would like to share with my grandkids without including things that really don’t add to Jeep coverage. I’m not trying to push my values or views on others, but I appreciate a publication that focuses on my hobby and doesn’t include material that runs counter to my values.

As to my retirement hobby, I have a ’76 postal Jeep that that I combined with the drivetrain from a wrecked ’77 CJ-5. It’s my first real project like this and I’m having a ball working on it. I added the door openings salvaged from the CJ-5, and a T-18 four-speed. I made the top removable with Meyers doors that I use in winter. I am considering shortening the tub and top while lengthening the frame and adding a cut-down ’51 International flare side pickup box to make a small truck. Again, thanks for the way the magazine is being done.

Lynn Elrod
Monroe, IA

TJ Leaky Seal Solution

In answer to Nathan Patterson’s leaking Dana 44 rear axle seals (Your Jeep, March ’18). I have found a solution. Check the end play with the bearings and seals installed and torqued down with the retaining plate. There should be no end play and the bearing should be preloaded. If there is end play, there is no preload, the axle won’t center in the bearing race, and the seal will leak. The problem appears to be a slightly over-length bearing housing. There is, however, a fix. The standard seal is a one-piece outer metal shell and it doesn’t compress. If the clearances don’t match, this seal is too short/thin to properly preload the bearing. The fix is to use a two piece seal that collapses as you tighten the retainer bolts. This properly preloads the bearing and centers the axle in the housing. I’ve been using a Timken 9912S seal and it has solved my leaky axle bearings. And please don’t ask how many bearings and seals it took for me to find this.

James Kenney
Via email

Jeep Life Right

I just wanted to write and say I loved the December ’17 Trail Head about Jeep life. I’ve thought the same thing for years. I wrote my own post on the matter a while back. Keep up the good work!

Nathan Lager
Via email

Next-Gen Wavers

I read the commentary regarding the Jeep Wave (Trail Head, Feb. ’18) with absolute delight. My daughter wrote a college essay about this very thing. We’ve been subscribers for a while and just bought a ’17 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited. My friends at Endangered Species in Holyoke put a 2.5-inch lift on it and 35-inch tires. We kept the original wheels and installed a Bestop Trektop NX Glide soft top. They did a great job and it’s a pretty cool rig. We get a lot of looks and she came in a close second at school for Best Car. We were edged out by a Ford F-150 with a 4-inch lift. What do kids know anyway?

I’ve got all of 3,000 miles on the Jeep, 2,500 of which belong to my daughter Madeline! The next generation is alive and well and they love Jeeps! Anyway, keep on keeping on. We appreciate your good work.

Eddie Stankiewicz
Via email

Living Jeep

I am new to the Jeep life. I have been an air-cooled VW guy, an import tuner guy, a muscle car owner, and now a Jeeper. I have been in the Jeep community for about 18 months now and here is what I have learned:

1. There is no stereotypical Jeeper. There are old CJ guys, there are Willys guys, there are rockcrawlers, there are street Jeeps, there are fullsize Jeep guys, Patriot drivers, J-truckers, and so on. The common thread of the Jeep name bonds us. We have stories to share. We exchange tech tips for what works and what doesn’t. We all have our definition of what constitutes a real Jeep, but we still love to Jeep-wave to those who don’t fit into that definition. We have our rig(s) but there is always that one rig we really want, that someday Jeep.

2. Selling and buying parts is not about the parts or the buying and selling. It’s about talking with other Jeepers. What is the best trail you have hit? Why do you hate California smog laws? What was the Jeep that got away? Why is this bumper a better idea than those rock sliders?

3. There is something uniquely American and respected about Jeeps. A muscle car guy does not badmouth a Jeep guy, neither do the import tuners. The other off-roaders, although they may not like Jeepers, respect us. I think it’s the type of person that drives a Jeep that creates that respect. Most Jeepers are not afraid of a broken U-joint while away from the garage or having to throw some rings in a tired 401 two days before an off-road adventure.

In the last 18 months, I have met, either personally or via email, Craigslist classifieds, and Jeep Forums, more quality people than in my 30 years of being a car guy. I am a proud Jeeper and have accepted the Jeep life as my own.

Marc Schatmeier
Via email

More Jeep Living

I enjoy the Jeep life. I just finished reading the December ’17 Trail Head about Jeep life. I felt compelled to answer your request to send you a note. Since 1997 when I bought my first ’83 CJ-7 (which I still own), myself as well as my family have been in love with everything Jeep.

I experienced a similar thought process this past June while camping in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area of Michigan. As I sat enjoying some treats with my wife and our dog at our favorite roadside ice cream stand, I couldn’t help but think about how cool it is to be part of a community that joins together in the common cause of Jeep. Everyone waves. Everyone smiles. We’re all there for the same reason. We love Jeeps and doing all things off-road. My kids have grown up with Jeeps and my daughter gets upset when I even hint at selling the old CJ. I also have a ’13 Wrangler JK Unlimited that I drive daily. It’s great to have a vehicle that I can drive comfortably, yet still have that Jeep feeling.

Craig Mullauer
Via email

Correct Link

Regarding “Jeep Steering Boost” (Feb. ’18), I believe that you are connecting the ram assist to the tie rod, not to the drag link as written in the article.

Tim Greene
Via email

We just checked the story in the February ’18 issue, and we have indeed missed a boo-boo in the very last caption of the story. We mistakenly identified the tie-rod clamp as the drag link clamp. In a photo a few steps earlier, it is correctly referred to as the tie-rod clamp. The photo in question (with the mistake) does show the ram attached to the tie-rod clamp on the tie rod. Sorry for any confusion, and it has been corrected in the online version of the story.

Applauded Enthusiasm

I enjoy reading Mailbag every month. I’d like to respond to Charlee Marshall from the November ’17 Mailbag regarding the JK ruining the Jeep wave. My respectful response is advice from a baby boomer and JK owner. Charlee ends his commentary with “This coming from a 17-year-old millennial. Isn’t that saying something?”

I offer a big Jeep wave raised high to a fellow Jeep enthusiast. The enthusiasm of 17-year-old Charlee and his love of Jeep is to be applauded. So much of today’s youth is just interested in something to get them from point A to point B, if they’re interested in cars at all. That being said, at such a young age, one’s enthusiasm and passion might also cause one to misstate the facts in their excitement. I think my fellow Jeeper Charlee has fallen victim to this. Like Charlee, I too grew up in a Jeep family. My Mother still owns a Jeep at 75 years old. I can promise you, her passion for her Jeeps has been passed on. Not only do I own one, but so do my brother and sister. We are all proud JK owners and make a point to wave at every Wrangler, regardless of what alphanumeric letters it has. I can promise you, the comments and discussions I hear through social media regarding those who wave and don’t receive a wave in return are numerous. So to even infer that the JK and the new people it has brought into the Jeep community may be non-traditionalist and don’t have the same camaraderie and passion is just, with all due respect, youthful ignorance.

As for Charlee’s statement, “the JK brought on a bunch of non-traditional Jeepers, people that didn’t build their own vehicles. They simply bought a modified Jeep to look cool.” I’d lastly like to add this, be careful on making such generalizations. At 17, that is a good piece of advice you should remember as you go through life. Charlee, have you considered the reason that people may buy new versus rebuilding old is possibly because their lives (raising a family, lack of mechanical knowledge, time, and so on) may not allow them to devote the time and effort to rebuilding an older Jeep? Your comment that one is hurting Jeep traditions because they buy new rather than rebuild old is simply wrong. I can promise you, since buying my JK Unlimited in March of 2016 and getting further and further into the Jeep community, they love all things Jeep, including its heritage and traditions as passionately as you and your father do. Just because they didn’t build their Jeep does not make them inferior.

I commend Charlee and his Dad for their enthusiasm and for their ability to build their own Jeeps. I would just like to tell Charlee, I hope you’re behind the wheel of your own Jeep soon. Enjoy it. Don’t get caught up in the nonsense of judging others based on whether they bought or built, what alphanumeric model Jeep they drive, and so on. Just enjoy life. I can tell you, as a baby boomer, I’ve been around long enough to know life is too short. Since buying my JK Unlimited I’ve been too busy enjoying it to worry about the little things. I wave to every Jeep, even non-Wranglers! I use my Jeep how I want to and don’t worry how others feel Jeeps should be used. I enjoy it! As should you when you own one.

So to Charlee and his Dad, I offer you both a big Jeep wave from a JK owner! We JK owners aren’t ruining anything. If anything, we’re continuing the Jeep traditions.

Ed Birch
Newtown, PA

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