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2002 Jeep Liberty - 4x Forum

Side View
Christian Lee | Writer
Posted November 1, 2005

"Inner Struggle" 4Word Hits Home
Q: We would be really surprised if you do not get total support for your opinion expressed in the August 2005 4Word editorial. Certainly we support you 110 percent. We would like to see all the Primedia editors take a similar stand with their readers. Ultimately, Primedia will benefit substantially on their bottom line. Without the off-road community and the other auto/truck/outdoor-related hobbies, Primedia would take a pretty strong hit in the bank. Whether it is land use or the nuts who would prevent older vehicles from being restored and kept on the highways, to those who would close hunting rights on public lands, it is time for all of us to get busy, support our land-use organizations, and speak up before it is too late. We can only hope Ivan Stewart and ORBA get a great response to their ad on page 102 of the same issue. Thanks for having the good sense and backbone to voice your opinion. Bill & Lois Sandersvia e-mail

A: Bill and Lois, We appreciate your support and hope all of our readers will take the time to become active participants in maintaining our hobby and sport. It doesn't take a great deal of effort to get involved. Simply joining a 4x4 club or writing a letter to your local representative so your voice is heard is a good start. For more information about 4x4 clubs and how to save your local 'wheeling spots, contact: United 4 Wheel Drive Association, (800) 44-UFWDA, www.ufwda.org.

Q: "Inner Struggle" - not! You're right on the money. That is the best 4Word yet. You have no idea how hard I have tried to explain the same thing you just did in the Aug. '05 4Word. The problem with us folks in the West is we are like a bratty kid who gets what he wants when he wants it. The time is coming where "our" land is going to be taken away from us, and the bratty kid is going to react. We need to be proactive in this matter, but most of the off-road vehicle owners don't see the reason why. The Greens are taking away one little trail here and another trail there, and next thing you know we'll have zero trails to 'wheel on. So what can a bratty kid do about it? Grow up and band together. Join Clubs like the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the United Four Wheel Drive Association, and state or local four-wheel-drive clubs that enjoy the outdoors just like you do. The more numbers we have, the more clout we have with the BLM and so on. We need to also stay on top of issues, such as the S.U.W.A. (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance) attacking Moab, Utah, and asking local business to sign a letter to their state governor in favor of taking away our land. What can we do? Ban any business that signed that letter. Show them that the ORV community will not stand for this. We as a group need to ban together and pull our heads out. If we don't, well then, don't throw that tantrum when you can't go 'wheeling on your favorite trail that was closed by those well-organized Greens, you brat.Andy GressettColorado Springs, Colorado

A: Andy, Well said. Our trails are threatened every day we don't do something about it, and taking action and becoming involved is the best way to proactively keep these lands open for all to enjoy. Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) offers many resources, including its Recreation Activist's Tool Kit, which details how to become involved in saving our sport. For more information, contact the BRC at (208) 237-1008, www.sharetrails.org

Q: I've had many subscriptions to a lot of magazines over the years. Often I have read an article and thought I should reply but have never felt strongly enough to do so. Well, your "Inner Struggle" article hit home. I have been on the trails in one form or another for more than 25 years - everything from dirt bikes and ATVs to sandrails. Just this past year, I started 'wheeling my Jeep with my son. I have been in all types of groups over the years, ranging from the can-dropping beer drinkers to a "leave better than you found it" type of group. I for one would like to see my son, who is not yet 10 years old, be able to enjoy all that our nation has to offer, and he will not be able to at the rate we are going. I'm speaking for myself and my son when I say we will do our part. Thanks and God bless the U.S. Glenn Freeman and sonvia e-mail

A: Glenn, Thanks for writing. We're glad you've seen the light and have left your can-tossing days behind you. The better the image of off-road enthusiasts we can impress upon society, the better we'll be treated while sharing the trails with others. We hope you continue to set an example for your son and the off-road community and hopefully put in some extra effort during trail cleanup activities to make up for the impact your less conscientious days may have on the environment.

Liberty Lifts
Q: Have you heard of anyone doing anything with the Liberty? From your 2002 review, it sounded as if you guys gave it high praise. However, I don't see anything on it. I just bought an '02 Liberty with the V-6, five-speed manual, and of course, 4WD. I started looking for a lift and all I can find is 2-inch and 2-1/2-inch kits. I was also told that the wheels use a special backspacing, which makes it hard to put larger tires on it. Is this true? If I put the 2-1/2-inch kit with 31-inch tires, how much more capable will it be? I took it out this weekend to see just what it would do in its current form and simply loved how well it was on the trail. However, I definitely needed better traction and more clearance. Can you point me in the direction of any clubs, parts information, or features that may have been done on the Jeep Liberty? Thank you for your time.Gilbert J. Graybill via e-mail

A: Gilbert, You bet you can build your Liberty KJ to perform better on the trail. With your '02 Libby, you're actually a leg-up on owners of later-model rigs, as Jeep lowered the post-'02 Libertys by approximately 1 inch. Quite a few suspension kits are available for the Jeep Liberty, ranging from coil spacer kits and budget boosts to full-replacement suspension kits. The kit allowing the largest tire fitment is the KJ 7-UP from Rock Krawler Suspension (www.rockkrawler. com), which permits use of 33x12.50 tires on 16x9-inch wheels with 5-inch backspacing. Stock-wheel backspacing is 5.25 inch. Rocky-Road (www.rocky-road.com) also offers a selection of lift kits, including its Rockfather line, which garners 2.5 inches of lift and fits 31-inch tires. Skyjacker (www.skyjacker.com) and Rusty's Off-Road (www.rustysoffroad.com) also have kits available for Jeep Liberty applications, as does All J Products (www.boulderbars.com) in Colton, California, with its Frankenlift system, which uses key components from a variety of manufacturers' kits. If you're looking for bumpers and skidplates, check out Trail Ready (www.trailready.com) and Skid Row Automotive (www.skidplates.com). Lastly, a good source of information about Jeep Liberty vehicles can be found at www.lostkjs.com, where you can chat with other Liberty owners who have completed similar upgrades. Good luck.

Send questions, comments, and suggestions to 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility Magazine, Attn: Christian Lee, 2400 E. Katella Ave.,7th Floor, Anaheim, CA 92806, or christian.lee@primedia.com.

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