07 Wrangler MPG
Q: I enjoyed the article on the '07 Jeep Rubicon; however, no mention was made about the estimated fuel mileage. Do you have any information concerning the expected EPA fuel mileage for this vehicle? Thanks.
A: R, the estimated fuel mileage (EPA combined) for the 3.8L V-6 engine in the '07 Jeep Wrangler JK is 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. This is up from the 15/19 mpg offered by the 4.0L I-6 found in the '06 Wrangler TJ. You can expect to see continued coverage of the all-new '07 Wrangler in upcoming issues as we complete the buildup of our very own JK for the SEMA show held in Las Vegas in November.
Best Gears for Now and Later
Q: I have a '95 Jeep YJ with a four-cylinder engine, stock axle gears, and 33-inch tires. It's a daily driver (typical maximum speed is 55 mph but sometimes up to 65 mph), and most weekends it is in the dirt and mud with some hills but no big rocks. What axle gearing would you suggest that wouldn?t be too low if I decide to swap in a 4.0L I-6 later on? Thanks.
A: Trevor, since your YJ is equipped with the four-cylinder engine, it should also already have a 4.11 axle gear ratio from the factory. While this is sufficiently low for the type of use you describe, you can certainly gain a bit more power going to something lower, such as 4.56 or even 4.88 ratios. With the higher-output six-cylinder engine in place, however, you will want to stay somewhat higher geared - typically 4.11 is right on the money. One thing about swapping in a 4.0L engine is that you?ll also require a different transmission, which will likely offer a higher First gear than that used in your four-cylinder?equipped YJ, so a 4.56 ratio should suffice for either powertrain combination.
Will the Real Robert Please Stand Up?
Comment: I wanted to let you guys know there is a misprint on page 35 of the Aug. '06 issue of 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility. The photo with the caption that references "Robert of Off-Road Evolution in Fullerton, California" is actually of Robert Lucero of Team A-1 Racing in Pueblo, Colorado, and he is also part owner of Area BFE in Moab. He was in his Rock Ware moon buggy (a different buggy than what he races in XRRA). Anyway, awesome issue guys. I was excited and surprised to see my YJ made the issue (page 36, yellow with red flames). My wife, Lydia, and I just bought a house in Colorado Springs, so we will be a lot closer to the action in Moab from now on.
A: Tom, thanks for the heads-up on the misprint. We met so many new faces on the trail that day (including you and Lydia) that the names began to get away from us. At the same time we were introduced to Robert, we also met Mel and Mike from Off-Road Evolution, so that likely led to the confusion. My apologies to Robert for the incorrect info. Incidentally, Mel from Off-Road Evolution also caught the misprint, but he appreciated the mention regardless of the fact that it wasn't him or his buggy. Thanks for writing, Tom. Catch ya on the trail.
Bias-Ply Tire Wear
Q: I read the review on the Maxxis Creepy Crawler tires that you tested and I am thinking about putting a set on my Jeep. My main concern is that I don?t want to spend $2,000 on tires and have to replace them within 10 months. I'm going to be driving on the highway and in town, so I was wondering if the tires would wear too fast with this much pavement? In the review you said that the tire compound is soft, so does that mean the tires will wear fast on normal driving?
A: No Name, simply put, if you're worried about the rate of tire wear, buy a radial tire. Despite their efficiency through rough terrains, bias-ply tires in general will offer less wear life under heavy pavement use than radials. If you like the looks of the Maxxis Creepy Crawlers but can't accept the nature of bias-ply tires, you might look to the Maxxis Trepador Radial, which possesses many similar traits but with a radial construction. Size availability is also similar. Another option is to employ a second set of wheels and tires for street use, but that, of course, creates additional expenses.
Fiberglass Jeep Bodies
Q: Do you happen to know of a company that manufactures a custom Jeep body that looks somewhat like a Hummer?
I think it was a company called Fibertech Industries, or something like that, and I think the body model was the MJ-7. We have our CJ-7 down to the bare chassis and are ready for a body. We had always planned on using one of these bodies, but we can?t find any information on them.
A: Jim, you may have to change your plans. From what I can tell, Fibertech Industries appears to no longer be in business. I was unable to reach the company by phone, and its Web domain is no longer active. One distributor I spoke with is no longer offering the MJ-7 bodies, and others indicated the same on their websites. Your options - Check out Landrunner Conversions [(714) 841-5039, www.landrunner.com] in Huntington Beach, California. This company manufactures complete Jeep Wrangler Hummer-body-esque vehicle conversions and is the original manufacturer of the Hum-Bug, a VW Bug/Hummer conversion kit car. I'm not certain if one of the company's body kits will fit your CJ-7, but it's worth a call to find out. Other fiberglass Jeep body options are available from Shell Valley Fiberglass [(800) 356-9198], Kentrol [(800) 333-2235, www.kentrolinc.com], and Quadratec [(800) 745-5337, www.quadratec.com]. Good luck.
Honoring the Golden Rule
Comment: Thank you for the great photo in the Aug. '06 issue on page 7. Not many four-wheelers take the time to stop and view the parking lot of the Moab Rim trail from the Poison Spider Trail, but it is part of the beauty of the Moab area. The reason I comment on this particular spot is because my wife has MD and is unable to visit these areas on foot or bicycle. We have been able to enjoy the off-road beauty of the western states by Jeeping during our retirement years. We certainly support your feeling about working to keep such trails open. Concerning the vehicles that "buzzed" the young lady biker, hopefully she realizes we are not all like that. Most four-wheelers believe in the Golden Rule. Keep up the good work with your magazine - we sure enjoy reading it.Bob & Patsy KraftMoab, Utah
A: Bob and Patsy, that was our first time on Poison Spider Trail, and we too enjoyed the fabulous views. We're glad that you folks are taking the time to soak in this great land via 4x4 - it really is one of the best ways to reach the backcountry, especially for those unable to do so by other means. We also appreciate your adherence to the Golden Rule. Keep up the good work yourself, guys, and we'll do the same. It's people like you who keep us in business.