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Clipboard - Off-Road News - October 2013

Posted in News on August 30, 2013
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Photographers: Readers

Why No V-8 JK?
Why is there no V-8 engine offered in JK Wranglers? A lot of my buddies seem to be dropping in Hemi V-8s. Why wouldn’t Mopar offer some SRT-8 JK version?
Heith Bicks

We asked our colleagues over at JP Magazine to weigh in on this question (since we thought it was a pretty good one, too!). This is what Christian Hazel got back to us with:

It is the government’s frontal crash requirements that will not allow a factory V-8 in the Wrangler. There would not be enough dead-air/crumple space between the bumper and the engine block if a V-8 were shoved in under the JK hood.

Hilux Suspension and International Subscriptions
Hello, I’m a 22-year-old Royal Air Force engineer working on the CH-47 Chinooks. I’m currently doing a tour in Afghanistan and I was in the American PX recently when I came across your mag and loved it. I’m building my own prerunner back home in the UK using the bare bits of a MK3 Toyota Hilux truck, full space frame and the like, and using a MK3 Toyota Supra turbo lump as its meaty powerpack hopefully kicking out about 450-500 bhp once it’s all mapped and played with, etc. I’m doing the work myself as an engineering exercise and to have a driving example of my abilities for my next step in work, which is to be working for a Trophy Truck team.

As I build my Hilux, I’m at a point where I need suspension. Could you recommend a good heavy-duty and fairly priced provider of coilovers/shocks, and also would I be able to get a subscription to your fine mag sent out to the UK? Many thanks.
Jack Taylor

Your Hilux prerunner sounds like a great project. Send us some pics when you’re done, as there aren’t too many prerunners in England.

Regarding subscriptions: In the masthead at the front of the magazine, there is a phone number for international subscriber services, (385) 447-6385. If you call this, they can help you get a subscription to the UK.

As for the coilovers for your Hilux, anything for a Tacoma should work for your truck, too. King, Fox, Sway-A-Way, and Radflo all have bolt-in coilovers that would fit your truck, but you’re definitely shopping over the $1,000 price point with high-end equipment like that. If you want a more “fairly priced” solution that is still good and heavy-duty, we’d suggest looking at Rancho’s quickLIFT, Fox’s Performance Series, or Bilstein’s 5100 Ride Height Adjustable shocks that all come in under the $500 mark.

If you’re putting on custom suspension and want universal coilovers, the best-priced units we’re familiar with have to be the F-O-A coilovers.

13 Years and Counting
Regarding your July “Rant” on not giving up on long-time projects: I concur!

This is my 1946 Willys, bought in 2000 (not running obviously) before marriage, kids, etc. I did finally get the engine pulled a few months ago, though, and the engine may have served in Korea and/or Vietnam before it came back to the U.S. on surplus!
B. Cox

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Grand Shoppers
No doubt the people at Wagonmaster in Kerrville, Texas, ( are still recovering from the strokes they had if they read your May 2013 “Rant.”

About all they do is round up Grand Wagoneers and Commands from around the country and completely restore them for resale. There’s no telling what they’d have paid for it and perhaps throw in a pair of the desired axles. If you need Wagoneer stuff, that’s where to get it.

I have a 98-year-old friend who has one he bought new to drive to his place in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. He loves it.
Monty Montgomery
Belton, Texas

Bronco Brakes Long-Term Updates
Sure, it works great for the first week, but what about after?

We see the big-brake kits offered in the marketplace today and drool over the brightly colored six-piston calipers and large-diameter rotors. It seems logical that a performance vehicle with big tires and a laundry list of other big, heavy mods would need oversized brake components to bring it to a stop. Well, EBC Brakes recently sent us a set of Yellowstuff pads and a set of slotted rotors to install on the front end our project Bronco. These pads and rotors were sized to fit the OEM caliper and went on as easily as any stock brake components should.

ebc brakes on ford bronco

And, man, were we impressed! The difference in stopping power was so noticeable that it immediately cancelled any plans we might have had for a big-brake kit on the Bronco. Responsiveness was firm, steady, and controllable. The feel from the brake pedal made us feel more confident behind the wheel of our Bronco than we ever have before. Brake dust seems to be kept to a minimum (it’s certainly less prevalent than the dust we used to get from our cheapo auto-store pads). We have several thousand miles on the pad/rotor setup by now, and the pads aren’t wearing any more quickly than others we’ve used. We’ve since installed EBC brakes on several other project vehicles with similar results.

News Blips
What’s going on in the off-road world

Johnson Valley Provision Approved by House, Now Considered by Senate
HR1960, the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. It includes a provision to end a five-year debate on how to expand the USMC base in Twentynine Palms, California, by allowing the Marines to have access to the adjoining Johnson Valley OHV area for up to 60 days per year for training exercises, but it will otherwise be preserved for recreational use. The NDAA will now be considered by the U.S. Senate.

Clean Diesels on the Rise
According to the Clean Diesel Forum, clean diesel car registrations increased by 24.3 percent in the U.S. from 2010 through 2012.

• California, Massachusetts, and New York are the fastest growing diesel car states

• Texas is No. 1 in total diesel passenger vehicles and No. 1 in diesel pickup trucks

• Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska have the highest percentage of diesel passenger vehicles

Fastest Growth Diesel Cars and SUVs (2010-12)
1) California +55%

2) Massachusetts +45%

3) New York +43%

Fastest Growth Diesel Pickup Trucks (2010-12)
1) Montana +10%

2) Nebraska +9%, Maine +9%

3) Pennsylvania +8%

Polaris Donating 10 Off-Road Vehicles to Salvation Army for Oklahoma Disaster Relief
Polaris Industries is donating 10 military off-road vehicles with a combination of Run-Flat and Non-Pneumatic Tires (NPT) to enhance The Salvation Army’s ability to transport food, water, and other critical supplies to survivors in Moore, Oklahoma. The units will be delivered from Polaris’ Osceola, Wisconsin, plant free of charge, thanks to a generous donation from Bay and Bay Transport and Overbye Trucking.

“With debris on the ground from thousands of destroyed homes, these vehicles will allow us to serve in places our mobile kitchens cannot,” said Lt. Col. Robert Thomson, Salvation Army Northern Division Commander. “We thank Polaris for this incredible gift. These vehicles will allow us to serve more people in crisis.”

To date, The Salvation Army has served more than 17,000 meals and snacks to tornado survivors and relief workers across Oklahoma, with pastoral care provided to about 800 people. The Salvation Army is now preparing to offer long-term case management, which can include financial assistance, stress management classes, replacement furniture, and much more.

To donate to The Salvation Army’s Oklahoma tornado relief efforts:

• Give online at or call 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)

• Text “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation via your mobile phone. To confirm your gift, respond “Yes.”

• Mail a check to The Salvation Army, 2445 Prior Ave. N., Roseville, MN 55113. Designate your gift “Oklahoma Tornado.”

You may have noticed a few changes in your OFF-ROAD magazine recently. Hopefully, this doesn’t bring too much stress to your life and you’ll handle it! One such change is that we’ve combined our letters, our news, and our long-term updates all into our Clipboard. You can reach us at or at the old email addresses that used to be published.

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