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August 2009 Dispatch - Jeep News

New Jeep
Tori Tellem | Writer
Posted August 1, 2009
Photographers: Insurance Institute For Highway Safety

Dispatch

Jeep News & Rumors
*If Jeep gets sold by Fiatysler, will the asking price be $4 bil?

*Anyone still care about Camp Jeep? It's dead this year after all, with no good reason. Well, other than that little thing about everything crashing down and burning around Chrysler.

*And taking it from those moments of doom to gloom: Could the release of the '11 Grand Cherokee get delayed due to plants going dark during Chrysler's bankruptcy process?

*Now from gloom to zoom: Mopar is expanding the parts catalog with more Jeep options, including for Wranglers a 2-inch lift for '07-'09 models, half-window kits for '07-up, and a '97-'06 Dana 44 axle kit. Last year Mopar was considering a stroker motor for Jeeps, and coming in September will be the ATK 4.7L stroker.

*And from zoom to loom: Some '09 Grands, Wranglers, and Commanders may be recalled due to a wiring issue; the wiring may be reversed, making the driver-side airbag unable to deploy. Meanwhile, some '02-'03 Libertys in Salt Belt states may be recalled for potential corrosion in the upper control arm ball joint, affecting steering control.

*Now, loom to room: Could they pave paradise and put up a shopping mall? No paving required: Jeep HQ, aka Chrysler's Auburn Hills location in Michigan, according to Business Week, was designed back in the early 1990s to be repurposed as a shopping mall if Chrysler ever went out of business.

*And finally, from room to hmmm: The '11 Grand will get a new 3.6L V-6 named Pentastar. Could that be the swan song of Chrysler symbolism?

Moab Jeeps
Hazel covers some of the more cool and interesting Mopar Underground Jeeps that appeared in Moab in this very issue, so we'll show you two he didn't, the Grand Canyon II and the Wrangler Overland. The Overland is an '09 Rubicon Unlimited, which had the rear seat yanked in favor of a rubber utility floor, got one of Mopar's new suspension lifts and a rear sway bar, 35-inch rubber, an AEV heat-reduction hood and snorkel, and Daystar bumper-mounted lights. The theme is "on-the-go self-contained campsite," meaning that's a two-person tent mounted on top, not a body bag.

The Underground team called the Grand Canyon II the "most luxurious off-road vehicle built to date" by them, but we didn't spot mink, caviar, bubbles, or Grey Poupon anywhere, so we mark this one FAIL. Or maybe they meant they took what they consider to be the most luxurious Grand already available and make it mo' better at four-wheeling, since what we did find was bigger rubber on Wrangler Rubicon wheels, a 4-inch Superlift suspension, an ARB high-clearance front bumper, and some beefy Mopar rock rails.

Industry News
*This year, Currie Enterprises turns 50. The rest of this item will be difficult to type because of all the confetti lodged in the keyboard. If you geek out for commemorative stuff, then know that if you buy a custom-built rear end, RockJock product, or 4x4 rearend, you'll get a limited-edition gold, embossed medallion. Well, that and the part you're buying, too. Get more info at currieenterprises.com.

*Speaking of Web sites, findfastpartsfast.com is for locating performance parts or installers easily, but mainly for finding retailers nearby so you can check out parts in person. You punch in your zip code and the site will display retailers in your `hood. Just make sure you click the yellow Find Fast Parts Fast logo in the center of the page or you might go crazy trying to figure out where to put in your zip code--if you're not the type who reads instruction manuals.

*Heard rumors in the news that our parent company Source Interlink Media went bankrupt and all the magazines, including Jp, will be killed off? We're alive, well, and kickin' and aren't going anywhere. It was one of those good bankruptcies.

*Daystar (daystarweb.com) has expanded: Thanks to a 10,000-square-foot addition, the facility is now 40,000 square feet. This caps off further good news, that 2008 was its best year since business started in 1977.

*Need a shipping-price estimator for vehicle transport? uShip.com has created just that at uship.com/price_estimator.aspx, and you can get info by distance and weight as well as trucking routes and availability.

*GM will euthanize the Pontiac brand in 2010.

*There's talk that the Viper brand will also be dead next year.

*In a 2008 J.D. Power and Associates study of customer satisfaction of UK vehicles, Fiat ranked dead last among the 29 brands included.

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