Jeep News & Rumors
•There's an idea floating around to turn the vacated 70-acre location of the former Toledo Jeep Assembly Plant on Jeep Parkway in West Toledo into a "playground," according to the Toledo Blade. It would be created to mark the 70th anniversary of the Wrangler, if it happened. Mud bogs, obstacles, and port-a-potties are among the thoughts on the table. Might it be called, oh, we don't know, Camp Jeep?
•Will the '11 Grand Cherokee start at $31,000-and-change and top off around $45,000-plus?
•Consumer Reports has put out a list of the best and worst '10 models when it comes to fuel economy. The Commander made the list! Whoo hoo! Scratch that: It was the 5.7L Limited, and was among the worst.
•Looking for Jeep-wear? Jeep has a line of military-inspired T-shirts that you can get at jeep.com/gear.
•Did someone say "prototype trail master long-arm suspension system"? Someone did. It was Performance Automotive Group talking about its project JK and that coming-one-day-kit was among the upgrades on the Jeep.
•Edelbrock is giving away a free air cleaner through its Big Carb Deal promotion. Buy a new Edelbrock carb-check bigcarbdeal.com for details on what's eligible-send in the proof of purchase, and get the air cleaner of your choice. It's on through April 30.
•And yet another promo for you to take advantage of: Rancho is offering the Extreme Deal program, awarding Visa prepaid debit cards of up to $500 when purchasing a qualifying Rancho suspension, and four RS9000XL shocks. Other cards/products are also available that can earn you a Visa card for $400, $100, or $50. This will last until August 31, so head to gorancho.com for more info and the restrictions.
•Always wanted to take a welding class? Lincoln Electric's Motorsports Welding School course is made up of five-day classes held at Lincoln's corporate HQ in Cleveland. You'll learn TIG and MIG welding, how to use gas lens torches, picking filler metal/base metal, how to back purge titanium, inconel, and stainless, and more. There's info at lincolnelectric.com or call 216/383-2259.
•New crate engine from Ford Racing: X302. The 306ci mill makes 340 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque and features a 9.0:1 compression ratio, 4.030-inch bore x 3.00-inch stroke, Ford Racing aluminum cylinder heads, among the specs/components. The MSRP is $3,495.
•JEGS is turning 50 this year and you can score a free '10 Chevy Camaro in return. The sweepstakes lasts until July 4, and you can get the scoop at jegs.com. Don't want a musclecar? Enter anyway; you can take $20,000 in cash instead.
•Dig Mickey Thompson products? Dig the man: A new exhibit called "Mickey Thompson: First American to 400 mph" is on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California, and is being sponsored by Gale Banks Engineering. It includes cars built and driven by Mickey, and runs through early October.
•At King of the Hammers, the first 11 teams sported BFGoodrich tires.
•Free ringtones: Royal Purple is giving you a choice of 25 ringtones, including a Corvette and Ferrari. Go to royalpurple.mobi/ringtones.
•4 Wheel Parts of El Paso and El Paso Boy Scouts pooled their resources and held a combo trail ride and food drive in February and donated more than 1,000 pounds of food to local food banks.
•The redesigned '11 Chevy and GMC heavy-duty pickups with the new 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel will be B20-capable. You know, biodiesel.
•The Chevy Suburban turns 75 this year. It's like it's our grandpa.
•According to CBS13, a dude in Roseville, California, was startled by his hands-free cell device going off as he was driving and reacted by accidentally veering his vehicle into a creek, then found himself trapped and had to use his handgun to shoot out a window in order to escape. Jp staffers often shoot out the windows to exit and enter. Pricey habit, but less so when we're carpooling in someone else's ride.
•Automotive News reported that the number of dealership closures in 2009 was the worst on record since the 1950s.
•NHTSA approved an extension of 90 days for recyclers to crush or shred vehicles under the Cash for Clunkers program, bringing the total carnage/processing time to 270 days.
•The U.S. Army's new budget proposal did not include cash for AM General Humvees. An army spokesman told the Associated Press that the 2,620 Humvees already ordered will be the last ordered. In fact, as we went to press, the Hummer brand had no potential buyer and was headed for six feet under.
•iPhone app: ParkWatch. This freebie lets you send an alert (and receive them) if you spot a parking enforcement officer in the area and also helps you keep on the ball with how much time you have left in a meter or any place with time restraints.
•Over at the U.S. Air Force, the Air Armament Center, 308th Armament Systems Wing, Rapid Acquisition Cell is looking for a "car stopper." Translation: "Seeking information that could lead to development of an air-delivered capability to disable moving ground vehicles while minimizing harm to occupants."
Ultimate V-8 Book
Full name: Ultimate American V-8 Engine Data Book, 2nd Edition. The contents? Let's just say it ain't called Ultimate for nothing. Included in this book is every excruciating detail about every V-8 ever made in the U.S. Every V-8, right through the '09 model year. We're talking specs, internal dimensions, casting numbers, codes, horsepower, torque, compression ratio, cubic inches, Hemis, AMCs, Fords, GMs, small-blocks, big-blocks, strengths, weaknesses, which vehicles have which engine-excruciating detail. There's also a mini history lesson about each engine/manufacturer and well as photos that help you become a better spotter, such as a side-by-side comparo of AMC cylinder blocks. Do you know when tuned port fuel injection was introduced? Facts about the Y-block exhaust manifold design? What the intake manifold on the 6.1L SRT is made of? There are 240 pages to make you fluent in V-8s. Get it at motorbooks.com.
Things to Do With Your Jeep
•May 15-16: Rocks & Valleys 1st Anniversary Wheel & Feast Celebration, hosted by Jackpine 4WD, Rocks and Valleys Off Road Park, Harrison, MI, rocksandvalleys.com
•May 21-22: Midwest Willys Jeep Reunion, Kings Island Resort, Mason, OH, midwestwillysreunion.org
•May 21-22: Spring Race, Cleves, OH, gravelrama.com
•May 28-30: 14th OHV Extravaganza, hosted by Baltimore 4 Wheelers, Rausch Creek Off-Road Park, Tremont, PA, baltimore4wheelers.org
•June 5: Offroad Show & Swap Meet, hosted by Grand Mesa Jeep Club, County Fairgrounds, Grand Junction, CO, gmjc.org
•June 16-20: 6th Annual Jeep Camp, hosted by Black Hills Jeeps, Steel Wheels Campground, Deadwood, SD, blackhillsjeeps.com
•June 18-20: Big Bear Forest Fest 13, hosted by Inland Empire 4 Wheelrs, San Bernardino Mountains, Big Bear, CA, ie4w.com
•June 20: First Annual Jeep and 4x4 Car Show, hosted by Kansas City Jeep Club, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Kansas City, KS, kcjeepclub.org
•June 25-26: June Brackets & Pro Trucks, Cleves, OH, gravelrama.com
•June 25-27: 6th Annual Northwest Fest, hosted by North American XJ Association (NAXJA), near Naches, Washington, naxja.org
•July 8-10: 6th Snowshoe Mountain, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Snowshoe, WV, jeepjamboreeusa.com
•July 10-11: Urban SUV Survival Driving Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA 4x4training.com
•July 12-18: Divide Ride 2010, hosted by Montana 4x4 Association, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Boulder, MT, m4x4a.org or divideride.org
•July 15-17: 15th Northwoods - Mole Lake, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Crandon, WI, jeepjamboreeusa.com
•July 15-17: 4th Killington, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Killington, VT, jeepjamboreeusa.com
•July 17-18: Beginning Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA 4x4training.com
•July 19-20: Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA 4x4training.com
•July 24-25: Wine Safari, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Mojave, CA, 4x4training.com
•July 25: Deepwoods Extreme 9th Annual Truck Show and Rock Crawl Competition, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Gilford, NH, deepwoodsextreme.com
•July 31: 4WD Sand Driving Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Oceano Dunes near Pismo, CA, 4x4training.com
•July 31: Iron Range Offroad driving school, Iron Range OHV Park, near Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, ironrangeoffroad.com
•August 2-6: 6th Annual Ohio Adventure, Painted Rock Adventures, Glenford, OH, paintedrockohv.com
•August 6-8: Canadian 3rd Annual JKJam, Trenton/Quinte West, Ontario, Canada, jkjam.com or jkjam.ca
•August 6-8: Carlisle All-Truck Nationals, Carlisle Fairgrounds, Carlisle, PA, carlisleevents.com
•August 14: 2nd Annual Topless For Tata's, Rausch Creek Off-Road Park, Treemount, PA, rc4x4.org
•August 21-22: Iron Range Offroad driving school, Iron Range OHV Park, near Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, ironrangeoffroad.com
•August 26-30: Gravelrama40, Cleves, OH, gravelrama.com
•August 26-29: BlackTop Nationals, Wichita, KS, blacktopnationals.com
•September 3-6: Superlift 4xAdventure Series, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, AR, orvpark.com
•September 22-25: Oklahoma Classic Bronco Round-Up, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, AR, orvpark.com
•September 25-26: Iron Range Offroad driving school, Iron Range OHV Park, near Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, ironrangeoffroad.com
•October 22-23: Last Blast, Cleves, OH, gravelrama.com
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Here's a sneak peek at a project that River Raider Off-Road is working on, and we hear that if there's enough demand, a kit might make its way into the market. While the Raider ST is based off the Wrangler Unlimited platform, think of it more as a J8. It features a fold-down tailgate and steel bed as well as a half-cab top. For the project-vehicle version, River Raider added some of its own products plus a Dana 60 front axle and shaved 14-bolt rear, Nitto rubber, Flowmaster muffler, Advance Adapters RubiCrawler, and other beefy bolt-ons.