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January 2006 Mailbag - Jp Letters to the Editor

Posted in Project Vehicles on January 1, 2006 Comment (0)
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January 2006 Mailbag - Jp Letters to the Editor

The August '05 issue of Jp Magazine was the most informative issue yet. I especially like Christian Hazel's "Your Jeep" column. Practical advice to solve problems is always welcome.

I also liked the articles over the past couple of issues about fitting larger rubber without a suspension lift. After all, ground clearance only comes from taller tires. Many of us don't need enormous wheel travel. Thanks for all the good work.
Jim Slocum
Angus, New Mexico

Well, you guys seem to have finally got it together. I have been running Jeeps for almost 35 years now and was really pleased to see a magazine devoted to these vehicles. I have been a subscriber since day one, but I must say that up until now I have been very disappointed. When it was time for my last renewal, I had to think hard about whether or not to give you more money. I won't go into details, and I'm not here to bash you guys because other readers have already done a pretty good job at that.

Now I would like to say that the August '05 issue has me believing that you guys have finally started listening, and it appears that you might actually be making the turn. I especially appreciated the article on the Golen 4.6L stoker ("The Insane Inline Part I"). I've already built and installed a 4.6L stroker in my TJ, and I'm looking forward to the coverage in upcoming issues. There are several other articles that caught my attention, and I really enjoyed opening and reading this issue. Also, I don't mind looking at Bree's backside or any other side that she wants to show, but please remember that this is a magazine about Jeeps.

There are people out here that have done as much or more with these machines as you guys have. We just haven't had the opportunity to write about them like you have. Please don't bore us with childishness. Keep the good stuff coming.You've got it pointed in the right direction. Now don't let it get away from you!
Rich Rice
Talbott, Tennessee

I just read "Diesel Power" in the August '05 issue and still wonder why you rarely see diesel swaps in Jeeps.

I have a Samurai with a VW 1.6L diesel in it. I have 31-inch tires and get 29 miles per gallon. It was a fairly easy swap--so easy that I am planning on a VW diesel swap into my '88 YJ.

There is a company that makes conversion kits for mating VW diesels to the Suzuki Samurai, Sidekick, and Toyota transmissions. The Toyota pickup transmission is an Aisin transmission, as is the AX-5 and AX-15. So if the input shaft on either AX transmission is the same length as the input shaft on the Toyota transmission, mounting a Toyota bellhousing should make this a fairly easy match.

That is where I am with my research. I need to make some measurements on the input shafts and confirm that the Toyota bellhousing will bolt on. If so, I will probably take this route. My backup plan is a Toyota Tacoma transmission with a driver's side T-case output.

For the engine, I will start with the 1.6L turbo diesel that is in my shop (because I already have it). The 1.6L is an awesome engine choice for the Samurai. My wife's '93 YJ is 1,000 pounds heavier than my Samurai and it has a hardtop and a 4.0L. I haven't weighed my YJ yet, but with a soft top and the much lighter engine, I expect a difference of closer to 500 pounds. The 1.6L may be capable of handling the extra weight with proper gearing, but I am mainly using it to mock up for the final engine. If the 1.6L does the job well, I might stop there. If it is low on power I will spend the cash on a 1.9L from Canada.

As you point out in the article, the diesel comes into its power at a much lower rpm than a gas engine, so even though the numbers are lower for the 1.9L than for the Jeep 2.5L gas engine, the usable low-end torque and horsepower should make it a nice match.
Jonald Gradwohl
Via e-mail

In your May '05 issue, the "Learn to Drive" story discussed methods to start up on a steep hill. I have tried slipping the clutch, then switching to the gas while trying to start. Due to high gearing, I found it hard to get going. The high gearing also made it dicey to use the starter. By installing a 10-speed bicycle shifter on my gearshift lever, and connecting the end of the cable assembly to my throttle, I was able to use the hand throttle as a third leg to regulate the gas. I also used the hand throttle when slowly traversing rough terrain. That kept my foot from bouncing on the gas pedal. Since then, I put in a 700-R4 automatic but still use the hand throttle to raise the rpm during winching or airing up my tires. I am enjoying your three-part series on the Golen Engine Service 4.6L motor ("The Insane Inline Parts I and II" Aug. and Sept. '05), and I'm considering putting it in my '93 YJ. The dream of a V-8 just seemed too expensive and difficult to smog in California.
Dave Weston
Via e-mail

I truly enjoyed your article on the 4.6L buildup ("The Insane Inline Part I"), and I am looking forward to reading parts II and III on this subject. Three years ago when I rebuilt my ol' iron, I managed most all of these tricks that seem so popular now. My biggest dilemma was what cam to use in a city that mandates ultra-low emissions (Arizona and California). To my good fortune, the good folks at Crower were more than happy to assist me when others would not waste any effort on inline-sixes. I'm glad to see you guys treat this as a worthwhile subject. To me, I believe this would be the best way to go for most readers who have aspirations of having horses under the hood. Just un-bolt yours and bolt-in (with much fewer upgrades and modifications than converting to crate motors) a modified block back into place.
Joe Gordon
Tucson, Arizona

I was on one of those in-law visits up in Pennsylvania some months back. I was bored and grew tired of watching my father in-law sleep, so I went out for a bit and stumbled upon your magazine. I own an '04 TJ and thought this ought to be OK. Well, I read it cover to cover and then some stories again. I loved it so much that I subscribed. Several months back you did an article on good used Jeeps under $3,999 ("Off-Road Cover Charge" May '05). Anyway, you wrote it and I did it! I was searching for an old CJ and had tired of looking at rigs with holes the size of my fist in the frame and had that glass-bottom appearance (or as I jokingly call it, the Flintstone manual brake upgrade). I was out in the hills of Virginia responding to an ad for a '71 CJ with no title. I know, I am a glutton for punishment, but how many Jeep owners out there get a thrill out of buying something you may not be able to legally register? Being an avid gun collector, I had the experience necessary to navigate the governmental bureaucracies.

Anyway, there she was, a '71 CJ-5 with the Dauntless V-6, axles, and driveshafts, just like you recommended. The frame is straight (only surface rust on the frame and cross members), there's a little body rust, and, of course, the dreaded cancerous windshield frame. It started up after 10 minutes of grinding and some cursing, and it ran like a ... well, it ran. So I got it for $500, including the tow home and it's been a project since Father's Day. Well, then you guys had the Hatari CJ-6 Project, an article on hopping up the V-6 ("Odd-Fire Ball" Aug. '05), and quite a few other helpful tidbits along the way. I now know the Gods have been smiling on me and my karma must be good because the stuff you print actually works. The V-6 starts right up, the tranny and transfer case shift smooth, and my '71 is now experiencing a total restoration. Thank God for service manuals. And, by the way, I got the title legally. I know that disappoints you. So thanks for a great magazine. Don't change a thing and tell Bree I'm hot for the next issue. Actually, I'm Smokin'!
Floyd Breeden
Stephens City, Virginia

Apparently we've scared off all of our pen pals. How come no one writes us anymore? We'd really like some friends. Tell us we suck. Tell us Christian Hazel should wear a wig you made from tennis-ball fur. Tell us to do an all-Bree bikini issue. Tell us anything; we're desperate for attention! Write to Jp Magazine, Be John's Pen Pal, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048 or e-mail john.cappa@primedia.com.

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