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January 2006 Mailbag - Jp Letters to the Editor

August 2005 Jp Mag
John Cappa | Writer
Posted January 1, 2006

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

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