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1999 Jeep TJ Sport & 1975 Jeep CJ-5 - Mailbag

Posted in Project Vehicles on April 1, 2007
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Sucked InI am a relative newcomer to Jeeps (I bought my first, a '99 TJ Sport, about a year ago). A friend of mine introduced me to Jp Magazine as an outlet for information on parts, upgrades, and new vehicles on the horizon. I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would become so hooked on a publication. I really enjoy the light and lively articles as well as your willingness to print everyone's opinion, good or bad. I know you catch a lot of flack about your Ask Bree Three segment, but its well worth it. Just last week, I sat down to read Dr. Vern from my October '06 issue, when I noticed that a page had been ripped from my beloved magazine. At first, I thought the worst-that my wife had decided enough was enough and censored you. Much to my surprise, I soon found my missing page tacked up in my seven-year-old son's room, right next to his football team picture. When I asked him why, he replied, "Well, she's kinda pretty, Dad." Just about brought a tear to my eye. Anyway, keep up the good work and don't let Doug and Wendy Whiner get you down. Keep the articles coming and more Jeep chicks.EricO'Fallon, Missouri

Mr. PlowI've been hearing and reading a lot about the new JK. I currently have a '96 ZJ and an '86 CJ-7 with a 7-foot Meyer snowplow. I live outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and use the CJ to plow a 7-Eleven parking lot. There is a large majority of Jeep owners who run snowplows in the Northeast. I've heard rumors that the JK will not accept a snowplow. Is this true?Andrew GrecoVia e-mail

The rumors be true! The official Jeep stance is don't install a plow. Word on the street is that the new JK Wrangler did not go through snowplow testing at the factory. Although I'm sure a snowplow could be made to fit and work just fine. Look at it this way, the powers that be at Jeep don't want lift kits, bigger tires, or engine mods done to their vehicles either. But guess what? We all do 'em anyway.

Cappa FantasyI'm writing to Mailbag about Bree. I see many negative comments and much criticism about her pictures in Jp Magazine. But I think that those people are in a very small minority.

Five of us guys were sitting around in the hot tub in my garage the other evening, and we were sipping our wine coolers and sharing our feelings. Well, I asked 'em about it, and nobody minded Bree's pictures. Everybody thought they were fine, if you like that sort of thing.

From across the hot tub, Bobbie mentioned that he would just love it if you would publish some pictures of yourself, posed on the hood of a Wrangler in a thong. Well, I told Bobbie that that's always been my fantasy too, and he said I should write and share it with you. But please, please, if you do it, remember to sit on a towel.ThorVia e-mail

Intermediate CJ LoverWhy are there very few aftermarket parts available for my '75 CJ-5? I love my ride and have done a lot of work on it so far, but I want to do more. I would like to enhance the suspension, put in a better heater (for the wife), add new bumpers, tire carrier, and so on. But it is hard to find any such parts in all the parts catalogs that I currently get. This is sounding more and more like a conspiracy. You guys should break this big story in your mag. If you can't do the story in your mag because the Jeep secret service is censoring your material, could you point me in the direction of where I can look.Chad SchwendBoise, Idaho

Good question. I don't have an answer though (psst, there's a microphone in my office). For hard-to-find CJ parts of that era, try Collins Bros. Jeep (800/699-5337, The company has all sorts of NOS, used, and aftermarket stuff for the intermediate CJs like yours. Collins Bros. even does in-house, ground-up, better-than-new restorations. Also try 4 Wheel Drive Hardware (800/913-8502, and Quadratec (800/745-5337, for stock and aftermarket components.

JK, aka "Joke"I am currently stationed in South Korea in the USAF. While I sat here on the flight line being bored out of my mind, I decided to read as much about Jeeps as I possibly could. I am a loyal reader of your mag and can't wait to get the new issue every month. I read it cover to cover in about one day, so I'm left with buying other 4x4 mags to pass the time. I just got done reading 4-Wheel & Off-Road's, "Three Days in the Bush" (November '06), Jp Magazine's "TJ vs. JK" (May '06, for the fifth time), and "'07 JK Wrangler" (October '06). I have to say, I am disgusted with the JK! Or should I say, "Joke"! DaimlerChrysler totally took a good thing and ruined it. Anyone who calls himself/herself a true Jeeper should agree with me. The JK is a pile! What DaimlerChrysler should have done is either sent out or posted a survey of Jeepers' views on how the new Jeep should be! Who wants plastic bumpers, a curved windshield, and a slanted grille? If I wanted that crap, I would have bought a Liberty (eww...). DaimlerChrysler didn't come out with a new Jeep. It came up with another money-making idea that won't float with the Jeepers, but will make the company's wallet fatter at the end of the day. Mechanically, there's no problem besides the changeover to the 3.8 V-6. Anyhow, the basic design of the Jeep grille hasn't changed since the beginning (except for the YJ and its square headlights). Jeep took 66 years of heritage and threw it out the window (the electrically controlled one they put on the dash). Pros: good hard parts (besides the 3.8 V-6). Cons: curved windshield, plastic bumpers, miles of plastic fenders, four doors, missing oil and voltmeter gauges, electric windows (I know, I know, but what does it do for a Wrangler?), and, of course, the most noticeable change, the slanted grille. I'm disappointed in Jeep. I personally will never own one or think about owning one. It's a disgrace to put the Jeep name on this vehicle.Jeff HuberVia e-mail

Sooo, lemme get this straight. At the end of the day, DaimlerChrysler shouldn't build Jeeps to make money? Come on, it's not like it's Ford or GM. Anyway, the last time an OE sat down, listened to customers, took notes, and built what these people asked for, we got the Pontiac Aztec.

Sold OutI have been a reader of Jp Magazine for many years and a Jeep lover and avid off-roader for many more. I have read the article "Problem Solved" (November '06), and the whole thing smells like damage control for the JK. I realize you can't say anything bad about the new Wrangler. After all, it is a Jeep. I would like to address some of the points made in the article. First complaint: It's too big. Well, 5 inches wider is 5 inches wider, no matter how you look at it, and, yes, I have seen many times where 5 inches or even 2 inches can make a difference. Try to follow a CJ-5 through the woods, and you will see what I am talking about. The article goes on to tell us to buy aftermarket bumpers, fenders, and driveshafts because Jeep used cheap components so they could sell it $1,800 less than a TJ. Oh, that sounds just great! I guess that is why we get a minivan engine instead of the best inline-six ever made. Mr. Cappa tells us of a stiffer chassis and a larger frame, but doesn't tell us the metal used in the frame is also much thinner than the TJ and that the gas tank hangs down like a keel on a boat. The spin goes on to tell us how wonderful the JK is and everything bad you heard about the JK is not true. But the best one is the "way-cool hardtop." Well, the four-door JK with the hardtop seems to look just like an H3 Hummer. Is that what Chrysler was going for? I am sure the soccer moms are going to love it. How much did it cost Jeep for you to sell out the TJ owners?Bill DeNunzioHazleton, Pennsylvania

Where's the Grunt?I e-mailed you a week or so ago about the '07 Wrangler article ("Problem Solved," November '06). I got to see one in action this past weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas, at the Superlift ORV Park. I really liked the extra space inside and, save for the slanted grille, I like the exterior also. It had a 4-inch lift, 37-inch tires, and handled all the trails with ease. I got a chance to drive it for a minute or two and really like it except for the 3.8L V-6 engine. It gets the job done, but just doesn't seem to have the grunt the old 4.0L had. I would like to see the 4.7L V-8 as an option. It would be just about perfect.Jim McCainVia e-mail

Yeah, the 3.8L might seem like it's lacking in low-end grunt below 1,500 rpm compared to the 4.0L inline-six. But the axle gears in that Jeep were stock 4.10s with 37-inch tires (no aftermarket ratios are available as of print time). It's really kind of an unfair comparo. A 4.0L with stock gears and 37s is a turd too.

The 4.7L V-8 is an expensive engine to manufacture. Truth is, a Hemi would be less expensive and make more sense. There is a ton of room under the hood for a V-8, and everyone knows that at least the four-door needs it. But don't hold your breath. Jeep is watching the price at the gas pump and rumor is that a V-8 in the engine compartment won't pass crash standards.

More JK FlackI'm sure the '07 Wrangler JK has its merits and, in time, will be accepted by the Jeeping community. In the article "Problem Solved" (November '06), John Cappa makes the new model to be the best thing since sliced bread. If this is the case, then why are Jeep dealers buying up every available TJ they can get their hands on? Are they speculating that the JK won't sell well, or maybe they are just hoping that folks will pay a premium to get their hands on the last few remaining new TJs. Either way, it doesn't project much confidence in the new JK.John FiorentinoVia e-mail

The TJ has always been a premium vehicle, meaning it has never needed bonuses or cash-back programs to sell it off the lot like the Liberty, Commander, or other lesser Jeeps. Perhaps the dealers you are talking to are banking on the fact that Jeep will offer up year-end rebates for '06 models. I looked into it a little more at the time of this writing and found out that, indeed, for the first time ever, Jeep TJs are being offered with zero percent financing. Oh, and the four-door JKs are selling like free beer and lap dances. Dealers can't get enough of them, apparently.

Anyway, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I've driven your Jeep. I've been in a TJ for more than five years. I drove it over 115,000 miles on- and off-road. Overall, the JK is simply a better Jeep stock to stock. If you don't like the looks of it or plan to follow CJ-5s and flatfenders through the woods, then stick with the TJ or something even smaller. Funny thing is, I remember hearing similar arguments when the YJ and TJ first came out. But back then it was the CJ guys that shunned the newer models-many of whom are driving TJs today.

Write Us!Got a question or comment about Jp Magazine or the village idiots at the helm? Drop us a line. Don't forget to include your full name and where you're from, or we'll make fun of you. Actually, we may make fun of you anyway. Keep it short and to the point, or we'll hack and chop your letter as we please. We get a lot of mail, but we read every letter. Unfortunately, we can't print or personally answer every request. We're too busy surfing the Internet on the company dime. Digital images should be no less than 1,600x1,200 pixels (or two megapixels) and should be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file.

Write to:Jp Magazine Editor6420 Wilshire Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90048E-mail

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