Trailhawk HeroYeah, your magazine is the greatest, yadda, yadda, yadda. Hey, I renewed my subscription, didn't I?
Anyway, I think you are being too hard on DaimlerChrysler in regards to the Trailhawk (Dispatch, May '07). We should be encouraging them. Obviously, someone at DC has a clue. Sure, it looks like a cross between a Magnum and Grand Cherokee, but the key thing is that it's built on the JK chassis. The trend is in the right direction; looking at the lineup for the last couple years, Jeep had one frame-based/solid-axle model and the rest are unibody/IFS models (no better than Subarus, in my opinion). This year, Jeep now has a "line" of frame/solid-axle models (if two points make a line), but if the next concept vehicle is building on that formula, then I say cheer 'em on! Hell, I say the new Challenger should use the same chassis, too, but that's just me.Jeff GriffenNorth Plains, Oregon
OK, you're right. Sorry, DC, but can we still have a Jeep pickup first?
Reality 101I purchased a new Wrangler back in 1995, drove and enjoyed it for 11 years, and then decided it was time for a new one. I waited patiently until my local dealership had them and then went and testdrove the two-door and four-door JK models. For me, they were just a little bit bigger than what I was familiar with, but they were well-equipped. I drove away with an '06 Wrangler Unlimited with all the bells and whistles you could think of. I'm writing to you just to comment on the new JK, not to bash it. If Hummer can put out an H3, why couldn't Jeep put out a new Wrangler and keep the TJ as well? It would probably help out sales with different choices in Jeep Wranglers, instead of those other things the company keeps slapping the Jeep name on. Sometimes it's better to expand on a good thing, not just change it. Hummer knows it. I hope Jeep learns it-say in the next 11 years, when I'm ready to buy another Jeep.Rob MilamRoswell, Georgia
Truth is, a TJ would likely never pass today's safety standards or perhaps those in the years to come. Every year, new standards arise because of . . . well, lawyers and other individuals who don't want to take responsibility for themselves. In the future, it won't be Jeep that screws up the Wrangler, it will be the safety standards that will be required of it. I mean, if I had my way, we would still be able to buy brand-new flatfender Jeeps with steel dashboards and lap belts. But it isn't like that-and never will be. I expect to see many crash standards evolve to the point of making a vehicle like the Wrangler disappear. Imagine Wranglers without things like fold-down windshields, durable solid axles, selectable four-wheel drive, easy-to-modify suspensions, removable doors, and soft tops. It's just what the future will bring. On a side note, the JK is not that much larger than a TJ. If someone wants a smaller one, the two-door is available. Funny thing is, Jeep anticipated the two-door would be more popular than the four-door because of its smaller size. In actuality, Jeep has been selling way more four-doors. So does the public really want a smaller Jeep? Not according to sales numbers.
HoldoutAre there any rumored upgrades, bugs, and so on being worked out for the '08 Rubicon? I am a long-time Jeep guy who is in between Jeeps, and I'm wondering whether I should grab an '07 or wait until the '08 Rubicon comes out. Sometimes a new model has bugs that are discovered in the first year and are corrected in year number two. Any advice, rumors, or info on this? Jeff WalkerAfghanistan
It's actually kind of an ongoing process. The days of manufacturers building known problems and bugs into new vehicles are over. The companies can't afford to do that. There have been several minor changes to the JK in '07 during the production-most happened early in '07. The '08 will see a few changes, but nothing major that would be worth holding out for. Although, I heard the passenger seatbelt on the two-door will be mounted lower for easier rear-seat access, which is kinda cool. Besides, anything special-ordered after June or July will likely be an '08 anyway. You should confirm this with your dealer before ordering.
Can't Find An '07I have repeatedly tried to buy an '07 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, but they aren't available. I've gone to three separate dealers, and I even went down yesterday to see if I could leave a deposit or order one. I was told that they will not build any more Rubicon's until the '08 model comes out. I can't even order one! Is there a problem with the '07 model, or was it just bad planning?Michael CrawfordMcKinney, Texas
The problem is Jeep will likely start ramping up for the production of the '08 models in June or July. At this point, Jeep may not want to slow '07 production with any custom orders. Dealers are pretty much selling every Unlimited they can possibly get their hands on. In some cases, custom orders take a little longer to build at the factory, so why not build two full production Jeeps instead of one (or technically 111/42 or some other fractional number) custom order in the same amount of time. Nothing wrong with an '08 Wrangler. Although it might take a little more time to get than finding an '07 on the dealer lot, perhaps you may want to go a state or two away to find one.
MIA-LockerThe recent article ("Locker Lowdown," May '07) covering all types of traction devices was extremely informative, but I have one question. What happened to the TeraFlex T-Locker? It was listed in the review, but I haven't been able to find one for sale. Even the official TeraFlex Web site (www.teraflex.biz) doesn't list this locker. Only the T-Locker air compressors are listed. Was this locker pulled from the market? Is there some kind of legal issue with the design? What gives?Darrin BrunelleVia e-mail
We gave a call over to TeraFlex. This is what the company had to say:
TeraFlex promoted the T-Locker in conjunction with a well-known European manufacturer starting in '03. TeraFlex had the exclusive right to T-Locker sales for North America, and as such, private labeled the entire T-Locker locking differential line as a TeraFlex brand. The T-Locker, when released, was a welcome product to a crowd that was looking for alternatives to the selectable locker market. The T-Locker proved to be just as dependable and durable as was promised. As was expected, the T-Locker proved to be a profitable product line, selling the majority of units for Dana 30, 35, and 44 models successfully. Unfortunately, due to circumstances resulting from large growth in product sales and unseen production delay with our European suppliers, TeraFlex has been forced to cease manufacturing operations for the T-Locker product line, and we have not taken orders for the T-Locker since early '06.
TeraFlex will continue to offer support and services for those existing customers running and using the T-Locker air differential, wear items, replacement parts, and other technical support. For additional product support and information, please call TeraFlex at 801/288-2585.Vinson PrattMarketing and promotions managerTera Manufacturing, Inc.
DexwrongI love the magazine and wouldn't want to be without it! Please have a little chat with Pete Trasborg and his spell-checker in the "Transfer Case Bible, Part II" (May '07). The fluid is Dexron. There is no "t" in Dexron. Ever. Really!Chuck DresselVia e-mail
Highly IllogicalBefore you accuse me of being an Eco-Nazi and dismiss this letter, let me note a couple of things to establish my standing as a legitimate four-wheeler. For openers, I subscribe to your magazine. In addition, I've been in this game for 50 years, far longer than you, and far longer than nearly all of your readers. I bought a 3A in '56, and I have been a dedicated off-road enthusiast ever since. I just completed a restomod of a junkyard-grade '51 3A, and I am currently restoring a '68 Scout.
However, I have also been a dedicated backpacker and backcountry fly fisherman over the same 50 years, so I have a unique perspective on the questions you address in your editorial (Trail Head) in the May Jp.
Finally, I have taught logic in college for over 40 years and fallacious reasoning is something I know a little about.
The aforementioned editorial is simply not worthy of the position of prominence it has in your magazine. Kindly put, it's a shrill screed. What positive gains do you hope to achieve with the caricaturing of environmentalists that abound in your editorial? You lump anyone with strong feelings about the sacredness of the natural world into a stereotype as latte-lapping, effete, and duplicitous. You follow this with a childish wish to eliminate such folks from the planet. This sort of tough-guy talk is one of the main reasons that decent and reasonable members of the environmental community stereotype you and your friends as knuckle-dragging, undereducated gearheads.
You did say one thing that bears repeating: "I think life on Earth is more about moderation and compromise." I applaud you for this line. This spirit should've animated your editorial philosophy instead of the continuous preaching-to-the-choir, ad hominem nonsense. It is hard to take this talk of moderation amid all the inflammatory diction ("celebrity ass clowns," "environmental Nazis," "bean sprouts and wheatgrass," and so on).
Here is my suggestion: Rise above this childish petulance. Why not utilize the bully pulpit you occupy by leading the way toward moderation and understanding? Why not editorialize about the positive results that might be accomplished by people of differing views working together for a common cause?
Your demagoguery, as popular as it might be among the more retrograde members of the off-road community, will only serve to worsen the state of affairs you complain about. Believe me, no unbiased, rational person is going to be persuaded to your point of view by such ranting.
I suspect that you will not print this letter or that you will print it and mock it. Setting that likelihood aside, what would both stun and please me would be a thoughtful response in your editorial space, enlarging on your excellent point about moderation and compromise.John Wickersham, Ph.DVia e-mail
Yes, I can see how you might assume these conclusions if you decided to pick apart every sentence of my editorial independently as you have here. However, I feel that if you process the entire editorial, the same way you would read and process any story or novel, you would see the point of my gibberish a little clearer, which interestingly enough, is "the one thing that bears repeating."
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