November 2008 Mail Bag - Letters to the EditorPosted in Project Vehicles on November 1, 2008
No Jeep JP Reader
Wow! That about says it regarding the August '08 issue.
To tell the truth I was going to let my subscription to Jp go, I don't even have a Jeep anymore. I started out with a couple of FJ-40's, then an XJ, a CJ, a TJ and finally my FJ Cruiser and it's here to stay. I will always thumb through the Jp and forward it on to my son-in-law (TJ owner). But this issue blew my mind; it is exactly what I am trying to learn from these magazines.
"Which Winch", I just put one on my FJ.
"Stuck and Broken" who hasn't been there?
"Trail Tools Blowout" Awesome.
"How to Drive it" I may never go to all those awesome trails but I have faced similar obstacles.
"Hi-Lift Hi-Jinx" The most hateful tool you'll ever love.
How about some more on practices, like winching, recovery, Hi-Lift operation and tricks, come-a-longs as back-ups, and so on?
I know a lot of your readers are several clicks up the 4x4 ladder than I am. But I'd bet there are a lot more like me that have a very real interest in learning as much as they can about this exciting activity.Tim C. HemphillPhoenix, Arizona
Why Not Lie...
Just thought I would drop a line and tell you I let my subscription run out. Jp magazine has gone too far out for my taste. It seems in the last few years you guys have gotten to the point where you would have the casual reader think that most all Jeeps are junk. You guys say the Rubicon does not have real Dana 44s, a CJ-7 belongs in a museum, not on the trail, the Rubicon transfer case is worthless because it is geared to low in most situations, and so on. It's just a monthly beating down on Jeep. I understand you call them like you see them but when you read a Jp magazine nowadays it seems like you guys are always finding flaws in the Jeep brand. What constitutes a "real Dana 44"? They made so many versions so why knock the TJ version just because it has Dana 30 or 35 tubes? Why knock the Rubicon? At least Jeep built us one. In the old days you could pick up a Jp magazine and it would be easy to read and it would talk about the history in a positive way, cool tech articles about the everyday Jeep build-ups and so on, but nowadays you guys just always have some negative comment about Jeeps or way over-builds that nobody is interested in or can afford.
I am not trying to be a hard butt, but when you guys print trash talk how do you expect my 8-year-old son to read it?
I own several makes and models from '42-'05 Jeeps and of course there are weaknesses in all, but I don't knock in down when people come over to see them. I can appreciate a dark sense of humor, but you guys take it too far in my opinion. I just wish you could go back to the way it was a few years ago.Jerry GreenVia e-mail
We evaluate parts and Jeep vehicles so the readers don't have to. We point out flaws and provide solutions. Of course it's based on a lot of opinion, but it's also based on our combined 50-some-odd years of Jeep and off-road experience. I mean would you rather us pretend we know nothing, lie, and tell you every Jeep and new product is fantastic even if it isn't? Sorry. Not gonna happen in Jp as long as the current staff is around.
Have you publicly apologized for trying to predict the future yet? Your Oct. '06 issue boasted that "Your next Jeep will be a diesel." This was claimed by moron writer John Cappa in the Trail Head section of your magazine.
Well, what happened with that? Where are these diesel-fed Jeeps? Maybe you will learn your lesson from this mishap, John Cappa (oops, I mean Nostradamus)!Kyle SwartzPortales, NM
I kinda jumped the gun. And, well, I may have done it twice by saying diesels have had their day in the sun in the August '08 Mailbag. It's true that emissions are hard on the oil burners, but it looks like we just may see a U.S. diesel Wrangler in 2010. And yes, it looks like that diesel Wrangler will have a Cummins engine in it!
Diesel Dreamer XJ
First I wanted to say that I love Jp. I have been reading it for years and will never stop. Now, on to business. I am the owner of a '99 XJ Sport. I am getting sick and tired of TJs and YJs and JKs getting all the really good aftermarket stuff. Now don't get me wrong, the XJ has it pretty damn good. We have tons of suspensions to pick from and great bumper choices, but for all the really great stuff we get skipped over. I have been looking for an extra large gas tank for my XJ. If I wanted one I'd have to buy it in the Down Under and have it shipped to America. You think a TJ/YJ/JK has this problem? What really broke the camel's back, though, is what I read in the July '08 issue-that Mopar is thinking of making a diesel conversion kit for the TJ/YJ/CJ using the old 2.8L CRD Liberty diesel. Where the hell is the XJ version? First off, it would be a better choice for an everyday driver. The XJ is roomier then any of the TJ/YJ/CJs and is around the same weight. An '06 Liberty weighs in at over 4,000 pounds and an XJ is around 3,100 pounds. You stick the Liberty diesel in a XJ and you have a great off-roader and an awesome everyday on-road vehicle that gets close to 30 mpg. Also, the XJ's AW4 is a strong tranny that can take the abuse of the diesel. You guys at Jp need to whisper in mother Mopar's ear and let the company know if it doesn't think about the XJ for this one it is really missing a great opportunity to make some serious cash. As you guys probably already know, during the 18-year lifespan of the XJ, over two million Cherokees were sold.Kevin DaRosaVia e-mail
If the demand for the XJ diesel conversion was there, you can bet Mopar would make it available. On the plus side, I did a quick search and found a 32-gallon replacement fuel tank for an XJ (PN AMC-2) made by Northwest Metal Products (866/319-7499, nwmp.com). Bummer is it only fits '84-'95 XJs. Good news is Gen-Right (805/584-8635, genright.com) offers a 25-gallon replacement for '97 and up XJs.
Visiting The West
G'day guys. I have been an avid reader/subscriber for a few years now and am about to fulfill a dream of mine to travel to the U.S. I will be doing the typical tourist triangle involving San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, and then back home, and was wondering if you could please point out a couple of shops/points of four-wheeling interest that I may be able to check out while I'm there.
I will be in the States from September 17th till October 2nd and just have to work out what parts I need for my '83 GM Ramjet V-8-equipped Scrambler and I can't wait to check out the Jeeps over there. At the moment our dollar is almost the same as yours so I will be buying up big! Thanks for your time and a great mag and hopefully I'll be able to catch up with a few fellow Jeepers over there.Steve SnellMount Eliza,Victoria, Australia
I think it would be worth at least checking out the Lake Tahoe area. And if you can't scare up a rental Wrangler, it would be worth walking the first few miles of the Rubicon Trail near Loon Lake if you have time. It might be a little hot still but I also think you might enjoy seeing the huge Dumont sand dunes just north of Baker, California. And then if you want to see some mudding you could try the Azusa Canyon, also in California. Pismo, Glamis, Johnson Valley, and Ocotillo Wells are also good stopping points. There are many off-road shops in southern California. I suggest nabbing a phone book when ya get in town. Good luck and enjoy.
She Gets Dr. Vern
Have to give an extra mention to Dr. Vern's column this month about the Mystery behind battle of the sexes (May 2008). I loved the story! It made me think about myself growing up and my Dad doing his best to get me into dresses and out of the garage. The Jeep bug hit me early and I haven't shaken it since. My childhood toys were Jeeps, and I read Chilton repair manuals with my Dad. I've had five Jeeps in my life so far, and maybe two dresses. One day, when I have children, I hope I can find the balance that Dr. Vern was talking about it. Jeeps and dresses, and maybe a little Victoria's secret! Awesome story that put a big smile on my face!
I've attached a couple of pictures. A fun day spent playing in puddles.Gabriela SladkovaCalgary, Alberta
Hazel's Hi-Lift Hi-Jinx tips were great, especially the tenth one. Last but not least, strap or bolt it down! I survived a rollover crash by the highway with a 60-inch all-cast Hi-Lift lying across the tailgate area of my Cherokee. Fortunately the jack decided to hurl itself out the back instead of the front, ripping right through the C pillar instead of my head. I also had my 5-pound steel hitch receiver lying on the front seat. I don't know how that one missed me, but I'll be sure to strap that one down too. I came out with only some minor scratches from all the glass. The Cherokee was still running, but was missing a wheel, the roof was crushed in, all the windows were out, and the driver's seat ripped out of the floorboard laying me on my back. Sorry I can't find my pictures. Now I have a Wrangler and the Hi-Lift is bolted to the front bumper. Maybe Bree could come back and give us some instructions on strapping things down?Poole, ChadFlowery Branch, GA
At-Home Onboard Air
I want to start off by saying what a great job all you guys do. Jp is definitely my favorite magazine. There is one thing though. Could you do a few more write ups on YJ's? I have a '94 YJ but there is never a lot of info just for YJs like for TJs. I know you and most Jeepers are always trying to do things for cheap, and after the write-up on the tire deflators ("Drop Em'", Sept. '08), I though I would give an idea of mine. As with all Jeeps, I needed a way to air up my tires after airing down for the trail. I really liked the engine-driven compressors, but the price is way too much for a college student like myself. I had an A/C system that leaked out of every possible hose and I didn't have the time to fix it myself or the money to have it fixed. I decided to try and convert it to an onboard air system. Using the diagram from Kilby's website (kilbyenterprises.com), I pieced together a system. There's a filter for a paint gun and an inline oiler on the compressor intake and on the output is a moisture trap and a manifold with a blow-off valve. The air passes into small copper tube for durability and ease of bending to a shut-off valve that can isolate the tank from the compressor and another manifold. This has another blow-off valve, a pressure gauge, two air chucks and then input into a 5-gallon tank. This is all activated by a switch wired to the compressor clutch. Most of the parts and fittings are from Tractor Supply including the tank. What you end up with is a simple and easy to use onboard air system that will fill a 33-inch tire in less than two minutes. It will fill the tank to 125 psi in about two minutes as well, all for around 150 bucks. Thanks again for the great magazine.Grant RuddWichita, KS
I just got the August '08 issue, sitting at work, reading when I should be earning my paycheck. I came across the section labeled as "Trail Tools Blowout". At the bottom you list the TNT 4-in-1 tool as a great buy and that it's been tested in Iraq. I'll tell you that it is a great tool and will stand up to even the worst conditions. I'm a firefighter, and these tools have been used in the fire service for years. Just clean the crud off of 'em and you're good to go for the next one! If you ever find the need, you could also use a Halligan bar, which combines a prying fork on one end with an adze and a pick point at the other. We usually carry the tools together, "married" into a "set of irons".Adam BrautiganWarrington, PA
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