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January 2009 Mailbag - Letters to the Editor

September 2008
John Cappa | Writer
Posted January 1, 2009


Chrome Won't Get You Home
I work with a guy who just bought a CJ-7 on eBay. He made the trip from South Carolina to Ohio to pick it up and trailer it home. It is fully restored/modified: fiberglass tub, 4-inch Skyjacker lift, 2-inch body lift, locker (supposedly), and blah, blah, blah. That is all fine and dandy, but he has as much Jeep knowledge as a 12-year-old girl. During his Jeep search, his requirements were lots of chrome, perfect paint, and no rust (afterwards, he ordered a chrome oil pan; I'm not making that up). Typically I would make fun of such requirements but I am seeing more and more immaculately restored CJs on the road fully decked out with chrome grilles, big lifts, 35s, and they will never touch a dirt road. I have become disheartened with the apparent direction of CJs and the overall Jeep community until

I just read Trail Head on page 6 of the September '08 issue, and my faith in the Jeep community was restored. I am not going crazy thinking a Jeep should look more like a Rat-Rod and more than a prop in a rap video.

My first Jeep was a $700 '83 FSJ with a brushed paint job, and I beat the crap out of it while learning about Jeeps. I sold the big Cherokee after buying a '79 CJ-7 with primer paint and two questionable bolts holding down the passenger seat (which my future wife rode in). I sold the CJ during my move to South Carolina and then bought a '91 YJ once in Charleston. When my wife became pregnant with our first about two years ago, I sold the YJ to pay some bills and have been Jeepless since. I have since had two beautiful girls and had not a penny to put towards the Jeep fund,, but still Jp magazine arrived in my mailbox monthly which was my only link to the Jeep world. The September issue was the second-to-last issue I was to receive before my subscription expired. Prior to writing this, that subscription was renewed.

Long story short, I just want to say thanks for remaining true to what the Jeep world should be and not giving into your advertisers selling useless bolt-on crap and chrome tube bumpers. Oh, and the new font size in the magazine is fine.Nathan MullensVia email

Observing Observation
Have you caught any grief yet on the new article about carrying a survival pack ("Bug Out Bag" Sept. '08)? I had to wonder why the author chose a camo backpack. If I were in survival mode, I'd sure want something bright and easily seen when I passed out face-first in the desert. I also noticed he left out the importance of never being the least popular guy on a trail ride...or maybe he wants to remain unseen when shadowing somebody who made a comment about his magazine article.Dr. VernVia email

I presume that's why he has camo. He's harder to hit when his "buddies" are shooting at him. But he has a greener one when tracking someone in the Pacific Northwest...oops, I mean yeah, I suppose that's possible but ummm, yeah.

List Liker
Cappa, you rock. Your list is dead on (Trail Head, Sept. '08). I have two Jeeps, first is a '78 CJ-7 with a 258 and stock except for a 4-inch Pro-Comp lift with 33-inch BFG MTs. This one is my beater; it has even stood up to my son Joe for 2 years. He is now 18 and leaving for the Air Force. While he is gone I am looking to drop in a 400hp 302 that I happened to have laying around. Then it will be a dad's-only toy. My other Jeep is an '03 TJ, all stock with 31-inch BFG ATs. This is my daily driver. Thanks for the best magazine on the planet.Floyd ChamberlainFreeport, TX

Ex-Staffer Update
I towed the flattie from North Carolina up to Ohio. Not sure when I'll be done with it. I still need to get the tires on and measure for shocks.

The RS9000s I have from you are 13-inch travel, and I think 10-inch travel is what I need with the Ford Super Duty shock mounts (and what Christian is running on the DJ).

Also Dave Kennedy says he has some older Ford shock mounts (from a '90-ish F-250) that he thinks are longer so maybe I can get away with these 13-inchers (if he remembers to send these longer brackets). I am estimating that I need some 8-inch travel shocks on the rear, but we will have to see. I also went with the Fabtech 3.5-inch springs for the rear spring-under, and I might need a bit longer shackle. I can do some yard wheeling to flex it out. I also need to fab up some bumpstops.

Then I may swap the Baja Claws from the No Lift TJ onto the flattie, and look for some radials for the TJ. I am also trading Herm the Overdrive Guy my old 26-tooth bowl gear for a T-18 to Spicer 18 Overdrive shifter and $100. So then I can shift the Overdrive from inside the Jeep. Then....Oh I may never be done with it. Verne Simons Athens, OH

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