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Jp Letters to the Editor - March 2009 Mail Bag

Posted in Project Vehicles on March 1, 2008
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Alternative Lifestyle Individuals
Dear John (always wanted to say that, even if you have heard it a million times already, it's still funny),

I was reading my recently-arrived October issue of Jp, and I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the Mailbag section. The title of the letter is "Unprofessional Rainbow Haters" and it was a side splitter for me. I would ask why you bother to even print these long-winded rants about previous issues, but I know it's because they are hilarious to the rest of us. In this particular Soaps episode someone took your comment about the Tomb Raider edition TJ, quote "even limp-wristed California and Massachusetts polled it as a puss-Jeep," and interpreted it to mean again quote "making fun of a group of people because of their sexual orientation ..." They then go on to rant and rave about how those two states allow same-sex marriage and that must have been your intention to jab, blah, blah, blah. Let alone that the July issue was published before California legalized same-sex marriage, I don't actually even see how it can be interpreted to be directly about ga...., sorry "alternative lifestyle individuals." Personally it was a stretch to connect the two, so much so I had to run and grab my July issue out of the stack in the guest bathroom (you never know when a good Jeeping buddy will come by, and lets face it if they sit in the bathroom you want them to stay in there with the door shut for a while) just to see what they were going on about.

"Why can't we all just get along?" I can guess from the number of letters posted with angry responses to something in your magazine that you probably get tons of them. My personal opinion it is a magazine that is put out for entertainment purposes, if you don't like it don't buy it; simple as that. I like what you guys do, and sometimes if there is something I don't like I skip over it and keep reading.Ryan HellewellLehi, Utah

Freedom Isn't Free
Being English I have a completely different take on the Unprofessional Rainbow Haters letter in the October '08 issue. Is this country "free" or have I been conned? Freedom of speech, does that exist? I will be a citizen next year and I'm a little concerned about what I get for being a citizen. I love this country and most of the people in it. If you are that sensitive about your sexuality then get a sex change! Don't get me wrong I am heterosexual and have friends who are secure in their homosexuality. I pick on them something horrible and they have read similar complaints before and laughed at them. So I say to Darren, grow up and get secure in your sexuality or get out! I guess if I said that was really GAY what he said, is that PC? Well guess what I don't care, I am English and therefore am not PC, also I am claiming freedom of speech. Let's grow up America and get secure with ourselves. Oh by the way, your magazine is awesome, keep up the good work and don't worry about idiots like that one.Simon ElenorVia e-mail

Just read my October '08 issue and saw the "Talk Anywhere" story featuring the Jawbone Bluetooth headset. I own a Jawbone and a Blue Parrot. The Blue Parrot wins hands-down for use in the Jeep, top up/sides off, top off, rain on hard top, and so on. You can be heard much more clearly on the Blue Parrot. It was designed for over-the-road truckers originally. They both cost about the same, about $129. There is a newer model Jawbone out than the one in the article, too.

The Jawbone is okay, but mine is just over a year old and it cuts out in the middle of conversations these days. I don't know if the battery memory is cooked or what, I will probably need to send it in for service.

Great magazine. I won't send you a photo of my '05 LJ Rubicon for another 70,000 miles; it will only get modified at 100,000. It's my first Jeep. I have been an F-Series guy my whole life ('71, '83, '87, '88, '90, '98). Then, to respond to your editorial column, they dumped the manual transmissions so I started shopping for a new ride and loved the Six-speed and decided it was time for a Jeep.John KowalSchaumburg, Illinois

Yeah, but the Blue Parrot makes you look like the chick in the drive-thru burger joint that takes orders or maybe a telemarketer pushing Amway hemorrhoid cream. It's not very sleek looking.

Bye-Bye Manual
I read the October '08 Trail Head about kissing your manual trans goodbye. I think that with the carnage in the car market and the business strategies the companies have pursued over the last 50 years we may not have to worry about this because all the automakers might go under. This country is awash in cars and really, in the future, Jeeps might be something you build totally in your driveway, which is good and bad. On the other hand, the examples you cited are not great. Think of who buys trucks from light-duty to 1-ton. The fleet/companies that buy them like automatics, because they don't have to worry about who drives them. As pickup prices have really taken off since the nineties, they have become more the accessory of the country-club set, not the working man, and therefore become more like luxury vehicles. Basically, as I see it, the manufacturers are going to push people who want real work vehicles into the medium-truck market which is probably not part of the government's enviro plans, and more profitable for the automakers to sell.Dan VonaVia e-mail

I've been making the same argument for years. However, today's 1/2-ton truck will safely tow more than the 1-tons of yesteryear, and get better fuel economy while doing it. But I think you are right about the durability of these new trucks. They don't make 'em like they used to. (Dang, when did I get all old and crotchety?)

Scrambler Fanatic
I am currently back over here in Afghanistan as a civilian working for our great army. This pic was taken in July when I married a wonderful woman. I had a Scrambler that I bought to turn in to an off-roader but it was in such great shape I could not find it in myself to hack it up. She had a green '04 Unlimited and she was the one who said we should go to Colorado and play in the mountains for our honeymoon. She is great.

We have since sold both Jeeps. I will put my narrowed Dana 60 and GM 14-bolt along with a NV4500 and Atlas II powered by a 383 small-block Chevy in my other '82 Scrambler. It has a custom frame and link suspension front and rear. I will send pics when I get back and finish it. I am getting ready to buy my forth Scrambler, that I plan to restore and use as a daily driver. I just wish you would put more Scramblers in your mag. That is my only complaint. Keep up the good work and @#$% those who have to nitpick and complain about tire reviews and other BS. It's your magazine; they can start their own.John EatonSomewhere in Afghanistan

Jp Loaners
I have two comments about the "Shaking the Money Tree" article in the October '08 issue. You say you like to go wheeling alone. Even with a winch there are so many other things that can go wrong. Case in point, I was rock crawling in Arizona and had the bad luck to blow two tires. I was 10 miles from the nearest road and I was the only one with a JK. No other Jeep spare would fit my Jeep. Had I been alone I would have been screwed. The tires were not repairable.

Also, you did not mention using anti-sway bar disconnects for cheap and easy improvements for rock crawling. I presently have a '07 JK Rubicon with a 2 1/2-inch TeraFlex lift and use stock shocks with extenders. Works good for off-road and still has a good on-road ride.Mike DonahueDubuque, Iowa

Well, maybe we should all live in a rubber room? If NASA had the same fears we would have never made it to the moon, or off the ground. Different strokes for different folks. Now, if I blew two tires alone (which I have done) I'd find a way to repair one. I ended up with about 10 plugs in the sidewall and I had to replace them every so often when they spit out, but I got back to civilization. And if I had to, I'd burn the tire off and drive out on the bare wheel! It's not like we head out wheeling alone unprepared, we've ridden this bull a few times.

As for the sway bar disconnects, generally I'm not a big fan of them. I like to have a light sway bar connected on coil-sprung Jeeps on- and off-road. Sure, disconnecting it offers a smoother ride and more articulation, but it also makes the Jeep less stable at all speeds. And running disconnects with a lift and not replacing the shocks seems counter-productive to me. Sure the suspension moves but it's limited by the short shocks. Why bother disconnecting the sway bar?

Lovin' Grand Diesel
I have owned an '07 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0L diesel for 11,000 miles and a little over a year. This is my fifth Jeep ('73 Wagoneer, '75 Wagoneer, '96 Cherokee, and '98 Grand Cherokee). The build quality is much better, the seats are fantastic. The full-time four-wheel-drive is the best yet. My favorite feature is the diesel engine. It gets 19 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway, but it tows my boat like it isn't even behind you. My '96 Cherokee will tow the boat, but the mileage goes from 19 mpg to about 8 mpg and the 4.0L struggles on mountain roads. Living in Montana where snow and ice are common, all the automatic stability controls that I thought I would hate really do work well. The only problem I have had is leaky transmission guide bushings at 11,000 miles. I could not get any other answer besides, "wear" when I ask why they failed. I hope it is a one-time deal. The only thing I don't like is the sealed transmission. You have to have a special dip stick that plugs into a computer to measure the fluid temperature to get the level correct. This means I can't service the transmission myself, or even check the fluid level. Other than that, I would buy another diesel Grand without hesitation.Doug NissonKalispell, Montana

Master Of Mileage
Just a quick note about your project Mileage Master XJ. I love the fact that you are building a rig to be driven to a wheeling spot and then driven home without the need for a tow vehicle. I have a '94 Grand Cherokee that is stock except for 30x9.50-15 tires, a roof rack, sliders and other skid plates. It is great for mild to moderate trails and is still exceptionally comfortable on the interstate. Keep up the good work.Ed GiesenWichita, KansasAT Discrimination

Why does Jp magazine only seem to talk about mud tires. I have a '98 Jeep Cherokee with a 3-inch lift on 31x10.50R15 Dick Cepek FC2 tires. I can go all over with them but all you seem to talk about is mud tires or super aggressive tires. I would love to see a tire shootout with all-terrains like the Pro Comp AT and XAT, BF Goodrich AT, Mickey Thompson ATZ Plus and ATZ, Dick Cepek FC2, Trxus STS and so on. People love mud tires but with the price of gas, all terrains seem to be better on the pocket and you can have just as much fun with all-terrains as you can with mud tires.Justin SlaterAlma, Michigan

For the street, you can't beat a set of all-terrain tires. However, our experience dictates that any amount of slick clay-like mud makes pretty much every all-terrain tire worthless. They become a drag slick. That's why we tend to steer toward the more aggressive mud-terrain tires, even in relatively dry California. It still rains now and then and we do get snow at higher elevations. The rest of the U.S. gets even more rain than we do.

If we strictly drove on the street, we'd run street tires, but we do a lot of off-roading. The mud tires almost always provide more traction in any given terrain including rocks, snow, sand, and so on. In our minds that extra traction is generally worth the small sacrifice in mpg. Besides, a well-designed radial mud-terrain tire provides mpg numbers similar to a radial all-terrain. Yes, it's true, heavy bias-ply mud tires with huge tread lugs do eat up some mpg. But if you're eyeballing Swampers then you probably are not too concerned about mpg and are more interested in increasing your Jeep's capability, which ultimately is what Jp magazine is all about.

Get To Work Trasborg!While waiting for the newest issue of Jp to drop into my mailbox, I spend most of my time reading through older issues that I keep handy. As I was reading the November '07 issue, in the "What we're talking about around the office" section, the last comment refers to a staff member that doesn't want to get handcuffed, tasered, beat with a baton, pepper sprayed, shot in the groin with a bean bag, and so on (I can't imagine why he wouldn't want to do all that?). It says that the staff member refused to do all that for an upcoming article about a cop-car to Jeep engine-swap story. Now I read every issue and I don't remember seeing that one. Did the story ever run? I was just wondering because I am a police officer and a few of the guys I work with enjoy off-roading and Jeeps, so I thought they would get a kick out of a cop car engine in a Jeep. Ronald B. Metairie, Louisiana

Sit tight, it's coming and even better is that the swap will be completed in the parking garage at our offices. No special tools, shops, or mechanics required. Pete Trasborg is making the swap. Drop him a line at and tell him to get his butt in gear.

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 2 megapixels) and should be saved as a .tiff, an .eps, or the maximum-quality .jpeg file.

Write to: JP Magazine Editor 6420 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048 E-mail to:

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