As a '95 YJ owner, I was very happy to see a beautiful YJ on the November '08 cover. I would love to see an in-depth article on the '94 Sahara Michele Blasi was driving, and if that is not possible, an in-depth interview with Ms. Blasi will suffice. Now get cracking.
Out Back and Armed
I'm a long-time reader of your magazine, and also the owner of a nice '05 TJ. I enjoy the articles and tech advice, but mostly the trail info write-ups. I am lucky enough to live in an area that has thousands of miles of trails. They are far from any towns so vehicle maintenance is very important. I carry a chainsaw for fallen trees as well as a Marlin .450 trapper along in the likely event that I have to walk home. (We have lots of hungry Black Bears.) I haven't done any mods yet but have the RBS super-short slip yoke eliminator and other transfer case parts purchased already. I'm planning on Tom Wood's driveshafts and a 4-inch Skyjacker lift. I've got a 4.0L engine, 6-speed manual, and a Dana 44 rear axle. My beast came with 30-inch Wranglers and I'll do a mild upgrade to 33 inchers. The light-bar in the picture is my own custom made thing, and it doubles as a canoe rack. I do trail-riding not rock-crawling.
Keep the great articles coming!
Buffalo Narrows, SK, Canada
More Jeep Chicks
I'm one of your female Jp magazine fans. I've been driving Jeeps for 9 years now. My current trail rig is the '81 CJ-8 Scrambler pictured. It's bobbed, has a Chevy 350 TBI, Dana 60s front and rear, fully locked, has 39-inch Boggers and so much more. She's my dream truck and when I saw it for sale, I jumped on it immediately.
I was so stoked to see Michele on the cover of the November '08 issue! That rocks! Once in a while it's nice to see other Jeep gals behind the wheel. Where I live (Northern Alberta, Canada - Tarsands, babe!) Jeep chicks are few and far between, but every one of them I've met has been cool and I hope you keep putting us gals on the cover!
Keep the shiny side muddy!
How about a how-to series on regearing? Almost every four-wheeler needs to regear, but many don't because they don't know how to do the work themselves, and it's costly to have it done at a shop. Each month could feature a different Jeep axle, with step-by-step axle-specific instructions and helpful tips from the experts. I'd also like to see a sidebar reprinted every month covering contact pattern. After covering the factory Jeep axles, you could move on to commonly swapped-in axles like the Ford 8.8. I know you can get the same info on the internet but I think running a story would be more helpful to your readers, and a magazine is easier to take out to the garage than a laptop computer
It may seem like a good idea, however, regearing an axle is a lot more involved than what we could physically fit in a few page story. You really need an entire book. Not to mention the fact that regardless of the service manual you read it's not a good job to tackle for the first time without an experienced eye watching. You can very quickly and easily destroy a $120 bearing kit if you don't know what you are doing. The other problem is that the tools required to set up a ring and pinion are generally more costly than having the job done by a professional. Ultimately, several of us here at Jp have the tools and experience to regear an axle, but it just doesn't make a good story, or series of stories. Of course many of the axles are similar, if not near identical as far as gear swaps go, but none are really a good job for the typical driveway mechanic.
But if you are still interested in regearing your own axles I recommend checking out ringpinion.com and click on Technical Help: How To. There are also some tips and tricks along with the list of tools you'll need to complete the job.