Mail­bag

Jp Magazine - - Table Of Contents - By John Cappa jped­i­tor@jp­magazine.com

Un­locked

I re­cently read your re­ply to Dick Bo­stick (Your Jeep, July ’18) re­gard­ing the lim­ited ad­van­tages to in­stalling man­ual lock­ing hubs on a JK. I be­lieve there is one ben­e­fit that you over­looked—the abil­ity use 2WD low range.

I’m of­ten faced with launch­ing a boat, and hav­ing the ve­hi­cle in 4WD low is not a good idea when try­ing to make sharp turns on a hard-sur­faced lot and ramp. Frankly, in those sit­u­a­tions I don’t need 4WD (wheel­spin is rarely an issue), but it is very help­ful to have the ex­tra oomph from low range. By un­lock­ing the front hubs I can shift into 4WD low and es­sen­tially have 2WD low, which al­lows me to freely turn on the hard, paved sur­face without stress­ing the driveline, but re­tain great low-end power for re­triev­ing the boat. My JK has the Trac-Lok rear axle so I of­ten do this on loose ramps just as well.

An ex­tra 1 mpg, less wear and tear on fron­tend com­po­nents, and the abil­ity to ob­tain low range in 2WD makes free­wheel­ing hubs a no brainer for me. Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it.

Cam Bakus

Via email

Great points! We would never say that the ad­van­tages of man­ual lock­ing hubs are “lim­ited,” but they are very spe­cific. In most cases, the con­ver­sion would never pay for it­self via im­proved fuel econ­omy and re­duced wear and tear. How­ever, as you have noted, two-wheel-drive low range can be very help­ful when ma­neu­ver­ing a trailer in and around tight spa­ces.

The low-range gear­ing helps pro­tect the trans­mis­sion from over­heat­ing dur­ing the high-load, low-speed ma­neu­ver­ing. The 2WD low-range fea­ture can also be use­ful on the trail when sharp tech­ni­cal cor­ners that don’t re­quire four-wheel drive are en­coun­tered. Al­though, it is a bit in­con­ve­nient to have to get out and un­lock one or both hubs mid-trail and then re­lock them. For us, the ser­vice­abil­ity is the most no­table advantage of con­vert­ing to lock­ing hubs on a JK, but oth­ers feel dif­fer­ently and don’t mind the unit bear­ings.

As an aside, we cer­tainly aren’t vis­it­ing the same boat ramps. Many of the boat ramps we en­counter are wet, slip­pery, and some­times cov­ered in a slick moss. If the rear tires dip far enough into the wa­ter, the only way to pull for­ward is with all four wheels work­ing in four-wheel drive. Once we reach the top of the boat ramp, we typ­i­cally shift back into two-wheel drive be­fore mak­ing any turns, which would help avoid the driv­e­train bind you are con­cerned about. But hey, if two-wheel drive works for you and your boat ramps, you have the per­fect setup.

’06 Ru­bi­con In­put

I know it is a year old, but I was read­ing through Mail­bag (Apr. ’17) and ran into the “TJ Speedo Cal­i­bra­tion” letter. Some­one had asked about ad­just­ing the speedome­ter af­ter regear­ing the axle and adding 35-inch tires on a ’06 Ru­bi­con. The only op­tion that I am aware of is us­ing a de­vice like the one from Blue Mon­key Mo­tor­sports (blue­mon­key­mo­tor­sports.com), to change the sig­nal from the 241OR. Just putting it out there in hopes of help­ing oth­ers.

Ja­son Hodges Via face­book.com/jp­mag

Family Job

My fa­ther has an ex­ten­sive his­tory with cre­at­ing some awe­some ve­hi­cles. My brother and I had al­ways wanted to learn his trade and have him guide us through a project. Af­ter a year of hard work and long nights, we rolled our dream Jeep out of the garage. It’s a ’56 Willys CJ-3B with a 4BT Cummins diesel.

Hunter Stephen Via face­book.com/jp­mag

Herm Sur­prise

I have a funny story about Herm the Over­drive Guy (hermtheover­driveguy.com). I built my ’68 C101 over a pe­riod of four years. I fin­ished it and drove it of­ten. I love the whine of the 225ci Daunt­less

V-6 en­gine. One day, on a trail ride with some bud­dies, I broke First gear in the fac­tory T-86 trans­mis­sion. The C101 sat dor­mant for a few years. I then got the bug again and I be­gan to look to have the T-86 re­paired. Ev­ery­where I called, they told me one of two things. The T-86 is junk and not worth fix­ing, and from my area code of 360, why don’t I just call Herm? I had no idea who Herm was at the time.

I fi­nally set­tled on Ad­vance Adapters’ rec­om­men­da­tion of a GM SM420 swap. I was sav­ing money for the pur­chase when one night I went to my wife’s bowl­ing league to cheer her on. In the back of the al­ley were a group of old, white-haired men with long beards. They were play­ing cards in be­tween balls. I over­heard one guy say, “Turbo 400 blah, blah…” and “Dana 300 blah, blah…”

Those guys know trans­mis­sions I thought! I walked over and in­tro­duced my­self and asked them if they knew where I could get a good SM420. Herm stuck out his hand and said, “Al­low me to in­tro­duce my­self. I’m Herm the Over­drive Guy!” It turned out that I had been go­ing to church with him and see­ing him on Sun­days for three years.

Rod Tif­fany Via face­book.com/jp­mag

You never know where your fel­low Jeep en­thu­si­asts are un­til you ask!

More MJ

I re­ally like Jp, but I would like to see more fea­tures on Chero­kee and Co­manche Jeeps. This is a Jeep mag­a­zine and they are Jeeps. The CJs, YJs, and TJs are re­ally cool, but not all of us drive them. Al­though, I did own a YJ for 14 years. I’ve also had two Chero­kees and my Co­manche for 11 years. Please put some MJs in the mag­a­zine. I don’t sub­scribe, but the few is­sues I have bought off the shelf make it so I wouldn’t want to get the mag­a­zine each month with only ar­ti­cles on the other Jeeps. It’s a great mag­a­zine for those who do drive or build CJs, YJs, and TJs.

Fer­ris Bel­man Jr. Via face­book.com/jp­mag

We do cover all Jeeps in Jp. Un­for­tu­nately, the Co­manche MJ hasn’t been built in 25 years and the XJ Chero­kee has been out of pro­duc­tion for nearly 20 years. Many of them have long since made their way to the wreck­ing yards, es­pe­cially in states with salted win­ter roads. Rest as­sured that we take full advantage of the few fea­ture-wor­thy XJ and MJ Jeeps we find on the trail, but we can’t find them all. We need your help!

If you think you have a Co­manche or Chero­kee wor­thy of a full fea­ture ar­ti­cle or be­ing in­cluded in Jeep Shots, drop us a line at jped­i­tor@jp­magazine.com. Don’t for­get to in­clude a few pics and the full specs of your Jeep.

Jeep Re­tiree

I’m plan­ning my re­tire­ment and look­ing for your in­put. What are the top five places that you can off-road year round in the United States?

George Via face­book.com/jp­mag

There are many places that you can eas­ily go off-road year round, but it will de­pend on your tol­er­ance of the weather. Our top five places might be dif­fer­ent than what you would choose based on weather alone. With that said, much of the south­west­ern U.S. en­joys tem­per­ate weather and year-round off-road ac­tiv­i­ties.

Moab, Utah, would be on the top of our list. Sum­mers can get warm and win­ters can get cold, but year-round wheel­ing would be easy here. Hur­ri­cane, Utah, is also a fa­vorite. It’s very close to the Sand Hol­low State Park and hun­dreds of miles of trails that make their way to the north side of the Grand Canyon. Higher el­e­va­tions in Ari­zona, such as Prescott, Flagstaff, and Se­dona have great off-road op­por­tu­ni­ties without the sum­mer heat south­ern Ari­zona is known for. If you don’t mind triple-digit tem­per­a­tures three months a year, Lake Havasu City, Ari­zona, is a pos­si­bil­ity too. Pretty much any of the moun­tain areas in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia are great for off-road­ing. This would in­clude Big Bear, Ar­row­head, Wright­wood, and other areas at higher el­e­va­tions that are still near the deserts. In most of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia you can en­joy moun­tain wheel­ing in the sum­mer when the nearby deserts are too hot, and win­ter wheel­ing in the deserts when the moun­tains are too cold.

Not a Jeep!

Re­gard­ing Trail Head (July ’18), I have a re­sponse to your ques­tion about Jeeps, what makes them a Jeep, and why the Mahin­dra Roxor is not a Jeep.

Jeep is a strong Amer­i­can rep­re­sen­ta­tion of free­dom. This is the ve­hi­cle that has mil­i­tary begin­nings and was the fore­most sought-af­ter trans­porta­tion for decades in the U.S. armed mo­bile forces. A Jeep has seven slats in the grille for a rea­son. Its her­itage is as strong as its abil­ity to nim­bly tra­verse over all types of ter­rain. The only Jeep is a Jeep!

In­ter­na­tional Scout, Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer, Toy­ota 4-Run­ner, and all other SUVs are not Jeeps. Just be­cause it wants to be known as a Jeep, don’t make it a Jeep. It may be Jeep-like, but the true blood­line will never be Jeep.

Todd Su­louff McClure, PA

In­ter­est­ingly, the first mil­i­tary “Jeeps” had more than seven slats. The orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion mil­i­tary “Jeep” had what is known as a slat grille with 11 large open­ings and two smaller ones. The later MB and Ford GPW mil­i­tary “Jeeps” came with stamped steel grilles that fea­tured 9 slot­ted open­ings. Speak­ing of which, would you con­sider the Willys MB a Jeep but not the Ford GPW, which is nearly iden­ti­cal in every way? The 7-slat grille only sur­faced in 1945, when the civil­ian CJ-2A be­gan to roll off of the assem­bly line. So a “Jeep” re­ally can’t be iden­ti­fied by hav­ing only a 7-slat grille. Be­sides, most FSJs don’t have 7-slat grilles. Are they not Jeeps ei­ther? The Jeep ID wa­ters are cer­tainly clouded; some people don’t even con­sider the newer Jeeps like the Rene­gade a Jeep, even though it’s built un­der the Jeep brand.

No Jeep Stamp

Re­gard­ing Trail Head (July ’18), what is or isn’t a Jeep is dif­fer­ent for a lot of people. For some, it’s the vin­tage flat­fend­ers, for oth­ers it’s a two-door stick-shift Wran­gler with big tires. And yet oth­ers feel the four-door JK or any Jeep with an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion is not a Jeep. The Roxor is not a Jeep! Why you ask? Ummm, I don’t see a Jeep stamp any­where on this ve­hi­cle. End of dis­cus­sion.

Ryan Barnes

Via email

Valid point, but would that mean that all of the wartime “Jeeps” are not ac­tu­ally Jeeps be­cause they don’t have a Jeep logo? That sure would be dis­miss­ing quite a bit of his­tory, and a to­tal dis­re­gard for the ori­gin of the word “Jeep.” It’s a slip­pery slope for sure.

It Is a Jeep!

The Mahin­dra Roxor ap­pears to be a re­fresh­ing re­boot of what a Jeep is sup­posed to be. It is a much closer ren­di­tion than those over­weight four-door JK Un­lim­ited limos we see ev­ery­where. It also il­lus­trates the sad fact that our mod­ern safety re­quire­ments have made the price of a new Jeep dou­ble what it needs to be. All it needs are mir­rors, turn sig­nals, and a wind­shield, and it should be street le­gal in my book.

The Mahin­dra Roxor is like a mod­ern­day CJ-7, only brand new with a new diesel en­gine. I wouldn’t hes­i­tate to drive it to Home De­pot or to get gro­ceries. With a few un­der­hood ad­just­ments and an over­drive, I’d take it on the high­way too.

I’m in­ter­ested in see­ing how suc­cess­ful the Roxor will be in a world where cars are mor­ph­ing into some­thing re­sem­bling a smart phone with wheels. Do people re­ally want all those elec­tronic dis­trac­tions that we find in mod­ern ve­hi­cles? I know I don’t. So is a Mahin­dra Roxor a Jeep? Yes! Giles Blair Via email

Dirt ’N Driver

This was my first year at­tend­ing the Jp Dirt ’N Drive. What a great event! I wish I would have ap­plied the first year. The event was flaw­lessly planned. Rick and the Jp staff led us from Phoenix, Ari­zona, to Moab, Utah, with plenty of places to play along the way, as well as show­ing us a lot of in­ter­est­ing geog­ra­phy and cul­tural lo­ca­tions while we trav­eled through the Hopi and Navajo Na­tions.

The three-day trip cul­mi­nated in Moab where we all met and re­grouped on the out­skirts of town to drive to our din­ner des­ti­na­tion. There’s some­thing in­de­scrib­able about 100 Jeeps parad­ing down Main Street in Moab. People had their cell phones out film­ing all of us cruis­ing through town with big smiles and waves. The vic­tory din­ner was great. There were lots of prizes all around from the raf­fle, and the spon­sors were more than gen­er­ous with swag as well as some pretty awe­some prod­uct give­aways, in­clud­ing $1,000 worth of tires shipped to your door! But, what ev­ery­one cov­eted most was the grille from the new JL that had been signed and doo­dled on by the en­tire de­sign team that worked on the JL. Pretty cool.

If I had a com­plaint about this run, it would only be that it wasn’t long enough. Or maybe it was just right, be­cause it left you want­ing more. Great job guys. Hop­ing to do it again next year!

Dave Van Selow

Downey, CA

We’re glad you made it and en­joyed the trip! Be sure to fol­low our Face­book page and check back on jp­magazine.com for up­dates on the ’19 Jp Dirt ’N Drive event.

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