Do you have a 'Jeep', or a Dedicated Vehicle? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 5,383
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

Is your vehicle 'Dedicated' or 'General Purpose'?
I've been debating posting this subject for a while and this weekend was the deciding factor...

I went to the local reservoir this Monday just to take some time off...
Went on a trail ride, and had to listen to the self-appointed 'Trail Gods' about what I should do or shouldn't do with my Jeep.
These are the local guys that buy every gadget that comes down the pike...
Complain because the bead lock rims they bought ruined their tires when they street drove them, have huge, expensive directional tires mounted backwards, and have no savings, no retirement, no kids collage fund, but have $60,000 in a 15 year old 4WD whatever...

First off,
Let me say I'm not a trail snob.
I stop and fix things for people that need help, or at least ask if I can help if there are several people standing around a down Jeep.
I don't take labor money, (but I will take money for supplies used, often $30 to $50 every trip out sure adds up!)

I pull out, pull up or let down anyone stuck if I can.
Some vehicles I drive don't have a winch, and some vehicles are just too damn big for my vehicle and winch to handle.
Again, I don't leave people stranded, I'll at least give them a ride out to civilization if I or others can't help them on the spot.

If asked, I might make suggestions, but I never initiate the conversation, and I NEVER just walk up to people and tell them what 'THEY NEED TO DO IS THIS OR THAT'...

I recently bought a little '73 CJ-5, and I decided to make it a dependable on and off road driver, and nothing more.

This is NOT a dedicated Rock Climber.
This is NOT a dedicated Sand Buggy.
This is NOT a dedicated Mud Bogger.
This is NOT a dedicated Barbie Jeep with every bolt on accessory known to man.

This is going to be a simple, moderate trail capable Jeep that has reasonable road manners.
I DON'T need a 5 to 1 reduction transfer case.
I DON'T need an all aluminum engine.
I DON'T need Sequential Port Fuel Injection.
I DON'T need Supercharger or Turbocharger.
I DON'T need custom built long arm suspension.
I DON'T need super slinky coil over shock conversion.
I DON'T need 3 feet of suspension travel.
I DON'T need Dana 70's front and rear.
I DON'T need Divorced hydraulic ram steering.
I DON'T need $2,000 apiece wheel & tire combinations.

What I do need...

Seat belts. (safety!)
This vehicle has 32 year old seat belts in it! Need I say more?!

Brake Upgrades. (safety!)
Small four wheel drums just don't stop the little Jeep satisfactorily.
Therefore, front disc brakes (a bolt in from later model CJ Jeeps), and maybe 4 wheel disks are in order.
Larger, aggressive pattern tires also make it harder to stop, so this is a safety issue.

Emergency Brake. (safety!)
The running joke around here is about the foot long piece of 4"X4" wood most of us have for an emergency or parking brake...
I think that a cable brake is a MUST, and a T-case mounted brake isn't a bad idea either!

Good Gauges. (preventative and maintenance)
As far as I'm concerned, a good set of gauges should be the first thing installed.
The factory gauges are 'minimal' at best, and misleading at worst.
This is the best $40 (and UP!) you can spend on your vehicle.

Fuel, Air & Oil Filters. (longevity)
I have an old engine, and it's tired. It doesn't make sense to abuse it...
Good oil, air & fuel filters are a MUST.

Upgraded ignition system. (reliability & power)
Ignition system upgrade was a must in my case. '73 has breaker points, and I'm just not going to do that to myself.
This is WWII technology, and I intend to make use of the last 60 years of technology upgrades.

Two Groove Pulleys. (redundancy)
Either carry a spare belt for alternator & water pump, or use two groove pulleys.
If you are going to upgrade the alternator, make sure it has a two groove pulley and run two belts.
Built in redundancy never hurts a thing!

Dual batteries. (redundancy)
Just two plain old economy 24 series batteries from the local discount auto parts store.
I'm never stuck with two batteries, and with two batteries you can even stick weld.
This means building a dual battery tray and doing some additional wiring, but this is easy, and we've covered this all before here on the BBS.

Good alternator. (multi-purpose)
With a good alternator you can charge your batteries, or weld, or run an inverter/converter.
These are lying around in salvage yards just waiting for some Do It Yourselfer to pick them up for little or nothing...
Some people use two alternators, one for charging, and one for welding, ect.
I prefer one over built alternator with controlled ground to do everything.
(controlled ground allows you to weld in straight polarity or reverse polarity, meaning you have the ability to stick, mig or tig weld)

Dual engine fans. (redundancy)
With two fans, you WILL NOT have a fan failure that will keep you from getting back.

On Board Air. (self sufficiency)
Air tools, airing up tires, blowing up float toys at the lake, supplying an on board plasma cutter!...
I don't care if you have engine driven (if you have enough engine bracket space) or an electric compressor (with upgraded alternator, why not?)

Shackles Or 'D' rings. (safety issue)
I see so many of the so called 'Experts' still don't have solidly mounted closed shackles or 'D' rings.
They still use chains wrapped around bumpers, or worse yet, the ends of bumpers or open hooks...

Winch. (self sufficiency)
A good quality winch of sufficient size is a requirement if you off road alone.
It should be rated with enough LIFTING power to lift the vehicle.
Most winches are rated for "Rolling Load", and this is unacceptable.

Reasonable Trail Tool Box. (self sufficiency)
So many of the people I have to help have gadgets like CD players, GPS locators, lap top computers, loads of extra lights, tons of built in battery powered coolers and built in consoles, thousands of dollars of wheels and tires, lift kits and custom tops, but not $10 worth of tools, hi-lift jack or jumper cables...?

The tools don't have to be anything fancy or expensive.
If your budget allows, Sears Craftsman tools are plenty.
If you are broke, basic ratchet and socket set, basic combo wrench set, screw drivers, pliers, adjustable wrenches, allen wrenches and a hack saw to name a few...
All under $50 at the local Wally-World with a lifetime guarantee...

A word on common sence...

If you are less than 15 miles from home, on trails with a club or group of friends why a GPS?
If you are east of the Mississippi river, you are probably wheeling close enough to a highway or town to throw a rock and hit a street light...

Why a laptop? Cell phone? PDA?
Can't you go without that aggravation for a few hours?
That's the reason I go out to the lake or wheeling, so no one can bother me...

Why 8,000 extra lights when you almost never go wheeling after dark?
Wouldn't one or two been enough for low speed trail riding?
Did you install alternator, batteries, relays, fuses, disconnects for those lights to operate for an extended period correctly?

What's the difference between a $1,500 custom made billet aluminum wheel, a $350 cast aluminum wheel off an assembly line, and a $45 stock type steel wheel?...
---The steel wheel can be bent back out and run home after impact with rock, tree or whatever...
Ever tried to straighten out an aluminum wheel?
---The aluminum wheels are now scrap and future beer cans in Japan...

If you have been wheeling with a Dana 44 and/or Ford 9" for the last 10 years without a failure, why do you think you need $5,000 worth of Dana 60's all the sudden?

If you have been using a T-18 trans, why do you suddenly need $4,500 worth of NV-4500?

If you don't have any problems with the Dana 300, why do you need one of the new 'Wonder T-cases' at $3,500 a pop?

If you mostly do light to moderate trail riding, farm work or use as hunting vehicle, why do you think it's a 'Requirement' to have a fuel injected V-8 all of the sudden?

Back to the orignal question...

Even if it says 'Jeep' on your title...
Rock Climbers are not 'Jeeps'.
Desert Racers are not 'Jeeps'.
Monster Trucks are not 'Jeeps'.
Mud Boggers are not 'Jeeps'.
Pulling Trucks are not 'Jeeps'.
Show Jeeps are not 'Jeeps'.

A 'Jeep' is a General Purpose, On & Off Road Vehicle, suited to nearly any climate or terrain.
(Take note of the word 'Nearly'... and 'Off Road' not 'Off Highway'...)

Do you have a dedicated vehicle that just happens to have a 'Jeep' title...
Or Do You Have A Real 'Jeep'!?
Junk Yard Genius is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 179
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

Aaron, as usual, you bring up some very good points. I hpe people will take notice....I agree completely on your philosophy.

Taking a shot at answering your question about the GPS, PDAs, laptops, etc....they have to have something to do when their junk breaks down and they're waiting for someone (with tools and a hi-lift) to come rescue them! Bling wont get them home.
RemyDodge is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 5,383
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

That would be a good sticker,

I'd put mine right next to the,
Attach Stuck H-2 Here, sticker...

And the,
HELL NO IT'S NOT A SUV!, sticker.
Junk Yard Genius is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 10:38 PM
Keyboard Implanted
Rio_Grande's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Southeastern Indiana
Posts: 4,767
Thanks: 3
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

As for a GPS, it is as important as any tool. Alot of the places we wheel I don't know. I throw the gps on the dash mark the entry point and let it run. that gives me a nice map to go by if God forbid someone gets hurt, or more common I just flat get lost. Sometimes It is nice to just go for a wheeling trip drive wherever without concern for direction then return safely before the gate closes. I for one bought a gps after a trip to Land between the lakes where I had a compas and a map, know how to use them both but found the trails marked on the map in no way reflected reality. We ment to be out for 4 hours. 9 hours later we returned to the gate. With the gps I don't have that problem anymore.

Places like redbird and Attica, don't need it much anymore but you will find it on my dash running.

Guess I should apolijise for being responsable as I am usualy in the lead.

Most of the rest of your rant I actualy agree with. I for one am glad that folks max their jeeps out with a bunch of money, Makes me feel better when I am dragging them out.

As for never leaving someone behind if you are in my group, or with me you are golden, But if you are out in the middle of the woods unprepared,, I will usualy help ya out, but you may get a few suggestions...

The guy that Jim lou pulled out of the creek at attica comes to mind couple thousand dollars in lift tires and bumpers, not a tow point anywhere and wanted my ratchet and torix bits to take his bumper that was under water off so it didn't get scratched...

Course he brought beer and Steak to the campsite.
Rio_Grande is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 11:09 PM
Mike86CJ7's Avatar
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 490
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

I think Granville King is smiling right now. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/goodpost.gif[/img]
Mike86CJ7 is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 12:02 AM
Can't Get Enough
MarineOpLaw's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,440
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

:good post:

Hey Aaron... the more I read your posts, the more I regret not getting by to see you last week in our mad dash across country.

You got any houses for sale next door... or down the street/on the same block? How's the employment situation down there?

Great points you make... that I know I need sometimes to remind myself of - a Jeep is a multi-purpose vehicle, and to ovely-specialize it in any direction is to negate it's primary purpose. (And, the bling only serves to further girlie-man it...)
MarineOpLaw is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 01:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Marion N. Carolina
Posts: 875
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

You are alright dude! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Someday I hope to cross paths with you! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]
Timber is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 04:40 AM
Posts: n/a
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

Great rant. I'm just the kind of nub that needed to hear it too. That is exactly how I've been thinking. I want to make my Jeep an overall performer and safe to drive.

I'm not chroming it out or turning it into a barbie car that's for sure.

Great post [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]
post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 06:36 AM
Keyboard Implanted
Aaron871's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Homeless in the Hammers... / Mexico
Posts: 3,160
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

Do you have a dedicated vehicle that just happens to have a 'Jeep' title...

[/ QUOTE ]

You are asking, why?
Because that is what I wanted.
Now I'm sorry that I didn't make it a full on rock buggy, eventually I will.
I used to have a 75 CJ-5 that was built very similar to what you are describing, I loved that Jeep but just couldn't keep it trail and road worthy anymore. I decided to build a trailer queen.
Why does that make you angry? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
Aaron871 is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 5,383
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Re: Do you have a \'Jeep\', or a Dedicated Vehicle?

I'm not angry or upset...
I'm just tired of people telling ME what I should do with MY Jeep... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cussing.gif[/img]
(if they were to tell me what I 'Could' or 'Might' do, it would be a different story...)

I don't care what other people do with their vehicles, that's entirely a matter of personal taste (or lack of taste if you lower a Jeep and put low profile tires on it!)
If anyone wants a rock crawler, more power to them!
If you want to make it a boat, statue, or coffee table, more power to you!

I just wish they wouldn't throw out unsolicited comments on what *I SHOULD or SHOULDN'T* be doing with *MY* Jeep...

My Jeep isn't my entire life, but it is an extension of what I want to do on some particular days OF my life.

It needs to get me around on the back roads after it rains for three weeks like it does here in the midwest...
It needs to get me around after 15 inches of snow hit the ground here...
It needs to get me back and forth to work reliably when I choose to drive it...
It needs to set in the driveway for weeks and not eat my wallet when I don't use it...
It needs to get me in and out of the woods during hunting & fishing season...

My CJ-7 did OK, even though the body was rotting off. The death of that vehicle was when the frame gave up.... LONG WAYS! It is totally gone.
So now it's a parts donor...

I'm a fat guy, and I HATE walking when I'm supposed to have a perfectly drivable vehicle carrying my large, white ass around! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

Please, lets hear from more people!.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
Junk Yard Genius is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome