I've been a fan of 4x4 Chevrolet trucks since I could walk, especially the 1-tons. But if I were in the market for a new 1-ton truck, I think I'd have to consider the '99 Super Duty Fords. The return of leaf springs on a solid front axle is a good idea. Is Chevy looking at something like this for its 1-tons? Maybe Ford started a trend of going back to the basics and building trucks for what they'll be used for.
Prior Lake, MN
Our sources tell us that the revised version of the Chevy 1-ton truck (which will be introduced as a 2000 model) will still have the independent front-end design that GM has used on its fullsize trucks since '88.
By the way, the F-350s have always had a straight axle, as have all fullsize Dodge trucks.
I have been in the market for a CJ for some time and recently found the perfect one. It's a '79 with a rebuilt engine and some new parts. When I went to the insurance agency, they told me that they wouldn't insure the Jeep because of the wheelbase. I went to another that accepted me, but now my dad won't let me get it because he says that if the insurance company won't insure it, it must be dangerous. I'm trying to convince him that they are safe, but I really don't know if they are or not.
There isn't a direct answer for this question. I personally know more people who have rolled Nissan Sentras on the highway than off-roaders who have rolled their Jeeps anywhere (and I know way more Jeepers than Sentra owners).
The best way to sum up things is that all tall and narrow sport/utility vehicles will handle differently from passenger cars. For this reason, some groups have deemed them dangerous. I'd like to add that economy compact cars handle far differently from fullsize sedans, but no one has called them dangerous. I believe that a Jeep can be driven as safely as any other vehicle.
These comments are in response to "Stock vs. Lifted," Oct. '98. I have a Pro Comp 4-inch lift installed on my '97 TJ. I also have 33x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains on 15x10 American Eagle wheels. I purchased the kit through 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers in Dallas. I've driven the vehicle about a year since the lift and found your article to be very accurate. You were right on the money about "that wandering thing." My Jeep is a daily driver, and I noticed the wandering became worse over time. The frontend also started groaning, squeaking, and popping. I consulted with 4 Wheel Parts about the situation. Everything under the Jeep was tightened, and I thought the problem was solved. However, as time passed, the problem reappeared.
Finally, the people at 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers found the solution, although they didn't sell the product. They told me about the chrome-moly adjustable track bar from Rubicon Express (Dept. 4WOR, 3315 Monier Cir., Rancho Cordova, CA 95742, 916/ 858-8575, www.rubiconexpress.com). This did the trick and made the steering tighter than it was before the lift.