As unbelievable as it may seem, Jeeps weren't the first things to roam moab! the original trails through the area were footpaths cut by the indigenous inhabitants. then the wagon trains rolled in, followed years later by mining equipment and heavy machinery. Jeeps started exploring moab just after Wwii and during the uranium boom. ever since then, they've left a very impressionable mark on the area's history and its recreational industry.
If you haven't been to moab before and are a hard-core Jeep enthusiast, then we think you should experience at least one Jeep Safari in your lifetime. the migratory stampede of Jeeps flowing into town around spring break is phenomenal. although there are plenty of other vehicles roaming the slickrock cliffs and sandy washes around moab, Jeeps are the vehicle of choice for the majority of four-wheel enthusiasts. on a few trails, the longer wheelbase of trucks, hummers, and larger Suvs lends more stability to their off-highway performance and enhance their ability to take steeper drops without flipping end over end. The shorter, narrower Jeep has more agility and a tighter turning radius, making wheeling not only more fun, but in some cases safer because of its maneuverability. out of the hundreds of Jeeps we see each year at the easter Jeep Safari event, we are continually amazed by the variety of old and new and custom mechanical ingenuity. We can usually find a Jeep of any make or model, from the first Willys to the Wrangler JK, and also factory- concept Jeeps trucked in from Detroit. this is a great place to check out what looks good and what doesn't, what works, and what should have stayed home.
The Wrangler JK When released in 2007, some were a bit skeptical because the JK looked just a little too refined for a 4x4. the old Jeepers growled, while other enthusiasts whispered among themselves, wondering if the new Jeep was going to be any good off-highway. little did they know that with the longer wheelbase, wider track width, electric lockers, and electronic sway-bar disconnect, the JK would perhaps be one of the most capable Jeeps to make its way out of Detroit.
The Classic CJ you have to love the purists who show up to easter Jeep with a vehicle that's probably been in the same family for generations. Who couldn't appreciate this '72 Jeep CJ-5 renegade with original graphics and paint still intact?
The First Coil-Sprung Jeep it's hard to believe the Wrangler tJ has been around for 10 years. manufactured from 1997 to 2006, it's been a staple of Jeep enthusiasts, in factory form and fully modified. With a little work, such as a long-arm suspension and a few other mods, a TJ like Dirk Sanders' from DPg off-road can stretch out and crawl over just about anything.
It's Not An Old CJ! at a glance some of the old flatties may all look the same, but they aren't. it takes an expert, or a nut, to recognize the intricate details, characteristics, and personality of these little machines. Christian hazel, former tech editor of 4-Wheel & off-road and current tech editor of Jp, loves his '53 DJ-3a prototype. the DJ's body is almost pristine and it still rolls around on leaf-sprung axles. the original drivetrain and suspension were ditched long ago, but the old-school mods make this beauty a very functional trail rig.
The Cherokee over the years numerous models of Cherokees were pumped out of the factory, but the XJ was built from 1984 to 2001 and is perhaps one of the most preferred models of Jeep wagon by enthusiasts. While the XJ was Jeep's first endeavor into unibody construction, it is almost 22 inches shorter than the previous Wagoneer models and much lighter. it's also a little easier to modify, making it a good trail rig.
Fully Modified any vehicle can be modi- fied to function and perform well on the trail, but take an already capable vehicle like the JK and modify it, and it will crawl like a goat. the four-door optima Battery JK has been well abused the last two years, first completing the 2007 ultimate adventure and then numerous trips in between, and enduring a torturous week in moab. the Jeep was fitted with Dynatrac Pro rock 60 axles front and rear, Sway-a-Way coilovers up front, rancho long-arm suspension links, and off-road evolution's new cantilever suspension in the rear.
After The CJ the Wrangler yJ was introduced in 1987 and manufactured through 1995. it's the successor to the CJ's throne and a step closer to today's modern Wrangler. The YJ retained the leaf springs of its predecessors and came with either a minimally powered 2.5l i-4 or the dependable and proven 4.2l i-6 engine. in 1991 the 4.2l was dropped and yJs were fitted with a 180hp 4.0l i-6. if there was one feature about the yJ that made enthusiasts balk, it was the change from the traditional round headlights to rectangular.
The C101 Commando was manufactured in two models from 1966 to 1972. the C101 (traditional-looking Jeep grille) was manufactured from 1966 to 1971, and the C104 was built from 1971 to 1972. We have heard tales that the C104's grille was a corporate- hatched idea to compete with the early ford Bronco and the international Scout. We have a suspicion that this was just one of the causes of the vehicle's early demise. the Commandos aren't as common as CJs, but they are classic-looking and fun to play with on the trail nevertheless.
Wheeling In Comfort Some say the JK is just too plush for a trail vehicle and aren't as accepting of the vehicle's creature comforts-well, to each his own! for the folks who've done their fair share of four-wheeling in the dirt, dust, and inclement weather, there's nothing like the feeling of conquering tough trails in a climate-controlled environment while listening to satellite radio. This is arB uSa's company two-door JK driven by technical representative marc Bowers.
Older Than Old Some of us just like relics, and there's something about the smell of an old Jeep that makes us feel right at home. editor-in-Chief rick Pw bought this '42 Willys mB from a friend in utah. he picked it up on the way to easter Jeep Safari this year and had a blast with it. the mB hadn't run in more than 15 years, but rick, our on-staff master Jeep mechanic, had it up and running in less time than it takes to pump a tank of gas. a word to the wise: if you see this Jeep, don't-we repeat don't-pick at the beautifully aged and rustic paint or your arm will be gnawed clean off.
The Grand Cherokee ZJ was manufactured from 1993 to 1998. We thought we'd see more of them on the trail but we don't. it might have something to do with the vehicle's unibody but then some of the ZJs were fitted with the venerable 5.2l and in 1998 a 5.9l v-8, which are stout and powerful. a few other Jeep vehicles we don't see much of on the trail are liberty, Commander, and grand Cherokee WJ and WK.