A Bestop has what you need: the TrailMax II fixed rear bench seat. But putting in a back seat and still having cargo space in a CJ-5 is going to be tight. It is not exactly a fullsize truck! Another option is to put just one small bucket seat in the back, and then you'll have space for a cooler beside the seat. Of course this means you'll only have seating for three. Check out all the Bestop seats at www.bestop.com.
Lift a Super Ranger
Q I have been thinking for a while now about putting 31-inch tires on my '98 Ford Ranger. It is the XLT with the 4.0L V-6. I wanted to get a larger lift to accommodate the tires, but I noticed I can only get a 3-inch body lift and no suspension lifts. They make them for almost every Ranger except the 4WD '98 (I have seen them for the 2WD). I was just wondering if you knew the answer and what you suggest. Take note that I am a working college student so I do have a bit of a budget, but I am willing to spend a little because I'd like to start wheeling.
A The Ranger is a great truck, and you need to talk to the guys at Superlift Suspension Systems (www.superlift.com). They have a 3- or 4-inch lift for your pickup that they say will clear 33-inch tires, although I've heard you can fit a 35 with the 35-inch size.
Mopar Axle Increase
Q Hi. First off, great mag. My question is about the JK crate axles. I would like to purchase them to put under my '95 Grand Cherokee, but when I call and give them the part number I found in your magazine they are telling me that the rear axle is about $2,500 and the front axle is about $3,000. In your mag it says they are around $1,400 a piece, so I would like to know where you got them for that price. I know the rear brackets will have to be modified, but that's not a problem. Thanks for your time.
A I'm sorry to say that those early prices have been raised. Supply and demand can have that effect on things. I do know that you can currently purchase a Dodge Power Wagon axle from dealerships. Those come with 4.56 gears and selectable lockers but are eight-lug (Power Wagon front, PN P5155087AB, $3,904; rear, PN P5155088AB, $3,504).
There are also front and rear portal axles in the works, PN P5166670 and P5155671, but those will not likely be available until late 2010.
Q I have a newborn baby and tire compatibility issue. Born May 13, 2010, at 0623 hours is my beautiful little girl, Jacqueline "Gracie" Brabble. She is my new pride and joy, taking the place of my '03 Dodge 2500. I have always known that the current tires I am running, Nitto Mud Grapplers, were loud, but I never took into consideration the sensitivity of a newborns ears. As we began on our trip home from Alexandria Hospital with my wife and little one in the back seat, Gracie became more and more agitated as the speeds increased. The louder the tires screamed, the louder Gracie would scream.
Now, with great sorrow, I must depart with my beloved Nittos. Nearly every car and truck I have ever owned has rolled on Nitto. But I have lost the desire for flashy tires and want something a bit more brawny. I will likely stay with 35s to help my 4:55s keep my 5.7L happy while at play. I have a set of 17-inch KMC XD222s on the way and need some rubber for them, and need you guys to tell me which to go with.
A If you like Nittos, I'm going to suggest the Nitto Trail Grapplers. I, too, have run the Mud Grapplers, and although they ride great and wheel excellently the noise reminded me of riding in a double-prop airplane with the windows open. The Trail Grapplers offer the same great ride and good off-road performance but with much less noise. I'm not promising little Gracie is going to fall asleep to the sound of 35-inch Nittos, but they're definitely not as noisy as the Mud Graps, nor as flashy. For good all-around rubber I think they're your ticket.