Jeep Tech Questions Answered
For the past few Months we've been gathering up your tech questions and taking them to the people building your new 4x4s. We started in January with Dodge, followed by Ford, Toyota, and GM. This month Jeep gives us the answers we all want to know. Next month we'll return to the regular Nuts & Bolts format, so send your tech questions to email@example.com.
Q Why do the European JK Wranglers have a different front bumper design, and where can they be purchased in the U.S.?
A JEEP RESPONDS: Safety regulations are different in the U.S. than in select European countries. We do not make the Euro-spec bumpers available in the U.S. market.
4WOR RESPONDS: Seems reasonable. Maybe there's an aftermarket importing business opportunity there.
The Independent Issue
Q Is independent suspension for the Wrangler inevitable?
A JEEP: There are no plans to change from a live axle on the Wrangler. Solid axles are the foundation of serious off-road performance, the JK's DNA.
4WOR: Excellent! We'd hate to think what would happen to any engineer who tried to change the Jeep Wrangler to IFS.
Totally integrated whozee WhatchaMacallit
Q What is the purpose of the TIPM? This electronic junction box under the hood of the JK seems like it just adds complexity to what should be a simple vehicle.
A JEEP: TIPM stands for Totally Integrated Power Module. This is a computer controlled power distribution system for all electrical vehicle loads. It protects the vehicle's wiring/systems more effectively.
4WOR: This sounds like a fancy way of saying "fuse box." I wonder if you could repair it with a chewing gum wrapper the way you could an old flatfender fuse box? [Ed. note: There isn't a fuse block on a real flatfender Jeep.]
Five-Links in Wrangler's Chain
Q Why do Wranglers use a four-link front suspension with a track bar instead of a three-link front suspension and a track bar?
A JEEP: The five-link suspension design provides the articulation and durability required for serious off-road operation. Fore/aft location of the axles is controlled by the upper and lower control arms. Long, cross-car, front and rear track bars provide lateral location with minimal angle change during suspension travel. Track bar pivots were lowered relative to the axle by 100 mm (4 inches) to lower the roll center as much as practical while maintaining ground clearance. This makes the vehicle more stable. This also helps minimize on-road lateral jostling of occupants for long-term comfort.
4WOR: It's definitely more comfortable than an old leaf-sprung CJ.
Q What are the benefits of an in-tank fuel pump over an external fuel pump?
A JEEP: NVH (noise, vibration, harmonics) and serviceability. An internal fuel pump provides quieter operation, combined with an internal filter that has sufficient capacity to protect the fuel system from contamination for the life of the vehicle in normal service. Without replacement the internal pump offers a better owner experience.
4WOR: Plus an in-tank pump should reduce the operating temperatures of the pump, adding to longevity.