Q I have an old XJ Cherokee. What products does Mopar offer to make my Jeep more capable off-road?
A JEEP: There are a number of great Mopar offerings for XJ owners. New items include an off-road front bumper and the availability of a 4.7L I-6 long-block. The block will fit most Jeep vehicles previously equipped with the 4.0L I-6 engine. Check out www.mopar.com.
4WOR: We saw some very cool Mopar tube doors for the XJ at the SEMA Show also. These SUVs are the best value in the off-road market these days.
Q On the new JK Wrangler you went from steel to plastic fenders. Why? Were these deemed more trail-worthy?
A JEEP: Combining the fender/flair into one unit was the most efficient design for the JK. Fuel economy, safety, and vehicle weight are all aspects that play in the development of a vehicle; it's truly a balancing act. The plastic fenders help us attain goals and meet customer needs.
4WOR: Yes, but our editor-in-chief, Rick Péwé, would like to invite your finest engineers to rest a bottle or can of their favorite beverage on those plastic fender/flares and see if it won't slide off into the dirt. Lightweight is cool, but steel CJ fenders won't dump his Corona on the ground.
Q We know the Jeep JK Dana 44 is different from other Dana 44s. Are the JK Dana 30s different from previous Dana 30s also? If so, what are the differences?
A JEEP: Improvements have been made to the front axles to improve ground clearance, reduce NVH, and improve durability. The driveshaft attaches to the axle at the top (high pinion) instead of at the bottom (low pinion) as on previous front axles to provide greater gear strength when driving forward. Relative to the prior axle, the housing is stronger and more rigid. The pinion bearings are larger to handle added torque requirements created by a heavier vehicle with larger tires. Above-center mounting also reduces the offset between the pinion and the output shaft of the transfer case, thereby reducing driveshaft joint angles for smoother, quieter operation. The JK ring-and-pinion is different from the previous model.
4WOR: It's improvements like these that keeps the Wrangler at the top of the pack for out-of-the-box off-roaders.
Team Tank II
Q Why was the fuel tank moved up beside the driveshaft instead of keeping it behind the rear axle?
A JEEP: The fuel tank location is driven by vehicle packaging to meet functional objectives.
4WOR: "Functional objectives"? Maybe that's marketingspeak for "it removes it from out back where everyone bashes it on rocks." We'd like to see a second tank out back for long-range travel, a diesel engine, a small Jeep pickup, and a smaller solid-axle commuter Jeep that gets 35 mpg, holds two people, and can be used from city streets to ranch pastures.
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