Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Jeep Spotter's Guide

Four Wheeler Magazine published the poster pictured above in their September 1997 issue.  Since then, The CJ3B Page has worked hard to update the history and fill in the blanks to present what is surely the most complete Pictorial History of the "Universal Jeep" from the earliest prototypes to today's Jeep JK Wrangler.

Even the most die-hard Jeep fan will learn something new from this collection - especially from the obscure Jeep vehicles such as the AgriJeep CJ-1, the transitional CJ-4, the stylish Jeepster Commando, the divergent BC Bobcat and M422 Mighty Mite, and the various other models built by Bantam, Willys, Ford, Kaiser, AMC, and Chrysler.

There is so much information on The CJ3B Page, it'll keep you reading for days!

Spring 2012 Edition of UFWDA's The Voice Magazine

The United Four Wheel Drive Association has just released the Spring 2012 Issue of The Voice magazine.  If you haven't ever read a copy of it, you owe it to yourself to do so; it's full of updates on important land-use battles, articles on great 4x4 adventures around the world, welding instruction, and demonstration of an advanced winching technique called "side belay recovery."  Best of all - the magazine is free!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Military Jeep Wranglers

Everyone knows that Jeep's roots are in the U.S. Military - the Wrangler's great-grandpappy is the Bantam GPV, which evolved into the Willys MB and Ford GPW during World War II.  What many people do not know is that the Wrangler's military tradition soldiers on today.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Closer Look at AEV's New Jeep Pickup

Four Wheeler Magazine just updated their blog with a closer look at American Expedition Vehicles' new Jeep Wrangler JK Brute Double Cab Pickup, based on the Wrangler Unlimited chassis.  This is simply the coolest pickup truck ever built.

There are other drool-worthy Jeep-based pickups available, including AEV's Jeep Wrangler TJ Brute Pickup and Mopar's own JK-8 Conversion, but none are up to the coolness level of the JK Brute Double Cab.

AEV went over the top with this particular one, including a 6.4-liter Hemi, Dynatrac Dana 44 and 60 axles, and AEV's own 4.5-inch suspension kit to fit 37-inch Super Swamper Irok Radials, but you'll be able to have them build one out of a bone-stock, factory-fresh Wrangler or in all likelihood, buy the parts as a kit to perform the conversion in your own garage or driveway.  In any case, since it's based on the popular Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited, you will have the world's largest selection of aftermarket parts to customize your Brute any way that suits you.

*** 12/05/2012 UPDATE ***
Truck Trend Magazine has driven and reviewed the Brute Double Cab.
Car and Driver Magazine has also driven and reviewed the Brute Double Cab.  Their YouTube video channel Tested gives an in-depth look at the Brute DoubleCab in a segment named "AEV Brute Double Cab: The Jeep Pickup That Jeep Doesn't Build":

*** 12/13/2012 UPDATE ***
Autoweek Magazine has gotten a chance to drive and review the Jeep Wrangler Brute Double Cab from American Expedition Vehicles.  AEV shared the article on their Facebook page:

Click on the image to read the high-resolution version
AEV has already presold the first year's production capacity.  Given the fact that these vehicles start at $80,000 Jeep executives will hopefully take the hint that they really need to develop a Wrangler-based Jeep pickup truck to offer right from the dealership!

*** 1/13/2013 UPDATE ***
Autoblog has taken the Brute Double Cab for a Quick Spin and has loved the experience!  They note the fine handling inherent to the unique geometry of the AEV DualSport Suspension and the impeccable build quality of AEV's top-tier products.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon's Disconnecting Sway Bar

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, one of the significant bits of technology that distinguishes the Rubicon from the lesser Wrangler models is its disconnecting sway bar.

Just as the standard Jeep Wrangler's solid front axle provides a huge increase in articulation relative to a 4x4 equipped with independent front suspension, the Rubicon model's sway bar disconnect provides a similar increase in wheel travel over that of a standard Wrangler, without the expense or hassle of using manual sway bar disconnects.  It can be quickly disengaged from the driver's seat, and reengaged on the fly for a steep off-camber section of trail, for instance.

The above video shows the difference in realtime, while this thread on JKOwners discusses the difference that a disconnected sway bar makes. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Environmental Zealotry Out of Control

The Mountain Democrat newspaper out of Placerville, California recently published a letter to the editor regarding the recent heartbreaking closure of public trails throughout Eldorado National Forest that I mentioned in a previous blog entry.  This issue was also recently discussed in the Lake Tahoe News.

To say that the innocent, nature-loving general public is upset about these thefts of their right to recreate on their public lands would be a gross understatement.

Outdoors recreation advocates have known about this most recent closure since it was dictated with the stroke of a pen by a liberal activist judge months ago.  Now that summer has begun, the snow has melted, and the kids have gotten out of school on summer break, the average forest user is only just now becoming aware of the problem as they head up into the mountains that their families have been visiting for generations.  They're all getting a big surprise:

It doesn't matter if you're a camper, a fisherman, a kayaker, a mountain biker, a picnicker, a bird watcher, or a backcountry OHV explorer - you've been locked out of your Forest.  The cancellation of the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo's 4WD Club Deer Valley Poker Run - an annual family club event that's been held for nearly a quarter of a century - is one of countless examples of nature-lovers who are now locked out of Eldorado National Forest.

Congressman Tom McClintock (R-California, 4th District) has brought this growing problem to national attention before, but the continual theft of public rights-of-way on public lands continues its relentless march towards de facto Wilderness:

Here's a list of the trails in this latest round of closures.

Upset?  You can thank this witch from Georgetown, California who is the major instigator of these problems in Eldorado National Forest:

If you're getting tired of seeing Karen Scumbag and her anti-access, faux-environmentalist organizations successfully litigating the government into taking away YOUR rights to YOUR public lands that YOUR tax dollars are supposed to go towards management for YOUR responsible recreation, then I highly recommend contributing to the pro-access environmentalist organization BlueRibbon Coalition as I discussed in a previous blog post.  They're fighting to keep public lands open to EVERYONE every single day, but they can't succeed without your support.

I've reprinted the Mountain Democrat letter here in case the link expires or the site goes down, but it's worth visiting the link to the newspaper's site to view the reader's comments:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Vintage Jeep CJ Commercial

I love watching old commercials, and Jeeps are always some of the best.  Check out this one from around 1980:

California Assembly's Theft from the OHV Trust Fund

California's OHV community is totally disenfranchised with the State's outright theft of $21 million from the OHV Trust Fund.  

While State Senators Joe Simitian (D-11th District) and Noreen Evans (D-2nd District) and Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-Petaluma) are the most guilty of all, the majority of our non-representative Representatives can be considered co-conspirators.

BlueRibbon Coalition published a press release explaining the OHV community's stance on the issue, and The General's Recreation HQ posted their own opinion of the crime.  Pirate4x4's Land Use forum has a thorough discussion worth reading.  California's Kern County Board of Supervisors even sent a letter of objection to the State Senate noting the economic and environmental consequences of the theft of these funds.

We The People set up a government-run Trust Fund in which we entrusted the government in using our gas tax dollars (solely from fueling our off-road vehicles) exclusively for the management of OHV areas.  Repeated "borrowing" of money from this self-funded program has occurred over the years due to the fact that this is just about the only sustainable government program; it's like a nerdy kid with a pocket full of lunch money - too hard for the bullies to resist.  These funds have never been repayed, and the "loans" have now evolved into outright legislated theft.

What kind of "Trust Fund" is it if we can't trust our own Representatives?

We OHV users have kept our end of the agreement, but the government bullies have repeatedly pushed us the ground and taken our lunch money.  How long will we tolerate this before we do something about it?  Forfeiting our money only encourages continued theft.

It's time to vote the bullies out of office and take them to the principal's office.  A lawsuit could lead to a judge (principal) awarding us a repayment of our stolen funds.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Land Use Wake-Up Call with MetalCloak and Del Albright


In the wake of the massive closure of public roads and trails in Eldorado National Forest and the California legislature's outright theft of money from the OHV Trust Fund, the good folks at MetalCloak invited BlueRibbon Coalition's Del Albright to discuss the current and future problems stemming from the anti-access, faux-environmentalist agenda.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, the Sierra Club, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and other radical extremist groups are fighting every day to get the government to strip you of your right to responsibly recreate on the public lands that your tax dollars pay for.  For instance, even with 1/3 of Eldorado National Forest already locked up for exclusive use by hikers in the Desolation and Mokolumne Wilderness Areas, the anti-access groups still weren't happy with the fact that a mere two-tenths of one percent of Eldorado National Forest's forest floor still remained legal to access by SUV, a Jeep, or even a Prius, so they sued the government and managed to get the vast majority of the last few remaining rights-of-way closed.

If you enjoy driving into forest for picnicking, searching for geocaches, birdwatching, kayaking, fishing, camping, 4x4 backcountry exploration, or any activity other than hiking, you'll have to find another forest in which to do it - you aren't welcome in Eldorado National Forest anymore, even if you're a senior, a child, a disabled veteran, or anyone else who isn't able to hike.

And you better get out and enjoy your other National Forests soon, because the evil witch who runs CSNC and PEER isn't content to stop at locking you out of her local forest; Eldorado National Forest is nothing more than a test-bed in which she perfects her tactics for eventual seizure of the rest of America's public lands.  All Americans are victims of her selfish agenda, not just those of us who are local to her.

You're probably wondering what can you do to help fight to keep your public lands open to the public.  The number one action is to join BlueRibbon Coalition.  It doesn't matter what form of outdoors recreation you partake in - BRC is an environmentalist organization that fights to preserve nature for ALL responsible recreationists, not just for a select few elitists.

MetalCloak has also come up with their own great list of actions to take to help preserve public lands FOR the public instead of FROM the public.  Support the companies and organizations that are working in your interest, or else there won't be any public lands left for our children to enjoy.