Altitude Edition? Really?

I was at the Detroit Auto Show in 2005 with clients from Jaguar/Land Rover, and they were poking fun at the then-new, Jeep Commander, making fun of how “boxy” it was.  I know, Land Rover guys making fun of a “boxy” Jeep?!

The Land Rover guys were also making fun of Jeep and the new Trail Rated line that had been introduced in 2004.  The Trail Rated scheme, I call it, had been established to allow Chrysler to utilize their car platforms for new Jeep models.  This scheme gave birth to the Dodge Neon based Compass and Patriot.

I argued at that time with the Land Rover guys that at least Jeep maintained a “real off-roader” with the Wrangler!

I get it, Jeep, like any automaker is in the business of selling as many units as they can, and expanding the brand with these “fake Jeeps” helped to catapult the brand’s sales numbers.  To Jeep’s credit, they have maintained the Wrangler line, even stepping up with the offering of the Rubicon line.

However, I cannot help but to cringe, and be concerned for the long-term identity of the Jeep brand with the announcement of the High Altitude trim being available on the 2020 Wrangler and Gladiator models!

The High Altitude trim has been available on all other Jeep models for some time, beginning with the new non-Trail Rated “fake Jeeps”, however, does Jeep REALLY have to water down the Wrangler/Gladiator line?!

The new 2020 Wrangler and Gladiator High Altitude models were introduced this week at the Chicago Auto Show, and ironically, Jeep seems to be going in the direction of Land Rover, with “luxury off-roaders”!

Again, I get it, it’s about selling units, however, I cannot help but think that this is another step towards the end of the Jeep brand as we have known it!

What’s next, an all-electric, Bro-Rated Jeep?!

Why all the EXCITEMENT over an Electric Jeep?!?!?

“Instant torque!”…”Sealed drivetrain for water crossings!”…”No more MPG worries!” and the list of silly comments goes on about the announcement from Jeep about the electrification of the complete Jeep line up.

With the Jeep brand experiencing record sales volumes, nearly year over year, they are faced with the conundrum that the rest of the automotive industry is, electrification.  Jeep is simply electrifying their line up to meet the government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards.

I have written about my take on an electric Jeep previously, and you can link to that post here.

Jeep is electrifying its entire line up simply to satisfy the CAFE standard as their sales numbers have made Jeep a greater player in the overall automotive market.

I find it laughable how many “sheeple”  believe first in global warming, and secondly that electric vehicles could have any impact on the fallacy of global warming!!!

Prager University has produced the most succinct explanation of why electric vehicles are NOT “Green”.

IF electric vehicles were ultimately more efficient AND better for water crossings and instant torque, why didn’t Jeep electrify their line up years ago?!?!?

I am sure that I’ll get all kinds of hate for my take on electric Jeeps, and I say thank you!!!  Thank you for buying an electric Jeep, so that Jeep can continue to produce an internal combustion engine-powered Jeep for me to buy!!!

FAKE NEWS!!!

FAKE NEWS gave us the Wrangler name!!!

Contrary to popular belief American Motors Corporation, AMC, the parent company of the Jeep brand from 1970 – 1987, and NOT Chrysler Corporation, created the Wrangler as the replacement for the CJ-7.  I recall at the time when Chrysler Corporation purchased Jeep in 1987 that they were “blamed” for “ruining” the CJ-7 and giving us the Wrangler.  

New vehicles are in development for several years, between 5 and 7, prior to launch, therefore Chrysler Corporation could never have pulled off a CJ-7 replacement in less than a year!

So, why did AMC drop the CJ naming?  Because of FAKE NEWS!!! Yes, FAKE NEWS existed long before the Communist, or Clinton, I mean Cable News Network (CNN).  Before CNN, we had good ole’ 60 Minutes, with that stupid stopwatch!!!

60 Minutes did a piece in December of 1980 based on rigged vehicle tests and miss-leading studies, helping to create the idea that the CJ was an unsafe vehicle.

The 60 Minutes segment was based on a report issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on “the extremely hazardous tendency of the Jeep CJ utility vehicle in highway use.”  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found during a 1981 review of the testing that Dynamic Science Incorporated performed for IIHS, used “abnormal test conditions and unrealistic maneuvers…generated by an automatic control device which…which was programmed to provide input not entirely representative of driver input”.

Several lawsuits followed, some involving the tragic loss of life, alleging that the CJ was the cause of the incident and not simply the risks associated with motor vehicle travel?!

More than one insurance company either refused to issue policies to new Jeep CJ owners or sent warnings to existing policyholders.

The CJ may have also suffered from the bad press that the completely unrelated, however still military “jeep”, M151, did justly receive due to its propensity for rollovers due to a new and unproven front/rear independent suspension system.  Because of the rollover issues, the US Military experienced with the M151, NHTSA did block the sales of the M151 for civilian use, which it had not done to the CJ-based military jeep so that certainly did not help the image of the CJ!!!

AMC began development of the Wrangler in the early 1980s making the vehicle more “user-friendly” with a lower center-of-gravity, softer ride, and added creature comforts, and the square headlights!!!

I am unsure of why the name Wrangler was chosen, however, the CJ name was killed due to FAKE NEWS, and after 30+ years, the Wrangler name has now morphed into us calling our Jeep’s TJ, JK, JL, and JT.

RESOURCES

The Liability Maze: The Impact of Liability Law on Safety and Innovation

edited by Peter W. Huber, Robert E. Litan

It’s a Jeep, NOT a boat!!! IT ALREADY HAS A NAME!!!

As my buddy Dan demonstrated at Bundy Hill last year, a Jeep is not a boat, they don’t float!!!

Boats were given names, THOUSANDS of years ago when humans still believed in all kinds of superstitions such as the world was flat, and there were Gods of every season and any other unexplainable phenomenon.

RiverKeepers.org explains the origins of boat names very well.

You DO NOT need a name for your Jeep, and stop asking this INSANE question on social media!!!


Wrangler Wednesday – KiNSMART

While standing in line at a CVS Pharmacy recently, I looked over at the toy car rack and found a 2-door JL model that was VERY well detailed and under $10!!!

KiNSMART is the maker of die cast toy cars, and their JL toys look great!!!

While I didn’t find the JL on the KiNSMART web site, I did find them on Amazon, with and without a top.

Check out Amazon and get yourself a JL today!!!


Cars & Coffee – May 19, 2019

I attended the first Cars & Coffee of 2019 at the site of the former Walter P. Chrysler Museum, on the FCA World Headquarters Campus.

Jeep brought out the J6, Flatbill and M-715 Five-Quarter Concepts, and they were VERY impressive!!!

The J6 was my favorite, however I don’t think that Jeep will put it into production.

The Flatbill Concept highlights the extremes that the Gladiator can be taken too!!!

The M-715 Concept looks too much like a concept to me, and not enough like a Jeep.  It certainly had a crowd around it!!!

Cars & Coffee is a regular monthly event that Chrysler has held, since they built the museum.  Unfortunately, Fiat closed the museum and turned it into offices for Maserati and Alfa Romeo.


As mentioned previously, Moparinsiders.com reported that the Chrysler Museum may be making a come back at the old Viper plant.

Click here for the complete article from moparinsiders.com

There were several nice Jeeps on display as well.

Cars & Coffee also had many GREAT looking vehicles on display!!!

Trail Mirrors – Motor City Aftermarket

Tomorrow is Go Topless Day and for some, it may be a go naked day!!!  When running with the doors off, you’ll need mirrors to stay legal.  If you drive a JL, you should really check out the Trail Mirrors from Motor City Aftermarket.

Motor City Aftermarket has designed a mirror system that utilizes the windshield hinge as the mounting point, to ensure little to no vibration.

Chris from Motor City Aftermarket explains in greater detail what makes their trail mirrors superior to competitive products.

As with all Motor City Aftermarket product, the JL Trail Mirrors come with a Lifetime Structural Warranty, and a 5-Year Coating Warranty!!!

I am excited to see Motor City’s trail mirror solution for the JK!!!

It’s NOT the steering stabilizer!!!

Aside from “What should I name my Jeep?” posts on social media, I believe that the age old question of “Why does my Jeep have death wobble?” is the most common question posted.

Listen to me, it is NOT the steering stabilizer, NOR is it time to install a dual-steering stabilizer!!!My JK recently developed death wobble at +90,000 miles and after proper diagnosis, which is explained very well in the video below, I determined that it was my track bar bushings.

I am happy to report that after having Mumbly’s Off Road install a STEERSMARTS Track Bar, no more death wobble!!!

The moral of the story is that death wobble is not going to be the least costly, and simplest part to replace.  I will go out on a limb and state that bad track bar bushings are ultimately the most over-looked cause of death wobble, once properly diagnosed.

I have also heard through the grape-vine that Jeep may be replacing track bars on new JL’s that experience death wobble???

Not only is the STEERSMARTS track bar a solid replacement, it adds even more red to the underneath of my silver Jeep!!!

Do you have a smelly radiator?

Have you had to replace, or had the dealer or other repair shop replace the radiator in your Jeep Wrangler (JK) because it smelled, and was leaking?

My Jeep is starting to smell again, and I think it may be the radiator?

What has been your experience?  Please provide your feedback via the survey button below.

STEERSMARTS

While attending the recent Motor City Aftermarket Indoor Jeep Meet & Greet, I got a chance to see STEERSMARTS product up close and personal.  It’s impressive stuff!!!

STEERSMARTS offers a complete line of bolt-in steering components for JK and JL, and will work with stock and modified suspensions.

If your Jeep is experiencing death wobble, there’s a 99% chance that it is simply NOT a steering stabilizer, no matter how many times you ask on Facebook!!!

I recommend replacing the failed steering component(s) with a STEERSMARTS component.

Extreme Terrain has a GREAT video on death wobble, and how to diagnose.

Check out STEERSMARTS today!!!

-Chris