Friday, April 01, 2011

Jeep Madness Strikes Again!

Back in 1997, I bought my first Jeep.  It was a 97 Jeep Wrangler “TJ” and was the best out of the box Jeep ever made to date.  I did a certain amount of modifications to it over a few years, including a 4 “ lift kit, 33” mud terrain tires, and a limited slip differential in the front axle.  I also upgraded the gears from 3.54 to 3.73, as I was running an automatic transmission AND driving it daily.

It served me well and I ran every obstacle with ease from the Palo Duro Canyon, to Hot Springs Arkansas, Shiloh Ridge ORV to all the coastal beaches of Texas.

Unfortunately, certain circumstances caused me to move on and I became mortal and began driving a small compact car to get around.  My “Jeep Madness” never left me though, but lay dormant in my subconscious waiting a time of rebirth. That time is now.

So, today I drove over to the local Baytown Jeep dealership to put my hands on a new Jeep.  I believe in supporting Baytown, BTW, if at all possible.  If they can't bring me a deal, I'll move on.  Before I get into the particulars, let me back up a bit. 

Jeep has rebuilt and renamed the venerable TJ Jeep I once owned and renamed it a JK Wrangler for the 2-door model and a JK Wrangler Unlimited for the 4-door.  I am interested in the Unlimited model these days, as I need more room for camping equipment and well, it's awesome looking.

There is also a myriad of equipment options that would stagger the mind of the average mortal, but being an informed ex-Jeep owner, I waded through the options like a Army Ranger in the company of a bunch of straight leg REMF soldiers.

I need a Jeep with guts, so I need the Dana 44 option w/Trac-Lok differential and 3.73 gears.  I want an automatic transmission so my Bride can drive it and I want a 3-piece hardtop this time, because, well, I want one.  Other than that, I can live with or without a lot of the do-dads on the option list.

Arriving at the dealership, I was met with a cowboy-looking fellow from Dayton, Texas named Gary Shelby and it wasn’t long before we realized we knew one of Dayton’s infamous citizens, noted hellion Tom Davenport.  Gary and I selected a 4-door Jeep and began to go through all the options.  Between the two of us, we got down to business comparing my old TJ to this new-fangled JK.  It was all relaxed and Gary was very knowledgeable and me being a Jeep guy, this was refreshing.

I took it for an on-road spin and I must say, it’s a real Jeep.  More to follow, so stay tuned.


Ayasha Kieth said...

You have a great looking jeep Bert, a Wrangler TJ Jeep and you also upgraded some parts.. that means you have a great performance and power..

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Rugged ridge said...

Jeez...i love your jeep though it looks like the terrain your using for it it too rugged,it seems to be performing just as expected.

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I read Steve Showalter's opinion piece in Wednesday's Sun and I posted a comment in response. If you recall he is qualified ...