Jump to content

JP magazine- The terrible ten jeeps


Jay
 Share

Recommended Posts

I picked up a copy of JP magazine at wal-mart tonight just to check out. On the cover was a feature titled Jeeps top ten worst Jeeps. Just for S & G's check it out. here's the link: http://www.jpmagazine.com/featuredvehic ... index.html

I'll Go ahead and ruin it for you though, Comanche didn't make the list! I knew it wouldn't anyway jamminz.gif

comanche.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read it while standing at the rack at wally world, and I don't think it was just about uglyness. They listed crappy points for each model... like the CJ's 2 peice axles in the corporate 20 axle, or the early wagoneers with the crappy independant front suspension, or the early XJ's with the crappy 2.8 GM engine, or the M715 with its underpowered hurricane 6 engine..... stuff like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read it while standing at the rack at wally world, and I don't think it was just about uglyness. They listed crappy points for each model... like the CJ's 2 peice axles in the corporate 20 axle, or the early wagoneers with the crappy independant front suspension, or the early XJ's with the crappy 2.8 GM engine, or the M715 with its underpowered hurricane 6 engine..... stuff like that.

 

You are correct. They list 10 Jeeps (either an entire model line or a range of years of certain model lines) that suck in relation to off-roading/reliability standards in their STOCK form and they're not far off the mark and make some valid points on each one.

 

However, the Jeeps that I quoted from Jim's original reply are simply ones they think were ugly, but by no means did they ever say they were bad Jeeps...just ugly. In my opinion, I don't know why they had such a big gripe with the looks of the Tomb Raider TJ. It's basically just a Rubicon with bushwacker fender flares and some different wheels. The FC Jeeps I can understand. Personally, I think they look cool, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as much as I dislike Crappa & JP, the list is actually pretty sound. the M715, for example, has early versions of modern axles that probably aren't as good as later 1/2 or 3/4 ton stuff. NO power. They ping the "cool" meter but...

 

 

I can understand their reasoning, and the engine was crap.

But M715's used the most heavy duty axles of the day.

 

 

Also, you can swap a better drivetrain into an M715 to make it as good as any heavy duty truck in the world,

 

but you can't swap ANYTHING to a modern F350, Dodge Ram, or Silverado to make it as bad @ss as an M715.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lets try not to take the article out of context. I love the M715 as much as any other Jeep enthusiast, but it did have its shortcomings in stock form. Also, remember, this isn't the worst 4x4 vehicles ever made. If that were the case, there wouldn't be a Jeep on the list. We're picking the 10 worst (in terms of off-road performance and aftermarket support for FACTORY parts) from our own litter as they rolled off the factory production line. That said, I don't think the author did a horrible job with his picks and his reasoning is justified in most cases. He's knocking on some of my favorite Jeeps as well - like the FSJs and the M715, but sometimes you have to step back, take a breath, and come to grips with reality :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They mention something negative about a Wrangler... they will probably have to fire themselves...

 

Just the '87-'90 Wrangler with the 4.2L AMC I6 coupled with the Pukegoat 5-speed. There's a reason that the '91YJ is the most sought "angled" rollbar YJ - it got the Chrysler H.O. 4.0L with proper fuel injection and the AX-15.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree with using current standards to condemn old Jeeps based on their old equipment,

especially when that equipment was state of the art for it's generation.

 

Yep, 4 wheel drum brakes were horrible,

but just about everything in the 1960's had 4 wheel drums.

 

Yep, the M715's closed knuckle drum brake Dana 60 had small axleshafts, and pales in comparison to an open knuckle 35spline HP Ford D60 made 10 years later.

Not a fair comparison since that axle did not exist in 1967.

 

 

Every flatfender was underpowered, with horrible brakes, and weak axles too,

so I guess #1 on the 'bad Jeep' list should be "All Flatty's"

#2 should be the Willys Wagons, since those were also underpowered, with horrible axles, and brakes too.

See where this is going,

old Jeeps = horrible drum brakes, weak axles, and underpowered (except for some of the later V6 & V8 versions).

 

We even love a lot of Jeeps that made this list. But sometimes you gotta take the blinders off and see things for what they really are. In this case, many of those things are big, stinky piles of mediocrity, apathy, avarice, or incompetence. Whether by design, guile, or mistake, sometimes the factory just pumps out an inferior product.

 

Yep, an inferior product,

by current standards.

 

So, which car is 'better'?

A 1932 Supercharged Duesenberg J, or a V8 Caddy STS?

 

Is it the smooth, great handling car that can do 150mph with a latte in one hand, and one finger on the wheel,

or the bumpy, loud, hard to maintain, uber expensive one that could do 150mph in 1932?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They mention something negative about a Wrangler... they will probably have to fire themselves...

 

Just the '87-'90 Wrangler with the 4.2L AMC I6 coupled with the Pukegoat 5-speed. There's a reason that the '91YJ is the most sought "angled" rollbar YJ - it got the Chrysler H.O. 4.0L with proper fuel injection and the AX-15.

 

 

Its JP... if its not a Wrangler with a Chebby in it.. it sucks in their opinion...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Judging old things by modern standards is fair if you are using them in modern times. If you are using them as museum pieces or as original condition collectables, that is one thing. But IMHO it is a poor choice to start with an M715 as a 'wheeler when for way less money you can make a bare-bones '79 J10 outperfrom it: they both need axles swapped in and a 360/T18/D20 drivetrain is superior. M715 axles: closed knuckle, weak shafts, few gears available, weird bolt pattern, freaky offset pinion, tubes thinner than most D44's, hugely expensive replacement parts like brake drums....

 

Everyone recalls the flat-fenders as being awesome go-anywhere wonderbuggies, but the reality of them was far less. The axles on my '45 CJ2 were underperforming even with the flat head four. when I swapped in a 225 and 32's, frame and spring strength where a real issue as was the tiny wheel base when trying to climb anything. Our memories of these jeeps are rose-colored. Anyone who lives anywhere near the rust belt nows the very serious weaknesses of the entire CJ line a swell as very spotty AMC reliability and crap like the CJ M20 rear and Carter carbs

 

The stock new Dodge Power Wagon is better equipped and more capable than a stock M715 ever thought of being. Compare equipment lists and then search out off-roading videos. It is arguably the most capable stock 4x4 pick-up made for the 'wheeling most of use do ( the Raptor has its points but few of us do high-speed off-roading.) The fact that it can cruse at 90 MPH all day long while coddling the driver & passengers too/from the trail and towing far more is just gravy. Pricey? yes. But when adjusted to 1967 prices it is probably not much more than a decent 4x4 truck of the day and is light years ahead in performance and comfort. None of the vintage iron compares with its axle strength and the factory front/rear selectable LOCKERS, not limited-slip diffs like the M715 had.

 

While an M715 was awesome in its day and when compared to other late 60's offerings, it is only awesome if you are trying to maintain late 60's performance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Judging old things by modern standards is fair if you are using them in modern times.

 

 

'Fair' is subjective,

so if that's how you see it,

then you are right.

 

 

Personally I don't want everything I drive to have 10 airbags, 25 cupholders, crumple zones, GPS, and the hundred other things modern vehicles are judged on.

 

By that standard EVERYTHING old is bad.

 

A 1969 GTO braked, handled & even accelerated slower, while riding worse than the 04-06 GTO's.

 

It was also noisier, got horrible gas mileage, spewed emissions, and had minimal safety standards.

 

In a black and white world where only modern standards mattered,

except for a few museum pieces,

all 69 GTO's would all have been crushed for raw materials to make 2011 Hyundais, Nissans and Kias.

 

 

Since we have surpassed almost every speed and power standard set in the 1960's, do you think Musclecars can now be considered:

stinky piles of mediocrity, apathy, avarice, or incompetence
?

 

Modern times, modern standards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The stock new Dodge Power Wagon is better equipped and more capable than a stock M715 ever thought of being. Compare equipment lists and then search out off-roading videos. It is arguably the most capable stock 4x4 pick-up made for the 'wheeling most of use do ( the Raptor has its points but few of us do high-speed off-roading.) The fact that it can cruse at 90 MPH all day long while coddling the driver & passengers too/from the trail and towing far more is just gravy. Pricey? yes. But when adjusted to 1967 prices it is probably not much more than a decent 4x4 truck of the day and is light years ahead in performance and comfort. None of the vintage iron compares with its axle strength and the factory front/rear selectable LOCKERS, not limited-slip diffs like the M715 had.

 

 

True,

but how much of that stuff will still be working in 40-45 years?

 

Good luck fixing a Power Wagon in 2054 when a simple wiring harness fire totals the vehicle

(I'd guess that 500 mile long wiring harness won't still be on anyone's shelf 43 years from now).

 

Meanwhile, a push start, and a single functioning power wire is all an M715 needs to run.

(a couple more if you want the alternator to work)

 

Even by modern standards simple can be > complicated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I've got a better idea since this debate will continue to go round and round.

 

Lets come up with our OWN top-10 worst Jeeps of all time. Here's the catch - you cannot use more than THREE vehicles from the '02-'11 years. It'd just be too easy, otherwise :D

 

I don't have my list yet, but I'll come up with something...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I've got a better idea since this debate will continue to go round and round.

 

Lets come up with our OWN top-10 worst Jeeps of all time. Here's the catch - you cannot use more than THREE vehicles from the '02-'11 years. It'd just be too easy, otherwise :D

 

I don't have my list yet, but I'll come up with something...

 

Stock Jeeps, judged as they are stock?

 

That's tough for me, since I would love to have just about ANY vintage stock Jeep to play with.

 

Willy's Wagon with power nothing, a flat head 4, and 5.38's?

Yep, I'd love one.

 

Might even daily drive it in nice weather. :D

 

A Pink 2wd Surrey?

Not completely my style,

but it's a flatty, so I bet I could find a way to appreciate it for what it is.

 

 

For stock vintage Jeeps,

the only thing that comes to mind for the 'bad' list would be CJ10a Tugger.

Kinda lousy, since I'd LOVE to have one, but not if I had to keep it stock.

(2wd, with a transfer case locked in low, and thousands of pounds of ballast weight attached).

 

A V6 XJ 'might' make the bad list too, but just because there are so many better versions of XJ's to be had.

 

Without better XJ's to compare them to, I'd rate the 84-86 XJ's pretty high on the 'good' Jeep list.

 

 

You could criticize 2wd Mail Jeeps,

but then I think how sad the Jeep world would be without the DJ's big swing out rear door, and its huge JEEP stamping. :yes:

That gives them a pass.

 

Early FSJ pickups (non-M715's)?

The front suspension & front axles were bad, as were the frames,

but a Rhino Grille FSJ with the small back window, and thrift side bed is one of the best looking Jeeps ever.

Pass.

 

FC's?

Ever see an FC170 fire truck, or a 4 door military FC?

How about one of the Van body Military FC's?

Pure awesomeness. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

Even a high hood CJ3b is cool in my book. :chillin:

 

 

There's less to love about some new Jeeps,

but WJ's are the last of the luxo solid axle Jeeps, so those don't make the list.

The next generation brought Hemi power to Jeeps, so that gets it a partial pass.

 

I stopped paying attention after that, so that's the best I can do.

 

Liberty?

Yeah, that would have to make my list for two reasons:

1) it's the first of the modern IFS Jeeps that ushered in what we have now

2) after all these years it still hasn't grown on me.

 

 

Commanders make my list

(trying to look like something they are not, and their wheel wells are way too small)

even though I'd think about getting one 'someday', when they're just dirt cheap old luxury vehicles.

 

Compass and Patriot?

I'd probably put the Compass on the list,

but again I would drive one if cheap enough.

 

So(in no order):

CJ10a

Libby

Commander

Compass

maybe V6 XJ's

 

I'm 1/2 way to ten, but I already used up my 3 from 02-11.

Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of these jeeps are neat, but have some serious fail to them:

 

MK Patriot/Compass twins: they are Dodge Calibers for goodness sake!

 

any factory 2wd jeep: By most people's definition, an automatic fail for "jeep"

 

'84-'86 XJ

 

Grand Wagoneer: 12 MPg V8 lucky to put out 130hp, bad x-fers, whitewalls, and 2.71 axle ratios. Plus you have to lift them a ton to get any tire on them

 

63-65 IFS Waggy

 

63-71'ish FSJ with D27 front and two-piece axle D44 rear

 

any CJ with the horrible Ross steering and no brakes at all

 

That YJ renegade contraption

 

CJ with AMC 20 two-piece rear

 

Anything unfortunate enough to have a pukegoat and a turdy five combo

 

Honorable (?) mention:

anything converted to a hummer/landrunner mess

 

Some of these jeeps have some coolness, but as far as reliabilty and pure jeepiness goes....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The stock new Dodge Power Wagon is better equipped and more capable than a stock M715 ever thought of being. Compare equipment lists and then search out off-roading videos. It is arguably the most capable stock 4x4 pick-up made for the 'wheeling most of use do ( the Raptor has its points but few of us do high-speed off-roading.) The fact that it can cruse at 90 MPH all day long while coddling the driver & passengers too/from the trail and towing far more is just gravy. Pricey? yes. But when adjusted to 1967 prices it is probably not much more than a decent 4x4 truck of the day and is light years ahead in performance and comfort. None of the vintage iron compares with its axle strength and the factory front/rear selectable LOCKERS, not limited-slip diffs like the M715 had.

 

 

True,

but how much of that stuff will still be working in 40-45 years?

 

Even by modern standards simple can be > complicated.

 

 

Very valid point

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The stock new Dodge Power Wagon is better equipped and more capable than a stock M715 ever thought of being. Compare equipment lists and then search out off-roading videos. It is arguably the most capable stock 4x4 pick-up made for the 'wheeling most of use do ( the Raptor has its points but few of us do high-speed off-roading.) The fact that it can cruse at 90 MPH all day long while coddling the driver & passengers too/from the trail and towing far more is just gravy. Pricey? yes. But when adjusted to 1967 prices it is probably not much more than a decent 4x4 truck of the day and is light years ahead in performance and comfort. None of the vintage iron compares with its axle strength and the factory front/rear selectable LOCKERS, not limited-slip diffs like the M715 had.

 

 

True,

but how much of that stuff will still be working in 40-45 years?

 

Even by modern standards simple can be > complicated.

 

 

Very valid point

 

I agree too about the electronics lasting that long. Look at the eighties Caddies... none of the crap in them works anymore, and even the higher model ZJ's are feeling the electronics pain. And I'm suprised every day that the old RENIX stuff we have is still soldiering on like it does. I can't imagine that some of the stuff we have today will hold up that long, and with soooooo many different systems out there in all cars, is there really going to be anyone out there supplying replacement controllers for all the things they put in there? I really don't see it happeneing. The factories design and build cars nowadays to have a 10 year life span, they don't give a crap what happens after that, and relly don't want them to last any longer than taht.... this makes people buy more new cars! There is something to be said for simplicity, but I really don't think we will ever see it again on any modern automobile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure how stock that M715 is...at the minimum the front axle appears to be different or modified due to the lockouts and extended hub. Swapping the junk early axles was common.

 

http://www.m715zone.com/vb/showthread.php?t=5274 = "The stock front axle is a closed knuckle full floating Dana 60. It has 30 spline axles. It comes with an open differential, ie NO locker or posi. It has a WMS to WMS (wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface) measurement of 73.5 inches.The stock rear axle is a Dana 70 full floater. It has 23 splines. It comes with an open differential, ie NO locker or posi."

check out the experts on these sometime: they have no delusions about the stock M715. The info about the weakness of the factory axles came from that site. Even with the lowly 230, the rear axle was so weak that in low range/first gear, the engine torque was higher than the rear axle was rated for and they routinely blew apart. I was under the assumption that the M715 had Lsd's front and rear: they did not automatically come this way but many had a rear LSD and/or both LSD. But in any world lockers > LSD's & open diffs. :brows: take a sawzall to a 360/t18/d20 J10 to put M715 sized 34's on it, spend $500 bucks to slip aussies in the front and rear D44's, and you have a better truck with $$$ still in your pocket. Better yet, take $5k and build a killer MJ that takes them both! jamminz.gif Therre is a reason why full-sized trucks are rare in most 'wheeling places, and the m715 doesn't bend those rules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that last quote was from the M715 zone,

but it is misleading.

 

 

Just to clarify,

23 spline D70's were the standard HD rear axle of the day when a D60 was too wimpy for the application.

 

The 23splines were coarse spline shafts, with a diameter of 1.5".

That's the equivalent diameter of todays 1.5" diameter 35 (fine) spline shafts.

 

Yes, 1.5" diameter 35 fine splines are stronger than 1.5" diameter 23 coarse splines,

but 1.5" diameter 23 (coarse) spline shafts are far superior to anything else available in the 1960's ('real' HD trucks aside).

 

Dana upgraded to 1.5" fine 35 spline shafts around 1970.

 

 

Comparing a D70's 1.5" 23 spline shaft to a FF D60's 1.31" 30 spline shaft is a joke.

I have a pic of a 23sp vs 30sp shaft somewhere,

I'll try to scan it and post it.

 

 

My 1969 D60 was a factory hybrid of sorts (automotive Hemi & 440 4spd applications),

and originally came with D70 size 23 spline rear shafts.

 

They were unbreakable in my application,

but when I swapped the Power Lock for a spool, I had to go with 35 spline shafts.

 

Same diameter, even used the same inner seals

tho the older shafts did neck down below the spline (replacements were custom Mosers, and had no neck down).

 

 

 

I won't argue that the M715's ft D60 has many weak links (30 spline shafts, closed knuckles that sometimes separate, and leave the wheel and tire laying on the ground, crazy wheel bolt pattern, etc)

but the rear D70 is far from 'weak', as that M715 zone poster stated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...