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MoabJeeper Magazine Article

General Articles - Editorials

2004 In Review

Article written by MoabMan

Date Added: 05/30/2006

With 2004 now being a part of history, I thought we would take a look back over the Hits, Misses, and "We're-Not-Sure's" for the year.

Lets get the Misses out of the way first.
Misses of 2004

1. Jeep revises it slogan, "The Off Road Legend Continues... On Road"
What can we say? Not a surprise that Jeep has followed the dollar and is after the far larger purchasing power of those who will be driving them on-road versus off-road. All we can hope for is that they don't completely forget the heritage the name comes from and keep the Wrangler's solid axle under the front.
2. 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Similar to #1, the bottom line is that Jeep has neutered the Grand, replacing its front solid axle with an IFS. To compensate, in our estimation, are the available front/rear limited slips and a quicker-to-react all wheel drive system (Quadra Drive II). These additions would have scored a big hit if they had only been matched with a solid front axle.
3. Metal Prices / Availability
Although this may not have directly applied to your wallet, you are paying the difference. This shortage is a result of a rather good sized country going through an industrial buildup and purchasing vast quantities of steel and Boron Oxide (used in the processing of steel). This has resulted in manufacturers raising prices on products or having to limit the discounts available. This is obviously apparent if you have any custom metal fabrication done.
4. Spider Lake on the Rubicon Trail Closed
After threats of closure, it was finally done. This one is for four wheelers to own up to. It seems that the reason for the closure was the contamination of the water and surrounding area from human waste. Hopefully this one will be returned to everyone, and those using it will be more responsible and will avert a permanent closure.
5. Rolling the "Turtle"
Yeah it kind of sucks when you roll your Jeep in Mickey's (Hells Revenge Moab) Hot Tub. So close, but yet so far, when you're on your lid.
6. 2005 Jeep Wrangler 2.4L with 3.73 Gears
This one was just plain bone headed. The vehicle is still a 4 banger, yet Jeep adds a little more power over the 2.5L, changes the trans to a 6 speed, and suddenly thinks they can put gearing from the 4.0 in the axles. Bad move - owners feedback has shown this.
Hits of 2004

1. 2005 Dodge Powerwagon (Introduced in 2004)
Although not a Jeep, you could say this is a Rubicon in Dodge clothing. Front/rear lockers, skid plating, 4.56 gears, and a factory integrated 12,000 pound winch. If I had $40,000 and wanted a truck, this would be it.
2. 2005 Unlimited Rubicon (Introduced in 2004)
Nothing more needs to be said on this one.
3. Rolling the "Turtle"
Yeah this one is a double appearance. The hit? It was a spectacular show for everyone, provided lots of campfire talk and some great pictures, and in the end the "Turtle" evolved into a better Jeep.
4. Jeeps 6 Speed Transmission (manual)
This was a pleasant surprise. The new 6 speed offers a better overlap of gearing so you don't find yourself in that position of needing a 3.5 gear (for example) when 3 is a little too many RPMs, but 4 doesn't have quite enough.
5. 2004 Jeep Wrangler 2.4L with 4.10 gears
In this first year of the 2.4L, you could get the little 4 banger with more power and the same 4.10 gears as the previous 2.5L, allowing for a bit more zip. W
6. Super Crawl III
UROC showed that a man-made course offering spectacular obstacles with excellent and safe viewing for spectators could be developed, and they brought it to the crowds, versus a location in the middle of nowhere.
7. Hostage Rolls GreenYJ's Jeep
This sport is great fun when the family is involved. This involvement was taken to a higher level for this married couple when Hostage took the opportunity to roll GreenYJ's Jeep before him. Kudos Hostage!
We're Not Sure?

1. Jeep Wrangler 2.4L
This past year we saw the introduction of the 2.4L essentially swiped from Chrysler's Neon platform. We like the engine, but will it stand the test of time as the 2.5L has? Only time will tell.

Final Thoughts

MoabJeeper Magazine would like to say thank you to all our readers for a great year. Thank you to all those companies that have contributed products in one form or another. Thank you to all our readers & friends who have contributed articles.

Hopefully we have all made new wheeling friends, shared some great stories, and helped each other to become better at this mutual love that is wheeling.

As we head into 2005, let's make it another great year. Keep it safe, and when at all possible, try to keep at least two wheels on the ground. If that isn't possible... then be sure to get pictures to show the world your embarrassment.

Thank You,

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