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MiscellaneousIs There a Future for Jeeps in the Military?
Posted by mike on 2002/1/18 0:00:00 (1301) reads



One of our faithful readers recently sent us some of his thoughts regarding Jeeps in the military (or lack thereof!). With his approval, we've decided to share his emails with the rest of our readers as to encourage some discussion (debate).

Mike,

It might be interesting to start a discussion as to why there are so few
Jeeps (the hero and icon of WW II) being used by the military these days.

If you turn on CNN, or any news station you see clips of our soldiers riding
mostly ATVs over in Afghanistan. Jeeps are rarely if ever to be found from
what I've seen. Even HUMMERS are rarely seen. One would think that the rocky
terrain over there would be ideal for Jeep to showcase their abilities.
Apparently that's not the case...

Some questions to be considered:

• Are ATVs better than (military-spec) Wranglers for these missions?

• And if so, why hasn't Jeep been more aggressive in developing a more modern
(or effective) wartime vehicle?

• Most readers, from what I've read here, seem to feel that Jeeps - especially
Wranglers, can't be beat for off-road driving and durability. Apparently our
military doesn't share those same feelings. Why?

• Looking at the global off-road picture, and from what I've read in other
international forums, Jeeps are not nearly as prized overseas as they are
here in the USA. Why?

• Overseas, the Toyota Land Cruiser, in one of its many various forms, seems
to be the vehicle of choice for serious off-roading, and not Jeep. Why?

• Lastly, is Jeep - especially the Wrangler - a hostage of its own image? By
that I mean, has it not been allowed to "evolve" because "customers like it
the way it is," and don't want it to change? And if so, has that hurt Jeep,
so that it is really considered by many to be more of a "historical artifact,"
 rather than the premier off-roader that its owners "think" it is?

• How long do you think it will be before we see street-legal,
multi-passenger ATVs?

Most Jeepers take delight in making fun of the Honda CRV, because it's
"car-based." But we all know Honda also makes some formidable ATVs. If Honda
(or anyone else) should decide to build a larger, street-legal,
multi-passenger ATV/SUV, evolving from ATVs - and not cars, that would hit hard
at the heart of the Wrangler market.

Think it can't or won't happen? Take a look at the ATV's close cousin, the
Jet Ski. These first started off being small, single passenger play toys. Now
you can get them in larger multi-passenger versions, as well as larger-still
boats using the Jet Ski propulsion principle. These compete for sales
directly with "traditional" small sport boats.

The same thing could happen with ATVs. And, if this should happen, they will
be taken seriously because many current ATV owners also own Jeeps; so there
will be a receptive audience, not a hostile audience.

• So, what does Jeep need do to stay ahead of the game?

...Should make for some stimulating discussions...

Bob

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
Actually Dennis I'll get up on my high and say you are wrong about the Dodge thing only because I've ridden in it.

The LM002 is a Lambo and was always sold overseas as one. It's main use was it being used as a high speed offroad vehicle in the desert. Mainly built for European controled Desert countries in Africa, mainly North Africa. The French government was the main backer of them because Landrover Series I and II's are too slow for what they wanted them for so they bought up the LM002's instead. They can do somewhere around 120 or 130 militay spec.

What I was refering to was what Chrysler built when they were attempting to get the contract that Hummer got in the early 80's late 70's. It's a full size Dodge ram platform but everything is different. It is a mean harsh looking truck, open fenders big bed, high ride height. The reason I say I know it exsists is there were 3 made for the test and there is one that is left. They guy who owns it wheels with Mopar and Dodge offroad clubs on big runs. I was able to talk and sit in it in Moab 7 years ago at a big gathering of a Mopar (mainly dodge) truck club that was doing a trail ride. He showed us the Chassis number which ended 002, and the title read military salvage. If you look around in past issues of various four wheel drive mags I believe he has been pictured in covarage of mopar runs.

Also what I said about the TJ... Sure every kid would own a Hummer if they could but they don't. But every kid does own a TJ. Matter a fact from what my son says automatic TJ's have taken the place of V6 Mustangs as 16 year old girls favorite new cars. What a honor. So really, sure they need a functional vehicle but it should be beefy, hummers aren't exactly ergonomically correct cute little Neons. So don't tell me that those vehicle look that way just because its cheaper to replace body panels on a angular truck. Anyways the TJ is too short. Thats why the the military stoped using CJ's. CJ's were never what they wanted when they were chosen they were just the best of what was offered.

Just my 2 Cents. Can't keep my mouth shut when someone disagrees with me. No offense.

SOLID AXLE FOREVER
REAL JEEPS HAVE 2 SOLID AXLES

Griff

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Dennis
I hope that Giff's observations are wrong, in that it would be a waste of OUR tax dollars if the military did not pick the best product because they thought that it might make soldiers/Marines look like they were driving the same cars that seventeen year olds do. Ask 100 teenagers male or female if they would like a Humvee to drive to school and 98% would say yes. The other 2% would be members of the school tree hugger club. So to element the Wrangler based on trendyness would bunk.

As for the Dodge/Chrysler attempt with Lamborgini to build a Hummvee prototype in the late '70s and early '80s, that was further developed into the Lambogini LM002 after lawsuits were settled with FMC/AM General. It was never based on a Ram pick-up other then the motor.

The military is currently evaluating replacements for the Cuccv (Chevy Pick-ups) from Dodge, Ford and Chevy. (see http://www.gmmilitary.com/ for GM's attempt.)

The ATV vs. Humvee Vs. TJ debate is easy to squash, a TJ is capable in the hands of a practiced driver while slowly moving up rock strone narrow valleys, but you can not just give one to someone to go for it and expect success. That can be done with a small ATV. And a Humvee just won’t fit where the SpecOps guys are going in Afghanistan.

It would be great to see the name Jeep go on a military tactical truck, but the military has what it needs currently with the exception of a new pick-up for any sort of bulk orders.

On the other hand the USMC needs a few small trucks to fit inside of its large transport helicopters and the hopefully upcoming V-22. They have received a few dozen of the earlier mentioned Mercedes G-Wagen, the are not the new leather and wood trimmed models that you pick up at your dealer down the street. A beefed up (to survive eighteen year-old drivers with heavy feet, more then tough terrain) Wrangler would be an excellent choice.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
I think its been said but Scramblers are where its at fellas. Being a Scrambler owner I know its the most versitle vehicle out there. Its a truck, it can be covered totally with a normal hard top, in austrailia they sold CJ-8 Overlands with raised Steel hard tops, they had the hard top USPS CJ-8 they used in Alaska. When it comes to engines, I stuffed a Wagoneer AMC 360 into mine, I've seen a 401 from a Javelin in one. The engine combos are endless, including diesel.

Also if you think the XJ was a workable platform which it is you should check out Jeep China. It seems Jeep lost all of thier decent design people to Jeep China. They still sell the pre 97 body in China but this is the best part, they have a long body and raised roof version. Man would I love to get my hand on one of those. It just goes to show you that platform was never expanded on like it should have been.

The Wrangler is a victim of it own advertising and ownership. The Wrangler has been downgraded to a girls car by many teenage standards, and how many guys build up their wrangler that never sees a ounce of dirt. The Army doesn't want to drive a car that 17 year old teenage girls buy and put hawaian flower seat covers on. It needs to be longer and have a taller roof line. Find a pick of what chrysler turned in when they were trying to get the military vehicle contract in the early 80's. It was this beastly ram pickup that had been fenderchoped, every smooth edge sharpened, and just made plain mean. They just didn't turn in a Ram truck, they made if a beast. The Wrangler doesn't stir fear into the hearts of the enemy it says their's blonde teenage girls with pushup bras driving towards you.

Until the wrangler becomes beefy, beefier than the Rubicon wrangler too, the military will keep passing it by.

Solid Axle Forever,
Griff

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Daniel
Being a prior grunt, and having driven HMMVEE's
extensively, I can offer this point of view. I
think that the writer who suggested that the
military is not in the market for a new vehicle is
right on the money. I love the Wrangler as much
as anyone out their, but the Hummer is much better
suited to our military needs. The Wrangler is far
too small to be used as a platform for other
vehicles such as ambulances, transports, and such.
This, and the fact that the Hummer is truly an
awesome off-road vehicle, nearly incapable of
becoming stuck, makes it clear that the military
truly does not need a Wrangler type vehicle. The
fact that Dodge and Ford are offering pick-ups
only means that the old Chevy's (Cut-vee's) are
falling apart. The military has had a need for
pick-ups (totally seperate from off-road vehicles)
for eons. My unit used to use the Cut-vee's as an
inexpensive option to the Hummers whenever a
two-man team was needed instead of a four-man
team. That leaves me with one final point...
which Jeep model has a back seat large enough for
two loaded infantry troops, plus their gear? Now
how many of those (that!) models can be had for
under $30K?

I'll lead the list of people hoping that Jeep
makes a strong showing when Uncle Sam does finally
take bids on the next generation ORV for our troops.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Scott
Did anyone see the "Military" TJ at this years
Detroit Auto Show? DC started out with a
stock 2002 TJ. They painted everything Olive
Drab with white military markings stenciled
on, added non-directional, military-style tires
to the stock wheels, pulled out the factory
carpeting and replaced it with spray in
bedliner, added jerrycan racks, custom,
canvas seat covers, and a military-looking
whip antenna. Maybe not a true military
vehicle, but cool none the less.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
>

Theo:

I'm not suggesting tha this is the case, just
posing the question...

In WW II, the Jeep was "state-of-the-art" for that
era. Do you think the current Wrangler is
"state-of-the-art" for today, given the huge leaps
that have been made in technology

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: AnthonyGunsworth
the military tj mentioned earlier is part ofthe display at the NAIS, and off the subject the rubicon will be available with a 4 spd auto, according to the jeep engineer at the show.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
Erik

Excellent posts. However I take exception with one
statement you made.

The military "is" shopping for another vehicle.
Both Dodge and Ford have prepared military-spec HD
pickups for the military to review. Granted, these
are not Wrangler-type vehicles, but it does show
the military is looking for new types of vehicles.
And... I still think there is room in the military
motor pool for a Wrangler-type of vehicl

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Erik Latranyi
The current Wrangler is restricted by its heritage. Jeep cannot modify the Wrangler to be what the military wants or needs (Humvee or Pickup).

I think Jeep is wise to keep the Wrangler true to the original as much as possible while updating its comfort and sellability. Remember, this is a business and selling cars is paramount. The Liberty is a very capable off-road vehicle, but is selling extremely well even though purists derided its introduction. Cherokee sales were on the way down.

So the question becomes: Why doesn't Jeep develop another military vehicle? Answer: The military is not currently shopping for one.

When the military wants a new vehicle, plane, firearm, etc, they put out a call for bids. That is the time for Jeep to get involved.

Currently, the pickups and other prototype vehicles are for niche areas of the military, not for the entire force. The Humvee is here to stay.

Even if Jeep designed the best, most flexible off-road vehicle, the military would not buy it because it has no authorization to do so.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe that owns a jeep
I agree with Theo the new Wranglers are the best jeeps ever made.the only trucks that mite compare, Are the FJ-40 & the Defender-90.
But the D-90 will set you back $35,000.00+ & both the FJ-40 & D-90 are over weight & way under powered.
PS: In the US,the mersedes truck Your are referring to is call the G-Wagen

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: mrjeep
here is my comment

Well, it's like this Bob, the military doesn't settle for any diesel engine, and also let's take an example if you order a diesel engine in a Ford or Dodge or GM, add about 3500-5000 bucks to the sticker. So, what I am getting at is imagine all the waterproofing to this engine, then modify the body for snorkels. Ok, now you have to make different 'dies' for all these parts. And $200,000.00 per die, you get my point? It all adds up, so I don't think you are going to get these built for anything less than 40K. The military doesn't just take the 'ole spray gun' out and paint a wrangler 'O.D.', then run down to the local hardware and buy 10 bucks of stamped barn door handles, they spend big bucks. Again, Chyrsler brought up the fact of starting a military division for a Jeep a couple of years ago and I think if my memory is correct built a prototype wrangler military-but I haven't heard nothing since? Maybe someone else saw this also-I think they showed it at camp Jeep at one time?

Also, the current wrangler is a very tough vehicle that lives up to the mb, if not better, and shouldn't be altered significantly. However, a uniframe wrangler would be interesting...

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
Mr. Jeep:

I'm not saying Jeeps aren't used overseas. I'm
saying I see far more Toyotas (and Nissans, etc.)
than I do Jeeps.

I'm not sure that I agree that a diesel Wrangler,
set up to military specs would cost as much as you
say. Jeep already has a diesel Cherokee (Liberty),
and Grand Cherokee that's old overseas, so the
engine is available. In any case, it would be a
lot cheaper than a Hummer or military-spec pickup.

Imagine if you will a milatary-spec Wrangler
Rubion with the diesel engine.

What about the other questions I raised? Is the
Wrangler more of an artifact of WW II, than today?
Is it being held hostiage to the Jeep formula,
because people like that way? Is it as up-to-date
as it could be? Are ATVs better than Jeeps for
military m

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
When I made that comment about ATVs possibly
evolving into street-legal vehicles, I also meant
that these vehicles would have to meet all federal
safety requirements too. Otherwise they wouldn't
be allowed for use on highways. From a marketing
standpoint, they would also have to meet the
standards of the insurance industry too.

I'm suggesting that the ATV as more of a
"inspirational springboard," to become a possible
future Wrangler competitor. Ford last year showed
a "dune buggy type" of concept at the auto shows
(sorry, I've forgotten the name). This is more of
what I had in mind—either dune-buggy or
ATV-inspired, rather than evolving from a car
platform.

As it stands now, there is no other vehicle sold
in the USA that directly competes with the
Wrangler. I'm suggesting that could change in the
future, and the "roots" of that competitor could
be with ATVs, not car

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rick
I feel that Jeep should have kept the Cherokee
and customize the configuration of the
platform. It would be like a Wrangler with a
hard top and a little more cargo or passenger
space.They could do this by using lighter
weight material such as aluminum. Have the
doors become removable, or even removable
carpeting or leave it out and make it as an
option to order, therefore bringing down the
cost. They could design the interior so one
can remove the doors and hose out the floor
boards after a hard day 4 Wheeling. The new
Jeep Cherokee Custom would for REAL OFF
ROAD people who don't want electric windows
and fancy paint schemes. A mans Jeep, no
frills.
The Jeep Cherokee Custom would only have
2 base models. One being the gas
miser/runabout and the other with a high
performance option, ready to covert for racing.
The high performance model would have
aluminum doors, hood & tailgate. The gas
miser could be ordered with these options. As
far as color goes 3 or 4 earth tones.
Remember it’s a cheap set of wheels, have a
custom paint job if you want something
different. Put in your own stereo and custom
wheels, etc. Remember the muscle cars used
to be ordered with just the basic body with a
hell of a engine. The Jeep has become soft
and too refine and comfortable to drive. Bring
back the individuality of being a Jeep owner.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: mrjeep
here is my comment

Not to change the subject but going back to Eric's comment about the Liberty being a better selling vehicle is kinda horseshi... My proof I spoke with 2 dealerships in the past day while I was having the oil change in my XJ. I asked them about how Liberty sales were in Michigan and they said that although the sales were 'steady' they just didn't sell the volume like the old cherokee. They said Cherokees use to sell like raging water because prices/incentives/leases practically gave them away and people could buy them way cheaper than competition. The Liberty's prices do not have the incentives, so Chrysler is basically selling the vehicle on 'the-first-hipe', but watch sales drop as they're now on the vehicle. Cherokee sales were heavy, Liberty sales 'steady'-there's a big difference.

I am not saying the Liberty is a bad vehicle, I am just saying they could have updated the cherokee and added a Rubicon package for the heavy off road crowd. Added the Liberty for the people who wanted 'new'. And-and quit putting on this shi. that the cherokee was 'long overdue' to be replaced-if that's the case then what about the wrangler? It's basic, fundamental design, frame, solid axles, 4 banger has been around before WW2, with basically updated electronics/emissions to be legal. I think what really bothers me about the postings of these sites is that the people who claim to be Jeep nuts have never built a Jeep, don't own more than 2 in their yard, just bought a Jeep 2 months ago, never have driven a WW2 Jeep, and base everything on what they read on the internet or magazines! Go to the dealers ask them-they sell this stuff, no your shi. before you write it....

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: USMC Jeeper
A high roof on a tactical vehicle is a no-no and why the Humvee has the profile that it does. Trucks are not used for a frontal assault, that it is what tanks, LAV's, Amtrac's and, APC's are for, so why do we need something intimidating for? That is what a TOW, 50cal., or Mk19 on the roof with a well trained operator is for!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe that owns a jeep
The old Scramblers rule...I wish Jeep would bring them back...If thay did, thay would sell the hell out of them.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
Another good post from Griff. I agree with your
assessments on the CJ8 and Jeep needing a longer
vehicle. I sytill say, as do many, that jeep
fucked up when they bypassed the Dakar!
Do you also remember the CJ6? An incredible vehicle. I received a ration of shit earlier by complaining about the Rubicon being just ok because space is what off roaders would really
appreciate, along with the other great mods.
People assume that those with kids and cargo are
Soccer families and not those who really just want
more space to take with them off road

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
Dan:

So, if I understand you correctly, having ATVs and
Hummers, is all the military really needs? You
don't feel a vehicle that falls in between those
two extremes, such as a Wrangler, is not needed?


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
Here's a link I just found on the Afghan war, it
mentions some of the "unconventional" vehicles
used:

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nyt/20020121/ts/condu
ct_of_war_is_redefined_by_success_of_special_force
s_1.html

This is a long article, but below is a quote:

"We believed he had the most loyal following, but
they weren't soldiers," said a Special Forces
lieutenant colonel named Dave, who commands the
teams that linked up with Mr. Karzai outside
Kandahar, providing security and military advice.
"They were shopkeepers and farmers and friends,"
said Dave, who like many of the unconventional
warriors spoke on condition that his last name be
withheld. "They would advance to the front in
Toyota pickup trucks and Subaru

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
Apparently Afghan soldoiers as well as all Afghan
civilians love to pile into Toyota pick ups
and older 4 Runners

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Theo
Eric, what would you consider to be an improvement that could be made on the current wrangler that would be straying from this "jeep heritage?" I want you to tell everyone what you think jeep should do. And please, no abstract rambling like you've been feeding us so far.

Furthermore, I don't know what you mean to say concerning my comment on the MB. I already stated that it is a great machine. I was commenting on the author's suggestion in the post concerning the Wrangler being held down by its "heritage."

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Erik Latranyi
Bob:

(1) ATV's are different from mil-spec Jeeps, not better. They have different roles.

(2) Jeep is developing mil-spec vehicles for the reasons listed in my previous post.

(3) I don't think the military feels that the Jeeps are inferior, just not versitile enough to fill the role they envisioned when they commissioned the Humvee.

(4) Jeep does not have the global distribution that Toyota has. It is much more difficult to get a Jeep part in Saudi Arabia than it is to get a Toyota part. The Japanese have penetrated the world market much more successfully than Jeep has.

(5) Same reason.

(6) Yes, the Wrangler is the modern military vehicle. Read my previous post for more info.

(7) Not long. Honda showed an ATV/SUV crossover at this year's auto shows. Read the article after your post, Bob, to see what Jeep is thinking --- a lighter, more basic Jeep. Right along the lines of an ATV made street-legal.

(8) That is exactly what Jeep is thinking. Rather than play in the luxury SUV market, go basic and capture the entry-level market. This will preserve the Wrangler as a vehicle to "trade-up" into.

(9) If Jeep can revive the low-cost, bare-bones market with a versatile vehicle, they will be ahead of the game. Daimler-Chrysler has great experience in plastic body panels. These would be perfect for an entry level Jeep. No paint because color is molded in. Strong. Light.

Jeep is on the right track if they pursue this strategy.


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Erik Latranyi
First, the military uses ATV's for special forces operations. This allows fast-attack capabilities and a larger territory for each soldier to operate within. Additionally, since special forces tend to dive right into hot spots, it is far cheaper to leave an ATV behind than any other vehicle.

You do not see many Humvees in Afghanistan because we really do not have that many ground troops there. Aside from a Marine contingent, there is no significant presence of American ground troops, hence, no need for transports.

Given the type of operation we are dealing with, Humvees become a target for the opposition. If our troops ride with the locals on their Toyotas, etc, we blend in and do not become a prime target for snipers.

That answers why ATV's and so few Humvees. I'll post another message about Jeep.


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
I still think that it would be cheaper to bring a
Wrangler up to military-spec than it would be to
take Ram 2500 or F-350 up to milary-spec.

Part of reason for asking, it seems that there is
hole in our military vehicle lineup. You either
have HUMMERS or ATVs, and nothing in between. I
think there is a place for Wrangler-like vehicle
in our military. I wonder why our military leaders
don't seem to agree.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: mrjeep
here is my comment

So, what's your argument Theo? I happen to own both MB and a GPW and they are very tough vehicles as I said,the wrangler in 4 cylinder(for fair comparison) form is definitely an improvement over the WW2 jeeps.

And then someone else mentioned that AMGeneral is a spin off of AMC-jeep, the key word is 'was'. Then, it's been bought off since.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Sean M.
AM General was spun off from Jeep back in the American Motors Corp. days so technically Hummers are Jeeps... Am General is the military division and Jeep builds the civilian Jeeps. I kinda see the hummer as the next generation MUTT, even though DC and AM General don't seem to see it that was, legally.

Sadly, with the advent of new side impact laws and regulations the Wrangler we know, with removeable doors and open sides may soon be extinct, these laws would too put the brakes on any type of open, ATV derived, street-legal vehicles.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Theo
The only characteristics that the wrangler actually shares with the MB, is its overall size, the 4-cylinder engine option, its looks, and its solid axles. My Willys MB is extremely nimble in its original form, yet it cannot compete with the stock wrangler, which is available with better gear ratios, higher ground clearance and (by next year) front and rear manual lockers. And don't be too quick to compare the original jeep setup(cj,yj,and tj body styles) with the Land Cruiser, for the only one that compares to the wrangler is the FJ-40 (which is practically an exact copy of the jeep. Fj-40s aren't nearly as common as the larger 60's. The success of the Fj-60s may be attributed to their cargo space and possibly shipping costs. But putting that aside, I want to make a suggestion for the improvement of a new, high clearance wrangler. Consider the Mercedes G#@#%(cant spell it but I know it ends with "wagen"). I was surprised that the military didn't request a portal axle version of the Humvee. You could achieve the 16 inches of ground clearance and also attain a lower center of gravity. On top of this, you would eliminate the decreased clearance problems aquired by Independent Suspensions during extreme articulation situations. Imagine a Rubicon Wrangler coupled with portal axles. Unbelievable clearance that could normally only be aquired by installing 33 or 35 inch tires and adding at least a 6-inch lift. I'm sure it would cost a lot to design a custom portal axle from scratch, yet the fact that this would be the only thing you'd need to change would make it cost effective in the end.

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Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: mrjeep
here is my comment

Well, I don't neccessarily believe it is a 100 percent true that all other countries use are Toyota's. Look at the Israel pic's you see on TV, there are many of the elongated wrangler/scrambler combo in that country. These from what I remember were something like the kit that Jeep offered for oversea assembly. And India is a very good example they have a factory called Mahindra that has been around for years building a military version of our old cj-3b and FC-170's. So, why are we using ATV's? Probably cost, and maintenance, and simply portability. Look at how many ATV's an airplane could drop out of the sky? A full military wrangler would have to be diesel, waterproof, etc, can you imagine the cost probably about 40K plus vs maybe a special order 10K ATV? However, I do wonder about the Hummer's future with all these new pickup's being offered to the military, and so maybe it'll make sense to come out with an elongated wrangler? However, the hummer is a versitle vehicle that can be changed or configured differently at assembly, so who knows?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: XJKen
It wasn't to long ago after watching the network news and seeing our guys in their Humvee's trying to climb this narrow mountain road in Afghanistan that
I didn't think that a WRANGLER would be perfect for this. As I recall when the
military replaced the MUTT with the Humvee the main reason was that they wanted a platform that could support many different setups (troop carrier,
ambulance, communications etc). The Humvee serves that purpose very well
although in a very expensive way. Now they are considering using domestic
pickups as a way to save money, thus the military spec Ram. As was mentioned in the article they are using ATV's and dirt bikes (one or two people),
and their fast attack vehicles (two, maybe three people) with more armament. There would seem to be a place in the lineup for a Wrangler type vehicle, why the military does not seem to thing so, I do not know. As for the idea of the ATV growing into a street legal type vehicle I agree with the previous post in that
the insurance industry would not allow that to happen. How ever in the age of the crossover vehicle anything is possible. One possible reason the military
does not use the Wrangler platform could be because of the somewhat narrow and short wheelbase. How many pictures have we seen of the WW 2 Willy's
seriously overloaded with men and equipment to the point of being dangerous.
Now I am sure they still overload the Humvee's but the much wider wheelbase
and higher payload capacity make it less dangerous.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: twonabomber
aluminum's a good idea, but as Chrysler found when developing the Prowler, it's harder to work with than steel is. as for street-legal, multi-passenger ATV's, i don't think the almighty insurance institute would allow it. by the time an ATV was made strong enough to withstand a collision, it would cease to be an ATV.
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