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John Stewart

Chrysler Eliminates Lead Wheel Weights

Chrysler LLC Completes Program to Eliminate Use of Lead Wheel Weights, Meeting Commitment to U.S. EPA Three Years Early
  • Environmentally friendly steel and zinc weights used on all new Chrysler vehicles worldwide 
  • EPA to announce voluntary phase-out program today in Detroit; Chrysler already in compliance 
  • Program reduces environmental risk if weights dislodged from wheels on rough roads

Auburn Hills, Mich., Aug 29, 2008  -  Chrysler LLC this week completed its program to eliminate the use of lead wheel weights from its vehicles, switching to more eco-friendly substitutes in its products sold worldwide.

The move puts Chrysler in full compliance with a voluntary program to be announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Detroit August 29. The National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative calls for elimination of lead wheel weights in vehicles by the end of 2011.

“This is the culmination of a two-year effort to move to environmentally friendly alternatives in the production of our vehicles,” said Reg Modlin, Director – Environmental Affairs, Chrysler LLC.

“We are very supportive of EPA’s efforts and have pledged to work with suppliers and others such as tire stores and service departments to encourage the use of alternatives to lead weights throughout the lifetime of our vehicles.”

Wheel weights, which are used to balance the wheels of a vehicle to improve ride and handling, can sometimes be dislodged on rough roads. Wheel weights made of lead, while very effective and low cost, have raised concerns about lead entering the environment.

A 2006 U.S. Geological Survey report estimated that 2,000 tons of lead from wheel weights ends up on the nation’s roads each year, though there are no studies to document environmental damage.

Chrysler now uses wheel weights made of steel and zinc.
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John Stewart

2009 Jeep® Wrangler Continues Its Ride as the Benchmark Off-road Vehicle

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 1, 2008  -  In tribute to the heritage of the Jeep® brand, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler retains the body-on-frame chassis, solid front and rear axles, removable doors, fold-down windshield and most-capable drivetrains that established it as the most capable SUV – period.


2009 Jeep Wrangler models add even more refinement with standard Hill Start Assist (HSA) that prevents rollback on a graded surface. In addition, available Trailer Sway Control (TSC) monitors vehicle movement relative to the intended path and activates the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) if the trailer begins to sway outside set parameters.

DESIGN

Jeep Wrangler has a devoted following that demands adherence to traditional Jeep styling cues no matter what model year. The 2009 Jeep Wrangler does not disappoint. While staying true to its design roots, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler’s appearance holds true to tradition yet is contemporary, with clean, crisp lines and improved fit and finish.

Wrangler’s signature features all remain hallmarks for 2009, including classic round headlamps, a seven-slot grille, trapezoid wheel flares, exposed hinges, a fold-down windshield, sport bar, removable tops and doors, available full-framed or half doors and hard and soft tops.

Introduced in 2007, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler is 5.5 inches wider than the previous-generation Wrangler, assuming a more square-shouldered, brawnier appearance. The sheet metal combines angular elements with rounded corners to impart a robust appearance with subtle refinement.  The 2009 Jeep Wrangler’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer, and its track is 3.5 inches wider.

ENGINEERING

Capability has always been a watch word of the Jeep Wrangler, starting with the basics. While improving its legendary 4x4 Jeep capability, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler benefits from a frame that is 100 percent stiffer than its predecessor, and a body structure 50 percent stiffer.

Suspension is a refined five-link coil setup with tuned shock absorbers. This setup works with Dana 30 front and next-generation heavy duty Dana 44 rear axles. The 2009 Wrangler Rubicon model uses heavy-duty front and rear Dana 44 axles.

Jeep Wrangler also offers an electronic-disconnecting front stabilizer bar, called the Active Sway Bar System, which delivers additional wheel travel for challenging terrain. It is standard on the 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

With high ground clearance combined with short front and rear overhangs, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler is able to conquer incredibly challenging off-road obstacles, especially severe inclines. Off-road aficionados recognize the key numbers: for the Rubicon model, an approach angle of 44.3 degrees, breakover angle of 25.4 degrees and departure angle of 40.4 degrees. Underbody protection is provided by three skid plates – protecting the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission oil pan.

The powerplant for all 2009 Jeep Wrangler models is a 3.8-liter V-6 engine producing 202 horsepower (151 kW) and 237 lb.-ft. (321 N•m) of torque, backed by a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an available four-speed automatic transmission.

2009 Jeep Wrangler X and Sahara models are equipped with the second-generation Command-Trac® NV241 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. An available Trac-Lok® limited-slip rear differential provides extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.

The 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model is equipped with an Off-Road Rock-Trac® NV241 two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio, as well as electric front- and rear-axle lockers, an electronic sway bar disconnect and 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires.

Source: Chrysler Media Services - Jeep

 

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Fuel Economy Claims on Retrofit Devices

Fuel Economy Claims on Retrofit Devices

Toeing the Line…

As the opportunity to sell “fuel economy” looms, there are some guidelines that need to be considered when making fuel-savings claims.

Virtually since introduction of the automobile, part of its evolution has included a fascination about both the type and efficiency of fuel used. Even when the price of gasoline hovered around $.25 per gallon many years ago, the entrepreneurial community was experimenting with a variety of fuel alternatives. When fuel shortages (both real and perceived) later became part of the automotive landscape, products emerged that focused on claimed benefits for mileage improvement. Over time, as new-vehicle manufacturers vied for market share and began focusing on specific features to distinguish one brand from another, fuel economy continued to be a marketing component.

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John Stewart

Mexico Confiscates Some American Pickups Buying Cheaper Mexican Diesel Fuel

Mexico Confiscates Some American Pickups Buying Cheaper Mexican Diesel Fuel

Americans who buy cheap diesel fuel in Mexico do so at the risk of having their pickup truck confiscated and a fine assessed by Mexican customs officials, according to local newspaper and television outlets in Texas.

Demand for low-cost Mexican diesel fuel has grown to new levels since the beginning of 2008, as the cost of diesel fuel in the U.S. has increased dramatically; it hit a record $4.85 a gallon in mid-July, according to AAA. Diesel fuel prices have started to drop, but the national average is still $4.59 a gallon, up from $2.95 a gallon a year ago.

To avoid paying those high costs in the U.S., some American truck owners who live close to the U.S.-Mexico border have made short trips into Mexico to purchase diesel, which averages about $2.20 a gallon.

While it’s OK to fill a truck’s primary fuel tank with diesel fuel and return to the U.S., Mexican law prohibits filling auxiliary fuel tanks with diesel. Auxiliary fuel tanks are common on many heavy-duty U.S. pickups used for agricultural and long-distance towing, where stopping for fuel costs time as well as money.

Americans who own pickup trucks equipped with secondary fuel tanks are advised to not drive those vehicles into Mexico, even if they aren't purchasing diesel fuel.

U.S. truck owners who own 2007-model-year and newer pickups should also be aware that Mexican diesel fuel is not compliant with U.S. diesel fuel guidelines, which specify that only ultra-low-sulfur diesel can be used with new emissions systems. ULSD is rated at 15 ppm of sulfur content, while Mexican diesel sulfur content can be in the hundreds of parts per million. Using fuel with higher sulfur content will damage these trucks’ emissions components, like diesel particulate filters.

Source: www.pickuptrucks.com/

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John Stewart

GM Full-Size Pickups and SUVs Deliver Better Fuel Economy

GM Full-Size Pickups And SUVs Deliver Better Fuel Economy And Same Great Capabilities With New 'XFE' Models

  • EPA-rated fuel economy increases to 15 city and 21 highway
  • Silverado and Sierra have the best aerodynamics in the class
  • Towing capacity on Silverado and Sierra increases to 7,000 lbs (3,175 kg)

DETROIT – General Motors is building on the segment-leading fuel economy of its full-size pickups and SUVs with new XFE models of the 2009 Chevy Silverado, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Sierra and GMC Yukon. The vehicles use a combination of mechanical, aerodynamic and mass-reducing enhancements to deliver a 5-percent increase in EPA-estimated highway fuel economy and more than 7-percent improved mileage in city driving.

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