How can a Jeep do it and not a hatchback?

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Jul 3, 2008
Ohio, USA
I'm talking about old WWII Willy's Jeep. They were heavy 4-cylinder 60 HP but they could still drive through deep mud with 6 or more people on it. Plus, it did this in 4wd. How come modern cars with more HP can't do it? I'm watching a WWII documentary and it seems like the little 60 hp was bullet proof or something and didn't have a limit on anything. Modern cars now with the same HP seems so fragile.
^Is the Jeep a hi-rev engine compared to a hatch, which needs like 3,500-4,000 RPMs(or more?) for max HP/torque?
Whatever vehicles in WWII. They have extremely heavy tanks with low HP Diesel engines...they can run over anything and can still carry a bunch of things.
Originally Posted By: ltslimjim
Well, obviously a tank is built for movement, not speed of any real kind compared to a car.
I don't think subcompacts cars with that low of a HP was built for speed... just movement.
Originally Posted By: Popinski
Originally Posted By: ltslimjim
Well, obviously a tank is built for movement, not speed of any real kind compared to a car.
I don't think subcompacts cars with that low of a HP was built for speed... just movement.
It's all relative, really. You brought up the tank man, so I let you define the context first. grin2 My car can outrun a tank! banana
A WW2 jeep wasn't really that heavy, so it was easy to get it unstuck from mud with its 4WD. Comparably, a WW2 VW (basically an aircooled Beetle) that the Germans used was even lighter and had only 2-wheel drive. Yet it was comparable if not superior to the jeep in the mud. And if it couldn't get unstuck on its own power, its occupants would get off and a hefty push was all it needed.
It wouldn't be fair to compare a WW2 jeep to any modern car unless it had 4wd. They also had knobby tires and a superior ground clearance and very low gearing in comparison.
1. jeep was lightweight, simple, no electronics. no seatbelt, rollcage, airbag. have you ever seen a vehicle wiring schematic for a 1950's car? fits on one page, or less! 2. jeep was geared a LOT. Top speed was what... 45-50 mph, maybe, IF you really wanted to try. I doubt they were very stable above 40. 3. low hp, but likely reasonable torque engine, presumably. Remember, the VW beetles of that era had to FIGHT to maintain 55 mph. Shoot, my 1973 VW bus had ~60hp, much larger than a stripped jeep. You can do a lot with 60HP if you aren't trying to go fast.
Could be the movie camera was under-cranked so when the film was played back everyone was really running around. Footage that is now archival may have been shot for propaganda or training purposes initially and it would have been better to show us all moving expeditiously. Did those jeeps even have transfer cases? "full time 4wd" could have cut some weight too.
Originally Posted By: JT1
Some tanks even used those funny round engines too.
Our neighbor when I was a kid had been in tanks in WW2. He said that early, they had tanks with a radial aircraft engine. Said they could do 60 mph on a good road !
It's all relative. The Willys MB and Ford GPW are small, narrow, light, and has a 1.97:1 low range in it's Spicer 18 transfercase. To the average car owner, it may seem pretty well equipped for off road. In the modern world of off roading though, it's a very mild set up at best. *There's nothing like wheeling old iron though!
Was talking with some military folk.....and the Humvees are actually pretty slow.....I think they said top speed is 60 mph, and that was pushing it lol.
Actually, I thought of drive-train as well, knowing for sure having 4WD + the more 'multi-terrain' friendly suspension makes all of the difference = naturally great with studded tires! banana
Originally Posted By: rjundi
Its simple gearing, 4wd and heavy duty suspension.
I don't think the new jeeps are much more fragile, i have jumped my 2001 wrangler a few times at the sand dunes and have jumped it diving into mud pits. Most 4wd vehicles are not designed to be war vehicles and concentrate on comfort and safety more. My jeep built to try and keep the tradition of the original is a good mix between hard core war machine and comfortable daily driver. I would LOVE to challenge an old willys to a dual with my wrangler, what he makes up for in weight i have in power. I have had 5 people in my jeep with a hard top, full size spare tire (31-10.5-15) and equipment like a high lift jack, tow straps, fire extinguisher and tools and went off road threw some rutty trails. I say give me some stiffer springs and i could take 6 people without the heavy hard top on it and cruise below 40 MPH. fifth gear did the test themselves, cant find the actual episode...
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