I have been subscribed to Four Wheeler for about a year now and I think “Low-Buck Bonanza” (June ’12) has been the most useful article to date. It’s chock full of great ideas that are simple and very practical. Keep up the good work!
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
First of all let me say you publish a great magazine. Every month you present articles that I use in my work as well as play. Your publication is more useful from a practical perspective than many of the professional publications I receive.
I am the engineer for my ranching/farming family as well as a mining engineer. We use 4X4s, 6X6s and more with a vengeance and we do break them from time to time. Your continual coverage of stronger parts as well as thoughts on other issues saves us a lot of time (and often recovery from far off and isolated places).
Our only concern is something you cannot cope with: Ignorance by some (which most of your readers do not possess) and our occasional lack of even the most basic trails.
There is one bit of information I would suggest you might have added to your article “Let There Be Light,” (May ’12). I realize this data may actually be beyond the desired depth of many readers, but Photometrics data as well as Foot Candles or Lumens would have given a much better picture of the overall efficiency as well as usefulness of the different lighting types. The actual optical perspective and what is required by an average person would also be helpful. I have not been able to easily find this data on websites for the products or for the aircraft landing light lamps we use for some off-road or ranch-road use. Do you have any suggestions?
Your best bet is to contact the light manufacturers for that kind of specific detailed info.
What math did you guys use to figure that the Rubicon package was more expensive than not getting it and going aftermarket for basically the same things (“Weekender Wrangler,” May ’12)? Maybe you should have stated that the Rubicon is a heck of a deal and here is what you can do if you already own a different model. But shop labor alone for some of those items will cost more than the upgrade cost in your article.
The Rubicon is a heck of a deal! If it has the exact features you are looking for. Unfortunately, for the kind of wheeling we do regularly, the 4:1 T-case in the Rubicon is kind of a hindrance. It’s geared too low for the mud and sand in most cases and quite often high-range is too high. Top speed of the Rubicon is only about 25 mph in 4-Lo. Also, you can’t use the lockers in any range but low 4x4 (stock). Our Weekender Wrangler lockers work in any range, even two-wheel-drive, without modifying the factory wiring harness. Ultimately we weren’t going to be keeping the stock Rubicon tires, wheels, rockers, or 4.10 gears. In all truthfulness the only things we would have retained would have been the front and rear axlehousings, the T-case (reluctantly), part of the electronic sway bar, and the Rubicon hood stickers. In the end it really didn’t make much sense since we didn’t even want the 4:1 T-case.
Also, the factory GKN lockers are marginal in strength when coupled with the 37-inch tires we chose to install on our Jeep.
Your needs and wants may be different than ours. This is what made sense for us.
I love the magazine! I have been a reader for many years, but I must write you and call out the previous editor (if you can call him that), Douglas McColloch. I recently found the time to read one of his letters regarding how to direct a driver on the trail; what an idiot! Passenger/driver commands? Really! No true spotter would ever waste that much time saying those long words. It has always been right/left. And by always I mean by those who invented four-wheel driving—the military. Just ask him to come out to the Special Forces Driving School and be schooled on how to command a driver. First and foremost you use hand signals, then voice commands. When you are learning how to call out objects from a plane, like from the rear gunner position on an open ramp on a CH-53, guess what terms you use? And for the new guys just learning that position, you label the back of your flight gloves the opposite so you don’t get it wrong.
Again, I love the mag!
Thanks for the input. Personally I don’t like having a spotter, at least for recreational wheeling. It takes away a lot of the challenge and fun for me. That’s why I go wheeling to begin with. If I wanted it to be easy, I’d stay on paved roads.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
I’ve been reading Four Wheeler for about two years now and I don’t have any complaints. There are always interesting articles, and it is a very entertaining magazine for the off-road enthusiast. The content is not, however, the only thing that impresses me about Four Wheeler. If my mother burned one thing into my mind growing up, it was to use correct grammar. Because of that I can be a bit of a stickler when it comes to proper English. Four Wheeler almost always stands up to close examination. But, while reading through Trail’s End in the April ’12 issue, I managed to find a mistake. The second sentence of paragraph two reads, “The back half of the trucks frame...” What I noticed was the lack of an apostrophe on the word “trucks,” as the frame does belong to the one singular T-Rex pickup. In all though, Four Wheeler is a great magazine and I look forward to many more years of good reading.
Funny thing is that I had to make several corrections to this comparatively short letter.