More Compact 4x4 Info
I'm not getting much love for my '88 Ford Ranger Extended-Cab 4x4. Is there any publication that concentrates on mini-4x4s?
Chula Vista, CA
Not that we know of. However, in our January and February '98 issues, we published a two-part "How to Build a Ranger" series, which included many Bronco II building tips and ideas as well. For reprints, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, a written request, and $3 per article to Reprints, 3330 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 115, Santa Monica, CA 90405. With all the Ranger 4x4s out there, we're sure to run into more at the events we attend, which means we'll be able to get more in the magazine.
50-State Windsor Headers
Would you be able to tell me whether anyone manufactures an emissions-legal header for my '95 F-250 4x4 with the 351 V-8? It has an air pump. Any information would be appreciated.
John V. Paranic
Try Edelbrock (Dept. FW, 2700 California St., Torrance, CA 90503, 310/781-2222, www.edelbrock.com) or Hedman Hedders & TD Performance (Dept. FW, 16410 Manning Way, Cerritos, CA 90703, 562/921-0404) for information. As a side note, you also might want to try one of the aftermarket high-performance (e.g. Ford Mustang) specialty companies. They'll have a few ideas for your engine as well.
More Praise For Compacts
Most people fail to mention the 2.9-liter Rangers and Bronco IIs are well liked, and there are tons of them on the road. My mom has been a rural mail carrier since '83, and has loved her 4x4 Rangers from the beginning, from the first 2.8 to the newest 4.0-they've always been bulletproof. I've owned several myself, and currently have an '86 Bronco II with the 2.9-liter V-6 with 194,000 mile on it. I just put a new trans in it, and I'm currently in the process of installing a James Duff lift. It makes sense, as SUV prices climb, that a lot of people are going to look to '80s-model Bronco IIs.
Full-Floating Land Rover Tech
In you January '98 "Letters," you said the Land Rover Defender 90s only have full-floating axles in the rear. In fact, the axles are full-floating front and rear. I walked by a Disco that had the middle of the rim off and it had a full-floating hub.
via the Internet
You're correct. Full-floating front axles are quite common; by definition, anything that uses manual hubs is "full-floating.'' We neglected to state that the D-90 is one of the few full-time four-wheel drive vehicles with front and rear full-floaters. The new Range Rover axles use front and rear semi-floating axles, similar in design to the sealed-bearing Wrangler frontend (i.e., no hubs).
Comanche Wobble Fix
Dear Four Wheeler,
I recently lifted my '89 Jeep Comanche three inches, and for two days it had no problems. However, on the third day, traveling down the highway, I hit a bump that sent my truck into a horrible shake. I slowed down, but as I sped up to 40 mph it came back. I tried tightening tie-rods, balancing tires, checking ball joints, removing driveshafts, all to no avail. After losing a lot of hair, I consulted the body shop that aligned the truck a few weeks earlier. After all that, it turned out to be the steering stabilizer. I hope this tidbit helps others troubleshooting their own problems.
Via the internet
Toyota Frontend Stress
I own an '88 shortbed Toyota pickup with five-speed, 22-RE engine, 4.10:1 gears, 8-inch alloy rims, 32x11.50 BFGs, and a Northwest Off-Road 1.5-inch lift. I love the added height and ride control. I don't want to go any higher or get into a taller tire, but I do miss the lost downward wheel travel (a small decrease, but I miss it). I was thinking of cutting the bumpstops out from under the upper arms, but then the arms would hit the frame. My next thought was to buy aftermarket upper control arms, remove the bumpstops, and use limiting straps. Would this cause too much stress on the frontend?
via the Internet
The bumpstops are there for a reason-constant-velocity (CV) knuckles in the IFS can be pulled out if too much droop is allowed by the control arms. Limiting straps will help, but will need to be checked regularly. Look for more tips from our soon-to-be-resurrected Project Good Ol' Toy.