The "Letter of the Month" author will be sent one of Four Wheeler's highly prized license plates. So be sure to include your full name and address when you write Four Wheeler at:
Four Wheeler Magazine
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Reader: I thought that was a good column you did about gas being higher and driving more economical vehicles (Limited Articulation, Oct. '04). I live in Wasilla, Alaska, and gas up here is about $2.10 for the unleaded stuff. To me, though, I still drive my '76 Ford F-150 and '77 Jeep CJ-5 due to the fact that it is still cheaper in the long run for me to pay for about 8 to 10 mpg for the Jeep and Ford than own a brand-new 4x4 and pay the gas, plus monthly payments and higher insurance. Plus, of course, I can work on them and fix just about anything. I am just saying gas is a concern, but I will still take my 4x4 beater over any new four-wheel drive any day. To top it off, I got a military 1 1/2-ton Chevy for 400 smackers with 13,000 miles on it. Score! Keep up the excellent work.
via the Internet
Editor: Let us know what your mileage figures are for the military rig ... just kidding.
Reader: I am a college student very interested in four-wheeling, and would like to pursue a career in the field. Are there automotive technology training programs that are geared towards four-wheelers? What kind of training would I look for to fabricate custom tube-frame buggies? Also, what other careers are available in this area? I would be very interested in anything you might be able to tell me about this career path. Thanks for your help.
Editor: Sounds like you need an education in engineering and fabrication-most likely a mix of academics and trade skills. We're unaware of any curriculum that offers exclusive credits toward four-wheeling, though we recently featured a university in Ohio that offers an extensive curriculum in automotive technology, and which has a student-run 4x4 club in its midst ("Dream School for Gearheads," May '04). Another way to learn four-wheel-specific skills is to look for a job at a local 4x4 shop.
Reader: I'm writing because I really liked your article, "From Tennessee to Guatemala" (Oct. '04) . Even though I'm the kind of guy who spends good money on 4x4 truck parts that'll only get dirty when I accidentally drive on the shoulder of the highway, I'm still smart enough to see how silly I am (or is that dumb enough to know better, but still get suckered in?). It's expedition-style four-wheelin' articles like this that remind me: Some people don't look for the biggest stumps and rocks, try not to "break their junk," and (unlike me) aren't removing their front tow hook so they can install a cheap but great-looking brushguard.
Keep those kinds of articles coming. Soon I'll start thinking about quitting my computer job and volunteering in Guatemala. (Yeah, right, who am I kidding? 24 hours away from the Internet and getting testy...)
Reader: Regarding "Letters," (Nov. '04), I'm also very interested in your Scout buildup article. I am currently restoring a '67 IH Scout 800 and would like to read anything I can get my hands on. Hope the story will come out soon.
Editor: Be patient, we're still working on our "Weak Links, Strong Fixes" series. We've already covered Fords and Chevys, and next month we'll focus on Dodges. And during the next year we hope to cover Jeeps, Scouts, and Toyotas as well.
Reader: In "Mr. Thumbs" (Oct. '04), you forgot an important step-wipe off the zerk first, then pump the grease in so you don't push all that dirt into the fitting and joint. Keep up the great articles.
Editor: Oops-you're absolutely right. Thanks for keeping us on the straight and narrow.
Reader: Thank you for the article on high-mileage 4x4s (Dec. '04). This is information I will keep for reference if I buy another four-wheel drive. For your information, here are some mpg numbers for cars and truck I have owned:
I just bought a '60 Dodge Power Wagon with the 230ci flathead six. I don't have any mileage numbers yet, but I would guess about 12.
Editor: We get paid to keep meticulous mileage records for our test vehicles, but we gotta take off our hat to anyone who's been logging mpg for close to 400,000 miles! We figure it's earned you a Four Wheeler license plate this month. It's likely too late to grace the bumper of your VW bus, but it ought to look cool on your latest ride.
|Vehicle ||MPG ||Miles driven ||Engine|
|'60 VW ||25.0 ||32,496 ||1200cc I-4|
|'65 VW bus ||21.8 ||165,962 ||1600cc I-4|
|'67 VW bus ||22.3 ||364 ||1600cc|
|'66 Toyota FJ40 ||13.0 ||125,000 ||235 I-6|
|'80 Chevy LUV ||25.0 ||20,350 ||1.7L I-4|
|'02 Jeep Liberty ||17.9 ||62,485 ||3.7L V-6|
We'd like to take this opportunity to welcome Truckin's SUV subscribers to the Four Wheeler family this month. You'll be receiving Four Wheeler in the mail each month for the duration of your T-SUV subscription. For those of you who subscribe to both magazines, we're pleased to announce that your Four Wheeler subscriptions will be extended.