Reader: Your "Back 2 Basics" project truck (Oct. '06) mentioned a base Silverado with drum brakes. Didn't all '99-and-later Silverados have four-wheel discs? My '03 with the 4.8L with 40-series Flowmaster after-cat and K&N 77-series intake is getting a consistent 18-plus mpg. Next up are Edelbrock shorty replacement headers ... and if you want that Super 40 to sound really good, put 4 1/2-inch tips on it. Mine sounds awesome! Someday I'll get my TJ and start building all over again.
Tarpon Springs, FL
Editor: Jimmy Nylund replies: It appears that the cheapy W/T is the only version of the Silverado that doesn't come with rear discs. That is less surprising than the fact that a 2500 HD, with four-wheel discs, can use 16-inch wheels, while the lowly 1/2-ton must use new-fangled 17s in the front.
We'll consider exhaust mods when our hearing diminishes some more. Until then, our only quiet vehicle will stay quiet, or become even more silent.
Reader: I've been a subscriber to Four Wheeler for years now. Everything my dad didn't teach me about wheeling, I learned by doing what I saw in this magazine. I now drive an '88 Jeep Comanche pickup with a little lift, a lot of fender trimming, and 33x12.50 M/Ts with the stock drivetrain. My buddies and I mainly wheel on the powerline trails in the area. We want to start a four-wheeling club but we don't know the first thing about how to start a club, let alone run one. We have five would-be members. Now we need to get organized. Any advice you can offer would be helpful.
George N. Groblewski, Jr.
W.D.F.A. Off Road
Editor: The intricacies involved in forming your own 4WD club will vary from state to state, but in general, you will want to (1) file articles of incorporation with your state government; (2) elect a board of officers, (3) write up a set of bylaws, (4) create a regular meeting schedule, and (5) apply for nonprofit status with the IRS. There may also be local regulations you'll need to follow. A good place to start would likely be United Four-Wheel Drive Associations (www.ufwda.org). There are dozens of clubs around the country that are UFWDA affiliates, and perhaps one of them can help answer some of your questions with greater specifics than we can here.
Reader: I was looking for some information about auto magazines in Asia. I was specifically interested in 4x4 magazines as this is what I am after (magazine Web sites). They have been hard to come by and I was wondering if you could help me find some of these auto magazines in Asia on the Web.
via the Internet
Editor: There are plenty of Asian 4x4 magazines, but not many of them have companion Web sites. The biggest 4x4 magazine in Japan, 4WD Craft, does have a site: www.motormagazinesha.co.jp/media log/books/car_mag/4wd/index.html. Unfortunately, it's entirely in Japanese, so unless you're fluent, it's probably not going to be of much help to you. Other Asian mags we know of include 4x4 Magazine and Off Road Express (Japan), Offroad Magazine (Thailand), 4WD & RV (Korea), JIP Magazine (Indonesia), and 4WD & SUV (Malaysia). Your best bet is to spend some time online, Google a few of these titles, and see what you can find.