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6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90048.
All letters become the property of Four Wheeler, and we reserve the right to edit them for length, accuracy, and clarity. The editorial department also can be reached through the Web site at www.fourwheeler.com. Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.
Reader: At the end of your recent winch-rebuilding article ("Winch Repair Made Simple," Aug. '07), Jay Kopycinski included a photo of the finished winch with new synthetic rope on it. Can you tell me the diameter of the rope and how long it is? I'd like to put synthetic rope on my new M8000, and I could use some guidance. I would like to use 100 feet of 5/16-inch-diameter rope if it will fit satisfactorily.
Editor: Jay Kopycinski replies: "The winch is loaded with 5/16-inch, 90-foot-long Amsteel Blue winch rope from Rockstomper. You should be able to load 100 feet without a problem. You can also find Rockstomper's winch-line capacities listed at the company's Web site, www.rockstomper.com."
Reader: On page 76 of the Aug. '07 issue, you showed your Mega Titan being towed down the highway on your Carson trailer. What's up with the loose chains in the rear? Even the chain with the binder on it isn't tight. I asked my wife, "What's wrong with this pic?" Her immediate answer: "The chains are loose." You guys are examples for your readers, so please show responsible towing pics, especially in an article about your own trailer!
Editor: Titan Taskmaster Robin Stover replies: "Yes, actually that was the reason I took that photo. I was following (truckbuilder) Toby Lavender back to his shop from a test session at Hollister Hills when I noticed the chain binder was loose. I grabbed my camera and snapped a picture of it because I remembered seeing it bound tightly when we left the park. Once at the shop, I shared the photo with Toby, and we theorized that the Titan's 54-inch Boggers were soft enough (tire pressure was 3 psi) to allow the truck to flex downward a few inches while driving through a depression in the road, causing the chain binder to loosen. The better arrangement for this would have been to fill up the tires before leaving the park and/or wrapping the excess chain around the binder handle to prevent it from loosening. The rear winch is always used to secure the rear of the truck, in addition to the chain for safety reasons, and that time, it was put to good use. But your point is well taken, and we'll exercise better judgment when picking photos next time."
Reader: I was wondering how I could get in the Top Truck Challenge. I have an '89 YJ now that has some stuff like an AMC 360, Pro Comp springs, fullsize Dana 44 axles, and a spool in the rear. I had a winch but I've never needed it, so I sold it and just bought a Hi-Lift. Oh yeah, almost forgot about the rubber-just some 36-inch Swampers. You guys would be shocked how well it works (it won't get stuck ). Anyhow, what do I have to do to qualify for the TTC?
Editor: You're in luck this month. Turn to page 64 of this issue for a Top Truck Challenge 2008 entry form. In the fine print next to the form, you'll see instructions along with a list of what we require for competitors' rigs to qualify. In reality, it's not a lot-but you will need to buy back your winch. And, to be honest, your Dana 44s won't likely live past the first day of competition, assuming the readers voted you in.