Reader: Come on, fellas. The Dodge Power Wagon has been out for almost three years now, and you have yet to do anything with it other than the long-term test. The truck is amazing and has so much potential with just minor tweaking. There are at least two different suspension companies making Power Wagon-specific lifts, and millions of possibilities for making this truck even better. I believe in an issue earlier this year, you even told readers that you would be doing something with this truck. You've called it the perfect pickup in the past. Seems like a hell of a platform to work off of, doesn't it?
By the way, people actually own Power Wagons and want to modify them, unlike Nissan Titan owners who probably won't be stuffing a full 'cage and 46-inch Claws under their trucks any time soon.
Editor: Ouch! OK, we guess we earned that last jibe. And actually, they were 54-inch Boggers. But rest assured, we do in fact have a Power Wagon in our permanent stable of project rigs, and we do plan to build it up over time in these pages. It's just taking a little longer than we'd like for us to get it together. Be patient and stay tuned.
Reader: In your Moab coverage (Aug. '07), you mentioned that a stock Lexus GX had to be strapped to finish Kane Creek. You also showed a stock Tundra double-cab. Did it make it without help? I have a stock Tacoma double-cab (4x4 TRD) and wanted to know if I could make it without assistance. Of course, I would go with buddies.
In your September issue, a writer mentioned he uses his 4x4 truck for work ("No More 'Retarded' 20s"). I think that the experiences of people who use their 4x4s for work would be an interesting subject for a story. These people most likely will have great ideas about rigs, tips, and tricks that will help us all. After all, their jobs are on the line if they break down, get stuck, and so on.
Ever think about doing one more common trail ride each month? You do some exotic rides, but not much like "Tents & Trails." More U.S. stuff that the everyday person can do would be great.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Editor: With an experienced driver at the helm, our stock Tundra got through Kane Creek without needing a strap. We'd still guess your TRD Tacoma will make it over Kane in stock condition. It'll definitely be a challenge in spots, but it's well worth the effort.
About "Wheelers Who Work," we have some plans in the works for a series about folks who, as you said, make their livings behind the wheel of a 4x4. We should be kicking off the series in three or four months.
About our trail coverage, yep, we've "Gone Exotic" a bit more than usual over the last year. We've had the opportunity to do a little 'wheeling abroad, and we've also met some talented freelancers who cover overseas events. We also like to share off-pavement experiences in this magazine that you won't readily find in the other 4x4x mags, or on the Internet. But we do have coverage of some good domestic trail events that the everyday person could attend; in fact, that thousands of everyday people did attend this past year, on page 74 of this issue.
Reader: I am looking at buying a '70 IH Scout 800A, and the dealer doesn't know what engine and tranny it has. Can you help me find information on options and technical data on the Scout?
Editor: Tell the dealer to pop the hood and start counting plug wires. Your Scout came with one of three engines: the 196ci I-4, the 232ci "Power Thrift" straight-six, or (less likely) the AMC-sourced 304ci V-8. The transmission is a Warner Gear T-90, and the transfer case is a Dana 20 with 2.00:1 low-range. Axles are a Dana 27 front (most likely running a bigger and stronger Dana 30 centersection with D27 outers) and a semifloating Dana 44 rear. Ring-and-pinion ratios ranged from 3.31:1 to 4.27:1, depending on engine. Available options included a Powr-Lok rear limited-slip, Warner T-18 HD four-speed, a PTO off the transfer case, and a front-mounted winch. Under normal use, these components were (and are) fairly stout pieces, though the front drive becomes the weak link under V-8 power and bigger tires.
Wanna learn more? One of the better online resources for all things Harvester that we've found is the Binder Bulletin (www.binderbulletin.org).