Likes Our Online Archives
Reader: I like the archive stuff you've been doing from the '70s. I think the stuff looks funny probably because I'm old enough to remember most of it. Keep up the good work.
Editor: Thanks. We enjoy posting that stuff too. We're archiving old material from past issues of FW on a near-weekly basis now, so check back frequently at fourwheeler.com for future updates.
"Attacked" By An Xterra?
Reader: I was attacked by an '09 Nissan Xterra last month. It was a rental unit that I was driving while bodywork was being done on my '08 MegaCab Cummins Dualie. I was coming down my driveway (half-mile long), when the side airbags went off. That's right, they just went off. No wheeling, no stunts, just went off. There was not a scratch on the vehicle, which only had 8,000 miles on it. The dealer thought it was a faulty rollover safety sensor. I had to laugh when I saw your pics at your Four Wheeler of the Year test (Feb. '09). If it is in your long-term fleet, wear a helmet. The bags hurt, and I got hit in the head by a flying grab handle blown off by the bag. Have you heard of this before?
Editor: We've never heard of this before with this particular vehicle, and we had no issues at all with our tester during our brief time with it. Based on our experiences with other vehicles in the past, we know that the manufacturers take these kind of safety-system failures very seriously, so it's altogether likely your experiences were relayed directly from the dealership to Nissan's engineering team. We'll be receiving a long-term Xterra for testing soon, and we'll relay any problems if they occur, but based on our experiences with this platform, we'd guess what happened to your vehicle was an anomalous occurrence.
Looking For Midwest Jambo Info
Reader: When is this year's 4-Wheel Jamboree in Lima, Ohio? I'm from Tennessee and would like to go but can't find a schedule anywhere.
Somewhere in Cyberland
Editor: This year's Lima Jambo takes place May 15-17. You can find out more details, and the complete Jamboree nationals schedule, by logging onto www.familyevents.com.
Wants F-Truck Rear-Disc Conversion
Reader: In your recent article on an '89 Ford F-250 disc-brake conversion ("Stopping the Sterling," Feb. '09), Christian Hazel said you used TSM in Castle Rock, Colorado, for the kit. We tried getting the number for them in Castle Rock, but information says there is no TSM. Do you know how to get in touch with these guys? We need the conversion kit.
Editor: Here's the contact info we have for them: The Streetrod Manufacturing Company Inc., 4321 E. Willow Creek Rd., No. 16, Castle Rock, CO 80104, 303/688-6882, www.tsmmfg.com. Good luck with your conversion.
Leveled Ram "Clanks" On Compression
Reader: I recently installed a Pro Comp leveling kit on my '08 Dodge Ram 1500. At the time the truck only had about 3,000 miles on it. Now, every time I hit a bump, there is a clanging noise in the frontend. I have removed the entire coilover assembly on both sides twice, checked to make sure everything is tight, and reinstalled. I didn't find anything wrong, and neither did the mechanic who checked my alignment, but the noise is still there. I have noticed with the truck on the ground I can grab the shock stem on top and slap the shock inside the assembly making the same noise so I'm pretty sure that's what's happening. I just don't know why. I am running the factory shocks. I don't know if the shocks are the problem or if this is just common with this kit. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Editor: Sight unseen, it's always a dicey proposition to diagnose the source of problems like this. But off the top of our heads, the only things we can figure is that if you didn't get or install the coilover spacer to compensate for the height increase, you may be overextending the shock. You might want to call the guys at Pro Comp's customer service line (619/216-1444); they'll probably know what you need to do to make everything right again.
Re-Gearing For Bigger Tires
Reader: I need help in gear selection on my '03 F-250 Super Duty with the 6.0L. I installed 10 inches of lift and it's cool and rides nice with 38-inch tires. I feel the 3.73:1 gears when I tow a 16-foot trailer thru the upstate mountains. Can you or your staff help with the proper gears to put me back near stock rpm?
West Islip, NY
Editor: There's a more precise (and complex) formula to calculate this, but an easy one that'll put you in the ballpark is:[new tire size old tire size] x axle gear = new gear
In your case, the Super Duty's stock 235/85R16 tires were 31.7 inches tall. So, plug in the numbers:
[38 31.7] x 3.73 = 4.47
So, you'd normally want to run a ring-and-pinion in the nearest available ratio, which in this case would be 4.56:1. However, your 6.0L Power Stroke produces its peak 550 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm, and since you say you tow with it, we'd recommend gearing even lower-to, say, 4.88:1-to keep your revs down at highway cruising speeds.
Letter Of The Month
The Bible Of Wheeling?
Reader: I just wanted to thank you guys for making a good, tough magazine. Like other readers, your magazine is my bible while I make an offering to the porcelain god, and this is where it stays. I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that my Four Wheeler magazines are the only magazines/parts catalogs/any other of the sort that does not warp from the steam of the shower, thus allowing a full month of ripple-free reading until the next Four Wheeler gets here. Heck, I've still got some from the '70s that my dad had! I just thought you guys should know that not only is your magazine full of material on the inside, it's the material on the outside that preserves it. Kinda like a coconut...sorta.
Editor: Flattery will get you everywhere. A deluxe box of Four Wheeler swag is on its way to you. Thanks for writing in.