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Q: In the Feb. '03 issue you have an article about a '92 Toyota hybrid. On page 90 there is a picture of the interior, more importantly the dash. I noticed that the instrument cluster has a tachometer. I own a '94 with a 22RE four-banger and it doesn't have a tach gauge. I've banged my head for years not knowing why and am 99 percent sure that it was only an option in the V-6 model. My question is this: would the cluster from the V-6 be a direct swap to a 22RE or am I going to have to change the cluster wiring harness and possibly some other components? I really hate not having a tach and find aftermarket gauges look out of place, not being in the cluster and whatnot. Also, does anyone make a replacement cluster with a tach for the 22RE? All the ones I've ever seen are identical to the one I have. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.Mike DelissovoyBaltimore, Maryland
A: Mike, Swapping in a different gauge cluster in your Toyota is a very easy process. The '94 Toyotas equipped with the 22RE engine were offered with an optional gauge cluster that included a tachometer. The only necessary modification is to change the oil sending unit. While you can most likely purchase the desired cluster at a Toyota dealership, you'll find one much more cheaply at a salvage yard. Jim Wales at the Yota Yard in Denver has a few in stock for around $150. Check it out on the Web at www.yotayard.com, or call (303) 292-5078.
Q: I've been a subscribing member for over a year now and am very happy with your magazine. Unlike a lot of the other 4x4 magazines out there, the content of your magazine is quite well-rounded for all types of SUVs. So back to the reason for praising you guys: the Suzuki content in your magazine! After the latest issue, I decided, "That's it, I've gotta thank these guys!" I am a huge Samurai fan (I own several of them) and a super-huge fan of the old LJs/Brutes (don't have one...yet). So, anyways, keep up the good work of having at least one Suzuki-related write up in each issue. By the way, not that I'm keeping track or anything, but right off hand, I've counted Suzuki related articles in Oct. '01, "Road To Hell", Nov. '02, "Legally Lifting Samurais", Dec. '02, "Little Red Zuk", and Sept. '02, "The Crustacean." Keep up the good work.William J. Bouchard (Wyld Bill)Poland Springs, Maine
A: Wyld Bill, Very glad you're enjoying the continued coverage of Suzukis in the magazine. It's letters such as yours that encourage us to keep offering more. While Jeep vehicles tend to monopolize some issues, we always enjoy branching away from the norm and providing information about all four-wheel drives and SUVs. Thanks for reading.
Street Legality of Bead Locks
Q: I really enjoy the magazine and I subscribed after the tech article in the Dec. '01 issue, "Going Big with the FJ40." At the end of the article it sounded like there would be more up coming tech articles on this FJ40. What happened? Also, are bead lock wheels street legal? If they are not, why? For example, can they be used to drive to the trail? Keep up the great work.Jason Johnsonvia e-mail
A: Jason, We miss the 'Cruiser, too. We were looking forward to completing an all-out buildup with it, but as we became more pressed for time in juggling our many project vehicles, it fell by the wayside. Hopefully we'll get after it later in the summer once we clear some space in the driveway. Concerning your question about the legality of bead locks, no, they are not street legal. Not even for just driving to the trail head, either. However, this isn't to say that bead locks are unsafe for street use. Quite simply, bead locks aren't DOT approved. The funny part is that the only reason they aren't DOT-compliant is because there are no written specifications for the bead locks to meet. Once the bead area on the wheel is cut off and made in to a removable surface, it can no longer be graded using the same standards for a normal wheel. Though most bead lock wheels would likely meet any written specifications, getting the Department of Transportation to write such rules would take an act of congress. Needless to say, don't expect to see street-legal bead locks any time soon. Additionally, Greg Miller at High Impact Beadlock Wheels (www.high-impact.net, (888) 898-4331, where the entire product line is based upon DOT-compliant wheels) recommends regularly torquing the lock ring bolts to ensure the safety of the product.