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December 2009 Off-Road Unloaded - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on December 1, 2009
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Editor' Note: If you want to say or ask something, email Unloaded at or write:
OFF-ROAD Magazine
2400 E. Katella Ave., Ste. 1100
Anaheim, CA 92806.

Remember, we're giving away swag every month to the author of our favorite letter. Be sure to include your address, so we know where to send your goods. And because we lost our copyeditor, please know that we are not going to be copyediting your letter if you are going to be hating on us, so you better check it over well before sending it our way! Thanks!

This month our letter writers are all receiving a copy of Trucks Gone Wild 7! Mega Truck Entertainment has brought you this seventh edition with crazy off-road action from Florida, Vermont, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Dennis Anderson's Muddy Motorsports Park. You can check out your own copy at

Chevy Solid Axle Swap ABS
Great article on the ABS upgrade to older axles in the May 2009 issue, Page 84. The truck you all did it on seems to have a kit for the axle swap, true or false? Or is that just somebody's really clean fab work? If it is a kit, can you identify it for those of us who want to tread where that truck has gone? Thanks!
University of Iraq
School of Warfare Class of '04

Austin, that truck does in fact have a solid axle swap kit that you can buy. It's a partial solid axle swap kit made by CAGE Offroad ( It comes with the upper shock hoops and coil buckets, the radius arms, and shocks, but you'll have to provide a steering system, brake lines, and the axle (and the Dynatrac ABS kit if you want it). It's basically a '79 Bronco kit (like the one we checked out this month-Page 66) with some minor changes made to retrofit onto a shaved IFS Chevy 4x4.

Rebuild or Buy New?
I saw the white 1994 Ford Bronco in the August 2009 issue of OFF-ROAD, and my heart sank. I own a '95 Bronco that is completely gutted out to the bone. No engine, to tranny, no fuel tank, no interior, no windows-nothing. I'm not a mechanic, and I'm physically disabled, but I need something reliable with off-road qualities. I have about $40,000 to my name, and instead of buying a new truck off the dealer lot I'd prefer to have my Bronco made brand new. I see shows like Overhaulin' on TV, and I was wondering if there was a place like that I can take my Bronco to restore everything at a reasonable price. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
Christian Hayes,
Draper, UT

Christian, unless you have some huge emotional attachment to your Bronco (which I can completely understand if you do), then I'd suggest letting your '95 Bronco go to some guy looking to build a prerunner and instead looking for a 1995 or 1996 Bronco that someone has kept in pristine condition. There are some Broncos out there that were garaged and preserved, and you can find them online or you could even use a vehicle locator service to track down exactly what you're looking for. When they pop up, I've seen low-mileage, pristine Broncos go for around $20,000. Once you find an almost-new Bronco, a good local shop for you to head to would be Mount Logan Off-Road ( They can help you take a Bronco that's in great condition, fix anything that is wrong with it, and give it all the off-road modifications you'd want. This way, you might actually still have a few bucks left over. With your Bronco completely gutted as it is, it will cost you over $40,000 to piece it together with brand new parts.

Toyota Prerunners
Dear OFF-ROAD, I have two favorite magazines-OFF-ROAD and Toyota 4WD Owner.

I have owned many Toyota trucks and I always end up turning them into prerunners (you guys obviously cover this the best).

Now, I have an '06 Tacoma 4x4 TRD with a 6-inch Pro Comp suspension, 17x9 American Racing wheels, 35-inch tires, and a Pro Comp light bar and lights. I've just bought a '93 4Runner V-6 and already started on the mods. I plan on a 4-inch double-shock kit, a fiberglass front end, and 33-inch tires.

Do you have any back issues on modding second-gen 4Runners this way?

All my friends always say I have really neat trucks-I think because the prerunner style is very different here in Pennsylvania!

Keep up the great magazine and put in more prerunner-style trucks and SUVs (especially Toyotas!).
Steve Enders,
Thomasville, PA

P.S. Do you guys sell T-shirts?

Steve, that '93 4Runner will definitely be a cool truck to build with some fiberglass on it! To my knowledge, I don't believe there are any back issues on building second-gen 4Runner prerunners, but the 4Runner is basically the same chassis as our '93 Toyota project truck, so I think following that buildup might be useful to you. For suspension, I'd suggest checking out a Downey Off-road suspension ( or a Total Chaos suspension ( We've tried the Downey suspension and are about to try out a Total Chaos suspension on this truck, but I think you'd be really happy with either kit. By the way-there's a good chance you're going to have to do some firewall clearancing to fit 33-inch tires unless you do a body lift.

Oh, and if you want to buy a shirt, you can email to purchase one for $15.

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