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February 2010 Off Road Unloaded - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on February 1, 2010
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Ranger Engine Building
Howdy! I'm currently serving in Iraq, but back home I drive an '04 Ford Ranger with a one-piece front end, bedsides, and front and rear bumpers-all from McNeil Racing. I'm currently saving up to do the entire front end. It's getting an engine cage, new core support, and hopefully a 20-inch-plus travel suspension. I'm writing because the one thing I haven't figured out yet is the best way to get more power out of the 3.0L V-6 engine. I already have a K&N air intake, a custom throttle body spacer and JBA Powercable plug wires. I want some more power, so I'm wondering if you know where to get stuff like ignition systems, intake manifolds, pulley systems, a cam, and whatever else I can get.
L. CPL. Casey Klein

P.S. I really enjoyed the 4x4Link articles! Let's see more badass prerunners!

Casey, I believe your questions could be answered much better by the author of the 4x4Link, our own website producer Jason Gonderman.

This is what Jason had to say:

"The best, cheapest, quickest way to make any power out of the 3.0L is to swap in a 4.0L. But if you really want to build that 3.0L, you're going to be in an uphill battle. The 3.0 in the Ranger is a difficult engine to get a lot of power out of on account of its poor aftermarket following. You are off to a good start with the K&N intake. Next, I would add a cat-back exhaust system; Magnaflow is a good choice. ( I would also add a set of Underdrive Pulleys from Under-Dog Performance. The Powercable plug wires are good, but you should also add a Screamin' Demon Coil Pack. ( To cap it all off I would purchase a power programmer such as the X3 from SCT. ( And if you want to get really crazy, you can hit up Tom Morana Racing for a set of 1.6:1, 1.7:1, or 1.8:1 Roller Rockers, performance cam shafts, cylinder heads, intake manifolds, throttle bodies, or even a 3.3L stroker kit. (

Dirt Grips Good?
I kind of have an off-the-wall question-it's about the tires that are on the red Dodge (Jinxy). I notice the tires on it are the Parnelli Jones Dirt Grips tires. I really like these tires because no one seems to have them...and I just like 'em. So, I was wondering how well these tires work for everyday use and weekend trail running and maybe what kind of life you get out of these tires.

Thanks so much for your time and keep up the good work with the mag.
Thomas B.

Thomas, I'll tell you what-so far I love the tires. I actually haven't put too many off-road miles on them yet, but they have worked great every time I hit the dirt and rocks so far. And they drive rather nicely on the street too. They do make some noise though (no more than an average radial mud-terrain). Rumors have it that they wear a little more quickly than an all-terrain, but I don't have enough street miles on them to really see that happening yet (only about 2,000 miles on them so far with no noticeable wear). Rumors also tell me that these tires work great in mud and snow. I'll let you know more after I get more time on them.

I hope this helps! I'd recommend the PJs, if you're thinking about them -Jerrod, OFF-ROAD Magazine

This issue our Letter-of-the-Month writer is getting hooked up with three new DVDs coming out on Blu-ray and DVD. Funny People came out on November 24, Public Enemies came out December 8, and Inglourious Basterds comes out on December 24. Our Letter-of-the-Month writer will be getting all three!

Letter Of The Month My Dream Truck I am 13 years old and really love prerunners and off-road buggies. Since I can't drive a prerunner yet, I love to draw, watch videos, and play games about trucks. I love the mag. Keep up the good work.

Here is my drawing of the truck I'll have some day.
Kirill L.
Salem, OR

Kirill, that drawing is awesome! Thanks very much for sending it to us. And I hope you send some pics of your truck to us when it's finished one day! We liked your drawing so much that we've decided to make yours our Letter of the Month, and you're getting hooked up with the three-pack of Inglourious Basterds, Public Enemies, and Funny People.

Editor's Note: If you want to say or ask something, email Unloaded at or write: Unloaded, 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!

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