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May 2010 4xForum - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on May 1, 2010
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Send questions, comments, and suggestions to: 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility MAGAZINE, Attn: Christian Lee, 2400 E. Katella Ave., Ste. 1100, Anaheim, CA 92806, or christian.lee@sorc.com.

3.8L Stroker Kits?
Q: I was just wondering if you knew of anyone who is making a stroker kit for the 3.8L Jeep Wrangler motor. I am aware of the Hemi swaps but would like to keep the motor that is there. Would be nice for someone to do some head and cam work as well. I do not know how these mods would affect the computer either. Thank you for your time and for a great magazine; your trail rides look like something I could do and not destroy my vehicle. Not like what you read in some of the other magazines. Again, thank you for a great magazine and any information you can provide.
Jamie Kirkendall
Monroe, IA

A: Jamie, there are no stroker kits currently offered for the 3.8L Jeep Wrangler engine. However, a variety of supercharger kits for the 3.8L are available. Avenger Superchargers (www.avengersuperchargers.com), Hesco [(205) 251-1472, www.hesco.us], and RIPP Modications [(718) 815-1313, www.rippmods.net] each offer supercharger systems to increase horsepower and improve overall engine performance. Each system is designed to function on the 3.8L engine with the factory computer, although some may require reprogramming, which is also available. The price tag on these units is somewhat high but if you desire increased power then you get what you're paying for. Also, most quality engine performance or speed shops offer head and cam services and can possibly create a one-off stroker kit if you are set on this route. We're glad you like the magazine and articles. Tell your friends. 'Wheel on.

Jeep vs. Toyota
Q: What is the deal with the whole Jeep and Toyota rivalry? I've owned a Toyota FJ Cruiser now for just over a year and I can't tell you how many times I've been flipped off or scowled at by some guy driving a Jeep for no reason at all! Now, I love Jeeps! They're great, but I just chose the FJ because it fits my style better. The way I see it is that we both love and enjoy off-roading as a hobby and sport, so let's show some courtesy to everyone trying to keep these great 4x4 trails open! I don't flip off random strangers I see walking down the street just because they're wearing a different brand of shoes than I have on! Anyways, it would just be nice to see these people grow up is all, and that includes both parties. Thanks.
Matt Reed
Saratoga Springs, Utah

A: Matt, I don't get it either. I've owned both a Toyota truck and many different Jeeps and I've never discriminated against anyone else on the trail or road because of what they were driving. I believe the rivalry may have begun as somewhat friendly in nature, but it has definitely grown to include the bozos who think that it's more than just that. It's no different than the Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge crowds who think they drive the best and aren't afraid to brag about it. Some people deal with it in a fun-spirited manner while others simply take it too far. Thanks for being someone who can laugh at the rivalry. You'll have more fun on the trail for doing so. Thanks for writing.

Tire To Rim Sizing
Q: I have a set of 32x11.50R15 ATs mounted on 15x7 Pro Comp steel wheels on my '97 TJ. I am upgrading to 33x12.50R15 MTs and would like to use my existing rims. Will the 7-inch rims work with the 33x12.50R15 tires? I have read many pros and cons but wanted to get an expert opinion. Thanks.
Rick Matteson
Bothell, WA

A: Rick, yes, the 33x12.50 tires will likely fit on your existing 15x7 wheels, however, you won't experience as wide a footprint as you would using a wider wheel and you also may void any associated tire warranty. You also might have trouble getting a tire shop to mount them for you due to the liability. Most tire manufacturers recommend a range of suitable rim widths on which a tire can be mounted and tire shops rarely divert from this recommendation. The recommended average rim width for a 33x12.50 tire is 8.5 to 11 inches. Even the 11.50-inch-width tire calls for a 7.5- to 9-inch wide wheel, so technically you're a bit under for the 32x11.50 tires you're currently running. The pros of running the 33x12.50 tire on your existing 15x7 rims are that you won't have to buy new wheels. The cons are that you'll be paying more for a wider tire that won't sit any wider than what you already have in place, possible fitment and rubbing issue depending on the backspacing of the 15x7 wheels in contrast to the new tire width, deficient handling compared to before, and increased and irregular tire wear due to the fact that a narrower rim tends to lift the edges of the tire away from the surface of the road. That said I'd pony up for a new set of wider wheels to go with the taller and wider tires. That way you can sell your old wheels and tires as a set and possibly pay for the new wheels with the profit. Hope this helps. 'Wheel on.

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