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Off-Road Unloaded - Letters To The Editor - May 2010

2002 Ford F150
Jerrod Jones | Writer
Posted May 1, 2010

Letters To The Editor

This month every letter writer is getting a copy of Trucks Gone Wild 8 from TGW Productions. The eighth entry into the Trucks Gone Wild family is the newest DVD to capture all the crazy off-road action of a bunch of giant off-road trucks. You can find your own copy by logging on to

What Year Chevy To Build?
Hi, I read your magazine and have been looking for an old Chevy truck for slight mudding and off-roading. I was wondering what is the best year of a Chevy truck to get? I like the late '70s to mid '80s. Thanks!
Calvin "Captain Cal" Ode
Via email

Good question! I'd say start with a '73-to-'75. That way you never have to worry about smog equipment and emissions testing (even if you aren't in California, the smog testing rules are going to get more serious in every state).

After you got that era of truck, I'd pull that front clip off and stick on fenders, a grille, and a hood from an '81-to'91, as the hood and fender line is dropped by a few inches at the nose of the truck in those later years. The slanted front clip gives much better visibility of things up close (plus I think it looks a whole lot cooler).

Baja 'Burban?
Hey guys, I have a '95 Chevy Suburban 4x4 that I want to take to the next Baja 500 and I was wondering if you guys could get me some sponsors or help to make it Baja worthy. The truck is on its last leg and I just want to give it what it deserves. Thanks for all the great help you give young guys like me! Love the mag.
Ryan Johnson
Rockvale, TN

Man, a Baja Suburban does sound cool! I've never really thought about racing the Baja with six guys sitting comfortably in a race truck for 500 miles, together. But, unfortunately, I don't think we can help you build it or get sponsors. We get requests like this all the time and it just wouldn't be fair to build yours without building every single other reader's truck, too.

But that would be so cool if we had the resources to hook up everyone's trucks, huh?! Can you imagine an entire fleet of thousands OFF-ROAD readers all bombing through the mud, mountains, and desert together?! We could totally take over....

Suspension Control
I enjoyed your editorial (February 2010) on what I like to call "Quantity vs. Quality." One reason I enjoyed it so much is because I've been trying to spread that very same gospel for quite some time. It's nice to see someone else in a much better position to get the word out to the masses.

My own ride walks it like I talk it-a 2004 2WD Nissan Titan set up for light pre-running and chasing for friends who race SCORE class 40 motorcycles down in Baja. It's equipped with Sway-A-Way units front and rear, but "only" with about 10 inches of travel. But the shocks have been completely revalved by Greg Gagnon at PRG Products, Just about every guy who's ridden in my truck has commented on how nice and smooth the street ride is, and all those that have spent time with me in the desert are blown away at how well a 10-inch-travel truck can run at speed. In fact, I just got my rear shocks back from Greg so he could do a third valving update on them and loosen the high-speed compression a bit. My next upgrade is the install of the Light Racing jounce bumps that are now sitting in my shop.

After your editorial, I think an off-road shock valving primer is due. Many guys don't know the difference between low-, mid-, and high-speed valving and the type and speed of the terrain class they fall into.

I also agree on you proposed travel definitions-standard, mid, and long.

Love the magazine and the direction it has been taken. Another great section: Long-Term Updates! Keep them coming.
Louis Schilling
Burbank, CA

I agree, Louis! It's probably time for another shock valving story. Look for one soon!

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