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Off-Road Unloaded - Letters To The Editor - July 2011

Posted in Features on July 1, 2011
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Editor’s Note: If you want to say or ask something, email Unloaded at or write:
OFF-ROAD Magazine
1733 Alton Parkway, Ste. 100
Irvine, CA 92606

Letters Of The Month

We're hooking you up with a lot more to read this month. Everyone who had his letter published this month is getting a copy of X Play Nation - the first book in a long time that we actually read all the way through. Written by Alex Striler, X Play Nation ( )is the story of how some individuals built action sports brands that revolutionized the industry. It covers in depth what those pioneers went through and why certain companies and brands succeeded where others couldn't.

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. Thanks!

Suspension P.R. Correction
In your Off-Road Hardware section, Pro Comp posted its new kit for the ’11 Chevy/GMC HD, stating that “…no drilling, no cutting, no welding, and no driveline mods are required to install this system. The front differential doesn’t have to be cut, either.”

But the installation instructions I found online say that you need to “cut the pocket off…” so I wanted to let you know in case someone is misled. I was going to buy this new kit, but I have a rule that I never cut things off any of my vehicles. Just thought you should know about the misprint.

John Turek

I have just read your magazine for the first time—I love it, keep it up. I have a question, though: I have an ’85 GMC Sierra half-ton short-bed truck with a 700R4 transmission and NP208 T-case. I’ve acquired running gear from a 3/4-ton truck and gotten a 14-Bolt rear, Dana 44 front, NP205 T-case, and SM465 manual transmission. I’d like to stick this all under my GMC, but I’m wondering if there’s a medium-duty five-speed transmission that will bolt up to the NP205, or is there an overdrive unit that will work with this combo? This is a driver that I occasionally tow with, and I’d like to get the 4.10 gearing that is already in the axles I got, but I don’t want to lose fuel economy.

Willie Page
Rockwell, North Carolina

Willie, you have a good plan, and I can recommend a manual transmission to you, but personally I’d stick with the automatic 700R4 for a few reasons.

First, you already have it in the truck and it works. You’d have to swap in clutch linkage and a pedal to put in the SM465. Second, the 700R4 already has the overdrive that you want. Third, I’m a big supporter of automatics in the dirt. Having an auto allows you an extra hand and foot not dedicated to a shifter and clutch pedal and allows you to pay better attention to your surroundings. You could make a call to Advance Adapters (www.advance and get help mating that NP205 to your already-installed 700R4 transmission.

If you’ve got your heart set on a five-speed manual transmission, then I’d say that an NV4500 is your best bet. But some owners complain of a weak fifth gear that fails and synchros that go out.

Where’s the 2WD S-10 Love?!
Hi, I’ve been reading OFF-ROAD for about a year now and I love it—definitely the best truck mag out there. I have an ’03 Chevy S-10 and was really excited to hear that you guys were going to have an S-10 project truck. I was very surprised to find out it was actually a 4x4 S-10 Blazer. Although I think the Almighty Dime is a sweet truck and I am look forward to seeing its progress, I think that us S-10 guys really wanted to see an S-10 pickup, and a 2WD one at that. All I’m asking is if you guys ever run across a cheap little S-10 truck, it would be sweet if you could turn it into a prerunner project. Either way I’ll still be reading the mag, thanks!

Ryan Pelzl
Lakewood, California

Ryan, we completely understand. You’re not the only guy out there who wants us to do a 2WD long-travel S-10; we’ve got many letters stating the same. We had the S-10 4WD Blazer at our disposal, so that’s basically why we used one of those. But we are fans of four-wheel-drive trucks and we know of a company developing a long-travel 4WD IFS kit that we’ll be checking out in the future. As for the 2WD S-10 stuff, we’re going to have you covered when we check out the Baja Customs 2WD long-travel S-10 kit in the near future.

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