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Off-Road Unloaded - Letters to the Editor - April 2012

Posted in Features on April 1, 2012
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Editor’s Note: If you want to say or ask something, email Unloaded at or write to:

Unloaded, OFF-ROAD Magazine, 1733 Alton Parkway, Ste. 100, Irvine, CA 92606

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.

Letters of the Month

This month, everyone who had their letters published is getting a DVD copy of Tower Heist with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. It’ll be out on Blu-ray and DVD on Feburary 21, but these guys below are getting theirs for free!

What’s a ‘99-to-’06 2WD Chevy Owner to Do?

I’m 16 years old and I’ve got a Chevy 1500 2WD with a 5.3L V-8. I’ve been spending all my time making it look like a sick prerunner, and now I feel all that is left is the suspension. I’ve been looking around for some kind of coilover shock or anything really that would perform okay off-road. I’m not looking to jump the truck (yet), but I still want to go a little crazy off-road. Everything in the suspension is stock besides lift knuckles and a leveling kit, and so I’m hoping to mount whatever I get to my stock mounts. I work at a car wash so the money is a little tight, but I want a good product that will take a beating. Thanks

Nick Babaian
via email

Nick, unfortunately your truck is one era too old to get the easy bolt-in coilover like those from Camburg and Sway-A-Way reviewed in this issue for newer 2WD and 4WD trucks. For your Chevy you’re going to have to get a little more creative, but there are parts out there for you. Blitzkrieg Motorsports has a long-travel kit and a more mild uniball kit, and many other long-travel suspension companies have pieces for ’99-to-’06 Chevys.

But these higher end parts obviously cost money. If it were my truck, I’d spend my money upgrading to some high quality remote-reservoir shocks and some Light Racing Jounce bumpstops that will fit your Chevy without lots of fabrication. That will give you the most improvement off-road and still keep your truck driving perfectly on the street.

More Props for the Baja Cactus Hotel

Today I picked up my copy of the January 2012 issue. Upon reading the first the story in Unloaded, “International Help from Strangers,” I instantly felt for the driver. There’s no worse feeling than knowing you have no form of ID in another country.

Back to the point though, I have stayed at the Baja Cactus a few times before and besides the accommodations being incredible, Antonio (who helped get the wallet sent back) is an amazing guy. He is very friendly and always welcoming to tourists.

If you ever get the chance to venture south of the border, be sure to stop in for a hot shower and cozy bed. And don’t forget to get a great meal from Mama Espinoza’s, which is right next door.

John Plemons
San Diego

Big Oly Rides Again

Just checking out the Big Oly TT article in the November 2011 issue…. Kevin did a great job on it, and it was very nice equipment (awesome to see PJ with his original version). Probably long-forgotten is that there was actually a Big Oly II built in ’87 that graced the pages of OFF-ROAD as a project vehicle. Driven by Rick Sieman and Steve Kramer and built by Garman Fabrication, it was unfortunately  destroyed in a bad roll in Baja in ’88.

Keep up the great work!

Gary Garman

Thanks for that bit of OFF-ROAD history, Gary! I didn’t know about our past coverage of Big Oly II. Unfortunately our archives were lost many years ago during a company purchase.

I Got Your Fullsize Answer Right Here!

This note is in response to the Rant section in the Septmber ’11 issue of OFF-ROAD titled “Where Have All the FullSize Trucks of Moab Gone.”

I think I know where they all are. It looks like the most expensive, highly modified, newer $60,000-plus ones are all running around the streets of Southern California (mostly Orange County). And it appears the new fullsize crew cab 4x4s with diesel power, 6-, 8-, and 10-inch lifts, and 42-inch tires are “required” equipment for residential electricians, plumbers, handymen, and pretty much anyone in the construction/remodeling business here. Hell, there’s even a locksmith in my neighborhood with a sky-high Dodge Quad Cab. No wonder why things cost so much nowadays. The good thing about all this is that they would never dare take their show pieces off-road and that leaves more room on the trail for my Jeep!

Fountain Valley, California

Ha! Okay, you totally got me with that one (being that I’m the editor, originally from Orange County, who drives a Super Duty on 40s). Well, you better make some room for us on the trails, Mike! We’re going to try to bring more fullsize trucks out on the dirt and rocks to play in the future!

Fullsize Run in Moab?!

I heard a rumor somewhere that either you or Four Wheeler has a fullsize run going on in Moab next year. What can you tell me about that? I have an ’03 Chevy with a solid axle swapped in the front, and I’d love to hit the red rocks with you guys.

Eric Teldor
via Email

Eric, you heard correctly! OFF-ROAD magazine is having a fullsize run during Moab’s Easter Jeep Safari next year, and we’re teaming up with Four Wheeler magazine to do so. It should be absolutely awesome! We’re calling it Fullsize Invasion, and we’re working out the details of what trails and what days right now. You can be sure we’ll post information in the magazine, on our website (, and on our Facebook site ( as soon as we have all the details worked out.

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