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December 2009 Letters To The Editor

Posted in Features on December 1, 2009
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Where To Write
Address your correspondence to:
Four Wheeler
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048.

All letters become the property of Four Wheeler, and we reserve the right to edit them for length, accuracy, and clarity. The editorial department can also be reached through the website at Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.

Letter Of The Month
What Today's Well-Dressed Afghan Is Wearing
Reader: Hey Mr. McColloch,
I received your package the other day. Thanks so much! The DVDs were awesome-me and some buddies really enjoyed them! Makes me remember why I love America so much!

Also, I got the t-shirts, but since we couldn't really wear them, we decided to give them out to the Afghanis. We passed them out to some Afghan National Police, as well as some kids we saw on a patrol. Hope these pictures can be used! I had to block out faces and unit patches/nametapes, for security reasons.

Also, one of my Medics told me today that he saw a Four Wheeler license plate cover in an ANP vehicle today! Looks like they like the stuff!

Well anyway, hope you guys can use these pictures. The police sure liked the shirts. They kept asking for more!

Keep on with the good work. Thanks again for everything!
SPC Jace Powell
On tour in Afghanistan

Editor: Glad to see you're putting our Four Wheeler gear to good use. Sounds like we need to mail you some more swag. We always like to stay on the good side of the police, after all.

The Basics On Blazers
Reader: I'm writing regarding your "Best Buys in Used 4x4s" (Sept. '09). I'm reading the article right now and had to sit down and write. First off, you'll probably get a few e-mails from those of us over on for your inclusion of the 1973-91 fullsize K-5 Blazer. While I agree with why you chose it, your info is wrong in several places. Here goes:

Military M1009 CUCVs are standard 6.2L Blazers. Their axles are not the Dana 60 and full-floating 14-bolt. They have standard-for-the-day 28-spline 8.5-inch Corporate 10-bolts with 3.08:1 gears and the G80 Gov-Lock in the rear axle. Aside from the TH 400 transmission and 24-volt ignition system, they are basically just stripped-down, high-GVW K-5 Blazers. No 1-ton axles under them-those were used on the M1008 and other pickups.

1987-91 Blazer all had TBI fuel-injected engines.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "slanted front clip," but the 1991 model has the same front clip as the 1989-90 trucks, and really, the fenders and hoods are the same all the way back to 1980.

The NP 241 is actually stronger than a NP 208: Deeper gear ratio, better oiling, and a stronger and bigger drive chain. They're also rarer as only '89 versions used a speedo cable, and the 1990-91 241s used an electronic sensor.

Thanks, and love the magazine.
AJM Blazer
Via the Internet

Editors Calculating Badly
Reader: Okay, I've never written to you guys, but math isn't that hard. Your article on the "Lower Forty" Jeep concept (Sept. '09) says it gained 9 inches of clearance by going to 40-inch tires. So it came from the factory with 22-inch tires, right? Try 4 inches-or a little less, after you figure tire squat, extra weight from the bigger engine, and the bigger spare. Still, I'm really glad y'all put some open-hood detail in the article. It's my favorite "factory-backed" concept in . . . okay, maybe ever.

Also, I think y'all included Katemcy Rocks on one of your "best places to wheel" lists. They are closed indefinitely as of last month. Sounds like y'all need another staffer to check things.
James M.
Houston, TX

Editor: A base-model Wrangler comes with P225/75R16 (29-inch) tires, so the actual amount of clearance from bone-stock will be somewhere around 5 1/2 inches with the 40s before taking into account static loaded radius and some of the other things you mentioned. But that was a good catch on your part either way.

We heard about Katemcy, too, sorry to say. Regarding an extra staff member, we couldn't agree more, so we've forwarded your request to our Human Resources department. Thanks for writing in.

Missed It By That Much...
Reader: On the cover of the September issue, you have you engine tech story listed as a Cummins-to-Super Duty swap when it's actually a Super Duty-to-Cummins swap. Just a heads-up.
Nick C.
Surrey, B.C., Canada

Editor: Picky, picky, picky. Now you know why they don't let us drive in the UK.

More 4x4 Shoe Sizes
Reader: Regarding "What Hits, What Fits" (Aug. '09): Two things are not jibing from my personal experience and ownership of the two vehicles. The first is an '89 Bronco XLT, stock height, with no lift whatsoever, that fits 33x12.50/15 tires with absolutely no rubbing whatsoever when wheel turned at full lock. It was also fine off-road as well. And on a 1987 GMC K-2500 (it might be just the 2500 series with the HD Tow package), at stock height the truck has 35s currently, and has only minor rubbing issues that can be solved by trimming the fender. The truck had 33x12.50s with absolutely no rubbing. Thanks for your time. Four Wheeler has been my new favorite magazine since I picked it up in June. Very informative, especially to a 20-year-old looking for new tires.
Mike Compton
Via the Internet

Editor: Thanks for joining the Four Wheeler family, and for the information. As we've stated in the past, calculating tire fitments is as much of an art as it is a science, so the numbers on our "what fits" chart should be taken as ballpark estimates rather than hard-and-fast figures. But we're always glad to receive real-life feedback from folks like you, and we'll be sure to factor in your own experiences with tire sizes on these rigs the next time we revise the chart.

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