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September 2010 Letters to the Editor

Four Wheeler Cover
Posted September 1, 2010

Advice On Jobs in the 4x4 Industry, Importing a 4x4 From Overseas & More!

Where To Write
Address your correspondence to: Four Wheeler, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245. 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.

Reader Recipe for Rockwell Stew
I've been stewing a couple of weeks over your plea for help to improve the magazine. Stewing, I say, because after I read your July 2010 editorial, I read an article on Rockwell axles ("2 1/2-Ton Building Tips") that was more advertising fluff than substance. Mr. Stover showed us a sheetmetal housing that will save weight, but doesn't tell us how much weight. He mentions more expensive options from different companies, but doesn't say how much they cost. He did not mention any of the possible problems with running these wonder axles, like driveshaft clearance problems, oil pan clearance problems, etc. In short, a little (lot) more substance was needed. Just a few more numbers and words could have made a great story.
Mark Watrous
Via the Internet

Your points on pricing and weight savings are well taken-though we think that most readers who are interested in upgrading a Rockwell aren't too worried about weight savings, since these are extremely heavy axles to begin with. But some of the other issues you raise are almost impossible to discuss in a single general tech story-any driveshaft, oilpan or exhaust clearance problems, for instance, will vary from vehicle type to vehicle type, and will depend on how much lift you're running, or whether or not you've relocated your engine and transmission, or whether you've "dropped" your transfer case to reduce driveline angles, or what kind of oilpan and exhaust setups you've installed, etc. And if you're building your own trail rig from the ground up-which a lot of Rockwell guys do-these shouldn't be issues at all, since you can engineer these potential interference "problems" out of the equation when your rig is still in the drawing board stages.

Treading on a Case of Mistaken Identity?
On page 14 of my June 2010 issue, I read an article about BFGoodrich winning King of The Hammers yet again. In the same issue, starting on page 36, I read Robin Stover's article ("A Dream Realized") about his ride with Loren Healy, the winner of the race. As I read on, I noticed the sentence about Goodyear stepping in to provide tires? I glanced at the photos-yup, there's even a Goodyear badge on his rig. Throw the winged foot some props!
Scott Paquette
Littleton, CO

Read the article again. Robin rode shotgun with his buddy Derek Summers, not Loren Healy, and Derek indeed ran Goodyears in the race.

Editors: Not Stupid, Just Mathemetically Challenged

I just read your article "Fullsize Fun in Alaska" (May '10). Great story, though I did notice that you referred to Alaska as the 50th state when in fact it is the 49th state.
Andrew Carmichael
Kodiak, AK

Good Mileage = A Patriotic Duty

I enjoyed the reports on the Jeep Patriot (June '10). We bought one in 2008, and enjoy driving ours, but ours is a Sport model with a five-speed manual trans, four-wheel drive, and we are getting around 28 to 30 mpg highway. The only mod we've made is a K&N air filter and so far we've had no problems. I haven't gone off-road with it-that's what my 2005 Rubicon is for.
Ed Orth
York, PA

We didn't log any highway mileage figures with our tester that was quite as high as yours, but then again, our model was heavier, was used as a daily commuter in stop-and-go (i.e., bad-for-mileage) L.A. traffic, and yeah, we took ours off-road quite a bit, usually loaded with a couple of hundred pounds of gear. Your mileage may vary, as they say, and any data we pass along in our long-term tests should not be taken as gospel but simply as a baseline estimate of what a typical owner could expect. In a vehicle like the Patriot, however, our experiences will be somewhat unique since most owners won't spend as much time in the dirt with their rigs as we did. Thanks for writing in.

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