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January 2012 Inbox - Letters To The Editor

Posted in Features on January 1, 2012
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I was reading Inbox in the Oct. ’11 issue and noticed a letter written by Brian McMahon. He claims that International never used the 392ci engine in a Scout. Well, I had a ’68 Scout that I purchased used right after I graduated high school in 1976 with that engine in it. It was my first 4x4.

I have no idea what the horsepower ratings or the gear ratios of that old Scout were, but I once pulled my uncle’s unloaded 18-wheeler semi truck out of a ditch with it. I miss that old Scout.
Marshall Rice
Rome, GA

The International Scout was never available with a 392ci V-8 from the factory. I’m not saying your Scout didn’t have one, but it was likely swapped in at a later date if it did. The 345ci and 392ci share many components and have the same architecture so it’s not an unreasonable possibility. Your Scout was almost ten years old by the time it came to you, who knows what could have happened.

404 or 406 and More Turtle
I don’t try to point out faults or corrections, but I am a little confused after reading “Upping the Ante” (Oct. ’11). Twice in the article you mention that Robb upgraded his Unimog 404 portal axles to 406’s. And once in a photo you mention them being 406s, yet under “The Details” they are listed as 404s.

I would like to see more FJ stuff, but I do understand that the current demographics are basically Jeeps and big diesels. Please keep doing articles about overlanding and anything with the Turtle V. Keep up the great work.
Mark Brouillard
Kent, WA

Sorry about that. It’s a misprint. Robb’s axles are indeed from a Unimog 406. The 406 axles are substantially larger and beefier than the 404 axles.

You are in luck Mark. Keep your eye out for the 50th Anniversary issue of Four Wheeler (Feb. ’12). Inside you’ll find info and images of all the Turtle vehicles used over the last 42 years!

MPG Mystery
In “2010 Ram Power Wagon”(Oct. ’11), it states your best test tank mpg was 14.05. Television and other ads, tout the Hemi, as getting up to 20 mpg. What’s the story here? Were you towing all the time, or is there much difference between a two-wheel-drive and the Power Wagon?
Rodney Eppes
Mount Holly, NC

The 20 mpg truck that is being touted in recent Ram ads is the Ram 1500 (1⁄2-ton), two-wheel-drive model with the Multi-Displacement System (MDS). When you step up to a 2500 (3⁄4-ton) or 3500 (1-ton), the Hemi is no longer available with the cylinder-deactivating MDS technology. In order to achieve heavy-duty capability, the HD trucks also combine a stouter frame with heavier springs, longer wheelbase, and increased bed lengths on certain models, all of which adds weight. In the case of the Power Wagon, it also comes with an elevated ride height, 4.56 gears and 33-inch tires. All of these improve capability, but at the expense of fuel economy. Currently, any vehicle that exceeds a GVWR of 8,500-pounds (the Power Wagon comes in at 8,510-pounds) is exempt from government fuel economy testing.
Sean P. Holman
Tech Editor, Four Wheeler

Whoa Flashback 1982!
I am a long-time reader. This is my first time writing you. I am looking for contact information for Richard Johnson. I am not sure of any work Richard has done other than the article and photos of “King Kong” in the Oct. ’82 issue of Four Wheeler. Any help on this would be appreciated.
Richard Scott
#1 King Kong Fan
Via email

Wow, I couldn’t even begin to tell you where to find that particular Richard Johnson. But it is a fairly common name so maybe some other one will do! Try Google. Good luck.

How To Tech
How do I send a tech question to Techline and Willie Worthy?
Trotwood, OH

Simple, you can contact Willie by emailing your questions to or snail mailing them to Four Wheeler, C/O John Cappa, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245. I’ll make sure Willie gets the questions. Also, don’t forget that you can post up questions on our forums at

Magical Mystery Military Rig
Can someone please help me with some information about a truck I’ve seen for sale? It’s a 1980 AM General M920 8x8, a Desert Storm veteran turned RV.
Ben in Florida

The M920 is actually an 8x6, but either way, if you want a rig that’s virtually unbreakable, and you have a place that’s big enough to store it (it’s 11 feet tall, 26 feet long, and weighs 31,000 pounds), it’s quite a piece of work. It runs a Cummins 14-liter turbodiesel that produces 1,250 lb-ft of torque, a Caterpillar 16-speed tranny, and Rockwell 4-ton axles. Towing capacity is just a hair under 100,000 pounds, and GVW is 75,000. We even featured an M820 in the magazine a few years back; go to, type “M920” in the search box, and you’ll find all this info, and a lot more.

Vintage Jeep Junkyard
I own a ’51 Willys Jeep (body and frame only). I need to buy an engine, transmission, transfer case, differentials, and wiring harness. I have some of the minor parts. Back in 2009 (I think), there was an article about a wrecking yard in Phoenix, Arizona, that specialized in old Jeep parts. Is it possible I can get the information from you? If need to, I’ll buy the back issue for the information.
Daniel Janik
El Paso, TX

We didn’t publish that story, but we’re pretty sure we know the place you’re talking about: Try Desert Valley Auto Parts at 800/905-8024,

First-Time 4x4
I’m a prospective first-time four-wheeler. I want to get to the four-wheeling trails and backpacking trailheads that my Toyota Camry can’t. Keep the following specs in mind:
’04 model year or later.
Minimal fuel and maintenance expense, this needs to be a daily driver without breaking the bank.
Also per being a daily driver, it should have the ability to seat at least four halfway comfortably.
Usable cargo space and ability to get my surfboard down to the beach.
Ability to haul would be cool, but it’s the least important of all considerations.
Plentiful availability of accessories would be nice, but also a less of a concern.

I’m not looking to do anything super technical, just get the most bang for the buck while meeting the aforementioned considerations. Any recommendations? What price range would I be looking at? Are there any good resources/deal venues I should checkout?

If I were you I’d be looking for a ’97-’01 four-door Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4. It comes with the 4.0L inline-six and look for the auto tranny (it’s an AW4). This engine/tranny is a 250,000-mile-plus combo if well maintained. With the stock-sized tires you can muster up to and over 20 mpg. You can find more info on this vehicle along with several others in “Best Buys in Used 4x4s” elsewhere in this issue.

To Keep Our Honor Clean, We’re Sending Magazines
First, I have to say that I love the magazine. I try to buy it every time I see it in the store, but now it’s a little harder to get it; I’m deployed with Battalion 1/1, and like every Marine, getting the new issue of Four Wheeler is like gold and makes us feel for a second like we never left home. You can say I have two loves in my life—four-wheel-drive and the Marine Corps. Right now I have my eye on a ’10 Tacoma 4x4 double-cab when I get home, but until then, I would be very grateful if you can send some magazines and anything else you can. I can’t wait to be home so I can buy a truck and work on it. Thank you, and Semper Fi!
Cpl. Carlos Estrada
Moreno Valley, CA

Thank you, solider. A box of FW goodies is on its way to you and the boys in Alpha Company. And be sure to send us some photos of your Tacoma once you’ve finished building her.

Wheeling Aus Deutschland
I’m in the U.S. Army and am stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany. I have an ’02 Jeep Liberty 4x4 and would really like to find somewhere to go off-roading here in Germany. I was hoping y’all might have some suggestions. Thanks, and keep up the good work.
PFC Beau Blanchard
Perkinston, MS

We can’t say we know a whole lot about wheeling over there, but we did find a list of German “best off-roading trails” at Wikiloc ( While we can’t verify whether these trails are open to the public, or even if they exist at all, it’s a place to start. Perhaps one of our readers who lives or is stationed overseas has some suggestions for you. Readers?

6x6 Envy
I love the look of 6x6 trucks. I’ve looked everywhere for photos of them and can’t seem to find much. I’m building one as a project and need some images for inspiration.

We did a feature on a’95 Dodge Ram 2500 6x6 with a V-10 engine. You can find more info about it in the Oct. ’04 issue of Four Wheeler. You can also find info and images online by going to and typing “T-Rex” into the search box.

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.

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