After reading the Inbox section of the May ’12 issue, I realized how much crap people give you guys over stupid issues. I just wanted to let you know that I love reading Four Wheeler and I read every last word on every single page. I don’t even have my own subscription; my boss gets them at my work and looks at them, then gives them to me. Sometimes I read them for my entire 6-hour Saturday shift and have nothing bad to say about them. I’m 17 and have a ’98 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 4.0L. Despite my age, you’d be surprised at how well I try to maintain it. The Jeep was in an accident and now it has a bent axle. Sadly it’s time for me and my Jeep to part, but almost all of the modifications I’ve made to it were influenced by Four Wheeler. I really do enjoy reading and can’t believe that some people don’t.
Barn Door Dreaming
After reading your editorial (Firing Order, May ’12) about the loss of tailgates I was reminded of the loss of rear barn doors on SUVs. I used to sell GMC trucks and SUVs and I would often encounter customers with horses that wanted barn doors so they could open them when their trailers were hooked up. GM no longer offers barn doors and Ford killed the Excursion so where do you get a family hauler that can tow an enclosed trailer and still have access to the back? Keep up the good work.
Tailgated SUV Option
Regarding Firing Order (May ’12), it depends on what your father is looking for—it may not be durable enough but the Mitsubishi Outlander has a tailgate. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi wasn’t bright enough to include a point on the upper door that can secure it while the tailgate is down. However, the enterprising can come up with a solution there. It’s a pretty soft SUV though, more CUV so it might not be of any use. I’ve found the rear suspension way too soft to carry much weight.
I couldn’t believe it when I saw your tailgate photo (Firing Order, May ’12). This picture is from a Boy Scout trip going from Arlington, Texas, to Colorado. This is an overnight stop in Amarillo. I use my tailgate for a workbench and table all the time. Thanks for the great picture and story.
I’ve been four-wheeling off and on for most of my life, and I just have to make a few comments. First of all tailgates, I’m with your Dad on this one (Firing Order, May ’12), why do we have to put up with this situation?
Second, you replied to Dave Kupfer of Louisiana (Inbox, May ’12) with a good answer and towards the end “so that’s what our evaluation focuses on—off-road capability.” Now I realize why I never read any of the off-road magazines any longer. If I was interested in off-road capability, I would buy one of those sprung-over, highly-articulated vehicles that can go anywhere.
All of my four wheeling life I’ve been searching for a vehicle that enables me to do the following:
Leave Friday afternoon after work with two people and enough camping gear to camp primitive for two nights. Camp Friday night near the trailhead and run the trail on Saturday taking everything with me. This would include two five gallon gas cans, a Hi-Lift jack, a tool bag (which has to contain both SAE and Metric, plus a good assortment of Torx drivers.), then of course there are the 15 must haves as outlined by Cole Quinnell (“Must Haves,” May ’12). But of course the vehicle would have to be capable of running the trail.
To me that would be the real test.
Sooo, you mean basically the way we test the vehicles now, which includes highway, storage capacity, comfort, and off-road performance, among other things?
This is my rig in Afghanistan. It’s little bit bigger than my XJ and about 35,000 pounds heavier but it still handles the rough stuff!
Top Truck Turnaround
I am concerned Top Truck Challenge is getting too far away from reality. I know everyone wants to see the new and innovative products and see what people can build. But it’s Top “Truck” Challenge, not Top Buggy Challenge. I think if the vehicle doesn’t resemble or have some form of factory vehicle look, it shouldn’t be allowed. It’s not fair that a guy who has $10,000 into his whole truck has to compete against a guy or full race shop team that has $70,000 or more into their truck. So, overall I think TTC needs to be brought back down to reality
I can see both sides of this issue. On the one hand, the buggies represent the pinnacle of today’s 4x4 capability. On the other hand, a competitive Top Truck buggy is not very practical for most people.
Having entered a budget-built full-steel bodied truck to Top Truck Challenge myself in 2005 I get your point. But, since this year is the 20th anniversary of Top Truck, we’re going all out cage-fight crazy with it by inviting the past 19 years’ worth of winners and one reader. Anything goes and there are no classes.
Next year will be a different story. The Four Wheeler staff and I have plans to make some significant changes for the 2013 Top Truck Challenge. If you like full-bodied 4x4s, you won’t be disappointed.
I have been a subscriber to your magazine for a few years now and I can’t put down any issue. The in-depth comparison on oil filters (“Filter Fodder”) in the Feb. ’12 issue was a great article. It’s something I’ve always wondered about and obviously never had the money to test myself. The tire guide in the most recent issue (“4x4 Tire Guide,” Apr. ’12) has me ready to spend $1,500 on some new rubber. That being said, I do have a couple of complaints. The first is that in every issue I have read there has been some moron writing you a letter complaining about you guys not writing enough about this or that or even complaints about a truck that wins Top Truck Challenge. Get over it! It drives me crazy. You guys have less than a hundred pages, you can’t report on everything in one issue and just because the winner of Top Truck may not have built it doesn’t mean anything, somebody put blood sweat and gears into it, so suck it up and try harder next year. The second complaint is that I only get one issue a month. Oh, and by the way, I am a family man and my wife and two young boys love to wheel with me so I have and need a fullsize pickup; it is great to see more of them gracing the cover.
I was just reading “4x4 Tire Guide,” (Apr. ’12). Haven’t you people ever heard of Firestone tires? I am wondering why this brand is never mentioned in any kind of articles involving tires for 4x4s. I happen to know Firestone makes a very highly-rated tire called the Firestone Destination M/T. If you look at the ratings for this kind of tire at Tire Rack, you will find it is rated as the second best tire for off-road and snow. This is a very highly rated tire that I believe should be included in your next round of tire tests. I believe this is the very tire I will be buying when I need another set of tires for my Dodge Ram 4x4.
Wait, isn’t that the tire company that makes tires that cause vehicles to rollover and catch on fire? Only kidding. Actually, the tires we have listed in “4x4 Tire Guide” are tires that we have personally tested on- and off-road for many thousands of miles. Unfortunately, we don’t have the manpower to test and report on every single tire in existence to this level, so many have been left out.
You never gave the mileage on your dad’s Bronco (Firing Order, May ’12). Here is a photo of mine with 64,000 original miles, mint condition inside and out.
I probably wouldn’t take $500 for mine, either.
In “Very Bad Things,” (May ’12) on page 42, in the top right photo caption, it is not a hex head bolt. It is a SHCS (socket head cap screw).
Kooky Idea Of The Month
Since John Reitz has what we think is the kookiest yet, most interesting idea of the month, we’re sending him a Father’s Day video twin pack of Safe House and The Grey.
John is getting the action-packed Father’s Day he craves with two pulse-pounding Blu-ray Combo Packs from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The thrilling survival epic, The Grey, stars Liam Neeson and is available on Blu-ray Combo Pack with UltraViolet and DVD May 15; Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds star in the action blockbuster, Safe House, on Blu-ray and DVD June 5.
I have a project vehicle idea I have pitched to Chevrolet, but I am sure you guys can make it happen much faster. Start with a Tahoe or Yukon, add a long-arm kit to move the axles outward, add long-travel suspension, 37- or 40-inch tires, and a lowering kit to lower the center of gravity. Hack the body and add flares to make it fit. If this were built by GM, it would replace the Hummer for severe-duty work such as Forest Service, mining, Red Cross, Border Patrol, and so on. Trophy trucks run long-travel, low-center-of-gravity suspensions, why can’t GM mass-produce them?
Where To Write
Address your correspondence to Four Wheeler, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 www.fourwheeler.com. Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.