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October 2012 Inbox Letters to the Editor

Aev Brute Double Cab Jeep
John Cappa | Writer
Posted October 1, 2012

Our Readers Write Back

Best Ever?
I just got the July ’12 issue and I gotta say it’s the best one issue of any 4x4 mag I have ever read! I have subscribed to Four Wheeler over the years just for Top Truck. I otherwise found the mag rather boring. I subscribed to Jp for many years and I don’t even own a Jeep! I got it for the awesome info (how to narrow an axle at home, for example) and for the entertainment factor. When I read Firing Order, I laughed my tail off. In typical Cappa form, you told it how it is. The slow 350:1-geared Toyota’s is so spot on. Don’t get me wrong, I own a badass Toyota with dual T-cases, 42-inch Irok tires, 4.88 gears, a turbo transmission, a built turbo engine, and so on. I hate crawling, slow is boring. I built my truck for the snow, but the the new ’Yota trend is keepin’ them stupidly-low-geared. Anyway, I was just about to let my subscription run out, but I saw you took over and was pretty sure you would spice up the old mag and I was so right. Keep up the good work, I’m gonna be around awhile longer, thanks to you.
Erik Slye
Via email

Bedliner Question
Love the mag. It’s way more fun than the stuff I publish.

Anyway, I saw an article a while back about bedliners. My wife recycled the mag before I went and got the stuff. I think you tested it on an old white pickup and it held up really well. Do you remember the brand?

Just grabbed the July ’12 issue at the airport. I love that AEV Wrangler pickup. Keep up the good work.
Peter Sanderson
Wakefield, RI

Not sure what bedliner you are referring to, but if it’s a do-it-yourself liner, it might be Al’s Liner (www.alsliner.com). You can get it in custom colors and textures. The company even offers a low-cost professional series spray gun to lay down a consistent coating.

Disappointed Storm Trooper
I recently picked up the July ’12 issue of Four Wheeler on my trip to Orlando. I have to say, I was disappointed with your guidance advice. I was expecting some sort of cross reference chart where I could see gear size equivalencies between tire size and gears to help in selecting the right gears. Instead, I got general advice that was like, “Duh.”

I recently purchased a two-wheel drive F-150 and installed some 34-inch tires and custom rims. Although I don’t have a 4x4, I was going for the off-road look. Anyway, I noticed my rig dropping out of overdrive when driving at highway speeds. This led me to look into upgrading the rear axle from 3.55 to 4.11 axle gears. I was hoping this issue could have assisted in my decision, but unfortunately, it did not.

On a another note, I also read the Inbox letter titled “Black Is for Tires” in that same issue and wanted to say I feel the same way. That is why I went with custom powdercoated white rims. I attached a picture. I am finding that the powdercoating is easy to care for and maintain. Just thought you would like to know.
Brian Schmidt
Phoenix, AZ

Setting Us Straight
I always give someone credit for admitting a mistake/error, especially if they can joke about it at their own expense. I was hoping you would do the same. You printed my original correspondence in the June ’12 issue regarding the width of the Ford F-150 w/mirrors. In your e-mail reply you pointed out my error and sent me a link to a “free dictionary” that I found to be kind of rude and insulting. Printing my correspondence w/o (see I can use it correctly) my immediate response, and admission of my mistake while reading the statistics, shows me the apparent contempt you have for anyone who would question what is put in print. Hopefully you were just having a bad/stressful day, as I’m sure putting a magazine together every month is draining. I deal with the public constantly and know how much of a pain it can be, especially when dealing with know-it-alls. I am simply a nut for getting correct information disseminated; old wives tales are my pet peeve.

On that note, there were some errors in “Get Busy,” (July ’12), written by Ken Brubaker. These errors are very forgivable, as by my count he had six articles in that issue of Four Wheeler and no one can know everything. First is that the five-speed manual transmission was available in the early 7.3L Power Stroke Super Duty, not just the six-speed.

As far as the Dodge info goes; the Quad Cab replaced the Club Cab in 1998, the Club Cab was not available until 2000 as the article states. Another option that came along with the Quad Cab option was the availability of a short bed in the 2500 HD models. It should also be noted that the 24-valve engine is much less desirable than the older 12-valve. It is more complicated because of its electronics, the lift and injection pumps are less reliable and there is also a version that is known to develop cracks in the block. I agree with Ken that Dodge not having a true Crew Cab option was a huge mistake. Can you imagine how popular a Cummins-powered Crew Cab would have been from 1989-2002! Ford might have actually had some competition. Then when Dodge did bring out Crew Cabs they made one that is too small/short and one that is huge!? Dodge didn’t get it right until a couple of years ago.

I absolutely agree with you on the super-low gearing issues you brought up in Firing Order in that same issue. I would never buy a Wrangler Rubicon simply because of the 4:1 T-case gearing. In my type of wheeling in Oregon sometimes even a 2.72:1 is too low. Since I’m an NP205 fan anyway, I’m lucky that 2:1 (1.96:1) ends up being just right most of the time.
Jeff Hutchins
Corvallis, OR

According to the Ford press info, only the six-speed manual transmission was available in the early 7.3L Power Stroke Super Duty, not the five-speed manual. But you never know. It could have happened.

Also, in the story we said the Club Cab was discontinued for the 2000 model year, not available until 2000. And according to our research, the Club Cab was available for 1999.
Ken Brubaker
Senior Editor, Midwest Bureau

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