Our Readers Write back
All-Around Nice Guy
I cannot thank you enough. Talk about making someone’s retirement! I had no idea you were going to do a cover spread on my rig. The cover and article inside are awesome. Everybody thinks so. Your pictures are great and you really captured my excitement regarding my rig, me, and my retirement.
The funny part is that Brubaker and I were driving around an event in the desert looking for potential features. When we found Teeple’s truck, we crawled all around it checking out the details. Teeple had forgotten to lock his tool boxes, had seen us wandering around the 4x4, and thought we were looking to grab something!
Death Wobble Cured
I had been reading your competitor for years, and now I’m a new subscriber to Four Wheeler. The first issue I read had “Death Wobble” (Nov. ’12) in it. My wife has an ’04 Jeep Rubicon (same color as our motorhome) with 33-inch tires and all of the bells and whistles, but she won’t drive it even to the store for groceries. The death wobble scares her to death. After many battles for two years, three alignments, balancing tires and checking the joints. I followed your suggestions and had my wife rock the steering wheel back and forth with the engine off. I found the joint on the end of the adjustable track bar looked loose and was moving up and down. I ordered a new part from Currie, drilled out the tapered mount to 5⁄8-inch, bought the Grade 8 bolt, washers, and lock nut, used the jam nut that was on the original joint (it had the same thread pitch), and installed the new joint. Guess what? No more death wobble! Now my wife can go shopping.
Years ago, I was an avid wheeler and I just picked up a recent issue of Four Wheeler. I enjoyed your article about wrenching wherever you happen to live at the time, in the available space (Firing Order, Nov. ’12), and I can truly sympathize! Previous neighbors of mine were not fans of our hobby! I’ve been in that situation before and I’m in that situation now; I used to have a great garage that was all set up with almost everything I could need, minus a machine shop I suppose. That all went away when I got divorced. I’ve been really motivated lately, though; I just don’t have the space to start wrenching again. It’s kind of depressing to see winter rolling in on the Minnesota/South Dakota border because the garage where I live now isn’t finished and it has no insulation. Plus, it holds my Camaro and the girlfriend’s Ford Edge. My move out to eastern South Dakota was supposed to be temporary, but my girlfriend loves her job here. The plan was to move once her boss retired this year, but now he is running, unopposed, for another term as the State’s Attorney. I haven’t even brought all of my tools out because I simply don’t have room for them here. I do have room for the basics though, luckily.
I’m originally from Wyoming and I’m a Chevy guy. I’m fortunate to still have the ’75 Scottsdale that I bought just out of high school. It’s been through a lot over the last 16 years and it is currently just a frame and axles. It remained in Wyoming when I moved (that whole space thing); along with all of the parts I have for it. I wish I could say for sure when I’d be getting back to putting it together. My Chevy started life as a ½-ton, but it now has a Dana 60 with an Offroad Design crossover hi-steering setup and a 14-bolt rear axle with discs. It also has 5.13 gears and ARB Air Lockers. I assembled a doubler four years ago from an NP205 and the range box from an NP203, and even changed the forks so I can engage just the front or just the rear. I still need to put the 700R4 together, but the 415ci small-block Chevy short-block has been ready since late 2009. I put it together on Performance Trends’ compression ratio calculator before I decided to build it. It will be so good to hear it mix fuel with air and ignite it someday soon.
I love your magazine and you guys are doing a great job. I love all the low-buck build articles and tech tips. However, I have noticed that your magazine is headed more and more into this low-buck direction. Even the blogs on www.fourwheeler.com talk about a Top Truck Challenge that is more about factory-looking 4x4s.
I think you are missing a big point of the magazine. The majority of people who pick up an exotic sports car magazine are not the people who drive or own an exotic sports car. We pick up the magazine to dream, to look at what we cannot have and fantasize about how cool it would be to drive one of those. We then pin up the pictures in our shops and garages. Same with Four Wheeler, we like to see the exotic extreme off-road rigs so that we can dream. We don’t want to read about the same piece of crap we have sitting in our own garage. Nor do we want to spend money on a DVD of a bunch of guys wheeling a truck that is similar to what we wheel on the weekend on similarly difficult obstacles. I can see that on any weekend trail ride. Four Wheeler should have both exotic and everyman’s rigs. TTC should stay focused on the most extreme rigs, competing in the most extreme conditions. Otherwise, TTC will go the way of Real Truck Challenge.
Last year’s TTC DVD was the best in a long time. Great action, got to see all the rigs, good music, well produced, and with a fun host. I hope this year’s and the years to come are just as good or better.
Letter Of The Month
In a recent issue you stated that Ford was the only one of the Big Three that did not need to get federal assistance. I am a Ford guy and I hate to admit that my company is any worse than the others, but I have to be honest. There has been a misconception that Ford had always been doing well and never needed any help. This is incorrect. Ford was the first of the Big Three to have financial troubles, and they went for help before GM and Chrysler so they missed all the bad press. In 2006 Ford’s debt was at $32.6 billion, so they needed to restructure or go belly up. The company put up for collateral all the North American plants and all of the trademarks for restructuring loans. Without a cash infusion, the heavy costs of Ford’s restructuring plan could have sent Ford searching for bankruptcy court protection in 2009. In 2008 Ford requested another $9 billion line of credit from the U.S. government, which was denied, and in 2009 Ford received a $5.9 billion loan from the Department of Energy for re-tooling the plants. All of this helped Ford avoid more discussions of bankruptcy, and the company missed all the bad publicity. But to say that Ford was the only American automaker that did not need bailout is incorrect.
Salt Lake City, UT
For pointing out the facts and truth despite common belief we’re sending Mark his very own copy of Ted. From the creator of “Family Guy” Ted is the irreverent, hilarious story of the bond between a man (Mark Wahlberg) and his teddy bear, Ted (voiced by Seth McFarlane), who came to life as a result of a childhood wish…and refused to leave his side ever since. Ted is on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Ultraviolet December 11. www.tedisreal.com.
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.