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April 1998 Letters To The Editor

Posted in Features on April 1, 1998
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Patrolling The Waters
Dear Editor, I own a 1967 Nissan Patrol 4x4, and am having a very hard time finding parts in the U.S. Are there any Nissan clubs you know of?
Mike Shenefield
El Dorado, CA

As you already know, because of the limited number of Patrols in the U.S., parts, information, and accessories are scarce. An ambitious gentleman named Michael Paris is attempting to put together a newsletter and source list for those interested in Nissan's classic sport-ute. For information, contact Michael Paris, Dept. FW, P.O. Box 61078, Boulder City, NV 89006, or call 702/293-3973. As a side note, the '98 Patrol (sold in Asia and Australia) includes front and rear live axles, coil springs, and an electronically controlled rear swaybar disconnect.

Didn't Perform In The Clutch?
Hey gang, I was interested in the Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch featured in your "Toy Parts'' guide (Feb. '98), but when I called the number listed in the article, I was told it was no longer in service. Is the company out of business, or am I just dyslexic, or . . . ?
Charles-Clyde Uhl
Boyle Heights, CA

. . . Or we goofed. The correct contact information is: Centerforce Clutches, Dept. FW, 2266 Crosswind Dr., Prescott, AZ 86301, 520/771-8422; 520/771-8322 (Fax).

Perfect '85 Toyota Pickup
Dear Editor, In 1985, I purchased a brand-new Toyota XtraCab truck. Rarely driven since then (I own several other vehicles), it has only 8,700 miles on the odometer. The truck is in perfect cosmetic and mechanical condition. If I continue to hold the vehicle-which is what I'm inclined to do-how long do you think it will take for it to appreciate to an amount above its 1985 cost?
Gerald D. Giannangeli
Thompson Ridge, NY

According to our latest Kelley Blue Book, a brand-new SR5 XtraCab listed for under $10,000 in 1985, and, in good condition, runs between $5,000 and $6,000 now. Depending on the make and model, a vehicle kept in mint condition typically doesn't start appreciating value until it reaches its 20th or 25th birthday. Of course, all that gets thrown out the window if you find the right buyer. For more information, contact John Hendricks at Northwest Off-Road Specialties (Dept. FW, P.O. Box 1617, Bellingham, WA 98227-1617, 360/676-1200) or TLC Restoration & Sales (Dept. FW, 14743 Oxnard St., Van Nuys, CA 91411, 818/785-2200).

Early Bronco Corrects
Dear Four Wheeler, As an owner of a 1966 Ford Bronco, I must correct you on information supplied in the January '98 issue ("Early Bronco Engine Upgrade") by Damon W. Petersen. Model year 1966 was the first year for the Bronco. It came with a 170cid Straight-Six, three-speed manual transmission, single-master cylinder brakes, four-wheel drums, and manual steering. To my knowledge, a 302 V-8 with the automatic wasn't available until late 1967 or '68. I'm perfectly happy with my own Six. With the help of the steeper gears I've installed, I have no problem turning 38-inch tires.
Matt Zupan
McKeesport, PA

Thanks for the catch, but we might both be right. According to our sources, the 302 V-8 was offered as early as March 1966. Whether or not the mid-year V-8 option was actually designated a 1967 model or 1966 1/2, we'll leave for others to debate.

Hydraulic Winch Questions
Four Wheeler, I've been thinking (yes, it's a scary thing) about those new hydraulic winches. They seem like a good idea, but I was wondering how the small power-steering pump handles extra loads and what the fluid temperatures would be like during normal use. I know the manufacturers make the pumps with stock tires in mind. I recently converted my '71 Ford two-wheel drive automatic to a four-wheel drive with an NP 435 and NP 205 transfer case turning 35-inch TSL Thornbirds. While I was under the truck, I had the bright idea of hooking my power-steering system into my now-unused transmission cooler. Could this be a good idea to keep the power-steering fluid temperature down?
Tin Star
via the internet

It's advisable to add a finned cooler when dealing with trapped oils to dissipate heat buildup. Whether you do or not, hydraulic winch manufacturers do recommend that the p/s pump fluid be changed at the time of installation so it's sure to be clean upon use. The truth is that, regardless of the type of winch you have (electric or hydraulic), adding taller tires will put more stress on the steering pump, which may necessitate a steering pump cooler. Common sense says there's no reason why your idea shouldn't work. We've tried the hydraulic winch and like the fact that it saves weight-and as long as we've got our engine running, we'll have strong, continuous, heavy-duty pulling power.

More Compact 4x4 Info
Hello, I'm not getting much love for my '88 Ford Ranger Extended-Cab 4x4. Is there any publication that concentrates on mini-4x4s?
Rick Watkins
Chula Vista, CA

Not that we know of. However, in our January and February '98 issues, we published a two-part "How to Build a Ranger" series, which included many Bronco II building tips and ideas as well. For reprints, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, a written request, and $3 per article to Reprints, 3330 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 115, Santa Monica, CA 90405. With all the Ranger 4x4s out there, we're sure to run into more at the events we attend, which means we'll be able to get more in the magazine.

50-State Windsor Headers
To whomever, Would you be able to tell me whether anyone manufactures an emissions-legal header for my '95 F-250 4x4 with the 351 V-8? It has an air pump. Any information would be appreciated.
John V. Paranic
Freeland, PA

Try Edelbrock (Dept. FW, 2700 California St., Torrance, CA 90503, 310/781-2222, or Hedman Hedders & TD Performance (Dept. FW, 16410 Manning Way, Cerritos, CA 90703, 562/921-0404) for information. As a side note, you also might want to try one of the aftermarket high-performance (e.g. Ford Mustang) specialty companies. They'll have a few ideas for your engine as well.

More Praise For Compacts
Dear Editor, Most people fail to mention the 2.9-liter Rangers and Bronco IIs are well liked, and there are tons of them on the road. My mom has been a rural mail carrier since '83, and has loved her 4x4 Rangers from the beginning, from the first 2.8 to the newest 4.0-they've always been bulletproof. I've owned several myself, and currently have an '86 Bronco II with the 2.9-liter V-6 with 194,000 mile on it. I just put a new trans in it, and I'm currently in the process of installing a James Duff lift. It makes sense, as SUV prices climb, that a lot of people are going to look to '80s-model Bronco IIs.
Rick Greenland
Shawnee, OK

Full-Floating Land Rover Tech
Dear Editor, In you January '98 "Letters," you said the Land Rover Defender 90s only have full-floating axles in the rear. In fact, the axles are full-floating front and rear. I walked by a Disco that had the middle of the rim off and it had a full-floating hub.
via the Internet

You're correct. Full-floating front axles are quite common; by definition, anything that uses manual hubs is "full-floating.'' We neglected to state that the D-90 is one of the few full-time four-wheel drive vehicles with front and rear full-floaters. The new Range Rover axles use front and rear semi-floating axles, similar in design to the sealed-bearing Wrangler frontend (i.e., no hubs).

Comanche Wobble Fix
Dear Four Wheeler, I recently lifted my '89 Jeep Comanche three inches, and for two days it had no problems. However, on the third day, traveling down the highway, I hit a bump that sent my truck into a horrible shake. I slowed down, but as I sped up to 40 mph it came back. I tried tightening tie-rods, balancing tires, checking ball joints, removing driveshafts, all to no avail. After losing a lot of hair, I consulted the body shop that aligned the truck a few weeks earlier. After all that, it turned out to be the steering stabilizer. I hope this tidbit helps others troubleshooting their own problems.
Drew Wagner
Via the internet

Toyota Frontend Stress
Dear Sir, I own an '88 shortbed Toyota pickup with five-speed, 22-RE engine, 4.10:1 gears, 8-inch alloy rims, 32x11.50 BFGs, and a Northwest Off-Road 1.5-inch lift. I love the added height and ride control. I don't want to go any higher or get into a taller tire, but I do miss the lost downward wheel travel (a small decrease, but I miss it). I was thinking of cutting the bumpstops out from under the upper arms, but then the arms would hit the frame. My next thought was to buy aftermarket upper control arms, remove the bumpstops, and use limiting straps. Would this cause too much stress on the frontend?
Daniel Overcash
via the Internet

The bumpstops are there for a reason-constant-velocity (CV) knuckles in the IFS can be pulled out if too much droop is allowed by the control arms. Limiting straps will help, but will need to be checked regularly. Look for more tips from our soon-to-be-resurrected Project Good Ol' Toy.

Over (And Around) The Top
Four Wheeler, I'm just getting into 4x4s and saw the article on the Scorpion MK1 ("Over the Top," Jan. '98). How does the Chevy 350 TBI go into water so deep without stalling out? Wouldn't the compression have to be something like 10.0:1, if not more? I spent some time in the Army, and the Hummers were all diesels that had snorkels. I assumed this was for serious off-pavement handling and reliability. More torque and higher compression should allow you to go into serious water without stalls.

Next, what's the compression ratio of a standard diesel? I'm about to buy an '85 Bronco with a brand-new 351 Windsor, but am considering an engine swap. Do you know what the compression ratio is for the 6.9- or the 7.3-liter diesel?

Finally, what companies sell snorkel kits for trucks? For example, in Dante's Peak, a Suburban had a snorkel. Do they have to be diesels to use snorkels?
Troy A. Colon
Via the Internet

A vehicle's ability to ford water is not related to compression ratio. Regardless of the engine, once water enters, major problems arise. Snorkels will help keep water out, and will work for both gas and diesel engines that might see deep-water fording duty. ARB (Dept. FW, 1425 Elliott Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98119, 206/284-5906) offers Safari Snorkel kits for several trucks, one of which was adapted to fit the lifted early-'80s Suburban seen in Dante's Peak.

The Scorpion uses several techniques to avoid sucking water, the most obvious of which is cab-controllable ride height. Second, the air intake is inside the cab, right where the driver can watch rising water levels. Engine compression is nothing unusual: somewhere between 8.5:1 or 9.0:1. For more information, you can contact the brains behind the brawn, Soni Honegger, at Recovery Enterprises (Dept. FW, 1020 S. School Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72701, 501/442-0027).

Typical diesel compression ratios are very high in order to create ignition. Early versions ran in excess of 20:1 air-to-fuel ratios. Ford 6.9-liter V-8s operate at 21.5:1 compression, with the next-generation 7.3-liter direct-injection diesels dropping down to 17.5:1. The new 24-valve Cummins turbo diesel runs 16.3:1 compression.

Jeepster Club Love
Dear Editor, Regarding your "postage stamp'' artwork in "Letters" (July '97): I don't understand your use of the dates (1946 to 1964). The Willys-Overland Jeepster was produced from 1948 to 1951; however, all titled '51s were actually 1950 leftovers. The "Jeepster'' name was used by Kaiser for a line of late-'60s 4x4s based on the CJ-6. The "Jeepster Commando" came in either convertible models with continental spares, or station wagon, pickup, or other configurations. In 1972 or so, when AMC took over, the vehicles were then simply called "Commandos.''

Our club is made up of 400 die-hard Willys Jeepster enthusiasts who collect, restore, and drive these vehicles, certified as "Milestone Classics." In addition, we have regular meetings around the U.S and have other members in Canada, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden. For those also interested in the preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of the Willys Jeepster, particularly as we approach the vehicle's 50th anniversary (1948-1998), new members to the Willys-Overland Jeepster Club can join for $18, renewing members for $15. Our newsletter provides a forum for the exchange of parts and supplies, free member classifieds, along with technical items, historical features, and other items of interest to Jeepster owners. For more, contact Willys-Overland Jeepster Club, Dept. FW, 167 Worcester St., Taunton, MA 02780-2088, 508/880-1951.
Pete Mozzone
Taunton, MA

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