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Off-Road Unloaded - Letters to the Editor - January 2013

1979 Cj7
Posted January 1, 2013

Editor’s Note: If you want to say or ask something, email Unloaded at or write:

Unloaded, OFF-ROAD Magazine, 1733 Alton Parkway, Ste. 100, Irvine, CA 92606

Remember, we’re giving away swag every month to the author of our favorite letter. Be sure to include your address, so we know where to send your goods.

Our letter writers are getting multiple copies of The Bourne Legacy- the newest of the Jason Bourne series. You get a Blu-Ray copy, and a digital copy of the movie for your perusing pleasure. Thought it doesn't feature Jason Bourne, it continues on with the saga. The Bourne Legacy hits stores in December 2012.

Grab Handles

I noticed the Grab Handles in the ’70 K20 in your August 2012 issue. I probably studied the truck a little too hard because I have one! I just got my ’70 K20 two months ago with a Skyjacker 4-inch lift, an NP205, an Eaton rear end, a wood bed, and some other cool stuff.

Anyhow, I like the grab handles. Let me know if you recognize them. I’m in the market for A-Pillar grab bars.

Love your magazine. Thanks.


Our ’67-’72 GMC/Chevy guy, Agustin Jimenez, weighs in:

Those grab handles actually look like those similar to ones I saw at a home center. I bet some handles from the plumbing department at Home Depot could be made to work, but I don’t really want to suggest that. …

Trans-Dapt has some handles that look almost identical to the handles in the K20. They’re made by Performance Products. I’m not sure about the mounting hardware, though. I’d be willing to bet you could make a great one with a Home Depot handle, nut-serts, and Grade 8 hardware.

Saab Off-Roader

Here’s an eye-catching and rare specimen for your collection: a 1960s Saab racing off-road. I took this during the re-birth of NORRA in 2010. I never saw this old Saab again at the 2011 or 2012 events.

Timo Kallen

Hydraulic Ram Placement

I could use a good answer on installing hydraulic-assist steering on my ’74 Bronco. I think the way the Herman Brothers did it on their Broncos in the May 2012 issue is the best, but nobody else does it this way. Why not? Thanks for your help.

Stormin Norman
Belleville, Michigan

Well, “best” is a relative term, as I’m sure you know, Norman. Sometimes, placing a hydraulic-assist steering ram is simply a matter of trying to find a spot you can mount it.

The Herman Brothers’ Broncos both had hydraulic-assist rams attached from the frame to the pitman arm. This keeps the rams high and out of harm’s way and it alleviates force on the steering box and its sector shaft. But, it does not alleviate stress in the steering system below the pitman arm and is still pushing against the frame to turn the tires.

With a hydraulic-assist ram between the axlehousing and tie rod, the assisting steering force is put directly onto the tie rod (pushing off the axle). This takes pressure off the draglink, pitman arm, sector shaft, steering box, suspension, and frame.

PSC Motorsports always recommends isolating the steering from the suspension, and placing the ram on the draglink or pitman arm is introducing even more steering input into the suspension.

While both ways help improve the ability to turn the tires more easily, placing the ram on the axle will probably be your best bet unless you’re making other modifications that prohibit it.

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