Take a BeatingReal 4x4s, the ones used off road, eventually look as bad as the roads they travel. Every dent and scratch has its own story that needs to be told, but there comes a time when your wife and friends refuse to be seen riding around in town with you. So now you have to make a choice: Divorce your wife and find new friends, or fix up the truck.
I have owned numerous 4x4s, the real ones that ran great but looked terrible. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on bodywork and paint that may not be there in a month, yet I wanted the vehicle to be presentable on the streets. The solution I came up with is cheap, easy, and fun and is only limited by your imagination.
I use a good grade of flat exterior house paint. I have a CJ-2A I painted four years ago that still looks good. The paint does great-looking desert camo, jungle camo, OD, straight colors, and designs. The stuff is practically bulletproof. Tree branches won't take it off, but if you get into a pile of rocks it's easy to touch up.
You can use a cheap airless sprayer or-believe it or not-my favorite, a plain old paint brush. You can do a great freehand camo paint job with three colors with an airless sprayer in about four hours. It will be as good as any of the military camo paint jobs and will only cost about $25.James AngletonTucson, AZ
Put Her in 4-HiIn Drivelines (Sept. '99) you did not mention the fact that the Troy Lee model is two-wheel drive. This truck has a two-wheel-drive drivetrain with 4x4 suspension and a 4x4 frame. Did you not know these important facts?Mark Milliganby e-mail
If it were two-wheel drive, that would explain a few things! The model we tested was four-wheel drive. The Troy Lee package is available on both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models.
NullingI saw that null gauge in "Something for Almost Nothing" (Sept. '99) and thought I'd tell you what it might be for. In electronics we use nulling to zero inputs to amplifiers. That gauge was probably used to tell if the two inputs to something were properly matched-if I knew what it came from I might be able to tell you more.Clifton Morrisby e-mail
No, You Get Out I can understand why the author of the "Get Out" letter (Letters, Sept. '99) withheld his name. With the degree of intolerance and bias he showed, he should be ashamed. I am originally from the country (southern Illinois), and now I live in Los Angeles, so I've seen both sides of the fence. I grew up camping and fishing in the woods and river bottoms around my home. This is where I learned my deep love and respect for the outdoors.
The 15 years I spent in the military destroyed my body enough that I can't safely hike into the country now. I built and modified my truck myself and spend my free time going out and enjoying our public lands. I am just as enraged as anyone else at someone ignorant and disrespectful enough to cause the kind of damage he described in his letter. I always pack out all of my trash and generally pick up anything else I find discarded. When I find someone littering or acting irresponsibly with our environment, I don't hesitate to turn him in. In a case like the letter writer described, I think whoever is responsible should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Please try to keep in mind that the vast majority of four-wheelers are responsible, mature adults. I may end up being that nice guy that pulls you or your family out of a ditch some cold, rainy night. It wouldn't be the first time I've done it, and as long as I'm able it wouldn't be my last.Mike KammLos Angeles, CA
Mil SpecsI was glad to see Hardcore GIs" (Sept. '99). I found it very informative, and the pictures were great. Where would 4x4 technology be without military purpose? However, your picture of the 6x6 shows an M35 211/42-ton, most noticeable by the six-lug pattern on the wheels (5-tons have 10 lugs and much larger axles).
My friends and I noticed the lack of M880s (Dodge Power Wagons from the late '70s), M1008s, and M1009 CUCVs ('80-to-present Chevy Blazers and 3500s). Because there are not enough HMMWVs to go around, reserve forces are forced to use them. Thousands of these Dodge and GM intermediate vehicles/government bailouts have served our nation for nearly a quarter of a century.
I never have been a big fan of them, but I think they at least deserve an honorable mention. Surplus buyers will be seeing more and more of these in the near future. I am sure you already know their specs, but I'll repeat them anyway. The M1008 and M1009 have 6.2L GM diesel engines, TH400s, and NP208s. The M1008 111/44-tons have Dana 60 frontends and 14-bolt rearends. M1009s have 12-bolt fronts and rears.Winston ChapmanDuluth, MN
More SniperI'm writing in response to "The Sniper" (Sept. '99). You mention the name of the company that builds this tubular creation, but not the address. I'm very interested in the buggy and would like to find out more information.Ryan FountainOrillia, Ontario, Canada
Avalanche Engineering can be reached at Dept. 4WOR, 40039 Hwy. 160 E., Bayfield, CO 81122, 800/650-4086, www.avalancheengr.com. The company offers the Sniper in various kit forms as well as turnkey units.
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