4-Wheel & Off-Road welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must include an address or a telephone number so the sender can be verified. Once verified, your name may be withheld at your request. Letters published in this magazine reflect the opinions of the writers, and we reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, brevity, or other purposes. Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos. Digital photos must measure no less than 1600 x 1200 pixels (or two megapixels) and be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file.
Editor, 4-Wheel & Off-Road
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Reader: I love your magazine and have been reading it since way before I could drive, although I have never written in before. However, when I read about the yellow Corona Jeep idea in Drivelines (Aug. '05), I had to send you a picture of what the beer salesmen drive around here. Sorry for the poor picture quality; I snapped them with my phone. They found a new use for the Unlimited too: more advertising space. This fact leads me to a question I've been wondering about the Jeep Unlimited. A friend of mine drives a Limited edition Jeep Liberty. Does that mean sometime in the future we could expect to see a Limited Unlimited? Anyway, thanks for the awesome magazine and keep up the good work.
College Station, TX
Editor: This is a far better color scheme than the electric lime green TJ you made mention of, and this one has much more potential. Note the color we painted this year's Ultimate Adventure K10 pickup and do the math. And as far as an Unlimited Limited, it could be a Limited Unlimited. And no one at DaimlerChrysler (Jeep) wanted to give us any more information, citing something to the effect that they decline to comment on future products. Now that's Limited information, so to speak.
Our Cheap Crate Engine
Reader: First of all, I just want to say you guys rock! You work hard to keep everyone informed on the latest in the off-road world. I especially love the Cheap Truck Challenge and things along that line. I just have one question regarding the August '05 issue and your Ultimate K10 project. You stated that the buildup would be as cheap as possible, yet the first thing you buy is a $4,900 engine. I have owned several 4x4s and never had that kind of dough in any of them. If it were me, I would buy a remanufactured 454 and save part of that money for other things that would be nice to have (maybe not necessary), but things that would make the journey to my favorite mud hole a little more enjoyable. I have been a subscriber for about 10 years now and will be for as long as I live. I am not knocking you guys. That engine thing just didn't seem very cheap to me.
Editor: Cheap is a relative word, and some relatives are cheaper than others. We should have said the best value for your dollar can be a crate engine. For instance, we chose the Chevy Ramjet 350 since you don't need a core, you save tons of time by not building it, it's a proven product with the specs in a book, ours includes the intake and ignition system, and it only takes four wires to hook it up. Simple and reliable often pays for itself in this department, where we could have spent less but gotten less as well. That's also one reason they are such a good seller-they work.
Ultimate K10 Buildup
Reader: I like the idea of the Ultimate K10, but from watching all of the DVDs of your Ultimate Adventures it seems like every rig gets smashed to bits. On this truck why not put an exocage on it like the XJ? It would be neat to see how it would help (or perhaps hinder) the truck off road. I'm building a similar project, and would love to see how that mod would fare. Everything else is the same: D70 rear, D60 front, three-speed Automatic, 203/205 Doubler, "moderate" big-block, mild lift with fender mods for 40- to 42-inch rubber. I really am looking forward to this build! Thanks for a great magazine!
Editor: Good point, Brian, but the idea is to wheel hard without smashing things. And you are right; an exocage can hinder a rig by getting it caught up in trail trash. We think we have a good combo going and you can check out the wrapup on the Ultimate K10 in this issue (page 98), as well as Part I of the Ultimate Adventure 2005 (page 30).
Print My Rig's Photo!
Reader: I would like to have pictures of my '01 Dodge 1500 printed in your fine publication, but I get the feeling that if your unit isn't way back in the boonies, covered in mud, flying through the air, or looking like it's ready to flip over on its side, it doesn't get published. That may be fine for some folks, and I don't fault anyone for that, but I have the phrase "Too pretty to dirty" decaled on my tailgate, and don't care to spend time at the car wash, or making a parts run Monday morning. Don't get me wrong, I love to take it out in the hills and have it strut its stuff, but getting it covered in several inches of mud, flying thru the air, and replacing axles and shocks every Monday doesn't boost my manhood. Does having my rig geared toward towing a camper make me less a four-wheeler than other guys? No way, dude. Now that's me, and other four-wheelers can do whatever floats their boat. I feel that other four-wheel trucks should be considered to have their rigs published. Other than the "four-wheelin' profiling" your publication is guilty of, I still like to read it cover to cover. Maybe having the pictures broken down to different categories, like extreme, rock climbers, daily drivers, and so on would help.
Editor: We agree with you, and by looking at this month's Readers' Rides you'll see that only one is in the rocks. The others are just in the dirt or grass. You can do that, right? We just feel that at the very least your photos should have some sort of setting or background that helps people get into the theme of wheeling. However, driveway photos next to a house with a telephone pole growing out of the cab or hood just turn us off, so no; we won't use them unless your rig is the absolute most killer bitchin' awesome ride in the world. If it is, give it a try. We have boxloads of discarded Readers' Rides photos that don't make the cut.
Cheap Ultimate K10
Reader: This is the first time I have felt compelled to write a letter concerning one of your projects. Your idea of an Ultimate Adventure vehicle that is within the budget of average working class people is outstanding. While your projects for the past three years have been on the far side of awesome, they were just as far from reality for 90 percent of your readers. Your plans hit close to home and I certainly plan to follow your buildup of the K10 very closely as I am currently building a '79 Dodge 11/42-ton. Getting back to basics will be a refreshing change from your most recent projects.
Editor: We've also had a few letters blasting us for spending so much money on our K10, but most readers are grabbing the concept behind this project. Sure we could have done it all bare-bones and budget, but we also have to show the reader the trick stuff at the same time, so we feel that a compromise in the truck in addition to a well laid out plan is just what we need to show. Our plans for other rigs call for even a more bare-bone project, as we cut and turn axles in our home kitchen and clean engine blocks in the hot tub with a box of detergent. We've done it before, but keep getting dissed by our spouses for such actions.