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December 2005 Letters To The Editor - In Box

Posted in Features on December 1, 2005
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Submission Information
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 Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos.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.

Write To:
4-Wheel & Off-Road
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515
Fax 323.782.2704

E-mail to:

Big Green Scrambler Missing
Reader: Hey, you had an article about a big-ass green Scrambler that was bobbed and olive-drab-green all over (Cheap Truck Challenge, July '05). I am building a Scrambler that is close to what the big-ass green Scrambler looks like and I was wondering if you could e-mail me some pictures of it and tell me a little bit about it. You could see it in the background of the Cheap Truck Challenge photos, but you jackasses didn't give me a big enough picture of it. Please send me some pictures. I really like the magazine. Keep up the good work.
Rossville, GA

Editor: The B.A. green Scrambler is slated for a feature in the near future, and was a staple of 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine tech articles in the late '90s. Running 42s with great clearance and awesome articulation has its benefits, and we'll get going on this so you can enjoy the Jeep as much as we do.

Proper Protection?
Reader: Hey guys, I think the guy in the picture from "Not-so-cool reading places in Iraq" (Drivelines, May '05) is trying to pull a fast one on you. I don't think Sgt. Tripp was anywhere off of an FOB (Forward Operations Base), let alone chasing down the supposed insurgents who supposedly fired on him, and here is why: Where the hell is his body armor, helmet, and weapon if he's still out in Indian country where he says he got stuck? Over here, once you go outside "the wire" you keep all of that stuff on the whole time because most places it isn't a Sunday in the park where you can just lounge around reading a magazine and enjoying the beautiful scenery. His picture looks like it's been posed to us
Sgt. Erik Houghton
3d Armored Cavalry Regiment

Editor: Sad to say we can't call Sgt. Tripp and verify this or not, but it leads us to the same old story with vehicles or photos. Wear proper protection at all times, for both yourself and your vehicle. That skidplate will keep the transfer case from cracking, while your helmet can keep shrapnel out of your brain. 'Nuff said.

Cheap Truck Challenge Old Guys Club
Reader: Your Old Guys Club (OGC) sounds like a great idea. I am the current Vice President of the Sundowners 4x4 club in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We have a half dozen or so members that are between the ages of 45 and 68. The other 50 members and their families are the kids (44 and under). Between the old guys we probably have 150 to 200 years of wheeling under our belts. I personally have been a member for 28 years. Among our OGs some of the important events are a cold one of your own choice around a hot campfire, along with bench wheeling. I am curious if there are any stipulations to starting a southwest Michigan chapter of your OGC? Are there any stickers or decals to identify OGC vehicles? Please let me know what I need to do to get this off the pavement. It sounds like a good time.
Greg Crist
Plainwell, MI

Editor: According to the young guys, we at the OGC don't need any stickers or decals. They can tell a mile away who we are. I still haven't figured out why but it probably has something to do with the bench wheeling and such.

Propane Conversions
Reader: I read with interest the letter from Bram van der Ree in your May '05 edition of In Box. I would like to send him some information so would appreciate his complete address or you could forward this to him.

To answer some of his questions, yes, a properly set-up propane conversion will have comparable power to gasoline. On '95 and earlier engines it is quite easy and relatively inexpensive to install and set up a propane conversion. However, with OBD ll ('96 and newer) it is much more difficult. The only proper way to convert these newer vehicles is with a propane fuel-injection system and there aren't many systems currently available. I personally drive an '05 GMC Denali pickup with a 345hp 6.0L engine. I was fortunate enough to acquire a Bi-Phase liquid-propane fuel-injection system in 2002, which I had on an '02 Chev 6.0L and recently transferred it to my '05. It works great; it actually has more power on propane than it did on gasoline. The problem is persuading Bi-Phase to offer this system to the general public, as currently it is not for sale.

The other propane fuel-injection system we sell and I have it on my '02 Denali SUV is the ECO edi system. ECO Fuels Systems Inc. is based in Langley, B.C. One of the components in its system is actually manufactured by PRINS (Netherlands). It is a bi-fuel system and also works well.

You mention paying more for propane for your motorhome than gasoline. That is probably because of the small quantity purchased. If you purchase propane motor fuel from a dealer selling it as such, in most cases it should be less than gasoline. At our retail outlets we sell auto-propane for 48.9 cents/liter while gasoline is 92.9 cents/liter.

I would also like to see articles on propane conversions. If you would like more contact information, do not hesitate to call or e-mail me. You could also visit our Web site (
Ron Graham
President/General Manager
Joy Propane Ltd.
Dawson Creek, B.C., Canada

Editor: We understand that propane is a viable alternative for many internal combustion engines. The cleaner-burning fuel keeps the crankcase cleaner, and the small reduction in fuel economy is greatly offset by the lower cost of the fuel. We plan to investigate some propane conversion options in the near future, especially since we're currently paying nearly $3 a gallon here in Los Angeles!

Point Taken
Start 'Em Young
Reader: I have been reading your magazine since I was 15. I'm 16 now, and until recently I haven't had anything to do except dream about the rides and stories covered in the magazine. For my 16th birthday I got an '03 Z71 Tahoe and the first thing I wanted to do was test out the 4x4. After a little parental persuasion, a friend of mine and I went out searching for trails. We found a couple of shallow local mud holes and some dirt track roads that we could drive on. All in all, it was a waste of a 4x4 vehicle.

The other day we stumbled upon an off-road park that we jumped on, and I proceeded to drive my truck into the first giant mud hole I saw. After an hour of wedging things under the tires and spinning them hopelessly, I realized I was really stuck, something I was prepared for after reading your magazine. I was dumb and a little unlucky in the fact that none of my friends have a 4x4 and I neglected to find anyone to go with us. My dad was not happy when he drove an hour to where we were, and was forced to use our Suburban and ML350 to get us out. After all the yelling and the huge cleanup the next day I realized something: This is the greatest hobby I have ever had and that mud hole is mine next weekend (this time hopefully with some help). Thanks for getting me into this beautiful mess of a hobby and keep up the great work.
James McKee, Plano, TX

Editor: We've all been in the same situation at one time or another, and that's one way of learning what not to do: Experience. Or you can keep reading this magazine and pick up the information you need for safe, responsible, and fun four-wheeling.

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