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 Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos.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.
4-Wheel & Off-Road
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515
And Speaking of Double Dipping...
Reader: I just couldn't help but respond to Robbie Evans' letter about double dipping (Apr. '08). I'm not trying to bash you guys at all (heck, my truck got in the mag-twice), but I just wanted to let you know I did only submit my truck once, and I even sent three pictures with my submission. Maybe it was just me, but your response made it sound like I was trying to get my truck printed twice. I was excited enough the first time it was printed I went out and bought a second copy. One of my "new" plans is to build a similar S-10 Blazer on 40s (a more family friendly rig) and maybe I'll send a second submission once that's done. Anyway, I think you guys do a great job. I love to see rigs other than Jeeps in the mag!
Editor: Wow, just for that we'll print your photo again! Thanks for clearing it up. And yes, we have some newbies here that are figuring out how the world works.
Reader: I am a longtime subscriber and I very much like the new updates to the mag. The pictures seem much more vibrant. I am also a fan of the shorter, more-to-the-point articles. Especially since I have a short attention span. The only thing I could suggest would be a "readers' wives" section. Then again maybe not! Keep up the great work!
Editor: Yeah, we'll make sure we don't start that section, but thanks!
Flat Fender Discourse
Reader: Regarding the story "Flat Luck" (Apr. '08), it says: "Flatfenders are to Jeeping what The Rolling Stones are to rock music," and I agree, classics both, pure and simple. But after reading the story I'm feelin' low down and blue because I don't understand why you chose to profile a Rolling Stones tribute band? Rand Ridges truck is really hot stuff and I'll always defend his right to build whatever he wants with whatever source material he wants. I try and I try but it ain't no flatfender. Your "Cool fact" in that piece says it best: "the M38 is known to be the last real flatfender...." Rand's truck is M38 flatfender in sheetmetal only. I don't know if his "crown jewel" M38 donor truck was too torn and frayed...maybe it was beyond saving, maybe not. But I think it's an unnecessary waste when a piece of history like that is lost.
Your Tech Specs call it a "1952 Willys M38" and then go on to list not a single OEM part from that truck. Hmm. I guess things are not what they seem. If someone builds a tube buggy and you call it a CJ-5 it's no big deal because the focus of the piece is the tube-buggy aspect, not the CJ-5. But here your intent is to laud the laudable M38. To paraphrase: "What's confusing me is the nature of your game."
East Northport, NY
Editor: Thanks for your clever comments. Here's another reader with another point of view
Reader: I just read the article "Flat Luck" (Apr. '08). I liked it, but it could have been better, lots better. I have a '47 CJ2A going on a M38A1 frame, with an M38 windshield frame, a Chevy 4.3L V-6, a Dana 30 front and a Dana 44 rear, a Spicer 20 transfer case, and a T-14 trans, but down the road it's getting an SM465 and a Dana 44 front. Anyway, the reason I'm writing is the total lack of coverage you put into the article. I don't want to hear "there just wasn't room, sorry." Let's see, the other articles were "Monster Mash" (how many tire articles must we read?), "Bronco Daze" (it's an old Ford. Who cares?), "Super Tune in a Super Flash" (same old stuff, different issue).
So do you see, let's see more flatfender coverage. What was covered in those two pages wasn't enough. Maybe you could do a "Part Two" and give that flatfendered god the coverage it deserves. What do you say?
Editor: If I had my way there would be a separate mag devoted to nothing but flatfenders, both stock and modified. However, all 400 of us aficionados wouldn't be enough to cover the cost of production, so you'll have to suffer through stuff you don't want to read so you can have that wonderful flatfender feeling.
Reader: I've been reading your magazine for a long time and enjoy it very much. You cover many things I find useful in my build. I also share Pw's enthusiasm for flatfenders. I have one and it is the greatest thing ever. So the question I have is about the Jeep Wave, a points system that determines Jeep hierarchy. I'm sure you've heard of it. When my '51 flattie with a 289, oversize tires, custom suspension, no doors, and no top meets a four-door Jeep like the UAJK, do I wave or just chuckle as if it were an H2?
Editor: Actually you have it made in the hierarchy. You only need to raise your left index finger off the top of the wheel for max points, if your right hand is on a manual tranny shifter and your foot is properly placed in the doorway! The JK, alas, has to return the wave full-handed. And since when do you wave at Hummers? They have their own secret society with secret handshakes, I'm sure!
Thirty Years of Ads
Reader: Thanks for the time trip, your Mar. '08 article about the first advertisements in the magazine. They took me back to when I was about 13 and was a subscriber in '78-'79. I remember all those ads. I even still have the 4WOR sticker I got when you had the 50 freebies around the same time. I think it influenced my adult life as I currently wheel a '95 Explorer XLT and a '95 Suburban LT. Thanks for a great 30 years, and I look forward to many more.
Editor: Thanks. Heck, I still have tires from back then, but not the ads for them!
Too many Jeeps
Reader: I need to get something off my chest. I love your magazine (most of the time), but I am writing this because I am displeased with the content of the last few years. First of all, I must say I love Jeeps and I am a Jeep owner (although my current one, a '75 CJ-5, is sitting in 9 million pieces right now). I have had a '76 CJ-7 (now my son has it) with 10 inches of lift and 38s (I did a spring-over conversion), and I had a '69 CJ-5 with 33s. But my complaint is with all the Jeep coverage in your magazine. I realize that the Jeep is the most trail-friendly rig out there, but do I have to see one on every other page?
Bear in mind I love these vehicles but I would love to see some articles on my other passion in my life (besides my daughters and Hayabusa)-my F-150 and other fullsize trucks. I have a '91 F-150 with 35s, a 351HO, and a five-speed. I am not asking to see articles on this truck in particular but fullsize trucks in general. Don't give me the B.S. that you show fullsize trucks, because I will say; "Yeah, for every 45 Jeeps." I ask you, what is the best-selling vehicle? It is the truck! It was the F-150 and Silverado in 2006). It is not the Jeep (and thank God you stopped putting that god-forsaken Toyota insert in the mag before I wrote). But you continue to grace your pages with jeeps, jeeps, jeeps. Gets old, doesn't it? I want to see some trucks, any truck.
Well, I digress. I wrote to tell you I would not be renewing my subscription. I will continue to thumb through it in the check-out line at the grocery store. Maybe one day if I see a change I will be a subscriber again, but our relationship has to end now because you seem to be going in a different direction to that of your readers' desires.
All said, you guys do a great job.
Editor: What can we say? If you do an actual page count of editorial items you'll see it's not all Jeep, but with advertisers who sell Jeep parts it may look that way. Regardless, we're glad you think we do a great job and we'll miss your subscription.
Reader: Thanks a lot! I have subscribed to your magazine for years and have never gotten bad advice until now. In Nuts & Bolts ("Ol' Stinky," Apr. '08), I thought the monkey shop companion would be a great idea so I bought one. I also thought the alligator seat covers would be a great idea. The monkey and I had a lot of fun wrenching on my '66 Chevy 4x4, my '68 Kaiser M715, and my '56 Jeep CJ-5 for a while. After I found the alligator for the front seats of the Jeep, I went out looking for one for the back seat. While I was gone, all heck broke loose. The alligator bit both thumbs off the monkey so there goes your big advantage of the monkey as a shop pet. The alligator also bit holes in all four Pro Comp Xterrains on the Chevy and left teeth marks in the tires on the M715. Nothing can bite through those things. It also knocked the Jeep on its side with one swipe of its tail. The alligator finally broke through the garage door, ate the neighbor's cat, and headed into the creek.
I still have my buddy, Bosco the Monkey, but he can't open my beer anymore and definitely can't use the new set of monkey wrenches I bought him. He also can't turn the carburetor crank that I installed to match the one pictured in the carb tech article from the same issue.
I have never laughed as much from your magazine as I did last night when reading the monkey suggestion and alligator seat cover idea. Thanks for the great magazine. I am a Chevy and Jeep guy but I read the articles on Fords, Dodges, Toyotas, and everything else. There is always something to learn.
I have one suggestion. Send all the Readers' Rides submissions to the guy who picked out the two duplicates you have shown in the past. He has a heck of a memory and should be able to weed out the duplicates.
Bunker Hill, IL
Editor: As a matter of fact, maybe we will hire you to write our next April issue, as some other people couldn't figure out the April Fools jokes throughout the mag!
Equal Access Advocates
Reader: I recently came to a realization about our hobby after a trip to my local desert. During my younger and more rebellious years I considered all forms of authority equally undesirable. That was very naive. My point of view has shifted. I now know that certain governmental entities are helping to defend our rights of access and they deserve to be acknowledged for that. In Anza-Borrego State Park (California), the park itself has resisted considerable outside pressure to ban backcountry camping and off-roading, and has worked to protect our rights to do so. In the Mojave Desert, the BLM has protected the rights of off-roaders by opposing expansion of designated wilderness areas that threaten popular trails. Both of these organizations have faced severe budget cuts, and it would be easier for them to throw up their hands and just close everything. I don't think enough people appreciate this.
It has been said before, but I would like to encourage everyone to be respectful of our overworked Rangers. Rangers are not the enemy. Many of them like to wheel. If you see where some hooligan has abused the environment, don't wait for a Ranger to clean it up. Lend a hand and clean up the mess before the authorities have to! When you see Rangers, be polite to them, so they continue to see us as good responsible people. Most people are responsible, but every trip I see jerks that leave their trash behind or drive right over plants for no reason, and it drives me crazy!
Edward A. Laag
Editor: Right you are. The vast majority of Rangers and the vast majority of us are the right kind of people. It's the 2 percenters that generally cause the problem. Make it a habit to teach the ignorant, or we'll have no one to blame but ourselves.