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January 2009 Letters To The Editor - In Box

Posted in Features on January 1, 2009
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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 Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos.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.

Email to:

Man, Can We Goof!
Reader: You guys almost had me doubting my knowledge in "Wheely Basic Wheel Facts" (Nov. '08). On page 36, caption 10, I believe the tapered nuts are the ones on the right, right? The ones on the left are the shank type.
Brian Donovan
Buffalo, WY

Editor: You're right. Whether it was a reversed photo or not, the photo did not match the caption. And yes, you may have noticed more and more grammatical errors cropping up, as we no longer have a full-time copy editor due to recent restructuring. Please bear with us as we attempt to copy-edit our own stuff. Send in your catches; we'll either get fired or they'll give us back a full-time copy editor!

Get A Real Truck
Reader: The article about the budget Tuff Country 4.5-inch lift ("Tuff Country Boost," Oct. '08) contains an error. By no means does an add-a-leaf increase the load-carrying capacity (as stated in caption 4) of a 1/2-ton truck past 1,000 pounds. I get customers requesting airbags and add-a-leaves so they can carry more weight frequently. I tell them to buy a 3/4- or 1-ton truck. Thanks. Great magazine.
Dan Simmons
Rohnert Park, CA

Editor: Whoops on us! Right you are. An axle (as well as the whole vehicle) is rated for a certain weight regardless of the spring's capacity. Even when an add-a-leaf or a spring with a different load-carrying capacity is used, the vehicle's carrying capacity remains the same.

Website Blues
Reader: I am sorry if I am bothering any of y'all, but I was sent a T-shirt with a card saying that I had gotten Ride of the Month. I am just wondering if you were going to put it in a magazine. If so, about how long does it take to be put in? Thank you for your time.
Jay Ames
Lewiston, ID

Editor: The Ride of the Month is only on our website (, not in the magazine. However, if you want to be in the magazine, go to the site and click on Contact Us, which will show you the email address for our Readers' Rides department- Your ride will be added to the pile and may be selected.

Straight From The Man
Reader: In regards to Steve Shepherd's Nov. '08 In Box letter, "Death of Diesel," New York State only performs "tailpipe emissions sniffing" in the New York City Metropolitan Area (NYCMA). Orchard Park is a suburb of Buffalo and hardly qualifies as NYCMA. Additionally, a light diesel (under 8,500 pounds maximum gross weight) in the NYCMA is exempt from the tailpipe test.

Editor: So, Steve, outfit your '03 Wrangler with any diesel you can fit under the hood, register it as a diesel-powered vehicle, and you can have it inspected anywhere in New York State.

Oh, and lay off the mushrooms. They are affecting your understanding of the NYS DMV inspection regulations and misleading a lot of readers!
Tom Dayton
Certified NYS Motor Vehicle Inspector
Jamestown, NY

Editor: Thanks for the clarification, Tom. We wish we could do this in California!

Tire Guide
Reader: First off, I really do love your magazine, but for the first time I have a bone to pick. In "Just a Guide" (Nov. '08) on page 42 is a seemingly great chart on what tires will fit on a truck with varying amounts of lift. First, I was disappointed not to see the Xterra mentioned in with the Nissans, but under the Frontier listing it states that in order to fit a 31-inch-tall tire you need 2.5 inches of lift? The NISMO comes standard with the P265/75/R16, which is 31.6 inches tall, and the non-NISMO trucks will fit them as well! Please keep up the great mag, but a little more research would be great!

More Tire Guide
Reader: You have a great mag, but in your story "Just a Guide" (Nov. '08), I have to disagree on the Bronco 2/Ranger '83-'92. You say to fit 31-inch tires you need 2 to 4 inches of lift, but I have an '86 Ranger 4x4 with 32x11.50 Pro Comps on 15-inch rims with only a 3-inch body lift without cutting wheelwells, and I've never rubbed doing any of my wheeling. And with cutting wheelwells I'm sure I could fit 33s on stock springs. I just thought I'd let you know.

Editor: Uh, the title said "Just a Guide," not "Gospel," but thank you both for the info.

Snow Problems
Reader: I drive an FJ and love reading your great magazine. I was reading the article "Snow Bashing" (June '08) when I noticed that they were using three tow straps and a snatch block to pull a Jeep back onto the trail, page 84. It appears to me that they have inadvertently made a slingshot out of tow straps. If the link to the Jeep breaks or comes loose, the people in the picture are in the firing line of the slingshot. Please look into this and advise your readers to use caution when selecting pull-point systems using straps.

Editor: Right, this type of recovery should only be made by seasoned veterans who know the limits of the equipment and make safety the top priority. Thanks for pointing it out!

Ultimate Adventure Blues!
Reader: I'm a longtime reader-and a wanna-be owner! I would love to see a full layout on Patrick Deming's beautiful blue Bronco. Sometimes your mag shows just a glimpse of a great rig. The Bronco should run its own mag.
Love Of The Horse

Editor: Well, horse lover, you make a good point, and we just might do that!

One Upset Reader
Reader: I've subscribed to many a magazine, some good, others not. But not until subscribing to your mag did it come to my attention that you offer an enhanced version for the newsstand. Now I know you gotta be able to afford all the most expensive parts for your sorry splice job of a vehicle (yeah, you, Mr. Pewe) so you can bling for your fan club, but come on! We subscribe to your anemic mag so you can buy stuff you don't even know how to use?! Apparently we're just a bunch of suckers who are dumb (yet dedicated) enough to buy your "magazine" sight unseen. As for your rediculous stipulations regarding the Ultimate Adventure, such as protecting your "marketing value" by having the participants remove any and all stickers, logos, emblems, signs, transfers, insignias, placards, and whatnot-you guys are not only sniffin' RTV again, you must be huffin' the brake cleaner too! Some of my emblems waited patiently for the perfect spot where they now reside. And as for the "lucky reader" who is graciously included in the Ultimate Adventure (and a "representative" of 4WOR, mind you) so lucky that you inform them that they "may get left behind" if youre laggin'. If a reader gets to go, shouldn't you at least offer a coupla bonuses for them (seein's how they're "lucky")? I could go on and on, but I got rocks to bash and mud to blast. I'll close by saying I will not be renewing my subscription anytime soon.(still sore about that "premium" thing).
L. Fox
The Sticks

P.S. If you wanna go rootin' with us out here in the sticks, come on out! But it is mandatory that you display our logos! TWF!

Editor: Wow, I'm really sorry you feel that way. But to answer your letter, may I first remind you that I can't afford to fix my personal Jeep, much less our "sorry splice job of a vehicle". I'll make sure that my hard-working feature editor, Ali Mansour, and shop owner Mel Wade at Off Road Evolution know what you think of their efforts. And "bling"? Come on, do you really think most readers want to see a rat-trap ride on the cover? Other than me and a few like me, I think not. Again, that's what my personal broken pile is for. And yet, I'm still confused about what part I bought that I don't know how to use. Could you be more specific?

Regarding the "enhanced newsstand edition," the price for 12 issues is $71.88 plus tax, and this comes with a special bonus no more than six times a year. On the other hand, if you are a subscriber, yes, you buy the magazine sight-unseen. For a measly buck an issue. If that's too rich for your blood, you can read it online for 50 cents an issue. If you can't risk that, then I'll send you a buck and cancel your subscription for you. I think it's a pretty good deal.

As far as the Ultimate Adventure goes, our "rediculous" rules are the rules. If you don't like them, don't apply. Simple! Now, not all stickers need be removed, only those that clash with a sponsor's stickers. In other words, since Warn is a sponsor, we would prefer not to have a large Ramsey sticker on the vehicle. However, if you choose to run a Ramsey winch, that's fine.

Concerning the participants being a representative of the magazine, yes they are, just as you are a representative of TWF in the Sticks, whatever that means and wherever that is. I hope your group approves of your letter. Your choice, once again. And yes, the participants do get a bonus or two-sometimes free tires, cold beer, food-and some of the best wheeling anywhere. It's not for everybody, but nothing usually is.

And thanks for the invite to go wheeling. I'd genuinely like to do that if I can fit it into the magazine production schedule. I'm sure you could "go on and on," but seeing as you don't want to renew your subscription, I'll say adios and good luck in whatever future magazine you wish to lambaste, and I look forward to your reply, as will our readers.

Point Taken
Readers' Wives?
Reader: Hey, you guys scoffed at the suggestion by John Dowsley (In Box, July '08) but I say why not launch a "readers' wives" section for other wives (like me) who endeavor to stay in the loop about the wheeling lifestyle and lingo. I support my husband's enthusiasm for the sport wholeheartedly but couldn't really tell you the difference between a sway bar and a U-joint. Perhaps the occasional article written by a more astute wife could help me understand the basics so that my passion for wheeling can catch up to that which I have for my husband. How 'bout it, ladies?
Jenny Torres

Editor: Well, ladies, anyone up to the task?

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