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April 2010 InBox - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on April 1, 2010
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What Wheels Were Where?
Hi there! I have just purchased Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine. The Jeep on the cover has awesome rims. Be so kind as to let me know the brand name and model of the rims, as I can't seem to find it on the Net. I will greatly appreciate any assistance with this and will reward my helper with beer if he's ever here in Namibia, Africa.
Richard Hoff

Thanks for the offer, Richard. I'd like to take you up on that. The wheels you mention are the Spyderlock wheels. We are big fans of these tough wheels and have run them on our Ultimate Adventure rigs many times. Check them out at

Dodge Trucks Are American
In your Nuts & Bolts section in the Jan. '10 issue, the question was asked: Where are the Dodge trucks built? I think maybe a better question would be: Why does Dodge continue to build its trucks in Mexico and shut down plants in the U.S. (North Truck Assembly Plant in St. Louis is one) while taking a government bailout? We all know that labor is cheaper in Mexico, so why doesn't the price of the trucks reflect that? One part of the article states that Dodge is listening; do you think that they would listen to that question, or even answer it? Thanks for a great mag.
Jim Evans
Wentzville, MO

Yes, they are listening, and they answer us both below. It's simple economics on a world scale. We all wish the jobs would stay in the U.S., but we aren't willing to pay what the products would cost since our labor is so much higher. The price of the truck actually does reflect that. However, it looks like there will be no more Dodge trucks anyway, as the new Chrysler has said that it will call the truck brand simply "Ram," thus killing off years of Dodge truck heritage. Think they will comment on that?

Chrysler responds: Just a few facts in response to the comments: (1) Ram Trucks will always be part of Dodge. They will be VIN'd as Dodges, the Dodge name will appear somewhere on the vehicle, and they will continue to be sold at Dodge dealers. (2) Unfortunately there is not enough demand to keep three truck plants open in North America. (3) Heavy Duty Rams have been made in Mexico for decades. The bottom line-The Chrysler Group is grateful to the American taxpayer and does not take the support it was given lightly. We will continue to make decisions based on solid business rationale with a keen focus on repaying the taxpayers in full by 2014 and continuing to employ thousands of American workers.

Cheap Jeep Challenge?
Hi. I am just joining the 4x4 community with the recent purchase of my '92 Jeep Wrangler. This Jeep is not much, but it is a start and I got a great deal on it. It has a four-cylinder and a five-speed. I have read your magazine a little but was wondering if you had ever done a project like a "cheap Jeep." I am looking to turn the Jeep I have into a daily driver that I can also go off the beaten path every now and then. I have seen some interesting things, such as a 4.3L V-6 swap that would give you some extra power and reliability. Have you ever done an article such as this, or do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks.
Bruce Babcock
Stuartville, MN

I sent this letter on to Tech Editor Fred Williams for the Nuts & Bolts department. However, we plan to bring back our own Cheap Truck Challenge series, where we all have cheap rides to go wheel in at various places across the U.S. Anyone have some ideas we might use? We have pplenty of our own, but drop us a line at to put your two cents in!

More Cheap Jeep
I have a '93 grand Cherokee 4x4 (A/C broken, needs a fuel pump, 4.0 L six, headliner held up with stick pins, 270,000 miles, and so on) that really wants Editor Péwé to buy it for 350 dollars or so. The body is in good condition with only a few parking lot dings in it. There is a lot of surface rust on the roof, but it is not rusted through. It runs fine, except the fuel pump just went out. Please feel free to ask any questions if interested. It really does not want to go to the old Jeeps home, and when I told it about Mr. Pewe's retirement farm it got really excited. I do not have the money to have a project Jeep right now and no place to store it, so it's gotta go somewhere. That's all I am saying :-)
Dave Helms
Orlando, FL

Yes, I'm interested. The price is right, but you are a bit geographically inconvenient to me, as Florida is a far piece from L.A.! Although I appreciate the offer and the occupants of my retirement farm will be sad, I have to pass. I'm trying to stick with flatties now, as room is a bit tight. But as we all know, the problem isn't too many Jeeps; it's not enough room!

Missing Back Issues
I am looking for an old issue that my friend's truck was featured in for a Christmas present. He has lost his copy and I am having difficulty finding out even how to look for one that old. All I know is it was in 1982 and the mag had the article about fearsome foursome Fords. It could have been around May. Please let me know what I can do to find this issue. Thank you and happy holidays.
Wendy Williams
Bullhead City, AZ

Wendy, we don't have a database where we can look up stuff like this, and nothing is available on digital archives before 2000. And with our recent move to El Segundo, we have lost the ability to recover archival material on an ongoing basis. If any reader has the information Wendy needs, or a copy of the mag, let us know and we'll try and help

Our Heroes in Uniform
I know y'all get these emails a lot. Petersen's 4Wheel & Off-Road magazine has gotten me through two tours in Iraq. Y'all do a great job, and I really appreciate the hard work y'all put into your mag. The only problem I have is that every time I read it, there is always a reader in the In Box section who has something critical to say about a previous issue. It's almost like some people just read this magazine to find faults with the staff. I understand if it is a blatant disregard for safety, but I've never seen that in any of the mags I have read. Y'all keep wheeling and doing your thing. It's because of proactive wheelers and magazines like yours that we have trails to wheel on! Thanks for keeping those trails warm for me, and I'll be sure to send some pics of my rig as soon as I get back home!
SGT Fritz

Thanks, Sarge. This time we only have good letters, like yours. We thank you and your buddies for all you do.

Reader Rant
$2K UA
OK, I love the Ultimate Adventure. I was telling my wife that I would love to take part in it when I am able to get my truck to that level. The idea of having an under-$2,000 Ultimate Adventure is great. It would be big. I have worked hard on my rig and doing it mostly on the cheap. The most expensive thing on my truck is my tires. I have about $1,500 in my truck and that includes the purchase price. There are a lot of people out there like me. I am the sole provider for my family. When my wife and I had our son 19 months ago, she gave up her career to raise him. I don't have the money to drop 15, 10, or even 5 thousand bucks into my rig. I wish I could, but when I am able to give either a little extra to my son or do another mod to my truck the choice is easy. I think an under-$2,000 ride would get great support and a ton of readers, not to mention give some great coverage to parks that would love more business.

Attached is a picture of my truck. It ain't going to win any beauty contests, but it has always taken me in and out of wherever I have gone. Here is what it is:

1977 F-150
•Factory limited slip 9-inch with extra shims to lock it up tight
•Factory Dana 44 open in the front
•3.50 gears front and rear
•Random junk pile front bumper with and old-style Warn winch
•Stock 351M, C6, and 205
•Customer tube bed designed and built by me
•Ford Granada bucket seats with an '89 F-150 console
•Rough Country 3-inch lift installed by me
•35x12.5 Mickey Thompson MTZs

As far as a place to ride goes, Tennessee. How many days do you want to go? A ride could go from Crazy Horse Off-Road to Wheelin' in the Country to Wooly's Off-Road, ending at Golden Mountain in Sparta, Tennessee. If four parks aren't enough, there is more to choose from.

Anyway, great mag. You asked for opinions, comments and suggestions on places to go, so here you go. If you ever have a ride for works in progress or super budget rigs then let me know. I would love to go.
Sam Mahan
Paris, TN

P.S. I would love to see my ride in Readers' Rides. Keep up the great work, and if you ever need help with anything in my neck of the woods then just let me know.

I figured we might as well put your ride here with your In Box letter. Thanks for writing and for the ideas.

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: Editor, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368.

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