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May 2010 InBox - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on May 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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4xFord of the year Scoring Issues?
I just picked up your Feb. '10 edition (great magazine, by the way). I was looking through the 2010 4X4 of the Year test structure. I noticed for the interior portion you had the Dodge Power Wagon listed twice and the Toyota listed once, but the Ford Raptor won the category. Am I missing something here? Thanks again for the great magazine!

A vehicle might not win a singular subcategory yet still win the overall category due to high finishes in each subcategory. In other words, the Raptor didn't win any interior subcategory outright but finished high enough on each judge's scorecard to put it ahead of the other two vehicles once the numbers were totaled. Note that the bar graph we published agrees with this: Toyota, 14 points; Power Wagon, 17; Raptor, 18.

Secret Sauce
I was reading the Ford F-150 story in the E-Z Lifts & Bigger Tires section ("Flatter Ford," Jan. '10), and I was wondering what tire and wheel package was used. The author neglected to say. I appreciate your help.
James Toohey
Enfield, CT

Sorry about the omission, James. The wheels are KMC 798 Addicts from the KMC XD series, and the tires are 35X12.50R18 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2s.

Classic Coin Caper
I rediscovered a coin from your Classic Collector's Series while cleaning my garage. I was reminded of the day I last saw that coin. I had totaled my '88 Jeep XJ that morning and was in the hospital. My father went to the scene afterwards and picked up the coin off the ground; it had launched out of my Jeep and was about half a block down the road, with not a scratch on it (unlike myself.) That day I thought I would never have another off-road toy.

Today I finished (!) my second XJ, finally replacing the first after five years, this one with an exo-cage to avoid repeat performances. It also sports D44/D60, long arms, a 5.0L stroker, an Atlas II, an NV3550, 33s, and 4.56s. I've read your magazine for 10 years, since I was 10 years old. I will continue, especially after a coin I haven't seen in five years resurfaces from the day I destroyed a Jeep to the day I finished another.
Saul Reismn
Denver, CO

That's a far better story than mine. The last time I saw my coin collection was when we moved offices from L.A. to El Segundo four months ago. If the spell holds true, I'll find it in five years, right?

Starting Young
Hello, I love your magazine and have every issue since 2007. I am 14 years old. I just purchased a '79 Chevy to start building as my 4x4 rig. It is in excellent shape except for the paint. I just bought a 6-inch Tuff Country lift, 25X12.50R15 BFGs, and 15-inch Mickey Thompson Classics. I plan on putting a light bar on the roof. What would you recommend for off-road lights? My dad and I are building it as a snow rig. My dad has a '94 Wrangler with a spring-over, 33s, and lockers.

Eventually we want to do flat fenders, Dana 44s with 37-inch Baja Claws. My family enjoys your magazine and loves off-roading. I have been looking quite a bit for fender kits front and rear for our Wrangler. What brand do you prefer as an application? My father's buddy has a plasma cutter, so cutting isn't an issue. Well, keep up the good work. You're all I read 24/7.
Zane Hogue

Thanks for reading, Zane. We hope you stay with us for quite some time. You are right about fenders kits. There are way too many of them for an easy selection, but we have yet to find one we haven't liked. We recommend that you talk to your local guys for an indication of what works well for them in your area and for your type of wheeling. Just like Jeeps, where you take it and how you build it can differ greatly.

Ultimate Adventure Idea
As a reader of your magazine, I look forward to your editorials. In the Dec. '09 4xForward you wrote about the Ultimate Adventure, the Second Generation. Your forward thinking is inspiring. A suggestion you made regarding ride-alongs caught my fancy. I would love to ride along with your caravan of Ultimate Adventure for a day. Could that be a possibility? Many of your other readers might like that opportunity to experience such a ride. Let me know, and I'll book a ride for your next adventure.
Love, Mom
Mary Jean Péwé
via email

Mom, anytime you want to come along, just let me know. I'll save a seat for you. And thanks for reading my editorials, as well as everything else you do!

Ultimate Adventure MixUp
I sent my forms and pictures to the address given on the site, and it came back as an unknown address. I had sent it to 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Did I send it to the wrong address?
Jason veal

You didn't goof. That was our address before we moved. Our new address is 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245. We're sorry our mail wasn't forwarded, and neither were our phone numbers. Remember though, our website remains the same,

Project Rides
I was just curious, but what do y'all do with the builds after the test and everything? Because if they are sitting in a garage collecting dust, I'll take a few of 'em off your hands! Ha ha.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sorry, Tyler, they are spoken for. Check out page 44 for a rundown of where they are now.

Insurance Dilemma
I've never written to say thanks for a great mag, but I have appreciated a great tech magazine for 10-plus years now. Here's a question though. What kind of auto insurance do y'all run on your off-road-only buggys, if any. Currently I am "tricking" the insurance company into thinking my buggy is actually a truck according to the pics I took before the transformation began. However, this is a $1,000/year pain in my backside, and there has to be a better way. I am worried about running no insurance because I go to parks and ride a lot. Any insight would be appreciated.
Olin Machen
Minden, VA

You should always carry liability insurance on any vehicle as a minimum, as it protects you. Even though your buggy is off-road only, you need something to cover yourself and your passenger as well as medical. Talk to your agent and see if you need full coverage, because maybe a higher deductible and no replacement coverage might lower your bill. Any wheeling insurance agents have some good ideas?

Reader Rant
I am a longtime reader and a huge fan of you guys at Petersen's. I was reading one of your issues a while back about budget builds and about being willing to maybe take a road trip to get a good deal on a rig. I took your advice, and this is how the story goes.

I live in Farmersville, Ohio, and my in-laws live close to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Before school started my kids went to visit them for a week. So I got on Craigslist and started looking for a treasure to bring home with me. I've always been an IH and Willys fan, so that's what I was looking for. I found a '67 Scout 800 close to Washington, D.C., for $500. I contacted the person selling it and set up a time to pick it up. We talked for a while and I ended up doing a little bit of trading and $200 cash. My 7-year-old son and I borrowed Dad's big Dodge Cummins and made the trip to get it.

We get there and look everything over, and it is what he said it was. The guy goes on to tell me that he has some boxes of parts and a set of off-road tires that I can have if I want them. We go behind his shed, and there sits a set of almost-new Boggers on black crawler wheels. I about crapped my pants. So now me and my best little buddy are heading back with the Scout and a set of Boggers for $200. That's not all.

We get back to the in-laws' house and I'm so pumped about getting this thing. It's sitting on the trailer 500 miles from home, and I'm ready to start wrenching on this thing. I pulled the diff covers off and about crapped again. Lockers front and back.

When I got this thing to my house and started going through it and the boxes of extra stuff that he gave me, it just got better. The motor is an early '90s GM 350 crate engine adapted to a T-18 tranny.

I have completely rewired the Scout and plan on having it ready to wheel this spring. If you guys put a max budget on the Ultimate Adventure rigs next year, I sure would like to be considered for one of your picks. Thanks for at least reading this, and keep up the awesome work you guys do.

Here's a list of stuff the I discovered about the Scout from the time I picked it up until now, and I only have about $100 dollars in it so far: 350, T-18, AA plate, Holley 650, Summit high-torque starter, Griffin radiator, 33x14.50-15 Boggers on wheels (it now has 33x12.50-15 all-terrains on wagon wheels), Dana 44s with 4.27 gears and lockers, E-Z wiring harness. Chad Riegel Farmersville, OH

What can we say? Wow! Congrats!

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 Email to:


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