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September 2010 InBox - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on September 1, 2010
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Two Plugs Per Engine?
Just for your information, on page 83 of July '10 ("Super Duty Super Hauler"), the lower right caption 4 reads: "The new 6.2L gas engine is no slouch. The engine features two plugs per engine." I hope you meant two plugs per cylinder as I had in my Mercedes Benz ML320. Please get back to me on this, and best of luck always, and God bless. Love your magazine. I have pictures of a Jeep I built with a 360ci motor and builtup transmission-it was scary how much power it had with a mild cam.
Gary Ritzke

Hmm. So it is! Thanks for the catch.

What Batteries?
I read your article "Onboard Essentials" (July '10). In the part about how to find your way, you talk about all of the high-tech ways to find your way around. You would be up the creek if these gadgets quit or their batteries ran down. You need the ancient device called a compass to find your way. It should be as important as all of the high-tech gadgets you can carry. A compass and a good map can still get you places a GPS can't find, plus get you home again.
John Moore

You are absolutely right. However, the vast majority of our population doesn't have a clue how to read a map, much less a compass. Sad but true. I still use the sun for navigation, and it seems to keep working without batteries as well. It's a bit of a drag at night, but then the stars help out.

Yes, We Were Wrong
I received my June '10 issue yesterday and, of course, had to pick it up and start reading (even though it was only April 3). Sadly, I couldn't get past the In Box section before I felt bad for Dave R. Prouty from Mantorville, Minnesota. Now, I really don't care about GM trucks being design-driven by women. For that matter, I don't really care about GM trucks, period. (Hope I don't get feedback for that). However, I feel bad that he was told he was so wrong on both accounts. Guys, you need to remember that there are not too many times in our lives when we get to be right (I love you, Sweetie, if you are reading this)! So when you tell Dave that he emailed the wrong address, that's just not fair, especially if on the following page under Submission Information, it says to email submissions to, not the correct I believe you owe Dave an apology and should let him know he is not wrong.

We all need a win every so often to drive us toward the next one. In the meantime, update your submission information and continue producing a great mag! Hopefully, I'll see you all out on the rocks in the backcountry, where we can honestly debate where GM went wrong.
Destin Christiansen
Brigham City, UT

Yep. Sorry, Dave. Send us your address and we'll send you a plate for the dissing.

Mud Tire Test
Thanks for the latest issue. It was the same quality reporting and exploring I have come to expect. Regarding your mini mud tyre test (June '10), I have no problems with your choices. They were all very good tyres, but I would have loved to see the TrXus MT by Interco included or mentioned. I have been running them on my stock '00 Nissan Frontier (a highly underrated mini-mudder) for years now and am more impressed every day. I use it 90 percent on road and 10 percent off, including all winter long for skiing and everything else up here in Canada. It tosses mud and clears quickly, and at low speeds it grips on ice and snow better than any other mud tyre I've seen or heard about. It's surprisingly quiet at highway speeds and has been wearing very well. It's the perfect tyre for my use, and I bet it would test very well. Cheers, and thanks for the great mag.
Ryan Robinson
Down Under

We actually tested this tire in our first mud tire shootout (Oct. '09), and it won! Check out the story at

Final FJ vs. JK Comment
After reading your comparison story between the '09 FJ Cruiser and the '09 Jeep Wrangler I just wanted to clarify one particular point. You mentioned a couple of times that the FJ requires premium gas compared to regular gas in the Wrangler. Our press materials state that we recommend 91 octane gas (not require), which means the FJ will still operate fine with regular unleaded. Also, as an FYI, the engine in the '10 FJ Cruiser has been updated and now receives dual VVT-i and roller rocker arms, which adds 20 hp (from 239 to 259) and increases fuel efficiency from 17 to 18 combined mpg. It also will run on regular unleaded fuel.

Let me know when you would like to evaluate a '10 FJ. Thanks!
Toyota Division Communications

Thanks for the info, and send the new FJ as soon as you have one available!

How to Start an Off-Road Park
I have a question for the great minds of Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine that has been doing donuts in my mind. How can I start my very own off-road park? I have always dreamed of owning and operating an off-road park to cater to anyone willing to put it in 4WD and just have fun. I know I must have some land (which I am still saving for), but do I need a certain amount? I'm sure I will have to apply for some type of business license, but do I need to contact anyone else? Your insight would greatly be appreciated as I dream of being a stopover for the Ultimate Adventure excursions of the future. Thanks.
Matt Todd

Matt, the first thing to do is contact other park owners. They may give you some help. Also contact your local 4x4 clubs and organizations. Finally, check out your local government agencies to see if they can lend a hand.

How Can He See That?
Regarding Pete's '48 CJ-2A, "Writers' Rides," Feb. '10, I am looking for those same rims for my own CJ-7. Do you know if they are available anymore?
Jason King
Spearfish, SD

I had to use a magnifying glass to check out the photo, so I'm curious how you identified it! Those are commonly called Turbine, Cyclone, or Hurricane wheels and were made by Western, and I haven't seen a new set in 20 years. They are a vintage product from the '70s and '80s and belong on restorides like Pete's Jeep. They were also used on the General Lee and the A-Team van, in case you are wondering why they look familiar. Try AHK Wheels in Ellensburg, Washington (, which has an incredible selection of used wheels.

Whose Ttruck is That?
I am writing you in regard to your July '10 issue. In your feature on pages 88-89 ("48th Annual Desert Safari), I recognized a vehicle that I used to own and built in one of your photos. It is photo 5, the white Chevy 1-ton with 44 Boggers on it. It is also featured on the cover of the issue, in the top right corner. I am trying to find out who the current owner of my former vehicle is. Do you have contact information for the owner of this vehicle? If not, do you have any suggestions on how I may find out who currently owns it? Thank you for your help.
Gordy Perrigo

Sorry, Gordy, but that was a snapshot we caught during the Desert Safari event, and he was gone too quickly to get his name. Maybe he'll read this and get in touch.

Reader Rave
Insurance Solution
I am replying to the letter "Insurance Dilemma" in the May '10 issue. I am an insurance agent with American Family Insurance in Colorado. I have been reading your magazine for many years and am a recent subscriber. I would like to make a few recommendations for your readers. I would always carry at least liability on any vehicle I own. You may or may not want comprehensive or collision (full coverage) on your truck/buggy, but that depends on how much you have invested in it.

The most important point I want to make is do not carry state minimums with your liability. You want as much as you can get. The best part is that liability is cheap compared to comprehensive and collision coverage! I would also have your agent rate the vehicle as a farm-use truck or a pleasure-use only vehicle; this will greatly reduce your yearly premiums. In Colorado, you could get pleasure-use-only liability insurance for as little as $30 per month, depending on discounts available.

I would be more than happy to answer any detailed questions that any of your readers may have. You have my permission to use my full name and my email for readers' reference. Great mag! Keep it up. Thanks for your time. Have a great day!
Ryan Thayer
on behalf of Chris Hank American Family Insurance

Thanks, Ryan. The question is when will the insurance companies insure the driver, not the car? I can only drive one of my 20-plus vehicles at a time, yet I need to have separate coverage on every vehicle I own to keep them registered. We wish they'd make liability insurance a requirement to get a driver's license, not a vehicle registration.

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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