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December 2010 InBox - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on December 1, 2010
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Tired Of It All
Mr. Williams' article "Tow Behind Tires" (Sept. '10) does a disservice to those of us readers who are looking for accurate authoritative information from your magazine. The article suggests that LT tires are satisfactory for towing. This is contrary to all of the manufacturers' recommendations I can find. Trailer tires should be just that: trailer tires, designated ST, which means Special Trailer. ST tires have stiffer sidewalls to control and reduce sway problems. LT tires are made for light trucks and have more flexible sidewalls and are not resistant to trailer sway. ST tires are also more bruise-resistant. They are made to scrape curbs without damage. Towing with LT tires is asking for trouble. I've been towing for 18 years with ST tires without any problem.
Ronald P. Peles
Attorney at law
Stewartsville, NJ

Well, sir, you are absolutely right on the technical aspect of the story. However, we also look at real-world situations where people do what people do, right or wrong. I for one have rarely been able to afford real trailer tires in my life, and have towed with a mishmash of LT or (worse yet!) P-Metric tires for over 40 years with varying degrees of success. What you say about the tires is 100 percent true, and I thank you for your input. Our premise is that LT tires are not the best for towing but they do work, as 80 percent of our readership will attest.

Trail Duster Tech
In the Aug. '10 issue you included the article "Low Lift & Big Tires." It described installing a 4-inch lift and 39-inch tires on a '77 Plymouth Trail Duster. I had just purchased a '79 Ramcharger poptop similar to the one in your article. I have worn out that magazine and have looked forward to seeing the next article on this vehicle, which you promised! You said, "Check back next month as we toss in some low-buck traction aids and see what this classic fullsize is capable of off-road." I saved for a lift and am now saving for tire, and afterwards me and my soon-to-be-born son will do some cruising in the Ramcharger. This article is highly anticipated and I hope it comes out soon.
Eric Moore
Lowell, OH

P.S. I subscribed soon after reading that article! Thanks for the Dodge articles.

Eric, the poor Plymouth had some serious engine issues that kept us from finishing the series. Once they are fixed with some Motor Medic or similar stuff, we'll be bringing you the lowdown on lockers for a Mopar.

Scouting Around
Not to sound like a lot of other IH owners, but after spending an entire three-day weekend reading 20-plus years of your fine magazine I think I found maybe 30 Scout pics or articles (usually a Readers' Ride), and most of those were Scout IIs. Mine is a '65 Scout 80, and info is hard to find, unlike the '47 Willys I had. Anyway, I noticed you don't even have an IH section for your tech articles on your website. That would make a good addition to your site. Just remember an IH is like a Mack. Everyone wants one; they just won't admit it. Keep up the good work so I can add to my mag collection and hopefully see more Scouts in the future. Thanks a bunch.
Stephan Renner
Westlake, OR

Scouts are one of those "love 'em or hate 'em" rigs. We love them, but we don't have a lot of material to work with. We'll fix our website and also see what kind of Scout tech we can come up with.

Reader Rant
The New Grand Cherokee
It's your fault! Not something I want to tell you, but I feel compelled to after reading your First Drive of the '11 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Oct. '10). You guys and your so-called 4x4 of the Year test have led the manufacturers to believe that they can gussy up some soccer-mom-mobile, slap an outrageous price tag on it, and go play in some dirt and call it a 4x4. It used to be Jeep would take these things out on the Rubicon and show you what they are made of. Now they take you on some slickrock trails and it's Trail Rated? What the hey?

I am sorry but I have been reading this publication for a long time, and I feel as the magazine industry takes a hit, you guys are selling out-just push some magazines out the door. It's sad, and I know it's not really all your fault for that. Just the part about Jeep making a glorified minivan that they says is trail worthy. If vehicles like the Lexus RX-whatever had not won your Soccer Mom Mobile of the Year award, then Jeep would not have gone down this overly paved road. So there I blame you. And no, I won't be renewing. I will start my own digital magazine and cover topics and vehicles that true enthusiasts want to read about. Way to sell out to the corporate machine. You guys really let me down.
Ryan P. Vaughn

Thanks for the input, Ryan. According to you, this means that we here at 4WOR have full control over what the manufacturers make. Logically thinking then, if we say a '47 CJ2-A is the best vehicle ever, Jeep would build it! I wish. At least can we take credit for making the manufacturers aware that real 4x4s need solid axles, lockers, a winch, 33s or better, and a low-range transfer case?

There are far more ins and outs in the automotive world than you must be aware of. One of those is that we pick the "best" for our 4x4 of the Year test relative to the vehicles tested. In that respect a vehicle has to do everything well, not suck at some things.

As for the Grand Cherokee, it is by far the least-capable rockcrawling Grand ever produced. There. Happy? However, it does many other things exceedingly well. Jeep did take it over the Rubicon before the media were allowed to drive it in Moab on slickrock. It made the trail and was dented. Duh. Longer, lower, fatter, wider is not what we preach to the OEMs as vehicle virtues, but it is what they continue to develop because leagues of focus groups ask if you want three cupholders or two, not mentioning the fact that three Big Gulp holders will eliminate a locking diff switch location; therefore nobody needs a locking diff. Don't blame us for everything!

Monster Mis-ID
I just wanted to let you guys know I look forward to every issue. You've got a great mag. I reread them every chance I get. I am currently restoring a '74 Ford F-350 shortbed four-door. I get a lot of ideas from your articles and the Readers' Rides.

One last thing: In the October issue's In Box, Fred Schafer drove Bigfoot, not Barefoot! Can't believe that one got by. Thanks again for a great mag!
Vince Taylor
Oracle, AZ

Yeah, we were thinking foot this, foot that, and now Bigfoot is a Chevy what do you do? Confusing!

Welding Wrongs
Hey Péwé, is that you running that wire-feed welder in 4xFoward with sandals on (Sept. '10)? Do you have any idea how wrong that looks? Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but my brother wants you to come down to the shop and stand under him in those sandals while he runs some 6011 splatter rod. Hahaha.

Yes, that is me, and I've been welding in sandals for some 40 years. It's dumb, it's wrong, and yet I do it. Even dumber and wronger would be to stand under your brother while he's welding! Thanks, but no thanks. It's a matter of personal responsibility.

Final Final Goof
You may have been a little hasty titling the letter from Patrick Dunn "Our Final Goof" in In Box, Oct. '10. I believe that he may be a little mixed up on M1008 and M1009 army vehicles. The M1008 is indeed a 1 1/4-ton Chevy pickup truck and has eight-lug wheels. Its military description is "Truck, Cargo, 1 1/4 ton." The M1009 is a Blazer but in military jargon identified as a "3/4 Ton Utility Vehicle," and it has six-lug wheels. This may be why Mr. Dunn is confused. Both of these vehicles are in the CUCV family of military vehicles.

Two pages over in the same issue of your excellent magazine is a picture of a civilianized M1009 belonging to Matt Dunker (Readers' Rides). All of the M1008 and M1009 CUCVs are equipped with Turbo 400 transmissions, not Turbo 350s as Mr. Dunn stated, or at least all of those belonging to United States Army Reserves.

Having spent 14 years working on Army Reserves equipment in an AMSA shop (Army Maintenance Support Activity) at Ft. Douglas in Salt Lake City, I also have a degree of knowledge about army vehicles. You might have also checked with Fred Williams, as he had an M1008 as a project for a number of years. I really hate seeing you admitting to goofing up when it wasn't really a goof at all. I really do enjoy your magazine.

Incidentally, those 'Bama Buggies in the same issue are like metal sculpture and should be considered works of art. I'm am not a buggy fan, but those were beautiful!
Alan Syndergaard
Retired Master Sargent
U.S. Army Reserves

And Finally
In your Oct. '10 issue in "Our Final Goof" (In Box), I read a lot of information about the CUCV that was false. The CUCV (commercial utility cargo vehicle) it was referring to has the following wheel lug studs.

1008 8-lug 1-ton truck
1009 6-lug blazer
1028 8-lug 1-ton truck with NP205 transfer case
1010 8-lug ambulance
1031 8-lug cab and chassis
1028 A2 & A3 1-ton dualie

I got this out of TM 9-2320-289-10, pages 1-3 through 1-8. Thanks for your time. I hope this can finally clear up the CUCV dilemma.
Sgt. Jeremy Pope

Right, guys, which is why we called it our final goof!

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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