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July 2011 InBox - Letters to the Editor

Kobalt Tools
Rick Péwé
| Four Wheeler Network Content Director
Posted July 1, 2011

DED Tour, Tires, Jeeps, and More!

DED Tour Rules
I just wanted to ask about your DED [Dirt Every Day] and if you can also do trucks along with the Jeeps. When you found the white Jeep in your Oct. ’10 issue on your way back, were you able to contact the owner, and what happened?

I have one more question. Do you think an ’80s GMC is a good truck to start off with, because I am only 11 and soon to be 12 next month. I have been reading since the age of 5. Keep up the great work. God bless!

The rules on a DED tour is that you must find Dirt Every Day, and hopefully not die at least once each trip. Other than that, there are no rules. We do have guidelines, such as we like to have an old Jeep or jeep, in relatively poor but serviceable condition, so that we can make the rudimentary amount of repairs to limp it home in grand style. For instance, buying new tires is a party foul, but changing the oil is acceptable.

In your case, a mid ’80s truck is older than you are so it would be a fine DED candidate by the time you can drive. And since you have been reading us since you were 5, you are well on your way to being a good DED guy. And the white Jeep will have to wait for another trip before we see if that could make a good DED Jeep.

Fine Old Generals
I admit it, I am a tire guy. I don’t know what it is, but I could stare at tire tread patterns all day long. That said, I have brought this question to the experts: Why do tire companies continue to change the tread design of popular models when they are already proven off-road? I mean, look at the tires you guys had on the CJ-17 that you used as rollers ( Those look like some awesome all-terrain tread, so why did General change them? I have seen some gnarly tread on some old truck tires, so why don’t tire companies produce some of those popular, retro designs and see how they hold up today?
Matthew Todd
Via email

It’s the same reason you aren’t driving a 25-year-old Jeep. Oh wait, maybe I’m wrong, and lower/longer/fatter/wider vehicles are exactly what we do want off-road. Really, Matthew, there are improvements in tire technology as far as design, construction, and performance go. While I still like those Generals in the photo, and as good as they were, the new designs do better for today’s vehicles and dirt. Really.

Damaging Whoops!
Whoops! has always been one of my favorite sections of your mag, but after reading ”Stop Trail Closings!” (Dec. ’10) I just wanted to add that each whoops that month is a stuck vehicle tearing the ground up off the trail, with the real trail in the background. If a land manager were nearby in each of those three instances, I doubt he or she would look positively at these examples of the four-wheeling community. Why would anyone ever want to keep our trails open if people choose to drive like that?
Alex Wing
Via email

We try to print Whoops! photos only when the situation is both legal and ecologically sound where it occurred. Unfortunately, there are those people that take photos out of that context and use them for their own agendas. We surely do not agree with wanton destruction of our environment and hope that our readers feel the same way.

Jeep Nomenclature
I have only read one of your magazines, and I was wondering: What does Jeep TJ, WK, and so on stand for? Any information you have would be accepted.
Nathan Bruchman
Via email

Those are engineering designations for particular Jeep models. They don’t actually mean anything except, initially, CJ stood for Civilian Jeep. When later models came named YJ and TJ, we joked about them meaning Yuppie Jeep and Trendy Jeep, but the letters were simply an internal engineering designation to identify a certain model.

Wants a new plate
I am inquiring as to whether I may be able to receive a new license plate. One was issued to me when I was featured in your magazine in Nov. ’89. The article was titled “Perfection” and was written by Associate Editor Brent Ross. I took him on several trail rides, which were also featured in different issues of your magazine. My Jeep is a red ’51 Willys M38 (CJ3A). I have proudly displayed your license plate for the last 21 years. It is in need of replacement, as the colors are all but gone and the plate has been mashed several times on rockcrawling journeys.

I was also wondering if you would be interested in doing a “still going after all these years” or a “where are they now” story, as it has been 26 years since I finished restoring it. It now has 100,000 miles on it, and it is still providing wheeling fun and excitement to my family. I still show it and off-road it whenever the opportunity comes along.

I have made several updates along the years as new and improved options are discovered. It has an inverted 44 with an ABR Air Locker in the rear and an open-knuckle 30 with a Detroit Gearless in the front. I have about 8,000 hours in four years (30 years ago) in restoring the entire project, and I think it still looks and performs respectably.

Please let me know if you are interested. I would really appreciate it if you thought you could send me a new plate that I could once again display with pride. Thank you for your consideration.
Ed Fisher
Via email

Sorry, no plate for you.

April fools! We’ll send one out posthaste! Glad to see that the Jeep is still around. Maybe it needs to join us on a vintage Jeep run?

Math Problem
In the Gravelrama article (Apr. ’11) you show two pictures of the Runck CJ-6. You say that you “found a shot from 20 years ago at the 1980 Gravelrama of the same Jeep.” Twenty years ago would’ve been 1990; 1980 was 30 years ago.

Keep up the good work on the mag. I love reading it every month and getting inspiration for my ’03 Suburban 1500. With my current 6-inch BDS lift and 35–inch Pro Comp tires, it’s a real family fun vehicle for this Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, my wife, and our four kids.
Barry Corkle
Via email

Damn calculators! I must need new batteries.

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