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March 2012 InBox Letters to the Editor

January 2012 4 Wheel And Off Road Cover
Rick Péwé
| Four Wheeler Network Content Director
Posted March 1, 2012

Readers Questions & Comments

Cover Truck
I was wondering about the criteria to make the cover of your magazine. A certain company will give me a full sponsorship if I can get a contract for one cover from an esteemed magazine such as 4-Wheel & Off-Road. I have a brand-new ’11 Tundra TRD Rock Warrior and will be decking it out with their parts, and may also have a car audio sponsor lined up as well. Would my truck interest you at all once it is completed? Again, they will give me a complete sponsorship with a cover contract. Please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you!
Christopher Desautels
Batavia, NY

Sorry, we would never sell or promise a cover in exchange for sponsorship. There are no contracts for such and never will be as long as I am in charge. Covers only happen when we find the right vehicle on the right trail or right place at the right time, not simple staged shots or studio effects. The cover truck must be relevant to the issue at hand, relevant to the sport in general, relevant to the direction of the magazine, and attractive enough to help sell magazines. This ensures that all our coverage is on real-world vehicles used in the dirt. However, we are always interested in homebuilt creations, so send us a good photo for Readers’ Rides when you are done so we can see it.

More Dirt Every Day
Hi guys, it’s Tom again. I was just wondering what happens to your DED (Dirt Every Day) Jeeps when you revive them and bring them back home, like the ’51 CJ-3A in “Supersonic DED” [Oct. ’10]. Do you fully revive it? Or does it sit in its present condition? Do you take it on other DED trips, hopefully to revive another flatfender? Just wondering.
Tom Kyle
Via email

Thanks for asking, Tom. It depends on the vehicle, but as a rule I just keep them in the same condition or fix what needs attention. For example, on the Supersonic DED I need to replace the rear transfer case seal and the yoke before I can take it on another DED and maybe snag something else to bring back. But the basic vehicle stays pure to its form—no paint and body work for sure!

Copper or Aluminum Radiator?
I just got my October issue. Page 69, caption 2: “Under the hood the factory inline-six received a Howe aluminum radiator to help keep things cool” [“Clearance King”]. I have had the following discussion on many occasions with four-wheelers and even radiator shop owners, and all seem to think aluminum radiators are the best for heat dissipation. I totally disagree, and the following facts prove me correct.

To be able to transfer heat well, the finned tube or pipe material must have adequate thermal conductivity. Thermal conductivity is calculated with the formula: BTU ÷ (hrs·ft·F). In the imperial system of measurement thermal conductivity is measured in Btu ÷ (hr·ft·F) where 1 Btu ÷ (hr·ft·F) = 1.730735 W ÷ (m·K). (Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook, 7th ed., Table 1-4).

Aluminum has 58 percent of the thermal conductivity of copper. 136 for aluminum, 231 for copper, therefore (136 ÷ 231 = 0.58) x (100) = 58 percent. So why do all the articles and advertising put so much emphasis on aluminum radiators? They do not dissipate heat better than copper, are much harder to repair, and are more brittle than copper. I realize price is most likely the main consideration, but since when has the price been the primary factor when purchasing “the best?”
Paul Clark
Klamath Falls, OR

You are exactly right, Paul. Radiator technology has evolved greatly since the first stills and cars were made, and copper/brass radiators do conduct heat more effectively. However, that alone is not the end of the story. Cost, weight, ease of manufacture, shipping, and many other factors go into designing and producing a radiator for any particular application. Just as a cross-flow radiator isn’t any better at cooling than a down-flow, aluminum isn’t any better at cooling than copper/brass. That’s a myth. However, aluminum has the ability to cool nearly as well as a comparable conventional copper/brass radiator. This, combined with the other benefits of the aluminum design, makes aluminum a reasonable alternative and in many cases better for certain applications.

For example, a race vehicle that needs optimal weight savings would choose an aluminum radiator, while a deep desert explorer would choose a copper/bass radiator for heat conductivity. I personally run both styles depending on the vehicle and am happy with either one. And by the way, I can fix either one in a pinch as well.

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