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June 2012 InBox Letters to the Editor

Wrenching On An M715
Rick Péwé
| Four Wheeler Network Content Director
Posted June 1, 2012

Ram 2500 Steering, Jeep ID Goof, and More!

Massive Military Moxie
I just got my Mar. ’12 issue, and on page 72 there is a photo of (I think) an M715 Jeep truck in the upper left corner with a guy in sandals standing on the front bumper. Anyway, I’m looking to make a front bumper for my ’89 F-350 Diesel out of a big beefy C-channel, and I was wondering if there were any more pictures of this truck. The shackles on this bumper are intriguing. Any info you can give would be awesome. Thanks for a great magazine, you give me hope that someday my project truck will get done.
Southwick, MA

That is indeed an M715, after being driven from Los Angeles to the Chile Challenge in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a long time ago, way back in 1999. That truck is gone, but plenty of others like it abound—and yes, it is a simple C-channel with big shackles on beefed-up brackets. Oh, and that guy in the sandals? That’s me doing a clutch job on the truck after it spit out on the Continental Divide. Sounded like squirrels inside.

African Comments
Hi, I am Edward and I live in Ghana, West Africa. First of all, I want you to know that a lot of people go to your site who, like me, do not live in the U.S. or Canada. I had to put in false info with respect to the state and ZIP slots. You have international readers, so please let the Contact Us page reflect that. What I really need to know is if it’s possible for you to upgrade a Toyota Hilux Invincible 2011 to an Ultimate Adventure status?
Edward Asafu-Adjaye Accra, Ghana, West Africa

Edward, your truck would be more than welcome on the UA if you built it to our specs. Basically that means lockers front and rear, at least 35-inch tires, and a self-recovery winch out front. There’s more to it than that, but you can go to to see the latest rules and info. That being said, as you have seen, almost any vehicle can be made to participate in the UA. After more than 10 years of putting the event on, we have had nearly every make and model on the trip. Oh, and we have mentioned the problem with the Contact Us page before to our web team, but it fell on deaf ears. Thanks for asking, and we’ll mention it to them again.

Jeep ID Goof
I have flipped through or read my February copy of 4-Wheel & Off-Road several times. Each time I come to the “Famous Jeeps & Events” article I get a little teary-eyed. Too many good memories for an old codger.

There is one thing that keeps bugging me though. The picture of Jimmy Nylund’s “’51 M38-A1.” The A1 version of the M38 was a round-fendered CJ-5 body type. Obviously the picture isn’t an M38-A1. I do have to hand it to old Jimmy though. He must have been a heck of a body and fender man. Reworking that M38 grille into a nine-slot arrangement and then fitting in the small headlights must have been quite a project. Not to mention the “Willys” Bondo’d onto the side of the hood. And look at the cowl. He obviously worked way into the night (or several of them) welding and sanding to get rid of the battery box. I especially commend the safety rework of the gas tank filler. The smaller MB/CJ size will keep big fellas from poking their hand into the tank for a cool one.

Speaking of M38s, I’ve got a ’52 and I think I’ll cut it up and add a few inches to the wheelbase. Keep up the good work.
R. L. Raber
Hanford, CA

P.S. I’ve been seeing Rick Péwé’s 455ci Buick-powered flattie in the background for many years. If you need some page filler, do an article on the history of that rig, including buildup decisions that brought it to the pristine specimen that it is today.

Oh just wait until Jimmy sees what we called it! But then again, maybe that is why we did it? In fact, it isn’t even an M38, but a CJ-3A with an MB grille, a CJ-3B windshield, and Sweden Sucks lettering. We have been wheeling with him since he wandered into my 4x4 shop in the early ’80s, and still can’t figure out why. And yes, we plan on bringing my ’45 jeep back to life. It has been a bit forlorn sitting in the back 40.

Reader Rave
Whiz-Bang Sucks
This is the first time I’ve ever written in. I’ve been tempted many times lately (to bitch) but the Mar. ’12 issue blew my socks off—finally back to an issue I would consider archiving. I can remember years ago I used to save almost every issue due to the great tech articles truly worth saving, useful for just about any rig, not just the latest Jeep JK. For the past couple years your “tech” articles have been so lacking I actually canceled my subscription to one of your sister magazines and I was probably going to just let my subscription run out with you guys. Tech articles featuring the installation of a lift kit on a late-model Jeep? Come on, that’s not a tech article. It’s a glorified advertisement. I could afford a new rig and deck it out with all the whiz-bang U-joints, high-buck transfer cases, and store-bought custom axles, but that’s not what the core of four-wheeling is about and those are not the people who made your magazine successful. Please don’t forget that.

But now for the good, like your March article on the low-buck tire mount [“Ranch Raptor’s Secure Spare”]. Yeah, it’s not fancy, but you could apply that to just about any rig. I love the use of the threaded pipe and mounting flange.

Then there was “Jeep Axle Swapping on the Cheap.” Just the pictures of the jig table alone were phenomenal.

“Heat and Beat Barbeque” was hands-down the best I’ve seen you guys do in a long, long time. It’s the simple tips that are priceless, like using a radiator hose clamp to draw a straight line around an axletube or using your barbeque to heat up parts. Beating on the Cs with a sledge—that’s what I’m talking about. Bravo! Going into detail on how to measure it out and cut it right is what we are looking for. I know in the end you mentioned that maybe it wasn’t as good as a store-bought unit, but last time I checked they weren’t willing to trade for a slightly used set of Swampers and or maybe some bend time on your bender or maybe an old winch you had lying around. Please keep up the good work.
Vancouver, WA

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