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July 2012 In Box Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on July 1, 2012
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Toyota Mag?
I just picked up the magazine 4x4 Garage Presents Toyota, dated winter 2011. Your web page was listed in bold in the masthead. At the top of the masthead it says “Toyota Special.” The cover seems to imply it is a Toyota enthusiasts publication, while the inside cover seems to indicate it is a one-off issue. Did I stumble upon a magazine I will subscribe to, or did I get lucky to find an issue that my love of 4Runners and FJ Cruisers will enjoy for a few weeks? If it is only a single issue, I think with five generations of 4Runners, two generations of Tundras and Tacomas, several generations of Land Cruisers, and the FJ, a dedicated Toyota 4x4 magazine would be awesome. I would like your company to consider the idea.
Shawn Elletson
San Antonio, TX

Sorry, that was a one-shot. We publish a lot of specialty and niche issues, and the more we sell the more likely we are to produce another one. Another issue of 4x4 Garage: Toyota is scheduled to go on sale October 16. It will only be on newsstands, so go out and buy another, and thanks!

More Road Trips
I have been a subscriber for about 25 years, and I can honestly say I don’t care what the newest whiz-bang component is for the JK or any other new vehicle. What keeps my interest are the Dirt Every Day tours. Fred’s “CA to PA in a CJ” [Apr. and May ’12] may not have been technically a DED tour, but it was still a very entertaining article about road trips in old Jeeps that, well, probably shouldn’t be on road trips. Hats off to Fred Williams and David Freiburger for taking on these adventures and sharing them with us.

To be fair, I understand a lot of people do care about the latest upgrades for the newest 4x4 and those should be a part of the magazine too. I tend to keep my “junk” longer than most, so I’m more interested in new aftermarket parts for older vehicles, and I think you do a decent job there.

The March issue had a blurb about MSD’s new Atomic EFI [New Products], which may find a home on my ’82 Scrambler project that now has a poorly running carbureted Chevy 350 and JB conversions built NV4500. Any chance we can get an evaluation on this new EFI system?

My “junk”:
• ’97 Ram 2500 4x4 Cummins, 182K miles
• ’03 WJ Limited, 110K
• ’82 CJ-8, 44K

After 25 years of reading yours, thanks for reading mine.
Via email

Thanks. We will indeed keep hitting the road in a variety of junk. And yes, the installation of the Atomic EFI is slated for an upcoming story, and not on a JK!

How to Survive
Thank you, Rick Péwé, for the great story of being ready, able, and willing to take care of yourself in “Getting Stuck for Fun & Profit” [4xForward, Jan. and Feb. ’12]. We all need to understand that the nannies we seem to crave—whether they are black boxes, the government, or insurance companies—can cause problems we must solve for ourselves.

Kudos also to reader Edward Laag for proposing “Zero Liability Recreation Areas,” [In Box, Feb. ’12]. This is a concept that needs to be returned to our way of life—that we do not expect anyone to protect us from ourselves. I compare these to the letters you receive castigating the magazine for pictures of assumed unsafe working conditions. Anyone who thinks welding isn’t done in sandals or that drills are not operated without safety glasses in the real world must pretend to work for the government. What has happened to common sense and personal responsibility? I really enjoy your magazine and please, keep telling and showing it like it is!
Dick Grover
Via email

Just wait till you see my steel-toed safety sandals sent in by a reader. Incredible!

Where Are They Made?
I always look forward to the tire tech articles and often wonder while I read them, Is this the best tire for me? I think you guys do a good job testing and give honest feedback, but I wonder why you don’t always tell what country the tires are manufactured in. This information is important to me and maybe to other readers as well. Keep up the great work.
Mike Proctor
Muskegon, MI

We don’t always know where a tire is manufactured, and for the most part it doesn’t really matter. Most big tire companies have factories all over the world and source their tires depending on availability and run schedules. We’d love to buy only American-made products, but only a few factories make tires in the U.S. now. They couldn’t keep up with the demand of the tire market, so tires come from all over the world. Just like underwear; it’s probably not made here in the states, and nobody even notices.

Seatbelts Save Lives
Another important point about seatbelts is that with them, the driver doesn’t have to keep himself in the seat [“Click It or Die,” Apr. ’12]. Instead of using their hands and feet as braces, drivers can use them to steer and brake, accelerate and shift. These actions may prevent carnage to their vehicle and, more important, themselves. I know it has helped me both off-road and on.
Marty Dick
Via email

Right! The notion that a seatbelt doesn’t work is for idiots and dead people. Just ask them.

1-Inch What?
This is probably a stupid question, but while reading your magazines I often come across 1-inch squares with digital markings on them. Is it a security mark or a sponsor mark? I really like your magazine and will continue to read it, once I figure this out! Thanks for your time.
Randy Rodabaugh Sr.
Via email

What you are seeing is a QR code, which smart phones can scan to be taken directly to a web page, hopefully one of ours at It’s the same principle as the bar codes that have been on products for years except instead of price info, QR codes take the place of typing a long web address on a tiny keyboard. It’s the hip new gizmo, and now that you know what they are you will notice them everywhere.

Reader Rant
It’s a Wave Thing
Guys, I’ve been a reader for years and love the mag. I’ve also seen a couple letters about “It’s a Jeep thing.” Being a Jeeper myself for years, I gotta ask: What happened to “the wave”? That’s where “It’s a Jeep thing” came from.

My wife bought her first Wrangler soon after we started dating. (Yeah, that’s how I roll.) I told her all about “the wave” being Jeep law, so to speak. Now she points out how she rarely gets a wave back. So I started noticing it myself. I’m not knocking them, but it seems the nonwavers are mostly JKs. I figure that’s due to the fact they come in an automatic and anyone can get one. Jeeps are known as straight shifts, thus putting us in a “club.”

I just want people to realize we wave because we’re that cool. So share in the coolness!

I don’t care if you’re on the phone, adjusting the radio, tuning in your CB, or checking your inclinometer. Wave! It’s one of the best parts of Jeepin’. We have this club of cool kids. Sure, you can call us the popular kids. I do. So all you Jeepers out there, whether you’re in a CJ, YJ, TJ, JK, or LMNOPJ, wave! That’s what Jeepin’ is about.

It’s a Jeep thing, period. You don’t see Fords waving. You don’t see Toyotas waving. It’s a Jeep thing. Let’s keep it up for the sake of future generations. My son will learn of this rule, as I hope my fellow Jeepers will teach their children. That’s what it really boils down to, folks. The kids. It’s all for the kids. I digress. So whenever you’re down in Georgia and you see a silver TJ cruising toward ya, expect a wave. Thanks for letting me vent for a minute, and keep up the great work!
Dave Asbridge
Lawrenceville, GA

P.S. If Ford or Toyota feelings were hurt in the reading of this rant, I apologize. You kids are cool too.

I’m still laughing about “automatic and anyone can get one”! Yes, it takes a while for people to learn what they never knew, and the more you wave the more it will be returned. My biggest problem is waving at Jeeps and then realizing I’m driving a rental Taurus or some such rot. Hopefully they just think I’m friendly.

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 Email to:

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