Inbox April 2017 Letters To Four Wheeler EditorPosted in Features on January 10, 2017 0) (
Green Acres BroncoLoved the article about the Bronco at 50 years old (“The Bronco @ 50,” Dec. ’16). I loved seeing all the Roadster Broncos. Whenever I see one it reminds me of the old ’60s TV series “Green Acres” and the county agricultural agent Hank Kimball who would pull up on the Douglas farm in his Bronco Roadster. One thing I always tried to figure out when he pulled up was whether the Bronco had a manual floor shifter. I don’t think they ever had one did they? But in some of the scenes it just seemed like you could see his arm move back-and-forth like you would to make sure a floor shifter is in neutral. Of course the camera angles weren’t good enough to actually see the shifter but his arm movements gave me the impression that he was putting a floor shifter in neutral. Then again, I was young and my memory isn’t so. Now what were we talking about? I’m sure many of your readers don’t know what I’m talking about, but if they can find the show, it really is worth watching just to see the Bronco now and then. I'm just glad I don't have to climb the pole to call you with this information.
Jim Allen, vintage 4x4 guru, says, “No, the first-generation Broncos never had a floor shifter for the transmission from the factory. Bill Stroppe offered a four-speed conversion to a Ford Top Loader, which had a floor shifter, alongside their automatic conversion (which predated Ford offering one). The early Bronco did have a transfer case shifter that looked a lot like a transmission shifter, and that led to people accidentally shifting the transfer case. As a result they went to a different type of shifter that was easier to distinguish.”
We Asked, You Answered
This is my daily driver/do-all vehicle. It’s a ’05 Dodge Ram regular cab shortbed I bought new in August of that year. The odometer reads 113,000 miles and counting. The truck has a 3-inch lift, 4.56 gears with a Detroit Truetrac in the rear, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs, Hemi engine with shorty headers and Superchips tune. Trying to keep it nice after all these Michigan winters. This one is a keeper. Still love driving it!
This was my grandfather’s old rig and now he passed it down to me. Been in the family for 28 years. It’s an ’88 Toyota pickup 4x4!
This is my ’97 GMC truck. I bought it new in 1996. It has a 350ci engine and a five-speed manual transmission just like it came from the factory. It only has 35,000 miles on it. I only use it to haul things. I have other cars.
This is my ’83 CJ-7. I bought it used in 1992. It has since received more upgrades than I can list in a “brief description.” I have had it approximately 23 years. Longer than my son. She’s part of the family and has conquered the Rubicon, Hammer trails in Johnson Valley, frequents Truckhaven, etc. We tow her behind the RV, and it’s our general runabout on all our camping trips. I taught the kids to drive stick with it (a dying skill, in my opinion).
I’ve owned this ’79 Ram since 1980, 37 years of dependable reliability. I will probably put it in my will. I’ve pulled other stuck 4x4s out, hauled a 2,000-pound Caveman camper, pulled an 18-foot boat, took it camping, moving, and it was my daily driver at one time. She’s a gem, and as long as I have a place, she’s got a parking spot.
The most senior rig in my fleet is our ’90 XJ owned new since December 1989. It was delivered with 7 miles on it, and as of today, it has 309,609 miles showing. It’s a Laredo 4.0L five-speed with the factory off-road package. The engine has never been opened but all of the usual stuff—water pump, alternator, starter (two, actually), clutch, and radiator—have been replaced. The only extraordinary thing has been a new ring-and-pinon in the Dana 35 rearend at around 170,000 miles. It leaks. It sounds like hell due to the cracked exhaust manifold. And it does not produce heat very well at less than 40 degrees. But it is still one of our daily drivers.
“How Long Have You Owned Your 4x4?” was the question we asked in the Dec. ’16 Firing Order column. Four Wheeler readers answered in a big way, sending us scores of great emails. The preceding 4x4s are but a sample of what we received, and we’re working on putting together a story that highlights many of the rigs that you sent us, so stay tuned!
And ThisYou need to do something with the S-10.
I just bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited? Now I’m nervous. Is my Jeep limited off-road?