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July 2005 Letters To The Editor

Lexus Gx470
Posted July 1, 2005

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The "Letter of the Month" author will be sent one of Four Wheeler's highly prized license plates. So be sure to include your full name and address when you write Four Wheeler at:
Four Wheeler Magazine
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Reader: In "Project TraiLex" (Mar. '05), Ned Bacon says the GX470's front skidplate is made from plastic "cutting board" material. I wanted to know where he found such a large sheet. Could I also ask how much it cost?
Garry Hill
via fourwheeler.com

Editor: Ned Bacon replies: Here is all I know about the skidplate material. It is polyethylene (or poly) cutting board, the same stuff that kitchen cutting boards are made of. I cut the 'plate for the Lexus with a saber saw from a 1/2-inch-thick, 4x8 sheet of the stuff. A cabinetmaker friend of mind got it from a cabinet-supply company in Reno. His cost for one sheet was around $100. Retail would probably be more.

Reader: I wanted to express my appreciation for "Weak Links, Strong Fixes" (Apr. '05) about Dodge and Plymouth 4x4s. I have a '78 Ramcharger that I've owned since new.

In past years, I pulled the 360 and put in a built 440 to give the old girl lots more low-end torque for the Colorado mountains. I set up my own 3-inch suspension lift, without an expensive kit, merely adding leaves and double Rancho 9000s. I've been in some really hairy places back in the Colorado mining and timber harvesting trails. Now it's a great old truck, but in need of restoring.

Your article not only hooked me up with Internet sources for repairs and improvements, but also specific problems to look for and to fix. I plan on doing most of this work myself, even changing the cam and lifters. I'll even paint the body. Your article is why I subscribe to your magazine. Keep the aged-truck articles coming-don't forget those old Dodges!
Bill Corbin
via fourwheeler.com

Reader: I just got the Apr. '05 issue. I was very impressed. I am a member of Ramchargercentral.com, and I even saw the article I wrote up in the "Weak Links, Strong Fixes." You even used a couple of pictures that I took. I had to laugh. Parts of my truck were in a magazine! Come on up to Reno and take pics of the rest of it if you want.

I really do want to say you guys had a great idea-letting the owners of the trucks help you with these. It was like we all had a spotlight on our brand for that month!

Thanks for mentioning our Web site, too. All of our members pulled together to scrape up all the knowledge we have on these old goats. We have just about everyone you can think of there willing to help out to get your rig running down the road. Thank you guys, for publishing our work. Y'all keep up the good work you do.
SSG Donald W Fleming
Reno, NV

Editor: You like Old Dodges, eh? Stay tuned-we've got some stories in the works that'll warm the cockles of your flathead six. Keep an eye on issues later in the year.

Reader: I must be the zillionth reader to mention this, but it appears that the folks fixing the airbag on page 75 of "Project TraiLex" (Apr. '05) are really setting a poor example of "safe trailing." Nowhere do I see a jackstand. If that rig decides to fall off the jack, you'll be looking for a new writer.

Also, the "Boonie Bag" article in the same issue fails to mention jackstands. I realize that it may be difficult to find a good perch for a stand on the trail, but at least one should be carried, with a piece of plywood and maybe a few metal tent pegs.

My grandson looks at the pictures-I want him to learn the right way to work on a car or truck.
Stu Mathison
via fourwheeler.com

Editor: Believe it or not, you were the only person who caught this-or at least cared enough to write in about it. What's worse, we always take a jackstand whenever we go four-wheeling-it's a must-have if you 'wheel in mud or sand. So shame on us for not catching this obvious gaffe. As penance, we'll strap Ned Bacon to the back of a Harley, and send you some Four Wheeler license plates-one for you, and one for your grandson. Thanks for keeping us-and our readers-on our toes.

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