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All letters become the property of Four Wheeler, and we reserve the right to edit them for length, accuracy, and clarity. The editorial department also can be reached through the Web site at www.fourwheeler.com. Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.
Reader: I just got my Oct. '05 Four Wheeler. I wanted to let you know that it's the most enjoyable issue I've ever read. I'm only 26 years old, but I love seeing and reading about where recreational four-wheeling got its start, and I love seeing how things used to be. I'm surprised to see that while a lot has changed over the last 500 issues, there is a lot that still remains the same after all these years. I guess in the 4x4 world, the old saying applies: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
I really enjoy the retro stuff. It gets me caught up on the decades that most enthusiasts got to experience first-hand. And it gives me a new appreciation for the early 4x4 pioneers, where the sport came from, and where it's likely to go from here. I'm keeping this issue forever! (Which means that it won't get laid on the coffee table, where my wife can grab it and make it mysteriously disappear.) Keep up the good work!
Reader: I just read Ken Brubaker's perimeter lighting story ("Project Fiery Redhead," Oct. '05). I thought it was good. I always thought Light Force lights were cheap Wal-Mart lights. After reading that they were HID with internal ballast, I know I was wrong.
I suggest to Ken that he do a story about installing a police/pillar-mounted adjustable spotlight. I've mounted a Unity spotlight onto a Ranger, Grand Cherokees, and a Dakota and I've been very happy with the performance, the professional look, and I've never had a water leak. They come in 5 and 7 inches, chrome or black. I mounted the 5-inch on my Dakota, removed the sealed beam, put in a fixture from a driving light, and installed a 130-watt H1 bulb. It is very bright and puts the light right where I need it.
I'm interested in lighting more than most people. The best advice I can give is, do a professional job when installing anything electrical. Don't install a problem that will come up at the worst time.
via the Internet
Editor: We've always found lighting to be one of the most popular subjects we cover, right after tires, wheels, and suspension. We'll be returning to the topic throughout the year.
Reader: About your Hummer H3 road test (Sept. '05): Great article, but I don't understand why anyone would want a larger engine, what with 520 lb-ft of torque in the stock engine as your spec box claims. Is this correct?
via the Internet
Editor: Uh, not quite. That figure should be, uh, 225 lb-ft. (Dohhh!!) The offending party has been sentenced to write a Trailblazer/Envoy/Ascender/Rainier comparo test for an upcoming issue of Truckin's SUV. Sorry for the slip-up.
Reader: I really love your Real Truck Club Challenge, especially since it is held at my favorite 'wheeling place, Badlands Off-Road Park in Indiana. I enjoy watching the 2004 video as often as possible. Watching it only makes me want to return there more. Seeing some of the trucks struggling on obstacles I've conquered on my 32-inch TSLs is a boost. After returning to Attica earlier last year, I realized the "stair step wall" had changed to the point that I couldn't do it. It was dug out so bad, it made it impossible for me.
I wish you could break RTCC into two classes to give those of us running smaller vehicles a chance. There should be a 33-inch-and-under tire class, and a 34-inch-and-over tire class, with 10 to 15 trucks for each class. I know my 4x4 will never have anything bigger than 35s. I say bring a vote to the people (readers) and see what they say. I'm sure you'll be surprised by the outcome.
Fort Wayne, IN
Editor: This, friends, is a heck of a great idea. We'll keep it in mind when we're sifting through our next batch of entries for RTCC 2006, and if we get enough of them to split them into groups, we'll give it some serious thought. And if you want to try your hand as an RTCC competitor this summer, catch our March and April '06 issues for entry forms.
Reader: This is our company's M1114 up-armored Humvee bogged down in a ditch of human waste in a Baghdad suburb. The Humvee made it about 30 feet pushing the sludge with its bumper. Not bad for a 13,000-pound hunk of metal, and with just a little tug from another M1114, it was freed up. It was only sunk in the ditch about 3 feet down, and made for a smelly day for the company. Thanks for all the support that is given to the men and women of the Armed Forces.
The Men of 1st Platoon B
Co. 2, 130th INF
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