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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: Regarding your Pickup Truck of the Year test (Jan. '06): I'm gonna just hope that the Ford F-150, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tundra, Chevy Colorado, Dodge Dakota, Nissan Titan, and others will be in the February issue. My January issue happened to be missing them from the test. Thanks for a partial report!
via the Internet
Editor: If it's time for our "of the Year" tests, it's surely time to reiterate for the umpteenth time: We only test 4x4s-pickups or SUVs-that are either all new for the coming model year, or substantially revised from the previous model year (e.g., new engine, drivetrain, suspension, and so on). The vehicles you mentioned were all unchanged from the previous model year, hence we didn't test them this time.
Reader: I love four-wheeling and all the aspects of it. I buy your magazine every month, and have bought a few things from the ads in your magazine. I own an '04 Chevy Silverado 4x2 regular-cab that I want to convert to four-wheel drive. Being 17, it was hard to buy a new truck with the Z/71 package, but now I'm more into trucks, and I want to make a project of turning my truck into a 4x4 and someday be in your magazine or just to be like the ones I see. I go to school full-time and have a full-time job to pay for parts. What I'm getting at is, if there is a way you can fill me in on the necessary parts I need to make my truck a four-wheel drive: somewhat not too expensive, but working. I just need a list of parts and what applications I need for my truck.
I work at a dealership, so I can get the parts from GM, but I need to know if there is a better way to go about making my transformation. I know James Bertao's Chevy (on your June '05 cover) in the magazine has a straight axle, but I still want to keep the independent suspension on my truck. If it's no trouble, can you help me out? I don't know where else to go.
Crystal Lake, IL
Editor: "How to convert?" is a question we're frequently asked-so as a service to curious readers, we'll show how to convert a 4x2 truck to four-wheel drive in next month's issue.
Reader: I'm writing to you because about two weeks ago in an attempt to wax my vehicle, I mistakenly used a rubbing compound on my '98 GMC Z71 paint which was in excellent condition. It left scuff and swirl marks up and down the whole side of my truck. Today I watched the video by Michael Pennington on your Web site on how to properly wash and wax your truck. I was always unsure of how to take care of my vehicle's paint until today. I purchased the products and applied them, and my '98 paint job looks as good as any brand-new truck's. The scuff marks from branches were also buffed out, and the surface feels as smooth as glass. Thank you very much for your informative video.
Editor: We'd love to take credit for this, but this story was the work of our intrepid Online Editor Ed Sanchez. For those of you who haven't seen it, visit http://fourwheeler.com/av/video/129_0504_video. Glad it helped.
Reader: After reading Part II of the Nissan Frontier Nismo (Nov. '05), I've been looking for that specific front prerunner bumper, but have not a single bit of luck. I'm just looking for a point in the right direction to where you guys brought that home from.
Lance Cpl. Morrison, USMC
Editor: Robin Stover replies: Yes, you can find the Manik Nudge Bar that we installed on our Project Frontier Nismo by visiting www.manik.com or calling 800/457-7645. Otherwise, Calmini (800/345-3305, www.calmini.com) now offers nice OE replacement prerunner front and rear bumpers for the '05 Frontier. Another good bumper source for this vehicle is FST Motorsports (602/484-7127,www.fly-n-hi.com).
Reader: Thought you might get a kick out of this pic. We ventured to Canada for a guys' weekend this past weekend (the day after Thanksgiving), and we ended up missing Friday's trail ride due to a very slippery road out past the Searchmont area.
We managed to smoke the trans in the Jeep as it continued to run on the trailer as we were trying to secure it. Also, the driveshaft of the tow vehicle twisted in half as it collided with the road shoulder. And my shorts were funky!
The truck, trailer, and Jeep belong to Jim Kitson, a Great Lakes individual member, and I was his co-pilot.
President Great Lakes Four Wheel
Owner, Ironman Offroad
Editor: Serves you right for not staying home and gorging on leftover flightless bird. But thanks for the pic-and for your efforts, we're sending you a couple of Four Wheeler license plates for your rigs. Just take 'em off your truck when you get stuck!