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October 2007 Letters To The Editors

Posted in Project Vehicles on October 1, 2007
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Address your correspondence to:
Four Wheeler,
6420 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90048.

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 Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.

Reader: I was spurred to write due to your "10 Best 'Wheeling Cities" article and your Polaris RZR review ("Bed Toys," July '07). I live in Minneapolis: Sucky Jeeping, but tons of ATV trails (there are 3,000 miles of ATV-only trails). Recently, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has created a second class of ATVs called a Type 2, for 800cc-or-smaller engines and 900 to 1,500 pounds in weight. I was wondering if you would do a head-to-head a comparo between a stock CJ-2 and one or more of these side-by-side ATVs. Aren't they almost the same in size and power? In Minnesota, ATVs are king, and 4x4 Jeeps and trucks are relegated to two trails and one ATV park ... but when ATVs get bigger than old Jeeps, it could make for an interesting article.
Jim Stock
Minneapolis, MN

Editor: Well, stock CJ-2s in like-new condition aren't exactly plentiful in our neck of the woods these days, and besides, we'd be comparing all sorts of incompatible apples and oranges, what with carbureted pushrod motors vs. injected four-strokes, electronic transaxles vs. manual stickboxes, covered-wagon springs vs. independent suspensions, and so on. However, we are working on a couple of pretty exciting project series involving buildups of both a Yamaha Rhino and a Rhino RTV, which we'll be unveiling in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Reader: Just got the July issue and we think we noticed a goof in your "Top 10 Four-Wheeling Cities" article. We've driven all over the Colorado San Juans and don't recall seeing a Cimarron Pass. Are you sure you didn't mean Cinnamon?
Mike & Pris Arnett
Expat Colorado 'wheelers
(temporarily existing in Florida)

Editor: Well, uh, at least we didn't call it Cinderella. Thanks for the catch.

Reader: Has Four Wheeler done a test and review of the new Jeep Patriot?
Bob Colby

Editor: Yep, we sure have-check out the July '07 issue for our impressions.

Reader: I just picked up the July issue and was reading "Techline" when I came across the note from Lito Delacima concerning his "wandering" '03 F-350 Ford Super Duty longbed.

I have an '03 F-250 Super Duty shortbed that has exhibited the same problem since day one. I have owned the truck since new. The problem was so severe, the truck was borderline dangerous to drive. My trips to the dealership netted the same results Lito got, i.e., the factory alignment was within specs. Next, it was off to a chassis/frame specialist. In the end, he installed 1-degree negative bushings. This did help but did not cure the problem. Next, I loosened the lock nut on the steering box, ran the adjustment screw down to snug (three turns), then backed off one turn and set the lock nut. Again, an improvement-but not a cure.

Now, something new has started-a vibration felt in the steering wheel at road speeds when just moving the wheel off-center in either direction. I thought it might be the unit bearings, but there was still no movement when checked. I thought it might go away when I installed new tires, but it didn't. (The tires are just like the originals that came off, BFG Rugged Trails.) The truck is totally stock, with 50,000 miles on it with very light off-pavement use.

If anyone has encountered this and has made a successful repair/adjustment, please let me know.
Francis Pedneau
Phoenix, AZ

Editor: Thanks for writing in. Let's see what our readers know about this.

Reader: We are about to start on a big (and very expensive) rebuild/retrofit project on an '81 Toyota FJ40. We expect it to take most of the summer. All the work is being done by Jon Lovallo at Mad Dog Service in Port Chester, New York.

We're installing a 383 stroker engine, five-speed tranny with overdrive, inside-and-out paint job, custom seating, and lots of other extras-we're going to make it into a daily driver. Would you have any interest in doing a story on it?
Rich Aube

Editor: We're publishing your letter as an example of many that we receive each month on the same subject. As much as we'd like to help in this instance (and many others), due to our location and our work schedules, there's simply no way we can possibly cover reader buildups like yours. However, there's no reason why you (or a buddy) can't shoot some photos and write us a tech article. If it's polished enough, and we think there's sufficient reader interest, we just might publish it in the magazine-a lot of good freelancers got started that way. If nothing else, send us a snapshot when the buildup is done, along with some tech specs, and we'll run it in "Readers' Rigs" in the future. Deal?

In our recent survey of the "Top 10 Four-Wheeling Cities" (July '07), we neglected to include Desert Rat Truck Center among our list of 4x4 sources for Phoenix, Arizona. Our apologies to all for any inconvenience.

Also, in the August issue, we referenced ARB in our "Techline" column, and we erroneously listed the company's Web site address as Unfortunately, that address belongs to a company that removes roof fungus. The correct URL is Our apologies for any confusion.

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