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July 2009 Letters To The Editor

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 1, 2009
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Where To Write
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.

Wants 4-Wheel's Ultimate FJ Cruiser
Reader: I saw in the April '09 issue that Fred Williams wants to enter the Petersen's 4-Wheel Ultimate FJ in Top Truck Challenge before it goes off to the crusher. Why waste an awesome rig like that? Would or could you sell it or raffle it off? That is the best-built FJ I have seen, and wouldn't mind adding it to my other Toyotas. I currently own a 1972 FJ40, a 1987 4x4 pickup, and a '96 Lexus LX 450, and that FJ would be an awesome rig to own.
Wayne Bollinger
Klamath Falls, OR

Editor: As Fred mentioned in the April issue, the FJ "is a rental, and I plan on driving it like one." Which is to say, the rig doesn't belong to the magazine but is on an extended loan from Toyota. And sadly, it is scheduled to be returned to Toyota shortly after TTC this summer. We do agree with you-it's unfortunate that the rig is headed for the crusher eventually, but for liability reasons, it most likely could never be re-sold anyway.

Wants Back Issue Info
Reader: How can I buy all of the back issues that have "Project Fiery Redhead" in them? What would it cost? I have a 1995 Ford XLT that's red also. (I know it is on the Internet, but I want to have it in my hands.)
Don Denning Sr.
Chula Vista, CA

Editor: Back issues can be ordered by writing to Four Wheeler Back Issues, 2900 Amber Lane, Corona, CA 92882. Cost is $6 per magazine plus $3 for shipping and handling. Be sure the specify the issue(s) you're looking for

Tow Strap Substitutes?
Reader: I don't know if I'm sending this to the right person, but I'm trying to find info on using a fire hose as a tow rope to get vehicles out from being stuck. Are these safe and good to use?
Gustavo Alberti
Henderson, NV

Editor: One word: Don't. Please. As a rule, we think it's wise to follow the Ace Wrench's number-one rule-namely, always use the proper tool for the job, not a close substitute. Sure, in a pinch you can use a hose or a chain or even a rope, but it'll be a lot less durable-and much, much, much less safe-than a properly rated tow strap. It's one item that every trail-driven rig should always have onboard.

Tracking Down Frontier Nismo Tech
Reader: I'm looking for information about your past project Nissan Frontier Nismo. I'm very close to buying a pickup (we're talking a few months), and it's down to the Frontier or the Toyota Tacoma. I liked what you did with your Frontier and would like to use some of your ideas.
Russell Whieldon
Point Roberts, WA

Editor: Simple. Log onto In the "Search" window, type "Frontier," and in an instant, you'll find the information you're looking for.

First-Gen Pathfinder Axle Info
Reader: I would like to know the specs of a '92 Nissan Pathfinder with the V-6 engine. I would like to know what axles I have and what gearing I should be running with 31-inch tires. What are the suspension-lift options?
Robert Murguia
El Paso, TX

Editor: First-generation (pre-'96) V-6 Pathfinders and Hardbodys ran Nissan corporate axles known as the R200 (front) and H233B (rear); the numbers stand for the ring gear diameter expressed in millimeters-and yes, that means the rear axle has a very stout (9.3-inch) ring gear. They came from the factory with 31-spline outers, and stock axle gearing was 4.38:1, which is fine with 31x10.50 tires. Suspension options are somewhat limited, though we do know that Calmini offers a 3-inch kit, and Trail Master makes a 4-inch kit for this model as well. Another good source of information is the Nissan Pathfinder Off Road Association (

We Want Our Real Truck Challenge!
Reader: I am writing in response to the lack of feedback on any kind of decision that has been reached in regards to the Real Truck Club Challenge. The input from the readers, as well as myself, cannot be denied. Me, my team, and my club will be going to Indiana this August. Will there be an RTCC held this year? Will there be an RTCC held ever? We attended this event nearly every year it was held, and we enjoyed it every year, as well as looked forward to the following year.

Lately, we have been on a search to find an event to fill the void the RTCC has left-mostly, with unsatisfactory results. It's just not the same. I have left my opinion in the forums at, with about three dozen other folks. The main consensus is to bring it back. I truly hope that you have not ruled out any future events held in Attica.
Tim Cousino
Port Clinton, OH

Editor: Absolutely not. And we share your frustration since we, too, had a great time at RTCC in the years we held the event. Our own tech editor Sean Holman still swears it's the most enjoyable 4x4 event he's ever covered. And the folks at the Badlands have always been accommodating towards us, and they've invited us back to hold RTCC-or any other event we'd like to-numerous times. The problem was, the event simply didn't generate sufficient revenue to justify its continuance. Which is a nice way of saying, it didn't make any money-and the last year we held it, we even lost money on it. That's not to say we'll never host RTCC, or any other event, in the future-but given the current business and economic climates in the 4x4 marketplace right now, it'll likely be a while before we consider doing it again. Hopefully, as conditions improve, we'll be able to attract more sponsors, which will enable us to invest more resources into more promotions and advertising to drive attendance, which in turn will make RTCC economically feasible again. We'll let you know if it happens.

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