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August 2009 Letters To The Editor

Posted August 1, 2009

Send Us Your Letters

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.

Gear Swaps: Missed It By That Much...
Reader: Hi folks, I've been enjoying your magazine for probably 30 years now. You might want to recheck the latter part of your answer to the "Re-Gearing for Bigger Tires" ("Letters," May '09). The recommendation to gear lower (from 4.56:1 to 4.88:1) in order to keep revs down seems a bit backwards to this old engineer.
Jeff Pittman
Terry, MS

Reader: Normally, when reading your columns, I find good advice and expert recommendations. However, after reading the response to "Re-Gearing for Bigger Tires," my faith in your competency has diminished. I hope you meant to say in your response, in order to keep rpm down to use 4.11:1 gears instead of 4.88:1. Did you have a gross conceptual error concerning gear ratios?
Ed Winegar
Battle Creek, MI

Editor: Boy, what a difference one little word can make. We should have advised our reader to go with the lower 4.88:1 gears to keep his revs up, not down, at highway speeds when towing a load. But you're both correct, and that's why the OE truck manufacturers typically offer lower (numerically higher) gear sets with their factory towing packages. Our bad, and thanks for the catch.

What's "Abnormal" For A Jeep?
Reader: What are abnormal driving conditions for a stock Jeep Rubicon Unlimited?

I have had numerous warranty claims with my stock Jeep. So far, I have received the following statements:

"Abnormal driving conditions are causing your hard top to crack." This was told to me after I drove up the rock formation on the dealer's lot to replicate the sound the top was making.

"Mud severed the wire at the rear locker solenoid." The rear locker problem arose two weeks after the dealer replaced the original rear locker solenoid for not actuating.

I have tried calling Jeep's 1-800 number, and the outsource help desk employee could not give me any assistance or feedback in writing. The dealer will not elaborate in detail what "abnormal" driving conditions are. Therefore, I'm asking if someone on your staff could explain what "abnormal" driving conditions are for a Jeep Rubicon?
Garrett Tomblin
Foster, WV

Editor: Sounds to us like your dealer is winging it as he goes along. Our advice: Shop around for another Jeep dealer for service if it's possible. You can also arm yourself with information by checking the Internet for any Chrysler service bulletins that might cover your vehicle. Since we don't know the exact model year of your Jeep, we aren't sure if there's a recall related to the problems you describe, but if you check out, you should be able to find out if these problems on your Jeep are covered under warranty.

Needs `60s Blazer NOS Parts
Reader: I need help finding a place to find and buy a windshield frame/cowl for a `69 K-5 Blazer. Do you know of any dealers for such parts?
Tracy Bright
North Cape May, NJ

Editor: Try Manes Truck Parts (877/358-6745, Since they specialize in '67-'72 GM truck parts, they should be able to help you find what you're looking for.

Wants More Stroker Jeep-Six Info
Reader: First, I'd like to say great rag. I keep them all for future projects. I bought an `89 Comanche (4x2) for $400, took all the good stuff and sold the rest to a scrap metal place for $200. So now I have this 4.0L itchin' to get stroked and stuffed into my `92 XJ. Your engine-building story, "Inside the Inline" (Sept. '07), listed the block that I have (casting number 53005535). Can I use any combination of those parts listed to build my stroker? I will bore the '89 4.0L .030 over, use a 258 crank, long rods (6.125-inch), and the shorter piston pin height (1.38 inches). I will use my `92 H.O. head (casting number 7120), and everything else will come off my `92 H.O. and put on the `89 block. I just want to make sure this goes smoothly. This will be my first build by myself, I am mechanically inclined and, of course, on a budget.
Brian Blanton
Phenix City, AL

Editor: Jeep engine guru Jim Allen replies: To answer your question, yes, you can use most of the parts listed in the story, but that chart is really for the "short-rod" engines, as shown in the story, which uses the 258 short rods. You are talking about using the 4.0L long rods, which makes it a "long rod" engine and requires custom pistons (which you can get from Hesco (; or you can order a set from any builder of custom pistons). Remember that the other important element is your camshaft. If you are going to use the factory 4.0L cam, you'll have a lot of dynamic compression to deal with, so your piston pin height selection will be vital. Get the stuff you need to do accurate cc'ing, and use the formulas to calculate combustion chamber volume and verify it all. Getting that part right will dictate ping or no ping, full success or marginal success. Hesco's pistons are probably the best choice if you want to go with a long rod engine, plus they have a lot of the other little goodies you might need.

Project Frontier Snorkel Source
Reader: I read your article on the installation of TJM's Airtec snorkel on your Project Frontier and enjoyed it. I was inquiring about where you purchased the product since I have been unable to find hardly any of their products here in the U.S.
Lee Horner
West Point, MS

Editor: TJM is an Australian company; you can inquire about getting a snorkel at their US subsidiary (865/670-1556, e-mail:

Wants New D-Ring Isolators
Reader: Your magazine is the best! I was wondering where I can find the Daystar D-Ring Protectors. That clanking is probably one of the most annoying sounds I hear when trail riding.
Chris Cain
West Lafayette, IN

Editor: Daystar can help you here. Log onto their website ( Click on the "Dealers" link, and they can tell you which retailers have got them in your area.

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