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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 can also be reached through the website at www.fourwheeler.com. Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.
Readers Are Mad For Mud
Reader: Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your coverage of mud (June '09). It is totally refreshing to see the gooey, slimy, dirty stuff get the spotlight. I was beginning to think that the four-wheel-drive world had converted to strictly "rocks." I'm from the farmlands of New Jersey, and the guys and gals here with four-wheel-drive rigs know a thing or two about playing in the mud.
Personally, I've been slinging it since the early '90s with butt-ugly, well-built mud beasts. I've just returned home from a deployment in Iraq, where there was plenty of mud for a northern redneck to play in. Your mag was a huge chunk of home while I was overseas. Keep up the good work--and maybe just a little more mud now and again.
PFC Joseph LaClaire
Carneys Point, NJ
Reader: How many errors can you squeeze into one paragraph? I was skimming through the rag and I ran across Sean Holman's "Mud Basics" article (June '09). One item caught my eye because that's one of my mantras--"Never go to sleep with mud under the truck." But I was amazed at the concentration of errors there:
Spelling: it's "brake," not "break," components.
Extra weight doesn't shorten braking distance.
Dried acids don't do anything--acids are only acids when they're dissolved in water.
I was so disgusted, I didn't read the rest of the article, but I'm betting I'll find a couple more glaring mistakes when I build up the nerve.
Editor: You're right, sort of--our copy department missed "break" versus "brake," and we meant to say that extra weight lengthens braking distances. But what are the two components of mud? That's right, dirt and water. So it's safe to say that if mud is left on your truck, the acids within them are still active. If the acids penetrate the surface of your sheetmetal before the mud dries, you've got a corrosion problem in the making, even after the mud has washed away. We've been to locations here in the California desert that will turn your frame orange within 24 hours if you do not remove the muck right away.
Wants Teal-Brute Tube Fenders
Reader: Regarding your recent Project Teal-Brute article ("V-12 Swap," June '09): I love those tube fenders and the LED lightbar pictured. Who makes them, and where can I get them? Do you have any info for a Jeep lover?
Editor: The tube fenders are from a company called Rev111 (951/541-0448, www.rev111.com). The LED lightbar comes courtesy of Rigid Industries (480/655-0100, wwwrigidindustries.com). Happy shopping.
New Wheelin' Spot In Oklahoma
Reader: We are part of a new off-road park, Coppermines Off-Road Park, and we're trying to get ourselves on the map. We are sponsoring "Trucks Gone Wild" and have many events planned throughout the year. Check us on our website (Red Neck Yaught Club: www.rnyc4x4.com or www.myspace.com/coppermines). We're in Olustee, Oklahoma.
Time To Get Involved...Again
Reader: Urgent! Have you heard of the "America's Red Rock Wilderness Act of 2009"? I think your readers need to be informed of the things this administration is trying to get done to us.
Grand Junction, CO
Editor: We have indeed, and we're glad you mentioned it. The legislation (S. 861 for the Senate bill, H.R. 1925 for the House version) has actually been around, in one form or another, for some time; it's been introduced in every Congressional session for the last 10 years at least. It was reintroduced in late April and assigned to committee for hearings; its status as of press time is unknown. The bill would designate some 9 million acres in Utah and Colorado as official wilderness, i.e., off limits to motorized travel. Among the areas proposed for closure are some big chunks of land in the Moab-La Sal area that many of us have wheeled on for years, including portions of Behind the Rocks/Hunter Canyon, Goldbar Canyon, and Porcupine Rim. A number of the parcels are already designated as BLM wilderness study areas, and many already have access restrictions, though most designated roads and trails have been allowed to remain open. By designating these areas as "wilderness," the legislation would close all roads within their boundaries. Obviously, this is not acceptable to us.
So what does it mean? It means it's time to get busy and get involved. This can mean contacting your federal elected representatives via phone or e-mail, organizing a group mailing or petition drive in association with your local club or state four-wheel-drive association, or joining a land-use organization such as Blue Ribbon Coalition, Friends of the Rubicon, Tread Lightly!, UFWDA, or any of the other groups that advocate our cause and who lobby the government on our behalf. Run a web search for "four wheel drive associations" and you will find plenty of good folks out there who are willing to help you get involved in the struggle. But whatever course you choose, do something today to make your voice heard. Simply getting mad is not going to get anything accomplished.
Zen Towing Techniques
Reader: Regarding "Proper TJ Towing Techniques" ("Techline," June '09): I don't believe you answered the question.
Sound Beach, NY
Editor: Well, er, sometimes our PC's cut-and-paste function goes a little haywire on us, and we end up printing the answer to another unrelated question . . . so yep, you're right, we goofed. So here's the answer: you can flat-tow your TJ safely--lots of folks do--with the transfer case in Neutral, the tranny in Park (auto) or in gear (stick), and the steering wheel unlocked. Check your state's vehicle regs for braking requirements (some states require auxiliary brakes on any load heavier than 3,000 pounds), and towing lights should considered mandatory as well.
Waiting For Baja's 50th Birthday
Reader: I was just wondering if there were any major siestas planned for the Baja 50th Anniversary, and why can't I find any magazines specifically geared for desert racing?
Editor: You'll be waiting awhile longer. The 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000--if that's what you're referring to--doesn't happen until 2017.
Want a magazine dedicated to desert racing? We cover a fair amount of it, but if what we offer ain't enough for ya, consider taking a look at our sister pub Off-Road. They're not an exclusive racing magazine per se, but each month they've got lots of race-event coverage, and tons of tech articles aimed specifically at the wheeler who wants to build his 4x4 or UTV to go fast in the desert. Check 'em out sometime.