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February 2013 In Box

Our Reader's Write Back

Rick PéwéWriterReadersPhotographer

Orphan 4x4s
Hey guys, I have to say that you put out the best mag in the business. You are true to the hobby, giving guys like me much-needed info on various aspects of four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Do you guys know of any aftermarket body panel suppliers for the Geo Tracker? I have done countless Internet searches with no luck. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place, so I figured I would drop you guys a line considering that you have so much info on the four-wheeling hobby and industry.

I own a ’94 Geo Tracker that is stock for now. I have owned it for almost two years and have had a lot of wheelin’ fun in stock mode, but upgrades are in the works. Is it just my Tracker or do all Trackers seem to have a problem with the body mounts above the rear tires rusting out? I love this little Tracker. It has been by far the best 4WD I have ever owned. Any help you guys can give will be very much appreciated. How come you guys don’t do many features on these 4WDs? They are awesome off-road. I have taken mine all over New England this past summer, all the way to the Maine–Canada border and back. It was a great trip.

Also, you guys shouldn’t worry over the others that give you grief about safety. You guys know what is and what isn’t safe. What may be adequately safe to you others may frown on. Oh well, it isn’t them that have to really worry, is it?

Keep up the great work and awesome features. You guys are the greatest. And by the way, I am probably one of the only men not afraid to wheel a pink Geo Tracker and be proud of it.
Charles R. Mahoney Jr.
Fayetteville, WV

The Tracker (or Sidekick) is an admirable little wheeler, but we put it in the orphan category because of the relatively few numbers found on the trail or even modified. When we did our Ultimate Adventure 2004 we had one with us, and we even visited a park where the owner ran one all over the place. Check out www.4wheeloffroad.com/2004ultimateadventure/park_three/appleval for the whole story.

Just Go Overlanding!
In your “Just Go!” story (Nov. ’12) you gave great advice. One more thought: Pile up the stuff you want to take, count your money, put half the stuff back, and then take twice as much money. It worked for me.
Lester M Sendecki
Montrose, CO

Well put, Lester. An expedition often takes more cash than stuff. However, cool stuff can often be traded for more cash than it is worth.

New Rig for a Wheeler
I love 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, and have been a subscriber for a long time. I enjoy reading about everything from rockcrawling to mud runs. I just bought a Jeep Liberty. I know it is not a flatfender or a Wrangler, but I am proud to be a member of the Jeep family! I look forward to reading about ways to improve my Liberty and my wheeling skills. Dirt Every Day (or at least weekends)!
Jon Mill Sault
Ste. Marie, MI

It’s great to see someone taking up one of the lesser-known Jeeps and giving them a try. Many of these wheelers are actually pretty competent on some trails and can get you the experience to do more than pavement. Congratulations, Jon!

Something Is Seriously Wrong 
What the hell is wrong with you, Péwé? You’re old as dirt, so maybe it’s senility. Or maybe you just got some bad chow on this year’s Ultimate Adventure. Whatever the cause, I am on the verge of canceling my subscription. Using terms like socioeconomic strata in this great magazine—nine vowels in two words (In Box, Nov. ’12)? Man, that’s messed up. If I ever open up this magazine and see profanities like this again, I will get in one of my Land Cruisers, drive to Source Interlink headquarters, and you and I are having it out. You’re on notice.
Jason D. Treadaway
Marietta, GA

Good point, Jason. Those are some high-falutin’ words there. But I still won’t drop to the other side of grammerdom with a quote as bad as when I asked a fast food worker for some milk, and she replied, “We ain’t got none.” I’ll try and stick to the basics and we’ll all just get along fine.

Cheap Jeep Build
I read a few articles about how Jeeps are a cheap build. And after seeing the new concepts I got excited. I didn’t have any cash and tried to figure out what to do. I had a ’92 CBR 600 F2 that was purple and pink that I could sell. It was highly modified, and people still didn’t want it because it was purple and pink (the ’80s/’90s were awesome). So I jumped on Craigslist and started digging. I posted the bike a few times and then started to email people about trading the bike for a Jeep.

I finally had someone email me about a trade. We met up and checked each other’s vehicle out, and made an agreement. I traded straight across for a ’79 Jeep CJ-7 (Lucy). It came with a rebuilt 304 V-8 with about 20K miles, and the odometer read 28K. I’m sure it was rolled over at least once. Lucy has the dual gas tank, a bikini top, and a soft top. I now have to ask for an allowance from the wife to start modding.

To recap, I took an early ’90s sport bike and made out like a bandit with a new (to me) slightly lifted Jeep. It’s in decent shape, and I can’t wait to have some fun with it. Hope I inspire others to trade for a wheeler.
Benjamin Rouley
Via email

It’s amazing some of the deals that are out there on Craigslist and other venues. We may even have to do a story on such stuff, as we can afford it!

Reader Rant
Combine CTC With Overlanding
Just wanted to write in to say I enjoyed the Cheap Truck Challenge (Aug. and Sept. ’12) and the overlanding article (“Expedition and Overlanding,” Nov. ’12). Now I want to see a combination of the two. Say, $2,000 to build a cross-country buggy, since that’s what I’m working on. At 30 I’m not a teenager, but with three kids, a mortgage, and bills, money is even tighter. My cheap toy truck is an ’88 Samurai. Bought for $300 from a horse pasture (literally, it was put out to pasture for 12 years). I totally rebuilt the motor and brakes and got it roadworthy for $1,500 total.

My overlanding truck is another IH. Just weeks before your overland article and during a long week at work I decided I needed to get away with the family, so we picked up a small camper. My ’99 GMC is too tired at 246K miles to tow it across country, but I managed to find the exact truck I had been searching for, a ’68 International Travelette. Very little rust and only $700! It’s a rare find in the Northeast and I saved it from a metal scrapper.

I need a truck for work around our small farm, so I’m retiring the GMC and making the ’68 my primary vehicle. I figured that by doing this it is no longer a project and can be placed higher on the priority list. I located some 3⁄4-ton GMC axles to make it a 4x4, and now need a 7.3 IDI diesel from an older Ford since they are made by International. I am planning on two years to restore it (and let the baby get a bit older), then we’re off to Montana, the Grand Canyon, and wherever else the road leads us.

I also decided I needed an IH Travelall to complete my set. How lucky I was to find one that had been sitting in the woods just a few miles from home for over 30 years and still solid! Same year, color, and everything. And the best part is the landowner was thrilled just to find someone to take it. Keep up the good work. Your magazine helps keep me motivated.
Hugh Landry
Parkman, ME

That’s the way to do it, Hugh. You may just like our next Cheap Truck Challenge, as it will have some adventure on a budget. Thanks for the note!

Submission Information
4-Wheel & Off-Road welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must include an address or a telephone number so the sender can be verified. Once verified, your name may be withheld at your request. Letters published in this magazine reflect the opinions of the writers, and we reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, brevity, or other purposes. Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos. Digital photos must measure no less than 1600 x 1200 pixels (or two megapixels) and be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file. Write to: Editor, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368 Email to: 4wheeloffroad@sorc.com