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 Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos.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.
4-Wheel & Off-Road
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515
Reader: Hi. First off I think your magazine is the best off-road magazine out there. But I have a question. In 4xForward Aug. '09 there is a Jeep with a yellow grille. Also, in your September issue, in "Suspension Made Simple," there is a Jeep with a yellow grille. Is that the same Jeep?
Editor: Sharp eye, Sean! That is the Killer Bee of Ned Bacon, who has been a freelancer in the industry for quite some time. Find another photo of this Jeep in the magazine and we'll send you a 4-Wheel & Off Road license plate for your ride!
Where was Ali's Head?
Reader: I was reading the May '09 issue and looked in the Whoops section and saw a picture of an 8-month-old baby sitting on the hood of a Jeep stuck in a mudhole. What if that baby rolled off the hood into the mud and they couldn't locate it in time? You guys are pretty good at not publishing people doing stupid/dangerous stuff that make us four-wheelers look bad. Where was Ali's head on this?
San Jose, CA
Editor: Feature editor Ali Mansour responds: Wow. He could tell there was a kid on the hood, but didn't even notice that it wasn't a Jeep? I'm pretty sure that it was a professionally trained stunt baby.
Our Guys In Uniform
Reader: First off, praise to you guys. Love your mag. It got me through Afghanistan. I recently purchased an '04 Jeep TJ Sahara (for 3,000 bucks ) that had been rolled over once and has lots of body damage and a tweaked front axle. I already got a replacement axle for it, and here's the plan. I already have a bunch of huge rod ends from my local Kubota dealership (keep that one a secret! They're huge, cheap, and made for holding thousands of pounds of weight and pressure.) I'm going to build it at stock height, long arms, and coilovers. I've got 37-inch Baja Claws ready for it too. Needless to say, cutting of the body is not a problem! It will spend most of its time in Glamis, Ocotillo Wells, Johnson Valley, and all over the Southwest desert from Palm Springs to Quartzite Arizona.
If you guys would like the story on the build... Or hey, better yet: YOU can do all the work for me and make it a project for your rag! Let me know, and I'll document it or hand it over to you to build. I'll attach a picture of it. Cheap, low, and lots of tubes is the name of the game!
Editor: Sounds like a cool project. Send us a photo when you finish. Maybe we can meet you in one of those wheeling destinations!
He's Not psychic
Reader: I was reading the Oct. '09 In Box, and the first letter seemed very familiar, like I have recently read it before. Knowing full well that I'm not psychic, I looked through my recent mags. Sure enough, the first letter in your Sept. issue was the same! The only difference between the two was the page you referenced (The Ultimate Ranch Truck) in your response.
Also, I wrote you last month regarding a missed issue. I received July, September, and October, but no August. And for what it's worth, I received the September issue before the July issue.
St. Johnsbury, VT
Editor: Yeah, uh, well, the stories were on different pages, so we got that part right. For the subscription problem, we apologize and direct you to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not Wearing A Belt?
Reader: Kudos to Fred Williams for the awesome shot of the Toyota on your front page (Sept. '09). I wonder, though, about the exposure of the guy not wearing any visible seatbelt during this precarious position. That year of Toy would have the shoulder strap. I've read your disclaimer for all submitted material: "unsafe material" will not be considered! I have a Jeep and love the trails as well as having my mud terrains hook up on an up-or-down trail while I'm always buckled up. So what is your real position on safety? By the way, 4WOR is the only magazine I have not discontinued. Great stuff (most of the time). Thanks.
Apple Valley, CA
Editor: Thanks for the input, Tim. You are right: Safety is paramount, and that is what we try to promote and show. The fact of the matter is that many off-road vehicles, including ours, have upgraded to a better lap belt system, such as those used in racing and competition. The photo on the cover does not show the shoulder harness being used, as he may have upgraded his belts as well. Either way, sharp eye, and keep checking those items out for us.
Goodyear Or Bad?
Reader: I just got my copy of October's magazine. I was interested in the 33-inch mud tire test, so I read on. Now I know you cannot control where the ads are placed in the magazine, but I did notice something that I thought was funny. On the last page of the tire test, I noticed that the next page over was a full-page ad for Goodyear's new mud-terrain with Kevlar; but the test result winner was not the Goodyear, but in fact Interco. Maybe it's just me, but I see some humor in that! Further, the Goodyear ranked last in your testing. Ironic, isn't it?
The magazine is great, by the way! I just subscribed a few months ago after getting it from newsstands for a while. Keep up the good work.
Jim O'Mara III
Editor: You thought it was funny? We appreciate your sense of humor. Actually, we do have some control over where the ads are placed, as we don't put competitors close to one another, and we don't allow an ad for a company on the same page as a story on that company's products. It's called editorial separation and is important to the integrity of our magazine, though some other mags don't think about it.
As far as the tire test goes, yes, the Goodyear came in last, but the tires really redeemed themselves on our Ultimate Adventure and on the FJ Cruiser in Top Truck Challenge, where they worked incredibly well. We'll be testing some more mud tires the same way in a few more issues, so keep your eyes peeled for the same deals!
Readers Win Big!
Reader: In regards to the "Classic Americana" 4xForward (Oct. '09), picture No. 4 is Frankie's Main Street Cafe in Hubbard, Ohio.
Reader: I just got my October issue, and in the 4xForward section, picture No. 1 is at My Buddy's Place in Butler, Pennsylvania. I grew up in the house that you can barely see to the left of the mural. Also, you may remember me: I met you while you were here for the Ultimate Adventure. My buddy works at Advance Auto. Ring a bell? Thank you for the T-shirt for our boss. We did not get in trouble for being late to work!
Reader: Picture No. 1 is My Buddy's Place, Pillow St., Butler, Pennsylvania. Isn't it cool? Hope you enjoyed your stay in Butler.
Editor: For those of you who missed out, October's 4xForward included photos taken during the Ultimate Adventure prerun this year. For these readers' sharp eyes, we'll be sending out a 4-Wheel & Off-Road license plate for their rides. Thanks for playing!
Yes, we remember you, Andy. Thanks for the emergency tranny fluid to help us out. And for some strange reason, I think you and Janet are related, but since you both answered correctly I'll send a UA shirt as well as a license plate.
Questions that don't have an answer
Reader: I really don't have one question. I have multiple questions about this crazed 4x4 world.
* What will make a man pay $20,000 too much for a house, only because it had an "awesome" garage?
* What will make a man put his palms up and say "What?" when his wife gives him a look of disgust as he drags in another 700-dollar 4x4?
* What makes a man save seven months for new mud tires only to blow that money on another truck that also needs tires? (see question 2)
* What makes a man smile and get that "I wonder if the neighbors can hear me" feeling every time he turns on his air compressor at 11 on a Friday night?
* What makes a man pull the trigger on his air ratchet gun at least 10 times before he actually removes any nuts?
* What makes a man take the truck out after he has worked on it and purposely take it down a mud/snow road that he knows dang good and well he's gonna get stuck on?
* What makes a man fill his shopping cart with oil, filters, and those cool blue shop towels when he knows darn well he did the same thing last week and won't need this round of supplies for at least three months?
* What makes a man pull into work Monday morning, head for the door, turn around, and get that last final look at all the mud he put on his truck over the weekend?
* What makes a man pull out slow at the end of the shift on Monday, and look and smile at all the mud he left in the parking lot?
* What makes a man use his tailgate for a painting bench for the current project only to look at all the other colors on it and smile as he remembers the other projects?
* Last but not least: Why does a man's brain forget what he was supposed to do, where he was supposed to go, and who he was supposed to call when he walks in the house and sees his latest issue of 4-Wheel & Off-Road on the kitchen table?
Have a good one, fellows. I'm off to the garage to read my latest issue again!
Big John Lock
White Cloud, KS