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 Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos.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
We Goofed On The Ultimate Adventure!
Reader: I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this year's Ultimate Adventure coverage. I was so excited to see you in my hometown, I was shaking. I just read the articles in the Dec. '08 issue and picked up on a little error. The Glendive Short Pine BLM OHV area is just outside of Glendive, Montana, which is 75 miles away from, not just outside of, Miles City. I met Tim Hardy at the local Carquest when he and Fred [Williams] arrived with a driveshaft in need of help. To see the rigs in person and take my own pictures was awesome to say the least. It even made my wife see how really bad I want to build my own rig. Thanks to Rick, all the staff, and the drivers for the cool stickers and taking the time to talk to me. I look forward to the arrival of my DVD in the mail (I preordered it). Thanks again for the exciting day.
Editor: Thank you. It's readers like you that make the UA so much fun as we travel around the country. Our local reader base is always enthusiastic to see us cruise by. Make sure you think about applying for UA next year-four more random readers are scheduled to appear! Check out our website, www.4wheeloffroad.com, for more information. Hope you like the video!
Ultimate Adventure Errata
Reader: I'm from North Dakota and would just like to inform you that in your Ultimate Adventure coverage in the North Dakota part (Nov. '08), you called the Cliffhangers 4x4 Club the Cliffhangers Jeep Club.
Editor: Whoops again! Thanks for the correction. Here's the website for the North Dakota Cliffhangers 4x4 Club: www.freewebs.com/ndcliffhangers/index.htm
Positive Tire Retention
Reader: While on your UA trip, how is it that almost all the competitors have beadlocks when beadlocks are not street-legal, and all must drive public roads? Do you just hope the cops don't pull you over?
Editor: Good point! First off, the UA is not a competition of any sorts, so the participants aren't competitors. And we never want a cop to pull us over for anything. But to your main point, no federal statute prohibits an individual from using non-DOT-approved wheels on their own vehicle. When anyone uses the term "street-legal beadlocks," remember that connotation comes from the manufacturing side of this industry. We think many beadlocks are safe for highway use, but they should always be checked for loose bolts, just as you should check your own lug nuts daily and after any off-highway adventure.
L. Fox Replies From Last Month
Reader: I am truly flattered that you took the time to respond to my rampaging regarding the "premium" version of your mag (In Box, Jan. '09). But as far as my measly "buck an issue," is it money well spent or wasted? I guess only I can answer that, and maybe your response to the following will help me decide.
In my last transmission I referred to your ride as a "sorry splice job of a vehicle." You attempted to deflect a shot aimed directly at you (not Mel Wade or Ali Mansour) and the Rubiwagon. That whole idea, in my opinion, was kinda unrealistic. Now don't get me wrong: I've created my share of mutated, slag-laden, glitch-infested vehicles. I just couldn't afford to do that on such a grand scale (showoff).
My whole problem here is when a reader writes in complaining about too many ads and your response to that is "we gotta pay the bills"; but then blowing that kind of cash on such a project seems rather, well, ludicrous. Perhaps you are just a showoff!
As you can probably tell, I'm trying to figure you out. Are you a good ol' boy that got cityfied or a city boy on the verge of finding your true self? Let me know and maybe I'll consider reupping my 'scription. And yes, TWF does share my views. I'm out. Thanks for listening!
Editor: I see your point, my friend, and I have the answers. Yes, you need to decide whether a buck an issue is a good deal. I think it is. I doubt many other products give so much for so little, but it is your choice.
Now that I know your "slice job" reference was directed at me and the Rubiwagon ("Ultimate Adventure," Nov. '07), let me explain. That vehicle was built by a collection of shops and donated parts just like all our projects. We can't afford to pay for labor or parts to do such a thing, but the build shops and parts suppliers help out because they know the recognition will pay of.
"Showoff"? Hmm, not me, but I do have the responsibility of showing the best of the best. In that light, the Rubiwagon is certainly not a "mutated, slag-laden, glitch-infested vehicle," but rather a carefully thought out and exquisitely constructed vehicle that wheels like the dickens. It is a dream vehicle like the ones in auto shows-concept cars, but with an added twist: Ours work. We don't make something just look good; it needs to perform. But could we afford to build these vehicles? No, not on our magazine budget or salary. And the money that comes in from advertising goes to the Source Interlink shareholders, not us or our magazine. We do this because it's our passion, not because we're showoffs.
Yes, I'm a country boy far more sick of the city than you'd ever know, as are the rest of our staff, but we love our jobs so are stuck in this wonderful city of L.A. Invite any of us out someday to wheel and wrench or just have a beer. I think you'd be pleased with us.
The Ultimate Cost
Reader: I've really enjoyed your recent articles on fullsize pickups. The Ultimate Super Duty and the Ultimate Adventure Z71 were very informative and filled with great ideas. I do have several questions. What would the real-world cost be to build each of the projects mentioned?
I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and it seems your custom shops are not anywhere near where I live. I'm planning on getting an '00 or '01 GMC extended cab or F-250 SuperCab. Can you recommend any shops in my area?
John E. Goleck
Editor: The Ultimate Super Duty was done so long ago we have no idea what it took, but the UA Z71 is fresh in our minds. Here's a laundry list of what it took and the approximate real-world prices. Remember that prices vary considerably across the nation, as do labor and materials. Yes, it costs as much as a small house (except in California), but the results are worth it.
|Labor: 800 hrs @ $? ||$? |
|Used truck ||$6,500 |
|Transmission rebuild ||$1,200 |
|Transfer case: ORD Doubler ||$770 |
|Doubler linkage ||$290 |
|Transfer cases ||$1,100 |
|PSC Motorsports hydro assist ||$1,000 |
|Dynatrac high-steer arms ||$300 |
|Tubing ||$1,200 |
|K&N Intake ||$292 |
|Flowmaster exhaust kit and || |
|Hushpower muffler ||$490 |
|Refurbished axles ||$2,000 |
|Detroit Lockers ||$1,111 |
|Dynatrac hubs, Foote axleshafts, || |
|CTM joints ||$2,389 |
|Dynatrac differential covers ||$360 |
|Bilstein shocks and Eibach coils ||$3,710 |
|Warm M15000 winch ||$1,500 |
|Warn VTC compressor ||$700 |
|40-inch BFG KM2 M-Ts ||$3,000 |
|17-inch Spyder locks ||$1,800 |
|JE Reel Driveshafts ||$1,100 |
|Superior gears and master install kits ||$675 |
|Jazz fuel cell, pumps, and parts ||$1,200 |
|Plumbing, brake lines, and fittings ||$1,000 |
|Off Road Evolution four-link with engine || |
|cage, links, axles mounts, and joints ||$4,200 |
|Off Road Evolution Universal Evo-lever rear ||$789 |
|Off Road Evolution shackle/spring kit ||$700 |
|Alcan leaf springs ||$300 |
|Ape wrap ||$3,000 |
|Custom laser etching ||$600 |
|Paint for trucks ||$600 |
|Currie antirock sway bar ||$285 |
|Off Road Design disc-brake conversion ||$150 |
|Dale Earnhardt Sr. floor mats ||Priceless |
|UA Z71 build tally (including truck) ||$44,311 |
He Really Likes Us
Reader: I just wanted to say I really enjoy your magazine. In the past I have read of readers crying about you guys not covering a broad variety of 4x4s. I started taking your magazine about three years ago. I decided to subscribe to your magazine because I didn't know anything about 4x4s. I am a avid Mopar man and only drive Mopars. Your magazine covers a little of everything. I have read many articles on Jeeps, Chevys, Fords, Dodges, Toyotas, Nissans, Suzukis, Scouts, and even Land Rovers. I am sure I have forgot some makes, but you guys do a great job of covering everything or at least trying to. I look forward every month to my magazine from you guys. I barely read my Mopar Muscle magazine anymore because the cars are out of my reach in price. You guys, on the other hand, take real-world applications, and anyone can do what you guys do. I loved the Ultimate Adventure with the yellow '75 Chevy K10. That was a great step-by-step. I got a lot of ideas for my Dodge from that. Keep up the great work, and try and feature an '80s Dodge Ram in an article sometime!
Question Of The Month
Do you like to buy our mag on the newsstand or subscribe, and why?
Editor: Here's a new section where we ask you a pointed question, and we want as many responses as possible so we know what you think. We'll be asking questions ranging from budget wheeling to best trails to hottest product and everything in between. We'll even ask the old tried-and-true questions such as whether a manual or an automatic tranny is better, or if you like mud better than rocks. To make it simple, just go to our website, find the email link on the Contact Us page, and drop us a message with "Answer" as the subject line. We'll sort and separate the various answers and present the most popular ones right here in these pages. If this proves to be popular, we'll include it on the website as well. Worst-case scenario, write us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope this works well for you and for us, and each month we'll answer a question and pose a new one.
Submission Information4-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, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515, fax 323.782.2704. Email to: email@example.com