We Are Relevant!
Reader: I just wanted to say thanks for the Oct. '08 "Toyota issue." This is quite possibly the first time I've read every article in an issue. Even the K5 article held my interest. I was starting to question the relevance of my subscription since the house and family have drawn my energies away from my FJ-40. The monthly issues help to keep the dream from fading away.
Editor: Thanks. Now if we can just convince the rest of our 4x4 nation that we rock, we'll have it made!
I'm Not A Lowrider
Reader: Hi! Just got done with the Jan '09 issue. I saw the Carlisle truck show photos and loved the captions for photos 4 and 5. This is something I've been saying for years! I own an S-10 mini-truck that will drag the rocker panels right on the ground with an airbag suspension, but I also own a '78 F-150 on 1-ton axles and very shortly 42-inch Swampers. My car is a '76 Lincoln I lowered 5 inches, and my (co-owned with a buddy) trail-only rig is a '87 XJ. I love both worlds, and yes, I love going to the Carlisle truck show every year.
I seem to learn something every time I pick up a Petersen's issue (love the frequency of tech articles), but no one I know in the 4x4 world wants to learn anything out of a mini, sport, or street truck magazine. There are a lot of very innovative things going on down here closer to the pavement. I've seen some crazy engineered mini-truck suspensions that will put the craziest rock buggies to shame, both in engineering and in strength. Think about it: When you're throwin' sparks at 70 mph and you contact a manhole cover, you want your chassis to hold up.
Mini-truckers seem to always be building insane full custom tube frames to one-up each other. I've taken ideas from the 4x4 world such as sway-bar disconnects-so I can hit the side-to-side moves-Heim joints, and Pro Comp shocks. I think the mainstream 4x4 guys could learn a lot and save some coin if they would just pay attention...even if they pretend not too. If you look into mini-truck companies such as www.suicidedoors.com or www.airbagit.com, you will find any kind of tank, compressors, line fittings, and so on to fit your needs. And higher performing stuff for cheaper than what you will find at your local 4x4 shop. Air up your tires a lot quicker than with that dinky ARB compressor.
Thanks for doing what you do. You'll either see me on the rocks or rippin' up the road reflectors.
And mini-truck guys hate being called lowriders. There is a big difference, believe it or not. Keep up the good work, guys.
Glen Rock, PA
Editor: Thanks. We think that there are resources in almost any industry for us to share from, and we applaud your efforts.
Reader: I read with interest the comments in In Box (Nov. '08) regarding fullsize Toyotas and the demise of the solid front axle option. Well, I don't want to make you too jealous, but here in the great land down-under we can still order a factory V-8 diesel with a solid front axle and four doors from Toyota. Actually, that's the only way they come-with a V-8, a manual five-speed, and a solid front axle as standard (www.toyota.com.au/landcruiser-70-series/range).
The two-door troopy and ute has been the iconic 4x down here for some time, and the four-door is just more of a great thing. I love my K20 and K5, but I drool quite seriously every time I get close to one of these off-road weapons.
Editor: Fine. Send one over here!
Lincoln Locker Tech
Reader: I read your informative article on welding the spiders in a diff. Yes, it is an easy, practical, and cheap solution for lost traction. You left one piece of info out that a rookie may not know. Do not weld the center pin or lock pin/bolt. If that were welded, it would require an appropriate "Gas Axe" or "Smoke Wrench" to remove. Other than that, great articles! Keep up the good work.
Editor: Thanks for the input. We hope that readers think ahead on this one, as it's not easy going back to square one once the welder has been wielded.
License Plate Request
Reader: I have a subscription to Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, and I often see vehicles with a 4 Wheel & Off-Road license plate. I was wondering how I could get one.
I want to thank you for your Oct. '09 issue. I know you try and show all sides of our motorsport. I appreciate that you dedicated most of the issue to Toyota owners like me. Thank you for taking care of the first-time 4x4 owner (also like me) as well as the seasoned wheeler by providing interesting articles for all of us. That gets our imaginations stirring and our wheels rolling down more trails. Keep up the good work. See you on the trails.
Editor: Thanks for liking us-not everyone does. We hand out our plates at events and on the trail, so try and catch up with us in the back country so you can get one too!
Question Of The Month
Question: Do you like to buy our mag on the newsstand or subscribe, and why?
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 email@example.com. We hope this works well for you and for us, and each month we'll answer a question and pose a new one.