Letters Of the Month
This month's letter writers are getting hooked up with Southern Shenanigans, a cool DVD from Busted Knuckle Films. If you want to see what all the off-road craziness is about down south, then give Busted Knuckle Films a shout at (334) 319-4258 or check out www.BustedKnuckleFilms.com.
My name is Dallas Whitfield. I am about to be 16 and I have subscribed to your magazine. It's great at giving me a lot of good ideas. You see, I'm hopefully going to be getting a '98 Ford Ranger 4x4 from my stepdad, and your magazine has been teaching me how to weld, about transfer cases, and much more. I was hoping you could help me figure out what else I could do to it to make it like the sick prerunners you guys create. I have a certificate for an auto class I've taken at college so I'm very good with trucks.
Thanks for helping out.
29 Palms, California
Dallas, the compliments are much appreciated, but before anything else, I want to encourage you to check into a welding class before you try building anything like a suspension or rollcage. Though I'm stoked that we were able to give you some good welding tips, a class or a good mentor is absolutely the best bet before trying something structurally integral on your vehicle. As far as ideas go, man, there are endless possibilities. Just look through the mag! To give you some general ideas to start with: Ditch the stock bumpers and add a couple prerunner bumpers and some good off-road lights. Make sure to use some high-quality shocks to get a great ride. And try lightening the vehicle in various ways-ditch body panels, unneeded interior, and perhaps even the bed of the truck in favor of fiberglass. That being said, you should always be more concerned with the distribution of weight on the truck rather than how light you can make it.
Good luck to you, Dallas
Doing Their Part to Keep Our Deserts Clean
My dad and I went out to the desert recently, and while we were out there I saw a bunch of tires. We rolled them up a big hill and threw them into my dad's truck. That was the easy part. My dad and I did not think about the $3 cost to unload these tires off at a tire shop. We went to five shops and nobody would take them from us. I went home and called all the shops in my city and finally a little mom-and-pop shop took them because we did a nice act of community service. We ended up with about 15 tires that we pulled out of the desert. We learned to not pick up tires but we still help out picking up other junk that people trash our deserts with. Thanks for writing about this kind of thing in your June '09 issue. I was just able to check out the June issue from my library because I cannot get a subscription (I am saving for aviation school). I enclosed a picture for you so you know I was not kidding around. Thanks for making such a great magazine!
Jacob, that's awesome and much appreciated by all off-road enthusiasts. Thanks much for grabbing those tires! But it's too bad to hear about the cost of dropping off the tires. That's discouraging when you're just trying to clean up after some jerk who left his/her trash in the dirt.
If anyone out there knows of some type of service or drop-off point for good Samaritans like Jacob to dispose of tires or haz-mat items, please write to me at Jerrod.email@example.com and I'll be happy to list the location(s) and contact info.
Editor's Note: If you want to say or ask something, email Unloaded at firstname.lastname@example.org or write:
Unloaded, OFF-ROAD Magazine
1733 Alton Parkway, Ste 100, Irvine, CA 92606.
Remember, we're giving away swag every month to the author of our favorite letter. Be sure to include your address, so we know where to send your goods. And because we have no copyeditor, please know that we are not going to be copyediting your letter if you are going to be hating on us, so you better check it over well before sending it our way! Thanks!