Four Wheeler August 2020

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United States
12 Issues

in this issue

4 min
firing order

I’ve always bought used 4x4s … except for one time I’ve owned many used 4x4s. Some of my friends may say most were more than used, they were used up. When I purchased my first one, a ’76 K5 Blazer, it was 8 years old. The next one was a 7-year-old Scout II. Then came the 10-year-old Cherokee XJ. Through 1996 I had no desire to get a brand-new 4x4. But then I did something very uncharacteristic. I was 33 years old when I purchased my first brand-new 4x4. That was a long time ago (I’m 57 at the time of this writing), but there are some things in life you don’t forget. The memory is as fresh as yesterday as I recall spotting the black Wrangler Sport in a line of…

3 min
the hazel ramcharger: fond memories or selective memories?

Thanks to certain travel restrictions imposed by wacky and unprecedented 2020 global events, I’ve been spending more time than usual creating content from my massive collection of archival images I’ve amassed over a 20-plus-year career here among the MotorTrend Group off-road brands. One of the things I’ve been doing is pulling some photos from a couple of projects I built before our brands were all online. And one of those builds was the Hazel Ramcharger. OK, to be fair I never gave the Ramcharger an official project name, but as my only vehicle at the time I built the ’85 Dodge in the pages of 4-Wheel & Off-Road from roughly 2000-2002. And since many of those older stories weren’t shot with digital cameras and most of those tech stories…

6 min

I DON’T HATE THE V-8 I’ve owned a few trucks and muscle cars since getting my license at 16. I’m 57 now and care more about flawless operation and comfort than how fast my vehicles go, but power is always nice to have. Just the other day my wife and I were driving the interstate, a stretch with trees on both sides and between the two lanes on each side. We came up on three trucks, all pulling travel trailers about 30 feet in length. As we went by the first truck, the next one in line pulled into my lane to pass the lead truck. Of course, I had to slow down to let this unfold. At first, we were on flat ground, with the truck on the left (in…

6 min
rpm automotive news

THAT’S INTERESTING • Kelley Blue Book named the 2020 vehicles with the best resale value and some of them were the Jeep Wrangler, GMC Yukon, Toyota Tacoma and Tundra, and Chevy Silverado HD. • Fiat Chrysler and the City of Detroit are working together to paint the biggest murals ever to be found in the city, which will be located around the new assembly plant on the east side. • The ’21 Ram 1500 has a Snow Plow Prep package for $195 with a 220-amp alternator, power-sliding rear window with defroster, wiring harness for the plow, and removal of the air dam so that you can have plow mounts. • Mazda surveyed millennials. Results: “They would most like to hit the road for a trip, with 39 percent of respondents saying they would head…

3 min
parts rack

GO-FAST RANGER KIT The Prorunner Series 1 conversion package from Automotive Performance Group has everything you need to take your ’19-’20 Ford Ranger to a new level. The long-travel suspension system includes wider upper and lower control arms, a tie-rod extension kit, extended CV axleshafts, front hub-centric wheel rings and rear wheel adapters with additional lug nuts, and a winch-ready aluminum front bumper. The kit is said to add 10 inches to the Ranger’s width, give the truck 12.5 inches of suspension travel, and make space for 35-inch tires. Compatible with 2WD and 4WD models. INFO: Automotive Performance Group, 714/418-4455, TRAIL PRESSURE GAUGE Auto Meter’s new Jeep 60 PSI Tire Pressure Gauge is said to help maintain proper tire pressure, potentially increase fuel economy, improve ride quality, and reduce the likelihood of…

8 min
red or green?

It has been a few years since we last covered the annual Chile Challenge put on by the Las Cruces 4-Wheel Drive Club (LC4WDC), and in 2019 we were anxious to get back to check out some different trails. The family-friendly event takes place near Caballo, New Mexico, and utilizes a network of trails through the washes and ridges of the Caballo Mountains, offering a wide range of options from scenic to impossible vertical ledges. The event is surrounded by farms that grow chile peppers and local eateries where you will no doubt hear the question, “Red or green?” This refers to what type of chile sauce you would like on your meal. The chile peppers start out as green and will turn red the later they are picked. But…