Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Advocating access to public lands carries a responsibility to be part of the solution for managing the public lands.  As a strong proponent for participation to make a difference, I am a full time advocate for recreation and the Managing Editor of the OutdoorWire family websites. is dedicated to four wheel drive recreation...

Advocating access to public lands carries a responsibility to be part of the solution for managing the public lands.  As a strong proponent for participation to make a difference, I am a full time advocate for recreation and the Managing Editor of the OutdoorWire family websites. is dedicated to four wheel drive recreation featuring technical articles and information to promote, protect, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities. focuses on California issues. is focused on environmental, administrative and legislative news and information. is Access and Landuse Central with an overall index to the contents of the family of websites. 

John Stewart

Mexico Confiscates Some American Pickups Buying Cheaper Mexican Diesel Fuel

Mexico Confiscates Some American Pickups Buying Cheaper Mexican Diesel Fuel

Americans who buy cheap diesel fuel in Mexico do so at the risk of having their pickup truck confiscated and a fine assessed by Mexican customs officials, according to local newspaper and television outlets in Texas.

Demand for low-cost Mexican diesel fuel has grown to new levels since the beginning of 2008, as the cost of diesel fuel in the U.S. has increased dramatically; it hit a record $4.85 a gallon in mid-July, according to AAA. Diesel fuel prices have started to drop, but the national average is still $4.59 a gallon, up from $2.95 a gallon a year ago.

To avoid paying those high costs in the U.S., some American truck owners who live close to the U.S.-Mexico border have made short trips into Mexico to purchase diesel, which averages about $2.20 a gallon.

While it’s OK to fill a truck’s primary fuel tank with diesel fuel and return to the U.S., Mexican law prohibits filling auxiliary fuel tanks with diesel. Auxiliary fuel tanks are common on many heavy-duty U.S. pickups used for agricultural and long-distance towing, where stopping for fuel costs time as well as money.

Americans who own pickup trucks equipped with secondary fuel tanks are advised to not drive those vehicles into Mexico, even if they aren't purchasing diesel fuel.

U.S. truck owners who own 2007-model-year and newer pickups should also be aware that Mexican diesel fuel is not compliant with U.S. diesel fuel guidelines, which specify that only ultra-low-sulfur diesel can be used with new emissions systems. ULSD is rated at 15 ppm of sulfur content, while Mexican diesel sulfur content can be in the hundreds of parts per million. Using fuel with higher sulfur content will damage these trucks’ emissions components, like diesel particulate filters.


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John Stewart

HALLO’wharrie 2008!

HALLO’wharrie 2008! is scheduled for Thursday, October 30th through Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

As always – this IS NOT exclusively an Isuzu event.  ALL 4-wheel-drive fanatics are welcome, no matter what brand of 4x4 vehicle you happen to drive... (as long as you behave yourself and can play well with others! )

CAMPING - Arrowhead Campground

--- Sites WITH electricity are $15.00 per night
--- Sites WITHOUT electricity are $12.00 per night

--- Contact ReserveUSA to make your campsite reservations...
--- ReserveUSA - Or call them at: 1-877-444-6777

You can get your Daily or Season Trail Pass(es) from the Ranger Station, or from several local authorized stores, such as The Eldorado Outpost.

--- A Daily Pass will set you back $5-per-day.
--- The Season Pass will cost you $30 for the entire year.

Uwharrie National Forest District Ranger Station
Rt. 3, Box 470
Troy, NC 27371

The Eldorado Outpost
4021 NC Route 109
Troy, NC 27371
910-572-FISH (3474)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here for additional information and updates about HALLO’wharrie 2008!
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John Stewart

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John Stewart

Setting Pinion Angle Correctly

Setting Pinion Angle Correctly

Don't know how to set your pinion angle? Read on!
Note the angle of the U-joint (shown in red). The angle constantly changes as the U-joint rotates, causing the driveshaft to speed up and slow down as it rotates.
This represents a standard driveshaft setup that is done correctly. Note how the angle of the pinion is parallel with the angle of the transfer case output. Pinion and transfer case output angles are shown in orange. The drive shaft angle is exaggerated in these drawings.
Another way that a standard drive shaft could be set up correctly. This is a situation that is typically encountered when the transfer case is lowered. Note how the pinion angle has been raised to be parallel with the transfer case output shaft.
This is a standard drive shaft setup that is going to cause vibrations. Notice how the pinion angle is very different from the transfer case output shaft angle.
Here is a CV type setup that is done correctly. The pinion should be 2 degrees below being pointed straight into the drive shaft.
Here's an improperly setup CV system. The pinion should be pointed into the driveshaft rather than parallel with the transfer case output on this type of setup.

Pinion angle is one of the more important measurements on a lifted vehicle. The wrong angle can lead to vibration and premature failure of U-joints, drive shafts, pinion bearings and even transfer case output bearings.

Types of drive shafts

There are two common types of drive shafts used in 4wd vehicles, standard with one U-joint at each end and CV drive shafts. CV stands for Constant Velocity. CV drive shafts are so named because they have a constant velocity joint at one end, the other end has a single U-joint.

There are two types of constant velocity joints, the double cardan and the caged ball type. The double cardan type is the CV joint with the two U-joints at one end that is so popular with 4 wheelers. The caged ball type is similar to a CV joint in a front wheel drive car or a Birfield from a Samuri or Toyota front axle. The caged ball type CV joint is notoriously weak and is it fortunate that these drive shafts can be found in only a few four wheel vehicles including some Bronco II's and a few early XJ Cherokees. Most who find caged ball type CV drive shafts on their vehicles quickly upgrade to a standard double cardan type CV drive shaft.

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John Stewart

Ultimate Gas Hogs Bound for Display at 2008 Pebble Beach Show

Date posted: 08-08-2008

PEBBLE BEACH, California — Jay Leno describes his custom "tank car," derived from an M-47 Patton tank, as "probably the most inefficient fueled vehicle ever devised." But that thirsty gas hog and three others like it will be front-and-center at a special 20-plus-liter class at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

"This is a tongue-in-cheek class not based on anything but fun," said Leno, anticipating the critics of this supersized class, which organizers describe as a "one-year-only display."

The display will include the only extended-chassis 200-horsepower 1913 "Blitzen" Benz and a custom Rolls-Royce modified to fit a massive 27-liter Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine taken from a P-51 fighter plane. Another 20-plus-liter offering will be the 1953 Swandean Spitfire Special, which uses a Rolls-Royce Spitfire engine on a hand-fabricated chassis.

Show organizers point out that most semi-truck engines top out at 13 liters.

Leno admits that "there's no practical purpose to (the tank car) other than it's just fun and people get a kick out of seeing it.... In an era where things are getting smaller and smaller, this is a throwback to a time when things were really, really big," said the Tonight Show host.

What this means to you: This display should make you feel good, especially if you've accused your ride of being too thirsty. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent,

Click here to read more about the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

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