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General information about the various mods available to 4x4 vehicles covering pros and cons to assist in the decision of "Is this the right mod?"

John Stewart

Preparing for a safe winter driving season

It May Be Warm Now, But Winter is on the Way
 

CHARLOTTE, NC – (September 24, 2008) – It may still be just the beginning of Autumn, but it’s also prime time to start thinking ahead to Winter.

Of course the first thing that comes to mind when prepping your car for winter is tires, because once the temperature drops below 45-degrees Fahrenheit, so does an all-season tire’s ability to grip the road. Colder weather brings on a whole new set of driving challenges – slush, ice and hard packed snow. And even with all of the performance capabilities built into today’s vehicles, they will only perform as steadily and responsively as their tires allow.  And in extreme winter weather, that can mean the difference between focused braking power and out-of-control handling.
 
“It’s a fact: as temperatures drop below 45-degrees Fahrenheit, so does an all-season tire’s ability to grip the road.  And that can lead to dangerous driving conditions,” said Joerg Burfien, director of R&D, Continental Tire North America, Inc.  “Since all-season and winter tires are about as similar as sandals and snowshoes, we’ve launched a program to encourage our customers to stay safer in winter by switching to Continental Winter Tires.
 
“Summer tires just aren’t built to hold the road in the same way that winter tires do,” Burfien continued.  “During winter, drivers experience a dramatic drop in grip, meaning longer stopping distances, less driving control and by far, less safety.”
 
Winter tires are uniquely designed to deliver safety and control in snow, ice, and cold weather conditions, because they are specially engineered to deliver a substantial increase of traction over all-season radials – by as much as a 25 to 50 percent. That’s enough gripping traction and braking power to avoid a severe weather-related accident.

ContiWinterContact™ winter tires are engineered with pliable tread compounds and tread designs that remain soft and flexible in even the coldest temperatures, increasing the contact area and providing better grip on wet or icy roads.  Tread design features include more supple compounds, deeper tread grooves and smaller shoulder grooves.
 
The Continental winter tire lineup includes:
 
The ContiWinterContact TS810 -- engineered to handle unpredictable snow and wet driving conditions.
The ContiWinterContact TS810 S – built for winter driving performance.
The ContiWinterContact TS790 -- a state-of-the-art winter tire featuring exceptional handling and braking at low temperatures.

Once your car is properly outfitted with the right tires for the season, there are a number of other steps drivers can take to make sure their car is ready for when the cold weather comes.  Now is the time to give your car a thorough checkup.  You can do most of these jobs yourself, but some work really must be done by a professional.
 
Radiator: Add a dose of antifreeze to the coolant
Shocks: Should be checked.  Defective shock absorbers increase braking distance and shorten the lifetime of tires
Wiper fluid: Add a dose of frost protector
Battery: Check the acid level for optimum performance
Spark plugs: check for wear and replace if necessary
Lights:  Check and align properly for maximum efficiency
Be sure to include the following equipment in your trunk: a set of jumper cables, a snow brush/ice scraper and a de-icing spray
Winter tires: Set the pressure 2.9 psi higher than what is recommended for summer tires
Once you’ve given your car a thorough checkup, the best protection against breakdowns and accidents in winter is driving with foresight.  This includes taking extra care on bridges or at traffic lights, as well as keeping a greater following distance from the car in front.
 
“Really, the best advice we can offer drivers is to use common sense,” Burfien said.
 
For more information, visit www.CTNAMedia.com.
 
With targeted annual sales of more than $40 billion for 2008, the Continental Corporation is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Today, the corporation employs approximately 150,000 people at nearly 200 locations in 36 countries.
 
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John Stewart

All About Fasteners, Chapter Two - Nuts, Bolts, and Screws

SAE Inch Nut Size Chart ISO / DIN Metric Size Nut Chart

In this installment of our discussion about fasteners, we'll travel into the boring but equally as critical properties of nuts and washers. We'll show you the different types of nuts that are common to our assemblies and modifications.

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John Stewart

Easy Access, Capacity and Security Combine in New Rainier Bike Rack

StowAway2 Rainier Bike Rack
StowAway2 Cargo Carriers is proud to announce the release of its new Rainier Bike Rack. The Rainier is a hitch mounted bike rack that lets you have it all: easy access to the rear of your vehicle, a cargo rack for your extra gear, and premium security features.

Portland, OR (PRWEB) September 14, 2008 -- StowAway2 Cargo Carriers is proud to announce the release of its new Rainier Bike Rack. "The Rainier incorporates everything that our customers have been telling us they want in a full-function bike rack - not just a place for their bikes but also room for their bike gear," said StowAway2 President Jim Stewart. "The Rainier lets you have it all: easy access to the rear of your vehicle, a place for your extra gear, and the security features that you expect from a premium bike rack."

The Rainier mounts on all Class III/IV 2The Rainier stands above the pack thanks to its versatility. StowAway2's patented and rugged swingaway frame enables the Rainier to swing out for clear access to the rear of your vehicle -- even when the bike rack and cargo basket are fully loaded. The frame pivots a full 180 degrees for total clearance on both liftgates and van doors. Best of all, the racks are interchangeable: the bike post can be removed for those trips where the bikes don't come along and the cargo rack can be removed if you only need to bring the bikes.

Like its name suggests, the Rainier offers ample room for all your bike helmets, tools and other gear. Its cargo rack measures 53" x 25" x 5" and it can carry up to 200 pounds (bikes and gear). The Rainier mounts on all Class III/IV 2" hitch receivers, making it the perfect addition for most SUVs, minivans, trucks and RVs.

The Rainier wouldn't be complete without all the extra touches that you expect from a high-end bike rack. "We've added a keyed-alike security cable and hitch lock to prevent theft and included our popular Hitch-Coupling Tightener to eliminate hitch wobble," said Stewart. "With these additions, we think the Rainier is the most functional, versatile and secure bike rack available today."

The StowAway2 Rainier Bike Rack is priced at $499.00 and is available from StowAway2.com and several online retailers, including FastTrackRacks.com. To view an online image gallery of the StowAway2 Rainier, go to: StowAway2 Rainier Showroom

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Steven Lutz

Why switch from Steel Cable to Synthetic Winchlines? Safety, Strength, & Ease of Handling

Training: While synthetic winch lines are much safer, recovery operations are still dangerous and we encourage all winch owners with steel or synthetic winch lines to attend safety and training classes from certified trainers such as: Bill Burke, Tom Severin, Bruce Elfstrom, Garrett Porter and others. See I4WDTA for more information.

Ease of Handling: Steel winch cables have a tendency to kink, rust, and have very sharp strands once nicked. They also tend to straighten by the nature of the material making them harder to spool back on the winch properly. Our synthetic winchlines have none of these problems. However, synthetic lines are more susceptible to sharp edges (bumpers in particular) and heat, but they are much stronger, safer and easier to work with.

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John Stewart

All About Fasteners, Chapter One - Nuts, Bolts, and Screws

This is the first in a series of articles regarding fasteners. Over the coming months we will discuss bolts, , nuts, washers, specialty fasteners and their applications.Typical Screw and Bolt Configurations

This month our discussion turns to bolts and screws. The purpose of this article is to provide a cursory overview of the common nomenclature, grades and classes, identification of both SAE Inch and ISO / DIN Metric bolts and screws and a short overview of screw threads.

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OutdoorWire, 4x4Wire, JeepWire, TrailTalk, MUIRNet-News, and 4x4Voice are all trademarks and publications of OutdoorWire, Inc. and MUIRNet Consulting. Copyright (c) 1999-2019 OutdoorWire, Inc and MUIRNet Consulting - All Rights Reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission. You may link freely to this site, but no further use is allowed without the express written permission of the owner of this material. All corporate trademarks are the property of their respective owners.