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Phil Hansford

My Pajero "Evolution"

I began my Mitsubishi 4x4 obsession in 1995 with a 4 cylinder, 1988 Dodge Raider (a badge-engineered Mitsubishi Montero SWB). This was after years of admiring its unique, boxy form, in a country (Canada) where they were a virtual unknown. Over the next 20 years I would own many variants of this theme: an 89 V6 Raider, followed by a long wheelbase Montero of the same year, and then two JDM import diesels. The first was a second generation SWB Pajero 2.5 diesel, and then a 93 2.8 LWB diesel. My sixth one took me upmarket to a North American 3rd generation Montero, which my wife promptly claimed as "her truck". Additionally, my satisfaction with Mitsubishi reliability lead me to branch out into cars as well, having six cars in this time.

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John Stewart

EPA Seeks to Prohibit Conversion of Vehicles into Racecars

4x4Wire LogoThe below release from SEMA should give every auto sport enthusiast cause to worry about the future of the gas powered engine.  The rule making out of the EPA is yet another example of executive overreach that has come to mark the current administration in their drive to regulate every aspect of daily life.  While the title and general content refers to "racecars", pay close attention the stated purpose: "...proposed a regulation to prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into racecars..."

If you enjoyed the recent King of the Hammers off-road event, be worried.  If you enjoy building and using a 4x4 as off-road recreation, be worried.

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SEMA To Oppose Action As Threat to Modified Racecars and Parts Suppliers 

Washington, DC (February 8, 2016) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a regulation to prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into racecars.  The regulation would also make the sale of certain products for use on such vehicles illegal.  The proposed regulation was contained within a non-related proposed regulation entitled "Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2."  

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John Stewart

Grab handles for your Jeep

 

Other grab handles are offered in any color you want as long as it is black.  And, other grab handles have a hard rubber handle.  The Surprise Straps Grab Handles are made using only 100% Nylon, American made #550 Paracord from the same Manufacturers that supply the US Military.  And, they provide a variety of color combinations to suit individual tastes or match vehicle color.  As my Jeep is red with black interior, I opted for the red Paracord over black nylon straps. 

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Tom Severin

Maintain Proper Distance Off-Road

Appropriate distance for safe off-road four wheeling

As a rule of thumb, you should be far enough back to at least see the other guy’s rear differential. (If the differential is just visible above your hood, you’re about 17 feet away.) Any closer than that, and everything between you and the other vehicle is in a blind spot. You never see the difficult obstacles so you can pick a line. And you won’t have time to react if need be. Back off so you have a better view of the trail and obstacles ahead.

Tailgating is a real problem on dusty roads—you can’t see squat. There could be a washout or deep rut up ahead, and you wouldn’t see it until it’s too late.

As soon as you see the driver ahead kicking up dust, back off. Stay behind the dust cloud, and monitor that to determine how the other driver is responding to conditions ahead. (Another advantage to staying back is that you’ll be able to enjoy the scenery.)

You’re probably wondering, aren’t the drivers communicating with each other? Maybe, but maybe not. A good 2-way radio is indispensable in these circumstances. That’s why I always require a 2-way radio in each vehicle during my off road trips. CB is fine, but I’ve found that FRS radios perform well.

The lead driver lets everyone know of obstacles, blind curves, oncoming vehicles, and other issues. During my trips, I ask the last driver (my “tail gunner”) to acknowledge my broadcast. That way I know it’s been received properly. Any vehicle that didn’t hear my message will likely hear the follow-up transmission.

In addition to keeping an eye on the vehicle ahead, drivers should occasionally glance in the mirror to make sure the trailing vehicle is still in view. If not, he should contact the driver. (Of course, it’s also important for the driver in distress to speak up when he gets in a bind.)

I can’t stress enough that you must keep your 2-way radio on and any distracting noises to a minimum. Turn down the commercial radio and your iPod. You should be focused on the road ahead and any instructions coming over the 2-way radio.

When you’re the lead driver, remind the others to keep their trailing vehicle in sight. If each driver does this, no one loses a vehicle when the driving gets tough. Even with reliable communications, verify that the trailing vehicle is still behind you after you take that fork in the trail or make some other change. Any drivers really focused on the obstacle just ahead can forget a set of instructions they heard moments before.

Similarly, if your vehicle encounters a problem, make sure you get on the radio. The vehicles ahead and behind should stop. If everyone is looking out for the guy behind, the entire caravan will soon stop. Address your problem, and resume the drive. It all boils down to teamwork and trust, with every driver knowing and adhering to protocol.

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Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

What Causes Wash Board Roads?
10 Rules of Trail Etiquette
Weather to Go
Respect Your Teammates. Arrive Prepared.
Meet At The Trailhead, And Caravan In From There
Did you miss the previous article?

 
 
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.

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John Stewart

Mammoth Boulder Wheels Giveaway

ExtremeTerrain Boulder Wheels GiveawayExtremeTerrain is giving away a set of Mammoth Boulder Wheels for your Wrangler!  Stand Out On The Trail With A Set Of Boulder Wheels!

MALVERN, PA (April 24th, 2015) - ExtremeTerrain has partnered with Mammoth on their latest awesome giveaway! The Mammoth Boulder Wheel Giveaway will give one lucky winner a free set of 5 Mammoth Boulder Wheels. This is one of the best ways to upgrade the style of the Jeep Wrangler. The aggressive 5 spoke design is a twist on a classic design, and looks great on any Jeep. Whether it’s a daily driver or a dedicated trail rig, these wheels will be sure to turn heads. The wheels come in two different styles and three different colors, so there’s a combination for every Jeep.

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