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4x4Wire is for you, your 4x4 and access issues that interest four-wheelers
You, your 4x4, access issues, places to go and more outdoor topics

Ongoing discussion of recreational and environmental issues for four-wheelers
Ongoing discussion of recreation and environmental issues affecting California

Environmental news and information for recreation advocates
Environmental news and information for recreation advocates

Discussion forums covering a variety of 4x4 model technical issues and general recreation topics
Discussion forums covering 4x4 technical issues and general recreation topics


4x4Wire

News and information about you and your 4x4

Lead Ammunition Restrictions in Effect in California

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and our affiliate the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) recently alerted California hunters that the first phase of AB 711 took effect on July 1, 2015, drastically expanding California’s restrictions on lead ammunition for hunters. Prior to AB 711, it was already required to use ammunition that has been certified as non-lead by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife when taking certain animals within the “California condor zone.” AB 711 applies those restrictions to all ammunition when taking any wildlife throughout California.

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Maintain Proper Distance Off-Road

Maintain Proper Distance Off-RoadMaintaining the proper distance between your vehicle and the one ahead can be tricky. Speeds vary, the terrain changes frequently, and visibility can drop quickly.

You want to stay close enough to the vehicle in front so you can learn from it but not tailgate and risk causing an accident or worse: not be able to read the terrain for yourself.

Even experienced drivers find it challenging to monitor trail conditions and nearby vehicles. Newer drivers tend to focus so much on the vehicle ahead that they end up tailgating—in essence, glued to his backside. In the process, they lose sight of the trail and any obstacles or difficult conditions. More important they lose track of the vehicle behind, which can throw off the entire caravan.

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Unhacking the hacked Jeep

b2ap3_thumbnail_fca-logo.pngWhile the hacking of the government computers at Office of Personnel Management have received headline attention, this little hack attempt against the computer controlling a vehicle seems trivial - unless your are the vehicle owner.  The below news is from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.  As a corporation, they are stepping up and being proactive to ensure the computer systems in their products are safe.

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ExtremeTerrain’s Jeep Wrangler JK Build

ExtremeTerrain JKExtremeTerrain has recently begun a complete overhaul of a unmodded 4 door JK Wrangler. For the first phase of this upgrade, ExtremeTerrain went for a full body armor upgrade. The mods not only give the JK a unique and rugged look, but they also go a long way towards getting the Jeep ready for some serious off-roading.

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Blue: For Earth, For Humanity, For Freedom

BlueI have reviewed an interesting DVD presentation Blue: For Earth, For Humanity, For Freedom.  I found the presentation very interesting and very appropriate considering the current times where political correctness is bowing to the high priestess of “climate change”.

To put things in perspective, California is in midst of a multi-year drought and numerous measures are being enacted to conserve water.  The western U.S. Is in a 15 year “drought” cycle with declining rainfall and snow pack within the entire Colorado River drainage system.

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EXTREMETERRAIN AND BARRICADE OFFROAD UNVEIL THEIR FULLY BUILT 2015 JEEP WRANGLER AT BANTAM JEEP FESTIVAL

Project Trail ForeceExtremeTerrain.com and Barricade Off-Road teamed up to build a $73,000+ 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon to be given away to a lucky winner at the 2015 SEMA Show

MALVERN, Pa. (June 12, 2015) – ExtremeTerrain, a leader in providing aftermarket Jeep Wrangler parts, along with rugged, enthusiast-driven Jeep Wrangler aftermarket armor and accessories manufacturer Barricade Off-Road, today unveiled a fully-built 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon dubbed Project Trail Force at the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler, PA.

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Salvaged Power Window Regulators - 1989 Raider

TrailTalk ForumsAs 4x4 vehicles are subject to frequent dusty environments, an accumulation of dust can affect the functioning of simple things like power window controllers.  The following is a step by step procedure that was used to salvage the power window regulators in my 1989 Raider.  While these steps are specific to the Raider, similar steps may help in other Mitsubishi Montero and Raider model years.  As a word of caution, there are different types of power window control mechanisms.  And, this is an effort meant to save costs over full replacement cost of the regulator.

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What NEPA is and is not...

b2ap3_thumbnail_legal-image.jpgI recently received an email from a county supervisor outlining a situation where the county believed that the Forest Service was in violation of a county law when they closed close to 400 miles of routes in the forest that spanned two counties.  After reading the details submitted, I noted several false assumptions cited in the discussion.

First, let me address what NEPA is and is not.

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San Bernardino National Forest Map Card for Lowrance HDS & Elite HD Available

Big BearThe San Bernardino National Forest Lowrance GPS OHV map including popular areas like Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Silverwood, and Lytle creek, has been completed and is shipping! The mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest is packed with adventure. Loaded with trails from easy graded dirt roads to some of the most well known trails in California, such as the John Bull Trail.

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But, it followed me home...

Ruger 10/22 Take-DownAfter the mandated California 10-day waiting period, I am still in the market for .22 LR lever action rifle.  My criteria is for a small, light-weight lever action that is easy to stash anywhere.  Well, my local gun store had no lever action rifles meeting my criteria. 

But, they did have a Ruger 10/22 - Take Down semi-auto version with stainless barrel and synthetic stock.  Best of all, being the Take Down version, the barrel separates from the stock and both pieces fit into a padded carrying case. Well, it isn't the lever action that was on my wish list; but, it is small, compact, light weight and easy to stash just about anywhere.  And, it had an appeal that I couldn't turn down.  Ten days later it followed me home.

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BLM Planning Changes

b2ap3_thumbnail_blm-news.1.pngBureau of Land Management has announced an effort they are calling BLM Planning 2.0.  And, they are hosting (or did host) two listening sessions, one in Denver, CO and the other in Sacramento, CA.  I did attend the listening session in Sacramento.

For background, land management agencies are required to develop Resource Management Plans that provide the guidance for how the public lands under their care are "managed".  Typically, an RMP defines open areas, closed areas, and other special management conditions.  In recent years these management plans have become cumbersome to develop and subject to litigation.  Faced with outdated plans, BLM is seeking to change the rules of the game and make life easier for the agency and public.

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Born again, new life for old grill

BBQ Stand to Chopsaw StandThe old grill had seen better days.  Weather and rust had taken it toll on the cast iron body.  But, before heading to scrape pile of history, there was life left in the stand.  The frame was sound.  There were wood platforms on each side.  One end had wheels.  It was the perfect base for my chop saw stand.

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Replacing Worn Seatbelts

b2ap3_thumbnail_seat-belt-extender.jpgSeat belts have been around since the front lap belt was required on 1965 and new vehicles with front shoulder and rear lap belts appearing in 1968.  The traditional 3-point front belt became standard in 1974. One of the more important pieces of safety equipment in an off-road vehicle is the seat belt.

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OutdoorWire - your link to access

OutdoorWire (www.outdoorwire.com) provides a clickable link index to the vast collection of news and information across its family of website. The sites, 4x4Wire.com, 4x4Voice, and MUIRNet.net have long been important sources of information concerning environmental and administrative regulations and their impact on motorized recreation.

Together, the family of websites contain more than 12 years of information covering topics from landuse and environmental issues to 4x4 vehicle tech. An integrated site search provides quick access to site archives and forum postings.

With contributing bloggers from The TrailPAC, BlueRibbon Coalition, United Four Wheel Drive Associations, California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs and others, the OutdoorWire continues to grow.

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Cal4Wheel NRC Reports On-line

I have been producing and publishing an NRC Project List for several months.  That list has become cumbersome to maintain and I am shifting it to a full on-line tracking system where it is easier to link additional information to each project item listed.

The result of the current effort can be viewed at: http://www.4x4Voice.com

This version will allow for comments and replies to be posted.  And, postings are aggregated into an RSS feed which can be linked to a spot on the Cal4 or any other website.

In other news...

Read more Cal4Wheel NRC reports at: http://www.4x4voice.com/index.php/access-news#catid78

Original author: John


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Next Generation Hitch from Draw-Tite®

Draw-Tite HitchPLYMOUTH, MICHIGAN - The soon-to-be-released Draw-Tite Class 5 Ultra Frame® hitches have some distinctive attributes. “Our new Ultra Frame is a change from regular receiver hitches,” states John Walsh, VP of sales at Cequent Performance Products.  “Hitches have largely been tube construction. In our Ultra Frame line-up, which is heavy-duty trailer hitches, we’ve moved to a cast center section. It has strength and aesthetic characteristics, as well as a larger chain hook-up for easy access. It’s a next-generation hitch.”

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Practice Safe Winching

OffRoadTrailTools Wheel ChockRounding the bend, I spied a group gathered around a 4x4 vehicle on its side halfway down a steep trail section.  Thankfully, there were no injuries.  But, there was a problem with recovery efforts.  While the group did have a vehicle with a winch, the cable had come off the spool and was useless.  I positioned my jeep on a trail section above the truck and prepared my winch for action.  And, this was an opportunity to test the new addition to my recovery gear tool set. 

The day before, while checking the various vendor displays at Tierra del Sol Desert Safari, I found a handy gadget offered by OffRoadTrailTools.com -- a folding wheel chock; just the ticket for blocking the wheel while winching or lifting a vehicle.  Safety is a must for off-road fun.

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Participation Leads to Standing

Many people are voicing complaints about the pending loss of their favorite trail or restrictions on off-road recreation and are threatening to file a lawsuit.  Sounds simple.  But, is it that simple?

Keep in mind, to file a lawsuit, you must have “standing” and prove that you are “harmed” by the decision.  So, just what is “standing” and what is “harm”?

You, the recreationist, have an opportunity to participate in the discussions and make our opinions known to the planning team about routes (roads and trails) that need to be considered for developing the alternatives to the Proposed Action. Participation establishes “standing”.

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USDA Forest Service Launches Collaborative Process for New Planning Rule

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the USDA Forest Service is beginning an open, collaborative process to create and implement a modern planning rule to address current and future needs of the National Forest System, including restoring forests, protecting watersheds, addressing climate change, sustaining local economies, improving collaboration, and working across landscapes. The Forest Service will publish a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register tomorrow, December 18, to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to develop a new planning rule that will provide a framework for management of national forests and grasslands.

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Planning Could Assist

The Government Accountability Office has released a report:  Federal Lands:  Enhanced Planning Could Assist Agencies in Managing Increased Use of Off-Highway Vehicles. GAO-09-509, June 30.

Glancing through the report, I see no big surprises.  The report underscores increased recreation activity and planning deficiencies on part of the agencies to accommodate the increased recreation. While no one "plans to fail", it is clear that lack of planning is hindering the agencies from managing increased recreation demands on public lands.

Representatives of recreation groups have been asking for the agencies to improve their planning efforts and increase their communication with the public.  This report underscores those are actions that can help the long term management of OHV recreation opportunities.

The Conclusions and Recommendations of the report are listed below.

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