4x4 AnswerMan - Truck & SUV Questions Answered

Jan. 24, 2013 By Jaime Hernandez

4x4 Answerman January 2013

M1 Abrams Tank

4x4 AnswerMan,

How can I remove the 1-5/8 inch thick solid rubber tire from an aluminum wheel of an Army Tank?

Rob Newcomb

Wow Rob, as much we love the off-road capability of a tank, canít say that weíve ever changed out tracks or wheels on one. Your best bet is to talk to other tank enthusiast and collectors that may have the answer. One thing is for sure, it probably requires a really big wrench.

You may be able to find some info on Olive-Drab.com, with additional resources in their ďIntelĒ section.

Good luck with that.


4x4 AnswerMan,   Will a Ď86 or Ď87 motor fit in a Ď93 F150?


Hi Craig,

Sure, anything is possible. You should be able to swap in either an I-6 or V8 from the Ď80s truck into the Ď93, but it will be carbureted. Your 1993 motor is fuel injection, so thereís going to be some loose ends to take care of, like extra wiring.

Iím not sure what your reasons are for going to an older engine, but something to consider is that fuel injection is more desirable for climbing hills off-road.  It also will have better fuel economy, if that matters to you. There are also the smog emission regulations for your state to consider. Your truck may be smogged and need to pass with the specs of a 1993 fuel-injected truck, not a carbureted Ď80 vintage.

Make sure you look at all these items before moving forward.

Good luck. 


4x4 AnswerMan,

I have some questions. I have 2 NP203s. One is from my th350 and the other from my th400. I currently have the th400 in my blazer so I'm using that transfer case that matches because of transmission spline count. My issue is that the other one has what I believe is a part-time shaft kit but I don't know how to get it out and into the other tcase. I'm not sure how to tell for sure. The th350 one doesn't have spider gears and seems like itís some type of spring-loading system, whereas the th400 has a bunch of spider gears and a lot more crap in it. Hopefully this isn't clear as mud but I need some help.   Will Thaler

Letter sparked by:
New Process 203 Transfer Case Tech

Hi Will,

Sounds like you might have a Mile Market Part Time Kit on your NP 203. There are two versions: one uses a replacement shaft, and the other replaces the Crown Gears. Photos of both are shown below.

If it is in fact a shaft part-time kit, then it would eliminate the spider gears all together.

Once you have been able to identify for a fact if you have a part-time shaft replacement, then itís just a matter of swapping out. You can either contact Mile Marker directly to get a copy of the installation instructions, or try this set listed on this 73 - 87 Chevy Truck forum that may help.

Complete NP 203 Part Time Conversion Guide


4x4 AnswerMan,

What is the fuel supply is it carb or fuel injection? I have been told that the use of the original intake manifold does not really provide a gain in hp. Is that true or not? I am a newbie, and looking for assistance from anyone who knows if the expense for fuel injection is worth it. What are your thoughts?

Letter sparked by Putting a 4.0L head on a 4.2L block

Hi Newbie,

Thereís mixed opinion on this conversion. The people that do the conversion say they feel more power. The naysayers that havenít done it say it doesnít work. If you want to try and arenít afraid to experiment then go for it. Keep in mind that you will need to modify the exhaust, as the head will not bolt up with your old exhaust setup.

As for fuel injection, sure itís great, but some of the conversion kits out there are anywhere from $1k - $3k. If youíre looking to spend that type of money, might as well do a complete 4.0 HO Swap from a doner Jeep.

If you have any more questions, make sure you chime in on our Off-Road.com Forums or also ask our resident Jeep expert ďThe Jeep Creep.Ē

Good luck.


Looking to get a 4x4 Ford expedition that needs tires; originals were 255/70-16. Is replacement possible (for all four) at 265/70R-17 or Wrangler 265/75R-16?


Hi Sherbourne,

You should be able to fit any of those with no problems. In fact, you can up to a 285/75 R16 (33-inch) if you really wanted to with stock suspension. Anything larger than that would require a suspension lift or metal trimming.


Hello 4x4 AnswerMan,
I have a 2009 Chevy Silverado crew cab z71 LT with a Pro Comp 6-inch lift. The gears are 4.88 and it currently has Nitto Grappler 295/60/20. It is time for some new tires and I would like some input as to a good quality all-terrain tire (not expensive). Also, I would like to go bigger. What is your suggestion on the max tire size I could put under this truck?
Thank you for any information you can give.

Dee Hargrove

Hi Dee,

Sounds like a mighty big truck. Your lift and gear ratio is prime for some 35-inch tires. You could easily clear a 315/60 R20. Nitto makes good tires, and you, out of anyone, should know. Iím also a big fan of the BFG All-Terrains, but they can be pricey. On the flip side, they wear really well and work great on and off-road.  Just make sure to keep rotating them.

If you donít want the larger tire or height, then stick to your 33s. It really depends on what you want more, MPG or more tire?



I put a Rough Country 7.5 RCX lift on my 09 Chevy Silverado 1500WT. Alignment all good but still having problems with steering wander.

Only has 13,000 mi! Only use it for hunting, tires/rims 35x12.50 x20.10 rims Mud Grapplers Nittos

Bump steer problems NO one told me or the wear-and-tear issues! What can I do? And what can I do to help this wear-and-tear issue with the stress of a lift kit? What things should I be looking for that may become a problem? This is my truck, itís clean and never had a problem now Iím worried.  Mark Janusz

Hi Mark,

Itís normal to be worried, but donít lose sleep over it. Once you accept the fact that your truck will never be like a stock truck, then youíll be able to breathe easier. Just remember how much you like the way it looks and how it turns heads when you drive past them in that big 4x4.

Yes, lifted trucks tend to have more suspension maintenance, much of it thanks to the large wheels and tires. Extreme angles for steering and drive components will cause premature wear or failure when compared to stock model--itís just part of the animal.

I wasnít able to grasp if the bump steer problem started immediately after lifting the truck or some time after. Itís very possible that your steering tie rods are worn and need replacement. You can check them by lifting the front, grab tire and shake a few times on each side. If you feel excessive play, try to isolate the source.

Itís common for worn tie rods to be the culprit of bump steer, especially on IFS models. Be vigilant.

As far as any additional items that may wear faster than normal with a lift, just keep an eye on all your suspension and steering components. Some other items to also monitor are the CV axles, brakes, and transmission. The extra weight of large wheels and tires add more stress to all of these components. If you monitor them, you should be able to service before they become a major problem.

One last thing, a good alignment should help. Make sure the alignment is done by an off-road shop or someone that knows how to align lifted 4x4s. The factory specs donít apply to lifted vehicles. Also, you may try to contact Rough Country directly to see if they can give you alignment specs for that specific suspension kit. Bring that info to your alignment shop.

Hope you straighten out soon.



4x4 AnswerMan,

Is the Z71 suspension on that truck a heavy-duty package. Itís a 2012 year that I'm looking at and how will the truck perform off-road stock compared to the Nissan Titan that I owned before trying to make a good choice on this truck to purchase.

Thanks, Sedillo69

Hello Sedillo,

The 2012 Z71 Chevy Silverado is a very nice truck. The Z71 Suspension on these used to be monotube Bilstein in the early days, but late-model Silverados now run Rancho.  Iím not familiar with your Nissan Titan truck, but I would say that it would be very comparable, especially if your truck had the NISMO package.

The ride itself is going to be much more firm than a standard LT Silverado. Some describe it as ďsporty.Ē Most of that is thanks to the Z71 shock absorbers and heavier sway bar.

If you plan on using the truck off-road, and stock height is where you want to be, then go for it.

Some other items found on the Silverado Z71 Package:

ē     18" bright machined aluminum wheels
ē     P265/65R18 On/Off Road tires
ē     Z71 Off-Road Chassis Package with Rancho shocks
ē     Fog lights
ē     Bright sill plate and Z71 Plus decals
ē     Body-colored grille with chrome mesh insert
ē     Chrome recovery hooks
ē     Smooth body-colored front lower fascia
ē     Body-colored door handles and exterior mirrors
ē     Heated, power adjustable, power folding exterior mirror
ē     Z71-specific instrument panel
ē     Automatic climate control (on LT models)
ē     Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror

I would say take it on a test drive. Find some bumps on the road and youíll know soon enough what kind of feedback the suspension will give. If youíre able to take it out on the dirt, even better.

Have a truck or SUV question for the 4x4 AnswerMan? Send your questions to editor@off-road.com. Please include your name and location, and be as detailed as possible about your questions.

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