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Custom 4x4 Monster Truck Shows - East Coast Jamboree

Posted in Events on November 1, 2003
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East coast and Midwestern guys seem to build different trucks than what we often come across out west. After a recent visit to Pennsylvania we came home scratching our heads. The Summer 4-Wheel Jamboree in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, is one of the biggest 4x4 jamboree truck shows in the country and is put on by Family Events and sponsored by Flowmaster, Rancho, Herculiner, Summit, Amsoil, Cargo Express, and Mickey Thompson Tires. With more than 3,000 trucks and 56,000 spectators there, it is almost overwhelming.

What we saw not only delighted and excited us, but at times confused us. It was cool to see so many fullsize rigs in one place, and exciting to find some crazy wheeling rigs at a truck show, but also at times scary. It's odd since 4-Wheel & Off-Road always tries to be about real working 4x4s, and often the really wild trucks you see at a truck show can be far from that.

We made it our goal to come home with some feature rigs that really looked like they would be fun on the trail. What you see here will most likely not win the shiniest truck of show, but in our book these are built, badass rigs that stick out in a crowd and actually work. If your rig didn't make the cut, then check in with our sidebar and maybe get some pointers for next year. And if you just want to attend this or some of the other truck shows, contact Family Events (317/236-6522, www.familyevents.com).

What Not to Do
We made a list of things that we don't want to see under a truck again. These are things that are so unsafe we cannot show them, but we saw examples of each one at Bloomsburg. If you have any of these setups under your rig it will most likely kill you.

*Lift blocks under the front springs are very, very bad and do not help performance. They can come out and you'll crash and burn.

*Rebar or Z-bar steering drag links are not safe. Invest in high-steer setups because steering is one of the two most important parts of your truck. Brakes are the other.

*If you are thinking about putting a car body on a truck frame, then be sure to do a very good job. Make sure the tires are under the wheel openings, the suspension works, and the pinion angle is correct. Truck-Cars, or "Trars," are not really cool, but we sometimes like to show them for the laugh factor if the work is nice.

*If you are learning to weld, do not practice on your steering, rollcage, or suspension. If your welds fail, you could die. You are still a man even if you need to hire someone else to do your important welds for you. Plus you can always lie and say you did it yourself.

*Murals are cool-if you still live in the '70s, drive a van with bubble windows and shag carpet, and wear butterfly collars. The only exception to the mural rule is on lowriders, which we admit are cool, but since we don't cover those in this mag, you won't see murals.

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