Step By Step
The little aliens in the rear differential of this YJ were quite frightful to watch as the rear axle twisted forward and back ever so slightly. The chrome differential cover pulsed with an exorcist let-me-out movement. Making it on this extremely tight obstacle held certain bragging rights for those who challenged and championed the difficult terrain.
Its nothing but mud, sweat, and gears for Alex Petersens 82 mud-camouflaged Wagoneer. Built by Jeff Petersen of 4x4 Service, the Wag storms through the wallows with a 401 engine, 4-inch Skyjacker springs, 4.10 gears, a Dana 44 front, an AMC 20 rear, and locked front and rear with ARBs. Pleasurable plethora of playing in the mire.
The Totally Awesome Computer Guy, Dale Schanze, schooled everyone in persistence and patience. The Hummer was like the little (or sledlike) engine that could. Yeah, if you matted the gas and tried what seemed like 200 times to climb the snowy hill.
Get down and dirty in the mud and then roll around in the snow. Ryan Clarks 85 Ramcharger meets and greets the snow with an avarice for hard-core, throaty, throttle power. It has a 4-inch Tuff Country suspension lift which allows for 35-inch Cooper tires. The stance is purely Dana with a 44 front, 60 rear, and 4.10 gears.
Chris Corry turned the glacier mudhole into a brown swimming pool for his 84 GMC Sierra, which holds 6 inches of suspension lift, 35-inch Dunlop muds, and custom paint (by C.C. himself).
Garrick Andrews 78 J10, nicknamed The Goat, is a go-anywhere, do-anything kind of rig. The J10 houses a 350 small-block with Holley Pro-Jection, an Edelbrock intake, Rancho RS 9000s, 10 inches of lift via 4-inch Skyjacker springs, and a spring-over that stuffs 33-inch BFG muds in the wheelwell.
1976 was a great year for the early Broncos. Jeff Petersens 76 has a whopping total of 9 inches of lift (7 inches of Superlift suspension plus a 2-inch body lift), a reverse-cut Dana 44 front with 4.56 gears, and a Lock-Right locker. The converted 9-inch full floating rear holds 4.56 gears and a Detroit Locker.
Splashing about the field of mud, Jared Nealys 79 3/4-ton GMC pickup discovered the perils of digging in the mud. Even with 6 inches of Rancho lift, a front Dana 44, a rear Corporate 14-bolt, and 315/75R16 BFG All-Terrains, you never know what lies beneath the goop, or how deep it actually is. Justin Neilsons 94 Chevy hooked to the 79 Chevy and gave it a little strappy.
Ryan Andrews 85 Chevy pickup negotiates up the steep Jeep-only rock obstacle with a 305 V-8, a Corporate 10-bolt front axle, a Corporate 12-bolt rear axle, a Skyjacker 6-inch suspension lift, and Thornbird 35s. Ryans pre-real-Moab promises include a 14-bolt rear, 4.56 gears, and lockers. Seems like the suns coming up on his Chevy.
Tucker Woods cant live without driving on stuff like old burnt Subarus. Tucks monster 2000 F-350 Super Duty is lifted a total of 10 inches. The Dana 50 front and Sterling 10 1/2-inch rear axles hold disc brakes all around with Weld Scorpio 16 1/2 wheels and Dick Cepek 38-inch Fun Country Radials. Happiness is not a state but a method of traveling. This F-350 travels well.
Locals know. They know where to wheel. And if you wheel, or even have a cool truck, you know others who wheel and have cool trucks. Logical, right? On our recent field trip to Utah, we found local trucks, local trails, and local people all in a four-wheel weekend. It turned into one of those trips you wish would never end. Our trip took two days on two trails in search of sludgy mud, slippery snow, and substantial stones. Does it get any better than that?
Day OneHogs Hollow
Tucked back in the hills of Alpine, Utah, the Hollow is a proving ground for local yokels and their rigs. Its the place you go after youve just installed a new driveline but dont want to go too far from home to hammer on it. You wont find it on any map and probably never will, as most of the land is becoming expansive suburban neighborhoods. Unless your vehicle can handle Rocky Mountain pinstriping, or an around-the-gate 5-foot ditch, youre not going in.
Day TwoLittle Moab
Across Utah Lake, the place nicknamed Little Moab has created rock playgrounds for those willing to play. The playing field includes sand dunes, rock formations, and expansive Utah desert. The mini Moab mecca attracts those who are mechanized and hold a deep-seated respect for the power of the terrain. Our trip yielded more breaks than makes on the rock obstaclesall in all, some splendid sporting.
Does it get any better? Were betting that you know of cool places in your own community. In fact, if you think you know a cool legal wheeling spot, step up and speak your mind for the best wheeling spot at www.4wheeloffroad.com. Click on Community, then Bulletin Board, and finally Real World Wheelin. Our computer geek will check up and note your secret sites. You never know. We just might end up in a town near you.