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December 2006 Off-Road Rides

Posted in Features on December 1, 2006 Comment (0)
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Kassem Gharaibeh has been wanting to build a well-equipped prerunner for a number of years and finally his dream has come true. He dropped off his Toyota Tacoma at Boneyard Fabrication in Ventura, California, and told them exactly what he wanted. The shop installed a Total Chaos long-travel suspension system, 2.5x8-inch King coilovers, Glassworks 6.5-inch fiberglass fenders, 62-inch Deaver leaf spring packs, 16-inch King Pre-Runner-series shocks, 9-inch shackles, and a set of Glassworks 4-inch bedsides to line up with the front. The guys at Boneyard Fabrication also fabricated a custom front bumper and skidplate for Kassem's new ride.

Lt. Douglass Dreese is currently serving in the U.S. Navy and is stationed in Charleston, South Carolina. He tells us that he has been a fan of the magazine for over five years and has always dreamed of seeing one of his trucks in it. Well, Douglass, your dream has come true. This '01 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is running a Superlift 6-inch suspension system, 315/75R16 Pro Comp X-terrain tires, 16x8 American Racing Baja wheels, Flowmaster exhaust, a Hypertech Power Programmer, a Summit Racing cold-air intake, Go Rhino Sumatra 6000 nerf bars, and much more. We hope you have a good time sharing this issue with your buddies, Douglass.

Although Elek Hutchinson's '95 Jeep YJ Wrangler is pretty much stock, he's not afraid to take on anything that crosses his path. During a recent trip to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, he got himself stuck a few times and needed a little assistance from his friends. The plans for his Jeep are to add a soft top and safari doors, upgrade his axles to Dana 44s, and lift the suspension at least 3 inches.

Jerrad Naher from Fruitland, Idaho, is the proud owner of this '76 Chevrolet Cheyenne 4x4 pickup. When he first purchased the truck a few years ago, it was bone-stock. He has slowly been turning this off-road ride into a worthy trail machine. Jerrad has added a 6-inch Rough Country suspension, 315/75R16 Wild Country RVT tires, a 305 small-block engine, Edelbrock intake and carb, SM465 transmision, NP205 transfer case, and much more. He wheels the backcountry roads near his home in the summer and the higher-elevation snowy mountains in the winter.

To many of us, it could be said that Dave Evans is living the dream. When Friday rolls around and he tells his wife Camille that he wants to go wheeling for the weekend, not only does his wife not get upset, she joins him. The '00 Jeep XJ belongs to his wife and is running a 4.5-inch Rough Country lift, Skyjacker shocks, 33-inch Pro Comp X-terrain tires, Bushwacker fender flares, and more. Dave's Dodge 1/2-ton truck rides on 4-inch Rough Country suspension, Skyjacker shocks, 38-inch Parnelli Jones tires, and a rear-mounted winch. Both of their vehicles are also their daily drivers, and Camille is also part of the all-girls Jeepin' Jezebels off-road club.

As a member of the Keystone Krawlers Off-Road Club, Vern Staving is no stranger to off-roading. He is currently stationed in Iraq serving our country as a government contractor helicopter pilot. During a recent leave back in the U.S., he spent some time with his '06 H2 Hummer on the trails of Rausch Creek Off-Road Park. His H2 is sitting on a 9.5-inch Full Throttle suspension system, Drive Blitz wheels, 41-inch Irok Super Swamper radial tires, and for safety he chose to run a Warn 9.5ti winch.

Custom fabrication is found all over this '84 Toyota truck. Keith Fritzinger of Hampton, Virginia, built this truck all by himself, turning it into a strong off-road wheeler. He decided that adding a simple 'cage wasn't going to be enough, so he removed the bed and custom-made one of his own. The steel tubing and diamond-plate rear section of his truck has proven to be very handy throughout his off-road vacations. He was also able to cut down the overall length of the bed, keeping departure angles from damaging his truck.

You can always tell the difference between an off-roader who just likes to go and wheel and someone who wants to not only wheel their vehicle but also use it for multiple-day excursions. Josh Ellison's '87 Chevy Suburban has a Jasper-built 350ci engine pushing nearly 365 rear-wheel horsepower. The suspension he chose is a 6-inch from Genuine Suspension, which allowed for his 35-inch Kuma tires. When it came time to protect his ride, he turned to South Texas Outfitters in San Antonio, Texas, to custom-fabricate new front and rear bumpers. A Yakima roof rack allows Josh to load up just about anything he wants on top of his ride for those frequent weekend getaways.

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Dan sent us a few images of this '00 Jeep Wrangler and writes, "My friends do not understand why I spend so much time and money on my little Jeep. They think all I do is take it out and trash it and then have to spend all day fixing it. Although you can't see it in the picture, my windshield banner says it all. It reads: `If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand.'"Found on his Jeep is a 6-inch Rough Country lift, Skyjacker Nitro 8000 shocks, Tom Wood driveshafts, Superior Axle & Gear axleshafts, an HD slip-yoke eliminator, 33-inch BFGoodrich M-T tires, Quadratec front and rear bumpers, and a whole lot more. We understand your passion for off-roading, Dan. Keep on wheeling!

After three years of driving his Chevy truck, Jeremy Hill knew it was time to bring it into his shop and make some modifications. He didn't just add a simple suspension lift, he removed the entire IFS suspension and swapped in his own creation of a 14-bolt front axle with Dana 60 kingpin knuckles. He then stuffed it with 4.88 gears and Moser inner and 35-spline outer 'shafts spinning Mile Marker locking hubs. Next was a set of 10-inch-lift springs that would elevate his Chevy over 15 inches and allow clearance for 40-inch Pro Comp X-terrain tires. He fabricated custom mounts for dual Bilstein 7100 reservoir shocks on all four corners. On top of suspension modifications, he also added a Banks exhaust system, headers, and numerous body upgrades. His initial build took over a year, but he loves what his truck is capable of now.

We are always proud to receive images from the people overseas fighting for our country and also love including their experiences in Off-Road magazine. Some of us only wheel on the weekends, while these guys are doing it every day, all day long. Here you can see Sgt. Ricky Fansler, Spc. Steve McCoy Jr., and civilians Matt Lightfoot and Chris Tuner atop their Humvee. To help make their Humvee stand out from the others, Matt and Chris built a snake-headed front bumper to strike fear into the enemy when coming over a sand dune in combat. We love the new bumper! Be safe over there, gentlemen.

"This truck was built for go, not show," owner Michael Lincoln of Marble Hill, Missouri, informs us.

His '76 Ford F-250 High-Boy took well over one year to build, including replacing the stock axles with 2-1/2-ton Rockwells. The truck is running over 12 inches of lift with a 460ci big-block pushing 39.5-inch Bogger tires. His favorite place to wheel is in the mud pits near his home in Missouri, and anywhere else he can find a trail suitable for his monster Ford.

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