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January 2008 Off-Road Rides - Readers Rides

1985 Toyota Pickup
Jordan May | Writer
Posted January 1, 2008

Traversing the Rubicon Trail in Northern California is a favorite pastime of Eric and Barbara Zimmerman and their family. Their '85 regular-cab Toyota pickup truck has seen many an off-road mile. A few modifications include 5-inch All-Pro Off-Road springs, a 3-inch body lift, a Marlin Crawler 4.70 transfer case, a Warn winch, ARB Air Lockers, and more.

Randy Buescher of O'Fallon, Missouri, has been wheeling his '97 Jeep Cherokee for more than a decade. It is his pride and joy, and it does a great job of draining any extra money from Randy's bank account. A few of the modifications include a 3.5-inch Tuff Country lift, 31-inch Hercules Trail Digger tires, Airaid intake, and Flowmaster exhaust. The trails near his home can be tough for any ride, so he was sure to add parts that would take the type of abuse his Jeep would see.

This may look like a Land Cruiser 80-series, but it's actually the Land Cruiser's cousin, the Lexus LX 450. Landon Beales sent us this photo of his Lexus wheeling through Moab, Utah, on the Fins and Things trail system. He has already supercharged the V6 powerplant and installed an ARB suspension, a Warn winch, ARB bumpers, an amateur radio, GPS guidance, and more. Because the LX 450 features the same body lines as the Land Cruiser, it shares many of the same aftermarket goodies.

Many of our readers submit their images and forget to include information about the vehicle. This was not a problem for Scott Hulin of Great Falls, Montana. The tech sheet he submitted with this image of his '89 GMC 2500 Suburban was three pages long with over 100 listed modifications. A few that stood out to us were the Dana 60 axles, Detroit Truetrac lockers, Warn hubs, crossover steering, Skyjacker springs, Pro Comp shocks, Mile Marker winch, and custom front and rear bumpers. Some of the terrain Scott tackles in his GMC often puts him into the middle of nowhere, so he needed to make sure his vehicle was ready for anything.

Sgt. Cole B. Griggs sent us this photo of the HMV-39 he is assigned to in Hamburg, Germany. He tells us that most of the time his off-road routes are covered with snow, but during a few short summer months the snow melts and he can have some muddy fun. This ride doesn't have a laundry list of modifications we can share with you, but we love featuring images from our men and women overseas fighting for our country.

Although we don't feature a great deal of off-road rides driven by female enthusiasts, we do know there are quite a few out there and they're being seen more often on the trails. Sasha Oakley has been working on her '86 Suzuki Samurai for the past few years and is a member of the Rainier Ridge Rams four-wheel club based in Whatcom County, Washington. With the help of her husband, she has installed 32-inch BFG M-T tires, a suspension lift, Trail Tough transfer-case gears, Detroit Lockers, Calmini reverse shackles, custom drivelines, and more. Sasha wheels her ride as often as possible along the beautiful Naches Trails just outside of Seattle.

When Justin Sherman isn't fighting with his wife over the keys to his truck, he's spending time with his friends hitting the hills near his home in Missouri. Modifying your ride just the way you want it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money. Justin tells us that although his truck is not super-modified yet, he plans on making it one incredible rig. So far, he's added 31-inch Hankook tires, a rear nerf bar, and off-road lights. He plans on lifting his truck about 4 inches and going up to 33-inch tires very soon.

This '85 K5 Blazer has been a reliable daily driver and off-road ride for Devon Androes of Mountain Home, Arkansas, for more than a decade. As soon as the vehicle was brought home, he immediately started tearing it apart and modifying it. First up was cutting out the fenders and installing a suspension lift large enough to clear 36-inch Super Swamper tires. His travels take him through a great deal of muddy terrain, so oversize rubber is necessary. The engine bay has also received a wealth of upgrades, from a new 700R4 transmission to a bored-out 350ci engine.

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