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February 2008 Trail Rigs

Posted in Features on February 1, 2008
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It Never Ends
Bob Aurelio's '06 TJ went straight from the dealer lot to the off-road shop. Seen on the trail near Deep Creek in SoCal's San Bernardino mountains, the Wrangler's trail prowess was enhanced using a 4-inch Pro Comp suspension kit and 33-inch Pro Comp Xtreme Mud Terrain tires. Axle gearing was changed to a 4.56 ratio, and Auburn limited-slip units were added during the ring-and-pinion installations. A K&N cold-air intake breathes easier and filters more effectively than stock. Self-recovery comes courtesy of a 9500 Warn winch housed in a Crawler front bumper that matches the Crawler rear bumper on the Jeep's aft end.

Bob, of Hesperia, California, served in the Marines (thank you), and now he serves as a sales manager for a Jeep dealership. He notes that even with his wholesale discount rate, the build cost several thousand dollars. Is the TJ "done"? Nope. There's "still more to do." Bob, you've just found the tip of the iceberg. The good news is that you've got an extremely capable vehicle right now, and it just gets better from here.

Baja Bound
Baja is usually the domain of buggies and long-travel prerunners, but Rick Stiman from Las Vegas proves that there's plenty of room in Baja for trail rigs too. Photographed overlooking the Sea of Cortez about 90 miles south of the fishing/tourist town of San Felipe, Rick's '01 Wrangler TJ has a short list of mods that still get the job done. A 2-inch lift and a Kargo Master tilt rack were the only add-ons listed by the owner. We'd bet Rick could make several new friends (and perhaps a few extra dollars) pulling stuck buggies and two-wheel drive prerunners from the clutches of Baja's infamous silt beds.

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