A few months ago, Editor Phil Howell issued a call for 4WHEEL DRIVE MAGAZINE readers to submit their rigs. We were pleased to receive replies from all over the place. Better yet, it’s obvious that there’s some nice ’wheeling hardware on the trails. You guys and gals are building some great stuff! Instead of featuring one or two a month, we decided to showcase a bunch all at once. Response was great. In fact, we got more rigs than we have room for in a single story.
Got a rig you'd like to share with the world? Submit it! We'll be doing this again.
Owner: Alexandre Saey
Lives in: Quebec, Canada
Rig: 1977 Jeep CJ-7
Key parts: Fiberglass body, heavy-duty replacement frame, 4-inch suspension lift, 2-inch body lift, PSC steering box, 350 small-block Chevy V-8, two Detroit Lockers, ARB differential covers, Warn hubs, 35-inch tires.
'Wheeling spots: In addition to the trailside action shown here, Alexandre has crossed Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean not one, but four times.
Owner: Al Handy
Lives in: Blairstown, New Jersey
Rig: 2006 Jeep TJ Rubicon
Key parts: Rusty’s Off-Road long-arm upgrade kit, Currie upper front bushing kit, front OME 2.5-inch Jeep ZJ front coils on JKS ACOS spacers, stock JK rear springs perched on Nth Degree spring relocators, 35-inch BFG Mud-Terrain tires on black steel wheels, NVG 241 OR transfer case.
'Wheeling spots: Rausch Creek, PA, various Jeep Jamborees
Cool tidbit: Al installed 99 percent of the upgrade parts himself. Al’s canine Jeepin’ buddy, Mo, is always along for the ride.
Owners: Carl and Sandi Youngstrom
Live in: Hart, Michigan
Rig: 1988 Jeep YJ Wrangler
Key parts: 4.2 inline-six rebuilt by Carl, bored 0.020-over with Comp Cams 254 camshaft, Motorcraft 2150 carburetor, Pacesetter header, 4.10 Yukon gears, Lock-Rite front locker and Trac Lok limited-slip rear differential, Tom Wood’s drive shafts, Skyjacker 4-inch lift springs, Pro Comp 32-inch mud terrain tires on stock alloy wheels.
'Wheeling spots: Colorado and Utah, especially Moab. For their 25th wedding anniversary (congrats!), Carl and Sandi drove the YJ on a camping trip through their aforementioned favorite 'wheeling states.
Owner: Curt Wright
Lives in: Cadillac, Michigan
Rig: 2007 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
Key parts: Full-Traction six-inch long-arm suspension, Off-Road Evolution EVO Lever rear shock system, Mastercraft Baja RS seats, Sway-A-Way coilovers and hydraulic bumpstops, Pro Comp 17x9-inch wheels with OMF beadlocks, 40-inch Pro Comp Xterrain tires, AEV heat reduction hood, Warn 9.0 RC winch, Currie Anti-Rock rear sway bar, PSC steering, J.E. Reel drive shafts, Optima batteries.
'Wheeling spots: Silver Lake dunes in Michigan, and big-name rockcrawling trails everywhere else. Curt is a member of the Cadillac Jeepers, who put on the annual Blessing of the Jeeps.
Owner: David Kincaid
Lives in: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Rig: 2007 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
Key parts: Stock front and rear lockers, Warn 9,000-pound winch, 35-inch Dick Cepek Mud Country tires, Misch arm rests, ARB compressor, Currie front axle housing reinforcement kit, Magnaflow exhaust, Xenon fender flares, Cargo Master roof rack, Bilstein shocks, American Racing wheels, and finally David’s favorite feature, a homemade hot shower system using a heat exchanger and an RV pump.
'Wheeling spot: Whipsaw Trail in British Columbia
Zeitgeist: "The Jeep works well, although the engine is a pale imitation of the straight-six I had in my Cherokee. Any idea why we can’t have a small-displacment turbo diesel in this vehicle?"
Owner: Del Albright
Lives in: Mokelumne Hill, California
Rig: 1997 Jeep TJ Wrangler
Key parts: Rubicon Express long-arm suspension kit, Advance Adapters 5:1 Atlas transfer case, Poison Spyder Access Army Ricochet Rockers, Poison Spyder Crusher Flares, Metalcloak frame-built bumper, Currie Ford 9-inch rear axle, Currie Dana 44 front axle, West Coast Differentials 4.88 gears, Premier Power Welder underhood welder, CTM U-joints.
'Wheeling spots: Moab; Death Valley, California; Hump n’ Bump in Logandale, Nevada; Sweetwater Mountains near Bridgeport, California; Colorado trails run with the Mile Hi Jeep Club.
Land Access Hero: Del calls his Jeep “Seein’ Red” and uses it to help keep our collective trails open. Del started Friends of the Rubicon and the Access Army. He’s active in many other pro-access groups as well, including the BlueRibbon Coalition. “"Red' is a fully capable trail rig that allows me to ’wheel all over the country, on all types of trails, providing an example of responsible recreation to enthusiasts nationwide," Del writes. We appreciate his efforts.
Owner: Doug Farrar
Lives in: Chester, Virginia
Rig: 1990 Jeep XJ Cherokee
Key parts: Dynatrac Dana 44 front axle with ARB Air Locker and 4.10 gears, Dynatrac Dana 60 rear axle with ARB Air Locker and 4.10 gears, Atlas II transfer case with 4.3:1 low range ratio, NV 4500 five-speed transmission from JB Conversions, Tom Wood’s drive shafts, Rubicon Express 4.5-inch lift system, 33-inch Xterrain tires on 15x10 Pro Comp wheels.
'Wheeling spots: Rausch Creek, Pennsylvania; attended Camp Jeep several times; Moab; and Hatteras, North Carolina.
Impulse sale: Doug Farrar and Rose Marie Reese were ’wheeling at the Rausch Creek Off Road Park when Doug out-drove his front Dana 44. He broke a ball joint and a U-joint on the left side. Getting un-stuck and getting the wounded rig back to the trailer took several sets of hands and tools. Doug had had enough and announced that whoever wanted to could have the XJ and the trailer for $5,000. The hardcore ’wheeling was fun, but Doug and Rose enjoy the mellower side of the sport these days in a 2000 XJ that’s built more mildly.
Owner: Francisco Martinez
Lives in: Richmond, California
Rig: 1988 Chevy K5 Blazer
Key parts: De rigueur GM 1-ton axles, Dana 60 front, 14-bolt full-floater rear, both fitted with 4.56 gears. Rear axle features a homebrewed anti-wrap bar. Entire interior is sprayed with Line-X. Drivetrain is a TBI Chevy 350, TH700-R4 transmission, and an Atlas II transfer case. Six-inch Superlift leaf springs clear the way for the 35- to 37-inch tires Francisco likes to use.
'Wheeling spots: Rubicon trail, Hollister OHV area, Winter Fun Fest. Francisco is a member of the Diablo 4 Wheelers club.
All’s well that ends well: Francisco broke down on the Rubicon and had to use 2WD and a winch to make headway. The trip took a couple of days longer than he originally planned, so his wife sounded the alarm. CALSTAR Rescue helicopters found Francisco’s group safe and sound and about three hours away from cell phone service. Satellite phone next time?