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Trail Rig Roundusp Readers' Rigs

Posted in Features on November 1, 2012 Comment (0)
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We’ve got 16 rigs to showcase, and only so many pages to do it in. Most of the time, multiple photos and more info about each rig are the best way to do justice to a build, but that means we can’t show as many rigs. In the interest of being more inclusive this time, we’re going with one photo of each rig, and using only the most salient statistics. Less is more.


Owner: Phil Brooks
Lives in: Charleston, South Carolina
Rig: 1989 YJ Wrangler
Key Parts: “Built in the backyard,” according to Phil. Dana 44 axles, OX Lockers, 5.13 gears, 38-inch Interco Swamper TSLs
’Wheeling Spots: It’s a three-hour haul to the nearest ’wheeling spot, but well worth it. “The Gulches” is Phil’s favorite, although he’s got unfinished business with a certain creek crossing on a friend’s farm


Owner: Russell Root
Lives in: El Cajon, California
Rig: 2006 Jeep TJ Unlimited Rubicon
Key Parts: 4.0L I-6, Dana 44 axles, 4.88 gears, Rubicon Express suspension, 35-inch Goodyear MT/Rs on AEV wheels, onboard air system
’Wheeling Spots: Big Bear, California, specifically Rattlesnake Canyon and John Bull trails


Owner: Edgar Lugo
Lives in: Temecula, California
Rig: 2007 Jeep JK Unlimited
Key Parts: Sleeved and gusseted Dana 44s, 5.38 gears, MetalCloak mid-arm suspension, 37-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts, 17-inch Black Rock wheels, Teraflex big brake kit, GenRight rear bumper and tire carrier
’Wheeling Spots: So Cal hot spots including Calico, Corral Canyon, Big Bear, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park


Owner: Mark Schurkens
Lives in: Phoenix, Arizona
Rig: 2007 JK Rubicon
Key Parts: Three-inch Teraflex suspension system, Teraflex driveshafts, 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2s on American Racing Thug wheels, Airaid intake, Hypertech performance chip, Edelbrock cat-back exhaust system. Mark also trimmed the front bumper to gain a bit of trail clearance
’Wheeling Spots: Charouleau Gap trail outside of Tucson, and “getting stuck in the snow” in Arizona’s White Mountains


Owner: Dan Carter
Lives in: Hesperia, California
Rig: 1966 Jeep CJ5
Key Parts: Odd-fire Buick V-6, Muncie SM465 transmission, T-18 transfer case equipped with Warn overdrive, locked Dana 27 front axle, locked Dana 44 rear axle, 32-inch Bridgestone Desert Duelers on 15x8 steelies, Buick power steering conversion with a tilt steering column, audio system with Queensryche on tap
’Wheeling Spots: Big Bear, Anza-Borrego, Yucca Valley area


Owner: Russell Witkop
Lives in: Parker, Colorado
Rig: 1971 Jeepster Hurst Edition
Key Parts: This Jeepster is one of only one hundred Hurst Editions produced. Russell’s stable includes several Jeepsters. Russell writes “I have been messing with Jeepsters for a bit and like nachos they kind of got away from me.” The Hurst Edition is all stock with factory power steering and power brakes. Russell keeps a 1969 Jeepster that’s built for ’wheeling so that the ’71 can stay pristine.
’Wheeling Spots: Colorado! Does this really need to be narrowed down?


Owner: David Brashear
Lives in: Beaumont, California
Rig: 1996 Jeep ZJ Grand Cherokee
Key Parts:
5.2L V-8, Rubicon Express Super Flex suspension system, American Racing wheels, 33-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires, adjustable control arms, adjustable track bars, Hella lights, freshly crushed side step — real rock sliders are next. The roof rack is a home-brewed item and looks great!
’Wheeling Spot: Big Bear, California


Owner: Will Broadus
Lives in: Solomons, Maryland
Rig: 1979 IHC Scout II
Key Parts: Terra pickup fiberglass top and internal rollcage, Corbeau Baja seats, 37-inch Pitbull Rocker radials on Allied beadlock wheels, Dana 300 transfer case with Teraflex 4:1 low range kit, 4.88 gears, full spool in the rear axle. Front axle features a Detroit Locker, RCV Performance axle shafts, Reid Racing outer components, and 4.88 gears. Exterior is coated with Durabak
’Wheeling Spot: Rausch Creek Off-Road Park, Tremont, Pennsylvania. Will drives his Scout to the trails and back


Owner: Larry Middlebrook
Lives in: San Diego, California
Rig: 2005 Jeep TJ Unlimited
Key Parts: 5.13 ring and pinion, AEV beadlock wheels, 35-inch Goodyear MT/Rs, Nth Degree Suspension, GenRight rocker guards
’Wheeling Spots: All over California, but we spotted Middlebrook and his Unlimited in Big Bear


Owner:
Phil Van Valkenburg
Lives in: Poulsbo, Washington
Rig: 2008 Ford Escape
Key Parts: With the light aftermarket support for the Escape, Phil has had to be creative and resourceful. Adapting some 1949 Willy’s hardware let Phil install a set of Rancho RS 9000 shocks, and lift was created by using Canuck Motor Sports heavy-duty coils. Phil also boxed in some sections of the stock unibody structure to which he welded Westin nerf bars. Owner-built skid plates protect the engine as well as fuel, brake, and electrical lines. Thirty-inch Firestone Destination tires fit the Escape thanks to Phil’s mods
’Wheeling Spots: Back roads and wagon trails of Washington State


Owner: Billy Elatm
Lives in: Santa Monica, California
Rig: Third-Generation Toyota 4Runner
Key Parts: This thing’s basically stock, but we give Billy points for taking it into the dirt. Besides, a stock rig is a built rig waiting to happen, right?
’Wheeling Spots: Anza-Borrego, Big Bear


Owner: Paul Carrill
Lives in: Kansas City, Missouri
Rig: 1987 Toyota FJ-60 Land Cruiser
Key Parts: Original 2F I-6, H55F five-speed transmission, rebuilt stock transfer case, 33-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, ARB front bumper, Camping Lab roof-top tent, Toyota OEM wheels widened by Stockton Wheel, Engel 12-volt fridge. Front and rear axles feature 4.56 gears and ARB Air Lockers
’Wheeling Spots: Paul regularly commutes to Colorado and Utah to do his ’wheeling and lives out of the FJ-60 during his weeklong treks. Paul’s FJ looks comfy and capable from here!


Owner: Benjamin Castaneda
Lives in: Rialto, California
Rig: 1973 Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser
Key Parts: V-8 conversion, 33-inch Pro Comp Xterrain Tires, stock axles with 4.11 gears, stock transfer case
’Wheeling Spots: rocks are required


Owner: Russell Root
Lives in: El Cajon, California
Rig: 1993 Jeep YJ
Key Parts: Dana 44 front axle with Chevy spindles, Ford 8.8 rear axle, 4.88 ring and pinion, Atlas II transfer case with 4:1 low range, 35-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws, onboard air system, custom linked-and-coiled front and rear suspensions
’Wheeling Spots: Rubicon Trail, Big Bear
Editor’s Note: Russell has two Jeeps. The YJ was on an in-the-dirt test drive when we saw it and may have a new owner by the time you read this


Owner: Fred Ramirez
Lives in: San Bernardino, California
Rig: 2001 Jeep TJ
Key Parts: OX lockers, 4.5-inch Rubicon Express suspension, Warn bumpers, 15x7 American Racing wheels, 35-inch Pro Comp Xterrain tires, stock inline six and 5-speed manual transmission
’Wheeling Spots: SoCal…with rocks!


Owner: Michael Cox
Lives in: Big Bear City, California
Rig: 1985 Toyota pickup
Key Parts: 7M-GTE turbo Supra engine swap, dual transfer cases with 4.7 low range gears in the rear ’case, 5.29 ring and pinion, Toyota E-locker up front, Detroit Locker out back, Oasis compressor, half doors (full doors when needed), 37-inch Super Swamper SSRs
’Wheeling Spots: Big Bear, Johnson Valley, Anza-Borrego, Ocotillo Wells

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