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February 2001 Reader's Rigs

Posted in Features on October 19, 2004
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Building a mudder requires a stout piece of equipment, so Robert Espinoza Jr. of Pico Rivera, California, was wise to choose a '78 Ford F-250 as his baseline. To clear the massive 44-inch Mud Country tires, 12-inch springs were made for the front while the back received another set of custom-made springs that provide 15 inches of lift. The 400 V-8 was left in place but received some help from an Edelbrock manifold and a 625 cfm Carter carburetor. Also wisely left in place was the NP205 transfer case and C6 automatic transmission which send power to a Dana 60 front axle and a Dana 70 rear.

Gary Plante of Troy, New York, wanted to get some seriously large tires under his '79 Bronco. To make room for monster meats, he installed a 6-inch Skyjacker lift, followed by a 3-inch body lift. After some body trimming and installation of a set of Bushwacker fender flares, 46x22.5 Galaxy tires on custom-made 18x16.5 wheels fit nicely. To help turn the meats, 5.38 gears were installed in the front Dana 44 and rear Ford 9-inch. Motivating the big Bronco is a 351 V-8 treated to an Edelbrock performer manifold, Dynomax headers, and Supertrapp mufflers.

Randy Kirk of Inver Grover Heights, Minnesota, started off building his S-10 by putting its body on top of a '75 Chevy Blazer frame. Some serious firewall modifications were necessary to squeeze the 402 V-8 into place. Backing up this powerplant is a TH400 automatic and an NP208. The stock Blazer axles, a Dana 44 front and 12-bolt rear, handle the 38x12.50 Swampers on 16.5x10 American Racing wheels. Six-inch Trailmaster springs at every corner provide articulation.

Washington state resident Patrick Storm didn't waste any time in building his '00 Cherokee Sport. First went on a 3.5-inch Black Diamond lift and 31-inch tires on 15-inch Rock Crawler wheels. Next, heavy-duty Warn axles were stuffed into the frontend, while the rear received a full-floater kit, also from Warn. ARB Air Lockers along with 4.10 gears were put in at both ends. Patrick must own stock in Warn as an XD9000i along with a Warn Transformer mounting kit were put up front. A set of lights (from Warn, of course) light the way during nighttime excursions.

November Carpenter of Aiken, South Carolina, started modifying her '88 Jeep Wrangler soon after she got it. Out went the stock axles and in went front and rear Dana 44s from a Scout--both equipped with 4.10 gears and Detroit Lockers. The original six-cylinder and manual were swapped out and replaced with a fuel-injected six-cylinder and an automatic from a later Jeep. Next came a 4-inch suspension lift and a 2-inch body lift to make room for 35x14 Boggers on American 589 wheels. Finally, a Ramsey winch was put into place to help get fellow four-wheelers unstuck.

Taking advantage of the great 'wheeling in and around Alamosa, Colorado, is Lane Honn and his '48 CJ2A. Powering this 53-year-old specimen is a Chevy 350 V-8 which sends power to a T18 transmission and Spicer 20 transfer case equipped with 2.46 Bronco gears. A front Dana and rear Model 20 handle axle duties and both feature ARB Air Lockers. Providing flex are 4 1/2-inch-lift Alcan Springs while a 1 1/2-inch body lift helps to clear the 33-inch General Grabber MTs on 15x8 Hurricanes. An 8,000-pound Ramsey winch is used for recovery.

Ron Smith of Chelsea, Maine, likes to use his '88 GMC pickup whenever possible. It's equipped with a 4-inch lift along with a 3-inch body lift. All of this makes room for 35-inch Mud Kings on 15x8 American Racing wheels. Next to receive attention was the 350 V-8, which was bored 0.060 over, stuffed with 11:1 flat-top pistons, and outfitted with a .510-lift cam. The stock fuel injection was ditched and dual 625 cfm Carter carbs feed fuel to the engine through a tunnel-ram intake. Finally, the bed was replaced and the "Jimmy" received a new coat of paint.

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Reader's Rigs - Four Wheeler Magazine
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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