Every so often while sifting through the weekly deluge of Readers' Rigs entries, we stumble across an action shot that requires a second look. Sometimes we even pass these shots around internally with comments like "ouch," or "I bet that hurt" attached. In most cases, these shots are of vehicles helplessly stuck, or upside down, or flying through the air haphazardly. Most of them are low-resolution and unusable for print. But every so often, a gem or two will land in a file we call "Action." The following represents a good cross-section of what's contained in that file, and of what readers actually do with their rigs out on the trail.
Beat Down Bogger
Matt Marglon of Castro Valley, California, was able to stick his 1973 K-10 Chevy Stepside in the main mud pit at Hollister Hills OHV Park. Even with the power of a 454 big-block, Matt had to recruit help to free his rig from the tacky Hollister goop. Don't worry, Matt - we know firsthand how bad that mud can get. Matt's rig also sports an SM465 four-speed transmission, an NP205 transfer case, and 1-ton axles. Additionally, 37-inch Boggers and a 6-inch suspension lift are present under all that mud.
Wet 'n Wild 1-Ton
Doyle Bean of Rineyville, Kentucky, uses this 1983 Chevy longbed as a daily driver. The beast sits on a 6-inch Rough Country suspension lift along with a 3-inch body lift. The combo clears 39-inch Boggers on Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels. A 650hp 454 big-block is stuffed under the hood and is mated to a built Turbo 400 automatic transmission. The torque is split by an NP205 transfer case. Both axles are 1-tons with 4.56:1 gearing and limited-slips. Doyle also runs homemade traction bars to help keep the rearend planted. Doyle says the truck performs well at mud bogs and tractor pulls. We bet he's right.
This desert-pounding Dodge Ram 3500 was built by Greg Bordman of Twentynine Palms, California. The rig features a 500hp 24-valve Cummins turbodiesel engine and a whole host of Baja-proven aftermarket products. For instance, Greg runs fiberglass front fenders and bedsides, a KORE race suspension system, and a TST Powermax CR fueling box. He also added a bigger turbo and a South Bend clutch to keep the beast moving. The rig rides on 37-inch Toyo MTs and Walker Evans bead-locked wheels (not shown). Greg tells us he spends most of his free time speeding through sandy washes near his desert home.
Two to Tango
Justin DeClerck from Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, sent in this shot of two Suzuki Samurais. The one in front is an 1984 with a Toyota diesel engine and running gear out of a European-model pickup. It's armed with 5.71:1 gears, lockers, and 35-inch Boggers. The second one is a 1990 with a stock engine, a Calmini 6.5:1 transfer case, and a homemade snorkel. It looks as though Justin has plenty of open space to play in.
This 1978 Chevy 3/4-ton is owned by Chris Eich of DeMotte, Indiana. Chris says he hasn't had to pull out his winch cable yet. We suspect that has something to do with what Chris has under the hood. A built 454 big-block is mated to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission. An NP205 transfer case divvies up the torque between a front Dana 44 and a rear Corporate 14-bolt. A 6-inch suspension lift makes room for 37-inch Super Swampers on aluminum wheels. Other modifications include a MileMarker E-12000 winch, custom traction bars, crossover steering, and handmade tube bumpers.
Ken Webster of Woodland, California, sent in this shot of his 1999 Dodge Durango. It sports a high-pinion Dana 44 front axle with OX U-joints and Warn axleshafts. The rear is a Dana 60 with an ARB. The lift is 8 inches taller than stock, enough to clear 35-inch MTRs on 16-inch Rock Crawlers. Other goodies include onboard air, a Hanson front bumper, a 12,000-pound MileMarker winch, 3-inch exhaust, and two Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers.
Many rigs have been seen lifting a tire or two near Attica, Indiana. Anthony Goshen of Fort Wayne, Indiana, will confirm this picture was taken in a spot favored by most who visit the Badlands Off-Road Park. Pushing the limits of his mildly built 1987 Ford Bronco II, Anthony claims his rig is a Badlands veteran. It sports such improvements as ARB Air Lockers, a Hanson Bumper, a 2-inch suspension lift, and 32-inch Swampers.
Gregory Mignery of Chicago has a hard time going anywhere in his 1995 Defender 90 without the family begging if they can tag along. We're not surprised - who wouldn't want to ride in a tricked-out exotic rig like this? With 3 inches of suspension lift and 33-inch BFGs for traction, we bet this little Rover is quite a machine on the trail. Greg says he added a snorkel, ARB Air Lockers, and Rockware sliders just to set the rig apart from the rest. Well done, Greg. We haven't seen one like it until now.
This Canada-based 1986 Toyota is most certainly stuck. Its owner, Troy Kish, and a buddy had to work for nearly three hours to free the truck. Front and rear lockers helped Troy get it into this predicament, but the Warn 8274 is what got them out. Not shown are the 35-inch Boggers and a 4-inch suspension lift.
Michael Helbert of Arlington, Texas, owns this 1992 Ford Explorer. He says he convinced his wife to let him cut the roof off the family car after a slight rollover. From there, it just got worse. Now the rig sits on 36x12.50 Super Swampers mounted to 15-inch Rock Crawler wheels. This unique trail rig features a high-pinion Dana 44 front axle and a Ford 9-inch rear. Both axles are locked with 5.13:1 gearing. Michael tells us the engine and running gear will remain stock until he can convince his wife otherwise.
Prepare for Lift-Off
This 1987 Ford Bronco II belongs to Oneil Levesque of Edmunston, New Brunswick, Canada. Despite being mostly stock, Oneil knows how to have a good time in the forest around his hometown. The rig has a 2-inch suspension lift, allowing fitment of 31-inch BFG Mud-Terrains. Oneil also added a custom roof rack to store gear while out and about.
Down and Dirty
This 1973 Scout II belongs to Scott Carpenter of Modesto, California. It has a stock IH 345 V-8 engine, a TF 727 transmission, and a Dana 20 transfer case. A pair of stock Dana axles still resides under this rig, though the suspension has been completely revised with a 4-inch suspension lift from Superlift. Also gone are the OE tires and wheels in favor of 31-inch Swamper LTBs on 15-inch Rockcrawler wheels.
David Metheny of Scottsville, Kentucky, says he's finally got his 1988 Samurai built to perfection. Some of the modifications he performed along the way were adding a Weber carburetor, a pair of lockers, 5.39:1 gearing, and a custom rollcage. David drives Little Red daily and is thrilled with how cheap the rig is to drive and maintain, compared to his friends with bigger fullsized pickups.