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November 2006 4x4 Trucks Readers' Rigs

Posted in Features on November 1, 2006
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Want to see your vehicle in Readers' Rigs? Of course you do. So go ahead and send a description of everything you have done to your rig, and include a good photo of it. No, you don't need no stinking application. Just go ahead and send it to:
Readers' Rigs, Four Wheeler,
6420 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515.

Or, send your description and high-resolution digital photos to us via

Billy Thurston is from Flat Rock, Indiana. This is his '03 Hummer H2. As you can see, Billy's H2 is not just a suburban status figure; he also employs it as a junked-car crusher on the weekends. To aid in Billy's vintage auto wrecking antics, he had a 4-inch Fabtech suspension lift installed along with a set of 40-inch Nitto Terra Mud Grapplers on 22-inch Akuza Bounce wheels. Nice ride, Billy. Now let's see her in the dirt!

Parker Geisinger, of Fresno, California, sent in another one of his rigs. This time, it's an '89 Chevy 11/42-ton with a custom flatbed. Some of you may remember his "Misty Mountain Ram" featured here (Sept. '06). This truck has a much better history; Parker rolled it three times on the freeway when it was a lowered two-wheel-drive. After the wreck, he shortened the frame, built a trick flatbed, scored a new cab, and finally he converted it to four-wheel drive. This truck has way too many modifications to list, so we're just going to cover the basics. The engine is a stock 350 TBI. A TH400 automatic transmission multiplies torque before a rebuilt NP205 transfer case splits it between a Dana 44 front end and Dana 70 rear axle. The whole package rides on 38-inch Super Swamper TSLs. We almost forgot: Parker built the entire truck himself during an 8-month period while attending college. Way to stay busy, Parker. Our hat's off to you.

Shawn Allois is from Moorpark, California. He's one of the few lucky Power Wagon owners who actually finds the time to 'wheel the most capable production pickup ever built. This picture was taken in Moab, where we can vouch for Shawn about challenging terrain. Shawn's '05 Power Wagon is completely stock, with the exception of a Power Tank and a Hi-Lift Jack. Shawn also added a lightbar with four PIAA lights on the front to help counteract the forces of darkness.

Brad Northly of Romulus, Michigan, sent in this shot of his '02 Jeep TJ. Brad purchased this Jeep used in May and immediately had a 4-inch suspension lift and a Kenne Bell supercharger installed. For traction, Brad runs 35-inch Nitto Mud Grapplers, which he says have yet to fail him. Brad has big plans for this TJ, and we expect we'll see another submission from him in the coming months.

Chris Endres of Janesville, Wisconsin, builds rock buggies for a living. His shop is called "Digger Customs." This is his own personal rig. The custom tube chassis is powered by a 210hp 3400 engine out of an '04 Chevy Venture, which is hooked to a 90-degree 700R4 transmission and backed up by a flipped Dana 300 transfer case with a 4:1 low range. A pair of Unimog 406 portal axles retain factory air lockers, and a custom four-link suspension keeps these massive axles attached to the chassis both front and rear. For steering, Chris runs a double-ended ram with 9 inches of stroke. A set of 20-inch Stazworks double bead-locked wheels keeps the 40-inch Super Swamper IROK tires in check. With more than 18 inches of ground clearance under the differentials, this beast looks to be a point-and-shoot affair.

Kelly Erickson of Seattle, Washington, wheels this '94 Grand Cherokee. Despite leather seats and air conditioning, this ZJ sees plenty of deep-woods action on all the toughest trails of the Northwest. The rig features a stock 5.2L V-8, a factory automatic transmission, and an NP231 with a HD slip-yoke eliminator. Up front is a high-pinion Dana 44 axle with a Detroit EZ Locker. The rear axle is a custom Ford 9-inch with a spool and 31-spline axleshafts. Both axles feature 5.13:1 gearing. A set of grooved 38-inch Super Swamper TSLs are mounted to Trail Ready bead-locked wheels.

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