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February 2007 4x4 Trucks Readers' Rigs

Posted in Features on February 1, 2007
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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

Michael Wells of Palm City, Florida, sent in this picture of his homebuilt hunting buggy. This custom big-game gatherer started out as a '89 Chevy 2500 pickup. A strong-running small-block 350 is equipped with a 600-cfm Edelbrock carburetor, backed by a Turbo 400 automatic transmission and Dodge 111/42-ton transfer case. For axles, Michael utilizes a Chevy 10-bolt front and a 14-bolt rear. A set of Goodyear tractor tires provides plenty of traction, while a Warn 12,000-pound winch remains at the ready just in case extractions are required. Sweet rig, Michael. Can we go hunting with you sometime?

Tony Durik of Hermitage, Tennessee, bought this '06 Toyota Tacoma Double-Cab the day he got back from service in Iraq. He immediately added 33-inch BFG All-Terrain tires, a 3-inch suspension lift, TRD exhaust, WeatherTech floor mats, redline hood struts, and an Optima red-top battery.

This '67 Ford Bronco belongs to Mike Arndt of Crossville, Tennessee. It features a 347 stroker mated to a C4 transmission, followed by a Dana 20 transfer case. Up front, a Dana-spooled Dana 44 lives a rough life, and out back Mike has a Ford 9-inch, also with a spool and 5.89:1 gearing. A total of 7 inches of lift helps make room for 39.5-inch Super Swamper TSLs in the front and same-sized Boggers in the rear. The rig also sports a full cage, a Painless Wiring harness and five-point racing harnesses.

Ronald Billings, a 19-year Air Force veteran, was stationed at the Mountain Home Air Force base located just south of Boise, Idaho. Now he's on his way to South Korea for a one-year tour. His truck, an '85 Toyota 4Runner, was purchased used in April 2006. Ronald spent nearly four months building it up to handle the local trails near the base. It has a 22RE engine, five-speed manual transmission, and a solid front axle with a Detroit Truetrac installed. The rear is running a Lock-Right locker and both feature 5.29:1 gearing. A 5-inch lift using Alcan springs in the front and 57-inch Trail Gear springs out back provide plenty of room for 34-inch Super Swamper LTBs mounted to black Daytona wheels. Ronald notes his wife Sandy and their 11-year-old daughter Amanda love going out on trails with him and his friends of the Wild West Off-Roaders 4-Wheel Drive club. This picture was taken in Carnage Canyon near Mountain Home. Good luck Ronald, we hope to see you out on the trails again next year.

Jeff Rainer of Pensacola, Florida, sent in this shot of his dedicated trail rig. It started life as an '87 Ford Bronco II. From there, Jeff went to town adding such goodies as a rebuilt 2.9L equipped with a Camcraft cam, World heads, JBA headers, ACCEL injectors, and a K&N intake system. The rig also features a radiator out of a 4.0L-equipped Bronco II. The transmission is a rebuilt Mitsubishi FM146 five-speed manual, and the transfer case is said to be a manual-shift B-W 13-50. The front axle is a narrowed high-pinion Dana 44 salvaged from a '78 Ford F-150. It came with 4.56:1 gears and a Detroit Locker. The rear axle is a Currie-sourced 9-inch featuring 4.56:1 gears and a spool. The 511/42 inches of suspension lift allow fitment of 38.5-inch Denman Ground Hawg tires mounted to 15x10 Eagle wheels. A trusty Ramsey REP 8000 is on standby just in case. Sweet ride, Jeff!

This '47 CJ-2A belongs to Ryan Menze of Marquette, Michigan. Ryan claims there isn't a single thing he didn't touch or fabricate on this unique rig. The frame came out of a '70s-era CJ-5, the axles and suspension all came out of a CJ-7, and the spring-over conversion was completely custom built by Ryan. The seats, steering column, wiring harness, and motor were all sourced out of an '89 Chevy Blazer. The 4.3L TBI V-6 is cooled by a custom aluminum radiator (taken from a stock car) with an electric fan. The transmission is a TH350 out of a late-'70s Chevy pickup, and the transfer case is a simple old Spicer 18. The entire thing was built to be lightweight and rolls on 33-inch General Grabber MTs. With all those oddball parts, we couldn't think up a better name for Ryan's creation.

This '96 Chevy K-1500 belongs to Steven Brunelle of Lincoln, Rhode Island. The truck serves as a daily driver/weekend trail rig. It has a bored and stroked 383 Vortec V-8 mated to a 4L60E transmission. The motor gets additional help from a pair of 40-series Flowmaster mufflers and a K&N air filter. Steven cranked up the front torsion bars by 1 inch, and then added 2 inches to the rear leaf packs via a Rancho add-a-leaf kit. A 2-inch Performance Accessories body lift also helps clear 33-inch Dunlop Radial Rover RV Tires on custom Cragar wheels that were painted the same color as the truck. Steven added a Garvin roof rack with auxiliary lighting, as well as a roof-mounted spare tire. Even though he says he plans to sell this rig soon, Steven mentioned how awesome it would be to see the truck in "Readers' Rigs." Steven, consider your request granted.

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