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May 2009 Reader 4x4 Trucks - Readers' Rigs

Posted in Features on May 1, 2009
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Send Us Your Rigs
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

AAA Member
Young Adam Rademacher of Saint Johns, Michigan, relies heavily on AAA when out in the backcountry. We're not exactly sure if his membership came to the rescue in this particular instance, but as long as his trusty cell phone is in reach he feels confident enough to throw his '99 Chevy Silverado into some serious muck. Modifications include a leveling kit, Rancho shocks, American Racing wheels, Goodyear MT/R tires, a K&N cold-air intake, a Jet chip, MagnaFlow exhaust, Edelbrock headers, and a modified front bumper. Let's just hope Adam doesn't forget the cell phone charger.

One Clean Bronco
Tom Keeling of Nogales, Arizona, sent in a shot of his sweet '79 Ford Bronco on a trail in Moab. The rig features a 400hp small-block V-8 mated to a C6 automatic transmission. An NP205 transfer case splits torque between a pair of stock axles with 4.11:1 gearing. For increased traction Tom added Detroit Lockers front and rear as well as 35-inch Dunlop Mud Rover tires. A 9,000-pound Smittybilt winch is on standby in case Tom gets stuck. Nice Bronco, Tom!

New to the Game
Brian Ladue, age 17 of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, owns this '98 Ford Ranger. Although the rig is mostly stock, Brian still has fun on the weekends and whenever the temptation strikes. For improved traction Brian added 33-inch Dick Cepek Mud Country tires on Ion street-lock wheels. To accommodate the larger tires, Brian cranked up the torsion bars for extra clearance. In the future he plans to add a 4-inch lift, a 302 crate engine, and 35-inch rubber.

Blue Oval Durango
It may be a late-model Dodge on the outside, but Corey Casper's '98 definitely bleeds some serious Ford Blue beneath the sheetmetal. A 429ci V-8 provides motorvation for the C6 and BorgWarner 'case, and the three-linked and coilover'd Dana 60 front and leaf-sprung 14-bolt (yeah, GM) rear are both locked by Detroit and turn 44-inch Pitbull Rockers. A Warn 12,000-pound winch sits at the ready for those times when the mud around Idaho Falls, Idaho, gets a little too deep for this plenty-different Dodge.

Tailgaters' Special
Here's a rig you don't see every day: a '69 Ford F600 flatbed conversion. Its owners, Calvin and Stephanie Vail of Medora, Illinois, give us the backstory: "This is an extremely rare Napco-converted 4x4. It came out of an iron mine in northern Minnesota. It spent its entire life driving around the mine and never saw pavement until the mine retired it. The truck has only 37,000 original miles on it, at least 35,000 of them off-road. It was originally equipped with an on-bed winch and a fold-down boom, and was used by the on-site electrical contractor. It now has a 10-foot flatbed and hitch for towing our matching '69 F-250 on Rockwells and 50-in ag tires. This has got to be the coolest four-wheel drive I have ever seen in my life!" We'd certainly agree with that, and with Rockwell F106 axles and 46-inch Michelins, this monster most likely wheels better than just about anything in its class. FW

Fun with Uncle Sam
Derek White from St. Helens, Oregon, is currently stationed in Iraq and says he and his platoon still get to wheel pretty regularly thanks to your hard-earned tax dollars. The mil-spec H1 sports 37-inch tires and a roof-mounted machine gun. Back home Derek wheels an '08 Toyota Tacoma and '86 Jeep Cherokee. We think it's great that Derek still finds time to have fun while hard at work.

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