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August 2013 Readers' Rides

Posted in Features on June 27, 2013
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Photographers: Readers

Time Capsule
Vehicle: 1965 Willys CJ-5
Owner: Tom Ciccarelli, Huntington Beach, CA
Tires & Wheels: Stock
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock with T-90 3-speed manual, Model 18 transfer case, Dana 27 front axle, Dana 44 rear axle
Performance Mods: Stock F Head 4-cylinder
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Got in way over my head on the Holcomb Creek Trail. Fortunately I was with some experienced friends who got me through it (thanks, Zach and Cody) and it turned out to be a very fun day. I mentioned at the beginning of the day that I would be happy as long as no one got hurt and the Jeep was in front of our cabin at the end of the day. The Jeep ran great all day and started missing and backfiring within a mile of returning to our cabin. We barely made it back and ended up blowing up the muffler in the process. Problem turned out to be a bad condenser, but we got a good laugh at the fact I got what I wished for.
Does everything work the way you want?: I’m new to off-roading and bought this CJ to find adventure in Big Bear, California. I cleaned and tuned it up and added a rollcage, and I have been having fun trying it out. So far it has exceeded my expectations.
Anything you would change?: A full-floater conversion on the rear with hubs for flat towing, electric ignition, fix the numerous oil leaks
Anything to add?: That day on Holcomb Creek Trail I think a lot of people (including me) were surprised what an old stock CJ can do. I’m not sure I’d do it again in this Jeep anytime soon, but it really was a fun day.

General Wee!
Vehicle: 1977 Dodge Power Wagon
Owner: Buddy Nelson, Wellington, AL
Tires & Wheels: 50-inch tractor tires on custom 24x12 steel wheels
Suspension: 8-inch Skyjacker springs, 9-inch lift blocks, 3-inch body lift, Rusty’s Off Road shocks
Drivetrain: NP435 4-speed transmission, NP203 transfer case, 21⁄2-ton Rockwell axles with lockers front and rear, 6.72 gears
Performance Mods: 440ci big-block
Other Doodads: Front and rear steer, Dixie horns
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes, just needs more horsepower
Anything you would change?: Needs a custom frame

Portal Power
Vehicle: 1989 Jeep Cherokee XJ
Owner: Tim Hight, Huntsville, TX
Tires & Wheels: 42-inch tractor tires and custom 24-inch steel wheels
Suspension: Custom 4-link front and rear with coil springs by Sycotic Fabrication
Drivetrain: AW4 4-speed automatic, NP231 transfer case, Unimog 404 portal axles with 8-lug, disc brake conversion
Performance Mods: 4.0L 6-cylinder
Other Doodads: PSC full-hydraulic steering with double-ended ram
Does everything work the way you want?: For now
Anything you would change?: Bumpers and exo cage

The Grizzly Mobile
Vehicle: 1986 Suzuki Samurai
Owner: Ralph Dion Roberts, Lenoir, NC
Tires & Wheels: 235/75R15 Winterhawk tires on factory steel rims
Suspension: Calmini 21⁄2-inch lift with shackle reversal, 1-inch body lift
Drivetrain: Stock transmission, Factory transfer case with Petroworks GRS2 gears, stock axles
Performance Mods: 1.3L engine bored 0.030 over with Weber 32/36 DGAV carburetor, Petroworks Tourqer camshaft, performance coil, wires, and plugs, Calmini header
Other Doodads: Custom speaker and toolbox in back, Petroworks 15-gal. poly tank, tub bed liner, custom front and rear bumpers, 3,000-lb. winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Other than accidently busting off my vent visor with my hand, none
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: 1.6L engine, racing seats, new top

Maryland Mud King
Vehicle: 1998 Chevy Tahoe
Owner: Phillip Holmes, Westminster, MD
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 Mud Kings of 15x8 Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels
Suspension: Stock with cranked torsion bars and 3-inch Performance Accessories body lift
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 350 V-8 with short ram intake, shorty headers, throttle body spacer, and MagnaFlow dual exhaust Other Doodads: Mild fender trimming
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Got stuck in a creek behind my buddy’s house just before it started pouring at the bottom of a hill for three days
Does everything work the way you want?: Runs pretty well for having 208K miles on it
Anything you would change?: 4-inch suspension lift, 37-inch TSLs, better brakes
Anything to add?: My first car. Thanks to Wes Hogg and Andy Tillman for all of the help getting it to where it is today.

Backyard Blazer
Vehicle: 1984 Chevy K5 Blazer
Owner: Jeremy Clark, Monroe, NC
Tires & Wheels: 40x13.5R18 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw radials on 18x9 KMC XD Revolvers
Suspension: 52-inch springs flipped in the front to stretch wheelbase, 56-inch springs flipped in the rear with DIY4X shackle flip
Drivetrain: 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission, NP205 transfer case with twin stick, 32-spline output shafts, and 1410 yokes, Dana 60 front with Lockright, shaved 14-bolt rear with Detroit Locker and disc brake conversion, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: Vortec 5.3L V-8
Other Doodads: Full rollcage, crossover steering with hydraulic assist
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Telling my wife, “Let’s hit one more mud hole.” That was at 10:30 p.m. After several trucks tried getting me out, we ended up getting home about 2 a.m.
Does everything work the way you want?: Absolutely
Anything you would change?: I would love to swap out to coilovers all the way around, but it will eventually get there
Anything to add?: Love this truck! It was completely built in my backyard.

Sooner or Later
Vehicle: 1991 Toyota pickup
Owner: Nick Archer, Oklahoma City, OK
Tires & Wheels: 14/42-15 Interco Super Swamper Iroks on steel wheels
Suspension: Coil springs and Rancho shocks, 3-link front, 1-link rear with grader ball
Drivetrain: TH350 transmission, NP203/NP205 Doubler, Dana 60 front with Yukon 4340 axleshafts, 14-bolt rear with disc brakes, Detroit Lockers front and rear, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 350 V-8 on propane
Other Doodads: Wheelbase stretched to 125 inches, TIG-welded exocage

Vehicle: 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD
Owner: Allan Taylor, Clovis, CA
Tires & Wheels: 37x13.5R18 Mickey Thompson ATZs on 18x9 Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels
Suspension: 8-inch Rock Krawler long-arm lift with dual front shocks, Rock Krawler adjustable track bar, Superlift dual steering stabilizers, 2-inch Skyjacker add-a-leaf and 4-inch block
Drivetrain: G56 manual transmission with South Bend clutch, Attitude Performance transfer case clocking ring for better driveline angles, stock axles with Dynatrac Free Spin kit in front
Per-formance Mods: 6.7L Cummins diesel with Volant cold air intake, Smarty Revolution programmer stacked with Edge EZ chip, 5-inch turboback exhaust
Other Doodads: Line-X bed liner, bed box with Viair 450C compressor, paint-matched Bushwacker Extend-a-flares, Mopar nerf bars, Pace Edwards Jack Rabbit re-tractable tonneau cover
Does every-thing work the way you want?: Yes
Anything to add?: Allan’s wife Monette sent this in to surprise him. Surprise! —Ed.

Trick Pony
Vehicle: 1971 Ford Bronco
Owner: Bill Moore, New Cumberland, PA
Tires & Wheels: 14/41-17LT Super Swamper Iroks on 17x9 Raceline Monster beadlock rims
Suspension: 4-linked front and rear with 16-inch-travel King coilovers at each corner
Drivetrain: 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission (only GM part); Atlas II transfer case; Dana 60 front and Dana 70 rear, both with ARB Air Lockers
Performance Mods: 411ci Ford Lightning V-8 engine
Other Doodads: Warn M8000 winch, Hanson bumpers, full hydraulic steering, onboard air, much more
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great. I got out about 30 times last year.
Anything you would change?: For winter wheeling I would add doors and a heater
Anything to add?: Rausch Creek is my favorite wheeling spot

Big Sky Bronco
Vehicle: 1994 Ford Bronco XLT
Owner: Josh Cole, Livingston, MT
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs on black steel wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Rough Country lift with sway-bar drop and steering stabilizer
Drivetrain: E4OD transmission, Dana 44 front, Ford 8.8 rear
Performance Mods: 5.8L V-8
Other Doodads: KC light bar
Funniest Wheeling Incident: On its maiden voyage it ran and drove great so I shut it off to check the hardware for loose bolts. Then it started to vaporlock and would not stay running 20 miles from home.
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works great
Anything to add?: This is my budget build and so far I don’t even have three grand in it

Submission Information
Send us a picture of your ride if you’ve never done so. We keep a surplus of Readers’ Rides submissions, but only one submission per person, and we love all off-road vehicles so send in your entries whether your rig is stock or not. Make sure each digital image is at least 1,600 by 1,200 pixels (or two megapixels) and saved as a TIFF, EPS, or maximum-quality JPEG file. Write to: Readers’ Rides, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245 Email to:

Vehicle (year, make, model)
Owner (name, city, state)
Tires & Wheels (size, make, model)
Suspension (lift, springs, shocks)
Drivetrain (tranny, transfer case, axles)
Performance (engine mods)
Other mods
Does it work the way you want?
Anything you would change?
Funniest Wheeling Incident
Anything to add?

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