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August 2013 Readers' Rides

August 2013 Readers Rides 1965 Willys Cj 5
Harry Wagner | Writer
Posted June 27, 2013
Photographers: Readers

Homegrown 4x4 Rigs

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.

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