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September 2013 Readers’ Rides

Posted in Features on July 17, 2013
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Photographers: Readers

Frank the Tank
Vehicle: 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80
Owner: Mike Gibson, Richardson, TX
Tires & Wheels: 285/75R16 BFGoodrich All-Terrains on factory 16x8 Toyota rims
Suspension: Old Man Emu coils, shocks, and steering stabilizer
Drivetrain: Factory automatic transmission, fulltime transfer case, and solid axles
Performance Mods: Factory 4.5L I-6
Other Doodads: ARB front bumper, Rocky Road sliders, Iron Pig Off Road rear tire carrier, Gamiviti roof rack, Mombasa Gen1 rooftop tent, Optima battery, DDM Tuning HID headlights, Hella 4000 lights with HID conversion
Funniest Wheeling Incident: I was going to pick up dinner and decided I’d cut through a flat grassy field when I accidently ended up in a mud pit. I was completely sunk up to the frame and had to be pulled out. I learned to always be ready for the unexpected, always have a strap with you and look where you are going.
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes, it is my daily driver
Anything you would change?: Adding dual batteries and a few more electronics
Anything to add?: The photos were taken in the Four Corners area by Mike Gibson Photo

PhotosView Slideshow

Vehicle: 1979 Dodge Van
Owner: Bob Mitchelly, Green Lake, WI
Tires & Wheels: 36x12.5x15 Super Swampers on 15x10 aluminum rims
Suspension: Lift springs front and rear
Drivetrain: 727 automatic transmission, NP208 transfer case, Dana 44 axles from a Dodge truck
Performance Mods: Chrysler 400ci V-8 with headers
Other Doodads: Custom bumpers and paint, much more
Funniest Wheeling Incident: I got stuck in the grass at a car show before the front driveline was in the van
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything but the A/C
Anything you would change?: Finish the interior (maybe a waterbed)

Vehicle: 1965 International Travelall 1100
Owner: Daniel & Dave Preston, Apple Valley, CA
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.5R16.5 Goodyear Wrangler MTs on steel wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Wagoneer springs in front, 4-inch Suburban springs in rear, Rough Country shocks
Drivetrain: SM420 transmission, divorced NP202 transfer case, 8-lug Dana 44 front, 14-bolt rear
Performance Mods: 350 SBC, block hugger headers Other Doodads: 8,000-pound Ramsey PTO winch, 1410 rear driveline
Does everything work the way you want?: It is getting there
Anything you would change?: Rockwells, 42s, hydro-assist
Anything to add?: Her name is ROCKSANN

Vehicle: 1979 Chevy Custom
Owner: Alex Johnson
Tires & Wheels: 19.5x44x15 Super Swamper Boggers on 15x14 steel wheels
Suspension: 12-inch Super lift springs, 3-inch body lift
Drivetrain: TH400 automatic transmission, NP205 transfer case, Dana 60 front axle, Corporate 14-bolt rear axle
Performance Mods: 489ci big-block with Eagle rotating assembly, Brodix BB2 Plus heads, custom camshaft
Does everything work the way you want?: Yeah, it makes 632 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm
Anything you would change?: I would put flame throwers on the exhaust
Anything to add?: I would like to give a shout-out to Boss Steen Swamp Raceway in New Hebron, Miss.

Float Like A Butterfly
Vehicle: 1976 Ford Bronco Sport
Owner: Dave Langham, Lee’s Summit, MO
Tires & Wheels: 37x13.5x15 Pit Bull Rockers on
Suspension: 31⁄2-inch Tom’s Bronco Parts suspension with 2-inch body lift
Drivetrain: C4 automatic, Dana 20 transfer case, Dana 44 front axle with RCV axleshafts, shaved Ford 9-inch rear with Yukon 31-spline axleshafts, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: 302ci V-8 out of an Explorer with Chevy throttle body fuel injection
Other Doodads: Custom bumpers, Ramsey winch, cage, BC Broncos rear corners guards
Funniest Wheeling Incident: I was waiting for the vehicle in front of me on a trail at Superlift Off Road Park in Hot Springs, Ark., when I learned the hard way that I was next to a hornets’ nest. I was swatting like crazy and got a nice welt under one eye. Folks thought I had gone crazy when I jumped out of my Bronco.
Does everything work the way you want?: For now
Anything you would change?: Add a doubler or Atlas for lower crawl ratio

Vehicle: 2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Owner: Pete Humbarger, Topeka, KS
Tires & Wheels: 305/70R16 Mickey Thompson MTZs on 16x8 Mickey Thompson Classic Locks
Suspension: Rubicon Express 31⁄2-inch short-arm lift
Drivetrain: Stock 4-speed automatic and NP241 transfer case, Dana 44 axles with factory locking differentials and rear Superior axleshafts, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L I-6 with cold air intake
Other Doodads: Skid Row engine and transmission skidplates, Hanson front bumper, Warn 9.5Ti winch, Expert Offroad rock rails, Currie steering linkage, Rock Hard rear bumper
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Gas tank skidplate and stronger front axleshafts

Vehicle: 1996 Toyota Tacoma
Owner: Ken Dunnagan, Florence, OR
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs on Mickey Thompson Sidebiter wheels
Suspension: 3-inch Revtek lift
Drivetrain: Marlin Crawler clutch and flywheel
Performance Mods: 2.7L K&N cold air intake, Taylor throttle body spacer, LC Engineering pulleys, Doug Thorley header, and Aero Turbine exhaust
Other Doodads: Bedliner, shaved tailgate, prerunner spare tire mount
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Supercharge engine, All-Pro front bumper
Anything to add?: This truck is dedicated to my brother

Rocky Mountain High
Vehicle: 1998 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Zach Mashek, Denver, CO
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 Goodyear MT/Rs on 15x8 black steel rims
Suspension: 51⁄2-inch Rubicon Express long-arm suspension
Drivetrain: AW4 automatic, NP242 transfer case, high-pinion Dana 30 front axle with ARB Air Locker, Chrysler 81⁄4 rear axle with Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: Stock 4.0L I-6
Other Doodads: Homemade bumpers and sliders
Funniest Wheeling Incident: After adding the lift and tires I was coming down Fireman’s Hill near Boulder and parked it on its nose. It was amazing that it did not go over!
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works great
Anything you would change?: After lots of hard wheeling the unibody is starting to wear out. The next rig needs a frame.

The ArchTaco of Canterbury
Vehicle: 2002 Toyota Tacoma
Owner: Zach Topham, Canterbury, NH
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
Suspension: Fabtech Dirt Logic 21⁄2 coilovers, rear add-a-leaf, 3-inch body lift
Drivetrain: Stock with 4.10 gears and factory rear electric locker
Performance Mods: 3.4L V-6
Other Doodads: Single/double roll bar with KC lights, Cobra CB
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Wheeling in the winter and my best friend slid on ice and rear-ended me
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works mint
Anything you would change?: Solid axle swap

Anything to add?
Vehicle: ’98 Dodge Durango
Owner: Rob Green, Dickinson, TX
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.5R15 BFGoodrich All-Terrains on stock rims
Suspension: Rancho RSX shocks and Firestone Air Ride helper springs
Drivetrain: Stock with factory rear locker
Performance Mods: 318ci V-8 with K&N intake
Other Doodads: Bug shield Funniest
Wheeling Incident: Throwing mud all over my 3-year-old, who was strapped in his car seat. He didn’t think it was that funny.
Does everything work the way you want?: It needs a front locker!
Anything you would change?: Did I mention the front locker? Also gears and mud-terrain tires.

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

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