Step By Step
Daily Trail Rig
Justin Hamersma of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, says his 2006 TJ Rubicon six-speed was built to be both a trail rig and a daily driver. His “make it or break it” build includes a 6-inch Rough Country lift and air lockers in the front and rear. The Rubi rides on 35x12.50R17 Goodyear MT/R Kevlar tires on 17-inch ProComp 98 Series Rock Crawler wheels. Hella lights keep those northern trails lit, and the bumper protects the front while providing a home for a Smittybilt XRC winch.
Matt McGaha of Apple Valley, California, is a proud member of the Victor Valley 4 Wheelers that was founded in 1967 and created the famous Hammers trails in Johnson Valley. Matt's daily-driven '01 TJ has not only survived the trails in his backyard, but has also lived through trips to Logandale, Nevada, Big Bear's John Bull Trail, Holcomb Creek, Dishpan Springs, Calico's Odessa/Doran/Mule Canyon, and Truckhaven Hills. The Jeep is built up with a Rough Country 4-inch suspension lift along with a 3-inch body lift, 4.56 gears with Detroit Lockers front and rear, and 35x12.50R15 tires. It also has a MileMarker 9,500 pound winch, homemade rock sliders, corner body armor, and a rear rock bumper with a swing-out tire carrier.
Dan McPherson of Meriden, Connecticut, built his '00 Jeep Cherokee to be a four-wheeler, but who ever thought it would also work as a three-wheeler? He told us while at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park he tore off a rear 39.5-inch IROK and folded the wheel over on his TrailReady beadlock. Since he didn't have a spare, Dan drove out of the park on just three wheels while getting some funny looks. His XJ is built for rockcrawling and is equipped with 41⁄2-inch coils and a three-link up front moved the axle forward 4 inches. In the rear it has 31⁄2-inch Rubicon Express leafs and 1-inch JKS Boomerang shackles relocated 21⁄2 inches toward the rear. The front axle is a Dana 60 with a welded diff and 5.13 gears, and the rear axle is a Dana 70 with a Detroit Locker and disc brakes.
Never Turn Back
Beau Holgate of Belleville, Ontario, says his orange '90 YJ has yet to fail him and that he's never had to turn around…yet. Sure, that's the type of talk that can jinx your next trip, but his rig sounds like a solid buildup. The Jeep has a 2-inch body lift, and the suspension has been converted to spring-over axle with Skyjacker shocks along with new OEM leaf springs in the front and Crown Automotive heavy-duty leaf springs in the rear. The front axle is a Dana 30, and the rear is a Dana 35 with an Aussie locker and Alloy USA axleshafts. Everything rides on 31x10.50R15 Hercules Trail Digger mud tires on Eagle Alloy wheels. Other upgrades include a custom rollcage, rock sliders and winch hoop, a Smittybilt rear bumper with tire carrier, a MileMarker SEC8 winch, differential guards, and an interior coated with bedliner.
Kevin Warner calls his '04 JK Rubicon "my baby," so it was no surprise when he sent us lots of pictures of his off-road child because he couldn't choose just one. That doesn't mean he coddles his kiddo, though. Along with his friends in the Midcoast Jeep and ORV Club, Kevin tackles everything from mud to rocks to snow all over the state of Maine. The Rubicon rides over that terrain with the help of a 21⁄2-inch Skyjacker lift and 33-inch Interco Truxus tires. Other upgrades include spotter lamps, diamond plate rock guards, an OR-Fab tire carrier, Cobra CB radio, Warn bumpers, a Warn 9000 winch, and the factory lockers rigged to work in high range or 2WD.
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