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August 2006 4x4 Readers' Rides

Posted in Features on August 1, 2006
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Vehicle (year, make, model)
Owner (name, city, state)
Tires & wheels
(size, make, model)
Suspension (lift, springs, shocks)
Drivetrain (tranny, t-case, axles)
Performance (engine)
Other mods
Does everything work the way you want?
Anything you would change?
Funniest Wheeling Incident
Anything to add?

Write to:
Readers' Rides
4-Wheel & Off-Road
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515
fax 323.782.2704

E-mail to:

Vehicle: '78 International Scout Traveler
Owner: Steve McGrail, Cape Cod, MS
Tires & wheels: 32x11.50-15 Wrangler AT/5s on American Racing Diamond Back
Suspension: 4-inch lift, Rancho 5000 shocks, steering damper
Drivetrain: 345ci V-8, stock auto tranny, transfer case, axles
Performance Mods: Engine bored 0.040 over, Holley carb on high-rise manifold, dual exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers
Other Doodads: Sony MP3 player, Kicker subs, Kentrol fiberglass body with H2 yellow paint, recovered K5 Blazer seats
Does everything work the way you want?: No, the Kicker subs keep ruining window seals
Anything to add?: My son, Matthew, did an entire frame-off restoration on this during his senior year of high school. Made me proud!

Vehicle: '69 Ford Bronco
Owner: Andy & Kimberly Zinda, Citrus Heights, CA
Tires & wheels: 33x12.50-15 Wildcat EXTs on Ultra 65 wheels
Suspension: 3 1/2-inch Rancho lift, poly bushings
Drivetrain: 302ci V-8, three-speed transmission, Dana 20 transfer case, Dana 30 front with Trac-Lok, Ford 9-inch rear with Detroit Locker, 4.11 gears
Performance Mods: Edelbrock cam, carb, intake manifold
Other Doodads: Warn 8274 winch, fiberglass bucket seats, custom console, ice chest/jerrycan rack with folding camp grille built by Dad
Anything to add?: This is the first gift my wife ever bought me

Vehicle: '91 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Nick Sekulich, Cool, CA
Tires & wheels: 33x12.50 Swamper LTB
Suspension: Stock Wrangler springs with add-a-leaves, F-250 shock mounts
Drivetrain: 4.0L engine, NP435 tranny, NP205 transfer case, high-pinion Dana 44 front, rear Dana 35 with 30-spline axles, 4.88 gears, Detroit Lockers
Performance Mods: K&N air filter, Flowmaster muffler
Other Doodads: Hacker-built homemade rear bumper, Cobra CB, Pioneer CD
Funniest wheeling incident: They're all funny
Does everything work the way you want?: There's no room for friends
Anything to add?: [Ed.-Nick, we got your first submission.... and your 15th one. You can stop sending them now, 'K?]

Vehicle: '92 Jeep YJ Wrangler
Owner: Jack Arrington, Santa Rosa, CA
Tires & wheels: 35x12.50-17 Swamper SSRs on 17x10 Trailready bead locks
Suspension: Spring-over suspension with 112-inch Rubicon Express spring-over leaves, Rancho 9000X shocks
Drivetrain: 2.5L engine, Atlas II transfer case with 4.3:1 low range, WMS narrowed 64-inch high-pinion Dana 60 with 35-spline axles and Detroit Locker, rear Dana 60 with 35-spline Detroit Locker, Crane diff covers
Performance Mods: Dual Optima batteries, K&N air filter, exhaust, throttle body
Other Doodads: Fabworx high-steer, electric fans, Warn 12,000-pound winch, custom front and rear bumpers, Kilby tank skid, Poison Spyder corners, Fabworx complete rollcage, custom sliders made from X-10 steel, train horn
Funniest wheeling incident: Spent 15 minutes trying to climb a hill before I realized my transfer case was in front-wheel-drive only
Does everything work the way you want?: Rear spring wrap is a killer, it needs a traction bar
Anything you would change: More power and hydraulic-assist steering

Vehicle: '76 Jeep Cherokee Widetrack
Owner: Billy Love, Columbia, SC
Tires & wheels: 33x12.50-15 all-terrains on 15x8 wagon wheels
Suspension: 4-inch lift, Rancho 5000 shocks
Drivetrain: AMC 360 engine, TH400 tranny, Quadratrac transfer case, Dana 44 front and rear, 3.73 gears
Performance Mods: Edelbrock intake and four-barrel carb, MSD coil and spark-plug wires, Flowmaster 2 1/2-inch exhaust
Other Doodads: Custom bumpers
Anything you would change: I'd add a rear locker

Vehicle: '57 Ford F-350 4x4
Owner: Mark Bellinger, Elmira, NY
Tires & wheels: 44x18.50-16.5 Ground Hawgs on 16.5x12 Eaton wheels
Suspension: Skyjacker 4-inch springs and shocks
Drivetrain: 390ci V-8, '57 F-350 four-speed with F600 clutch and flywheel, NP205 transfer case, high-pinion Dana 60 front with limited-slip diff, rear Dana 60 with limited-slip diff, 4.10 gears
Other Doodads: Power-assist steering with Rockram, 8,000-pound PTO Tulsa winch
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great
Anything you would change: Maybe a lower ring-and-pinion combo

Vehicle: '81 Ford Bronco
Owner: Chris Harrington, Nipomo, CA
Tires & wheels: 37x13.50 Mickey Thompson Baja Claws for $400
Suspension: Rancho 4-inch lift with extended radius arms
Drivetrain: 302ci V-8 engine, Dana 44 TTB front, Ford 9-inch rear, 3.54 gears
Performance Mods: Holley carb and K&N air filter
Other Doodads: Bully bar in front, cut fenders and sewer piping Sawzall'd to fit on the fenders
Anything to add?: I got it for $700 with a 4-inch lift and extended radius arms, and I bet I could keep up with all your magazine cheap trucks!

Vehicle: '93 Isuzu Rodeo
Owner: Mike Bantz, Erie, CO
Tires & wheels: 35x12.50-15 Goodyear MTRs on 15-inch steel
Suspension: Wagoneer leaves
Drivetrain: Teralow 3.07 transfer-case gear conversion, Chevy Dana 44 front and rear factory Dana 44 packed with 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: K&N air filter
Other Doodads: M8000 winch
Funniest wheeling incident: Snapping two CVs and making a date with a plasma cutter
Anything you would change: The stock tranny
Anything to add?: There's a bunch of us miscreants who can't figure out how to 'wheel anything other than an Isuzu. How about givin' us some love? Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Vehicle: '48 Willys Overland Jeepster
Owner: John Maguire, Ontario, CA Tires & wheels: P235/75/R15 street tires on plain ol' everyday steel wheels with "beauty rings"
Suspension: Rancho 2 1/2-inch lift, 6-inch long shackles
Drivetrain: 327ci Chevy V-8, T-90 tranny, Dana 18 transfer case with Saturn overdrive, 4.27 gears, and whatever could be salvaged from a '55 Jeep pickup
Other Doodads: Dolphin electronic instrumentation, Ford radiator with three electric fans
Funniest wheeling incident: Being passed on the freeway by a Cal Trans street sweeper when I had 5.38 gears
Anything to add?: It was hard trying to turn an antique touring car into a reliable 4x4

Vehicle: '81 Dodge Power Ram
Owner: Derek Rose, Casco, MI
Tires & wheels: 44-inch Boggers on 16x5x10 Rockcrawler steel wheels
Suspension: Custom 8-inch front leaves with 2 1/2-inch drop shackles, custom link to eliminate axlewrap, 6-inch Skyjacker spring rear, custom shackle flip in rear, Skyjacker shocks
Drivetrain: 360ci V-8, 727 TorqueFlite tranny, divorced NP205 transfer case, Dana 60 front axle with Detroit Truetrac, rear Dana 60 with disc brakes and Detroit Locker, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: Edelbrock intake manifold and carb, Comp cams, Hedman headers, MSD Off Road ignition and coil
Other Doodads: Corbeau seats and five-point harnesses, stainless steel dash, military toggle switches, Bushwhacker cut-out fender flares, frame sandblasted and coated with POR 15
Funniest wheeling incident: Every time I pull out my brother's Ford
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works flawlessly, no axlewrap, no broken U-joints, and it handles pretty well
Anything you would change: I should've worked two jobs so I could've thrown in a big-block
Anything to add?: I did 95% of the work myself, and I beat the snot out of this thing

Vehicle: '01 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Owner: John Johnstone, Houston, TX Tires & wheels: 35-inch Goodyear MTRs on American Racing 767
Suspension: Spring-over axle conversion in rear
Drivetrain: Stock engine and auto tranny, Powertrax Lock-Right lockers front and rear, 4.10 gears
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, rocksliders, homemade snorkel, Hanneman fiberglass fenders
Funniest wheeling incident: The time I bent the tie rod 90 degrees. Wait, that wasn't funny...
Does everything work the way you want?: Not the front end, IFS does not need the antisway bar removed

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