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December 2006 4x4 Readers' Rides

Posted in Features on December 1, 2006
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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. Please use the new e-mail address shown below. Make sure each digital image is at least 1600 x 1200 pixels (or two megapixels) and saved as a TIFF, EPS, or maximum-quality JPEG file.

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 it 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:

In Case You Haven't Seen One Off-Road Yet
Vehicle: '06 Jeep Commander
Owner: Randy Scott Wong, Newport Beach, CA
Tires & wheels: 265/70-17 Dueler Revos with custom billet wheel adapters by Fred Goeske
Suspension: Rocky Road 2 1/4-inch lift
Drivetrain: 5.7L Hemi V-8 engine, stock geartrain
Performance Mods: Gibson exhaust, Clifford Matrix with autostart
Other Doodads: Raingler cargo net
Anything to add?: Just wanted to dispel any misconceptions...

Vehicle: '99 Ford F-150
Owner: Corey Langdale, via e-mail
Tires & wheels: 39.5-inch Boggers on 16.6x14 Weld Typhoons
Suspension: Custom subframe with 14-inch coils, rear drop shackles and 10-inch leaves
Drivetrain: 4.0L engine, Dana 44 with 35-spline axles and Detroit Locker, 14-bolt rear with Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: Powerdyne supercharger
Other Doodads: Dual steering stabilizers, crossover steering kit

Time To Buy a Bigger Jeep
Vehicle: Power Wheels Barbie Jeep
Owner: Macy Gard (age 4), Morrison, CO
Tires & wheels: 6-inch plastic Goodyear Wranglers
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock battery and motor
Performance Mods: Removed safety screw to get forward Hi gear
Funniest wheeling incident: When my dad forgets which Jeep is mine and which is his
Does everything work the way you want?: It's a little cramped
Anything you would change: More power

Rocky Wheelie
Vehicle: '90 Daihatsu Rocky
Owner: Staff Sgt. James McDonald, USAF, Yokota AB, Tokyo, Japan
Tires & wheels: 31x10.50-15 Kumho M/T on 15x8 Crager Nomad II
Suspension: 1 1/2-inch CJ shackle lift in rear, torsion bars cranked in front
Drivetrain: 1.6L inline four-cylinder, five-speed tranny, stock transfer case, 5.38 gears
Performance Mods: K&N filtercharger
Other Doodads: 1 1/2-inch body lift, front and rear bumper trimming, YJ Safari top
Funniest wheeling incident: After breaking the diff in three pieces, I got stuck in the river and was sinking, but my buddies pulled me out and we all survived, but the tools were a bit wet
Does everything work the way you want?: It works really well for not being a Jeep
Anything you would change: I wish I could find a front locker for it

The Beast
Vehicle: '90 Chevy Blazer S-10 4x4
Owner: Louis Forrisi, Lexington, NC
Tires & wheels: 235x75-15 Goodyear Wranglers on 15x6 black steel
Suspension: Homemade shackles in rear, torsion bars cranked in front
Drivetrain: Stock 4.3L V-6 engine with 260,000 miles
Performance Mods: K&N air filter, straight-pipe exhaust
Other Doodads: Front brushguard, auxiliary lights, Hi-Lift Jack, Cobra CB, 4-Wheel & Off-Road license plate
Funniest wheeling incident: Almost getting stuck in my own yard while trying to pull another truck out of it after three days of rain

Half Cab
Vehicle: '74 GMC Sierra 3/4-ton
Owner: Jeff de Minns, Victoria, B.C., Canada
Tires & wheels: Stockish
Suspension: Overload springs
Drivetrain: 350ci engine all stock
Performance Mods: Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley carb
Funniest wheeling incident: Nothing too funny yet
Anything you would change: The suspension and I need a winch
Anything to add?: I'd rather have the 250ci inline six-cylinder

Rock Ram
Vehicle: '97 Dodge Ram
Owner: Raji, Reno, NV
Tires: 35-inch Goodyear MTRs
Suspension: 5 1/2-inch Superlift
Drivetrain: 5.9L Magnum V-8, 46RE auto tranny with shift kit and tranny cooler, NVG241 transfer case with 4:1 low range
Performance Mods: Flowmaster exhaust, Optima Red-Top battery
Other Doodads: Front bumper is custom made from 2-inch 0.095-wall DOM and 2x3-inch box tubing, custom sliders
Anything you would change: Put in 4.88 gears, a Truetrac front diff and Detroit Locker in the rear
Anything to add?: Thanks for a great mag!

Okie Disco
Vehicle: '96 Land Rover Discovery SD
Owner: Jim Royall, Tulsa, OK
Tires & wheels: 32-inch BFG Mud Terrains on 16-inch stock alloys
Suspension: 2-inch Old Man Emu medium-duty coils and shocks, no antisway bars
Drivetrain: 4.0L aluminum V-8, auto tranny, full-time transfer case with center locking differential, Detroit Truetrac torque-biasing diffs, replaced stock flex joint with Range Rover U-joint
Other Doodads: Antilock brakes disabled, modified ARB winch bumper, Ramsey 9500 Patriot winch, Wheel Horse dash-mounted clinometer, homemade 1/4-inch aluminum gas tank slide plate, and 3x5-inch A36 steel rock sliders

Race Scout
Vehicle: '77 International Scout II
Owner: Tom Mandera, Helena, MT
Tires: 31x15.50 Terra in rear and 31x10.50 Mickey Thompsons up front
Suspension: Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: 375hp 304ci V-8 engine, TF727 Gryphin Auto tranny, Dana 20 transfer case, Tom Woods 14-inch slip-yoke driveshaft, Dana 44 axles
Other Doodads: Full rollcage, cage-mounted belts and Beard seats, PCI race radio, full tilt hood, in-car camcorder
Anything to add?: My wife and I race it in short-course races. She has more trophies than I do.

We're Fired When the Boss Sees This
Vehicle: '45 Ford GPW
Owner: 17-year-old Rick Pw and 50-year-old Rick Pw
Tires & wheels: Steelies and probably Norsemans or TruTracks
Suspension: Leaf springs under the axles back then, over 'em now
Drivetrain: Original 134ci four-cylinder, probably a T-84 transmission, and a Spicer 18 transfer case. But who can remember back that far? Axles were a Dana 25 front and Dana 25 rear with 5.38 gears.
Other Doodads: Flyswatter
Does everything work the way you want?: He eventually swapped in a Dana 60 rear axle, Dana 44 front, Buick 455 big-block, and SM420 transmission and added a Warn/Saturn overdrive to the Spicer 18, all so he could run 35-inch tires

Anything you would change: He claims it's perfect
Funniest wheeling incident: The stories are endless. Drove off a cliff with best friends, drove through the wall of parent's house when brakes failed, drove almost every trail west of Colorado, drove back and forth across the country with the original four-cylinder drafting semis all the way, drove it till the frame broke, drove it through multiple rollovers and lived to tell the tale, still drives it every now and then. Happy 50th birthday, boss. Don't fire us.-4-Wheel & Off-Road Staff

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