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September 2007 4x4 Readers Rides

Posted in Features on September 1, 2007
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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:

Orange San
Vehicle: '03 Nissan Xterra
Owner: Lenny Wilson, Harrisonburg, VA
Tires & wheels: 32-inch Pro Comp mud-terrains on stock
Suspension: Calmini 3-inch Drivetrain: 3.3L V-6, 4.90 gears
Performance Mods: Lacking
Other Doodads: Calmini steering system, ARB bumper, Warn XD9000 winch, Skid Row complete skid set, Shockworks rock sliders, custom rear bumper and tire carrier
Does Everything work the way you want?: It's my daily driver so it has to

Rich Horses
Vehicle: '78 Ford Bronco
Owner: Rich Villacres, Ellensburg, WA
Tires & wheels: 33x10.50x15 BFGoodrich M-Ts on 15x8 chrome modulars
Suspension: 2-inch Rancho
Drivetrain: 400M V-8, NP435, NP205, high-pinion Dana 44, Ford 9-inch, 3.50 gears
Performance Mods: K&N filter, 2.25-inch dual exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers
Other Doodads: Custom-built heavy-duty steel bumpers and roof rack, hand throttle, onboard air, Bluetorch battery box with Optima Red Top battery, raised axle vents
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Watching the expression on my 6- and 10 year-old nephews' faces when I drove up a 35-degree hillclimb
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes, simple and reliable
Anything you would change: Worthless A/C

Island Explorer
Vehicle: '94 Ford Explorer
Owner: Gabe Cruz, Whidbey Island, WA
Tires & wheels: 34x10.50 Super Swamper LTBs on 15x8 steel
Suspension: 5.5-inch Superlift, rear spring-over axle, Warrior shackles
Drivetrain: 4.0L, A4LD transmission, Dana 35 front axle, manual hub conversion, custom brake lines, 8.8-inch rear axle with a limited-slip differential
Performance Mods: Flowmaster 40 series muffler
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, transmission cooler, temperature gauge, custom snorkel, rock sliders, sway-bar quick disconnects
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Front coil spring popped out while articulating
Anything you would change: Needs more gearing

Green Twist
Vehicle: '66 Suzuki Samurai Owner: Gonzalo Bravo
Tires & wheels: 35x12.50 R15 Goodyear MT/Rs on 15x10 bead locks Suspension: Coil front, quarter-elliptic rear, Rancho 9010 shocks
Drivetrain: 1.6L, 4.16 transfer case, Toyota 8-inch axles, Detroit Locker in rear, E-Z locker, 4.88 gears
Other Doodads: Warn 4500 winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting stuck in the middle of a 500-square-foot mud hole
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes, especially the transfer case
Anything you would change: Ignition upgrades

Willy Flip
Vehicle: '55 Willys
Owner: Eric Robertson
Tires & wheels: 40-inch Michelins on American Racing 17x10 Outlaw IIs
Suspension: 4-inch spring-over axle with Fox shocks
Drivetrain: Three-speed Chevy transmission, Dana 20 transfer case with doubler, 5.13 gears, locked 9-inch rear axle, Dana 44 front axle, hydraulic steering
Performance Mods: '80 Camaro V-6
Other Doodads: Onboard air, 8,000-pound winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: This picture says it all
Does Everything work the way you want?: Most of the time
Anything you would change: Softer tires

Woodside FJ
Vehicle: '72 Toyota FJ-40
Owner: Andrew Tracy, Woodside, CA
Tires & wheels: 35x12.50 MT/Rs on 15x10 Rock Crawlers
Suspension: Spring-over axle, custom shackle reversal, RS 9000s Drivetrain: F engine with stock three-speed
Performance Mods: K&N filter, custom 2-inch exhaust
Other Doodads: Hy-Steer, braided brake lines, full cage, custom roof rack
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Pretending it was a Baja truck and getting it on two wheels driving too fast around a corner
Does Everything work the way you want?: No, the exhaust doesn't have enough backpressure; as a result I have burnt three valves Anything you would change: Exhaust
Anything to Add?: The spring-over axle and shackle reversal is the best mod yet

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