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February 2008 Best Readers Rides

Posted in Features on February 1, 2008 Comment (0)
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Contributors: Ali Mansour

Frequent Flyers

Vehicle: '96 Ford F-150
Owner: Corey Turner, Coos Bay, OR
Tires & Wheels: 32x11.50 bald on 15x8
Suspension: 2-inch leveling kit
Drivetrain: Stock five-speed
Performance Mods: 300ci six-cylinder
Other Doodads: Two pine-scented air fresheners, three new lug nuts on the right side
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Buried the truck half way up to the doors then smoked the clutch. Had to be pulled out by my buddy's Nissan, I don't want to talk about it
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yeah, it works great
Anything you Would Change?: Needs more lift and a Detroit Locker
Anything To Add?: It's my daily driver and never lets me down

Vehicle: '03 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Owner: Teague McLaughlin, Boise, ID
Tires: 33x12.50 Cooper Discovery
Suspension: 4.5-inch BDS
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: K&N cold-air intake
Other Doodads: Warn oil-pan skid and front and rear bumpers
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes for now
Anything you Would Change?: Longer control arms, cage, and tube fenders

Vehicle: '86 Toyota mini-truck
Owner: Chris Murphy, Tucson, AZ
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50 BFGoodrich A-Ts on modified 15x8s
Suspension: Pro Comp MX6 shocks
Drivetrain: Auburn lockers front and rear, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: 2.4L, cold-air intake, port and polished head
Other Doodads: 8-ball shifter, bucket seats
Anything you Would Change?: Lift and Auburns
Anything To Add?: It has 375,000 on the cloc

Vehicle: '93 Ford Bronco
Owner: Patrick O'Brien, Lubbock, TX
Tires: 35x12.50 BFGoodrich A-Ts
Suspension: 8-inch custom lift
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 351ci
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Launching my Bronco at West Texas Baja not realizing that that little hill was so steep!
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes

Vehicle: '90 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Joseph Corson, Mays Landing, NJ
Tires & Wheels: 235/75/15 junkyard specials on stock
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: Heavy right foot
Does Everything Work the way you want?: It was right before I landed

Vehicle: '78 Ford Bronco
Owner: Mike Laarman, Holland, MI
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch BFGoodrich M-Ts on 16x10 steel
Suspension: 6-inch lift
Drivetrain: C6, NP205, Dana 44, Moser axles, 9-inch Detroit Locker
Performance Mods: 460ci, bored 0.060 over, Edelbrock intake, V-force exhaust
Does Everything Work the way you want?: I love this truck!
Anything you Would Change?: Upgrade the axles and suspension

Vehicle: '01 Jeep Cherokee Classic
Owner: Phillip Young, Scunthorpe, England
Tires: 37x12.50x17 MTRs
Suspension: 5.5-inch Rubicon Express
Drivetrain: Lock-Right front locker, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: Custom cage, flat belly crossmember, raised fuel tank with built-in skid
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Jumping my Jeep while stationed in England, the resulting damage was a bent front rim, two broken shocks, and two busted U-joints in the front driveshaft, all of which we fixed on the trail then drove 120 miles home
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes

It's Not A Jeep!

Vehicle: '72 Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser
Owner: Jack Ingold, Hillsborough, NC
Tires & Wheels: 38x12 TSLs on 15x12 Eaton bead locks
Suspension: Stock front springs with spring-over axle and shackle reversal, custom rear shackles with stock springs minus one leaf, and rotated 180 degrees, RS 9000 shocks
Drivetrain: TH400, FJ-80 electric front locker, Lock-Right rear
Performance Mods: 5.7L Chevy Vortec, K&N air filter
Other Doodads: B&M remote transmission cooler with fan, power-steering cooler, Chevy master cylinder, Warn 8274 winch, Superwinch X 9000 in rear, seven-point cage, custom axlewrap bars, and skidplate
Anything you Would Change?: Needs a stronger front axle, and an Atlas would be nice

Vehicle: '72 Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser
Owner: Scott Johnson, Charleston, SC
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Uniroyal Mud-Terrains on 15x8 Rock Crusher
Suspension: 4-inch springs with Hyper shackles
Drivetrain: '79 Toyota axles, Detroit Locker in rear
Performance Mods: I-6, Downey Off-Road headers, D.U.I. ignition
Other Doodads: Custom cage and bumpers, MileMarker winch, Summit fuel cell, Corbeau four-point harness, JT Outfitters power steering
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Almost
Anything you Would Change?: 4.88 gears and a front locker

Vehicle: '70 Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser
Owner: Don Evans, Pleasanton, CA
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 BFGoodrich M-Ts on 15x10 Wagon
Suspension: Spring-over axle, front shackle reversal, 2.5-inch Rancho rear springs, RS 5000 shocks
Drivetrain: SM465, ARB Air Lockers, 4.11 gears
Performance Mods: Chevy 350ci
Other Doodads: MileMarker hydraulic winch, custom cage, York air compressor
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Having to be winched out on level ground because both of my differentials were stuck between rocks
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you Would Change?: Rattle-can paint job

Vehicle: '79 Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser
Owner: Jeffrey A. Lors, Flagstaff, AZ
Tires & Wheels: 32x11.50 BFGoodrich A-Ts on 15x8 American Racing
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 350ci, Flowmaster muffler
Other Doodads: Herculiner and Honda seats
Anything you Would Change?: Need to get the engine rebuilt and route the Flowmaster correctly

Uni-Buddies

Vehicle: '89 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Chris Leftwich, Mesa, AZ
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch Pro Comp Mud-Terrains
Suspension: 6-inch Rubicon Express, Pro Comp shocks
Drivetrain: NP231, Advance Adapters slip-yoke eliminator, high-pinion Dana 30, Chrysler 8.25, Lock-Rights, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: DPG rear bumper, custom rock sliders, Teraflex disconnects
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Watching my wife rip off the tow hooks that I had just installed when she attempted to climb a ledge head-on
Does Everything Work the way you want?: I'm still tuning the suspension to get more flex out of the rear, but for the most part it's point and shoot
Anything you Would Change?: My shocks and a new rear locker
Anything To Add?: The Jeep has over 220,000 miles on it!

Vehicle: '01 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Tony Spadafora, Westminster, CO
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch MTRs on 15x8 Rock Crawler wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Rock Krawler long arm, Rubicon Express 4.5-inch leaves, 1.25-inch Rocky Road shackles
Drivetrain: NP231, Advance Adapters slip-yoke eliminator, high-pinion Dana 30, Aussie Locker, Ford 8.8, 31-spline, Detroit Locker, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: K&N cold-air intake, Airaid throttle-body spacer, Gibson exhaust
Other Doodads: JCR front bumper, RBM rear bumper with tire carrier
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes, after a long winter of upgrading everything, I love it now
Anything you Would Change?: Replace the bolt-on sliders with a weld-on set

Vehicle: '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Owner: Michael Saeva, Oviedo, FL
Tires & Wheels: 36x13.50 IROKS on 16-inch Rock Crawler
Suspension: 10.5-inch custom lift by KOR, Pro Comp MX6 shocks
Drivetrain: NP249, Ford 8.8, Detroit Locker, Dana 30, chromoly axleshafts, Tom Wood's driveshafts, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 5.2L, K&N intake
Other Doodads: 12,500-pound winch, custom high steer, Trail Ready front and rear bumpers
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Wheeling with a Hummer H2 and having to pull it out over and over again
Anything you Would Change?: 5.9L

Vehicle: '97 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Jason Knepp, Milford, IN
Tires & Wheels: 32x11.50 MTRs on 15x8 American Racing
Suspension: 3-inch Rubicon Express, Old Man Emu shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: Rubicon Express slip-yoke eliminator, Surco roof rack, custom rock sliders, Warn transfer-case skid
Does Everything Work the way you want?: So far, yes
Anything you Would Change?: Front and rear selectable lockers along with bumpers

Trars

Vehicle: '82 Cadillac Seville
Owner: Nick Drivas, Troy, AL
Tires & Wheels: 44-inch Boggers on 15x10 Wagon
Suspension: Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: TH350, NP205
Performance Mods: 350ci, Holly 750 carburetor
Other Doodads: B&M shift kit, Dodge Neon seats
Anything you Would Change?: A/C, sunroof leaks, gears
Anything To Add?: I love the reaction it gets from people

Vehicle: '66 Dodge Charger
Owner: John A. Lukatch III, Greenwood, MI
Tires & Wheels: 16.9/24 Titan V-treads on 24x15 tractor
Suspension: 24-inch custom lift
Drivetrain: 727, Dana 200, 2 1/2-ton Rockwells, Detroit Locker, welded rear
Performance Mods: 413ci, MSD ignition, Zoomie exhaust
Other Doodads: Three Optima batteries, pinion brakes
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes, steering works great but is slow, body comes off easily for repairs, and everything is on quick disconnects
Anything you Would Change?: Needs more gear reduction
Anything To Add?: There is no brake pedal or steering wheel, but rather it uses a single joy stick from an old Fisher plow setup

Vehicle: '80 Trans Am
Owner: Bruce Waynick, Centerville, TN
Tires: 36x13.50 IROKs
Suspension: Custom
Drivetrain: NP205
Performance Mods: 454
Does Everything Work the way you want?: It goes everywhere that I want it to go
Anything you Would Change?: Nope

Vehicle: '91 Plymouth Sundance/'72 Dodge Power Wagon
Owner: Tom & Paul Frens, Fremont, MI
Tires & Wheels: 35x15 TSLs on 15x10 steel
Suspension: 4-inch Trail Master
Drivetrain: 727, NP205, Dana 44, Trac-Loc, 9.25 rear axle, Auburn limited slip, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 318ci, Edelbrock Performer intake and carburetor, glasspacks, custom exhaust
Other Doodads: Custom body lift
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Not yet. We lost Reverse and Low using the car's shifter
Anything you Would Change?: Needs more power
Anything To Add?: The Trar was built in 2 1/2 months for one event and everything inside the car still works, including the radio!

Snow Patrol

Vehicle: '76 Jeep CJ-5
Owner: Craig Brown, NH
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.50 BFGoodrich M-Ts on 15x8 Outlaw
Suspension: 4-inch Superlift, 1-inch shackles, 1-inch body
Drivetrain: T-150, Dana 20, AMC 20, one-piece Moser shafts, Dana 30
Performance Mods: 304ci, 0.030 over, custom fuel injection, Edelbrock aluminum intake
Other Doodads: 9,000-pound winch, custom front and rear bumpers, Poison Spyder Customs rock sliders
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Works great
Anything you Would Change?: Rear brakes and high steer

Vehicle: '82 Chevy
Owner: Cody Bourdeau, Great Falls, MT
Tires & Wheels: 38x12.50 TSLs on 15x10 chrome
Suspension: 6-inch lift
Drivetrain: TH350, Dana 44, 14-bolt, Detroit Locker, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: AFR aluminum heads, Edelbrock Performer intake, Holly carburetor
Other Doodads: 3-inch body, 10-point cage, fuel cell
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you Would Change?: Take off the body lift

Vehicle: '79 GMC
Owner: Tom Rock, Los Alamos, NM
Tires & Wheels: 38.5x15 Ground Hawgs on 16.5x10 American Racing
Suspension: 8-inch Skyjacker
Drivetrain: SM465, NP205, Dana 60, ARB Air Locker, 14-bolt, Detroit Locker, Superwinch hubs, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 454ci, Weiand Supercharger
Other Doodads: Custom 50-gallon tank, hand throttle, rear disc, Warn winch
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes

Vehicle: '81 Jeep CJ-7
Owner: Patrick & Jennifer Dermody, Neptune, NJ
Tires & Wheels: 35x14.50 Boggers on 15x10 Fastwell bead locks
Suspension: Spring-over axle
Drivetrain: Dana 300, Dana 30, Dana 20 with solid shafts, Detroit Lockers
Performance Mods: AMC V-6, Weber carburetor, K&N air filter, full cage, custom bumpers and rock sliders, Crane differential cover
Other Doodads: 1-inch body lift
Does Everything Work the way you want?: Yes
Anything To Add?: It's a little slow on the highway, so don't get stuck behind me

Vehicle: '04 Chevy Silverado
Owner: Greg Teela, Aloha, OR
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Toyo Mud-Terrains on 17x9 Allied
Suspension: 6-inch Fabtech
Drivetrain: Eaton limited slip, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: Superchip, K&N air filter, dual 40 series Flowmasters, throttle-body spacer
Does Everything Work the way you want?: The 4.56 gears are too tall for the 35s
Anything you Would Change?: Solid axle and 37-inch tires

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