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July 2008 4x4 Readers' Rides

Posted in Features on July 1, 2008
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Submission Information
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. 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.

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

E-mail to:

Vehicle (year, make, model)
Owner (name, city, state)
Tires & Wheels (size, make, model)
Suspension (lift, springs, shocks)
Drivetrain (tranny, transfer case, axles)
Performance (engine mods)
Other mods
Does it work the way you want?
Anything you would change?
Funniest Wheeling Incident
Anything to add?

Mandigo Mudder
Vehicle: '99 Chevy Tahoe
Owner: Joel Mandigo, Orlando, FL
Tires & Wheels: 35x13.50 Toyo Mud Terrains on 15x10 Pro Comp
Suspension: 6.5-inch Dick Cepek stage II, Offroad Design 4-inch shackle flip, U-bolt flip, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: 4L60E, NP246, semi-float 14-bolt rear with Detroit Truetrac, 4.56 gears
Performance mods: K&N air intake, FAST programmer, Hooker muffler
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Ditch the IFS for a straight axle and add rock sliders
Anything to add?: It's my daily driver

Indo Wheeler
Vehicle: '81 Jeep CJ-7
Owner: Widodo Teguh, Solo, Indonesia
Tires & Wheels: 36-inch TSL SXs on the front, 37-inch Boggers in the rear mounted on 15x10 Pro Comp with Staun internal bead locks
Suspension: Front shackle reversal, stock springs, additional buggy springs in rear
Drivetrain: 4:1 Dana 300 using JB Conversion, Currie twin-stick, custom DOM driveshafts, Dana 30 front, 20 rear, Detroit Lockers, chromoly front shafts, Superior one-piece rear shafts, 4.88 gears
Performance mods: Port and polished, custom headers, DUI ignition
Other Doodads: XJ brake booster with Isuzu master cylinder, Warn winch, cutting brakes at all four wheels, custom bumpers and cage, flat belly skid
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Dynatrac axles, fuel injection, and hydraulic assist
Anything to add?: We cannot get parts so readily like you can in the States. This forces us to be very innovative when it comes to making our Jeeps stronger. You should see how many flatfenders are still kicking butt here. It's impressive to see their mods without all the big brand parts.

Crozet Crawler
Vehicle: '85 Toyota mini-truck
Owner: Paul Gilbert, Norfolk, VA
Tires: 33x12.50x15 BFG M-Ts
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Trail Gear dual transfer cases, Lock-Rights, 4.88 gears
Performance mods: '94 22RE, LC Engineering fuel injection, Pro Street EFI cam
Other Doodads: Bud Built skidplate, custom front bumper, Warn winch, Safari snorkel
Does Everything work the way you want?: Better than it did stock
Anything you would change?: Delete the body lift and improve the suspension

In The Mits
Vehicle: '92 Mitsubishi Montero
Owner: Santos Ramirez, Donna, TX
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50 Remington Mud Brutes on 15x10 coated with spray-on bedliner
Suspension: 2-inch
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance mods: 2.9L, K&N air filter
Other Doodads: Truck Nutz
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting stuck in a mud hole that was devouring 44-inch tires then making my brother crawl out of the window into waist-deep mud to hook up the tow strap.
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes, but the motor is a little weak.
Anything you would change?: Straight-axle conversion and a bigger engine

Rusty Pines
Vehicle: '69 Jeepster Commando
Owner: Harry Rehder, Pollock Pines, CA
Tires & Wheels: 35x16 Boggers on AR767s with Inch Worm bead locks
Suspension: Spring-over axle with inboard Rubicon Express springs, Currie shackles, RS 9000 shocks
Drivetrain: SM420, Dana 20, front and rear Dana 44 axles, Detroit Lockers, 5.38 gears
Performance mods: Buick 225ci, Magnaflow muffler
Other Doodads: Hydraulic-assist steering, Beard seats, Warn 8274 winch
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Front shackle reversal with better springs and a fresh engine with fuel injection
Anything to add?: After four years of work I had converted a complete rust bucket into the rig you see here

Double Up
Vehicle: '06 Toyota Tacoma TRD
Owner: Jeremy Erickson, Chicago, IL
Tires & Wheels: 265/70/17 Maxxis Bighorn Mudders on 17-inch Alloy
Suspension: 2.5-inch Daystar, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance mods: V-6, K&N cold-air intake, TRD aluminum exhaust
Other Doodads: Demello Offroad rock sliders, ARB bumper, Warn M8000 winch, KC lights
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting stuck on purpose in 4 feet of snow 10 minutes after I installed the bumper and winch just so I could test it out
Anything you would change?: 35-inch tires, rear locker, and a few more skidplates

Le Ranger
Vehicle: '91 Ford Ranger
Owner: Linnie LePage, Modesto, CA
Tires & Wheels: 38.5x14 TSL SXs on 15-inch custom bead locks
Suspension: Custom triangulated four-link front with 16-inch Fox nitrogen shocks, 63-inch Chevy rear leaves set inboard
Drivetrain: BW1354, high-pinion Dana 44 front, Dana 60 rear, 5.38 gears
Performance mods: 4.0L, K&N air filter, Flowmaster muffler
Other Doodads: Optima Red Top, MileMarker 9,000-pound winch
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Waiting on a doubler kit
Anything to add?: It's my daily driver

The Famous Mr. Ed
Vehicle: '01 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Ed Turonek, Warren, MI
Tires & Wheels: 38x12 TSL SXs on 15x10 Wagons
Suspension: Custom long arms with 8-inch springs and Doetsch shocks
Drivetrain: AW4, NP231 with Advance Adapter's slip-yoke eliminator, Dana 44 front with Detroit Truetrac, Dana 44 rear with spool, 4.88 gears
Performance mods: 4.0L, 62mm throttle body, Flowmaster muffler, Catco converter
Other Doodads: Proto-fab front bumper, Warn winch, dual Optima Yellow Tops, Bushwacker fender flares, custom rear bumper
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Front coilovers

Orange Chocolate
Vehicle: '93 Toyota mini-truck
Owner: Kenny Beard, Williamsburg, OH
Tires & Wheels: 35x15 Boggers on 16-inch steel
Suspension: Marlin Crawler straight-axle conversion with Downey Off-Road rear leaves and shackles
Drivetrain: Truetrac front, Lincoln locked rear, 5.29 gears
Performance mods: K&N air filter
Other Doodads: 10 inches bobbed off bed, custom bumpers and rock sliders, Champion winch, Hi-Lift jack
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yep
Anything you would change?: Four-link rear suspension with coils

Super Ex
Vehicle: '92 Ford Explorer
Owner: Brandon Hudson, Chattanooga, TN
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 BFG M-Ts on stock 15x7
Suspension: 6-inch Superlift
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance mods: 4.0L, K&N air filter, Flowmaster exhaust
Anything you would change?: Wider wheels, rock sliders, and bumpers

Island Toy
Vehicle: '99 Toyota Tacoma
Owner: Joseph Piombo, Long Island, NY
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 BFG A-Ts on 15x8 steel
Suspension: 6-inch Fabtech
Drivetrain: Stock
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, Hayden transmission cooler, slotted rotors
Does Everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: 4.88 gears

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