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August 2008 4x4 Readers Trucks - Readers' Rides

Posted in Features on August 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?

Vehicle: '86 suzuki samurai
Owner: gary Beck, Big Creek, CA
Tires & Wheels: 33-inch Boggers on Trailready bead locks
Suspension: Custom 4-inch lift comprised of a four-link front with a three-link quarter-elliptical rear setup, Rs 5000 shocks
Drivetrain: 6.5:1 transfer case ratio, Detroit Lockers, chromoly axleshafts, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: narrowed rear quarter panels, custom cage, Corbeau seats
Anything You Would Change?: toyota axles and stretch the wheelbase

Ranch Hand
Vehicle: '68 Ford F-100
Owner: Greg Wright, Horatio, AR
Tires & Wheels: 39.5x15 Tsls on 16.5x12 Rock Crawler
Suspension: Custom 4-inch
Drivetrain: np435, np205, Dana 60 front with a Detroit Locker, sterling rear welded, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 400ci, RV cam, HEI distributor
Other Doodads: Custom cage, Redneck hydraulic ram, set up to run on propane, major fender trimming
Does Everything Work The way you want?: Works very well for a low-budget rig built by an Arkansas cattle rancher
Anything You Would Change?: taller tires and lower gears

Blue Mountain TJ
Vehicle: '05 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Ray Reno
Tires & Wheels: 36x13.50 Iroks on 15x10 Mickey thompson Classic IIS
Suspension: TNT custom long arm with 4.5-inch Rubicon Express coils and shocks
Drivetrain: np231 with tera 4.1, trussed Dana 44 rear with 35-spline Alloy axleshafts, high-pinion Dana 44 front with 33-spline Alloy axleshafts, ARB Air Lockers
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: 1-inch Daystar body lift, Jks motor mounts, A-Z rear tire carrier, custom skidplates
Does Everything Work The way you want?: no, it keeps killing the rear driveshaft, but that's getting fixed
Anything You Would Change?: Lower it 2 inches
Does Everything Work The way you want?: special thanks to all the guys at Blue Mountain Jeep Alliance in pennsylvania for helping to finish the Jeep while I was stuck in Iraq for the past year.

Chargin' Time
Vehicle: '90 Dodge Ramcharger
Owner: Mike Worshum, Hawthorne, CA
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch BFG A-ts on 15x10 pro Comp
Suspension: 4-inch skyjacker, Rs 9000 shocks
Drivetrain: np208, Dana 44 front with Detroit truetrac, Chrysler 91/4 rear, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 360ci, 12-inch Flex-A-Lite fans, custom radiator
Other Doodads: Custom tire carrier, Hi-Lift jack, custom driveshafts
Does Everything Work The way you want?: Works better than I imagined
Anything You Would Change?: Full-time lockers
Does Everything Work The way you want?: It only has 42k original miles

Brux Built
Vehicle: '93 Chevy 1500
Owner: kurt Brux, salinas, CA
Tires & Wheels: 44-inch Boggers on 16x10 Rock Crawler
Suspension: Custom straight-axle conversion, 8-inch skyjacker front springs, 10-inch rear springs
Drivetrain: Dynatrac 60 front, 14-bolt rear, Detroit Lockers, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 5.7L, headers, 3-inch exhaust, cold-air intake
Other Doodads: Crossover steering, full interior rollcage
Does Everything Work The way you want?: yes
Does Everything Work The way you want?: I built this truck in my driveway with help from my two sons.

Vehicle: '06 Hummer H3
Owner: noe tellez, Huntington park, CA
Tires & Wheels: 285/75/16 Bridgestone Dueler A/ts on stock 16-inch
Suspension: stock
Drivetrain: stock
Performance Mods: 3.5L, k&n air filter, custom exhaust
Does Everything Work The way you want?: I suppose, for now at least!
Anything You Would Change?: Front locker, sway-bar disconnects, and 35-inch tires
Does Everything Work The way you want?: I never thought my little H3 would be so capable off road.

Georgia Krawler
Vehicle: '98 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Matt sirockman, Atlanta, GA
Tires & Wheels: 36-inch Iroks on Allied bead locks
Suspension: 7-inch Rock krawler long-arm
Drivetrain: Front and rear Dana 44 axles, ARB Air Lockers, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L, Magnaflow muffl er
Other Doodads: tuffy center console, Warn bumpers and 9.5ti winch
Does Everything Work The way you want?: yes. the Rock krawler kit rides great and the flex is incredible.

King Krawler
Vehicle: '85 toyota 4Runner
Owner: Jason Bishop, Westerville, OH
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.50 goodyear Mt/Rs on 15x10 American Racing
Suspension: 4-inch skyjacker
Drivetrain: ARB Air Lockers, chromoly inner axleshafts, 5.29 gears
Performance Mods: 22RE
Other Doodads: Cage, H.t.R. top, Allpro disc parking brake, crossover steering
Does Everything Work The way you want?: Almost. there just wasn't enough lift after the springs settled.

Long Range
Vehicle: '03 Ford Ranger FX4
Owner: Andrew Custer, Camp pendleton, CA
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Baja Claws on 15x10 pro Comp
Suspension: Dixon Brothers Racing long travel
Drivetrain: Longer CV shafts, Ford 8.8 rear axle
Performance Mods: Gibson exhaust, AEM Brute Force intake
Funniest Wheeling Incident: getting buried up to my windows trying to follow a few rigs on 44-inch tires in the mud.
Does Everything Work The way you want?: Absolutely
Anything You Would Change?: Can't say yet, I'm not done with it!

Fire Wheeler
Vehicle: '68 Jeep M-715
Owner: Willington Hill Fire Dept, Willington, Ct
Tires & Wheels: 9.00-16Lt Denman's on stock split rims
Suspension: spring-under axle without shocks
Drivetrain: Four-speed with power take-Off
Performance Mods: I-6
Other Doodads: transfer-case brake, 300-gallon water tank, custom bumpers, mechanical siren, PTO driven winch
Does Everything Work The way you want?: Almost. you can't safely drive over 45 mph and the siren isn't quite loud enough
Anything You Would Change?: trade up for '06 Mercedes unimog
Does Everything Work The way you want?: the rig is always ready to battle the hottest trails in town!

Blues Travelers
Vehicle: '07 toyota FJ Cruiser
Owner: kevin Fletcher, Redmond, Or
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 toyos on 18-inch American Racing
Suspension: 6-inch pro Comp
Drivetrain: stock
Other Doodads: kC lights and lightbar, pIAA rear lights, yakima storage box
Funniest Wheeling Incident: proving to my friends that I actually wheel it!
Does Everything Work The way you want?: yes
Anything You Would Change?: Bumpers, exhaust, and possibly a straight-axle conversion

Vehicle: '98 Land Rover Discovery
Owner: Dennis Brown, Flowery Branch, Ga
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50 goodyear Mud terrains on 15x8 steel
Suspension: 3.5-inch Old Man Emu springs and shocks with 1.5-inch coil spacers
Drivetrain: stock
Performance Mods: 4.0L, k&n filter
Other Doodads: Custom bumpers and rock sliders, onboard air, electric fan
Does Everything Work The way you want?: yes, for now
Anything You Would Change?: Coilovers, Dana 60s, and a Cummins 4Bt

New Sport
Vehicle: '99 kia sportage
Owner: Raul Velazquez, sun prairie, WI
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50 All Countrys on 15-inch stock
Suspension: Custom coil spacers in the front with Ford Aerostar minivan springs in the rear
Drivetrain: stock
Performance Mods: k&n air filter
Other Doodads: 2-inch body lift
Does Everything Work The way you want?: no. the four-wheel drive will not engage in extremely cold weather
Anything You Would Change?: Lockers
Does Everything Work The way you want?: these are surprisingly tough vehicles that will tackle almost anything out on the trail.

Vehicle: '01 Ford Excursion
Owner: Rob Leaming, selah, WA
Tires & Wheels: 41x13.50 Michelin XLs on 20x10 kMC
Suspension: 8-inch BDs
Drivetrain: Dana 50 front, sterling 10.25 rear, 4.37 gears
Performance Mods: V-10, k&n air filter
Does Everything Work The way you want?: yes, but I need to clearance the front fenders a little bit more
Anything You Would Change?: 4.88 gears and a Detroit Locker

Daily Blaze
Vehicle: '93 Chevy Blazer
Owner: tyler paniagua, napa, CA
Tires & Wheels: 37-inch ssRs on 16x10 steel
Suspension: Off Road unlimited solid-axle conversion with Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: 4L60E, np241, Dana 44 front with a truetrac, semifloat 14-bolt rear with a Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 350ci
Other Doodads: Custom front bumper, wheelbase stretched 5 inches
Does Everything Work The way you want?: so far, yes.
Anything You Would Change?: 1-ton axles, lower gears, and bigger tires
Does Everything Work The way you want?: It's my daily driver

Simple Is
Vehicle: '86 Isuzu trooper
Owner: Byron Benson, Olympia, Wa Tires: 31x10.50 Wild Country mud-terrains
Suspension: 2-inch lift via cranking the torsion bars and rear shackles from Independent4x, pro Comp Es3000 shocks
Drivetrain: superwinch front hubs and an Aussie Locker in the rear
Performance Mods: Weber carburetor
Does Everything Work The way you want?: so far, but it is a little vertically challenged
Anything You Would Change?: swap out the IFS

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