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January 2012 Readers’ Rides

Posted in Features on January 1, 2012
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Hot Shot
The Arc
Vehicle: ’93 International Scout
Owner: Noah Swanson
Tires: 36-inch Mickey Thompsons
Suspension: Custom
Drivetrain: 700R4, Dana 44 axles
Performance Mods: Small-block Chevy, fuel injected, 450 hp
Other Doodads: Lots of bodywork; custom cage, rockers, and bumpers
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything to add?: This was a four-year transformation that my family and I did out of our two-car garage

Crafty YJ
Vehicle: ’90 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Gene and Heather Ellsworth, Vancouver, WA
Tires: 37-inch Goodyear MTRs with Staun internal beadlocks
Suspension: Poly Performance 3-link front and 4-link rear, Coilovers at all four corners
Drivetrain: 4-speed Atlas, Dana 44 front, 8.8-inch rear, ARB Air Lockers
Performance Mods: 4.0L Other Doodads: Master Craft seats, Currie Ant-Rock, onboard air, LOD tire carrier, Mile Marker winch, custom cage
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes

Chevy Lender
Vehicle: ’98 Chevy 1500
Owner: Matthew Whittaker, Lender, TX
Tires & Wheels: 37x14.50 Iroks on 15x10 steel wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Tuff Country
Drivetrain: 700R4, semifloat 14-bolt rear, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 5.7L
Does everything work the way you want?: Sure does
Anything you would change?: Solid-axle conversion and a rear locker

Budget Blazer
Vehicle: ’95 Chevy Blazer
Owner: Dustin Knott, Wanamingo, MN
Tires & Wheels: 44-inch Boggers on custom 15-inch beadlocks
Suspension: Solid-axle conversion with leaf springs
Drivetrain: 700R4, NP241, 21⁄2-ton Rockwells, 6.72 gears
Performance Mods: 4.3L
Other Doodads: Custom cage, sliders, and bumpers
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything to add?: This started out as a budget-built beater on 38s. Believe it or not, I have less than $2K in the truck, not including the tires, of course.

Solo Salo
Vehicle: ’91 Toyota pickup
Owner: Sam Salo, Marquette, MI
Tires: 32-inch Maxxis Buckshot Mudders
Suspension: Custom leaf pack
Drivetrain: Welded rear, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 22RE, custom exhaust
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, custom bed and bumpers
Does everything work the way you want?: Not quite
Anything you would change?: 6-inch suspension lift, 5.29 gears, ARB Air Locker up front, and 35-inch TSLs
Anything to add?: Keep up the great magazine!

Toy Icon
Vehicle: ’08 Toyota Tundra
Owner: Brandon Kubiak, Peoria, AZ
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Toyo M/Ts on 18-inch RBP wheels
Suspension: Icon shocks, Camburg upper control arms, Alcan rear leaves
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: TRD supercharger, MBRP exhaust
Other Doodads: Frame body mounts were moved to help clear the 35s, N-Fab spare tire rack
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Onboard air, 4.88 gears, and a rear limited slip

Subtle Sierra
Vehicle: ’06 GMC Sierra
Owner: Caleb Taylor
Tires: 35x12.50 Nitto Mud Grapplers
Suspension: 6-inch Rough Country
Drivetrain: 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: Stock
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: A supercharger would be great!

Daily Wheeler
Vehicle: ’05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Owner: Mike Gasman, Appleton, WI
Tires & Wheels: 285/75/16 Toyo M/Ts on stock 16-inch Rubicon wheels
Suspension: 41⁄2-inch BDS
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 4.0L Other Doodads: Mile Marker winch, custom front bumper and skids
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything to add?: The Jeep serves as my daily driver and wheeler. I am continually amazed with how well it rides and handles both on- and off-road.

Mass Runner
Vehicle: ’04 Toyota 4Runner
Owner: Stephen Bukoski, Worcester, MA
Tires & Wheels: 285/75/16 Firestone M/Ts on 16-inch American Racing wheels
Suspension: 3-inch Old Man Emu, All Pro control arms
Drivetrain: Marlin Crawler twin stick, ARB Air Lockers, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: TRD cold-air intake, AFE throttle body spacer
Other Doodads: ARB front bumper, Warn winch, Bud Built skids, Rocky Road sliders, BajaRack roof rack
Does everything work the way you want?: Absolutely
Anything you would change?: Solid-axle swap

Doug It
Vehicle: ’87 Suzuki Samurai
Owner: Doug Klima, Lumberton, TX Tires 35x14.50 Boggers
Suspension: Spring-over axle with YJ springs
Drivetrain: 6.5:1 transfer case gears, Detroit Lockers, 5.29 gears
Performance Mods: 2.0L front a Chevy Tracker, Trail Tough engine adapter kit
Other Doodads: 2-inch body lift, S-10 seats, custom bumpers, Griffin radiator, OTT high steer
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Needs a paintjob

Panning Out
Vehicle: ’92 Ford Bronco
Owner: Mike White, Virginia Beach, VA
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Maxxis Buckshot Mudders on 15x8 wheels
Suspension: Rough Country coils and leaves, custom radius arms with rod ends
Drivetrain: Warn hubs
Performance Mods: Stock
Other Doodads: 9k Superwinch
Does everything work the way you want?: Absolutely
Anything you would change?: 4BT engine swap, solid-front axle, swap the front coils for leaf springs
Anything to add?: My plan is for my wife and I to drive the Bronco to Darien, Panama, in two years. Wish us luck!

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 1,600 by 1,200 pixels (or two megapixels) and saved as a TIFF, EPS, or maximum-quality JPEG file. Write to: Readers’ Rides, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245 Email 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?

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