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Readers’ Rides

Posted in Features on February 1, 2012 Comment (0)
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Readers’ Rides

The Jeep Brigade
Award Winner
Vehicle: 2000 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Eric Burton, Aurora, CO
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Pro Comp M/Ts on 15-inch steel wheels
Suspension: 51⁄2-inch Rubicon Express with Pro Comp MX-6 shocks
Drivetrain: NV3550, NP231, Dana 30 front with an Aussie Locker, Dana 44 rear with a Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: OR Fab sports cage, custom sliders and tire carrier, onboard air
Funniest Wheeling Incident: While wheeling with my club on the Pritchett Canyon trail in Moab, I attempted an obstacle with a little too much skinny pedal. In two seconds I blew out the left axle U-joint, front right sidewall, and left rear sidewall. I did go on to win the Trail Damage of the Year award!
Does everything work the way you want?: Almost
Anything you would change?: Stretch the wheelbase, add bigger tires and axles

Camo 5
Vehicle: 1972 Jeep CJ-5
Owner: Neal Sprott, Minden, NV
Tires & Wheels: 33x10.50 BFG M-Ts on 15x8 steel wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Superlift with a shackle reversal in the front
Drivetrain: Dana 20, Dana 30 front, Dana 44 rear, 4.27 gears
Performance Mods: 304ci
Other Doodads: 1-inch body lift, Smittybilt winch, custom bumper
Does everything work the way you want?: It’s getting there
Anything you would change?: Onboard air, dual batteries, lockers, and more lift
Anything to add?: Great magazine! I have been reading it for years.

Canadian Woods
Vehicle: 1993 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Cody Woodward, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Pit Bull Rockers on Ultra 15x10 wheels
Suspension: 5-inch BDS springs, 11⁄2-inch BDS shackles, BDS shocks
Drivetrain: AX-15, NP 231, Dana 30 front with an E-Locker, 8.8-inch rear with a Lock Right, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: 21⁄2-inch body lift, Warn bumpers and winch
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works great
Anything you would change?: Stroke the engine, Dana 44 axles, bigger tires

Spare Jeep
Vehicle: 1985 Jeep Scrambler
Owner: Sean Berden, Indian River, MI
Tires & Wheels: 36x15.50 Baja Claws on 15-inch Eagle Alloy wheels
Suspension: Custom multilink with 21⁄2-inch Deaver Early Bronco coils
Drivetrain: Dana 300, Dana 44 front with a Lock Right, Dana 44 rear with a spool, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: LT-1 V-8
Other Doodads: The original frame was in bad shape so we built a custom frame using the front portions of two Early Bronco frames
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works great
Anything to add?: With the exception of the body, the Jeep was built entirely of spare parts that I had lying around

Zac Attack
Vehicle: 2000 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Zac Johnson, Sedona, AZ
Tires & Wheels: 31-inch All Terrains on 16-inch wheels
Suspension: 3-inch Old Man Emu
Drivetrain: Rear locker
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great
Anything you would change?: 33-inch MTZs and a 41⁄2-inch lift

The Sleeper
Vehicle: 1978 Jeep CJ-7
Owner: Tony Sleeper, Flushing, MI
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.50 SSRs on 15x10 steel Eaton wheels
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch BDS with 1⁄2-inch MORE shackles
Drivetrain: Dana 20, Dana 30 front, AMC 20 rear with an Ox Locker, 3.73 gears
Performance Mods: 258ci, bored, Crane cam, Offenhauser intake, Holley carburetor, Hedman header
Other Doodads: 1-inch body lift, Warn winch, aluminum tub
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great
Anything you would change?: Add a front locker

Sublime
Vehicle: 1997 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Don Korshnak, Madison Township, PA
Tires & Wheels: 33-inch MTRs on stock 17-inch Rubicon wheels
Suspension: 41⁄2-inch Rubicon Express
Drivetrain: NP231 with an Advance Adapters slip-yoke eliminator, high-pinion 30 front, 8.8-inch rear axle with an Aussie Locker, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: Warn M8000 winch, AtoZ rocker guards, Vanco big brake kit
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Add a selectable front locker
Anything to add?: The color is from an ’07 Dodge Charger Daytona and is called Sublime

Trail Pass
Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
Owner: John Boehm, Albuquerque, NM
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 BFG KM2s on stock 17-inch wheels with TeraFlex wheel spacers
Suspension: 4-inch with Bilstein 5100 shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 3.8L, throttle body spacer, cold air intake, Hushpower exhaust
Other Doodads: Viair onboard air, River Raider Evap skid, Fab Fours bumpers
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Never knew that my wife was deathly afraid of heights until I took her on the Black Bear Pass trail in Colorado!
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Currie Rock Jock 60 axles, long-arm suspension, diesel conversion

What the Heck!?
In the Grove
Vehicle: 1976 Chevy Camaro body/’81 K-10 frame
Owner: Chris Groves
Tires: 36-inch TrXus STS
Suspension: 9 inches
Performance Mods: 350ci
Does everything work the way you want?: It’s getting there
Anything you would change?: Lower stall torque converter
Anything to add?: Thanks to my stepdad for all of the help

Unlimited Original
Vehicle: 1988 Jeep Wrangler body/’79 Ford F-250 frame
Owner: Jason Derech
Tires: 49-inch Iroks
Suspension: Custom
Drivetrain: C6, NP203/205 Doubler, Dana 60 axles
Performance Mods: 460ci
Other Doodads:Custom tub and soft top, seats six
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes

Buggy Bogger
Vehicle: 2010 Swamp Buggy
Owner: Michael Cox
Tires: 18.4x26 Titan R2 tractor tires
Suspension: Custom 4-link
Drivetrain: TH350, SCS quick change gearbox, 21⁄2-ton Rockwells
Performance Mods: Custom V-8 built by Titan Engines
Other Doodads: 180-pound aluminum frame built by Swamp Buggies of Florida, custom airbrush work by Porkchop Air Brush
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes

On the Ice
Vehicle: 1965 Volvo L3314N
Owner: Rune Rydningen, Arendal, Norway
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Goodyear MTRs on 15x8 wheels
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: 3.25:1 low range, front and rear lockers, 5.38 gears
Performance Mods: Volvo B18, 65hp
Other Doodads: Garmin GPS, custom cage, winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Tried to take a shortcut this winter and went through the ice. Now I know why no one takes that road anymore!
Does everything work the way you want?: Almost there
Anything you would change?: Full-float rear axle with a Lock-Right, high-back seats, and better lights
Anything to add?: This was my father’s daily driver for many years

Random Mikes
Vehicle: 1974 “Al Camaro”
Owner: Mike Miracola & Mike Wiggins, Random Lake, WI
Tires & Wheels: 40-inch Gumbo Mudders on 15-inch American Racing wheels
Suspension: Custom 3-inch
Drivetrain: NP203, Dana 44 front, 9-inch rear
Performance Mods: 390ci
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, custom cage, bumpers, sliders, and steps
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great!
Anything you would change?: 4-link suspension, ARB Air Lockers, a set of front and rear winches
Anything to add?: The body was created by mating an ’88 Camaro with an ’80 Dodge pickup bed

Sport Crawler
Vehicle: 1995 Kia Sportage
Owner: Dennis Thompson, Stansbury Park, UT
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50s on 15x7 wheels
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch Eibach springs with 2-inch Upyourkia spacers and KYB shocks up front, stock Jeep Wrangler TJ rear coils with TeraFlex 6-inch lift front TJ shocks in the rear
Drivetrain: Extra shim packs added to the rear limited slip, 4.77 gears
Performance Mods: 2.0L, K&N filter, MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: Custom front bumper, sliders, and rear bumper, Smittybilt winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Watching people’s faces when I am wheeling 4+ trails in Moab!
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Solid-axle swap and lower transfer case gears
Anything to add?: Real Kias are built, not bought!

AMC 5
Vehicle: 1973 AMC Gremlin body/Jeep CJ-5 frame
Owner: Frank McDermott
Tires: Dunlop Mud Rovers
Suspension: Custom
Drivetrain: 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 304ci
Other Doodads: Custom cage
Does everything work the way you want?: It’s a work in progress
Anything to add?: I hauled this out of a junkyard a few months ago. I am in the process of bringing it back to life. It currently runs and drives, but could definitely use some fine tuning.

The Big Bobber
Vehicle: 1969 M35A2
Owner: Richard Heberling, Bigler, PA
Tires & Wheels: Michelin 14.00R20s on 20-inch military wheels
Suspension: Stock front, custom rear
Drivetrain: T136, 21⁄2-ton Rockwells, 6.72 gears
Performance Mods: 465ci
Other Doodads: Bigler Boyz custom built bobbed bed and crew cab, custom traction bars, Smittybilt XRC seats
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes

The Toy Group
Snow Way
Vehicle: 1998 Toyota Tacoma
Owner: Dave T Shappat, Walla Walla, WA
Tires & Wheels: 35x13.50 Toyo M/Ts with custom grooving, 15x10 Centerline wheels
Suspension: 3-inch Toytec, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Stock
Does everything work the way you want?: Getting there
Anything you would change?: Solid-axle swap, gears, lockers, 39-inch Iroks

Mud Mojo
Vehicle: 1985 Toyota 4Runner
Owner: Marc Mojto, Glidden, WI
Tires & Wheels: 40x17.50 Ground Hawgs on 15-inch wheels with 2-inch wheel spacers
Suspension: Custom 12-inch
Drivetrain: TH350, Detroit Lockers, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 383ci
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great!
Anything you would change?: Add a winch and 37-inch Boggers

TRD Country
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tacoma
Owner: Dave Holley, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Tires: 265/70/17 Dick Cepek Fun Country IIs
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch inch
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: TRD exhaust and cold air intake
Other Doodads: IPF lights
Does everything work the way you want?: Works well, but wouldn’t mind a few more upgrades
Anything you would change?: 3-inch lift, 33-inch MTRs

OR Wheeler
Vehicle: 1994 Toyota 4Runner
Owner: Don & Brandi Taylor, Monmouth, OR
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.50 BFG M-Ts on 15x8 aluminum wheels
Suspension: 4Crawler 11⁄2-inch ball joint spacers, 1-inch diff drop, Downey torsion bars, A-arm truss, and Mega Travel ball joints, Downey rear springs, 4Crawler track bar drop, Skyjacker shocks
Drivetrain: Marlin Crawler VF1A transfer case, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: 3.0L, K&N air filter
Other Doodads: Warn winch, Hi-Lift jack
Does everything work the way you want?: Works very well so far, but still has room for improvement
Anything you would change?: ARB Air Lockers and a V-8 conversion
Anything to add?: Special thanks to the wife for allowing me to work on the family rig

Chevy Corral
Canadian Custom
Vehicle: 1998 Chevy S-10 body, custom frame
Owner: Mike Cahill, Garden Hill, Ontario, Canada
Tires & Wheels: 44-inch Boggers on 15-inch beadlocks
Suspension: Custom front and rear 4-links with 14-inch travel coilovers
Drivetrain: TH400, NP203/205 Doubler, Dana 60 front with a Detroit Locker, Dana 60 rear with a spool, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 350ci
Other Doodads: Fully hydraulic steering, rear-mounted radiator
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything to add?: I built this truck from the ground up in my shop with little more than a MIG welder and a mini grinder

Boggin Hood
Vehicle: 1993 Chevy Blazer
Owner: Josh Hood, Chesterton, IN
Tires & Wheels: 39-inch Boggers on Weld Racing wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Pro Comp
Drivetrain: ARB Air Lockers, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 350ci
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: The tires are a little too wide and it could stand a little help in the mpg department

Torsion Twist
Vehicle: 2005 GMC 2500
Owner: Jeff Brisch, Sheridan, WY
Tires & Wheels: 285/75/16 Bridgestones on 16x8 American Racing wheels
Suspension: 11⁄2-inch torsion bar keys, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 6.6L Duramax diesel, Edge with attitude, Predator programmer, K&N cold air intake, MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: Auto Meter gauges, bed cover, steps, grilleguard
Does everything work the way you want?: It’s getting there
Anything you would change?: Needs a real lift. Turning up the torsion bars made for a rough ride.

Terra Chef
Vehicle: 1994 Chevy 1500
Owner: Trent Christensen, Bakersfield, CA
Tires & Wheels: 37x13.50 Toyo M/Ts on 17-inch Pro Comp wheels
Suspension: 6-inch RCD, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 350ci, Airaid intake, MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, Optima RedTop battery, custom fender flares and rollbar, Hella lights
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great

Lady in a Tie
Vehicle: 2005 Chevy 1500
Owner: Jessica Mabrey
Tires & Wheels: 315/75/16 Dick Cepeks on 16-inch Rogue wheels
Suspension: Zone 6-inch
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: V-8, Flowmaster exhaust
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Supercharger and a 3-inch body lift
Anything to add?: I love the magazine and look forward to reading it every month

Open Door Policy
Vehicle: 1986 GMC 2500
Owner: Phil Hollowell, Central Square, NY
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch Dunlop Mud Rovers on Dick Cepek wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Tuff Country
Drivetrain: TH400, NP208, 14-bolt rear with a Detroit Locker, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 350ci, K&N air filter, Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, Mile Marker winch, ORD steering brace
Does everything work the way you want?: So far, so good
Anything you would change?: More horsepower coming soon

The Night Jimmy
Vehicle: 1998 GMC Jimmy
Owner: James Mathis II, Wilmington, NC
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50 BFG A-Ts on 15x8 Cragar Soft 8s
Suspension: 11⁄2-inch shackle and torsion bar keys
Drivetrain: stock
Performance Mods: 4.3L, DynoMax exhaust
Other Doodads: 2-inch body lift, custom front bumper, Superwinch, Wilco Products Hitch Gate
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Solid-axle swap

To the Nines
Vehicle: 1976 Chevy K-10
Owner: Les Hite, Placerville, CA
Tires & Wheels: 37x14 Iroks on 15-inch wheels
Suspension: Superlift front springs with 2-inch shackles, custom 6-inch rear springs with an Offroad Design shackle flip kit, Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: TH400, NP203/205 ORD Doubler, Dana 44 front with a Lock Right, Detroit Locker rear Performance Mods: 350ci, Edelbrock intake and carburetor, Hooker Headers
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, PSC hydraulic assist, custom cage and bed
Funniest Wheeling Incident: After 9 years of restoration and modifications I finally took it out. My daughter, grandson, and future son-in-law came out as well in his Toyota. I gave the camera to my wife and asked her to get pictures of my truck. When we got home all that was on the camera were pictures of the Toyota with my grandson in it!
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great
Anything you would change?: Dana 60 front and 14-bolt rear
Anything to add?: I started this truck as a frame-off restoration and switched to a rockcrawler halfway through. Everything has been pulled off, restored, or replaced and modified from top to bottom. I work for a company that has fabrication facilities and had access to a machine shop and a water-jet machine. All fabrication on the truck was done by me with help from friends at work. The flatbed was designed and built by me and my future son-in-law. The molly orange engine enamel paint job was done all with spray cans for easy upkeep and touch up.

Blue Oval Band
The Big O
Vehicle: 1994 Ford Bronco
Owner: Jason Konczak, Ontario, CA
Tires: 38.5-inch Boggers
Suspension: Custom
Drivetrain: Dana 60 front, 101⁄4 Sterling rear, Detroit Lockers, 5.13 gears Performance Mods: 5.8L
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes

Halo Horse
Vehicle: 1982 Ford Bronco
Owner: Jose Rangel, Anaheim, CA
Tires: 35-inch BFG M-Ts
Suspension: 4-inch Rancho, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: C6, NP208, TTB Dana 44 front with Warn hubs, 9-inch rear with a Detroit Locker, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 351ci
Other Doodads: Custom bumpers and sliders, Auto Meter gauges
Does everything work the way you want?: Works just like I want it to
Anything you would change?: Fuel injection, 37s, front solid-axle conversion

Rubi Ranger
Vehicle: 1994 Ford Ranger
Owner: Josh Parrish
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.50 MTRs on 17x8 Cragar Soft 8 wheels
Suspension: Solid-axle conversion with 14-inch travel King coilovers and custom radius arms up front, 63-inch rear Chevy springs in the rear
Drivetrain: BW1350/1354 doubler, high-pinion Dana 44 front, 9-inch rear, Detroit Lockers, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L, K&N intake, Spin Tech muffler
Other Doodads: Custom bumper, rock sliders, and steering, ’07 Front end conversion, winch, Bushwacker flares
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Upgrade the drivelines
Anything to add?: On my last outing to the Rubicon trail I really enjoyed being the only full-bodied Ranger on the trip

Family Tradition
Vehicle: 1995 Ford F-150
Owner: Ron & Nate Owens, Lake City, FL
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 MTZs on 15x10 Mickey Thompson Classic IIs
Suspension: Dick Cepek 6-inch
Drivetrain: Warn hubs, Detroit Lockers
Performance Mods: 5.0L
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Teaching my son how to drive off-road, while I’m still learning!
Does everything work the way you want?: It hasn’t let me down yet
Anything you would change?: More power, a winch, and numerically higher differential gears
Anything to add?: This was my dad’s truck and hopefully will one day be my sons

Daily Duff
Vehicle: 1993 Ford Ranger
Owner: Justin Anderson, Tooele, UT
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 BFG KM2s on 15x81⁄2 wheels
Suspension: James Duff Early Bronco radius arms up front with 51⁄2-inch James Duff coils, 6-inch Skyjacker rear springs with the factory block, Rancho front shocks, Skyjacker rear shocks
Drivetrain: Dana 44 front from an Early Bronco, 9-inch rear, Detroit Lockers, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L, Flowmaster exhaust
Does everything work the way you want?: So far, so good
Anything you would change?: Front coilovers and selectable lockers
Anything to add?: The solid-axle conversion took me a little over one month. The truck is now my daily driver and works great!

Change Is Good
Vehicle: 2000 Ford Ranger
Owner: Scott Deak, Elkhart, IN
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.50 Goodyear DuraTracs on 15x8 Alloy wheels
Suspension: Custom 2-inch with Rough Country shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: K&N intake
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift
Does everything work the way you want?: Pretty much
Anything you would change?: This truck never stops changing

Frosty Ford
Vehicle: 19844 Ford Bronco II
Owner: Terry Frost, Jacksonville, AL
Tires & Wheels: 36x12.50 TSLs on 15x8 aluminum wheels
Suspension: 51⁄2-inch Early Bronco coils, F-150 coil buckets, F-250 shock towers, and custom radius arms up front, 4-inch Skyjacker springs with 2-inch shackles in the rear, Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: C4, Dana 20, Dana 44 front with a Detroit Locker, 9-inch rear with a Lock Right, 4.10 Yukon gears
Performance Mods: 351ci
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, custom high steer
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Remove the body lift, add ARB Air Lockers and Corbeau seats
Anything to add?: Thanks to my dad for all of the help!

Thunder Flare
Vehicle: 1992 Ford F-150
Owner: Beau Thurber, Richmond, NH
Tires & Wheels: 38-inch TSLs on steel wheels
Suspension: Custom 4-inch
Drivetrain: Dana 44 front with a Detroit Locker, 9-inch rear with a spool, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: Stock
Does everything work the way you want?: For the most part
Anything you would change?: 4-link rear suspension, selectable rear locker

Readers’ Rides Giveaway Winners
For this year’s Readers’ Rides special edition magazine we wanted to do something to say thank you to all our loyal and new readers. Instead of having a competition or challenge, we simply invited you to create a Readers’ Rides email submission at our website (www.4wheeloffroad.com). Once we received the email you were instantly entered into our Ultimate Readers’ Rides Giveaway, simple as that!

Originally we had the idea of having one winner, but as the rides kept rolling in we decided that three winners are better than one! This isn’t a First, Second, and Third Place ranking, but rather, everyone is an equal winner across the board. Now before you go thinking that we have some type of brand or 4x4 bias, note that we picked the following readers because they are all DIY guys and gals who embody the diehard off-road spirit that makes our hobby so great. So what awesome goodies did our lucky three win? Well, just read on to find out.

Moab Cruiser
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Owner: George Stanley, Houston, TX
Tires & Wheels: 295/75/17 Goodyear Dura Tracs on 17-inch stock wheels
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch Walker Evans coilovers up front, All-Pro Off-Road rear springs and control arms, Redline Heim joints, Walker Evans rear shocks
Drivetrain: TRD selectable rear locker
Performance Mods: 4.0L, K&N air filter
Other Doodads: Ricochet engine, transmission, and lower arm skidplates, All-Pro Off-Road transfer case skid and sliders, Demello front bumper with a Smittybilt XRC10 winch, Bushwacker flares
Funniest Wheeling Incident: It’s all fun!
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: 4.56 gears and an ARB Air Locker up front

Giveaway Goody
DynoMax Performance Exhaust
Since George isn’t afraid to take some Texas-sized lines up the steep and rocky slopes of Moab’s famous red rock, we figured we better give him something that will have him heard as he’s coming up the mountain. To help us with this, we paired up with DynoMax Performance Exhaust and rounded up one of the company’s cat-back high-flow exhaust kits. These installer-friendly systems are designed to give the FJ Cruiser’s engine deeper tone while allowing the exhaust to flow out more easily. Congratulations, George, and we look forward to hearing you on the trail!
Information: Dynomax Performance Exhaust
734.384.7806, www.dynomax.com.

Toy Land
Vehicle: 1994 Toyota Pickup
Owner: Zak McCready, Huntington, MA
Tires: 33x12.50 BFG KM2s
Suspension: Blazeland long-travel front with Sway-A-Way torsion bars, 5-inch Trail Gear rear springs, Bilstein 5100 series shocks
Drivetrain: Rear Spartan Locker
Performance Mods: 22RE, LCE cam, LCE header, MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: Onboard air, electric fan, rear disc brake conversion, Rock Defense front bumper, KC lights
Does everything work the way you want?: It’s getting there
Anything you would change?: Tube bed, solid-axle swap
Anything to add?: I’ve used a lot of parts from salvage yards to get my truck where it is today. I really enjoy wrenching on it.

Giveaway Goody
Smittybilt X20
Winch Anyone who is serious about wheeling knows that one of the most important tools that you can have on your ride is a winch. Since Zak is steadily building his rig up and already has a winch-ready front bumper, we decided to fill in the vacancy on the front of his ride with a Smittybilt winch. The new X20 8 series winch is an 8,000-pound winch that is engineered to handle severe use and serious water crossings. Inside the winch housing is a completely sealed 5.5 series wound motor and a heavy-duty three stage planetary gearset. Controlling the winch is a 500-amp solenoid that actuates a 180:1 gear ratio. This should help with all of Zak’s long travel outings and allow him to spend more time scouting the salvage yards for the rest of his build pieces.
Information: Smittybilt
888.717.5797, www.smittybilt.com.

Her Excellent XJ
Vehicle: 2001 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Samantha McFadden, Knoxville, TN
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Nokian Vatiiva M/Ts on 15x8 Cragar wheels
Suspension: 51⁄2-inch Rubicon Express front coils with a custom 3-link and crossmember, Rusty’s 31⁄2-inch rear springs with 2-inch shackles
Drivetrain: AW4, NP231 with a slip-yoke eliminator, Dana 30 front, 81⁄4 rear with a custom truss, Aussie Lockers, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L, Thrush cat-back exhaust
Other Doodads: Warn M8000 winch, custom front bumper and sliders, rear cargo rack
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Creased the driver-side rear door when my boyfriend spotted me directly into a tree!
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: I’m in the process of adding a cage and eventually would like a high-pinion Dana 44 up front along with an LS1
Anything to add?: This Jeep is daily driven and wheeled hard with scars to prove it!

Giveaway Goody
Falken Wild Peak A/Ts
Since Samantha drives her XJ daily we’ve teamed up with Falken Tire to equip her Jeep with a tire that is built for the weekend wheeler and daily commuter. The Falken Wild Peak All Terrain is one of the latest offering in the world of off-road tires. The Wild Peak is slightly more aggressive than your traditional all-terrain, as its deep lugs and wide contact pattern give it a better bite in the dirt. We’ve had great luck with our Wild Peaks over the years, especially in the rocks, and think Samantha will too. Congratulations, Samantha, and we hope your boyfriend is around to help you unload the new set of 35x12.50R15 Falken Tires that are heading your way!
Information: Falken Tire
www.falkentire.com.

Insert Your Rig Here for next year
If you want to get your rig in the pages of 4-Wheel & Off Road magazine, it’s only a few mouse clicks away. Simply go to our website, www.4wheeloffroad.com, and click on the Readers’ Rides link. You’ll be prompted to create an email with your rig’s tech and to upload some photos. We’re looking for great off-road action shots—please, no driveway or cell phone photos. For a more direct route, write us at readers.rides@4wheeloffroad.com. Remember that we need a few high-resolution photos to choose from (at least 1,600 by 1,200 pixels, or 2 megapixels, file size) and your tech sheet needs to be as complete as possible. Be sure to tell us about the history of your rig. No matter if you found it in your uncle’s barn, got it from the dealership, or assembled it from scavenging parts off of the World Wide Web, we want to know how your 4x4 came to be. For a more traditional approach, mail your photos and spec sheet to Readers’ Rides, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245.

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