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March 2012 Readers’ Rides

Posted in Features on March 1, 2012
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Hot Shot
Hail to the Jeep
Vehicle: 1984 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Owner: James Schaerfl, El Paso, TX
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch MTRs on Eagle Alloy wheels
Suspension: Custom 6-inch
Drivetrain: 727, Dana 44 front, AMC 20 rear, Detroit Lockers, 4.56 G2 gears
Performance Mods: 360ci, Edelbrock Performer package, Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, custom roof rack
Does everything work the way you want?: Of course not. It’s a 28-year-old Jeep!
Anything you would change?: Upgrade the transfer case and add rear disc brakes
Anything to add?: After getting caught in a hailstorm with the Jeep I found myself with the tough decision of scrapping it altogether or making it my wheeler. I am glad that this is the way I went.

Sam Sam
Vehicle: 1994 Suzuki Samurai
Owner: Sam Morello, Houghton, MI
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50 Dick Cepek Mud Countrys on 15-inch American Racing wheels
Suspension: 3-inch Calmini with 2-inch shackles, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: 6.5:1 Rocky Road transfer case
Performance Mods: 2.0L Tracker engine
Other Doodads: JDM grille, Rocky Road bumpers, Hi-Lift jack
Does everything work the way you want?: Mostly
Anything you would change?: Better axles and lower gears

OE Power
Vehicle: 1979 Dodge Power Wagon
Owner: William Osinga, Winnsboro, TX
Tires & Wheels: 36-inch TSLs on 161⁄2-inch wheels
Suspension: Custom 4-inch
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 318ci, custom exhaust
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: 4BT Cummins and A/C
Anything to add?: I purchased this truck from the local fire department for $1,200 in practically original condition. The truck only has 24,000 miles on it!

Chevy Love
Vehicle: 1998 Chevy S-10 Blazer
Owner: Jim & Lena Verkuilen, Lovers Park, IL
Tires & Wheels: 31-inch BFG A-Ts on 15-inch wheels
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: B&M shift kit
Performance Mods: 4.3L, K&N intake, performance programmer, Edelbrock headers and muffler
Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, custom front bumper, rear chop, and half-doors
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Metalshop Motorsports solid-axle conversion is in the works

Fallon Rubi
Vehicle: 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Owner: Tim Wearin, Fallon, NV
Tires & Wheels: 33-inch Dayton M-Ts on 15x10 Mickey Thompson wheels
Suspension: 41⁄2-inch Rubicon Express
Drivetrain: Dana 44 axles with factory air lockers
Performance Mods: 4.0L
Other Doodads: Warn HD Powerplant, Fab Fours bumpers
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes, but I am constantly looking for new ways to improve it

Grappler King
Vehicle: 2008 Chevy Silverado 1500
Owner: Jared King, Lake Wales, FL
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Nitto Mud Grapplers on 18x9 Pro Comp wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Fabtech
Drivetrain: 3.73 gears
Performance Mods: 5.3L, K&N intake
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Solid-axle conversion, Detroit Lockers, and 4.88 gears

Tractor Path
Vehicle: 1995 Nissan Pathfinder
Owner: Ralphie Ellis, Williamsburg, KY
Tires & Wheels: 9.5x16 Titan tractor tires on stock Xterra wheels
Suspension: Stock Drivetrain: 5-speed
Performance Mods: 3.0L V-6
Other Doodads: Hydraulic winch
Does everything work the way you want?: Works OK, but there is always room for improvement
Anything you would change?: Front solid-axle conversion

Fine Rouge
Vehicle: 1987 Toyota Pickup
Owner: Tyler Finney, Rouge River, OR
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.50 BFG KM2s on 15-inch wheels
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Hooker header, LCE head, Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: Custom bumper and fender flares
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Total Chaos front suspension, lockers, and gears

Carolina Jeepin’
Vehicle: 1985 Jeep CJ-7
Owner: Bynum Stokes, Charleston, SC
Tires & Wheels: 39.5-inch Super Swampers on 161⁄2-inch wheels
Suspension: Custom 6-inch springs with Skyjacker shocks
Drivetrain: Dana 300, Dana 60 front, 14-bolt rear, Detroit Lockers, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 4.2L, HEI ignition
Other Doodads: 101-inch wheelbase, custom cage and rockers, Warn winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Rolling the Jeep over onto the driver’s side in Uwharrie National Forest. The roll wasn’t bad, but when my 250-pound co-driver unbuckled his seatbelt, gravity took over and he landed on me!
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Beadlocks and more power

International Fort
Vehicle: 1973 International Scout II
Owner: Kody McKenna, Fort Collins, CO
Tires & Wheels: 42-inch TSLs on custom 161⁄2-inch wheels
Suspension: Front shackle reversal, 4-inch Superlift springs, 31⁄2-inch wheelbase stretch
Drivetrain: NP435, Dana 20, Dana 60 front, Dana 70 rear, welded spider gears, 5.87 gears
Performance Mods: 351ci Windsor, 0.060 over, GT-40 heads, Holly Pro-Jection, 150 shot of NO2
Other Doodads: Fully hydraulic steering, custom cage, dovetailed rear, onboard air
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes, works great
Anything you would change?: Beadlocks, 4-link with coilovers, and an Atlas
Anything to add?: This was my first 4x4. Though other rigs have come and gone over the years, I have always had my Scout.

Family Wheel
Vehicle: 1989 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Mueller Family, North Hills, CA
Tires & Wheels: 33x10.50 BFG M-Ts on 15x8 American Racing wheels
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch Pro Comp
Drivetrain: Dana 30 front with an ARB Air Locker, Dana 35 rear with a Superior Super 35 kit, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: Mopar fuel injection, Flex-a-lite electric fan, Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: 1-inch Daystar body lift, Centerforce clutch, custom rocker guards, bumpers, and cage, Mile Marker winch, KC lights, TJ flares, Tuffy center console
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Spring-over axle conversion and a roof rack
Anything to add?: This photo was taken on one of our family’s trips to the Rubicon

Roy Rompers
Vehicle: 1987 Suzuki Samurai
Owner: Steven Roy, Middleboro, MA
Tires: 35x12.50 BFG KM2s
Suspension: YJ springs with Pro Comp shocks
Drivetrain: 6.5:1 transfer case gears, Toyota FJ-60 axles, Lock Right front, Welded rear, 3.70 gears
Performance Mods: Stock
Other Doodads: Custom cage and high steer
Does everything work the way you want?: So far, so good
Anything you would change?: Power steering and 5.29 gears

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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