• JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler

Readers’ Rides Roundup

Posted in Features on February 1, 2013 Comment (0)
Share this
Photographers: Readers

Jeeps Rule!
The Buddy System
Vehicle: 1992 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: James D. Pickett, Bend, OR
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5 Big O Bigfoot tires on 15-inch American Racing wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Skyjacker military wrap leaf springs and shackles, Rancho 9000 shocks
Drivetrain: AX-15 transmission, NP231 transfer case, Dana 30 front and Dana 35 rear, Richmond 4.88 gears, Lock-Right differentials
Performance Mods: None yet
Other Doodads: Warn Rock bumpers, 8,000-pound Smittybilt winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Attempting a hillclimb everyone said was too steep and having to use my buddy Rob like a counterweight to keep me from rolling over
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: Upgrade to Dana 44 front and rear, more power

Lady’s Choice
Vehicle: 1994 Jeep Wrangler S
Owner: Austin Webber, Richfield, UT
Tires & Wheels: 39.5x16.5 tires on 16x10 black steel Pro Comp wheels
Suspension: Front Rubicon Express 21⁄2-inch leaves with extra shackle reversal and rear XJ leaf springs with Bilstein 5150 shocks
Drivetrain: Stock I-4, AX5, NP231/Dana 300 doubler kit with custom twin sticks by DD Machines, front and rear Dana 60 with 5.86 gears with spools
Performance Mods: Custom cold air intake
Other Doodads: Full hydro steering, reversed front knuckles, rear disc brakes, rear anitwrap bar, custom crossmember skidplate for transmission and transfer case, custom coolant reservoir made with a Jägermeister tin
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Launched 3 feet over a hill and broke both motor mounts and other parts. Made it, though!
Does everything work the way you want?: Picked the wrong ram for the hydro steering
Anything you would change?: Double-ended ram steering and beadlock wheels

Jeepster Addiction
Owner: Russell Witkop
Vehicle: 1971 Jeepster Commando Hurst Edition (1 of 100 made)
Tires & Wheels: Original
Suspension: Original
Drivetrain: 225ci V-6, TH400 transmission
Other Doodads: All factory power options and chrome roof rack

Vehicle: 1969 Jeepster (for wheeling)
Tires & Wheels: 33-inch Super Swampers
Suspension: Original
Drivetrain: Muncie 465 4-speed, Terra Low, 4.27 Dana 30 with Detroit Truetrac front and Dana 44 with locking rear
Other Doodads: Custom armor, rock rails, and cage

Vehicle: 1967 Jeepster Deluxe Sports Convertible
Tires & Wheels: Original wheels and mag caps
Suspension: Stock Drivetrain: 225ci V-6, TH400 transmission
Other Doodads: Stayfast Hot Rodder red power top, every factory option available, including rare white on white paint

Vehicle: 1969 Jeepster Half Cab Pickup
Tires & Wheels: Original
Suspension: Original
Drivetrain: 225ci V-6 with 3-speed automatic
Anything to add?: Jeepsters are like nachos, I just can’t get enough

Will Wheel for Beer
Vehicle: 1997 Jeep TJ
Owner: Tracy Smith, Vancouver, WA
Tires & Wheels: 38.5x14.5 Super Swamper SX tires on 15x10 steel DIY beadlock wheels
Suspension: Custom 3-link front and rear, front 14-inch SAW coilovers, rear 5.5 RE coils
Drivetrain: TF999 with Currie deep pan, NP231 with slip-yoke, Terra Low 4:1, 5.38 front Dana 44 with Detroit Lockers, Yukon inner/outers, rear Ford 9-inch with spool, Yukon axles, and hydro steering
Performance Mods: K&N filters, dual Optima RedTop batteries, upgraded fuel injectors, and custom exhaust
Other Doodads: Stretched front 51⁄2 inches and rear 9 inches for 109-inch wheelbase; custom flat fenders, cage, body armor, and fuel cell
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Traded beer for ATF on the Rubicon after flopping it on its side
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes!
Anything you would change?: No!
Anything to add?: Tread lightly and always, if you pack it in, you pack it out!

I ❤ Mud
Vehicle: 1993 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Rob Kowalski, Long Island, NY
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5 Maxxis Bighorn tires on 15x10 wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country suspension lift
Drivetrain: Stock with 6-speed manual Performance Mods: New 4.0L I-6 engine
Other Doodads: Custom toolbox, Cobra CB radio
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting stuck in a disguised 4-foot mud hole
Does everything work the way you want?: Other than a leaky fuel line, yes
Anything you would change?: Warn winch and Air Lockers

XJ His Way
Vehicle: 2000 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Christopher Ball
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.5x17 BFG Krawler Red Label tires
Suspension: Rusty’s Long Arm Suspension
Drivetrain: Dana 60 front and rear with 5.38 Yukon Gears and spools
Other Doodads: Custom 8-point rollcage
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works great, noises and all
Anything you would change?: Hydro steering
Anything to add?: I’ve done all my own work. Built not bought!

Daddy’s Girl
Vehicle: 1989 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Cameron Weavil, Mobile, AL
Tires & Wheels: 42-inch Pit Bull Rocker tires on 15x12 Eaton beadlock wheels
Suspension: Spring-over conversion, front stretched 3 inches, Pro Comp shocks, 3-inch body lift
Drivetrain: TH350 transmission; Dana 300 transfer case; Dana 60 front with 35 spline chromoly axleshafts, Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears, and Teralow hubs; 14-bolt rear with Detroit Locker and 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 350ci TPI V-8 from a ’92 Corvette, shorty headers, Flowmaster Series 10 race mufflers
Other Doodads: Entire Jeep is Rhino-lined inside and out, PSC full hydro steering, full rollcage
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Caught wheeling on city land with my 9-year-old daughter and she talked the cop out of a ticket!

Homeland Humvee
Vehicle: 1996 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Scott Armstrong, Port Jervis, NY (currently deployed overseas)
Tires & Wheels: 31-inch Super Swamper tires on 15-inch Crager wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country suspension lift
Drivetrain: Stock Performance Mods: 4.0L I-6 High Output, snorkel, Borla cat-back exhaust
Other Doodads: Removable doors, custom flat black front and rear steel bumpers with D-rings, Warn 9500 winch, new frame and floor pans, bedliner coating on floor pans and over fenders
Funniest Wheeling Incident: I was so eager to test out the snorkel and winch, I went straight for a mud pit after being warned about it swallowing every other truck. After creeping in, I couldn’t back out, so I went for it. I found myself up to the steering wheel in muddy water. The snorkel kept the engine running and I hopped on the hood to reach the winch under the water. The snorkel and winch both passed their first test and it took about two weeks for the truck to dry out.
Does everything work the way you want?: One of the most reliable and toughest trucks I’ve owned. I love it.
Anything you would change?: Lockers, bigger lift, 33-inch Boggers, and flat green olive drab paint
Anything to add?: I bought this Cherokee after my first tour overseas. I enjoyed driving the Humvees so much that I couldn’t wait to get home and get a rig of my own.

Rocky Road Rubi
Vehicle: 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Owner: Kyle Poole
Tires & Wheels: 33x11x16 Toyo MT tires with 11⁄2-inch wheel spacers
Suspension: 2-inch Pro Comp coil lift, sway bar removed
Drivetrain: Stock Performance Mods: 4.0L I-6 with K&N filter and air box mod for snorkel
Other Doodads: Poison Spyder front fenders, chopped stock rear fenders, AEV heat reduction hood, Warn steering box skidplate, Rancho steering damper
Funniest Wheeling Incident: It doesn’t like water
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works great
Anything you would change?: 3-inch long arms, more skidplates, 35-inch tires, 4.88 gears, Warn winch, rear tube fenders, rollcage, spare tire carrier—and it still won’t be done!
Anything to add?: Love the magazine and live to wheel

Farmtastic Flopper
Vehicle: 1979 Jeep CJ-7
Owner: Josh Husted
Tires & Wheels: 49-inch tractor tires
Suspension: Homebuilt triangulated 4-link front and rear
Drivetrain: T-18 transmission, Dana 20 transfer case, Dana 70 front, Dana 60 rear with Lincoln Locker, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 304ci V-8 with Edelbrock Performer package (camshaft, carburetor, and intake), D.U.I. distibutor, K&N intake, fenderwell-exit headers
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Putting it on its lid because I couldn’t see and needed a spotter
Does everything work the way you want? It’s getting there
Anything you would change?: Coilovers, lower stance, propane injection
Anything to add?: This was my first time welding and I cut the back half of the frame out and started over with a pile of steel and a borrowed welder. You can do anything you set your mind to.

Rockin’ XJ
Vehicle: 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport
Owner: Ryan Smith, Ephrata, PA
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5 Pro Comp Xterrain tires on 15x8 steel wheels
Suspension: 8-inch Iron Rock long-arm suspension lift, lost rear sway bar, front JKS sway bar quick-disconnect system
Drivetrain: AW4 transmission, NP242 transfer case, Tom Wood’s Slip Yoke Eliminator and rear driveshaft, high-pinion Dana 30 front, 8.8-inch Ford rear with disc brakes, rear Power Trax locker, and 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L I-6 engine with MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: JCR front bumper, Rusty’s Off-Road skidplates
Does everything work the way you want?: Getting there. It works better than I thought it would, but the rear needs more flex.
Anything you would change?: Add a front locker, BFG KM2 tires, and rock sliders

Unpopular Aussie
Vehicle: 1974 Jeep CJ-6
Owner: Jason Caruana, Jimboomba, Queensland, Australia
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5 Cooper ST tires on 15-inch custom steel wheels
Suspension: 2-inch lift coils all around, long-arm rear
Drivetrain: AX15 transmission, NP231J transfer case, ’99 XJ Dana 30 front, ’99 WJ Dana 44 rear narrowed 3 inches, 4.26 gears
Performance Mods: Australian Redesigned Buick 3.8L V-6 EFI dual-fuel propane and petroleum
Other Doodads: Chassis swap CJ-6 body on a TJ chassis, moving the differential 10 inches back to fit the body, all TJ electrical system, 7-inch TJ flares, TJ seats, rollcage
Funniest Wheeling Incident: When going to meet friends at a campsite while towing a trailer, I took a wrong turn and went up a very steep hill and got stuck halfway. My wife got out to try and call for help from the top of the hill and fell over three times trying to get up there. Subsequently I was not Mister Popular.
Does everything work the way you want?: Almost
Anything you would change?: Locker up front and doors
Anything to add?: Love your mag. Keep up the good work.

Don’t Tell Dad
Vehicle: 1999 Jeep Wrangler
Owner: Michael Swanson, Jacksonville, NC
Tires & Wheels: 34x12.5 Interco TrXus tires on 15x8 Pro Comp alloy wheels
Suspension: 3-inch BDS suspension lift
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Ram-air cold air intake
Other Doodads: Warn bumpers front and rear and 9500 Warn winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting buried before I had my license and my dad never knowing [Until now! —TR]
Does everything work the way you want?: I wish it had more horsepower and torque
Anything you would change?: I would drop a Cummins 4BT into it

Do It Yourself
Vehicle: 1984 Jeep Scrambler
Owner: Vinny Civitarese, Butler, Pennsylvania
Tires & Wheels: 33x10.5 BFG tires on stock steel wheels
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch Skyjacker springs and custom shackles
Drivetrain: T-177, D300, front Dana 30, rear trussed AMC 20 with 1-piece shafts, front/rear lockers
Performance Mods: Original 4.2L I-6 with duct-taped factory cold air intake
Other Doodads: Homemade drivetrain and body armor (some with plumbing equipment), converted propane tank for air, vintage CB radio
Does everything work the way you want?: Works well, but never finished
Anything you would change?: 3.31 gears suck and rear bumper is an anchor
Anything to add?: If you can’t afford to buy it, build it!

Jolly Green Jeeper
Vehicle: 1975 Jeep CJ-5
Owner: Tom Petrak, Portland, OR
Tires & Wheels: 32x12.5 BFG KM2 tires on 15-inch Pro Comp black steel wheels
Suspension: Modified Super Lift springs, Warrior shackle reversal, Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: T-18 transmission, Dana 20 transfer case with Bronco gears, Dana 30 front with Lock-Right differential and 4.56 gears, Dana 44 rear with Power-Lok differential and 4.55 gears
Performance Mods: AMC 360ci V-8, Edelbrock intake, Chevy TBI, K&N filter, MSD coil, Headman headers, Flowmaster dual exhausts
Other Doodads: York pump for onboard air; Warn M8000; full rollcage; disc brakes; homebuilt bumpers, rocker panels, and spare tire; Hi-Lift jack mount
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Learning how fast you can get into trouble the first time out with front and rear lockers!
Does everything work the way you want?: Sometimes
Anything you would change?: Is that a trick question?
Anything to add?: Jolly Jeepers rule! Just Everybody’s Extra Parts!

Wait, What?!
Best Bird Ever?
Vehicle: 1968 Pontiac Firebird 4x4
Owner: Brian Moses, Wichita, KS
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5 Futura Dakota RVT tires on 15-inch American Racing polished wheels
Suspension: 23-inch suspension lift, International Scout front springs, stock rear leaf springs, long-travel shock
Drivetrain: Chrysler 727 transmission, Dana 20 transfer case, Dana 44 front and rear, 3.08 gears, Detroit Trutrac rear differential, stock Trac-Lok front differential
Performance Mods: International 345ci V-8 bored 0.30 over, forged flat-top pistons, ported and shaved heads, sodium exhaust valves, digital MSD ignition, 4-barrel Thermoquad carburetor
Other Doodads: The car is not on a 4x4 frame; it’s the original Firebird, but still steers and drives perfectly
Funniest Wheeling Incident: My buddy, who stores everything he owns on his dash, told his girlfriend, “If he can do it, I can too,” and tried to follow me up the embankment of a river. He did a nose plant into the embankment, and everything on the dash—and his girlfriend—ended up in the backseat. She wasn’t hurt, and I laughed my butt off.
Does everything work the way you want?: Beyond expectations! It does an easy 130 mph.
Anything you would change?: Upgrade the sound system to digital with two 10-inch subwoofers
Anything to add?: This is the best thing that ever happened to a ’68 Firebird [Really? —TR]. It’s a true muscle car now. I love running with Corvettes on the highway and outclimbing rockcrawlers that come in on trailers.

Radio Fly-by-4
Vehicle: Radio Flyer wagon
Owner: Brandon Black, Rolla, MO
Tires & Wheels: ATV tires on silver-painted steel wheels
Suspension: Triangulated 4-link suspension, custom frame, custom body lift, coil springs
Performance Mods: Powered by his son’s imagination
Other Doodads: Custom stainless steel exhaust stack, custom tonneau cover, custom paint, Rhino lining
Anything to add?: I gave this to my son for his third birthday and would love to see it in your magazine for him to keep and so he can brag about it when he’s older

Family-Built Frankentruck
Vehicle: 1985 Chevy Silverado Owner: Ben Partlow, Bruno, MN
Tires & Wheels: 56-inch tractor treads
Suspension: 12-inch Superlift with custom frame modifications, Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: Modified Turbo 350 transmission, NP205 transfer case, Rockwell top-loaders
Performance Mods: 482ci Chevy big-block V-8 with 200hp nitrous kit and header exhaust stacks
Other Doodads: Custom fiberglass pickup box sides, cowl hood, racing seats with 5-point safety harnesses, “lots of others”
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Breaking the rear window while pulling someone out
Does everything work the way you want?: It definitely gets it done!
Anything you would change?: I would like to put in a rollcage and do some frame modifications
Anything to add?: This has been an ongoing project with me and my three little girls (ages 4 years, 7 years, and 10 months in the photo). We all really enjoy working on it and wheeling it even more.

Nice Tata
Vehicle: 2004 Tata TL 4x4
Owner: Owned by U.S. Army in Iraq, submitted by Sgt. Casey Kelver, Spring, TX
Tires & Wheels: Stock with first tubeless tires from India that significantly reduce tires from bursting at high speeds
Suspension: Stock double-wishbone front with torsion bars, solid axle with rear leaf springs
Drivetrain: G76 5-speed manual transmission, limited-slip rear differential, electric 4x4 with automatic locking hubs
Performance Mods: Stock I-4 1.9L turbodiesel with 92 hp and 137 lb-ft of torque, top speed of 76 mph
Other Doodads: Machine gun mounted in bed, Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road stickers (I think the stickers may have bumped it up to 100 hp)
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Just driving this thing in Iraq
Does everything work the way you want?: As well as you can expect. Anything is better than a Humvee.
Anything you would change?: I’d trade it for one of the Land Rovers or Suburbans here
Anything to add?: The Tata makes me miss my F-250

Raider Nation
Vehicles: 1997 (left) and 1998 Dodge Raiders
Owners: Justin and Neil Hager, Colorado Springs, CO
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac and 235/75/15R BFG Trail Maker tires on 15-inch black steel wheels, 2-inch wheel spacers
Suspension: 3-inch body lift with stock springs and shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Weber Redline carburetor on the ’98
Other Doodads: 3-inch exhausts, electric fuel pumps, extended shifters
Does everything work the way you want?: Fantastic
Anything you would change?: Lockers for both, front solid axle swap for both, 32-inch tires for the ’97
Anything to add?: The small one (’97) is mine and I got it for $1,000. The big one (’98) is my dad’s and he bought it for $500. They both run great and outperform my ’80 CJ-5 in many ways.

New Yeller
Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport
Owner: Stefan Brownell, Ithaca, NY
Tires & Wheels: 35x17 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac yellow-lettered tires on 17x9 Pro Comp black and yellow wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country suspension lift
Drivetrain: Limited-slip rear differential
Performance Mods: 5.7L Hemi V-8, Superchips programmer, K&N air filter
Other Doodads: N-Fab 3-step Nerf bars, 4-foot bed toolbox, tailgate vise, 120V/15A inverter
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Cruising uphill past emergency vehicles stuck in Upstate New York snow
Does everything work the way you want?: Almost there. Locker and a winch are next.
Anything you would change?: Needs different Nerf bars and onboard air, and I’m just awaiting the next deer hit to get a nice winch bumper
Anything to add?: Upgraded from my ’98 (“4xDose” in Readers’ Rides, June ’09) to this 2008, which is just off-warranty, so let the mods begin!

Ice Breaker
Vehicle: 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport
Owner: Steve Schuda, Sicklerville, NJ
Tires & Wheels: 315/75/16R Pro Comp M/T tires on 16x10 Pro Comp Rock Crawler wheels
Suspension: 5-inch Skyjacker Stage 1 suspension lift system, dual steering stabilizer system, add-a-leaves
Drivetrain Stock transmission, front forks converted to cable setup, NP241HD transfer case conversion, custom driveshafts, Eaton lockers front and rear, 4.56 gears
Performance M ods: 360ci V-8 roller camshaft engine bored 0.10 over, K&N air filter, Flowmaster dual exhaust
Other Doodads: Dual Halo HID 8,000K kit, 8,000K foglamps, eight 130-watt KC Daylighter lamps, LED taillamps and third brake lamp, N-Fab Pre-Runner front pushbar, red Mopar 4x4 bed stripes, Mopar nose badge, all “Dodge” and “Ram” stickers replaced with “Mopar” or “Mopar 360”
Funniest Wheeling Incident: During winter, I was going down a trail and came up to deep frozen water. I decided to drive across, but the truck was too heavy, and at the deepest part the right side of the truck broke through the ice. Just before it flipped, the left side broke through and dropped in, leveling me out. I threw it into 4-Lo and was able to drive right out.
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes. I built it myself, so it runs like a horse!
Anything you would change?: I want a body lift along with bigger wheels and tires
Anything to add?: I love this truck! I built it myself and it’s a never-ending project. There are always things to change.

Domesticated Imports
Pirate 4xCross
Vehicle: 1999 Isuzu VehiCross Owner: Lawrence Wussow
Tires & Wheels: 32x12.5 Nitto Mud Grappler tires on 18x8 Center Line Tomahawk Rapid wheels (photos show 20-inch wheels)
Suspension: Old Man Emu 919 springs and 2-inch poly spacers for 4 inches of lift, 2-inch differential drop, 33⁄4-inch torsion bar crank, Indy 4X HD lower links, Indy 4X tie rods, Energy sway bar bushings, XL Prothane rear bumpstops, stock KYB remote reservoir shocks
Drivetrain: Isuzu 4.77 gears, Aussie locker rear differential, Magnum cross-drilled brake rotors with Indy 4X stainless steel brake lines and Speed Bleeders
Performance Mods: Alpine Supercharger with 5-psi boost, Autometer carbon fiber boost gauge, custom insulated carbon fiber intake with K&N cone and prefilter, Dynomax Super Turbo muffler
Other Doodads: Too many to list, but highlights include 2-inch receiver hitch with D-ring, machined aluminum battery tray, brass knuckles transfer case shifter, Tone Monday front skidplate, custom fabbed 1⁄4-inch steel belly pan under transmission, modified Trooper transfer case skidplate, functional heat extractor hoodscoop, Thule Xpedition 696 roof basket with spare tire, 50cf scuba tank portable air, Optima RedTop battery, third brake lamp flasher, rock sliders, Blazer overhead console, full audio system with tool/storage/subwoofer/amp box, Cobra 40-channel CB radio, Kenworth truck front grille with pirate logo

Flatbed Fun
Vehicle: 2001 Toyota Tacoma
Owner: Levi Burgett, Atascadero, CA
Tires & Wheels: 39.5x13.5 Irok Super Swamper tires on 16x10 steel wheels
Suspension: Custom leaf springs with Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: 4.70 Trail Gear transfer case, Dana 44 front with chromoly axles, 14-bolt Corporate rear with Detroit Locker
Performance Mods: 2.7L I-4 with MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: Custom bumper, rock sliders, flatbed, and underbody light kit
Does everything work the way you want?: Heck yes!
Anything you would change?: Full hydro steering

Big-block Taco
Vehicle: 1998 Toyota Tacoma
Owners: George and Christopher Gonzalez, San Gabriel, CA
Tires & Wheels: 44-inch Interco Super Swamper Bogger tires on beadlock wheels
Suspension: 6-inch front and rear leaf lift using K5 Blazer leaf springs, Bilstein 5150 front shocks, and 16-inch Fox rear shocks
Drivetrain: TH350 transmission, NP205 transfer case, Dana 60 front, 14-bolt full floater Corporate rear, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 454ci Chevy big-block V-8, 540 camshaft, Holley tunnel ram intake, Holley Truck Avenger carburetor, Headman headers
Other Doodads: Rear disc brake conversion, rollcage, sound system, winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting lost with an empty gas tank, a dead battery, no phone, and no CB radio
Does everything work the way you want?: Most definitely!
Anything you would change?: No, I wouldn’t change anything, but I would like to add more to it, such as a fuel cell

Inspired Isuzu
Vehicle: 1994 Mazda B4000
Owner: Kevin Roussin
Tires & Wheels: 37x14 Swamper Irok tires on 15x10 steel wheels
Suspension: Front 3-link with Panhard bar, Deaver coil springs, and Ruff Stuff brackets; 63-inch rear Chevy leaf springs with extended shackles
Drivetrain: 5-speed manual, manual transfer case, Ford Dana 44 front, 9-inch rear
Performance Mods: 4.0L V-6 with modified intake and exhaust
Other Doodads: A/C converted to onboard air, home-brew high-lift jack, axe mount, Smittybilt 8,000 pound winch, auxiliary lamps, auxiliary reverse lamp, auxiliary off-road lamps, fire extinguishers in cab and pickup box, CB radio
Does everything work the way you want?: For today
Anything you would change?: Lower gearing and new snorkel
Anything to add?: Ali Mansour’s Danger Ranger project [Mar.–Aug. ’12] was the original inspiration for this truck

Cheap Thrills
Vehicle: 1987 Toyota Short Box Pickup
Owner: Derek Emerson, Helena, MT
Tires & Wheels: 37x13.5 Pit Bull Rocker tires on 16x8 American Racing Baja wheels painted olive drab green
Suspension: Toyota rear springs up front, 63-inch Chevy rear leaf springs, Sky Boomerang shackles, Monroe shocks
Drivetrain: Old prototype Budbuilt adapter that mates two Toyota G/W series 5-speeds (you read right, my reverse-reverse-4-Lo gearing is 224:1!), stock transfer case with Trail Gear twin stock remotely shifted, stock axles, 4.38 gears, high steer, front IFS hub swap, rear Aussie locker
Performance Mods: Lead foot Other Doodads: Many! Home-fabbed exocage/tube bed, power steering cooler converted from an old dirt bike oil cooler, ammo boxes for modular storage, jerrycans strapped to the bed, Humvee front/rear signal lights, Summit seats with RLS 5-point harnesses, custom transmission tunnel
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Having a friend’s battery break on the trail and hiking to my rig to borrow its battery for a jump. It wasn’t very fun to hike a 4-rated obstacle while carrying a battery and jumper cables!
Does everything work the way you want?: So far, I’m loving dual 5-speeds. Shifting on the fly with a much lower range than dual transfer cases. No coupling shafts were required because the male and female shafts on the Toyota transmissions are both 21-spline. Not to mention, no one at the parts store even believes me!
Anything you would change?: Finish up my custom crossmembers and run a 2-piece front driveshaft and tuck part of it under a flat belly pan, and link suspension and add another locker when I no longer need to DD during winter
Anything to add?: Got to thank my parents for fostering the 4x4 bug, and 4WOR Editors-in-Chief Péwé and Freiburger for showing me how to get away with doing things cheap

Too Pretty?
Vehicle: 1987 Toyota FJ60 Land Cruiser
Owner: Paul & Amy Carrill, Kansas City, MO
Tires & Wheels: 33x15 BFG A/T tires on 15x8 widened Toyota stock wheels (originally 15x5.5), OEM hubcaps
Suspension: 3-inch BDS suspension lift with BDS shocks, 4-inch Old Man Emu lift kit in the box and ready to install soon
Drivetrain: Australian H55 5-speed transmission, rebuilt transfer case, U-joints, balanced driveshafts, rebuilt/packed front Birfield joints and knuckles with Toyota parts, rebuilt rear axle with Toyota parts
Performance Mods: Stock I-6 with 230K miles
Other Doodads: Underhood ARB compressor, dual batteries, snorkel, ARB front bumper with Warn 8274 winch, SOR rock sliders, SOR custom rear bumper with spare tire mount, ladder, work lamp, fuel can carrier, roof rack, utility interior panels, security console, rear seats for increased storage, Engel 12V refrigerator, rooftop tent, interior camping storage
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Other than people always calling it a Land Rover, during a Cruise Moab event most people thought it was “too pretty” to wheel. Everyone was stunned when it crawled up several step on a near-vertical climb on a portion of the Devil’s Backbone.
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes. The truck was built to travel long distances to backcountry destinations and back. It’s not the fastest, but it has taken us to some of the most beautiful spots in America and back home without a single problem.
Anything to add?: You learn so much about an old truck when you restore one. The Rhino Ride started life as a ranch truck on a poultry farm, so when I pulled the interior every crevice was full of feathers! I’d love to meet the original owner some day and learn about his experiences with this truck.

Dirty Datsun Hybrid
Vehicle: 1974 Datsun Pickup
Owner: Kyle Pheneger, Houlton, WS
Tires & Wheels: 235/75/15R Sport King steel radials on 15-inch steel wheels
Suspension: ’74 International Scout II frame and suspension
Drivetrain: 3-speed manual, Dana 44 front and rear, 3.54 gears
Performance Mods: International 345ci V-8
Other Doodads: Hydraulic dump box and snowplow
Does everything work the way you want?: No
Anything you would change?: Suspension lift, bigger tires, lockers, 4-speed transmission
Anything to add?: Because it’s a Datsun on a Scout II frame, I call it the Scoutsun

The Daily Beast
Vehicle: 1994 Toyota Pickup
Owner: Daniel Jones, Moreno Valley, California
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5 Timberline M/T tires on 15-inch steel wheels
Suspension: Stock with Pro Comp shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 22RE I-4, K&N air filter, Ice big-bore throttle body, intake tube, Stage 2 cylinder head, handmade headers, 21⁄2-inch exhaust, Flowmaster muffler
Other Doodads: Prerunner-style fenders with sledgehammer modification to fit the 33-inch tires
Funniest Wheeling Incident: During an easy Sunday my brother and I thought it needed some mud on her and found a small lake nearby. Seven hours later and two more stuck trucks, we finally got out. Yeah, that was a good day
Does everything work the way you want?: She is my daily driver and does everything amazingly
Anything you would change?: I really want to change out the 5-speed for a 6-speed and add a Total Chaos, generation-two Caddy kit for the front with a nice set of bypass shocks, and a 4-link setup for the rear
Anything to add?: I call her Beast and she goes anywhere

Fun with Fords
Canadian Twist
Vehicle: 1979 Ford F-150
Owner: Tyson Heuer, Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
Tires & Wheels: 35x10 Pro Comp M/T tires on 15x10 white steel wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country suspension lift and Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: 4-speed manual transmission, NP205 transfer case, stock axles
Performance Mods: 429ci V-8 with Dove-C heads, Wiseco flat-top pistons, Comp Cams camshaft, over-the-frame headers for 450 hp
Anything to add?: It may not be the prettiest, but it sure turns heads in the bush!

Lady’s Little Blue Stocker
Vehicle: 1999 Ford Ranger XLT
Owner: Alicia Cornish, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada
Tires & Wheels: Dunlop Winter tires on Stock 15x6 wheels
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Stock
Other Doodads: None. Haven’t had a chance.
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Being stuck up on a hill with a dead alternator when I wheeled with my crew, Peace Liard Mudding
Does everything work the way you want?: For sure
Anything you would change?: Better tires and a suspension lift
Anything to add?: Even an all-stock truck can handle some good stuff

Trip of a Wifetime
Vehicle: 2001 Ford F-150 Lariat
Owner: Joshua Martin, Olathe, KS
Tires & Wheels: 39.5x16 Pit Bull Rocker tires on 16.5x12 Weld Racing beadlock wheels
Suspension: 10-inch Whiplash suspension lift, Pro Comp MX6 adjustable shocks, rear lift springs
Drivetrain: 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 5.4L Triton V-8, cold-air intake, headers, full MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: Removable front hitch mount
Funniest Wheeling Incident: While wheeling at Tuttle Creek ORV Park, my buddy and I sank our trucks in the mud flats. After hours of digging, two tow straps, a logging chain, and a cell phone full of mud and water, we finally made it home to my very mad wife.
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes, it works great!
Anything you would change?: 2-inch body lift for a little bit of tire clearance, spare tire rack in the bed, new HD bumpers front and rear

Cradle Rocker
Vehicle: 1992 Ford F-150 XLT
Owner: Eric Ramsey, Coaling, CA
Tires & Wheels: 33-inch Cooper Discoverer S/T tires on steel wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Superlift suspension lift, 2-inch body lift
Drivetrain: Dana 44 front and rear, Warn locking hubs
Performance Mods: 351ci Windsor V-8, K&N 2-stage air filter system, Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: Rollbar and KC lamps
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Cracked an engine cradle pulling a buddy out
Does everything work the way you want?: Most of the time
Anything you would change?: Rear locker, custom bumpers, winch
Anything to add?: Great magazine!

Warning: Bronco Bites!
Vehicle: 1978 Ford Bronco
Owner: Mike Proctor, Muskegon, Michigan
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5 BFG M/T tires on 15x10 Eaton steel wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Deaver coils, Superflex Superlift leaf springs, Superlift front shocks, Fox rear shocks
Drivetrain: C6 transmission, NP205 transfer case, front 8-lug Dana 44, 14-bolt rear, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 351ci V-8 engine; Edelbrock intake, carburetor, and headers; Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: Rear disc brakes, GM power steering pump, Bullet Proof track bar
Does everything work the way you want?: Works great
Anything you would change?: 460ci V-8, rollcage, locking differentials, a front Dana 60
Anything to add?: Almost lost a finger putting a Chevy axle into a Ford!

The Generals’ Troops
Crazy Caddy
Vehicle: 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT
Owner: Ken Powell, Nags Head, NC
Tires & Wheels: 36-inch Mickey Thompson MTZ tires with Rockstar wheels
Suspension: 15-inch Full Throttle suspension lift, 3-inch body lift
Drivetrain: Stock fulltime AWD
Other Doodads: Electric drop steps and JL Audio sound system
Does everything work the way you want?: Truck still rides like a Caddy, just all jacked up
Anything to add?: This High-Tech RedNeck truck will crawl through anything

Boat Motor Bow Tie
Vehicle: 1992 Chevy Silverado Z-71
Owner: Robby Haakma, San Jose, CA
Tires & Wheels: 37x13 Super Swamper Bogger tires on 16-inch American Racing Crater wheels with Teflon coating
Suspension: 11 inches total lift using Pro Comp traction bars, 54-inch long front leaf springs, 6-inch Superlift Softride springs, 21⁄2-inch ORU suspension lift, 3-inch body lift, Pro Comp reservoir shocks
Drivetrain: ’79 King Pin and high-pinion Dana 60 front, double CV joint front driveshaft, 1-ton 14-bolt rear with Detroit Locker, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: High Performance 350ci V-8 MasterCraft marine engine, 1⁄4-inch raised camshaft, throttle body spacer, K&N intake, Edelbrock headers, high-flow catalytic converter, single-chamber Flowmaster muffler
Other Doodads: Solid front axle conversion, crossover steering, Westin pushbar with KC lamps, 21⁄2-inch steel cowl hood
Does everything work the way you want?: This truck goes wherever I tell it to
Anything you would change?: I’d love to have dual transfer cases

Nature’s Paint Job
Vehicle: 1986 Chevy Silverado
Owner: Ryan Thompson, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada
Tires & Wheels: 37x14.5 Bogger tires on stock 15-inch Chevy Rallye wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Superlift with a leaf pulled and a zero rate Drivetrain: TH350 transmission with TransGo kit, NP208 transfer case, 10-bolt front, 12-bolt rear, 4.56 Motive gears
Performance Mods: 355ci V-8 Vortec TBI, Ultimate TBI mods, Melling camshaft, headers, Dynomax Bullets with dual exhaust
Other Doodads: LS1 fans and four Hella 500 lamps on front bumper
Does everything work the way you want?: Needs to be a touch higher because the Boggers rub a bit
Anything you would change?: Tuff Country 6-inch EZ Rides with the zero rate are waiting to go on along with paint

Civilian Duty
Vehicle: 1998.5 AM General Hummer H1 Owner: SSG Joe Nuzzolese, US Army Drill Sergeant, Fort Benning, GA Tires & Wheels: Toyo M/T tires on chrome wheels
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: 6.5L GM Turbodiesel V-8
Funniest Wheeling Incident: I’ve had it in water almost up to the windshield, climbed near-vertical faces, and everything in-between
Does everything work the way you want?: I use this beast for what it was intended for
Anything to add?: I love loading the family and dogs up for weekend camping trips. It’s nice being able to go from interstate speeds, make a turn, and take anything Mother Nature can throw at me without the blink of an eye or having to stop to put it into 4x4 mode.

208K Tahoe
Vehicle: 1998 Chevy Tahoe
Owner: Phillip Holmes, Westminster, MD
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5 BFG Mud King tires on 15x8 Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels
Suspension: Cranked torsion bars and 3-inch Performance Accessories body lift
Drivetrain: Stock Performance Mods: Shorty headers, short ram intake, throttle body spacer Other Doodads: Mild fender trimming
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Got stuck in a creek at the bottom of a hill behind my buddy’s house just before it started pouring rain for three days Does everything work the way you want?: Runs pretty well for having 208,000 miles
Anything you would change?: 4-inch suspension lift, 37-inch Interco TSL tires, better brakes
Anything to add?: This is my first truck. Thanks to Wes Hogg and Andy Tillman for all of their help.

Comments

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Sponsored Links