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April 2013 Readers’ Rides

Posted in Features on April 1, 2013
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Photographers: Readers

Drab Green Dream
Vehicle: 1989 Chevy K5 Blazer
Owner: Brandon Kennedy, Goleta, CA
Tires & Wheels: 37x13-16 Super Swamper Boggers on 16x10 Pro Comp alloy wheels
Suspension: 6-inch front Alcan springs on Offroad Design hangers, 31⁄2-inch Tuff Country rear springs with ORD shackle flip, Bilstein 5125 shocks on custom hoops
Drivetrain: 700r4 transmission with Corvette servo, NP241 transfer case with JB Conversions slip yoke eliminator, Tom Wood’s driveshafts, Dana 60 front axle with Detroit TruTrac, 14-bolt rear axle with disc brakes and Detroit locker
Performance Mods: Stock TBI 350
Other Doodads: ORD crossover steering, custom light switch panel and rocker panel lights, stainless steel door kick panels, Marine Corps green paint, Corbeau seats
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Going out on Christmas day by myself after getting the lift done and almost rolling it on its side with no cell phone or other people with me
Does everything work the way you want?: Everything works great
Anything you would change?: 396 big-block, full cage, fiberglass front end
Anything to add?: Everyone who is a 4-wheeler can do their part to keep what little areas we have left open. Please pick up your trash.

Frozen Tundra
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Tundra
Owner: Carl Moore, Fort Richardson, AK
Tires & Wheels: 295/70R18 Nitto Trail Grapplers MTs on18x8.5 Dick Cepek Torque wheels
Suspension: Stock Drivetrain: 6 speed automatic, 4.30 gears
Performance Mods: 5.7L iForce V-8, TRD cold air intake, Flowmaster 40 Series true dual exhaust
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Last year was the worst winter here in Alaska. I was trying to make a parking spot in my yard and got stuck in my front lawn.
Does everything work the way you want?: For the most part
Anything you would change?: Rear locker, front limited slip
Anything to add?: Was a Ford fan until I bought my Tundra. Love these trucks!

Monster Mudder
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F-350
Owner: Bryce Thomas, MacClenny, FL
Tires & Wheels: 44/18.5 Super Swamper TSLs on 16.5x14 Bart Super Truckers
Suspension: 11-inch suspension lift, 3-inch body lift, Pro Comp shocks
Drivetrain: ZF 5 speed, BW 4407 transfer case; High Angle Driveline 42-degree driveshaft with 1410 U-joints, front Dana 60 with spool and Yukon chromoly shafts, rear Sterling 101⁄4 with limited slip, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 460 V-8 with Jet chip, throttle body spacer, K&N intake, Banks headers
Other Doodads: Off Road Unlimited crossover steering, Bulletproof tie rod, AGR hydro assist, Blue Lake Offroad front bumper, N-Fab steps for the wife and kids
Does everything work the way you want?: Do you need to ask?
Anything you would change?: 472ci of raw power

Back From the Dead—Twice
Vehicle: 1968 Jeep CJ-5
Owner: Mike Linehan, San Diego, CA
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.50-15 BFG Mud Terrains on 15x10 U.S. Wheel 70-series steel-spoke rims
Suspension: 41⁄2-inch lift, Rubicon Express YJ springs w/ shackle reversal, RE HD greaseable shackles, Bilstein 5100-series shocks
Drivetrain: SM420 w/ Novak adapter to original stock Dana 18; Dana 30 front w/ power steering, disc brakes, Ox locker and Warn Premium selectable hubs (out of an ’81 CJ); original Dana 44 rear w/ Detroit Locker and Summers Brothers full-floater kit (necessitated by the first death); 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: Ed Hale–built Buick 225 V-6 Other Doodads: Throttle Down Customs fully boxed frame with extended shock mounts and wheelbase extended 91⁄2 inches; front clip from a ’73 CJ w/ Poison Spyder Customs extended tube fenders (necessitated by second death); Flaming River steering shaft; MOR HD steering box mount and brace; crossover steering; dual Optima RedTops w/ Perko selector switch; custom front bumper w/ Black Mountain 8,000-lb winch, roller fairlead, and 6-inch Pro Comp lights; Summit Racing Equipment electric line lock emergency brake; custom reinforced Kayline swinging spare tire rack w/ two 5-gal. gas cans, shovel, and Hi-Lift jack; Off Your Rocker steel rocker and corner guards; custom belly skidplate
Funniest Wheeling Incident: My 15-year-old son couldn’t find reverse. He usually drives my ’45 Willys MB with T90 and thought all old Jeeps had the same transmission. Once I told him this had a four-speed with a different shift pattern, you could see the light bulb go on.
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes. Rubicon Trail tested every summer, Modoc County trail tested every deer season.
Anything you would change?: I’d like to get paid more at work!
Anything to add?: Bought the Jeep; added Dana 30, tires, lockers, and shackle lift; broke both rear axles and grenaded both front hubs. Rebuilt with 4-inch Superlift suspension lift and shackle reversal, tranny, and full-floater kit listed above. Then it suffered a second death when it got hit on right front tire and bent frame. Swapped everything to TDC frame with the balance of upgrades listed, so now it’s on its third and hopefully final life.

Power Wagon 50
Vehicle: 1984 Dodge Ram 50
Owner: Chris Davis
Tires & Wheels: 40x17-15LT Gumbo Monster Mudders on steel wagon rims
Suspension: 4-inch Skyjacker coils in front, 1-ton leaf springs from an ambulance with an add-a-leaf in the rear, 2-inch body lift
Drivetrain: KM145D manual transmission, NP203 transfer case
Performance Mods: 2.5L intercooled turbodiesel with 3-inch exhaust
Other Doodads: 10,000-lb winch, Hydroboost, trimmed fenders, dual batteries, custom tube bumpers
Does everything work the way you want?: So far
Anything you would change?: Dana 44 front axle, Dana 60 rear axle, rollcage

St. Louis Solid Axle
Vehicle: 2004 Chevy Colorado
Owner: David Olivio, St. Louis, MO
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.5 Goodyear MTs on 16.5-inch Summit Racing wheels
Suspension: Custom solid axle in front, spring over in rear
Drivetrain: Stock transmission and transfer case, Toyota axles, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: 3.5L I5, cold air intake, throttle body spacer
Other Doodads: Custom bumpers and sliders, crossover steering with Toyota steering box and hydro assist
Funniest wheeling incident: A few hours after taking this picture I flipped the truck into a large ditch.
Does everything work the way you want?: For the most part
Anything you would change?: V-8 swap, lockers, exo-cage

Honey Badger
Vehicle: 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited
Owner: Jason Knepp, Milford, IN
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.50-17 BFG KM2 on Pro Comp wheels
Suspension: Rubicon Express 31⁄2-inch lift, King remote reservoir shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Superchip tuner
Other Doodads: Smittybilt XRC front and rear bumpers, 9.5ti Warn winch
Does everything work the way you want?: It works amazing as my daily driver and weekend wheeler
Anything you would change?: I’m going to regear to 5.38s

Big Crew
Vehicle: 2003 Dodge Ram crew cab
Owner: Milt Potts
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5 Nitto Trail Grapplers on 17-inch Mickey Thompson Classic lls
Suspension: Superlift 6-inch lift, progressive-rate springs in the front, Bilstein 5100-series shocks
Drivetrain: 5.7L Hemi, stock transfer case, tranny, and axles
Performance Mods: Backyard exhaust
Funniest Wheeling Incident: My buddy and I were doing some late-night wheeling and came to the top of a rise and realized there was a cliff on the other side. So we had to turn this mini bus around in a spot the size of a Geo Metro. Our downward approach wasn’t quite as straight as our upward approach, and we dropped the driver-side tire into a dip on the downward side and started going over. I pinned it to the floor, and needless to say our trip down was much quicker than our trip up. I was about half deaf over the next couple days from the blood-curdling screams coming from my buddy’s girlfriend in the backseat.
Does everything work the way you want?: For the most part. For a nearly stock vehicle it has tackled and overcome most obstacles.
Anything you would change?: Leaf spring conversion. It’s got the elusive death wobble on occasion. And the heavy duty mirrors.
Anything to add?: Oh yes! Lockers, cold air, real exhaust, winch! 37in tires! Bumpers, front and rear.

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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