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Readers’ Rides Annual Gala Blowout

Posted in Features on January 13, 2015
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Photographers: Readers

The Rock Rat
Vehicle: 1987 Toyota Pickup
Owner: Zach Malone, Bailey, CO
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 Goodyear MT/R Kevlars
Suspension: Factory Toyota IFS, 51-inch third-gen Toyota pickup rear leaf springs, 6-inch shackles, Pro Comp shocks
Drivetrain: W56C 5-speed transmission, Marlin 4.7:1 single transfer case with twin sticks, welded Toyota 8-inch rear axle, 4.10 gears
Drivetrain: 22R bored 0.030 over, 32/36 Weber carb
Other Doodads: Recaro seats from a ’91 Jetta GLI
Funniest Wheeling Incident: The engine and tranny separated on the trail. I had no clutch and managed to finish the rest of the trail.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: It works pretty well for what it is. The factory IFS does well for being essentially factory. I have tuned it to perform well on the rocks.
Anything You Would Change?: Weld up the front end, go with 4.88s, add chromoly CVs.

Chained Up
Vehicle: 1965 Jeep Gladiator J2500 Thriftside
Owner: PFC Michael Zimmermann, Liberty, NY
Tires & Wheels: Stock
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Hi-Torque 232 I-6; 3-on-the-tree T-90, Dana 20, Dana 44 axles
Other Doodads: Snowplow
Funniest Wheeling Incident: The first day I drove her I almost got her stuck in a large hole in a creek—had the water over the ends of the bedrails. I found out the hard way the floor was not as solid as I thought when water came rushing in.
Anything You Would Change?: Need to fix the rust hole on the body, but other than that I am leaving her the same way she sits now
Anything to Add?: I have always wanted a Jeep pickup, and when I stumbled upon this truck for a great price I couldn’t resist. It needs a little more TLC but not much. It amazes me that she still has her factory paint.

Future Big-Block Blazer
Vehicle: 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer
Owner: Stephen Silvernail
Tires: 37x14.5s
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country lift
Drivetrain: Stock
Other Doodads: Custom bumper
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Mostly
Anything You Would Change?: Big-block

Beach Buggy
Vehicle: 1990 Chevrolet Suburban 2500
Owner: Paul Andrew, Flowery Branch, GA
Tires & Wheels: 315/75R16 BFGoodrich mud-terrains on Pro Comp wheels
Suspension: Pro Comp 4-inch lift kit
Drivetrain: Stock
Other Doodads: Chopped-off roof, cage, custom canvas top, Rhino-lined interior
Anything You Would Change?: Nothing, except maybe winch, lockers, better gas mileage
Anything to Add?: 50-year-old women stop me at gas stations and say, “I love your truck.” It’s the world’s greatest convertible/beach buggy.

Cold War Fighter
Vehicle: 2011 GMC 3500 Vehicle: Dan Roe, Moscow, ID
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.5R18 Pro Comp Xtreme mud-terrains, 18x9.5 XD Thumps
Suspension: 7 1⁄2-inch/6-inch Fabtech kit
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Duramax V-8, H&S Minimax tuner, Proflo exhaust, K&N intake
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Works great!
Anything You Would Change?: Need less offset
Anything to Add?: A perfect addition to my $3,200 ’99 Powertroke Super Duty

Macho Man
Vehicle: 1977 Dodge (Macho) Power Wagon
Owners: Mike & Kathy Grant, Sullivan, MO
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 BFGoodrich Radial All-Terrain KOs on 15x10 steel wagon wheels
Suspension: 2-inch add-a-leaves, Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: Stock 727 transmission, NP203 transfer case
Performance Mods: Rebuilt 360 V-8, Holly Pro-Jection, Mallory ignition
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting stuck on Thanksgiving Day when a buddy and I went for a quick spin before dinner. The wife didn’t think it was funny.
Does everything work the way you want?: Of course not—it’s an old Dodge.
Anything You Would Change?: Drivetrain and suspension

Denver Bronco
Vehicle: 1970 Bronco
Owners: Jeff & Noelle Kerridge
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch BFGoodrich T/As on 17-inch MB wheels
Suspension: Wild Horses 31⁄2-inch lift kit
Drivetrain: Stock (rebuilt)
Performance Mods: 302 V-8, dual exhaust with black chrome exhaust tips
Other Doodads: Corbeau seats, original(?) Koenig PTO winch, emblems powdercoated black, power steering conversion, shifter moved from column to floor, Rock Blocker rear bumper/carrier/rack, Rhino lined interior, rollcage
Anything to Add?: The guys at Wild Horses 4x4 were very supportive

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Michigan State Trooper
Vehicle: 1991 Isuzu Trooper
Owner: Matt Brooks, Newaygo, MI
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler A/Ts
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock, 2.8L V-6, rear Spartan Locker
Other Doodads: Custom winch bumper made from 2x4x0.25-inch steel, Badlands 9000K winch.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: The Trooper does everything I want it to do
Anything You Would Change?: 3-inch suspension lift, 31-inch mud-terrains, front locker, roofrack

Chocolate Thunder
Vehicle: 1978 F-150 shortbed
Owner: Mitchell Hull, Pleasant Grove, UT
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch BFGoodrich KM2s on 15x10 Level 8 wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Rancho lift Drivetrain: 4-speed manual with granny gear, 4.11 gearing, Dana 44 front axle, Ford 9-inch rear axle
Performance Mods: Edelbrock Performer intake, Holley 4-barrel carb, Hedman headers
Funniest Wheeling Incident: My buddy got stuck in a mud hole, then we buried four more trucks trying to get him out
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes
Anything You Would Change?: Put on 38-inch tires. It’s my daily driver even though it only gets 7 mpg.

Rolling Wrangler
Vehicle: 1995 Wrangler YJ Sahara
Owner: Brian Berglund, Firestone, CO
Tires & Wheels: 40-inch BFGoodrich Krawlers, Trailready beadlocks
Suspension: Leaf springs, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: Stock engine and transmission, Atlas 4.3 transfer case, Tera CRD 60 axles, ARB Air Lockers, 5.38 gears
Other Doodads: Mercenary Off-Road subframe/bellypan, front fenders
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: It works great on the trails of Colorado
Anything You Would Change?: I’m looking to jump to a V-8 and those coilover things
Anything to Add?: I rolled it at the EJS

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Chinese Takeout?
Vehicle: 1990 Toyota FJ62 Land Cruiser
Owner: Bridger Hayes, Prince George, VA
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch Mickey Thompson MTZs on painted MT Classic Locks
Suspension: 10-inch lift: SOA flip with OME 3-inch heavy springs, 21⁄2-inch OME inversion shackles, Rancho RS5000 shocks
Drivetrain: Stock, 4.88 gears, lockers
Performance Mods: 3FE I-6, K&N air filter, high-performance coil, DUI distributor, Mean Green high-output alternator, Man-A-Fre ceramic-coated header, custom exhaust
Other Doodads: Hi-steer kit, six 55-watt Hellas, roof rack, ARB front bumper, custom rattle-can paint job, custom redneck microwave (a .50-cal ammo can mounted next to the headers—warms my lunch on cold days hunting)
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: I bought this truck from some hippie who migrated from Los Angeles. Only got 80 miles to the tank. I did all the work myself. Never would know it had 212,000 on it.
Anything to Add?: Everyone wants to know about the license plate: I was a huge Dukes of Hazzard fan growing up and always thought General Lee was a cool name for a vehicle. Living in the South, I would be shot dead if I named an import vehicle after a Confederate general. The only Asian general I knew of is General Tso. I like his chicken dinner.

Mud Master
Vehicle: 1993 Ford F-250
Owner: Sam Thomas, Princeton, WV
Tires: 37x12.50R16.5 Military BFGoodrichs
Suspension: SAS, 6-inch suspension lift
Drivetrain: Stock
Other Doodads: Ramsey 8,000-pound winch
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes
Anything You Would Change?: Shackle reversal in front, bigger tires, Dana 60

Clean Commando
Vehicle: 1969 Jeepster Commando
Owner: Terrance Peeks, Holtville, CA
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 Bridgestone Duelers, Falken Rocky Mountains on American Eagle wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Hell Creek front springs, rear Pro Comp 4-inch YJ springs
Drivetrain: Dauntless 225 V-6, T14 transmission, Dana 20 transfer case, Dana 30 front axle, Dana 44 rear axle with Trac-Loc
Performance Mods: Advance Adapters fenderwell headers, K&N filter, FlowKooler water pump
Other Doodads: Power steering conversion, power brake conversion, CJ Dana 30 front axle with disc brakes, Northwest AutoWire wiring harness, Raptor-lined interior
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Works the way I want for now
Anything You Would Change?: Wider axles, full cage, tire carrier, TH400, maybe a Chevy 4.3L V-6
Anything to Add?: Thanks to all the friends and family as well as everyone in the JCCA for their help in getting this on the road

Frank the Tank
Vehicle: 2013 JK Unlimited Rubicon
Owner: Scott McNamara, Rhododendron, OR
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R16 Goodyear Duratracs on MTB TKOs
Suspension: OE coils, 21⁄2-inch TeraFlex spacers, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Other Doodads: Artec D44 axle armor kit, Evo Rockstars, Bushwacker fender flares, Truck-Lite LED headlights, JW Speaker fogs, ARB diff covers, Bestop Trektop NX top, Warn stubby front bumper with Zeon 8K winch running Spydura rope, custom Renegade replica decals
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Wheeling with friends on Cedar Tree during the 2013 Pistons Wild Poker run, trying to squeeze under the tree. All my spotters said I was clear—until I heard a loud crack and pop as the tree took a chunk out of my brand new top.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Absolutely
Anything You Would Change?: I will be upgrading the lift to a long-arm kit

Brutish Blazer
Vehicle: 1986 K5 Blazer
Owner: Steve Kay, Castle Rock, CO
Tires & Wheels: 38.5x14.5R16.5 TSL SXs (grooved) on Trail Worthy Fab re-centered 12-bolt H1s with rock rings and PVC inserts
Suspension: 52-inch front springs with DIY4x EZ Inch and axle moved forward one inch, 14-inch-travel Pro Comp ES3000 shocks on modified Ford shock towers, 56-inch rear springs with EZ Inch, ORD shackle flip, DIY4x 6-inch UDSR shackles
Drivetrain: 700R4, NP241 with JB Conversions SYE, Dana 60 front axle with Spartan Locker, 14-bolt full-floating rear axle with Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears, DIY4x flat-back diff covers
Performance Mods: TBI 350 out of an ’89 K5 Blazer Other Doodads: DIY4x A-bomb bumper, homemade sliders, homebrewed hydro-assist steering with ORD crossover steering and ORD steering braces, really fancy flat-black spray-can paint job
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Catching my old K5 Blazer on fire while out wheeling
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Works really good, but always something to change on it
Anything You Would Change?: Full interior cage to protect my wife and kids, build a tube rear bumper
Anything to Add?: I have built this whole thing on a pretty tight budget. Money doesn’t always mean more fun in this sport—but I could always use some more money!

Colorado Master
Vehicle: 2001 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: R.M. Allen
Tires & Wheels: 30x9.5 Pro Comp A/Ts on Rock Crawler wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Rancho lift kit, RS9000 rear shocks, XS9000 front shocks
Drivetrain: Dana 30 front axle, 81⁄4 rear axle, ARB Air Lockers
Performance Mods: Banks header, Banks intake, MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust, Optima battery
Other Doodads: Warn 9500K winch, Warn front bumper, Rusty’s body armor and skidplates, Yakima roofrack, 60-inch Hi-Lift jack, custom rear bumper with Class 4 receiver
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Drives great. Would climb a tree if I asked it to.
Anything You Would Change?: It’s a Jeep, so there’s always something to change somewhere sometime. Invested over $24,000 so far, not counting the Jeep’s original cost.
Anything to Add?: Took the summer off when we purchased it and did 90 percent of the trails south of I-70 in Colorado

Toy Suzi
Vehicle: 1987 Suzuki Samurai
Owner: Steve Marlow, Hibbing, MN
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 Goodyear MT/Rs with Kevlar, repainted steel rims
Suspension: SOA with YJ leaf springs, Missing Link front shackles, Bilstein shocks, Ford front shock towers
Drivetrain: Trail Gear 6.5:1 transfer case gears, Toyota axles, 4.88 gears, 4340 chromoly Birfields, Spartan lockers, disc brake conversions
Performance Mods: 1.6L Sidekick engine, K&N air filter, Flowmaster exhaust, header, 100-amp alternator
Other Doodads: Home-made rear bumper and tube doors, Optima battery, 2,500-pound Badlands winch, Trail Gear diff guards, Toyota power steering box with Saginaw pump, Toyota crossover steering, Viair compressor and semi air tank, O’Reilly seats, Grant steering wheel, 6-point rollcage
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: So far, yes
Anything You Would Change?: Smittybilt RC8 winch, longer wheelbase
Anything to Add?: Did 95 percent of the work myself, 10 years to get this far (had to build the garage first)

Half-Ton Tribute
Vehicle: 1991 GMC K1500
Owner: Jordan Heimer, Lindsborg, KS
Tires & Wheels: 38.5x11R16 Super Swamper Boggers on 16x8 Raceline Raptors
Suspension: 6-inch lift kit
Drivetrain: TH350, NP208, Dana 60 front axle, 14-bolt rear axle with spool, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: 500-hp 406-ci V-8, custom headers
Other Doodads: Custom dash, seat, fuel cell in bed
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, will do some wicked burnouts
Anything You Would Change?: True-Trac in front, coilover suspension
Anything to Add?: The truck was fixed up in loving memory of its owner, Jordan Heimer

Teen’s Wrangler
Vehicle: 1995 Jeep YJ Wrangler
Owner: Brandon Smith, Traverse City, MI
Tires: 33x12.5R15 Wildcat M/Ts
Suspension: 2-inch lift shackles, 2-inch body lift
Drivetrain: Stock, 2.5L I-4
Other Doodads: Cut fenders, Rhino-lined, KC lights, full steel bumpers
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Was going down a trail and hit a bump, and my rear track bar ripped out of the frame. A tree hit my top and saved me from rolling.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, it works amazing for what it is
Anything You Would Change?: Lift kit, front locker
Anything to Add?: I’m 17 and love changing and modifying this rig. Now it is my daily driver, but it goes where I want it to. Love Jeeps; won’t ever go back to any other brand.

Retro Toy
Vehicle: 1994 Toyota Pickup
Owner: Doug Maloy, Strafford, NH
Tires & Wheels: 36x13.5R15 Interco Iroks on 15x10 Mickey Thompson Classic Locks
Suspension: 5-inch Superlift kit, 2-inch balljoint spacers, 11⁄2-inch rear shackle lift Drivetrain: 22RE, stock
Other Doodads: Double roll bar, fullsize spare on custom bed mount, 3-inch body lift, on-board air for the 3-foot air horns.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: It’s a show piece, standards are low
Anything You Would Change?: Regear to 5.29 (hills are tough without a tailwind)
Anything to Add?: This was my first vehicle. It was bone stock when I bought it and it had a broken e-brake. I left it out of gear one day and it rolled down the driveway into a tree. That is what started my entire rebuild.

No. 1 Bronco II?
Vehicle: 1987 Ford Bronco II
Owners: Rebecca Erickson & Nick Oille, Fernley, NV
Tires & Wheels: 33x10.5R15 BFGoodrich KM2s on 15x8 Black Rock steel wheels
Suspension: 4-inch lift: Skyjacker rear springs, Rancho XJ front springs, boxed and extended radius arms
Drivetrain: FM145, BW1350, Dana 35 front axle with Spartan Locker, Ford 8.8 rear axle with Trac-Loc, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: Thrush muffler
Other Doodads: OBA plumbed into the sliders, 21 1⁄2-inch LED light bar
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Before the drivetrain swap we blew the retaining clip off the stock CV-style rear driveline and drove home with duct tape holding the CV joint together
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, I am always surprised how well this little rig does on the trail
Anything You Would Change?: 5.0 swap would be nice
Anything to Add?: Built this rig for my girlfriend so she could have a nice daily driver and trail rig (and so I could have another toy)

C-52
Vehicle: 2001 Cherokee XJ Sport
Owner: Max Ablicki, Belchertown, MA
Tires & Wheels: 29x8.5R15 Super Swamper TSL bias-plies, Plymouth Voyager steel rims
Suspension: 2-inch Skyjacker Budget Boost, Nitro 8000 shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Other Doodads: JCR Offroad PreRunner bumper, KC HiLites, Rage Powersports roofrack, trimmed fenders, bedlined rockers
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Definitely. It’s a blast to drive on and off the road, and I get a lot of compliments on it.
Anything You Would Change?: 3-inch lift, full roof rack, snorkel, longer brake lines, sway bar disconnects
Anything to Add?: The C-52 nickname comes from my father’s old 4x4. He had a Nissan Pathfinder that we called “C-5” because the tire sound reminded us of a plane. This XJ is C-5 reborn, hence the nickname C-52.

Lil Black
Vehicle: 2002 Chevy Trailblazer
Owner: Juan Rios, Del Rio, TX Tires & Wheels: 33x13R16 Super Swamper TSLs on 16x8 Pro Comp 52 series wheels
Suspension: 7-inch Mark MC lift kit, Moog front coil springs and control arms, stock rear springs, Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: 4.3L V-6, 4-speed automatic transmission, NP226 transfer case, Cardone 32-spline front CV axles, 3.80 axle gears
Performance Mods: K&N air filter, Airaid throttle body spacer, Optima battery
Other Doodads: ARB on-board air compressor, custom grille, Mark MC wheel spacers
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Most definitely: midsized ride, fullsize at heart
Anything You Would Change?: Off-road lights, nerf bars
Anything to Add?: The project was tedious, but worth it. I dedicated it to my sis, Catalina Rodriguez, and family.

Everyday XJ
Vehicle: 1988 Jeep Cherokee
Owners: John & Ventura Young, Pomona, CA
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch BFGoodrich KM2s on 16x9 Eagle Alloys
Suspension: RCX front brackets, Rubicon Express 41⁄2-inch-lift springs with JKS arms and spacers, rear 61⁄2-inch-lift Rubicon Express leaf springs, TeraFlex revolving shackles
Drivetrain: AW4, NP231 with SYE, Dana 30 front axle, Dana 44 rear axle with Lock-Rite, 3.55 gears
Performance Mods: Spectre intake, Mustang 5.0L injectors, E3 spark plugs
Other Doodads: JCR skidplates, Body Armor TJ rock slides, TNT frame stiffeners, TeraFlex rear disc brakes, Wilwood master cylinder and prop valve, rock lights, roof rack
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Driving through the rockiest trail part of San Gabriel OHV area with 40 psi in our tires with everyone’s teeth chattering
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, it crawls, it mobs through the desert, and daily drives the streets
Anything You Would Change?: Coilovers, bumpstops, front 4-piston calipers, rollcage
Anything to Add?: The stickers added about 50 hp

Canadian Crawler
Vehicle: 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sport
Owner: Rob Butt, Barrie Ontario, Canada
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R Kevlars on 15x8 Classic D-Windows
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country lift, Currie Enterprises adjustable upper control arms, Rusty’s Offroad Products adjustable front track bar, JKS rear track bar bracket, Daystar bushings, Rough Country rear shock relocation brackets
Drivetrain: 4.0L I-6, NP231 with Rugged Ridge SYE and Tom Woods CV rear driveshaft, Dana 30 front axle with Lokka Lunchbox locker, RCX diff guard, Dana 35 rear axle
Other Doodads: Homebrew front winch bumper, Superwinch LP8500 Winch, in-cab winch controls, Dodge Dakota steering box, Trail Head Customs front tube fenders, Rubicon rock rails, ZJ tie-rod upgrade. Rough Country 11⁄4-inch body lift, Daystar 1-inch-lift motor mounts, TeraFlex steering stabilizer, Big Boy Jeeps cargo netting, Moose Knuckle Customs OBA system, Warn steering box skidplate, Super Wader snorkel, retrofitted Morimoto projector headlights
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: It does really well on the trails, but I have a strange clunking in 4-Hi that I need to sort out
Anything You Would Change?: If I had my time/money back, I would opt for a long-arm suspension system. I have a Ford 8.8 that I’m getting ready to swap in and am currently on the hunt for a D44 front axle.
Anything to Add?: Thanks to the great group at JeepCentral.ca for their help and ongoing knowledge

First Jeep
Vehicle: 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ
Owner: Jeremy Patterson, Knoxville, TN
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain KOs on 15x9 Pacer Classic IIs
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country lift kit
Drivetrain: Stock Other Doodads: Custom bumpers, off-road lights
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting crossed up in some ruts and slinging mud all over my dad
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes
Anything You Would Change?: Front and rear lockers, 6-cylinder engine
Anything to Add?: I’m 16. This is my first Jeep. I bought it bone stock and I’m still adding stuff to my rig.

Functional Ford
Vehicle: 1993 Ford F-150
Owner: Frank Morris Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5 Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs on factory wheels
Suspension: Leveling kit
Drivetrain: Stock Performance Mods: 4.9L V-8, K&N air filter
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Following a lifted Jeep that was using 4-wheel drive, and I never left 2-wheel drive
Anything You Would Change?: Gear it lower, lift it a little, add a larger camshaft
Anything to Add?: I want to thank my brother for not getting rid of this truck while it was his

Muddy Eddie
Vehicle: 1995 Eddie Bauer Bronco
Owner: Ryan Vaillancourt, Dracut, MA
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/As on 15x10 Cragar V-5s
Suspension: Rough Country 2½-inch lift
Drivetrain: Stock 351W, E4OD transmission, BW1356 transfer case, Dana 44 TTB front axle, Ford 8.8-inch rear axle with limited slip, 3.55 gears
Performance Mods: Flowmaster 40 Series exhaust, dumped before axle
Other Doodads: Tow hooks
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Tried to drive over old tires, but they got stuck between the bumper and tires. That was fun to remove them.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Goes everywhere I want it to go
Anything You Would Change?: Bigger lift, regear to 4.10s, lockers, Rock Solid prerunner bumper

Engineering Exercise
Vehicle: 1987 Toyota pickup
Owner: Stacy Suter, Harrisonburg, VA
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 Dick Cepek Fun Country IIs on 15x8 Mickey Thompson Classic IIs
Suspension: Front custom 4-link with Johnny Joints, Panhard bar, Fox 2.0 10-inch-travel coilovers, Marlin Crawler tie rod, crossover steering, custom-bent steering arms; rear custom 2-link with Johnny Joints, stock leaf springs, special pivot between link and spring, Pro Comp MX6 shocks, ’85 Toyota front axle with FJ80 high-pinion third member, stock ’87 rear axle, limited-slip, 5.29 gears
Drivetrain: Stock, original 22R motor has 283,000 miles
Other Doodads: Rollcage, removable sunroof
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?:
Yes
Anything You Would Change?: New rear fiberglass bed sides, new paint, rock sliders
Anything to Add?: I bought this truck new in 1987 to go to college. As an engineer I did all suspension research, CAD, design, machining, and fabrication over two years. I also learned how to TIG weld. I was able to make the suspension mods a completely bolt-on system with only holes to drill and IFS to cut off.

Rockin’ XJ
Vehicle: 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport
Owner: Samuel Leguee, Gold Beach, OR
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 Hankook Dynapro MTs on 15-inch Ultra rims
Suspension: Rough Country 41⁄2-inch X-Flex lift, extra 1-inch spacers, quick-disconnect front sway bars
Drivetrain: Stock 4.0L H.O. I-6, NP231 with SYE, custom rear driveshaft, Dana 30 front axle, Chrysler 81⁄4 rear axle with a Lock-Rite
Other Doodads: Custom aluminum bumpers with built-in receivers, rock sliders, light bar, taillight guards, trimmed rear fenders
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: For the most part
Anything You Would Change?: A front locker, a winch with quick-connects front and rear
Anything to Add?: I’m only 17 and I got this Jeep bone stock and built it myself in my garage and metal shop at school

Backwoods Ram
Vehicle: 2006 Ram 1500 Sport
Owner: Nathan Legradi, Yeagertown, PA
Tires & Wheels: 35-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers on 18-inch Fuel Kranks
Suspension: 6-inch RCX lift
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: 5.7L Hemi V-8, CAI, throttle-body spacer, Flowmaster Series 10 mufflers, Hypertech programmer
Other Doodads: SRT hoodscoop, Mopar decal, eyelids, Mopar nerf bars, Rhino liner, tonneau cover, LED taillights
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Got stuck pulling my mom’s neighbor out of the mud, so my stepdad pulled me out and got stuck the same place I did. I got to redeem myself and pull him out.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Works great, rides great, and everyday driver

XCellent XJ
Vehicle: 1998 XJ Cherokee
Owner: Daniel Quintana II, Las Vegas, NV
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.5R15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/As on 15x8 Pro Comp Extreme Alloys
Suspension: Rough Country 41⁄2-inch lift
Drivetrain: Stock 4.0L I-6, AW4 transmission, Dana 30 front axle, Chrysler 81⁄4 rear axle with Solid Axle cover, 3.55 gears
Performance Mods: K&N air filter, Triple Threat electric fans, 3-core aluminum radiator
Other Doodads: Smittybilt nerf bars, Rough Country front winch bumper, GenRight hood louvers
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: For the most part. Still getting hot in the summer months but goes anywhere I ask her to.
Anything You Would Change?: Upgrade axles to Dana 44s with lockers, replace the rear factory bumper with a spare-carrier type; put a cage with lights on the roof
Funniest Wheeling Incident: When it snowed in Las Vegas and everyone was going 5 mph all over town, I just wheeled through no problem

Roxanne
Vehicle: 1995 Toyota Tacoma
Owner: Kyle Todd
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.5R15 BFGoodrich KOs on stock rims
Suspension: Stock (sway bar removed)
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Drop-in AFE filter
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Works great
Anything You Would Change?: Winch, front hybrid bumper, sliders, snorkel, OBA with ARB lockers, but college comes first
Anything to Add?: The truck’s name is Roxanne

Frozen Tundra
Vehicle: 2010 Toyota Tundra
Owner: Mike Simonelli, Bordentown, NJ
Tires & Wheels: BFGoodrich Rugged Trails on stock wheels
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock 5.7L iForce V-8, stock 6-speed automatic, 4.30 axle gears
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Very nice tow vehicle for my RV trailer, handles light off-road conditions when hunting or fishing
Anything You Would Change?: Leveling kit, air intake
Anything to Add?: I feel the Tundra can run with any of the Big Three 1500s

Gila Monster
Vehicle: 1994 Ford Bronco
Owner: Jake Bare, Lake Elsinore, CA
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 BFGoodrich Baja T/As on wagon wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Rancho lift kit
Drivetrain: Stock, E4OD automatic transmission
Performance Mods: 351W V-8 tuned up, Flowmaster muffler, 3-inch exhaust
Other Doodads: Caged rear window
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Wheeling with friends and scaring everyone with some gnarly trails
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, it never gets stuck and always goes where I want
Anything You Would Change?: More lights, new rear bumper, rear locker, a cage, a stronger tranny, and torque converter
Anything to Add?: I love this truck. Built not bought.

Southern Comfort
Vehicle: 2007 Ford F-150 Southern Comfort Conversion
Owners: James & Heather DeWitt, Kokomo, IN
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R20 Nitto Trail Grapplers on 20-inch XD Hoss wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Pro Comp kit, MX6 shocks
Drivetrain: Stock
Performance Mods: Edge Programmer, Spectre intake, MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: Boss bars, Rhino lining
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Pulled buddy’s truck out after Cummins failed to
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, so far
Anything You Would Change?: 4.10 gears
Anything to Add?: This is my first Ford truck, loving it so far

Fab Ford
Vehicle: 1994 Explorer
Owner: Austin Gonzales
Tires: 35x12.5R15 Super Swampers
Suspension: 4-inch suspension lift, 2-inch body lift
Drivetrain: Stock 4.0L V-6, C4 transmission, stock axles, 4.10 gears, lunchbox lockers
Anything You Would Change?: SAS up front with a 3-link

Sexi Lexi
Vehicle: 1997 Lexus LX450
Owner: Seth Workman, Fayetteville, WV
Tires & Wheels: 41.5x13.5 Pitbull Rockers on 17-inch Black Rock wheels with weld-on beadlocks
Suspension: Mix of OME and Ironman parts—3-link front, stock 4-link with Panhard rear
Drivetrain: Stock 4.5L I-6, transmission and transfer case, Dana 60 front axle with chromoly shafts, Synergy drive flanges, 14-bolt rear axle, 5.13 gears, spools
Other Doodads: Garrett Fab Works cage, Metaltech sliders and front bumper, West Texas Offroad hydro-assist steering, Warn 9.5XP winch
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes
Anything You Would Change?: Coilovers, lower transfer case gears

Rocky
Vehicle: 2013 JK Rubicon Tenth Anniversary
Owner: John Stickley, St. Joseph, MO
Tires & Wheels: BFGoodrich Radial Mud-Terrain T/As on stock wheels
Suspension: Stock
Drivetrain: Stock
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes
Anything You Would Change?: It needs a winch

Lucky M1008
Vehicle: 1986 Chevy M1008
Owner: Michael Birkeneder, Morgan Hill, CA
Tires: 37-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs
Suspension: Front BDS 4-inch front springs, DIY4x rear shackle-flip
Drivetrain: Stock gutless 6.2L diesel with original 24-volt system, TH400, NP208, Dana 60 front axle, 14-bolt rear axle with Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: ORD crossover steering, steering box brace
Other Doodads: ORD high-clearance crossmember, racing seats, ORD brake lines, totally awesome P.A. system
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Guy rolled right next to my parked truck and landed 6 inches from me. His tire kissed my fender.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Works well enough to have not gotten stuck yet
Anything You Would Change?: Front locker, hydro-assist
Anything to Add?: Thanks to my woman for letting me neglect her to go work on my truck

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