This ’96 XJ belongs to Scott Dunkle of Baltimore, Maryland. Scott built it as a daily driver while he was in high school. Today, Scott enjoys regular trips to Rausch Creek with friends. The drivetrain is mostly stock, but the front axle received upgraded chromoly shafts, 4.56 gears, and a Lock-Right locker. The rear Chrysler 8.25 was geared to mach. The suspension consists of a Rough Country 4.5-inch lift with 8000-series shocks. The rolling stock is a set of 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM2s on 15-inch steel Cragar wheels.
This ’90 YJ belongs to Gary Boyd of Roseville, California. A K&N intake and glasspack muffler help the stock 4.2L engine breathe better, while a NV4500, mated to a NP231 with a slip yoke eliminator, handles gearing. The axles consist of a spooled Dana 60 rear and a high-pinion Dana 44 up front. Custom fabricated features include a six-inch frame stretch, home-brew coil buckets, stout bumpers, and rocker guards. The front suspension utilizes 46-inch CAGE Off-Road radius arms. The rear is a spring over with a custom torque arm to eliminate axlewrap. A set of 38-inch Boggers provides traction and a MileMarker winch is on standby for recoveries.
Alyssa Richardson of Bozeman, Montana, drives this ’03 Jeep Wrangler TJ that her uncle gave her. Alyssa’s uncle bought it brand new and built it for light trail use in Pennsylvania. Then the rig was shipped to Hawaii, where it was used heavily on muddy back roads. Today the rig resides with Alyssa in Bozeman, where she takes it out at least once a month with the Mountaineers Offroad Club. Modifications include a Rubicon Express 4.5-inch suspension, 315/75R16 Goodyear MT/Rs on factory Rubicon wheels, and a Warn winch.
This ’00 TJ belongs to Austin Cooper of Douglas, Wyoming. The high-output 4.0L gets better economy and improved performance for street and trail thanks to a few upgrades Austin added. These include a Rugged Ridge intake setup, an Edge Products Trail Jammer with a 62mm throttle body, a Hesco throttle body spacer, a Rugged Ridge ceramic-coated exhaust manifold, and a Magnaflow after-cat exhaust system. The power is sent through a NV3550 manual transmission to a stock NP231 transfer case. The axles are stock Dana 30/35 with a Riddler differential cover up front and an Ox Locker out back. The rig gets additional height from stock springs with a 2-inch Trail Master coil spring spacer kit, and a 1-inch body lift. A Currie adjustable front track bar helps keep the front end in check, while a Fox 2.0 Pro Series steering stabilizer smoothes out road vibrations.
Suburbia Escape Pod
This ’99 Grand Cherokee features a 4-inch IRO long-arm suspension system, IRO 4340 axleshafts, a KOR WJ Incline winch bumper, cut front fenders, and a set of 285/75R16 BFG Mud-Terrain KM2s. It’s owned by Joshua Bonwell of Charlotte, North Carolina. Additional modifications include a rear ARB Air Locker and PRP front seats.
Dana Godfrey built this ’87 YJ for backwoods travel in the hills around his home in Fairmont, West Virginia. The engine is a 4.0L out of a ’98 Cherokee. However, the fuel injection was ditched in favor of a Weber carburetor. The AX15 transmission features a Hurst shifter and the NP231 T- case boasts a slip yoke eliminator. The suspension consists of a 6.5-inch Rubicon Express spring over with JKS swaybar disconnects. Up front, there is a Dana 30 with a limited slip and 4.56:1 gearing. Out back, Dana added a Ford 8.8 with a Superior C-clip eliminator kit, a spool, and 4.56:1 gears. The Jeep rides on 35-inch Baja Claws mounted to 15-inch Cragar Soft 8 steel wheels. The blue paint job is Dana’s latest modification.
Grand for a Grand
George McGuinness of Methuen, Massachusetts, bought this ’98 Grand Cherokee for a cool thousand bucks off the Internet. He added a bunch of stuff to make family wheeling trips more pleasurable. A Rough Country 6-inch suspension system provides clearance for a set of 285/75R16 Goodyear Duratracs on factory Rubicon wheels. To assist with traction, George added a lunchbox locker to the rear Dana 35 axle. Other goodies include an ARB Safari snorkel and a Yakima rooftop basket with a securely mounted Hi-Lift Jack and Max Ax.
Build Number II
Kevin Flick of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, submitted his second project Jeep: an ’87 Cherokee. Kevin replaced the tired automatic transmission with a NV3550 using a kit from Advance Adapters. The NP231 was rebuilt and a Rusty’s slip yoke eliminator was added to reduce driveline wear. A pair of shafts from Tom Wood’s Custom Drive Shafts transfers torque to a high-pinion Dana 44 front and 9-inch rear axles scrounged from a Ford. As for the lift, Kevin went with a 6.5-inch Rough Country long-arm kit to provide room for 37-inch TSLs on custom beadlocks. A rear tire carrier from Detours- XJ ensures a spare is at the ready.
Jack’s Escape Pod
Check out Jack Buchanan’s ’05 Wrangler Unlimited with a 4.5-inch Rubicon Express short-arm suspension and 33-inch Mickey Thompson MTZ tires. A Warn winch pulls the Jeep out of whatever the tires can’t. Jack also added custom front and rear bumpers, rock sliders, and an OEM-style roof rack. The photo was taken from Shuteye Pass in Central California.
Red Rock Runner
Chris Cronan of Chandler, Arizona, recently built this ’94 YJ for weekend desert outings and snowboarding trips. The rig uses the factory 4.0L, AX15, and NP231 drivetrain because, as Chris says, “It gets the job done just fine.” Alterations include a set of custom 4.5-inch Deaver leaf springs and 2-inch shackles. The setup relies on Pro Comp shocks to smooth out bumps and a simple flatfender trim job for ample articulation without rubbing. The NP231 T- case was treated to a slip yoke eliminator to prevent driveline vibrations. The 35-inch Goodyear MT/Rs are mounted to 16-inch Mickey Thompson aluminum wheels and two KC Daylighters help Chris see his way back to pavement after dark.
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