No Trailer? No Problem!
Kurt Eades loves to Jeep! That is the only way we can describe his letter and photos. He says that since returning from Afghanistan in 2015 he has driven his 2009 Jeep Wrangler JKU to 30 states and several locations in Canada, racking up roughly 55,000 miles, to enjoy some of the finest wheeling our continent has to offer. Kurt has owned and built many Jeeps in his lifetime, this one being his 14th or 15th. He built this one to handle the trails, as well as the long stretches of pavement in between. We wish we had more space to share all the specs, but here are some of the highlights: TeraFlex 4-inch lift, Yukon 4.88 gears, Dana 30 front, Dana 44 rear, Currie Antirock, 35x12.50/17 Nitto Trail Grapplers—we could go on for days. Thanks for your service to our country, Kurt. We hope to see you on the trails near us to shake your hand in person.
This awesome 1986 CJ-7 was submitted to us by southern Jeep enthusiast Adam Saunders. Adam has owned the Jeep since 1988 and has spent a lot of time building it into the beauty you see here. When the original engine gave out in 2010, a five-year-long restomod project began. A highlight includes the 2002 5.3L Vortec V-8; he kept the T176 and Dana 300 that had been modified in the ’90s with a 4:1 TeraLow and twin-stick. He still runs the stock AMC model 20 rear with a locker and Moser one-piece axles, and a locked Dana 30 front loaded with chromoly 44 knuckled shafts and 3.73 gears. 4-inch BDS leaf springs, upgraded hangers and tow-shackles in the front, and TeraFlex revolvers in the rear provide the right amount of clearance for the 37x13.50/18 Cooper STT Pro tires mounted on 18x10 Fuel Trophy wheels. Adam has wheeled mostly in the southern part of the country, but has a future trip planned for Moab.
Basically Stock TJ?
That’s how Dave Brimley describes his 1997 Jeep Wrangler. From the photos he submitted we think there may have been just a few modifications done to get it to where it is now. With the help of a couple of buddies they made Dave’s dream build a reality. Some of the mods include a Kingpin 60 front and a Ford E350 Van 60 rear with lots of goodies inside—custom suspension geometry, 3-link front, 4-link rear, and 14-inch Fox coilovers highlight the undercarriage. The frame has been front-halved and back-halved for a 108-inch wheelbase. He fabricated some custom front fenders to clear either set of the 40-inch Maxxis tires he runs and to maintain gross amounts of uptravel. Power is provided by a 5.3L V-8 backed by a 4L80 transmission and TWF Hero 3-speed transfer case. Dave says there is a 6.7L Stroker in the works for his little stock TJ, as it needs a few more ponies under the hood.
Eighteen-year-old Eathyn Brennan sent us this photo of his 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport. He tells us that prior to turning 16 and wanting a four-wheel-drive vehicle to handle the Pennsylvania winters, he wasn’t a fan of Jeeps—even though his father had always loved them. Eathyn says he had always loved the boxiness of cars, so when he spotted a ’99 Cherokee on Craigslist he fell in love. He purchased the Jeep and then found what most of us find when we purchase a used vehicle; it needed a lot of love. Eathyn says, “The whole Jeep project has been a bonding experience for me and my father as we were close, but never truly did anything together. The project has not stopped as we are always battling different things the Jeep throws at us, but we do it together through blood, sweat, and tears.” Welcome to an even bigger Jeep family. We hope to see you on the trails sometime!
First Time to Moab
Jennifer Ragan from Eagle Point, Oregon, shared this photo from her first trip to Moab, Utah. She drove the 2014 Jeep Rubicon out to conquer some of the slickrock, and said it was a big change from the rivers, sand, mud, and snow of her home state. Jennifer states that Cliff Hanger was the biggest challenge, and she is happy to report they successfully completed that trail with no damage to the Jeep or themselves. When she isn’t out tackling the trail, Jennifer is a member of law enforcement and helps keep the streets and citizens of Oregon safe. Thanks for your service and for sharing your Jeep with us.
You Say Potato, We Say Nice XJ!
“The Potato” is what John Sheahan calls his 1988 Jeep Cherokee. Purchased about six years ago for $500, it is on its third reinvention. John works in antique auto restoration and has been a Jeeper since his childhood. He recalls riding to school with his father in a bright yellow CJ-5 on 33s. One of John’s favorite trails is the Rubicon, and his XJ can handle it with ease. The front axle is a non-cad Dana 30 open diff with 4.56 gears. Suspension duties are handled by a TNT Customs long-arm kit, Bilstein 5160 12-inch shocks, and worn-out Rough Country lift springs with prothane bump stops. A Currie hi-9 rear axle, Wilwood 4-piston calipers, 4.56 gears, an ARB locker, double triangulated 4-link with Currie Johnny joints, and a homemade cantilever with King Coilovers (2.5x10 inches) with a 1.6:1 motion ratio resulting in 16 inches of rear travel round out the most important mods. Moving it down the road is a 4.7L Stroker and 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler MTRs.
SoCal Jeeper Pete Griffith has been exploring the trails for almost 20 years. His current mode of off-road transportation is this 1998 5.9L Limited. He has done a few upgrades to it to help with its trail performance, such as a 4.5-inch Rubicon Express long-arm kit with monotube shocks up front and Fox 2.0 reservoir shocks in the rear. G2 Dana 44 axles front and rear with 4.56 gears, JE Reel driveshafts, and 35-inch Pro Comp Extreme MT2 tires finish it off. His next project is an XJ for his 15-year-old daughter.
It Ain’t Easy Being Green
Prince George, British Columbia, Canada is where Kaitlin Carter and “Kirmit” call home. Purchased as a Christmas present to herself, Kaitlin says her 2012 Gecko Green Jeep Wrangler Sahara JKU is her pride and joy. Whether she is out enjoying the trails around Prince George, or helping the local off-road rescue group recover those who have met with misfortune on the trail, she and Kirmit do it together. Her Jeep is more than capable with the following mods: 4-inch Rough Country X-Series Lift, High Performance 2.2 Series shocks, 37x13.5/22 Toyo Open Country Mud Terrains on 22-inch KMC XD Rockstar wheels, Poison Spyder aluminum fender flares, and a LoD Signature Series shorty front bumper with a Champion PowerSports 8,000-pound capacity winch. Wish we had more room to list all the rest of the cool stuff.