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Readers’ Rides - April 2014

Posted in News on February 7, 2014
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Three-Seat Jeep
Vehicle: ’92 Jeep YJ (well, the body is)
Owner: Tyler Cox, Hobbs, NM
Tires & Wheels: 43x14.50 Super Swampers on Trail Worthy Hummer beadlocks
Suspension: Custom double-triangulated 4-link front and rear, 14-inch front King coilovers, 16-inch rear King coilovers
Drivetrain: 5.0L V-8 302 out of a ’98 Ford Mustang, Ford AOD 4-speed automatic transmission, Atlas II transfer case, Dana 60 axles
Other Doodads: Custom 3-seater cage
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Goes wherever you point it
Anything You Would Change?: Would like a stronger tranny

Minimal Maintenance
Vehicle: 2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 Crew Cab
Owner: Tyler Reiter, Clarion, IA
Tires & Wheels: 285/70R17 Goodyear MT/Rs on stock 17s
Suspension: Rough Country leveling keys, 3-inch block, and shock kit
Drivetrain: Stock. “Luckily it has 4.10s and a G80 limited-slip.”
Performance Mods: Cherry Bomb Extreme mufflers, K&N filter
Other Doodads: DIY bedlined rockers and bowtie, debadged and demolded, Focal and Rockford Fosgate speakers, DRL converted to turn/marker, grille opening and lower valance painted satin black
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Truck works great on minimum-maintenance roads during hunting season. It’s a great daily driver.
Anything You Would Change?: 20x10s on 33x12.50s for summer wheels and tires
Anything to Add?: 2500 gas cluster to gain trans-temp gauge, 11⁄2-inch Zone body lift, nicer stereo, hood and grille from a 2006 Silverado

Wet Willie
Vehicle: 1991 Jeep YJ
Owner: Christian Gardner, Ventura, CA
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.5R17 Goodyear MT/Rs on 17x10 Allied beadlocks
Suspension: Custom front SOA, rear SOA using Blue Torch Fab stretch (1001⁄2-inch wheelbase) with Cherokee rear leaves turned backwards
Drivetrain: AX15 5-speed manual transmission, Atlas 5:1 transfer case, Waggy Dana 44 axles, chromoly shafts, front Detroit Locker, rear spool, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L I-6 with torque cam, AFE intake, throttle body spacer
Other Doodads: Custom 13⁄4-inch-OD DOM rollcage, Redneck Ram hydro-assist steering, Barnes 4WD flat skidplate
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Got out to relieve myself and a buddy pushed my rig down the trail with me trying to steer with one hand and not wet myself.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Right now, yes.
Anything You Would Change?: Link and coilovers, 14-bolts

Mountain Muskrat
Vehicle: 1995 Wrangler YJ Sahara
Owner: Clint Harris, Abingdon, VA
Tires & Wheels: 39.5x12.5R16.5 Pit Bull Rockers on Hummer beadlocks, 31⁄2-inch spacers
Suspension: Homebuilt SOA using Skyjacker 4-inch springs, Teraflex Revolver Shackles with a custom shackle reversal, 3-inch body lift
Drivetrain: AX15 5-speed manual transmission, NP231 transfer case with SYE kit, Dana 44 front axle with chromoly shafts from a ’78 F-250, GM 14-bolt rear axle from a ’92 Chevy 3500, Detroit Lockers, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: Stock 4.0L I-6, Tom Wood’s driveshafts
Other Doodads: Dual Optima batteries, Warn 9,500-pound winch, KC Daylighters, front ARB Bull Bar, rear Warn bumper, homemade rockers and skids, desert tan military CARC paint
Funniest Wheeling Incident: The name “Mountain Muskrat” has something to do with a dead muskrat in a waterfall and me being kinda absentminded that day
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, it’s a real rig that has been built for real trails
Anything You Would Change?: Someday I hope to get it out west to run the Rubicon and other great trails
Anything to Add?: This rig was built 100 percent by myself and the other members of Appalachian Off-Road Club in our garages

Future Rock Racer
Vehicle: 1990 Jeep Cherokee XJ
Owner: Anna Cashon, Ringgold, GA
Tires & Wheels: 33x13.5R15 all-terrains (since upgraded to Super Swampers) on 15x10 black steel rims
Suspension: 3-inch lift coils with 2-inch spacers in the front, add-a-leaves with longer shackles in the rear.
Drivetrain: Open front Dana 30 axle, Chrysler 81⁄4 rear axle with “Lincoln locker”
Performance Mods: 4.0L H.O. I-6, Spectre intake, Flowmaster Super 44 muffler
Other Doodads: Relocated gas tank in the trunk for more clearance
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Sunk it to the doors without knowing how deep the mud hole was that we were going into and got a big surprise. Ended up having to climb on the hood to get across to get the chain and hooking it up to be pulled out. I could not stop laughing.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: For the most part, absolutely
Anything to Add?: New Dana 60 axles, and a rollcage with much-needed 5-way harnesses

$600 Stunner
Vehicle: 2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ
Owner: Charlie Kropp, Stillwater, NJ
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 BFGoodrich KM2s on 15x8 Cragar D-Windows
Suspension: Teraflex LCoG, 21⁄2-inch progressive-rate coils, 1-inch body lift, long arms, 11-inch Bilstein 5100 outboarded shocks
Drivetrain: AX15 5-speed manual transmission, NP231J with SS SYE, Tom Wood’s driveshafts, TeraFlex adapter, high-pinion Dana 30 front axle, high-steer knuckles, Aussie Locker, trussed/sleeved, disc-braked Ford 8.8 rear axle with Powertrax locker, Artec truss
Performance Mods: Stock 4.0L I-6, throttle-body spacer, cowl CAI/snorkel, Pacesetter header, Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: Custom hi-line fenders, Smittybilt corner guards, Poison Spyder front stinger, Dodge Durango steering box, Currie Anti-Rock sway bars, Currie Rock Sliders, Currie LCA skids, Riddle diff covers, Rampage bowless top
Does it work the way you want?: So far, so good
Anything you would chance?: I’d like to upgrade to a Waggy 44 front axle, stretch, and comp cut the rear with a fuel cell
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Last winter I took a bunch of friends and one unlucky girl wheeling to a spot I knew pretty well (I thought). It all looked different in the snow and we ended up veering off course and I was leading the pack into a swamp. I buried my axles, lost 4WD, blew my power steering, and froze. Two Cherokees together could not get me out. Four hours later a lifted Cummins pulled me out like I wasn’t even stuck.
Anything to Add?: Bought my Jeep for $600 two years ago, wrecked, with 103K on the odometer. Started with a Dana 30/35 and a 32RH automatic transmission. Little by little swapped the axles with 3.07s for high-pinion 30/8.8 with 4.10s, lockers, trusses and other goodies. This winter took an AX15 axle out of another Jeep, swapped computers and other necessities to make my Jeep a 5-speed.

Vehicle: 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ
Owner: Matt Bronson, Melba, ID
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.5R15 Radial RTVs on stock wheels
Suspension: 3-inch spacers, random junkyard shocks
Drivetrain: Stock transmission and transfer case, locked Dana 30 front, welded Dana 35 rear
Performance Mods: 4.0L with K&N cold air intake, Flowmaster muffler and 3-inch exhaust
Other Doodads: Full cage, KC lights, nut case driver
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Blew up the front output shaft on the transfer case and had to limp home with no oil in the transfer case
Does everything work the way you want?: For the most part
Anything you would change?: 33-inch tires and lower gears
Anything to add?: New sticker says it all: “Smoke’n Rubicons”

All Over Blazer
Vehicle: 1976 K5 Blazer
Owner: Chris Jaffray, “from all over”
Tires & Wheels: 42-inch TSLs on beadlocks
Suspension: 4-inch Tuff Country springs, Offroad Design flip kit, Bilstein shocks, big bumpstops
Drivetrain: TH350 3-speed automatic transmission, Offroad Design Doubler transfer case with triple-stick shifter, Dana 60 front axle with ARB Air Locker, 35-spline shafts, 14-bolt rear axle with Grizzly locker
Performance: Cherry-built, bored Chevy 350 V-8, late-model heads, headers, plenty of power
Other Doodads: Offroad Design crossover steering
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Works great for now
Anything You Would Change?: I would make it lighter and get a winch
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Unknowingly tearing around in front of BLM officers. Oops. When they pulled up to me, the officer’s dirtbike fell over on him.
Anything to Add?: Thanks to everyone at Offroad Design

Blue Oval Cummins
Vehicle: 1973 Ford F-250 4x4 Highboy
Owner: Wayne Calkin, Eagle River, AK
Tires & Wheels: 285/75R16 Cooper Discoverer R/Ts on 16x8 aluminum modulars
Suspension: 2-inch body lift, Rancho RS5000 shocks
Drivetrain: 47RE automatic transmission; NP241LD transfer case, high-pinion Dana 60 front axle with 4.10 gears and ARB Air Locker; Dana 60 rear axle with 4.10 gears, limited-slip, disc brakes
Performance Mods: ’99 Cummins 5.9L ISB, Blue Chip VP44 pump, Smarty tuner, 50hp RV injectors, FASS fuel system, Tymar intake
Other Doodads: Owner-made bumpers, cradle for a Warn 8274 winch with Amsteel Blue cable, front/rear receivers for winch cradle, seat mounts, National air ride seats, center console and gauge pod mounted on top of dash, Kilby on-board air system, Espar engine/cab heater, Cobra 29LTD CB radio, Pro-Tech cross-bed toolbox, Extang rollup tonneau cover, Truck-Lite LED headlights, Vision-X 6-inch round Transporter lights, Kolor It Kustom paint job, spray-in bedliner
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Absolutely
Anything You Would Change?: Install P7100 pump kit and get rid of the VP44
Anything to Add?: Any dweeb can go out and buy a $35K F-150, but it takes a real man to build his dream truck

Liberty Bell
Vehicle: 2002 Jeep Liberty Owner: Zach Becker, State College, PA
Tires & Wheels: 265/70R16 BFGoodrich All-Terrain KOs on factory 16-inch rims
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch Daystar spacer lift
Drivetrain: Stock automatic transmission, transfer case, and axles
Performance Mods: Stock 3.7L V6- Other Doodads: Roof rack, Hella off-road lights
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Watching my towhook rip from my bumper and shoot past my friend’s face while trying to pull an F-150 out of a ditch. I went back the next day to find my towhook lying about 50 feet away in the woods. It wasn’t funny at the time.
Does everything work the way you want?: As well as expected for a high-mileage Jeep
Anything you would change?: Lockers, steel bumpers, winch
Anything to add?: I have always loved off-roading, but your magazine has motivated me even more in the last few years and given me many ideas for my Jeep

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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