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Readers’ Rides - May 2014

Posted in News on March 13, 2014
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Photographers: Readers

60 HP Wonder
Vehicle: 1988 Samurai
Owner: Chris Crowley, Sikeston, MO
Tires & Wheels: 35x15.5R15 TSL SXs (grooved), owner-made front beadlocks
Suspension: Springover using YJ springs
Drivetrain: 6.5:1-geared transfer case, Toyota axles with Spartan lockers, 4.10 gears
Performance: Stock 1.3L I-4 (60hp of wonder)
Other Doodads: Owner-built cage, bumpers, 1⁄4-inch skidplate, and rock sliders, power steering, OTT high-steer linkage
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Works great, if only it were street-legal
Anything You Would Change?: Adding hydro assist
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Being winched up a valley 150 feet backwards because I did not check out the trail before I ran it. About 25 feet from the bottom of the valley was a cliff. Later the owner of the park told me that trail was abandoned because of a large bolder rolling down the slope and lodging firmly in place, creating that cliff.

Old Faithful
Vehicle: 1979 Jeep CJ-5
Owner: Alex Wasserburger, Douglas, WY
Tires & Wheels: 37-inch BFGoodrich Red Label Krawlers, custom rock rings on steel wheels with Staun beadlocks
Suspension: BDS 4-inch lift springs with military wraps, long-travel shocks
Drivetrain: T19 4-speed manual transmission, twin-stick Dana 300 transfer case with 4:1 low-range, Advance Adapters heavy outputs clocked flat, Dana 60 front axle with ARB Air Locker, 35-spline shafts, shaved 14-bolt rear axle, Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Performance: 5.0L H.O. Mustang V-8
Other Doodads: Frame fully reinforced, full hydro steering
Does It Work the Way You Want?: For the most part
Anything You Would Change?: Auto trans so the wife can drive it too
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Broke a rear pinion yoke at midnight on the night run the first day of the Dakota Territory Challenge and accidentally unplugged the fuel pump while repairing (with very poor lighting, small flashlight in my mouth). Had to leave it on the trail till morning because we couldn’t get it to run.

BC Bogger
Vehicle: 1992 Chevy K2500
Owner: Shane Naeth, Terrace, B.C., Canada
Tires & Wheels: 38.5-inch Boggers on 16x12 black steelies
Suspension: Sky 6-inch springover hangers, 4-inch BDS springs front, 6-inch rear springs with 4-inch shackle flip, BDS shocks all around
Drivetrain: Chevy 355 V-8, 5-speed manual transmission, clocked NP241 transfer case with SYE, ’79 Ford Dana 60 front axle, 14-bolt full-floating rear axle with Detroit Locker, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: Headers, custom dual exhaust, K&N filter, Holley carb
Other Doodads: Crossover steering, dual steering stabilizers, PSC steering box, 3-inch body lift, custom CV driveshafts
Does It Work the Way You Want?: So far so good
Anything to Add?: Bush bumpers and my winch installed

Sweet TJ
Vehicle: Jeep TJ
Owner: George Walberg, Sweet Home, OR
Tires & Wheels: 33x10.5R15 Toyo Mud Countrys on 15x7 American Racing Outlaw IIs
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country lift
Drivetrain: Stock, 3.07 gears
Performance Mods: Limited-slips
Other Doodads: Skidways bellypan, Smittybilt 8,000-pound winch
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Goes anywhere I have the nerve to
Anything You Would Change?: Lower gears would be nice
Anything to Add?: Put 60,000 on it. Over 10,000 of that is serious off-road.

Torrid Bronco
Vehicle: 1986 Ford Bronco XLT
Owners: Richard & Michelle Torres, Chico, CA
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 Dunlop Mud Rovers, aluminum wheels
Suspension: 3-inch body lift, custom gap guards
Drivetrain: 5.0L V-8, AOD 4-speed automatic transmission, NP205 transfer case, Dana 44 TTB front axle, Ford 8.8 rear axle with factory Trac-Lok
Other Doodads: F-250 ball joints and tie-rods, F-250 grille swap, blacked-out front clip, towhooks, brushguard with lights, custom front and rear boxed bumper relocation
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Heck yeah! It’s a Ford after all.
Anything You Would Change?: Trac-Lok in front differential, regear for larger tires
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Showing my brother up by crossing the pit he never could then letting my ego take over and getting stuck on the second “In Your Face” run across the pit. I had to be pulled out by him, he got stuck, and we both had to be pulled out all hooked together by a monster Land Cruiser
Anything to Add?: This is my daily driver, weekend camper/fisher, family mover, winter snow/mud driver, and tow rig. It goes anywhere I point it and back. I would not trade it for anything. Long live the ’80s FSBs!

Malicious M1009
Vehicle: 1985 Chevrolet M1009 CUCV (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle) Owner: Sean Malis, Lebec, CA
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 Goodyear DuraTracs on stock military wheels
Suspension: 4-inch Pro Comp lift
Drivetrain: Stock GM 6.2L J-series Detroit Diesel V-8, TH400 4-speed automatic, NP208 transfer case, 10-bolt front axle, 14-bolt rear axle with Gov-Lok, 3.08 gears
Other Doodads: Roof rack, stereo, CB radio, Warn winch
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Yes, but I want to touch up the original Army paint
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Repairing a busted U-joint on the trail while my wife cooked dinner on the tailgate
Anything to Add?: Love my CUCV

Vehicle: 1951 Willy pickups on ’85 Suburban frame
Owner: Steve Snyder, Dewitt, NE
Tires & Wheels: 33-inch Federal M/Ts on 16-inch aluminum wheels
Suspension: 2-inch lift
Drivetrain: Stock Chevy 350 V-8, TH700R4 4-speed automatic, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: Cherry Bomb mufflers, stacks
Other Doodads: Disc brakes, ’58 Chevy longbox, Grant steering wheel, Hi-Lift jack, 10,000-pound winch
Does It Work the Way You Want?: It doesn’t vibrate at highway speeds
Anything You Would Change?: New paint, taller lift
Anything to Add?: We call it Frankenstein because of all the different parts. This made a nice driver and is my first build.

$500 Datsun
Vehicle: 1973 Datsun G20 pickup, 4x4 conversion
Owner: Jason Gilley, Stockton, CA
Tires & Wheels: 31s on 15s
Suspension: No clue
Drivetrain: Not sure
Performance Mods: Rebuilt I-4 Other
Doodads: Rattle-can paintjob
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Submerged it into a canal a few days after the engine was rebuilt
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Um, no
Anything You Would Change?: Dana 60 front axle, 14-bolt rear axle, 327 V-8, suspension lift, body lift, 35-inch or 40-inch Nitto Mud Grapplers, power steering, Corbeau seats, rollcage, bumpers, dual batteries, lights, winch
Anything to Add?: Someone help

Solid S-10
Vehicle: 1988 Chevy S-10 Blazer
Owner: Chris Thomas, Cascade, CO
Tires & Wheels: 37-inch Goodyears on Trail Worthy Fab custom Humvee double beadlocks
Suspension: Skys Offroad Design solid-axle swap (S-10 leaf springs), rear spring-over conversion for about 8 inches of lift, 3-inch body, custom front shock hoops with Rancho shocks
Drivetrain: 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission, NP208 transfer case with SYE, 8-lug Dana 44 front axle, Detroit E-Z Locker, Warn hubs; 3⁄4-ton Dana 60 full-floating rear axle, 4.10 gears
Performance: 4.3L V-6, complete rebuild, machine work by Lanier’s Speed Shop, bored 0.030 over, Edelbrock intake, Schneider Cams regrind of stock hydraulic roller rocker camshaft for 9.8:1 compression, 3-angle valve job, high-flow dual exhaust
Other Doodads: Tom Wood’s CV driveshafts, Warn front bumper, Smittybilt XRC8 winch, B&M ratcheting shifter, crossover steering, power steering cooling system using a tube-style transmission cooler, custom fender flares
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Something is always leaking, but it climbs like a beast
Anything You Would Change?: Regear to 4.88s, rear selectable locker, ram-assist steering, rear bumper with tire carrier, external rollcage, rock sliders
Funniest Wheeling Incident: After returning home from its first-ever trip out (and blowing the power steering pump), I pulled up next to my daily driver and noticed a flickering light reflecting off the other vehicle. Jumping out with my brand-new fire extinguisher, I attempted to put out the flames—and got nothing from the extinguisher. By the time I ran around the house to grab the hose and put the fire out, I had 6-foot flames coming out of the engine compartment. I hate headers.
Anything to Add?: I bought the truck in 2009 for $500, the engine for $300. Four years and $14,000 later, it’s finally getting close. Oh, and my wife hates it.

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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