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Readers’ Rides - August 2014

Posted in News on July 2, 2014
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Strong-Arm XJ
Vehicle: 1986 Cherokee
Owner: Dan Jordison, Ramona, CA
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/As on Moab rims
Suspension: 61⁄2-inch custom lift on modified Full Traction LJ long-arms, 14-inch Bilstein 7100s in front; 4-inch Rubicon Express springs with Rough Country relocation brackets and 11⁄2-inch shackles in the rear
Drivetrain: Torqueflite 904 automatic transmission, NP207 transfer case, welded-up Dana 30 front axle with chromoly shafts, welded-up Dana 35 rear axle
Performance Mods: ’95 Camaro 3.4L V-6, Howell fuel-injection
Other Doodads: Full cage, chopped top, Smittybilt suspension seats, CB, LED rock lights
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, bought it for $250 and showing up guys with $40,000 rigs is awesome
Anything You Would Change?: Custom National Springs to come, more sheetmetal cutting
Anything to Add?: People laugh at my Rhino-lined XJ, but I never have to wash it

Desert Tundra
Vehicle: 2003 Tundra 4x4
Owner: Matt Anaya, Thousand Oaks, CA
Tires & Wheels: Master Corsair AXTs on Eagle Alloys
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch spacer lift, Bilstein 5100 struts and shocks
Drivetrain: Stock, 4.10 gears and Lock-Rite Locker in front; 4.11 gears and Detroit Locker in the rear
Performance Mods: High-flow exhaust Other Doodads: HID lights, custom front bumper and rock sliders
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Going in reverse in a big mud hole and getting high-centered
Does It Work the Way You Want?: Yes
Anything You Would Change?: I would like to do a leaf-spring straight-axle conversion
Anything to Add?: I like to show up the Jeep guys. They can’t believe what this mighty Tundra can do!

Half-Ton Explorer
Vehicle: 1994 Explorer
Owner: Matt Neumayer, Bonners Ferry, ID
Tires: 35x12.5R15 General Grabbers
Suspension: Ford 1⁄2-ton front coils, rear leaves
Drivetrain: ’88 Ranger 5-speed manual transmission, ’89 Bronco ll transfer case, Dana 44 front axle, Ford 9-inch rear axle with a locker, 4.88 gears
Performance Mods: Stock
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Way too many to just pick one
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: It runs great but in my eyes it will always need more
Anything You Would Change?: Bumpers and new motor eventually, but mainly more aggressive tires for now

Tungsten Traveler
Vehicle: 2001 XJ Sport
Owner: Richard & Kelly Allen, Estes Park, CO
Tires & Wheels: 30x10.5R15 Pro Comp ATs on American steel wheels
Suspension: Rancho 4-inch kit
Drivetrain: Stock, 3.56 gears, ARB Air Lockers, EBC Greenie pads with slotted and cross-drilled rotors
Performance Mods: Banks CAI, Banks header, MagnaFlow exhaust, FlowKooler water pump
Other Doodads: Rusty’s skidplates, Warn front bumper and 9500ti winch, mandrel-bent roof rack, IPF headlights
Does It Work the Way You Want?: You bet, it’ll climb trees if I can point it right!
Anything You Would Change?: Rebuild the 4.0L with oversized pistons, a Crane Cam for more torque, dual batteries
Anything to Add?: 99 percent of the work was done or redone by Bob Schleppy and his sons. I’m disabled with half my spine made out of tungsten. I can go and see things and places that I could never see without it.

General General
Vehicle: 1971 Chevy K10
Owner: Aaron Pruett, Holcomb, MS
Tires & Wheels: 38.5-inch Interco Thornbirds on 15x12 Mickey Thompson Classic IIs
Suspension: 6-inch Skyjacker springs and shocks, homemade 3-inch body lift
Drivetrain: TH350 transmission, NP205 transfer case, rear locker
Performance Mods: Chevy 350 V-8 bored 0.030 over, 10:1 flat-top pistons, Edelbrock 750-cfm carb and intake manifold
Other Doodads: 9,000-pound Warn winch, Dixie horn
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Jumped a ditch playing Dukes of Hazzard, busted the rearend
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Most of the time
Anything You Would Change?: A 572 big-block

One-Ton XJ
Vehicle: 1998 Cherokee
Owner: Andrew MacClements, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Tires & Wheels: 37s on 17-inch H2 rims, a set of 37s on 16.5-inch American Racing Wagon Wheels for spares
Suspension: 3-link front, S10 Blazer rear springs, 14-inch FOA coilovers
Drivetrain: AX15 transmission with Dak V-6 bellhousing, flipped Dana 300 transfer case with 4:1 gears and cable-shifted twin sticks, Ford kingpin high-pinion Dana 60 front axle with Dodge outers and high-steer, GM 14-bolt rear axle with discs, pinion guard, locker, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: Dodge 5.9L V-8 swap, headers, fully custom mandrel-bent 21⁄2-inch exhaust
Other Doodads: Tubbed-out rear wheelwells with outboard shock hoops, reinforced frame and engine bay with 3⁄16-inch plate, custom motor mounts, flat belly other than link mounts
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Getting completely stuck between two trees with my girlfriend, nearly rolling over, for two hours
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Flexes like crazy, crawls like a turtle, and has a bark to its bite with the V-8.
Anything You Would Change?: 4-link the rear, and if it wasn’t so rainy here, back-half it. Hydro assist is in a cardboard box, and finally got a tube bender for that overdue exocage. And beadlocks for my other steel rims.
Anything to Add?: It’s been a long haul and a lot of learning, and a lot of new tools and skills. I started the project because somebody told me I couldn’t do it. Now it’s become a passion.

Alaska Tacoma
Vehicle: 1997 Tacoma
Owner: Dana Parrish, Anchorage, AK
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.5R15 Nokian Vativas on stock wheels
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch Rough Country lift.
Drivetrain: Stock Funniest Wheeling Incident: A Japanese friend was here for the first time. I took her to a favorite off-road place and sank it to the axles next to the Knik River. Had to be pulled out by a passing 4-wheeler.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Works well
Anything You Would Change?: A rear locker will make it better

Square-Light Renegade
Vehicle: 1991 YJ Renegade
Owner: Chris Crowley, Sikeston, MO
Tires & Wheels: 315/75R15 mud-terrains on steel wheels
Suspension: 5-inch BDS front springs, 4-inch rear springs, 1-inch body lift
Drivetrain: Stock except for front locker and Ford 8.8-inch rear axle with disc brakes
Performance Mods: Stock 4.0L HO I-6
Other Doodads: Family cage, rocker protection, winch, bumpers
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Winching my buddy’s rig up a valley backwards because he did not check the trail before going down it
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Needs a rear locker and longer brake lines
Anything You Would Change?: Dana 44 front axle with link suspension
Anything to Add?: This rig may not be built to awesome spec, but it is fun and reliable

Bishop Of JKs?
Vehicle: 2007 JK Wrangler Unlimited X
Owner: Raul Hidalgo, Bishop, CA
Tires & Wheels: LT265/17R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KOs on Pro Comp La Paz Series 29 wheels
Suspension: Bilstein 4600 shocks
Drivetrain: Stock, 4.10 axle gears
Performance Mods: 3.8L V-6, Gibson exhaust, Airaid CAI
Other Doodads: Rugged Ridge XHD bumpers, 6-inch KC driving lights, 5-inch KC Pro Sport HIDs, Warrior rocker and corner armor
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes
Anything to Add?: Surco Safari Hardtop Rack

Blazin’ Washington
Vehicle: 1984 S-10 Blazer
Owner: Jake Johnson, Kettle Falls, WA
Tires & Wheels: 36x14.5R15 Interco TSLs on aluminum wheels
Suspension: SAS, front Waggy springs, rear 1⁄2-ton Chevy springs
Drivetrain: TH350 automatic transmission, NP208 transfer case, Dana 44 axles, Spartan locker in front, welded rear spiders, 4.10 gears
Performance Mods: Chevy 305 V-8, Holley Truck Avenger carb, Flowmaster Super 40 mufflers, dual electric fans, aluminum radiator
Other Doodads: Custom bumpers, rock sliders, Smittybilt 8,000-pound winch
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: It’s getting there!
Anything You Would Change?: 5.13 gears, better steering, dual transfer cases, 36-inch Iroks
Anything to Add?: Couldn’t have built it without the help of friends and lots of beer!

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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