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Readers’ Rides - October 2014

Posted in News on September 4, 2014
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Sporty XJ Vehicle: 2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ
Owner: Donovan Bissell, Mantua, OH
Tires & Wheels: 235/75R15 Goodyear Duratracs on stock rims
Suspension: Stock Drivetrain: Stock Performance Mods: 4.0L, new exhaust, synthetic oil
Other Doodads: Brushguard, KC lights, Cobra 29 CB, Thule roof bars, homemade recovery points
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Went to Yankee Lake on the first time out, found a hole, and covered the front end while scaring the crap outta my buddy
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, but it needs to get better mileage
Anything You Would Change?: 2-inch lift, roof basket, rear bumper/tire carrier, winch, wheels
Anything to Add?: It’s my daily driver here at Iowa State, and the Iowa Jeep Show was awesome

Medicated JK?
Vehicle: 2010 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Owner: Matthew Parga-Manasse, Fayetteville, NC
Tires & Wheels: 38-inch Toyo Cross Country MTs on 18-inch KMC XD Monsters
Suspension: Rock Krawler 51⁄2-inch Triple Threat with the coilovers Drivetrain: Rubi D44 axles, Poly Performance C-gussets, 5.38 Superior gears and rear axleshafts, Tom Woods driveshafts
Performance Mods: Stock 3.8L V-6, Superchips FlashPaq tuner, River Raider snorkel
Other Doodads: River Raider skidplate, Rigid 50-inch light bar and cubes, Warn RC9.0 winch, Factor 55 thimble, sPod switches, Poison Spyder armor
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: It works great other than having to replace my trans skid from abuse in Uwharrie National Forest
Anything You Would Change?: I’m planning to go triple bypass and coilovers on all four corners, attached to D60s
Anything to Add?: I want to make this thing KOH capable. All it takes is time and money

Garage-Built XJ
Vehicle: 1987 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Steve Santa Cruz, Frederick, CO
Tires & Wheels: 33x11.5R15 BFGoodrich KM2s
Suspension: 41⁄2-inch BDS long-arm kit, BDS shocks
Drivetrain: AW4 automatic transmission, NP231 transfer case with SYE, high-pinion Dana 30 front axle, high-pinion Dana 44 rear axle, 4.88 gears, disc brakes, Lock-Right lockers
Performance Mods: ’92 4.0L HO swap, WCC big-bore throttle body, AFE cold air intake, dual radiator fans
Other Doodads: RuffStuff diff covers, trussed axles, custom skidplate, custom bumpers, Smittybilt XRC 8,000-pound winch, custom rollcage, custom sliders, frame stiffeners
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: It has cooling issues. Even with a separate tranny cooler and an aluminum radiator it runs too warm for comfort.
Anything You Would Change?: Cut so much off the wheelwells that I wish I would have bought 35s
Anything to Add?: I’ve done 99.9% of the work in my two-car garage. CO Jeep Forum has welcomed me, and I’m having a blast running trails with them

“Lubicon” Samurai
Vehicle: 1986 Suzuki Samurai Tin-Top
Owner: Mark Eldridge, San Carlos, CA
Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50 Summit Trail Climbers on chrome steelies
Suspension: Stock springs over axles, cheap shocks
Drivetrain: Stock, Calmini 5.14 gears in transfer case, SpiderTrax driveline spacers
Performance Mods: 1300ccs of fury (stock), rebuilt Hitachi carb by Ace Fuel in San Jose
Other Doodads: Rollbar, Cobra CB, Pioneer CD player, roof rack
Funniest Wheeling Incident: My big brother got out to film me in Hollister’s Upper Vs and I flopped it
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes
Anything You Would Change?: Suzuki 1.6L swap, CJ/RUF rear spring swap, rear spool or locker, 34x9.50s on black steelies
Anything to Add?: Thanks for years of enjoyment

CJKC’s Finest
Vehicle: 2007 Rubicon JK
Owners: Bill & Holly Tucker, Monroe, OH
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.5R15 Pit Bull Rockers on 15x8 Ion rims
Suspension: 31⁄2-inch Rough Country lift, 1-inch M.O.R.E. body lift, 3⁄4-inch spacers up front, 5160 Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: Stock, 5.13 gears
Performance Mods: Stock 3.8L V-6, Volant intake, MagnaFlow exhaust, Superchips tuner
Other Doodads: JE Reel Driveshafts, Smittybilt winch with synthetic rope, Smittbilt bumpers and cage
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Everything works well. Love our Pitbull rockers.
Anything You Would Change?: Hemi V-8
Anything to Add?: We are members of Cincinnati JK Crew, which has over 200 rigs and over 370 members. Our group goes 4-wheeling at least once a month

“Camp Cow”
Vehicle: 1989 Chevy Suburban 1500
Owner: Clay Carley, Rohnert Park, CA
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.5R15 BFGoodrich All-Terrains on forged Centerlines
Suspension: 4-inch Tuff Country HD front springs, Bilstein 7100 shocks, ORD extended bumpstops, rear 4-inch Pro-Comp 56-inch-long springs, Bilstein5100 shocks, Skyjacker stabilizers
Drivetrain: TH700R4 trans, NP241 transfer case,10-bolt front axle, swapped-in 12-bolt rear axle with an Eaton Truetrac
Performance Mods: Chevy 350, Jegs TBI spacer & salad bowl, ACCEL ignition module
Other Doodads: KC foglights mounted on a JC Whitney push bar, custom front license frame with old school “Suburban” logo
Funniest Wheeling Incident: I pulled over for someone to go by and found out that the radiator core support wasn’t bolted to the frame! The engine fan started eating the fan shroud while the suspension flexed out.
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: So far so good, but it’s not done yet
Anything You Would Change?: I went a little too light on the 7100s’ valving, Surco roof rack, planning on building a rear sleeping area
Anything to add?: My wife and I used it for overland exploring before our daughter was born. Our daughter is already learning that “camping” involves dirt roads and mud holes

In Progress
Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Tacoma TRD double cab
Owner: Michael Atkinson, Carson City, NV
Tires & Wheels: Stock, TRD 16-inch beadlocks
Suspension: Toyota Off Road package, Bilstein shocks
Drivetrain: Stock Performance Mods: Volant intake, Flowmaster exhaust
Other Doodads: All Pro Off Road front bumper
Anything You Would Change?: I am lifting it 4 inches and putting on 33-inch Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3s. I also need to get a good winch, PIAA 510 foglights, and an All Pro rear bumper. I am making a bed and roof rack for her.
Anything to Add?: It’s still a work in progress. I hope I will be able to share with the rest of my fellow Taco owners a one-of-a-kind Tacoma when it is finished

Rusty’s Rust-Free Bronco
Vehicle: 1993 Eddie Bauer Bronco
Owner: Rusty Besanson, Picayune, MI
Tires & Wheels: 37x13.5R17 Nitto Mud Grapplers on 17x9 KMC XD Addicts
Suspension: 6-inch Rough Country suspension lift, 3-inch body lift
Drivetrain: Stock (for now) Performance mods: None (yet)
Other Doodads: Spray-in bedliner throughout inside, Procar seats, big stereo
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Not yet
Anything You Would Change?: Straight axle in front. Planning on doing a diesel conversion using a ’93 F-350.
Anything to Add?: I’m redoing it for my son, who is 13 and will be getting it for his first vehicle in two years

Vehicle: 1970 K5 Blazer
Owner: Dave Montgomery, Beaverton, OR
Tires & Wheels: 37x14.5R16 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZs on Alloy wheels
Suspension: 6-inch Skyjacker front springs, ORD rear shackle flip
Drivetrain: TH350 transmission with shift kit, NP205 transfer case, Dana 44 front axle, GM 12-bolt rear axle
Performance Mods: Chevy 350 with cam, ported/polished heads, Edelbrock air gap and 650-cfm carb, headers
Other Doodads: Softopper Top, stereo loud enough to hear on freeway, Warn 9.5ti winch, lots of $$ spent on brakes, steering, and stuff
Funniest Wheeling Incident: My friend/boss following me onto the sand with a stock ’78 Suburban and getting stuck three feet in
Does Everything Work the Way You Want?: Yes, this is the ultimate summer cruiser: a convertible with some height to it
Anything You Would Change?: 1-ton axles, custom bumpers and rock sliders, Warn 9.5ti winch
Anything to Add?: There are very few of us in the Portland area who want to keep these great gas-guzzling fullsize Chevys on the road, and I want to shout out to all the locals who are like me.

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 Mods (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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