A Dodge For All Occasions
Although we know it's called Easter Jeep Safari, what we really love seeing on the rocks in Moab are big fullsize trucks. The Jeeps and smaller 4x4s and buggies do a great job of creeping around on the rocks, but there's something about watching some huge, lumbering beast trying to crawl around on slickrock that just really gets us excited. We were running through Pritchett Canyon hoping to see some fullsize action when we caught up to Scott Strikwerda in his '84 Dodge crew cab, along with two other fullsize Dodges. We were in Dodge Heaven! And after watching Scott on the rocks with a four-door truck that seats six, we think a tight turning radius might be overrated.
Scott's build is a bit different than most, and that can probably be attributed to the fact that Scott started this build when he was a Southern Californian, before escaping to Alpine, Utah, in search of less crowded pastures. The prerunner theme definitely rings through the look, but after moving to red rock country, Scott modified his build to incorporate a dual sport theme that can still blast down the sandy washes, but also crawl through the tight and tall boulders and rock trails that Utah has to offer. Best of all, Scott has still retained enough seats for six people so the whole family can wheel together.
An AGR steering box and hydraulic assist ram help Scott turn those 40-inch MTRs, whether it's at 60 mph in the desert or 6 mph in the rocks. The AGR equipment has been mated to a custom crossover steering system to help reduce bumpsteer during suspension travel. The steering system attaches via standard tie-rod ends to a Dodge low-pinion Dana 60 axle that Scott turned the knuckles on to correct the caster. The axle is stuffed with a Detroit Locker inside a 5.13 ratio ring gear that spins 30-spline stock axles. Outer Limits Motorsports took care of that front bumper fitted with a Warn winch (that didn't have any cable on it during the shoot-Scott must be very sure of his truck's ability).
Though we like the Mopar 360ci engine, this one has a lot of pounds to push around. Scott is waiting for the 360 to die before he yanks it out for a 440 that will find its way into the engine bay soon. But with the gearing packed behind that small-block, the 360 is more than enough to get around with. A four-speed manual tranny takes the small-block's torque and directs power to an Atlas 4.3:1 low-range transfer case that spins two Six States driveshafts.