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Jeeps of Moab Easter Jeep Safari 2008 Part 1 - Moab Mini Features

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 1, 2008
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Contributors: Pete Trasborg

Every year for about the past decade or so, the staff of Jp has made it out to the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari held by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers club. Why? It's only the biggest, best, and most fun off-road event in the world. And for our money, it's held in the most beautiful area of the country.

Although snow, rain, and cold weather early in the week-long event, coupled with crazy-high fuel prices, threatened to stymie the fun of the 42nd annual Easter Jeep Safari, this year's event was as good as any. Since by now we've covered the trails and the obstacles to death, we've once again decided to focus on a smattering of cool Jeeps we encountered during our all-too-brief stay in Moab. Whether it's a full-gonzo monster or a cheapie stock Jeep, you'll find it on the trails during the Easter Jeep Safari. You can check out the host club's Web site at for more on next year's event or for info on keeping these great trails open for use.

When a CJ on 39s rolls by we tend to take notice. We liked Erik Striegel's '82 right off the bat. From its AMC engine to its 1-ton axles to its battle-scarred exterior, we could tell this Rangely, Colorado-based Jeep had seen its fair share of use. Erik bought the Jeep mostly built, but he's currently putting his stamp on it with a new rear suspension and by stretching the wheelbase out to 106 inches.

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Model: CJ-7
Year: 1982
Estimated Value: $27,500
Build Time: Eight months
Owner: Erik Striegel
Hometown: Rangely, Colorado
Occupation: Pipe liner
Years Wheeling Experience: 21
Favorite Wheeling Spot: The Rangely Rock Crawl Park
Why Choose This Vehicle to Build: Got a good deal on it and it had everything I wanted (axles, steering, etc.)
Favorite Terrain: Rock
Engine: AMC 360
Aspiration: Holley 2-bbl injection
Transmission: TF727 automatic
Transfer Case: Dana 300, 4:1 low
Front Axle/Differential: Narrowed Dodge Dana 60, Detroit Locker
Rear Axle/Differential: Narrowed Dodge Dana 60, Detroit Locker
Ring and Pinion Ratio: 4.88
Front Suspension: Coils with radius arms and track bar
Rear Suspension: Spring-over leaf springs
Wheels: Poison Spyder Customs 17x9, bead lock
Tires: BFG 39x13.50R17 Krawler
Other Cool Stuff: On-board air, tube fenders, PSC hydro-assist steering
Favorite Mod(s): Krawlers
Least Favorite Mod(s): Rear leaves (hop a little)
If I Had to Build It Again: Currently having rear four-linked and stretching the wheelbase to 106 inches

So what does the title of this mini-feature mean? Honestly, we haven't a clue. Sometimes stuff like this just pops into our heads and we have to run with it. Brett Baur got in the magazine via the shrapnel effect. He was standing close by while we were shooting a feature on his buddy's rig when we started noticing how cool his '00 TJ was. Check the spec sheet for the full scoop. We bet you'll wind up thinking it's as cool as we do.

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Model: Wrangler TJ
Year: 2000
Estimated Value: $50,000
Build Time: Five years
Owner: Brett Baur
Hometown: Ogden, Utah
Occupation: Owner, Brett's Towing Company
Years Wheeling Experience: 15
Favorite Wheeling Spot: Moab, Utah
Why Choose This Vehicle to Build: It's a Jeep
Favorite Terrain: Rock
Engine: 4.0L six-cylinder
Aspiration: Avenger Supercharger, factory injection
Transmission: Factory three-speed auto
Transfer Case: Atlas II, 4.3:1 low
Front Axle/Differential: Teraflex Dana 60, ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle/Differential: Teraflex Dana 60, ARB Air Locker
Ring and Pinion Ratio: 4.56
Front Suspension: Three-link wishbone with coilovers
Rear Suspension: Triangulated four-link with coilovers
Wheels: 17x10 Trail Ready bead lock
Tires: 14/42-17 Interco Irok
Other Cool Stuff: Warn 9500 winch; full hydro steering; front and rear torsional antisway bars; cut-down Hanson Enterprises bumpers; Poison Spyder Customs tube fenders, Crusher Corners, and Rocker Knockers
Favorite Mod(s): Wheelbase stretched to 110 inches and coilovers
Least Favorite Mod(s): Nothing
If I Had to Build It Again: Build it like it is now from the start instead of plodding through all the trial and error

No, not the stupid cartoon mutt that runs around in tights. We're talking about the little guy you always root for. If we had a dime for every red TJ we bumped into while at Moab this year it'd pay for our gas out there and back. After a while you just don't even care to look. But when we stumbled across Brett Pulley and his wacky bunch of friends, we got sucked into their sphere and quickly found ourselves rooting for the little $300 XJ that could. Brett bought the '88 off Craigslist for the event and had no plans to bring it home. And after watching him drive The Escalator in it, we were rooting for him every inch of the way.

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Model: Cherokee XJ
Year: 1988
Estimated Value: $300-and dropping
Build Time: Two days
Owner: Brett Pulley
Hometown: We forgot to ask
Occupation: We have no idea
Years Wheeling Experience: Again, we're slackers
Favorite Wheeling Spot: Moab, Utah
Why Choose This Vehicle to Build: It was cheap and it was available for Easter Jeep Safari '08
Favorite Terrain: Slickrock
Engine: 4.0L
Aspiration: Factory Renix injection
Transmission: Peugeot five-speed
Transfer Case: NP231
Front Axle/Differential: Stock Dana 30, open
Rear Axle/Differential: Stock Dana 35, welded
Ring and Pinion Ratio: 3.55
Front Suspension: Stock four-link
Rear Suspension: Stock leaf springs
Wheels: Mishmash of stock Jeep
Tires: Threadbare P225/75R15 and P235/75R15 no-name brand
Other Cool Stuff: Cheap Hi-Lift knock-off bolted to hood, rear roof and tailgate cut off, tube doors
Favorite Mod(s): Front winch bumper and 3,000-pound trailer winch
Least Favorite Mod(s): Muffler knocked off by a rock
If I Had to Build It Again: I would!

It's not often you can carve out your own signature style with a vehicle as ubiquitous as a TJ, but that's just what former rock crawl champion Chris Durham has done. This is Chris' umpteenth TJ on 40s that employs hardly any suspension lift. With 1-ton axles, huge tires, and a crazy-low center of gravity, Chris' TJ makes short work of off-camber climbs and angles that would send taller rigs tumbling.

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Model: Wrangler TJ
Year: 1998
Estimated Value: $25,000
Build Time: 300 hours
Owner: Chris Durham
Hometown: Pickens, South Carolina
Occupation: Owner, Chris Durham Motorsports
Years Wheeling Experience: 18
Favorite Wheeling Spot: Tellico
Why Choose This Vehicle to Build: Creature comforts (A/C, CD player, top, heat)
Favorite Terrain: Rock
Engine: 4.0L, bored throttle body, throttle body spacer, header and exhaust
Aspiration: Factory
Transmission: Factory three-speed auto
Transfer Case: NP231 with Teraflex two-wheel low kit and Advance Adapters 32-spline output
Front Axle/Differential: Chris Durham Motorsports Dana 60 low pinion; Detroit Locker
Rear Axle/Differential: '78 F-250 Dana 60 bored for 35-spline, stock width; Detroit Locker
Ring and Pinion Ratio: 5.13
Front Suspension: Three-link with track bar, 11/4-inch coil spacer to level stance
Rear Suspension: Triangulated four-link, stock coils
Wheels: Walker Evans Racing 17x9 bead lock, 5-inch backspacing
Tires: 40x13.5017 Goodyear MT/R
Other Cool Stuff: Chris Durham Motorsports Flexi-Glass hood (bends 45 degrees without damage), Warn 9500 winch, Chris Durham Motorsports skidplate and front bumper, steering box moved, Poison Spyder Customs Crusher Corners and Rocker Guards, 1-inch body lift
Favorite Mod(s): Suspension being so low
Least Favorite Mod(s): Leaving the stock six-cylinder
If I Had to Build It Again: Do a V-8 conversion for more power

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