Invited Readers of Ultimate Adventure 2017Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2017 on July 24, 2017
This year we invited four lucky new readers and one returning reader on the Ultimate Adventure. The trip is invite only, and the staff goes through all of the applications looking for unique vehicles and a diverse group of readers from all over the country. While there was definitely a California bias this year, the backgrounds, vehicles, and personalities of the invited readers could not have been more diverse. Even though two of them would have dead engines by the end of the trip, the one thing that they all had in common was an excellent attitude. More than any mechanical component or piece of equipment, that is the most important thing to bring on the Ultimate Adventure.
1961 International ScoutDriver: Damon Haas
Co-driver: Jon Marshall
Why He Wanted to Attend: Over the years I went from “surviving” trails to enjoying trails. We went from taking the bypasses over several stressful days to taking the harder options and enjoying time relaxing around the campfire a lot more. Fast-forward many years and we started doing the trails back-to-back for added challenge. The UA is the natural next step in that progression. Modifications After Being Selected: Larger radiator to resolve cooling issues Favorite Part of the Trip: Obviously, being able to wheel new areas is great, but chatting with legends in the sport in a peer-based, relaxed environment was pretty damn cool! Advice for Next Year’s Readers: Reach out to one of the past readers. All of the ones that I have either met or spoken to have been incredibly helpful and willing to give you their time. Brennan Metcalf was such a big help to me, and I have never even met him.
Engine: 393ci Ford stroker V-8 with Mustang fuel injection
Transmission: C6 automatic with a Broader Performance full-manual, reverse valve body
Transfer Case: Klune V to Ford NP205
Front Axle: Ford Dana 60 with 5.13 gears and ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle: Ford Sterling 10.5 with 5.13 gears and ARB Air Locker
Springs & Such: Custom 3-link with 14-inch ORI STX struts (front); 4-link with 14-inch, 2 1/2-inch-diameter Fox coilovers and bumpstops (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.5R17 Falken WildPeak M/T on 17x9 Raceline Monster beadlock
Steering: Ford steering box, Pontiac Fiero steering column, PSC pump, reservoir, and hydraulic ram
Winch: Warn 9.5xp with Voodoo 3/8-inch synthetic winch line
Other: Body stretched 8 inches to match the 113-inch wheelbase
What Broke: The distributor drive gear on the cam disintegrated, causing timing to be all over the place, which in turn caused power loss and overheating.
2006 Hummer H3Driver: Chris Paul
Co-driver: Kyle Cunliffe
Why He Wanted to Attend: The type of adventure the UA provides was right up my alley, and eight years ago when I first read about the trip I hoped to be able to build a vehicle worthy of the trip Modifications After Being Selected: Half-doors, interior/exo-cage, Dana 70 front axle Favorite Part of the Trip: From a wheeling perspective I would say Sand Hollow was my favorite but really my favorite part of UA was getting to hang out with the all the cronies and magazine guys Advice for Next Year’s Readers: I would recommend being well organized, as you live out of your 4x4 for a week. Most importantly, a never-give-up attitude. Things happen when you wheel, things break. If you need to pull an all-nighter to fix stuff, be ready to do it.
Engine: 5.3L V-8
Transfer Case: Borg-Warner 4494 (Factory 4:1 H3 case)
Front Axle: Dana 70 with 35-spline axleshafts, 5.13 gears and Eaton ELocker
Rear Axle: Eaton HO72 with 5.13 gears and Detroit Locker
Springs & Such: Custom 3-link, 4 1/2-inch ZJ coil springs, Bilstein 7100 shocks (front); spring-over with factory leaf springs (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 40x13.5R17 Cooper STT Pro on factory H2 wheels
Steering: Nissan Xterra steering box with hydraulic assist
Winch: Warn VR12000 with Voodoo synthetic winch line
Other: Hybrid rollcage; the Dana 70 front was a rear Dana 70 from a 2005 diesel van that has side adjusters like a 14-bolt; I used factory-length Chevy Dana 60 axleshafts and factory Dana 60 Chevy outers so it is easy to source spares and 35-spline Yukon hardcore locking hubs.
What Broke: Front hub, blew tire bead
2000 Jeep CherokeeDriver: Nicholas LeBlanc
Co-driver: AJ Posikan
Why He Wanted to Attend: I started reading about UA in the magazine and it motivated me to build my Jeep to be more long range friendly. And I felt that the UA would be the best place to put the Jeep to the test. Modifications After Being Selected: None Favorite Part of the Trip: Being able to meet and wheel with an entire new group of true off-road enthusiasts Advice for Next Year’s Readers: My advice would be different than what I kept hearing. The trip can be so stressful on everything, so be prepared to have possible issues with parts that you usually don’t. I considered my engine to be one of the most problem-free parts of my Jeep.
Engine: 4.0L I-6
Transmission: AX15 5-speed manual
Transfer Case: NWF Titan crawl box and Ford NP205
Front Axle: Ford Dana 60 with RCV axles, 5.38 gears, and ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle: GM 14-bolt with RCV axles, 5.38 gears, and Yukon Grizzly Locker
Springs & Such: Custom 3-link with ORI STX struts (front); double triangulated 4-link with ORI STX struts (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken WildPeak M/Ts on 17x8 steel wheels with TMI weld-on beadlock rings
Steering: High steer with PSC hydraulic assist
Winch: Warn VR10 with Voodoo synthetic winch line
Other: Hybrid interior/exo-cage, 114-inch wheelbase, 15-gallon RCI fuel cell, rear disc brakes, Riddler diff covers
What Broke: A/C compressor, radiator, rings broke in two cylinders
1990 Ford Bronco Eddie BauerDriver: Dan Strubbe
Co-driver: Nolan Montevirgen
Why He Wanted to Attend: I’ve been a 4WOR subscriber for 10-plus years, so I have been following the trip forever. I always liked that it is more than just a 4x4 trip. It's a road trip, it's visiting natural parks and monuments, it's hanging out with a bunch of awesome and like-minded people for a week, and of course finding that special off-the-beaten-path spot. Modifications After Being Selected: None Favorite Part of the Trip: If I had to pick one thing it’d probably be the camaraderie. Everyone is always quick to lend a tool, help you wrench, or in the weather we had this year, give you a cold bottle of water! Advice for Next Year’s Readers: The best advice is not to do any major modifications leading up to the trip, but people tend to ignore that. The next best thing would be to drive your rig. A lot. Drive it to work, run errands, go on a road trip, drive it to the trail if you usually trailer.
Engine: Ford 351W V-8
Transmission: ZF5 5-speed manual
Transfer Case: Offroad Design NP203/205 Doubler
Front Axle: Dana 60 with Yukon chromoly axleshafts, 4.56 gears, Yukon Grizzly Locker
Rear Axle: Corporate 14-bolt with 4.56 gears and Gov-Lok
Springs & Such: Custom 3-link with Deaver coils, Bilstein 5150 shocks, Daystar bumpstops (front); Deaver J40 leaf springs with RuffStuff shackle flip and Bilstein 5150 shocks (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken WildPeak M/Ts on BAD 17-inch internal beadlocks
Steering: Rebuilt steering box with 2-inch PSC hydro-assist ram and Ballistic Fabrication high-steer arms
Winch: Warn Zeon 12-S
Other: RuffStuff rear disc brakes and pinion guard, dual Optima batteries, 1350 drivelines
What Broke: Cracked windshield, leaking shock
1971 Chevy K30Driver: Wayne Lambert
Co-driver: Jack Geigle
Why He Wanted to Attend: I read about the UA in 4WOR years ago and thought the concept was awesome. Wheel for the week and drive the truck everywhere, no trailers. Lots of challenge and fun. Modifications After Being Selected: The big change was the suspension. Offroad Design custom leaf springs front and rear. Added Fox air bumps and revalved the Fox 2.0 shocks. Huge improvement in ride quality on dirt roads with washboard. Favorite Part of the Trip: I really enjoyed the second half of Day 6. The combination of dirt roads, two-track, and some easy rock sections late into the night had us wondering when and if we would make it into town that night. That’s what adventure is all about. Advice for Next Year’s Readers: Try to address small issues like noises or vibrations since, compared to average wheeling trips, the UA is really long. That little noise or leak could become a major issue before the end of the trip. Also, know all the part numbers and/or applications for aftermarket and modified parts. I keep a note in my phone with this info.
Engine: 427ci big-block with Holley Terminator EFI
Transmission: NV4500 5-speed manual
Transfer Case: NP241C
Front Axle: Chevy Dana 60 with 5.13 gears and Lock-Right
Rear Axle: 14-bolt, Crane 13-bolt cover with bottom lip cut flush (+0.95-inch clearance), Ruff Stuff Pinion Skid, 1410 yoke, Grizzly Locker, 5.13 gears.
>Suspension Springs & Such: Offroad Design leaf springs and shackles, Fox 2.0 remote-reservoir shocks and bumpstops (front); Offroad Design leaf springs and shackles, Fox 2.0 remote-reservoir shocks and bumpstops (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 40x13.50R17 Toyo Open Country M/Ts on 17x9 Pro Comp steel wheels
Steering: Offroad Design crossover steering with PSC hydraulic ram and pump
Winch: Warn Zeon 10-S
Other: 1410 drivelines, Crane diff covers, L-track for tie-downs, custom cage and rock sliders
What Broke: Transfer case output seal, intermittent electrical issues