Click for Coverage
  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Cronies of Ultimate Adventure 2017

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2017 on August 15, 2017
Share this
Photographers: 4 Wheel & Off-Road Staff

What if we told you that you could use up all of your vacation days for the year to drive across the country on your own dime and then beat on your own rig for a week? Oh, and if anyone else has a problem you have to stop and help them fix it and will miss out on the fun until they are up and running again. Sound like fun? Then you, my friend, have the makings of a UA crony. But that’s just what our loyal gang of facilitators do every year on the Ultimate Adventure. For them it’s not a chore—it’s a labor of love. And we simply could not put on an event of this caliber without them.

Our rule is no trailers, but we do still drag a full camera crew along with us to document the method to our madness. This year the Ultimate Adventure covered 950 miles, and 700 of those were in the dirt, so a minivan wasn’t going to cut it for the crew. Fortunately, Sportsmobile came to the rescue with a Ford E-350 van that not only had room for a generator, bed, fridge, and multiple cameras but also went everywhere the other rigs on the trip went. Fred Williams even used the versatile Sportsmobile to tow his TJ to and from Phoenix for the event. (A behind-the-scenes look of the UA was a Dirt Every Day Extra, streaming at motortrendondemand.com.)

1997 Jeep TJ Buggy

Driver: Trent McGee
Co-driver: Scott Fusselman

Introduction to UA: I was invited on the first UA by Cole Quinnell. Seems like I had been gone from my staff position at 4WOR for about six months, and I somehow convinced Bret at Superlift to let me borrow a tow rig to get out there. I distinctly remember a young and insanely enthusiastic Christian Hazel being on that trip. He had been on staff for something like three weeks and was like a kid in a candy store, completely blown away and thinking he had the best job in the world. How Many UAs Have You Been On?: All of them Favorite Part of the Trip: Getting to show all of my friends my local trails. And getting to take a bunch of rockcrawlers overlanding. They might have hated it, but I thought it was cool.

>Drivetrain
Engine: 4.0L I-6
Transmission: AX15 5-speed manual
Transfer Case: 4-speed Advance Adapters Atlas II
Front Axle: Dana 60 with 4.88 gears and Detroit Locker
Rear Axle: Ford 8.8 with 4.88 gears and Detroit Locker
>Suspension
Springs & Such: Modified Rusty's Off-Road long-arm system with 14-inch-travel Fox coilovers (front and rear)
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken WildPeak MTs on 17x9 Spyderlock beadlocks
Steering: PSC steering box, hydraulic-assist ram, and pump
Winch: Warn 9.0RC
Other: AFW Motorsports chassis kit, Rugged Radios waterproof radio, Magellan GPS, onboard air, MasterCraft Safety seats, Tuffy glovebox and console, JE Reel driveshafts, built Dana 60 rear sitting in my garage ready to replace the 8.8
What Broke: Rear lower suspension link bent; motor mount broke; 8.8 rear axle ring gear bolts backed out

2009 Tube Car

Driver: Sam Gillis
Co-driver: Jeff Hamor

Introduction to UA: I got engaged with the UA back in 2003 when I came home from an Army trip and Keith Bailey, Trent McGee, and Rick Péwé were sitting in my shop with a broken steering box off Trent’s Blazer. After fixing the box, we discussed the UA and planned out how Keith and I could trail-guide through Tellico, North Carolina, and Gray Rock Off Road Park located in Mt Olive, Alabama. The rest is history. A lot of history! How Many UAs Have You Been On?: 13. I missed 2011 due to a deployment.
Favorite Part of the Trip: Getting to see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. A close second would be covering so many miles off the pavement this year.

>Drivetrain
Engine: 5.7L LS1 V-8
Transmission: TH700R4 4-speed automatic
Transfer Case: Advance Adapters Atlas II
Front Axle: Dynatrac Dana 60 with Yukon chromoly axleshafts, 4.56 gears, and Yukon Grizzly Locker
Rear Axle: 14-bolt with 4.56 gears and spool
>Suspension
Springs & Such: Triangulated 4-link with 14-inch-travel Fox coilovers (front and rear)
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken WildPeak MTs on 17x9 Fuel Anza beadlocks
Steering: Off Road Connection full hydraulic with double-ended ram
Winch: Warn
Other: Rugged Radios intercom, Lifetime LED lighting, ARB freezer fridge
What Broke: Site tube for transfer case

1997 Jeep Wrangler

Driver: Clifton Slay
Co-driver: Tom Boyd

Introduction to UA: (Clifton) Back in 2000 when Rick Péwé started leading the trip he asked me to join. We already knew each other through runs I had led in Moab. (Tom) I had done a trip to the Rubicon with Cole Quinnell and Trent McGee shortly before Cole approached me with the idea of Ultimate Adventure and I said, “Just tell me where to be and when.” How Many UAs Have You Been On?: (Clifton) 15. (Tom) All of them! Favorite Part of the Trip: (Clifton) For me the four-wheeling takes a back seat to being able to explore a new area with my most cherished off-road cohorts. Contributing on the trip as a paramedic is a great privilege as well. (Tom) Verne letting me drive his Shrink Ray TJ on the trip this year. It has the smallest tires and the smallest motor, and we never had a problem!

>Drivetrain
Engine: 2.5L I-4
Transmission: SM420 4-speed manual
Transfer Case: NP231
Front Axle: Dana 30 with Warn hubs and axles, 4.88 gears, and ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle: Toyota 8.4-inch with 4.88 gears and ARB Air Locker
>Suspension
Springs & Such: Daystar spacers, JKS control arms, and Skyjacker shocks (front and rear)
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50R15 Falken WildPeak MTs on 15x8 Spyderlock beadlock wheels
Steering: JK steering box and Parts Mike steering system
Winch: Warn XD9000i with Warn Spydura synthetic rope
Other: Tom Woods SYE and drivelines, Rugged Radios setup, Trucklite LED headlight, TNT Customs high-clearance skidplate, GenRight fuel tank, Synergy Manufacturing rollcage
What Broke: Nothing

2012 Jeep Wrangler

Driver: Rick Péwé
Co-driver: Alan Huber

Introduction to UA: Starting in 2001 I organized and led UA for 15 years as the editor of 4WOR How Many UAs Have You Been On?: 16 Favorite Part of the Trip: Not leading it! Being tailgunner allows me the freedom to wheel and scrape up stragglers rather than being responsible for the whole group. I had over 100 miles of towing dead vehicles this trip—on-road and off!

>Drivetrain
Engine: 3.6L V-6
Transmission: WA580 5-speed automatic
Transfer Case: NP241
Front Axle: Ultimate Dana with 5.13 gears and Eaton ELocker
Rear Axle: Ultimate Dana 60 with 5.13 gears and Eaton ELocker
>Suspension
Springs & Such: Zone 4-inch long arm
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken WildPeak MTs on 17x9 Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels
Steering: PSC hydraulic ram, Lee Mfg. steering box and pump
Winch: Warn Zeon 10-S in front, Powerplant in rear
Other: GenRight aluminum fenders, Synergy Mfg. rock sliders and skidplates, Truck-Lite headlights and taillights
What Broke: Power steering line came loose at Sand Hollow on the last day of the trip

Official Retailer

Official Tire

Official GPS

Official Transfer Case

Official Communcations

Official Suspension and Shock

Official Recovery Rope

Official Winch

Official Crate Axle

Official Turbo Diesel

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Browse Articles By Vehicle

See Results