The staff of 4WOR does a lot of wheeling, in a lot of places, but one trip that we look forward to every year is our Ultimate Adventure. Despite working together, the staff does not work in the same office or even the same city. UA is like a family reunion for the staff to get together and see friends that we might not have spent time with since the previous UA. It is also an opportunity for us to get our rigs out on the trail instead of carrying a camera or sitting behind a desk filling out TPS reports. While the event has grown and changed over the years, those are the same basic principles that were the genesis of the Ultimate Adventure nearly 20 years ago.
1971 Jeep CJ-6Driver: Christian Hazel
Co-driver: Mike Harrington
Introduction to UA: The very first one in 1999. As the newest 4WOR staffer at the time, I didn’t take my own vehicle. I rode with Cole Quinnell in his sewer-lobster-orange/red 1976 Chevy K10 shortbed with 3/4-ton axles, 36-inch TSL radials, a fuel-injected 350 V-8, an SM465, Klune-V 2.72:1 underdrive, a Chevy NP205, and a Gear Vendor’s Overdrive. How Many UAs Have You Been On?: 5 Advice for Aspiring UA Participants: Have your rig dialed in rock-solid with no new changes. Everybody always wants to make additions or changes at the last minute before the trip, and invariably those are the things that bite you in the arse. Favorite Part of the Trip: Sand Hollow. That’s my kind of wheeling!
Engine: Cummins R2.8 Turbo Diesel crate engine
Transmission: SM420 4-speed manual with Advance Adapters Ranger overdrive
Transfer Case: Offroad Design Magnum Box Doubler (Ford NP205)
Axles: Ultimate Dana 60 crate axles with 4.88 gears and Eaton Elockers
Springs & Such: Skyjacker JK LeDuc Series coilover conversion with Skyjacker upper and lower control arms
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken WildPeak MTs on 17x9 TrailReady HD beadlocks
Steering: PSC JK steering box, hydraulic ram, reservoir, Yeti XD tie rod and drag link
Winch: Warn 8274-50
Other: Axis Industries intercooler, Cummins R2.8-to-AMC bellhousing/flywheel adapter, and motor mounts; Rugged Radios intercom; Boyd Welding 22-gallon fuel tank; Flex-a-lite aluminum radiator/fan; South Bend clutch; Tom Wood’s driveshafts
What Broke: Hydraulic assist mount came loose; taillight lenses fell out
2001 Chevy S10 BlazerDriver: Verne Simons
Co-driver: Russ Jasquith
Introduction to UA: I went for the first time as Trent McGee's co-driver in 2010 in his blue buggy How Many UAs Have You Been On?: 7 Advice for Aspiring UA Participants: Apply, and in the meantime go on your own adventure with your friends to prepare (or just have fun) Favorite Part of the Trip: It’s tough to pick, but if I had to I would say Sand Hollow. I already want to go back.
Engine: Brand new 4.3L V-6 Goodwrench replacement engine
Transmission: 4L60E 4-speed automatic
Transfer Case: NP231 with a 6-gear-planetary, wide chain, and JB Conversions slip-yoke eliminator
Front Axle: Dana 44 with RCV axles, 5.13 gears, and Detroit Locker
Rear Axle: Ford 9-inch with Ten Factory axleshafts, 5.14 gears, and Detroit Locker
Springs & Such: Skyjacker Wagoneer leaf springs and M95 monotube shocks (front); factory S10 Blazer springs and Skyjacker M95 monotube shocks (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.50R17 Falken WildPeak MTs on Method NV beadlocks
Steering: West Texas Offroad Redneck Ram, RuffStuff Specialties tie rod and drag link
Winch: Warn 9.5xp-s
Other: Rugged Radios radio; Tom Wood’s driveshafts; Reid knuckles; RuffStuff Specialties spring plates, shackles, and U-bolts; Rob Bonney Fabrication winch bumper and rollcage
What Broke: Blew a ram-assist line pulling into my driveway on the way home.
1997 Jeep WranglerDriver: Fred Williams
Co-driver: Harry Wagner
Introduction to UA: My first Ultimate Adventure was in 2003. At the time I was the feature editor of 4WOR and was tasked with building the official vehicle, a brand new Chevy Avalanche 2500. It got really smashed up, and I worked on it a lot, but it was fun.
How Many UAs Have You Been On?: 15 Advice for Aspiring UA Participants: Build something unusual with plenty of storage that doesn’t overheat on long hot road days and can still rockcrawl or off-road really well, and make sure it’s comfortable for two people for extended hours. And paint it a bright color. Favorite Part of the Trip: The camaraderie and getting to go wheeling for a week in a different place every year.
Engine: Cummins R2.8 Turbo Diesel crate engine
Transmission: NV3550 5-speed manual
Transfer Case: Advance Adapters Atlas II
Front Axle: Currie Dana 44 with 5.38 gears and ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle: Currie RockJock 60 with 5.38 gears and ARB Air Locker
Springs & Such: BDS coil springs and Fox shocks (front and rear)
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken WildPeak MTs on American Racing Chamber Pro beadlocks
Steering: PSC steering box and hydraulic ram, Chris Durham Motorsports flat pitman arm, Currie tie rod and drag link, Synergy steering box brace
Winch: Warn Zeon 10-S
Other: Chris Durham Motorsports hood; Synergy suspension links; Currie AntiRock sway bars; Poison Spyder Customs front bumper, cage, and sliders; GenRight fuel tank; Swag Off Road rear bumper; Tom Wood’s driveshafts; MasterCraft Safety seats; Rugged Radio intercom; JW Speaker headlights; Synergy Baja Basket; ARB freezer/fridge
What Broke: The track bar and steering needed to be tightened up, but nothing broke