Ultimate Adventure is a great way to test the parts and products that companies have put time and research into, but we've also seen many home-brewed tricks that made the trip that much easier on drivers. Here is a mix of cool new products and ingenious ideas that could be future products. Feel free to copy at will.
With a name like Fred he has to be smart, and Fred Perry proves it again with his new stretched Jeep TJ. His favorite trick? Using a Chris Durham Motorsports (CDM) fiberglass Good Hood, and lowering the grille and radiator so that it sits down even lower over the engine. From the driver seat Perry doesn't even see the hood, just the dash and the trail ahead of him. To keep the CDM Good Hood from disappearing while visiting the seedy parts of town, Perry went and installed these hood-lock kits (PN 1472) from Mr. Gasket instead of vulnerable hood pins.
Got a square-headlighted Jeep YJ, but want a round-headlighted Jeep CJ? Rather than start over, just cover the square holes with round holes and insert lights. You'll keep the stronger YJ frame and modern dash yet can sneak onto the CJ-only runs.
Holy Flat Belly!
Stephen Watson rotated his 203-205 Off Road Design doubler and was able to give his Blazer buggy a belly almost as flat as Pw after a week of camping with no Corona. Thus even with a 120-plus-inch wheelbase he rarely got high-centered.
When on Ultimate Adventure you never know what spare parts you'll need. John Hughbanks brought spare front and rear driveshafts and mounted them to his cage using a bracket for his CV flange to bolt to, and a pinion yoke welded to the rollbar at the other end. This kept them close at hand, but still protected from bobbling heads in a rollover situation.
Jeeps are notorious for wipers that are either too slow or too fast with no intermittent setting. Keith Bailey put a floor-mounted momentary switch next to his high-beam switch, and he can now have hands-free voice-activated wipers. Just say "wipe," tap the button, and you get one clean sweep.
We are hard pressed to find exo-cages that look good, and most internal cages do nothing for body damage protection. So how about combining body and cage like Paul Chowanec did with his Toyota? Curved pieces of steel plate and painted plastic allow the tubes to rub on obstacles, but don't give the truck that trapped-in-a-birdcage look.
Few trail rigs are complete without coolers, but ratchet strap tie-downs complicate getting out frosty juice boxes. So Jake Good decided that these bungee hooks mounted to the cab floor of his Bronco and lined up with matching points on his cooler would hold his beverages secure and still allow quick and easy cooler restocking.
Clifton Slay brought his Poison Spyder Customs new Jeep Unlimited. We liked the cage his company installed that covers all the passengers yet still fits under the stock hardtop and uses the stock speaker bar.
Bringing spare parts but only have a pint-sized rig? Be like Tim Hardy and use the space under the hood. It's amazing how many tight little spots there are along the inside of your fenders for spare bottles of oil, hubs, and bags of tools. Just make sure they are secure from fans, belts, and batteries.
Oh Bummer Bars
If you ever get in a rollover or scary off-camber situation then your passengers will appreciate the value of grab handles to steady themselves with. Paul Chowanec had these bars mounted to his cage and covered them with soft rubber hand grips to give a positive place to grab and to protect heads in a roll.
Want to separate the dusty tail end of your SUV where trail dirt, spare parts, and exhaust gases congregate from the cabin where your missus, kids, or buddies ride? Nate Marsh put up these clear Lexan windows. They don't shatter, and they seal out everything from mud to snow while still allowing clear rear views.
Off Road Design
Chris Durham Motorsports
Poison Spyder Customs