Sam's Offroad's Heepee
Sam Patton's Heepee has to be one of the most famous CJ-7s to ever grace the pages of this magazine, and more than a couple of us were looking forward to seeing this thing in action. Sam and his crew built the CJ at his shop, Sam's Offroad, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, years ago and have been making small changes and additions to it ever since it won Four Wheeler's Top Truck Challenge in 2000. Not to give our sister rag too much credit, but if Sam's CJ was able to not only hold up but also win the entire TTC, then we figured he'd stand a good chance surviving our grueling Ultimate Adventure trip. We were glad to have his smiling face with us.
Driver/Co-Driver(s): Sam Patton, Chris Reeves
Vehicle: 1984 Jeep CJ-7
Engine: 5.7L TPI Chevy
Tranny: TH700R4 automatic
Transfer Case: Atlas
Driveshafts: Custom long travel
Front Axle: Reverse-rotation Dana 60, 5.13 gears, Detroit Locker, 35-spline axleshafts, shaved housing
Rear Axle: Reverse-rotation Dana 60, 5.13 gears, Detroit Locker, 35-spline axleshafts, shaved housing
Steering: Custom high-steer setup with AGR hydraulic ram assist
Suspension: Custom stacked leaf pack, Currie antisway bar, RS 9000X Pro Series shocks, Sam's Offroad traction bar, 99-inch wheelbase
Tire and Wheels: 39.5-inch Boggers on 15x14 Mickey Thompson Alcoas with Champion bead locks
Winch: Ramsey Patriot 9500
Bumpers/Cages/Guards: Modified Hanson front bumper, Currie Rockcrusher rear bumper, Sam's Offroad steering gearbox bracket
Cool Stuff: It's the Heepee! This thing is famous! Big motor/big tire combo work great for Sam. Still has Renegade graphics package.
Tom Boyd's MultiBody Bronco
What Ultimate Adventure trip would be complete without Tom Boyd? Tom is one of a kind, a legend dating back to the first of the Ultimate Adventure trips. And yet we still bring him along, which should say enough about him. Tom is the kind of guy you'll sometimes need to bring a tranquilizer gun for, but he's also one of the most genuine, nicest guys that would never leave a man behind on the trail or the highway (as we've learned in the past). Tom again brought his San Diego-based JD Fabrication Bronco that he tries to change every year just to humor us. We gave him the fiberglass skins off our 2004 F-150 and he went to work trying to make them blend into the body lines. We're not sure he'll be winning any design awards, but Tom did a great job of morphing the boxy Bronco body with the swooping lines of the new front clip.
Driver/Co-Driver(s): Tom "The Clown" Boyd
Vehicle: Prototype F-150R-EB edition (?!?, Tom, it's a 1971 Bronco! Give it up!)
Engine: Greg Grosset 302 EFI stroked to 331ci
Tranny: TH400 Transfer Case: Klune-V, Atlas II
Driveshafts: San Diego Driveline driveshafts
Front Axle: Reverse-rotation Dana 44, 4.11 gears, Detroit Locker, Warn axleshafts, CTM U-joints, Warn hubs
Rear Axle: Ford 9-inch, 4.11 gears, Detroit Locker, Moser 31-spline axleshafts, Strange third member
Steering: Reverse Scout II box Suspension: JD Fabrication custom four-link front and rear with King coilovers
Tire and Wheels: 37x12.50-17 BFG Krawlers on 17-inch bead locks
Winch: Warn 9000
Bumpers/Cages/Guards: JD Fabrication tubework
Cool Stuff: Tom took our 2004 F-150 fiberglass front clip and molded it onto his 1971 Bronco. The suspension and power in this thing are awesome. The driver has more screws loose than the truck.
Keith Bailey's Awesome 1984 CJ-7
Other returning readers this year were Keith Bailey and Sam Gillis, the two crazy kids from Alabama. We originally met Keith on Ultimate Adventure 2003, where we got an up-close and personal look at Keith's Jeep and his driving style. Even after that, we took pity and invited him as a reader to come on these last two UA trips. Aside from the nonstop comedy routine that is Keith and Sam, these are two of the most well communicating, best-driving, most hard-core trail-repairing wheelers we have the pleasure of knowing. Last year, at 2 a.m. in the pouring rain, Keith and Sam were still joking around while swapping a tranny they had broken earlier that day. Remember the UA motto? No Whiners. What better example than Keith and Sam?
Driver/Co-Driver(s): Keith Bailey, Sam Gillis
Vehicle: 1984 Jeep CJ-7
Engine: 350 Vortec
Transfer Case: Dana 300 with Off Road Connection big shaft kit, 4:1 low-range gearset
Driveshafts: Standard with 1310 U-joints
Front Axle: Narrowed Dana 60, 5.13 gears, Detroit Locker
Rear Axle: Narrowed RockCrusher 60, 5.13 gears, full spool
Steering: High-steer over-knuckle crossover steering with ram assist
Suspension: ORC leaf springs front and rear, spring-over axle, 5-inch extended wheelbase, Rancho RS 9000s
Tire and Wheels: 39x13.50-17 BFGoodrich Krawlers on 17-inch Marsh Racing bead locks
Winch: Warn 8274-50 front, Warn M8000 in rear
Bumpers/Cages/Guards: Bumpers, rocker guards, rollcage, tube fenders all custom built by Off Road Connection
Cool Stuff: The tube rocker guards above the rear wheelwells go through the body and tie into the cage. Front fenders were handbuilt using 2-inch tubing to make them bashproof. Keith's owned it since new! Voice-activated windshield wipers.
Rick Franco's Retro Renegade
Rick Franco was an invited reader this year who didn't have very far to travel from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to join us. Whether it was due to this Jeep's determination or Rick's experienced driving skills, the truck and driver team showed us that you don't need 1-ton equipment to run even the gnarliest of trails that we saw this week. Rick was able to keep his rear Model 20 axle together even with 38-inch tires, though his front Dana did see a complete explosion in Arkansas. That wouldn't stop this seasoned wheeler though, as he fixed the axle and was back on the trails the very next day - never even thinking about calling it quits after a break that would've left most people's rigs down for weeks.
Driver/Co-Driver(s): Rick Franco
Vehicle: 1985 Jeep CJ-7
Engine: 4.3L Vortec
Tranny: TH350 automatic
Transfer Case: Dana 300 with Currie twin stick
Driveshafts: Chromoly front driveshaft
Front Axle: Dana 44, 4.88 gears, Detroit Locker
Rear Axle: Model 20, 4.88 gears, Detroit Locker, Moser axleshafts
Steering: Custom crossover with chromoly drag link and tie rod
Suspension: 4-inch Trail Master leaves, Currie shackles, Trail Master SSV shocks, 96-inch wheelbase
Tire and Wheels: 38-inch Swamper SXs on 15x10 Allied steel bead locks
Winch: Ramsey Patriot 9500
Bumpers/Cages/Guards: Sam's Off Road custom family rollcage, Currie Rockcrushers
Cool Stuff: Retro Renegade look. Model 20 rear axle that held up all week. Blew up the entire passenger side of the front axle and was up and running by the next morning!