Readers’ Rides Giveaway Winners
For this year’s Readers’ Rides special edition magazine we wanted to do something to say thank you to all our loyal and new readers. Instead of having a competition or challenge, we simply invited you to create a Readers’ Rides email submission at our website (www.4wheeloffroad.com). Once we received the email you were instantly entered into our Ultimate Readers’ Rides Giveaway, simple as that!
Originally we had the idea of having one winner, but as the rides kept rolling in we decided that three winners are better than one! This isn’t a First, Second, and Third Place ranking, but rather, everyone is an equal winner across the board. Now before you go thinking that we have some type of brand or 4x4 bias, note that we picked the following readers because they are all DIY guys and gals who embody the diehard off-road spirit that makes our hobby so great. So what awesome goodies did our lucky three win? Well, just read on to find out.
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Owner: George Stanley, Houston, TX
Tires & Wheels: 295/75/17 Goodyear Dura Tracs on 17-inch stock wheels
Suspension: 21⁄2-inch Walker Evans coilovers up front, All-Pro Off-Road rear springs and control arms, Redline Heim joints, Walker Evans rear shocks
Drivetrain: TRD selectable rear locker
Performance Mods: 4.0L, K&N air filter
Other Doodads: Ricochet engine, transmission, and lower arm skidplates, All-Pro Off-Road transfer case skid and sliders, Demello front bumper with a Smittybilt XRC10 winch, Bushwacker flares
Funniest Wheeling Incident: It’s all fun!
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: 4.56 gears and an ARB Air Locker up front
DynoMax Performance Exhaust
Since George isn’t afraid to take some Texas-sized lines up the steep and rocky slopes of Moab’s famous red rock, we figured we better give him something that will have him heard as he’s coming up the mountain. To help us with this, we paired up with DynoMax Performance Exhaust and rounded up one of the company’s cat-back high-flow exhaust kits. These installer-friendly systems are designed to give the FJ Cruiser’s engine deeper tone while allowing the exhaust to flow out more easily. Congratulations, George, and we look forward to hearing you on the trail!
Information: Dynomax Performance Exhaust
Vehicle: 1994 Toyota Pickup
Owner: Zak McCready, Huntington, MA
Tires: 33x12.50 BFG KM2s
Suspension: Blazeland long-travel front with Sway-A-Way torsion bars, 5-inch Trail Gear rear springs, Bilstein 5100 series shocks
Drivetrain: Rear Spartan Locker
Performance Mods: 22RE, LCE cam, LCE header, MagnaFlow exhaust
Other Doodads: Onboard air, electric fan, rear disc brake conversion, Rock Defense front bumper, KC lights
Does everything work the way you want?: It’s getting there
Anything you would change?: Tube bed, solid-axle swap
Anything to add?: I’ve used a lot of parts from salvage yards to get my truck where it is today. I really enjoy wrenching on it.
Winch Anyone who is serious about wheeling knows that one of the most important tools that you can have on your ride is a winch. Since Zak is steadily building his rig up and already has a winch-ready front bumper, we decided to fill in the vacancy on the front of his ride with a Smittybilt winch. The new X20 8 series winch is an 8,000-pound winch that is engineered to handle severe use and serious water crossings. Inside the winch housing is a completely sealed 5.5 series wound motor and a heavy-duty three stage planetary gearset. Controlling the winch is a 500-amp solenoid that actuates a 180:1 gear ratio. This should help with all of Zak’s long travel outings and allow him to spend more time scouting the salvage yards for the rest of his build pieces.
Her Excellent XJ
Vehicle: 2001 Jeep Cherokee
Owner: Samantha McFadden, Knoxville, TN
Tires & Wheels: 35x12.50 Nokian Vatiiva M/Ts on 15x8 Cragar wheels
Suspension: 51⁄2-inch Rubicon Express front coils with a custom 3-link and crossmember, Rusty’s 31⁄2-inch rear springs with 2-inch shackles
Drivetrain: AW4, NP231 with a slip-yoke eliminator, Dana 30 front, 81⁄4 rear with a custom truss, Aussie Lockers, 4.56 gears
Performance Mods: 4.0L, Thrush cat-back exhaust
Other Doodads: Warn M8000 winch, custom front bumper and sliders, rear cargo rack
Funniest Wheeling Incident: Creased the driver-side rear door when my boyfriend spotted me directly into a tree!
Does everything work the way you want?: Yes
Anything you would change?: I’m in the process of adding a cage and eventually would like a high-pinion Dana 44 up front along with an LS1
Anything to add?: This Jeep is daily driven and wheeled hard with scars to prove it!
Falken Wild Peak A/Ts
Since Samantha drives her XJ daily we’ve teamed up with Falken Tire to equip her Jeep with a tire that is built for the weekend wheeler and daily commuter. The Falken Wild Peak All Terrain is one of the latest offering in the world of off-road tires. The Wild Peak is slightly more aggressive than your traditional all-terrain, as its deep lugs and wide contact pattern give it a better bite in the dirt. We’ve had great luck with our Wild Peaks over the years, especially in the rocks, and think Samantha will too. Congratulations, Samantha, and we hope your boyfriend is around to help you unload the new set of 35x12.50R15 Falken Tires that are heading your way!
Information: Falken Tire
Insert Your Rig Here for next year
If you want to get your rig in the pages of 4-Wheel & Off Road magazine, it’s only a few mouse clicks away. Simply go to our website, www.4wheeloffroad.com, and click on the Readers’ Rides link. You’ll be prompted to create an email with your rig’s tech and to upload some photos. We’re looking for great off-road action shots—please, no driveway or cell phone photos. For a more direct route, write us at email@example.com. Remember that we need a few high-resolution photos to choose from (at least 1,600 by 1,200 pixels, or 2 megapixels, file size) and your tech sheet needs to be as complete as possible. Be sure to tell us about the history of your rig. No matter if you found it in your uncle’s barn, got it from the dealership, or assembled it from scavenging parts off of the World Wide Web, we want to know how your 4x4 came to be. For a more traditional approach, mail your photos and spec sheet to Readers’ Rides, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245.