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Ultra4 Nationals + Trail Hero + Off Road Expo


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beyond the bounds the bounds


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Growing up around Jeeps and wheeling, Rod Leetch appreciates an old-school aesthetic.



Vol. 14 Number 78










There's Nothing Else Like It! Land Access for Everyone

John Herrick Chris Hughes Justin Kemp

Publisher and Managing Director Marketing Sales Director

Editorial John Herrick Tim Magee Taylor Herrick Contributors:

Our Favorite Show

Editor in Chief Director of Photography Layout & Graphic Design Marcus Trusty Phillip Salfen Jami Pellegrino Ultra4 Racing Derek Trent

Red Rocktober





CRAWL Magazine is published bimonthly by CRAWL2 Media, LLC. CRAWL2 Media, LLC PO Box 61091 Reno, NV 89506 (775) 393-9056

A Custom Jeep You Can Build Advertising questions?


18 Proving Grounds

12 Newswire

20 Tonic

Subscription questions? Spend time with us at

Printed by:

14 Land Use Cover A Tim Magee TOC A Tim Magee

85 Tech



In August of this year we lost a racer, a fabricator, a friend; a woman whose mission in life was to take chances and create opportunity for others. Jessi Combs was quick to smile, ready to sign and always available to take a picture with a young girl that looked up to her. With her easy going attitude she made a difference by encouraging young people to chase their dreams until they were caught and lived fully. Jessi wasn’t alone though—she was part of a sisterhood that still reaches to pull up anyone that wants to be their best. We’re in a male-dominated sport, there is no denying it. But I like to think I’m blind to gender as a qualifier or a limiting factor, you can either do things or you can’t. I know I’m a lousy welder and there is no gender issue when it comes to Cora Jokinen being a hell of a lot better at it than me. She’s better because she’s trained herself; she practices and puts in the time and energy to succeed. She does the same with her racing and her successful business. That’s something any kid should aspire to, not just young women. Some tend to discount or diminish those women that have reached a level of success in this "man’s world" of offroad. Times and attitudes are changing and they can’t change quickly enough. There seems to be a common thread of quiet confidence in the women I’ve watched in offroad and they often bear similar traits to Jessi, those of encouraging their friends and fans, making sure kids, especially young girls, know they can do and be anything they want. Cora does that. So does Nicole Johnson, an early competitive rock crawler, KOH racer and later, a monster truck driver. She’s also a successful business person and mother to two really great young men. She has always had a drive for success and she has achieved it. Becca Webster went from competitive cliff diving to being one of the earliest and winningest comp rock crawlers before shifting to a new

A John Herrick


Vol. 14 — Number 78

sport and competing in the very first King of the Hammers. Nothing stopped her from doing what she wanted. One of the first projects CRAWL was involved with put Wendy Nickell in the driver’s seat as an amateur rock crawler in Cal-Neva and WE Rock events. She learned and shared her time and new knowledge with those kids that followed her. Always with a smile and fist pump, she was living her passion. Empowering women as a daily mission is what Charlene Bower does. She doesn’t know the word “can’t” and she doesn’t slow down. She’s a force of nature and few can keep up with her. From crawling Back Door in the Shootout to teaching women how to mount tires on beadlocks, she is always on the move to make people better. We’ve seen the rise of Bailey Campbell, daughter of Shannon and sister of Wayland. In a family deeply involved in offroad racing at the highest levels, Bailey has carved her own place and identity where young people look up to her and she responds with smiles and her time. She’s never failed to wave at the crowd, stop for a picture or just chat with people. We routinely see social media of her building her own cars and prepping for the next event. She has no limits. I see examples on a regular basis of the impact Jessi had on her sport, her fans and those that followed her accomplishments. She truly made a difference. She was a continuation of what women have done for all time: lift our children up and move forward. It’s evident in those that are now grieving her loss and we’ll see more in the future as these kids grow and chase their dreams into reality, some with a blue streak in their hair for good luck. She is gone too soon, there is no doubt. But she’s left good examples to follow and we can all learn from them. Be kind. Do good work. Own your happiness. [C]



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Vol. 14 — Number 78

BAJA DESIGNS LED AND LASER LIGHTING SOLUTIONS Available for all makes and models. No matter what you drive, Baja Designs has a state-of-the-art lighting solution that’s years ahead of the competition.


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NEWSWIRE Ben Falkner Named President at Teraflex TeraFlex, one of our very favorite Jeep part manufacturers, recently named Benjamin Falkner to the position of company President. He’s been with the company for 20 years and most recently served as Sales & Marketing Vice President. His father, Mark Falkner, founded TeraFlex and will remain in an active role as CEO. "Benjamin brings tremendous passion and love for the Jeep Wrangler," says Mark Falkner. "He defines who we are as a company and I have been privileged to watch him develop his leadership and business skills through the years. I have full confidence that he will continue to lead the TeraFlex team with responsible and sustained growth for many years to come." In his new expanded role as President, Benjamin will continue to lead with an enthusiast’s perspective of innovation and dependability while incorporating his experience in sales, marketing, product development, and operations to ensure that core tenets of TeraFlex product architecture are maintained. [C] WWW.TERAFLEX.COM

Cal4Wheel Win-A-Jeep For as long as I can remember, Cal4Wheel, the California Four Wheel Drive Association, has raffled a new Jeep off every year. 2019 is no different and the 2019 Hella Yella Jeep JL Wrangler four‑door they’re raffling is being built by GenRight. Loaded with GenRight aluminum armor and a 4” suspension, it also includes an Atlas t-case, BF Goodrich tires, Fox shocks, Raceline wheels, PSC steering, Tuffy Security products, SpiderWebShade, Factor 55, Rugged Radios and more. Tickets are available at their website and are only $5. The winner will be drawn during the Cal4Wheel convention on February 15, 2020. Check it out today and help keep California’s iconic trails open to everyone. [C] WWW.CAL4WHEEL.COM/WIN-A-JEEP


Vol. 14 — Number 78


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LAND USE Are Land Managers Hearing You? By Marcus Trusty Have you ever witnessed a person as they wrestle with some form of incompetence and thought…someone should do something or help them out? The person might be in over their head, but if they had the correct information, they could rectify an unfortunate situation. Land managers sometimes remind me of a guy I helped on the freeway one time. He had a flat tire, was pulled a safe distance off on the shoulder, had his hazards on, knew he had a flat tire, had all the correct tools, but had no idea how to change a tire. I stopped and helped him out by giving him a quick lesson and showing him how the process worked. This guy knew he could get a flat, knew where his spare was, had all the tools and knew that the tire needed changing but didn't have a clue how to put it all together. I’m working right now through a travel management process playing out in central Colorado that has similar feel to it. Land managers have information on wildlife habitat, big game winter range data, watershed data, forest planning criteria, etc. However, they lack in their understanding of how/why the owners of public land (us) recreate. Lack of understanding is not a broad criticism of all land management staff, as many of them are extremely helpful in protecting and enhancing recreation. Instead, this is an observation concerning those in higher-level, supervisory positions. These are the people who ultimately decide on travel management, not the lower-level staff in the field who have constant contact with public land users. To me, this is a problem. How do we fix this? Problem identification does not automatically translate into problem-solving. So, if we know the problem is a lack of information, how do we implement a solution and provide needed information? It's simple really; we tell/show them how and why the motorized road and trail system is essential to our recreation. Many times, when I relay this information to the motorized user, I get this response, well…they should know… It is true they (land managers), particularly those making decisions, should have intimate knowledge of all user groups. Unfortunately, in today’s world that is an idealistic way of thinking, and just like the guy on the side of the freeway, as commuting every day in his vehicle is necessary to his livelihood, he should know how to change a tire. Again, stating the problem doesn't carry a solution by itself. I showed him how to change a tire, and the answer to land management decisions is that we MUST be involved and give them feedback. Now the million-dollar question, how do we do that? We give them information in the form of commenting. During every travel management process, there are several opportunities for the public to issue comments to the land manager during the process. We need to be involved and target our comments to keep trails open. Sounds simple, we tell them to keep trails open, and we are good, right? Well…not so fast, land managers have a way of classifying comments, and typically a travel management proposal will have several options, usually called alternatives. Comment classification defines how/if they will use them in their decision making. They list their proposed actions for each alternative, and they often compile them as Alternative A, Alternative B, and so forth and then ask the public to comment on these alternatives. There are three classifications


Vol. 14 — Number 78

for comments, substantial, un-substantial and form letters. The key is to make 'substantial' comments during open comment periods. Unsubstantial comments are not considered and form letters many times become classified as a single comment. Examples of each of these are below: FORM LETTERS These are a written/typed letter that someone pre-writes and you sign your name to the bottom or copy and paste the pre-written text into an email and submit it as a comment. Since all the letters convey the same point, they become a single comment to the land manager. A form letter may be better than nothing, but it is not the best use of our time, and I don't advocate sending form letters. UNSUBSTANTIAL COMMENTS These are comments made out of emotion, lack specificity, and do not offer solutions or recommendations to the land managers. They may look something like this; “Stop closing all the trails! We hunt and fish up there!” As you can see, there is nothing specific and the comment, while it may be true, does not offer useful information to the process. SUBSTANTIAL COMMENTS This is when you submit a relevant recommendation to the land manager and give them the information they will use to form a decision. A substantial comment may look like this: Dear Land Manager, I am writing to recommend Alternative C as the decision of record concerning the Grizzly Lake Jeep Trail. My family has been visiting Grizzly Lake by motor vehicle for three generations. We enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and of course, the 4x4 road accessing the area. Additionally, my Jeep Club has adopted the Grizzly Lake Jeep Trail, and over the past three years, we have compiled over 500 hours of volunteer work to keep the trail open and in good condition. The Grizzly Lake Jeep Trail is a recreation asset for those who enjoy 4x4 travel on public lands and is a necessary access point for those involved in multiuse recreation. Thanks for your consideration. See the difference a substantial comment makes? The above comment references a specific alternative within the travel management process. It makes a particular recommendation and then provides substantial examples based on that recommendation. A substantial comment does not need to be elaborate or wordy; it merely needs to be simple, to the point and contain specific information. Remember, the land manager ultimately making the decision has likely never been to Grizzly Lake and does not know what type of recreation happens in the area and does not know how many volunteer hours have been accumulated by hard-working club members. Providing substantial comments is one of the most effective ways of getting information to land managers. Please make sure always to be involved in travel management processes, watch for notifications, become educated on the plans, and ALWAYS take a few minutes to provide substantial comments. Commenting is an easy way to help keep trails open. [C]

Marcus Trusty is one of the founders of Colorado Off Road Enterprise ( and is an avid motorized recreation enthusiast as well as committed access advocate.



We’re the California Four Wheel Drive Association. Since 1959, we have actively promoted the advancement of vehicle-oriented outdoor recreation. We represent owners of all offhighway vehicles (OHVs), as well as non-owners who support responsible vehicle-oriented recreation.








Call 866-631-0196 15

The New Jeep JL is equipped with computer controlled electro-hydraulic steering (EHPS), electronic stability control (ESC) electronic roll mitigation (ERM), and weight saving aluminum housing steering gearbox, PSC has taken the Jeep JL steering system back to the drawing board and engineered our exclusive Big Bore XD-JL Cylinder Assist Steering Gearbox and a traditional belt-driven High Flow Mechanical Power Steering Pump Conversion, producing an essential upgrade to solve the original steering issues and efficiently handle the increased torque loads on vehicles equipped with any combination of the following: • 37 Inch and Larger Tire Sizes • Upgraded Aftermarket Axles including Dynatrac, Teraflex, and Currie. • Differential Lockers Application: 2018-2019 Jeep JL 2 Door/4 Door 3.6L Pentastar with Dana 60 Type Axle Features: Increased Torque Output • • Relieves stress on steering gearbox and frame mounts • Steering Assist Cylinder acts as a dynamic steering stabilizer 16

Vol. 10 — Number 52


PROVING GROUNDS JW Speaker EVO J3 Herrick is a fan of speaker headlights and has the old school 8700s in his LJ. These new 7” EVO J3 units have five different light functions including LED low and high beam, turn signal, daytime running light and integrated offroad light. Since LEDs tend to run very cool, Speaker has added SmartHeat, their heated lens technology to keep the lens clear and frost, ice and snow free. It literally melts it off the lens. Available for 2007+ Jeep JK models. WWW.JWSPEAKER.COM

Blair Extended Reach Cutters Recently announced are the new Rotabroach Extended Reach Cutters from Blair Equipment Company. These cutters, available in 3/8”, 7/16”, 1/2” and 9/16” diameters, the Extended Reach cutters feature a single piece arbor/cutter construction and include a spring-loaded pilot for “popping out” the slug at the end of the cut. They come packaged as a kit in a blow molded box or individually. They are also designed to make it easy to drill a through hole in pipe and tubing as the operator only needs access to one side of the material to drill the two holes. The arbors of the Rotabroach Cutters fit 3/8" and 1/2" drill chucks on hand held drills or drill presses. The annular Extended Reach Cutters are hollow; meaning most of the hole remains a solid slug. The smaller cutting area at the periphery of the hole, with no center point or dead zone as with typical drills, allows faster feed rates while requiring less thrust. WWW.BLAIREQUIPMENT.COM


Vol. 14 — Number 78

Baja Designs S1 Auxiliary Light Focused on creating the most powerful yet compact light in the world, Baja Designs employed its proprietary optical designs, refined through rigorous real-world testing, and created this robust and sleeklooking 2.1-inch light, which emits 2,375 lumens from a single LED. Even better, Baja Designs offers the S1 in a wide variety of beam patterns and lens color options to fit multiple applications: long-distance Spot with 9-degree beam focus, Wide Cornering with a horizontal-flattened 42-degree beam in Clear or Amber lenses, 60-degree Work/Scene, which projects a smooth, wide circle perfect for illuminating camp and work spaces. In addition, a long-distance laser variation is scheduled for release later in 2019. Each patent-pending S1 light weighs less than a half pound, and each pair ships with a wiring harness and stainlesssteel mounting brackets. WWW.BAJADESIGNS.COM

Holley Terminator X for Ford-Based Applications Holley's popular Terminator X lineup has now expanded to accommodate Ford based applications using 289-302W, 351W and 460 engines. Features include integrated Ford idle air control motor and throttle position sensor connections as well as plug-and-play functionality with TFI ignition systems. The Terminator X Max system now supports Ford 4R70W transmissions as well as newer 4L60E / 4L80E GM transmissions for customers with mixed combinations. You can have complete control of your engine, self-learning fuel strategies and the proven, race-winning technology of Holley EFI at a budget-friendly price. Terminator X features real-time fuel learn, high impedance injector drivers, an integrated 1bar MAP sensor, and four programmable inputs & outputs. The inputs & outputs are ideal for electric fans, boost control solenoids, progressive nitrous control, and much more. Terminator X comes fully loaded with base maps for common V8 engine combinations to get you out of the garage and on the trail fast. The 3.5" touch screen LCD handheld contains an easy to use calibration wizard as well as tuning and gauge display functions. Also included is Holley EFI's industry-leading, easy to use software suite that allows full laptop access for advanced users. WWW.HOLLEY.COM


TONIC Maisy says “Let’s go!”

y Meal

The Hughes Happ

A whole lotta love!

Snack tray at a GenRight eve


Herrick’s bench... don’t 20 Vol. 10 — Number 52


a make a difference.

Diet Coke, like that’s gonn

A whole lotta tire selling love!

Overlanding baller style.

uct procurement.

Chris is working on prod

Jeff has a new girlfriend.

beyond beyond the bounds the bounds 22

Vol. 14 — Number 78

LX45 – When LX450 meets FJ40 meets GM V8 power and 40” stickies. A wonderful blend.


Words & photos by Tim Magee Brennan Metcalf is a thinker and a tinkerer. When it came time to build a new rig capable of long road days to and through hard trails, he knew just any old, run-of-the-mill rig wouldn’t do. For Brennan, it was an opportunity to put his mind, creativity and fab skills to work. Finding the best solution to any given situation or setup is what drives the man to create well-thought-out machines, like his LX45 project, built beyond the bounds of what’s been done before. The proof of concept and break-in was to and through the Rubicon from his home near Durango, CO, then Off Road Expo, and back. Brennan joked, “What could go wrong with a stock chassis and suspension out of a Lexus LX450(FZJ80) and a stock(ish) drivetrain out of a 2013 GM truck?” 2,400 miles later he had an answer: nothing but few adjustments here and there. When you put the amount of thought into a rig that he had, few stones were left unturned. Since the epic trial run, Brennan has put over 10,000 miles on this rig daily driving it. It’s reliability so far is no accident. The LX450 chassis, suspension and axles were basically left untouched and how Toyota designed it, so the ride is pretty damn good and the function still in place; with the stock master/booster/brakes, factory e-lockers and all. He did replace the factory steering stabilizer with an 8” stroke PSC assist ram in the stock location and threw in some Fox 2.0 Performance Series shocks though! He even managed to leave the 4.10 gears in place alongside the 40-inch Milestar black label Patagonia’s thanks in part to a 1.21:1 high range in the Land Rover LT230 t-case, yielding the equivalent of a 4.96 ratio in the axles. The offset rear diff originally presented a challenge in the t-case department, but the burly Rover case was a perfect

24 Vol. 14 — Number 78

solution built for such an application and offered an opportunity to avoid having to re-gear the axles. The LT230 is full time AWD and has an air actuated center diff lock, something that anyone with a traditional t-case out on Moab slick rock might appreciate. Stuffing a Land Rover Discovery t-case behind a 6L80E was accomplished thanks to a billet adapter from Rover Works. As with all of the build, a little research, knowledge and the willingness to try ended with an awesome solution. The GM 5.3L and 6L80E, out of a 2013 truck, gives him the ability to buy parts from any parts house, something that was important out on the road. When things got more custom or outside the stock realm, he would scour parts diagrams on the internet to find a readily available solution – the fact that things like radiator hoses or the transmission cooler are off the shelf items is huge. In a move likely to stir the die-hard Land Cruiser crowd, Brennan made a few modifications to the FJ40 tub. If you’re freaking out: Relax, it wasn’t a perfect restoration candidate. It was perfect for what Brennan had planned, though. After removing the rear portion of tub, he got rid of the tapered shape and set the width at the back to the same as it is at the dash, 55.5”. You might not notice that a stock FJ40 had a taper from the front of the hood to the rear of the door, but Brennan did, and the narrow aesthetic intrigued him. Not wanting a mess of tube or a traditional cage, he bent some 1.5” square tube to form the corners at the back of the tub, and window openings. With a little 1.5”x.120” wall DOM mixed in for A-pillars and halo he created a cab with a cage hiding in plain sight.

The whole tub/cage assembly is mounted using poly bushings tucked out of view in places like the rock slider braces. All dimensions were carefully thought out. The height of the rear of the tub was set to allow for storage of the rear windows behind the seats. It was kept as low as possible since the body line would carry over to the height of the half doors and, if too high, would affect visibility on the trail. The modular rear windows and upper door panels are fully removable. And the upper doors, like the rear windows, have storage built in – in their case it’s a hidden drawer under the bed. In only a few minutes he can go from warm and dry, driving down the rainy highway to an open-air wheeler when the storms clear and he hits the trail. How everything is put together and functions is very well-thoughtout. Stopping every 103 miles for a tank of gas can get old and Brennan knew it, so he did something about it. He built the 27-gallon gas tank to hold plenty of fuel for long days on the road. He also built it with maintenance in mind, the factory GM fuel pump is just under the bed and easily accessible in the off chance it fails. We all know dropping a tank is no fun, especially with 27-gallons of fuel. Little details are found throughout. Like how he built the fuel filler into the corner tube of the bed using a fuel cap from a motorcycle or the magnets on the cables for the tailgate to keep them from swinging or rubbing through the paint. AN -6 fittings were used where possible on things like steering to add a little reliability and the front and rear driveshafts are the same length to add a little redundancy—and the ability to carry only one spare drive shaft. Storage is tight, but well placed, like inside the wheel-less spare tire in the bed or the waterproof Brennan’s Garage Titan tools bags. He is a forward thinker, including recovery. With the justifiable popularity of soft shackles over the past couple years, all recovery

points are built with them in mind. On the backside of the rock sliders are stubs of tubing perfect for hooking a strap or soft shackle for a side pull. The d-rings on the bumper are not your average sharp edged mount. Brennan even sells a really cool and light snatch ring pulley setup for use with synthetic winch line, a piece they’ve been using in the sailing world forever. He had a ’92 W250 with a Cummins he’d built and his ‘42 Willys wheeler, Rango, both having their drawbacks in the comfort, speed or practicality department. That’s where a build like this just totally made sense. Honestly, it’s probably everything an ‘80-series Toyota wanted to be. I mean, it is beyond well-thought-out, has a V8, a truck bed, FJ40 style and 40-inch tires. What more could you want? [C]

Opposite, from top left: A peek at the well-hidden cage. // Full time 4wd and an air actuated center diff on the Rover LT230 t-case. // A motorcycle gas cap and a bit of stainless tubing through the bed corner tuck the filler in. Magnets on the cables keep the paint intact. // The modular top comes off with the turn of a few star knobs. Below: The modular cab easily sheds the door uppers and rear corners. Storage is hidden into behind the seats and a hidden drawer under the bed.


This page, from top right: A recovery point perfect for a strap or soft shackle built into the back of the rock rail. // A big, flat belly skid dictated the height of the drivetrain. // Brennan built a shroud to channel air from the opening in the bottom of the hood through the radiator. // Storage in the spare tire. Worst case scenario he has to change a tire on a beadlock. Opposite: A ride up the Escalator.

26 Vol. 14 — Number 78


Between two (desert) ferns?

28 Vol. 14 — Number 78

Brennan is undoubtedly a wheeling minded guy. His LX45 is a blend of a bunch of great ideas and experiments.

A great view of the storage: two waterproof tool bags, a tote and a spare tire full of packed dry bags.



The donor LX450 chassis and axles ticked all the right boxes: including lockers and a 112” wheelbase.

30 Vol. 14 — Number 78

INFO Owner

Brennan Metcalf


Durango, Colorado

Vehicle Type

Toyota Land Lexus 45-ish ( 1970 FJ40 + 1996 LX450 )

Builder & Location

Brennan's Garage, Durango, Colorado

CHA SSIS Chassis Design Frame / Chassis Materials Cage Builder / Cage Material Overall Wheelbase Overall Length Belly Pan Clearance Overall Height Wheel Track Width Overall Weight

A XLE S Lexus LX450 by Toyota Stock Brennan's Garage / Top Integrated frame mounted halo made from square tube and 1.5" x 0.120" DOM Round tube 112" 162" 20" 78" 80" 4450 lbs

TIRE S & WHEEL S Tire Make / Size Wheel Make / Size / Bolt Pattern/ Backspace

Milestar Patagonia MT Black Label, 40x13.5R17 Trail Gear CreeperLock Beadlock Wheels, 17x8.5 / 3.75" BS

Front Shocks Front Bump Stops Rear Suspension Type & Material Rear Sway Bar Rear Shocks Rear Bump Stops

Stock LX450 Deleted Fox 2.0 Performance Series 10.6" stroke with OEM style mounts for NVH isolation and custom valving by Accutune Offroad GM late model pickup foam bumpstops Stock LX450, but with two 'short side' coil springs Stock LX450 Fox 2.0 Performance Series 10.1" stroke with OEM style mounts for NVH isolation and custom valving by Accutune Offroad Stock LX450 outer hard rubber bumpstop ( bad idea )

P OWERTR AIN Engine Manufacturer Engine Displacement, Liters or Cubic Inches Engine Horsepower Engine Torque Engine Induction, Normal or Forced Engine Modifications Battery Radiator / Fans

Air Intake

Exhaust Transmission Make & Type Transmission Adapter Transmission Cooling System Torque Converter Transmission Shifter Transfer Case(s)

Front Differential / Locker Front Axle Shafts Front Drive Flanges / Hubs Front Brakes Front Steering Components Rear Axle Housing Rear Differential / Locker Rear Axle Shafts

SUSPENSION Front Suspension Type & Material Front Sway Bar

Front Axle Housing

General Motors 5.3 liter 325 hp 335 lb/ft GM factory computer(s), Naturally aspirated As few as practical for reliability. Group 34 AGM under the front passenger bed corner for weight distribution Griffin 24x19 1.25" dual core, double pass, with LS specific fittings. Thermal Clutch and 17" Reverse Rotation steel fan. Custom made 4" aluminum mandrel bent TIG welded with a Volant ( Donaldson ) PowerCore Filter Factory GM truck exhaust manifolds with a mandrel bent TIG welded 2.25" Y-pipe that merges into a very juvenile 3" Magnaflow Muffler GM 6L80E automatic Rover Works Billet aluminum GM Truck 2500 Duramax/Allison OEM cooler modified for AN-6 fittings Stock GM truck Gennie 4L80 unit modified to work with the 6-spd Land Rover LT230 with a 1.2 high range with a 3.32 low range and an air shifted center diff locking feature.

Rear U-Joints Rear Drive Flanges Rear Brakes Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s)

Stock LX450, 63" wide Stock LX450 high pinion Toyota 8" with Factory E-locker RCV Performance Axle 30 spline 300m axle package RCV Performance 4340 Drive Flanges with Trail-Gear Super Metal Studs and 3d printed dust covers Stock LX450 West Texas OffRoad ported steering box, PSC 1.5" x 8" assist ram with GM TREs and adjuster sleeve, Front Range Off Road 1.25" x 0.25wt Drag link and Tie Rod Stock LX450, 63" wide Stock LX450 low pinion Toyota 9.5" with Factory E-locker RCV Performance Axle 30 spline 300m axle package with custom E-locker spline cut None RCV Performance 4340 Drive Flanges with TrailGear Super Metal Studs Stock LX450 with had style e-brake Lexus/Toyota OEM 4.10 gears

B ODY & INTERIOR Body / Body Panels Body Modifications Skid plate / Material Painter Name Hood / Grille Floors / Firewalls

It started as a 1970 FJ40 tub all of them 1/4" 6061-T6 Aluminum belly pan Brennan Metcalf Almost factory FJ40 hood Yes Speedhut GPS speedometer and programmable fuel gauge complemented by an AeroForce Dash / Gauges / Switches Interceptor OBD2 gauge to monitor the Engine/ Transmission HotRod GM keyless Tilt Steering column with Steering Column / Wheel Grant wheel, Borgsen steering shaft, Modified FJ40 brake pedal moved over to the Pedal Assembly / Cutting Brakes clutch position for more foot room and the factory LX450 booster with master cylinder Corbeau Baja RS with 3pt non-retracting seat Seats / Harnesses belts Dual Audio Marine Head unit, USB charging Electronics ports, Phone mount, and usually a CB radio Lights Interior / Exterior LED lighting throughout. Magnet mounted small Kidde Extinguisher next Safety - Fire Extinguisher to the drivers seat Winches - Front / Rear - Brand Front, Warn 8274 & Capacity

P OWERTR AIN Tom Woods 1310 with Toyota and Land Rover flanges ( same length as the rear too for a common spare ) Tom Woods 1310 with Toyota and Land Rover Rear Driveshaft Builder & flanges ( same length as the front too for a Components Used common spare ) Fuel Cell or Tank, Type, Size & Custom 1/8" 5052-H32 Aluminum 27.7 gallon Builder rear mounted fuel tank Factory GM truck 2007 all metal internally Fuel System Pumps & Filters fuel looked pump sending Tim’s regulated Jeep always good. unit He took pride in it and it showed. Front Driveshaft Builder & Components Used


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ULTRA4 NATIONALS 2019 THERE'S NOTHING ELSE LIKE IT! Words by Ultra4 Staff, photos by Phillip Saifen There's nothing quite like an Ultra4 season finale – with high horsepower, points on the line, an enormous and excited crowd, and last battles to be hashed out on and off the dirt. The 2019 4WP Nitto Nationals, held at Wild West Motorsports Park this past weekend, was no exception! Race Day got off to an early (and chilly) start Saturday morning at 7am, starting with the Limited Classes drivers meeting. Following the UTV and Limited class prelims, the three heats of the 4400 prelims kicked off. Broken up by qualifying results so that the top three drivers from the prior afternoon all led individual heats out of the gate, Heat 1 saw Dan Wyrick and fellow UFO chassis driver Marcos Gomez go head-to-head off the line, with the likes of Loren Healy (driving for Vaughn), Paul Horschel, Ian Koentges and Josh Blyler, among others, chomping at their heels. After a hard-fought battle of seven laps, it was Horschel that took the checkers in the first heat. Heat 2 was led by Shannon Campbell, lined up to go off the line right next to his future son-in-law, Bryan Crofts. It was a battle royale for the first lap, with Shannon keeping the rest of the pack, including the Campbell kids, at bay until he lost a tire and was ultimately passed by Crofts in the MBRP Rocks. From there, it looked like Crofts would take the win as he continued to increase his gap on the rest of the field. But Crofts' luck changed when going into his seventh and final lap,

The takeoff is usually less difficult than the landing.

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he lost a rear wheel assembly, brakes and all, causing him to have to retire right after the first down-hill rocks. Fortunately, his performance throughout Heat 2 gave him enough ground to go through to the finals without having to fight it out in B Main or LCQ. Taking the flag after Crofts retired was Rusty Blyler. Heat 3 was just as packed with heavy hitters, as Raul Gomez led the pack off the starting line, followed by Erik Miller, Levi Shirley, JP Gomez and Cody Addington, all vying for positions. Unfortunately, Raul's lead didn't stick for very long as he suffered a mechanical failure on lap 2. This was enough to let Miller, Shirley, JP Gomez and many others by. When the checkers dropped, it was Raul's brother JP who took top honors. Only seven racers from each heat moved on to the main, leaving 15 drivers to battle it out in B Main for their chance to compete in the final 4400 race. Following the three 4400 Class prelim heats, the UTV Main got underway. With just 11 laps on the short course the battle for position was on as soon as the UTVs hit the first set of rocks on the front straight. True wheel-to-wheel racing action ensued, with Cole Clark defending his front position with everything he had. By the time the front-runners hit their ninth lap, nearly half of the field had broken, gotten snarled up, or had otherwise retired, leaving room for the top seven finishing

positions to battle it out. When all was said and done, Clark was able to defend his position and come away with the win, followed by Jamie McCoy in second and Jacob Versey in third. With fifteen 4400 Class competitors still itching to make it into their main race, the 4400 Class B Main was next, pinning eighth through twelfth from the first three heats against one another with competitors vying for just five spots moving on to the Main. Following mechanical failures, flat tires, somersaults and ultimately bad luck in the first heats, competitors like Raul Gomez, Shannon Campbell, Dan Wyrick, Kyle Wickham, Alex Wacker and Jeff McCullough, to name a few, went into B Main with no holds barred, making it anyone's race to win. After seven laps, it was Raul Gomez who took the top position. Coming in after Raul was Kyle Wickham, Dan Wyrick, Shannon Campbell and Ian Koentges, leaving the rest of the field just one last chance to qualify into the Main. The 7-lap 4600 Stock Class main race kicked off next, with Dawson Allington leading everyone off the starting line. Vying for points and position, the Stock class tackled the rocks and go-fast sections with drive and determination. Though the class only competed on the short course portion of the track, it proved an exciting race with true skill on display. In the end, it was Dawson Allington atop the podium, followed by Jesse Haines in second and Bill Schultz in third. Next up was the 4500 Modified Class main race, an 8-lap race covering both the short course and the hill section of the track. After winning in the 4500 prelim, John Mathews had the honor of leading the field out onto their parade lap and off the start line. From there, it was every man for his self, as the class's top drivers battled it out for national points and ultimate bragging rights. When the checkers dropped, it was Dave Cole (driving for Dustyn Friesen) who took the win, having fought his way up from the very back of the pack after not racing in the class's prelim. Following him up into a podium position was Jesse Oliver, who fought his way up from mid-

pack, and Dan Fresh who also fought his way from the back of the pack after only finishing one lap in the prelim earlier in the day. Once the 4500 Class had cleared the course, it was the 4800 Legends Class's turn to show off their skills. First off the line was Bailey Cole, side-by-side with Arturo Soria and directly tailed by Erik Miller driving Casey Gilbert's car. As soon as the green flag dropped, it was a race to see who could survive and finish seven full-course laps in the shortest amount of time. In the end, it was Cole who proved the quickest to complete seven laps, taking first place. Following Cole to the checkers, Kyle Wickham proved a strong competitor with a second-place finish, followed by David Hartman in third. With the 4400 Class Main nearing its start, just one race remained – the 4400 Class Last Chance Qualifier. With others broken or having already called their race, just five competitors took to the track for the 2-lap race, vying for just two positions that would move on to the Main. The battle was brutal and quick, but when the dust finally settled, it was Alex Wacker and Jeff McCullough who earned their spots in the Main. The last race of the day kicked off with the singing of the National Anthem and driver introductions for the 28 competitors who had fought their way into the 4400 Class Main. When the green flag dropped, it was JP Gomez and Rusty Blyler up front working to defend their positions, while the rest of the pack jockeyed for clean air and their preferred lines around the course. Eleven laps were all the competitors had to make their moves and ultimately solidify their placements and points at the season finale. When all was said and done, Cody Addington took the checkers, followed by Mike Bou and Loren Healy for Vaughn Gittin, Jr. A huge congratulation goes out to all of our podium finishers from the 2019 4WP National Championships, as well as our 2019 Nitto National Champions who fought all year long, race after race, to garner top honors in their classes for the 2019 race season. [C]


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Opposite, from top left: A new approach to traction. It could work. // Train ‘em young! // Two rock piles and craziness ensued. // Jesse Haines rollin’ coal! // Doing a little shock tuning in Brendon Thompson’s car. This page, from top left: This guy is a very serious race fan. // The very handsome Dusty Sexton working the rocks. // John Mathews and son Connor on their way to a 5th place finish. // Chris Sommer in the Miller Motorsports chassis.


This page, from top right: This was an Ultra4 “train your babies” weekend. // Just evening out the tire wear. // Everything is about to be a blur. // When two isn’t enough and four is too much. Opposite, from top left: Someone is people watching in the stands. // Hanging out, waiting for the noise to end. // The Mahindra Roxor, the only diesel in the Ultra4 Nationals lineup.

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Brad sneaks a peek at his tire placement.

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Words & photos by John Herrick The first thing you notice is the crane. It’s taking up space in the bed of this 2010 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Short Bed (DCSB). It’s normally holding down a lightweight wheelchair. I showed up at the parking area near the Slickrock Trailhead in the Stanislaus National Forest of California and met Brad Carr while he was rolling around his truck, airing down the tires and generally getting ready to go do what he enjoys, going on a trail run. Brad and his truck are both equipped for special challenges. Brad is equipped to conquer life from a seated position since he doesn’t have use of his legs. The truck is set up to let him challenge himself further on some serious offroad trails. With hand controls on the brake and throttle, Brad can run the rig as well as any I’ve met. Together, they were about to show me the rig and the trail in a way I’d not seen either before. The Slickrock Trail is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, east of Arnold, California. I came from the Reno side and climbed up some 24% grades on the twistiest road I’ve been on in ages. A tow rig is not an option and most everyone drives their trail rig to the trailhead. Climbing to the top of Ebbetts Pass at an elevation of 8,730 feet, I knew we were going to see some pretty country. This area is closed all winter to road travel from the east and may also be closed from the west. The snow doesn’t melt until June or July and then the wheeling season is the short summer and fall before the snow flies again. Based on the terrain I saw my guess is the trails change every season. Brad had hoisted himself into the cab of the Tacoma and then I heard the whir of the crane. His chair was quickly swung around to the rear of the bed and stowed away; he was ready for some wheeling. The four door rig is nicely configured for up to four people and his wife Amy was along for the ride. I rode shotgun with Scott McDonald of Candor Offroad, the shop that helped build the truck with Brad. Scott and Brad met on the trail when a CJ7 of Brad’s was having some braking issues. Long story short, the CJ ended up in Scott’s shop where it underwent some serious upgrades, including linked front & rear ends, coilovers, and upgraded axles. Brad spent a fair amount of time running the rig and finally concluded he needed more room and a more robust way to deal with his own ingress & egress. If he wanted to really be independent, he needed to make some changes. Enter the Tacoma. Not afraid of anything, he and Scott laid out a plan to build the truck he really wanted and needed. The IFS was out and in came a Trail-Gear solid axle swap (SAS). The truck’s fenders were trimmed for 37” tires. The crane was added and it’s right in the bed with the spare tire. Brad could change that too, if he needed. He can get in and out of the cab even with the lifted suspension and taller tires. The SAS was designed around a Ford HPD44 axle with an air locker, chromoly shafts and hydro assist steering using a Redneck Ram FJ80 steering box. Radflo 2” by 12” coilovers handle the suspension duties with Radflo 2” bumps. Out back a Quick Performance 9” housing with a Strange 3rd member, air locker and 31-spline shafts replaced the factory Toyota unit. Yukon 5.38 gears fill both axles and turn the Cooper STT Pro 37” tires. The power plant is still the Toyota 1GR-FE 4.0 liter V6. It puts out 236 horsepower and is one of the smoothest V6s I’ve ever driven. Brad opted for an automatic transmission and coupled the factory 2.57:1 t-case with a Marlin Crawler Taco Box with an additional 4.70:1 low range. With a variety of gearing options there isn’t much he can’t do. So he’s got a legit powertrain and plenty of gearing. To protect all the pretty sheetmetal are some Trail-Gear front and rear tube bumpers

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and custom ¼” steel plate skids from Candor Offroad. Just in case, a Warn VR 10-S resides up front. Remember the title? Here’s the land use aspect of this story. We take for granted that we can drive on 4wd trails and walk on the ones closed to motorized recreation. Brad can’t. If he wants to experience the backcountry, which should be everyone’s right, he’s got to take his truck. Keep that in the back of your mind the next time any kind of land access issue comes up. It may not affect you, but it affects all of us in the CRAWL nation. That said, we were out enjoying our public lands that Saturday and crawling some serious rocks and looking at beautiful scenery. The trail follows Silver Creek and whenever we stopped we could hear it babbling along over the rocks. It was a great day in late fall before the snows come again and we look for warmer climes to go wheeling. For Brad and Amy, it was a chance to get away from work, release some stress and enjoy the backcountry. For me, it was an opportunity to see some cool engineering put to work by a very capable driver. [C]

Above: End of the run and airing up the Cooper 37s. Opposite, from top: Stowed away and ready to wheel, the lift holds the spare tire and chair in place. // Extended, the lift is ready to grab Brad’s chair and load it in the bed. Brad simply lifts himself into the cab. My money is on Brad if anyone wants to arm wrestle him.


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Opposite, from top: The stance is perfect with a Trail Gear solid axle swap kit and 37s. The wheelbase is long so skids play an important role. // Trail Gear tube bumpers allow for high clearance and good approach & departure angles. Brad is not afraid of getting into the rock rails, even the doors on occasion. This page, from top left: The spare tire and a co2 tank make life easy. // PIAA LED lamps help illuminate the way. // The Trail Gear rear bumper shows some hits. // Radflo coilovers handle suspension dampening.


CLockwise from top right: Lunch time on the trail with his prior CJ in the background. // With Scott from Candor Offroad watching, Brad winds his way down the beginning stages of the Slickrock trail in Central California. // The CRD OR model is from Candor Offroad. From customer to friend, these guys have a great time out on the trail.

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INFO Owner

Brad Carr


Arnold, California

Vehicle Type

2010 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Short Bed (DCSB)

Builder & Location

Scott McDonald/Brad Carr- Candor Offroad, Lodi California

CHA SSIS Chassis Design Frame / Chassis Materials Cage Builder / Cage Material Overall Wheelbase Overall Length Belly Pan Clearance Overall Height Wheel Track Width Overall Weight

P OWERTR AIN Body on frame Steel ladder frame, front plated N/A 128" 208" 15.25" 75" 80" 4800 lbs Est. (4065 stock)

Engine Manufacturer Engine Displacement, Liters or Cubic Inches Engine Horsepower Engine Torque Engine Induction, Normal or Forced Engine Modifications Battery Radiator / Fans Air Intake

Cooper STT Pro 37/12.50R17 Method Race Wheels NV 305 Bronze Black Street Loc 17x8.5, 6 on 5.5"


TIRE S & WHEEL S Tire Make / Size Wheel Make / Size / Bolt Pattern/ Backspace

SUSPENSION Front Suspension Type & Material Front Sway Bar Front Shocks Front Bump Stops Rear Suspension Type & Material Rear Sway Bar Rear Shocks Rear Bump Stops

Custom Solid Axle Swap using All-Pro bracket kit N/A Radflo 2.0 x 12" remote reservoir coilovers Radflo 2.0 hydraulic bump stops Alcan custom leaf spring packs N/A Bilstein 7100 series 12" stroke reservoir shock, 255/70 valving Polyurethane

A XLE S Front Axle Housing Front Differential / Locker Front Axle Shafts Front U-Joints Front Drive Flanges / Hubs Front Brakes Front Steering Components Rear Axle Housing Rear Differential / Locker Rear Axle Shafts Rear Brakes Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s)

Transmission Make & Type Transmission Cooling System Torque Converter Transmission Shifter Transfer Case(s) Front Driveshaft Builder & Components Used Rear Driveshaft Builder & Components Used Fuel Cell or Tank, Type, Size & Builder Fuel System Pumps & Filters

Toyota 1GR-FE V6 4.0 liter 236 hp 266 lb/ft normal Factory variable valve timing Optima Factory ARB Safari Snorkel Custom exhaust by Performance Muffler, Galt, California Aisin A750F five speed automatic Factory Stock Stock Marlin Crawler dual case Taco box 4.70:1, factory t-case 2.57:1 low range Tom Woods CV 1310/1310 2" tube Tom Woods CV 1350/1310 3.5" tube Stock tank, 21 gallons Stock

B ODY & INTERIOR Stock factory sheetmetal trimmed, custom pin striping by Slickrock Granite Co. Trail-Gear tube bumpers front & rear, trimmed Body Modifications fenders, flares removed Skid plate / Material Candor Offroad custom 1/4" mild steel Painter Name Brad "Rattlecan" Carr Hood / Grille Stock trimmed Floors / Firewalls Stock Dash / Gauges / Switches sPod switch panel for lockers and lights Steering Column / Wheel Stock Pedal Assembly / Cutting Brakes "Handi-Able" hand throttle and brake controls Seats / Harnesses Stock Electronics Pioneer deck Lights Interior / Exterior Stock/Amazon special Safety - Fire Extinguisher Fire Extinguisher and First Aid kit Winches - Front / Rear - Brand Warn VR 10-S & Capacity Body / Body Panels

Ford High Pinion Dana 44 65" WMS ARB Chromoly shafts Spicer Warn Premium Stock Ruffstuff 1 ton, Redneck Ram FJ80 box & hydro assist ram Quick Performance Ford 9" housing, 65" WMS Strange 3rd member, ARB, Ruffstuff pinion skid Alloy shafts 31 Spline Western Chassis disc brake kit Yukon, 5:38:1


OFF ROAD EXPO 2019 OUR FAVORITE SHOW Words & photos by John Herrick I’ve always called this event the “fun SEMA”. It’s smaller, it gets the vast majority of the offroad players together in one place, and it lets us shoot the breeze while customers get a chance to see the latest and greatest stuff in one “easy to navigate” setting. With the high expense of the annual Las Vegas event that is SEMA, Off Road Expo is the place to be in front of your actual customers without spending six figures to be there. And, with the Sheraton hotel bar right next door, there is plenty of time to let good conversation flow after the show. We like to talk to everyone, see what’s new and then check out the rigs that people have built and brought to the event. This year I brought a rig for the first time in a few years. The TRAILS1 Toyota Tacoma was in the Milestar Tires booth for the weekend sporting a batch of All-Pro Off Road equipment. This build is for our sister publication, TRAILS, and was a hit. I’ve enjoyed building a Toyota and the people that came through the booth had plenty of questions about the parts we used.

We also were pleased to see Michael Guth’s cover rig in the BF Goodrich space outside. With a big poster of the Issue 77 cover, Mike’s rig got plenty of attention over the weekend. The Pomona event has always been a favorite and we see that the promoter has added a Scottsdale, Arizona event in March. We’ll have to check that out next. Either way, if you haven’t been to one of these, it’s worth the trip. The weather is usually pretty good and the opportunity to get answers directly from the manufacturer is always worth the price of admission. [C]

Above: Ian Johnson gets an earful about Chris Hughes’ hardcore JKU. Tony doesn’t believe it either.

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From top left: With a nod to Ricky Bobby, this JL is all about “Me�. // Paging Joey Archuleta? // This is a pretty solid looking FJ Cruiser prerunner. // If the mountains are blue are you supposed to go out in the snow?


This page, from top right: The Perfect Bungee. These are really cool and we’re testing them now. // Here are a few on the All-Pro storage tray. // Mike Guth, cover rig owner from issue 77 at the BFG booth. // The new tubing notcher from TMR Customs is simple and robust. Opposite, from top: BFG included our cover from issue 77 with the “Mike Drop” LJ. // Artec built a hardcore Jeep JT. This thing was ready for some action.


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Opposite, from top: The TRAILS1 Tacoma on display with the Milestar crew. Herrick drove this 2,000 miles on his first trip out with it. // Savvy Off Road 4500 car in Jessi Combs’ livery. This page, from top left: New line of seats at PRP makes your butt feel good. // Daddy’s Jeep Buddy is wide eyed and not missing anything. // MetalCloak’s take on the new Jeep JL. // From lowrider to lifted, the rigs for the kids were serious.


TRAIL HERO RED ROCKTOBER Words & photos by John Herrick There is no doubt that the up & coming place for red rock wheeling in Utah is St. George. Down in the southwest corner of Utah - less than two hours from Las Vegas - it’s a popular place to visit and to live, work and play. Over 170,000 people call the area home and, when we came to Trail Hero, we felt like they were waiting for us. With plenty of hotels, restaurants, repair shops and grocery stores, there was nothing missing. All we had to do was get out and enjoy the red rock trails and explore the beautiful back country. Rich Klein put on a great event which is in its fourth year. With guided trail runs as well as self-guided adventure, there is something for every skill level. Combine the trail activities with a rock crawling competition, rock racing, the Trail Breaker extreme comp and more, there is plenty to keep you occupied when you aren’t out challenging yourself and your own machine. Vendors were plentiful, too and were often out wheeling where you could see their gear in use. We spent a day with the GenRight guys on

The group watches as the blue LJ of Richard Garrett climbs the hill.

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some extreme trails and another day with Matt and Arman from All-Pro Offroad wheeling with my new TRAILS1 Tacoma. It was fun to be back in a rig on 32” tires and only one locker. It brought me back to my early days of wheeling where line selection and careful driving paid off. The rock crawl comp and the Trail Breaker are my favorite events and we witnessed some great driving. Matt Messer was playing host to the Tsuda brothers who came all the way from Japan to compete. They brought a new Suzuki Jimny that got a lot of attention as well. It’s not every day you see a Japan market only vehicle rolling out of a semitrailer in St. George, Utah. If you’re looking for a great fall event held every October, you should seriously consider Trail Hero. It gets better every year and the area has plenty of amenities so you don’t need to rough it. Come enjoy this treasure in Southwest Utah. [C] WWW.THETRAILHERO.COM

The TRAILS1 Toyota drops off a ledge. The metric 32s brought Herrick back to his roots.

Kelly Sims climbing the chute in the newly built Silver Surfer.


This page, from top right: A Texas wheeler climbs the next stair step on the trail. // Tony from GenRight finds the peak on a beautiful morning. // New to him, the freshly built Carte Blanche LJ featured in this issue gets a workout with Peter Doolan behind the wheel. // SpiderWebShade builds some nice branding. Cameron Harris drove this like a champ. // There is an abundance of red rock in Sand Hollow. Opposite, from top left: Jesse Haines, the evil mastermind of rock crawling. // Sidewall use was critical on the rock walls in many courses. // Cody Waggoner gets a spot from Randall Davis.

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Opposite, from top: Bridging gaps took some planning and guts. // Waggoner watching cones on his way out. This page, from top left: The Trail Gear car of Matt Messer gets a spot from the Red Dragon himself. // A serious climb. // Cody taking care of the mosquito population.


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Opposite, from top: A sticky situation. // Dave Wong showing the crowd he’s flexible. This page, from top left: Matt working on his car. The fuel pump was the final straw. // The Tsuda Brothers came from Japan for this event and weren’t holding back. // In a Falken livery car the Tsuda team was fun to watch. // Another gnarly spot.




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Up and over. 14� King coilovers provide ample travel.

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The 39” Toyo’s tuck perfectly into the custom rear fender.

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Words & photos by Tim Magee With a cabin near Mount St. Helens, Rod Leetch needed something he could run the woods in whether it was through the snow, out hunting or just a day on the trail. There is not much more fitting for that role than a Jeep. A rig with power and grip was a necessity – along with capability, utility and reliability. Rod’s Jeep is a mixture, a conglomerate of sorts, built for running the hills of the Cascades. The result of a few iterations of builds and progression is a blend of CJ-7, YJ, MB and a little CJ-8 influence. Rod picked up the beginnings of the final product from Brian Barnes, who had stretched the CJ-7 tub using a YJ tub rear and thrown a LS in it. It was a solid start with good running gear and a 4-link rear, but Rod had to put his spin on it and, along with Jason Weidhuner, they fit an MB grill to it with custom hood and fenders. Getting that grill on was a necessary transformation to match Rod’s preferred aesthetic in Jeeps, the MB. I get the feeling that a CJ-3A grill would have worked for him too, but anything newer he’s just not into. He’s old school when it comes to his flavor in the classic offroad rigs. It’s been that way since he was a kid and went wheeling with his Dad – who’d been involved with Jeep clubs since the ‘60s. The old flat fenders are a way of life for him and his family. Whether it was throwing big power under the hood and racing them or using it for hunting, the Jeeps have always been a ton of fun for them. Getting to the cabin can be a blast when the snow is on point, like when it is 6’-8’ as the road just opens in April. It should come as no surprise to find some LS power under the hood of this rig. Anyone who’s been snow wheeling can attest that you need as much power as possible and more power definitely equals more fun. Blasting the pow

with a group of guys on the way to some time at the family cabin is an annual thing and that meant that things needed to be reliable too. That’s why the power is put to the ground with a 4L60 trans, 203/300 t-case setup, and a pair of Dana 60s. To work in the rocks, a proper suspension setup is key. A 3-link front and 4-link rear do the trick. Along with a set of 2.5”x14” King coilovers set up with 7” and 8” of up travel, Allied Fab worked in some 2” air bumps to take the big hits when Rod decides to take something rough with some speed. A day at Naches playing in the woods can mean running through the rocks or just cruising the backroads and this Jeep can handle it all. It isn’t just about snow runs or just wheeling at places like Naches, Rod puts this rig to work as a hunting rig as well. Jason Weidhuner at Allied configured the cage so that Rod could modify and stretch a halfcab top over the front and hold all of the creature comforts, like heat, in and things like rain out. It doesn’t ever rain in the PNW, does it? Rod knows better, and he is better off staying dry while out hunting so when he bags a big buck, he can load it up in the bed of the tub and haul it out in the heated seat and dry comfort of the cab. Finding wheeling and this way to escape into the backcountry is the highlight of some people’s lives, Rod was lucky enough to be born into it – and the man is an outdoor fanatic. When not out in one of his Jeeps, he is cruising his ’32 Ford Highboy to a car show or ripping the snow bikes or sleds around in the hills. That’s not to mention the tuna fishing he does about 40 miles out from the mouth of the Columbia. Rod’s Jeep, like how he lives his life, is a conglomeration of awesome, cascading in a wave of good times – a Conglomerate Cascade. [C]

Having grown up around old Jeeps, Rodd Leetch prefers the look of the old MB grill, but appreciates the comfort of a more modern rig.


This page, from top right: Interior cab cage work. Both sections of cage tie into frame at each corner. // Using two driver manifolds to route the exhaust to the front of the motor and then y-pipe it down around and under was the only way to route it and clear the driveline and suspension. // The frame was notched to clear the drag link at bump and stretched to allow room for a steering box in front of the axle’s final location. // The big, flat belly skid plate is 3/16” steel lined with some UHMW. Opposite, from top left: To have a little more room in the cab, Rod stretched the fiberglass half cab which fits between the two sections of cage. // Rod put the center console together with the necessary switches alongside the old school stock gauges. // Rod and Jason built the fenders and hood on a press break to fit the MB grille.

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Rod enjoying some time in the woods, just what this Jeep was built for.


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INFO Owner

Rod Leetch


Camas, Washington

Vehicle Type


Builder & Location

Rod Leetch / Jason Weidhuner Washougal, WA Brian Barnes Longview, WA

CHA SSIS Chassis Design Cage Builder / Cage Material Overall Wheelbase Overall Length Belly Pan Clearance Overall Height Wheel Track Width Overall Weight

P OWERTR AIN Stretched 12 " CJ/YJ Jason Weidhuner 1.75 DOM tied to frame 8 points front section separate from rear 109" 159" 24" 78" 83" 5200


TIRE S & WHEEL S Tire Make / Size Wheel Make / Size / Bolt Pattern/ Backspace

Toyo race 39" Allied forged bead locks 17x9 8 on 6.5

SUSPENSION Front Suspension Type & Material Front Sway Bar Front Shocks Front Bump Stops Rear Suspension Type & Material Rear Sway Bar Rear Shocks Rear Bump Stops

3-link 7075 aluminum 7" up travel custom shock towers to stay below hood 1" Speedway 2.5" x 14" King King 2" by 2" 4-link 7075 aluminum links 8" up travel custom shock towers None 2.5" x 14" King Fox 2" by 2"

Front Brakes Front Steering Components Rear Axle Housing Rear Differential / Locker Rear Axle Shafts Rear Drive Flanges Rear Brakes Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s)

Transmission Make & Type Transmission Adapter Transmission Cooling System Transmission Shifter Transfer Case(s) Front Driveshaft Builder & Components Used Rear Driveshaft Builder & Components Used Fuel Cell or Tank, Type, Size & Builder Fuel System Pumps & Filters

Dana 60 Yukon competition Zip Locker Branik 35 spline chromoly Yukon Yukon Disc, Dodge 3500 power booster master cylinder Red Head Saginaw steering box with assist port Dana 60 Yukon Grizzly Branik double spline 35 spline floater Branik 35 spline Disc, Dodge 3500 power booster master cylinder Spicer 4.88:1

GM 5.3 300 hp 335 lb/ft stock EFI 4 core, stock fan K&N Stainless 2 driver side manifolds, pass swapped out the front 3" out 4L60 Advance Adapters remote cooler Allied Fab 203/300 2 piece long slip 1350 Six States 1350 Yj custom skid plate electric

B ODY & INTERIOR Body / Body Panels Body Modifications

A XLE S Front Axle Housing Front Differential / Locker Front Axle Shafts Front U-Joints Front Drive Flanges / Hubs

Engine Manufacturer Engine Displacement, Liters or Cubic Inches Engine Horsepower Engine Torque Engine Induction, Normal or Forced Radiator / Fans Air Intake

Skid plate / Material Painter Name Hood / Grille Floors / Firewalls Dash / Gauges / Switches Steering Column / Wheel Seats / Harnesses Lights Interior / Exterior Safety - Fire Extinguisher Winches - Front / Rear - Brand & Capacity

MB grill , Tail gate cj / yj / cj8 half cab Body, frame streched boat sided sliders tied to frame by Brian Barnes,Aluminum Hood 1/8" built by Rod Leetch,Steve Worden Jason Weidhuner formed to fit Mb grill to CJ tub Tail gate shortened narrowed to fit tub frame notched,boxed to fit tierod, drag link Uhmw/steel flush mounted Rod Leetch Mb grill , custom aluminum Hood steel custom built console stereo cb all accesory switches by Rod Cadillac tilt & telescope 2002 Corvette heated power leather seats Led blackout converted to turn signals h4 head lights standard Warn 8274 8K

Tim’s Jeep always looked good. He took pride in it and it showed.


DANA 60™

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FORD 8.8





Built for the boulders of Johnson Valley, Tony Pellegrino test drives the recently finished build.


Words by John Herrick, photos by Jami Pellegrino One of the cool parts of my job is finding builds like this Jeep LJ and then meeting the people that commissioned them. While I do get readers that complain there aren’t enough garage builds, this is different. Peter Doolan is a guy that wanted a very nice rig, recognized his skill set wasn’t building a rig, and asked the shop at GenRight to do it for him. Nothing wrong with that. The fact that GenRight pulled their regular items off the warehouse shelves to build it is testimony to the fact that you and I could do it, too. There’s no magic here, this is a GenRight build with parts any of us could buy. It’s a simple time versus money equation and Peter gave them carte blanche to build a nice rig. If you want to do it yourself, it’s all available. I met Peter at Trail Hero this year and spent a day watching this rig perform. It crawls like a goat, looks beautiful when the sun hits the paint in just the right way and, when the nearly 600 horses are awakened, it’s a menacing beast. And Peter looks pretty damn happy behind the wheel. Tony Pellegrino told me that Peter found the LJ at a CarMax dealer in Las Vegas, flew in from his home in Virginia, bought it, drove to Simi Valley and dropped it off before catching a ride and flying home again. A few months later this creation came out of the shop and everywhere you look there is innovation, comfort, safety and performance. Using the geometry from Jordan Pellegrino’s successful 4500 race car, the engineers designed a 3-link/4-link suspension with King 2.5” IBP coilovers and Summit Machine aluminum links. The center of gravity is low, the travel is large and the stability is optimal. All of the benefits of Jordan’s race rig were translated into a street friendly consumer oriented trail rig. The key design aspects of the suspension centered on the understanding an LS engine, namely the LS3, was going in followed by a 4L80 transmission and Atlas t-case. Clearance and up-travel had to work with these components and it does, flawlessly. The GenRight Tracer Suspension System is available on their website to DIY guys that

Simple & straightforward. Steel where you need it, wide stance, strong axles, well suspended.

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want to sparkle wrench this together for themselves. The drivetrain is completed with Currie axles front and rear, both high pinion, with ARB Air Lockers. The front is a 35-spline VXR 60 and the rear is a full float RJ70. Dana 5.38 gears are stuffed inside in order to turn the 40” Mickey Thompson tires. The powertrain is tied to the axles through a pair of JE Reel Drivelines with 1350 joints and double Cardan CVs. Jim builds race car stuff and we get the benefit of his skill in our trail rig components. If you’re going to spend all day in the rig, you may as well be comfortable and have everything within reach. The GenRight center console is a fairly new piece that replaces the factory plastic console and is specifically designed around having comms and shifters right at hand. Available in a DIY version with a blank panel all the way through to custom cutouts for popular shifters and radios, this rig has everything handy, right down to the cup holders. A Winters shifter handles the reverse manual valve body and the Atlas cable shifters are right there, too. The Rugged Radios VHF and intercom are in reach. Everything can be accessed through panels on each side of the console so wiring and cable running is easy. The pair of Odyssey batteries resides at the end of the console next to a power shutoff. This moves roughly 100 pounds of weight to the middle of the rig and helps maintain weight & balance. There is no back seat and the rear area is complemented with a GenRight storage rack and the extra length of the LJ tub. There is no secret that I’m a huge fan of the perfect Jeep… the LJ. This rig is even more perfect with a wheelbase at 115” with a belly pan clearance of 20”. It’s relatively low and the car sits like most Ultra4 racers do. With all that horsepower on tap you can romp around all day making lots of noise or wander through the most difficult of trails with gentle touches on the throttle. This rig is all about having a good time and, the best part - you can make your own if you want. [C]

The suspension is based on the GenRight 4500 race car. It inspires confidence with predictable handling and great flexibility.


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Opposite, from top left: All digital dash with factory binnacle and steering column. // The GenRight center console with switches, shifters and comms. // The ubiquitous LS motor. // Armor everywhere; fenders, rockers, cowl protection. // King coilovers feature an internal bypass and remote reservoirs with compression clickers. This page, from top left: Currie Rock Jock axles front and rear are tough and well-engineered. // The GenRight tank & skid, ike everything here, is available on the website. // Three link front‌ // ‌and a four link rear, all with aluminum link arms.



The cage works well and doesn’t impede access. The color is stunning in real life.

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INFO Owner

Peter Doolan



Vehicle Type

2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ)

Builder & Location

GenRight Off Road, Simi Valley, California

CHA SSIS Chassis Design Frame / Chassis Materials Cage Builder / Cage Material Overall Wheelbase Overall Length Belly Pan Clearance Overall Height Wheel Track Width Overall Weight

P OWERTR AIN GenRight Tracer Suspension System Ladder Frame Steel GenRight , 1-3/4" laser cut and puzzled DOM tubing 115.00" 171.25" 20" 79" 86" 4500 pounds

TIRE S & WHEEL S Tire Make / Size Wheel Make / Size / Bolt Pattern/ Backspace

Mickey Thompson MTZ P3, 40/13.50 x 17" KMC Machete wheels, 17" beadlocks with 5 on 5.5" bolt pattern with 4-3/4" back space

SUSPENSION Front Suspension Type & Material Front Sway Bar Front Shocks Front Bump Stops Rear Suspension Type & Material Rear Sway Bar Rear Shocks Rear Bump Stops

GenRight Tracer 3-link w/Summit Machine 7075 links and Currie Johnny Joints None King 2.5" IBP's with remote reservoir and compression adjuster King 2.0" x 2" stroke GenRight Tracer triangulated 4-link w/ Summit Machine 7075 links and Currie Johnny Joints GenRight torsion sway bar with aluminum links King 2.5" IBP's with remote reservoir and compression adjuster King 2.0" x 2" stroke

A XLE S Front Axle Housing Front Differential / Locker Front Axle Shafts Front U-Joints Front Drive Flanges / Hubs Front Brakes Front Steering Components Rear Axle Housing Rear Differential / Locker Rear Axle Shafts Rear Drive Flanges Rear Brakes Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s)

Currie Rock Jock VXR 60 high pinion with Super 60 ring & pinion ARB 35 spline 4340 CrMo 1550 Warn Hubs Alcon calipers and 13.77" rotors AGR ram assist with Genright CrMo high steer tie rod and drag link. Currie Rock Jock 70 high pinion with full float hubs ARB 40 spline 4340 CrMo Currie Alcon calipers and 13.00" rotors Dana Spicer 5.38:1

P OWERTR AIN Engine Manufacturer Engine Displacement Engine Horsepower Engine Torque Engine Induction, Normal or Forced Engine Modifications Battery Radiator / Fans Air Intake

GM LS3 assembled by Mullenix Racing Engines 416 cu in 598 550 Normal Stroker crank, Comp cam, ported heads, CHE rockers, LS7 lifters, bigger oil pan with traps & GenRight accessory relocation kit Dual Oddessy 1500's mounted in the rear Custom Ron Davis with Dual Spal fans 4" Aluminum with K&N filter

Exhaust Transmission Make & Type Transmission Adapter Transmission Cooling System Torque Converter Transmission Shifter Transfer Case(s) Front Driveshaft Builder & Components Used Rear Driveshaft Builder & Components Used Fuel Cell or Tank, Type, Size & Builder Fuel System Pumps & Filters

Designed by GenRight, 1-7/8" headers into a 2.5" dual exhaust that is build by aFe & ceramic coated. 4L80 built be Maximum Transmissions w/full manual & reverse valve body. Advance Adapters Mishimoto Maximum Transmissions Ultra4 Converter, 2800 stall, no electric lock up Winters gate shifter Atlas 3:1 with cable shifters JE Reel 1350 U-joints both ends JE Reel 1350 U-joints both ends GenRight Off Road, 23 gal aluminum tank with steel skid and in-tank pump Aeromotive Phantom pump and Aeromotive filters

B ODY & INTERIOR Factory Jeep with GenRight aluminum "Stretch" armor on it. All GenRight: Hi-Fenders, Flak Jacket, Corner Body Modifications Guards cut to fit 40's, EXT rear Flares, Tail gate plate 1/4" thick cold rolled steel with side bolts (none Skid plate / Material on the bottom) Painter Name Newcastle painted candy apple red (Ford RR) Fiberglass Duraflex heat reduction hood / Grill Hood / Grille has been modified to fit the larger cooler and A/C condenser Small mods to stock floor under center console Floors / Firewalls then covered in Linex AIM full color display with GenRight aluminum Dash / Gauges / Switches center console Momo mounted to a GenRight quick release on Steering Column / Wheel factory steering colunm Stock Jeep brake pedal and Chevy electronic Pedal Assembly / Cutting Brakes throttle pedal Simpson Vortex seats on GenRight mounts and Seats / Harnesses Simpson 5-point harnesses Rugged Radios VHF race radio and intercom, Electronics Switch Pro panel, Bluetooth stereo, Marine USB charging station VisionX Vortex headlights and Baja Design XL80 Lights Interior / Exterior combo beam driving lights Two Safecraft onboard fire system (both Safety - Fire Extinguisher mechanical and thermal activated) plus a hand held fire extinguisher Winches - Front / Rear - Brand Warn 9.5 CTI winch with Factor 55 Flatlink E & Capacity Bumpers GenRight Off Road front & rear Other Upgrades: GenRight fuel tank access plate Air Conditioning GenRight Steering box skid plate Scosche mirrors and magnetic phone mounts GenRight rear cargo rack to divide up the rear storage space LineX interior and Heatsheild Products wrapped under side floor Exhaust system is wrapped with Heatsheild Products lava wrap Body / Body Panels


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11/12/19 1:35 PM

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to your favorite places. Keep your public lands open to the public by reporting illegal dumping when you see it happening.




JK TANK REMOVAL Words & photos by Derek Trent It's hard to believe I have been driving the CRAWL JK for almost four years now. It's just about to turn 60,000 miles. It has been a great vehicle to own and I enjoy every mile that I put on it. At this point I have no intention of parting with it and I intend to keep modifying it. The very first modification was the 25 gallon GenRight auxiliary fuel tank. It was actually the product that first got me excited about building a JK, the other was the Ultimate Dana 60 axles. Before I had ever driven a JK the thought of an aftermarket rear fuel tank and Dana 60 axles in theory made a JK build seem appealing to me. I thought I would build a custom 4-link front and rear in no time. Then I started driving it on a daily basis and realized it drove like no Jeep I had ever owned before. I bought it new from Carson City Dodge which is my local Jeep dealership and in no time it had 10,000 miles on it in completely stock form. The whole point of buying the Jeep was for it to be a CRAWL Magazine project vehicle so it was time to get things started. The 25 gallon rear tank was intended to be a primary tank but since I was going to be installing a bolt in lift kit, Tony Pellegrino from Gen Right suggested I try it as an auxiliary tank. It seemed like a good idea so it was at first installed and used in combination with the factory 22.5 gallon tank. The set up worked great and gave the Jeep a range of well over 600 miles. The Ultimate Dana 60s were swapped in by Vegas 4x4 immediately after with a Readylift 4" suspension kit, Raceline beadlock wheels, and 37" tires. A couple months after that, a full GenRight aluminum body armor package complete with tube fenders was installed and the Jeep really felt and looked complete. On the trail it wheels really well for a full body vehicle. The Ultimate Dana 60s with Eaton electric differential lockers front and rear are overkill for the 3.6 V6 engine and that is what I really like about them. I really don't need to worry about breaking axle parts. The 4" Readylift suspension system complements the axles. The springs provide a nice ride and the short arm suspension geometry works surprisingly well and utilizes all factory suspension mounts. I also installed Currie AntiRock sway bars front and rear. They provide sway control both on the street and the trail. Nothing to disconnect and stability is maintained in off camber situations. One unexpected thing about this build that was a pleasant surprise is how well the JK on one tons drives on the street. Sure I expected it would be fine to drive around town but I never expected that it would be a vehicle I would choose to take on road trips. It can cruise on the highway at 75 plus mph for hours and the brakes are phenomenal. Panic stops at any speed don't cause near death experiences. It's the car I choose to drive when the family and I are going just about

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anywhere. It's fun to drive; I can park it almost anywhere. It's tough enough to get dirty but still turns heads at the valet on date night. That is probably the reason why I still haven't put a long arm 4-link on it. I’ve been too busy driving it. Now it's time to start planning the next modifications. I have no complaints about the performance of the dual gas tank set up but I have decided I want a real belly skid plate and room to eventually put in a triangulated 4-link rear suspension that does not utilize a track bar. This means it's time to pull the stock gas tank and use only the rear tank. Over the years the Jeep has consistently gotten 15 miles to the gallon. When the 25 gallon tank was installed we noticed the fuel pump assembly was not long enough to reach the bottom of the tank, so we machined custom longer extension rods. GenRight now sells these longer rods and calls it the JK factory fuel pump extension kit. Since the factory fuel pump is now in a deeper tank than it was designed for the float that monitors fuel capacity gets submerged when the tank is full. It remains submerged until the top 6.5 gallons of fuel are used and then the fuel gauge finally starts to drop below full. That takes 100 miles of regular, street driving then the gauge goes from full to empty over the next 200 miles. At 300 miles the gas light comes on and if I go straight to the nearest gas station it take 20 gallons to fill consistently, meaning I still have 5 gallons left in the tank. I have driven up to 50 miles with the gas light on and the pump has never starved for fuel. With a range of 300 to 350 miles I think I will be okay without the factory tank. There are also a lot of benefits in getting rid of the factory tank. First off, it’s plastic and in a very vulnerable place. It's in the center of the vehicle on the passenger side, squeezed in between the transmission and frame. It actually hangs below the frame so if you ever find yourself dragging belly climbing a ledge you are risking puncturing it. The rear of a Jeep is a much more logical place for the fuel tank to be. It will not get hit on rocks as often and, if it does, the GenRight tank is built to take the abuse. The GenRight tank is also protected with a beefy skid plate that can take real rock hits. With the factory tank removed it will now be possible to build a flat belly skid plate, long suspension links can be fit inside the frame rails, and upper rear suspension links can be triangulated to the top of the rear axle eliminating the need for a track bar. The 25 gallon tank was a great choice for my build because I am building it in stages. If you are planning on going straight to a long arm suspension with coilovers like the GenRight Elite Coilover Suspension kit then the 36 gallon rear tank is also a great option. It requires cutting out the rear factory cross member and relocating the shocks. [C]

The 22.5 gallon factory fuel tank in the JKU is in a real bad spot for a rock crawler. It makes building a traditional triangulated 4-link rear suspension impossible. It's also not very durable because it is made out of plastic and hangs below the frame rail where it is in harm's way. By getting rid of it and going to a rear tank we will be able to eventually go to a flat skid plate and gain ground clearance.

Removing the factory fuel tank is much easier to do on a lift and a transmission jack works really well to support the tank. This tank has an internal fuel pump that goes in from the top of the tank. It has multiple hoses and wires that can't be reached until the tank is lowered slightly.

The factory transfer case skid plate attaches to the gas tank skid plate so it needs to be removed and it will not fit back in the vehicle once the tank is removed.

After the tank mounting bolts are removed the filler hose needs to be removed before the tank can be lowered. Since there are two fuel tanks there is a lot of extra wiring and plumbing.


There isn't very much room to squeeze in and remove all of the wiring and plumbing. Doing this job on the ground without a lift would definitely be difficult.

Once everything is disconnected the tank can be lowered. The fuel pump in the factory tank will be kept as a spare. It fits in the GenRight 20 gallon tank without modifications and requires extension rods for the 25 gallon tank we are using.

With the factory fuel tank removed there is a lot of room for suspension mounts. A skid plate will be necessary to protect the engine oil pan, transmission, and transfer case. At this point I'm not sure if I will install an aftermarket skid plate or build something from scratch.

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The dual tank set up comes with a Y pipe to distribute fuel from one filler to two tanks. It's a nice set up that is easy to use. It fills just like a single tank vehicle.

The Y pipe was replaced by this 80° bend that connects the stock fuel filler to the rear tank.

The vent line has a T fitting in it to connect both fuel tank vent lines to the O.E.M. evap canister. It's important to retain the evap canister to keep your vehicle smog compliant and your E.C.U. happy.


The T fitting is replaced with a union because we now only have one fuel tank to vent.

Unlike the factory fuel tank the GenRight tank has an access door on top of it so a fuel pump can be installed without dropping the tank. It's a clean set up. The complete installation on the dual tank system was covered in the tech section of CRAWL, Issue 59.

The access door saves us a lot of time. Without it we would be dropping the rear tank just to unplug the wires to the fuel pump and sending unit.

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This is the GenRight dual 3³³tank wiring harness and pollak valve. It's a cool set up that is controlled by a single toggle switch. It allows you to switch from one tank to the other and the factory fuel gauge shows how much fuel is in the tank you are using. When one tank is empty flip the switch and the gas gauge goes from empty to full.

This is an extension for the fuel pump wire harness to extend in from the middle of the vehicle where the factory tank was to the rear tank. It replaces the harness and pollak valve in the last photo. I like the fact that I am simplifying the electrical system and plumbing.

The last step is to empty the factory fuel tank. A jump pack is used to power the in tank pump and the remaining fuel is pumped into the Jeep.


FIRE EXTINGUISHERS Words & photos by John Herrick I don’t think there is anyone in the CRAWL world that would dispute the need for fire extinguishers in and on their rigs. It seems like a simple thing but there are a few things to know. Looking at the expense of our vehicles and what we ask them to do, it seems reasonable to want to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our equipment. After spending from $50,000 and up on a rig, some people then spend $16 on a fire extinguisher hoping that they didn’t miss a sale where they could have spent less. I’ve never quite understood the logic in this and so I’m going to make a pitch on the differences between marginally adequate and a much better choice in long term safety equipment. I’ll be straight up about this; I’m a fan of H3R Performance products. They make a great lineup of fire extinguishers and they are all I own. As a former firefighter and someone that has had to use small extinguishers like these to put out a fire, I have an appreciation for what they make and how they do it. They are the largest provider of clean agent fire extinguishers to the aviation industry and cover fire threats from the cockpit to the hangar. First off, the run-of-the-mill box store unit will do the job. If you can’t afford anything else, they are better than nothing. However, the differences in construction and life span suggest that you’ll be happier and safer in the long run with a professional grade product.

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The materials used are the biggest points of variance between the two types I’m covering. In a nutshell, the difference is metal versus plastic in most every respect. The secondary consideration is the cheap units are disposable while the more expensive ones are re-fillable and can be rebuilt if damaged. Two other considerations are the extinguishing agent and the size of the unit. I like the company’s HalGuard Halon alternative for in-cab use. It’s designed for fuel and electrical fires and won’t leave any corrosive residue like typical dry chemical agents will. In the Project LJ Silver, the 2.5 pound HalGuard unit is right at my seat in case I need to use it immediately. The MaxOut unit in the rear of the rig uses a dry chemical agent and is placed where it can be reached by someone outside the vehicle and furthest from the most likely point of fire which would be underhood or dash. When reviewing the Ultra4 rulebook, they use a similar format, fight the fire from within the cockpit of the rig or allow access to the secondary extinguisher from outside the vehicle. [C] WWW.H3RPERFORMANCE.COM

H3R on the left, Kidde basic model on the right. The bottle on the left is steel; the model on the right is aluminum and appears to be cast. Both are dry chemical and rated 1-A:10-B:C.

Similar in appearance, these two models have many of the same pieces of equipment. The devil is in the details. We’ll cover what is visible.

The H3R is fitted with a replaceable aluminum nozzle and the shape is based on the extinguishing agent being used. The Kidde model uses a plastic nozzle which is subject to breakage.


The safety pull clips that keep the extinguisher from discharging until needed are metal on the left versus plastic on the right. I’ve dropped a Kidde before and had this pin break leaving it subject to discharge. Replacements were not readily available for this model.

The pressure gauges are similar but the H3R is removable and replaceable while the Kidde appears to be glued in place.

The H3R HalGuard unit is right at my seat with a “pull to release” flag so there is no fumbling to remove it.

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H3R Performance makes a variety of mounts. This one is specific for mounting to the front of a seat, directly in reach of the driver. It's adjustable to a variety of application needs.

The H3R MaxOut unit is on the passenger side rear cage and has the same release flag. The mount goes with the bottle and is quick and easy to release. H3R has a variety of cage and seat mount options for their bottles.

The HalGuard unit in a smaller size to fit tighter locations. These are all available in red, white and chrome and come with a UL listed bracket.




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John Herrick

The Silver Surfer with Kelly Sims at the wheel conquers one of the more formidable looking climbs at Sand Hollow in St. George, Utah.

98 Vol. 14 — Number 78

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CRAWL Magazine Issue 78  

Since 2005, CRAWL Magazine is the most Hardcore Offroad mag published in North America. Published bi-monthly, CRAWL is a title of CRAWL2 Med...

CRAWL Magazine Issue 78  

Since 2005, CRAWL Magazine is the most Hardcore Offroad mag published in North America. Published bi-monthly, CRAWL is a title of CRAWL2 Med...

Profile for crawlmag