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68 Jan/Feb 2018

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ISSUE 68

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IN THIS ISSUE 18 THE NEW JEEP WRANGLER JL 28 Is It Better? LEARNING CURVES 34 A JHF Portal Rig SEMA 2017 44 The Good, Bad, and Totally Weird THE HAMMER 52 A Rocky Mountain Style Bouncer FELIX THE HILUX 62 Flex is in the Name TRAIL HERO 2017 72 Sophomore Year in the Rocks TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE A Pair of GenRight JKs

The Regulars 8 Intake 10 Land Use 12 Newswire 14 Proving Grounds 16 Tonic 76 Tech Cover photo by Jami Pellegrino TOC photo by John Herrick


Vol. 13 Number 68 Publishing John Herrick Larry Nickell Chris Hughes

Publisher and Managing Director Associate Publisher Marketing

Editorial John Herrick Tim Magee Taylor Herrick Derek Trent Contributors:

Editor in Chief Director of Photography Layout & Graphic Design Tech Editor Chris Hughes Jami Pellegrino Sergio Pinillos

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

Advertising questions? marketing@crawl2media.com Subscription questions? subscribe@crawlmag.com Spend time with us at crawlmag.com

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Randall watches Cody's rear end.

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INTAKE It's been about 15 degrees outside every morning here in Reno for the last two weeks or so. It’s not very warm. The dusting of snow we got is still stuck to the front lawn because the sun doesn’t heat it up enough to thaw out. This is not wheeling season unless you’re dressed up like that kid from A Christmas Story. That’s why my Jeep is in the garage, hood up and jack stands at the ready, doing maintenance and trying out some updated parts. You’re probably in the same boat. Winter is here, the holidays are past; it’s time to get some work done. I know my steering needs two new heim joints, I’ve got lots of U-joints to grease and the rock rails need some paint if I can get them warm enough for paint to stick. The best part of garage time is thinking about wheeling in this new year. We’ve got our Scavenger Hunt in Moab during EJS 2018 before we head south to Texas for our Readers Ride at Wolf Caves. It’s a great park and a lot of fun. There are trails for everyone but some gnarly stuff for those that are not damage-phobic. After that, I’m leaning toward seeing some new things this year. The American Southwest is calling and I want to go Arizona and New Mexico. If you live around there, let me know so we can plan something. I’m also trying something different for the first time since 2009.

A John Herrick 8

Vol. 13 — Number 68

I’m not going to KOH. I figured it was time for a break from the dust, noise, thousands of people and the smell of race gas. Crazy, right? They  seem to be having a good time with television and keeping the print press out of the way so I’m taking a year off. We’ll have access to plenty of freelancers to get good content but some of us are tired and ready to try something different. To that end, we’ve had a blast on the CRAWL Across America tours and plan to do more local wheeling trips, meaning local to where you are. As I mentioned above, let me know what kind of trails you have and whether we can come for a visit. I have three states left to see to wrap up all 50. How cool would it be to wheel in Delaware, Maine and Arkansas this year? I hope you and your family had a great holiday and that the rest of 2018 is filled only with trail challenges and lots of smooth sailing everywhere else. Make a commitment this year to help out our land use advocates because those that don’t like us still don’t, regardless of the political climate. And be nice to one another because we need a little more of that. Happy New Year! See you on the trail. [C]


LAND USE YOU CAN WAIT By Chris Hughes I was at the Jeep Wrangler Media Drive (JL Launch) last week and I was talking to one of the other participants. We were having dinner after an afternoon spent on the Off Road Course that had been built in the desert outside Tucson, AZ. The young lady clearly had enjoyed the new experience and described as similar to driving a high performance car on a race track: picking a good line, throttle control, braking modulation and total focus are necessary whether on road or off. That got me thinking. She was right. We are driving highly modified vehicles in very challenging environments. I know two folks (I won’t name them, but both of their names start with J and one may or may not publish this magazine) who have laid their vehicles over on the side in the last month or two. Both well maintained vehicles, both experienced drivers, both sober. Both miscalculated. Yet, many among us find it perfectly acceptable to drink and drive on the trail. It’s a part of wheeling that many never even stop to question. We’re on public roads like the Rubicon Trail, on public lands like Johnson Valley or in private parks where alcohol on the trail is forbidden. Other than the rare piece of private property, drinking on the trail is forbidden in a vast majority of places we wheel. Yet you see it every time you go out on the trail. I'm here to tell you it’s not okay. It’s a danger to the person drinking

A John Herrick 10

Vol. 13 — Number 68

and to those around them. Drinking on the trail can and will be used against us when folks want to remove our access to public lands. They’ll point to the injuries and deaths that have occurred due to drinking and driving. They’ll point to the litter it produces. Ever notice how much litter on the trail is beer cans? They’ll point out that a majority of us are breaking the law and don’t deserve the same access as non-motorized users. It’s not acceptable. We like a frosty adult beverage as much as the next person. Here’s an idea. Wait until you get back to camp. There’s nothing quite like recapping your day on the trail with a drink around the campfire. If you have to drink, let someone else drive. There’s no shame in codawging. Just don’t offer to pitch in when someone has a mechanical. If I went in to an automotive shop and the mechanic was drinking, I’d go somewhere else. Same thing here. I want sober minds and hands working on my junk. It’s okay to say something when someone is drinking on the trail. It’s okay to tell folks ahead of time it’s not something you condone. It’s okay to break away from the group if their drinking concerns you. We’ll tell you this: Leave the beers back at camp if you’re wheeling with us. If you’re coming to wheel with us at CRAWL, we’ve got the first round back at camp. But not before that!


NEWSWIRE CRAWL 9TH ANNUAL READERS RIDE Texas is a big place and we figure this is where we need to be for our 9th Annual Readers Ride. Our friends at Yukon Gear & Axle are onboard to help us make this a great time and we’re heading back to one of our favorite places, the red rocks of Wolf Caves in central Texas. This private park is right outside Mason, Texas, which is a couple of hours south of Dallas. The terrain is from “drive around the park” easy to straight up difficult—like park and watch for a few hours difficult. If you just bought a new Jeep JL, you can get around to watch or challenge yourself. If you just finished your buggy and you want to see what it looks like upside down, that can be arranged. We’ve chosen the weekend of May 4 through 6, 2018. You can arrive as early as 5PM Thursday, May 3 without any extra cost. There is plenty of free dry camping on site, there are some powered sites and a few with water and power that are extra cost options. There is a bathroom and shower house for everyone and quick access to the trails. There will be plenty of parking for tow rigs and trailers too.

A John Herrick 12

Vol. 13 — Number 68

We will have an online registration to cover the entry fee, camping fees if upgrading, special event t-shirts as well as event swag and raffle tickets for Saturday night. Head over to www. crawlmag.com and choose CRAWL Readers Rides to select the package that works for you. There are a couple of things to think about. The property owner doesn’t allow motorcycles, UTVs, ATVs or side-by-sides. This is strictly a Jeep/Toyota/Buggy/bring your full-size rig kind of event. You will need to sign a liability waiver to enter the property. Kids under 18 are free. Friendly dogs are welcome if you keep them under control and on a leash. Common courtesy applies and the rules are available for review at www.wolfcaves.com. We’ve got plenty of CRAWL marketing partners coming as well. People you’ve read about or met at shows will be bringing their rigs, ready to wheel. This is going to be an exciting weekend! Go to www.crawlmag.com now and get your reservation. When the place is full, we quit taking reservations. Stay tuned to the CRAWL Facebook page for ongoing info.


G A M E H T GET

GET THE

G A SW m o c . g a m L All at CRAW

13


PROVING GROUNDS ARB LINX ARB launches the LINX. They call it the unique modern controller for your dash that handles a variety of different applications on your rig. It’s designed to engage and monitor things like your Air Lockers, compressor, lights, air suspension, and more. It is Bluetooth enabled and will replace switches, gauges and more to lighten the load of the driver. Touch screen simplicity and ARB quality. www.arbusa.com

Nexen Roadian MTX Recently released is the Roadian MTX from Nexen Tire. It’s their first major entry into the competitive field of offroad-centric tires and they may have a winner. The tires can be had with an F load rating which allows 80 psi and heavier loads in your truck. At the same time they’ve been tested on Jeeps down to 4 psi and they reportedly are full of grip. Check them out at the Nexen website. www.nexentireusa.com

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Vol. 13 — Number 68


Dana Spicer Blue Coated U-Joints Using their Spicer Life Series technology, these new U-joints have been tested and proven to deliver more service life than competitor technology. “Our testing has shown them to last ten times longer than the nearest competitor,” said Peter Cirulis, vice president of customer experience, strategy, and product planning for the Dana Aftermarket Group. The new Blue Coated joints have been subjected to mud and salt spray testing to evaluate their resistance to each. They exhibited far less rust than standard joints. The lubed-for-life joints are perfect for offroad applications as they are stronger and last longer in a wide range of applications. www.danaaftermarket.com

Low Range Off-Road Ultimate Chevy Spring Swap The Ultimate in comfort and flex? Chevy springs on a Toyota will give you that. Low Range Off-Road has the kit to make it easy with everything you need. You can leave your stock hangers in place and use the LROR shackles to fit. Includes everything you’re going to need to mount your Chevy springs. It’s built tough to tackle the toughest trails with the ride you’ve been looking for. www.lowrangeoffroad.com

15


TONIC

urrieta mongrel

by the m Being attacked

Laserbutt!

Randall should get his vision

n dogs!

Pack of wild cor

Looks like a good

decision.

checked.


INNOVATION without

LIMITATIONS


Wolverine or Yellow Jacket. Can you tell the difference?

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Vol. 13 — Number 68


Two

is better Than

one

Words by Chris Hughes, photos by Jami Pellegrino What’s better than a GenRight Motorsports built Jeep Wrangler JKU? Two of them! These Jeeps and their owners started out in two very different places, but ended up together on the Rubicon Trail. Kelly Sims, owner of the Yellow Jacket, hails from southern California. He is now retired but previously owned a very successful welding supply company. Shane Wolford, owner of the Wolverine, is from Long Island, NY and traveled “into the city” each day to do something finance related we still don’t understand.   These guys appear very different but, in fact, they’re pretty similar: hard working, well-balanced, likable, humble guys who just love to wheel! Kelly had been offroad before but it was more of a ‘young guy in a 4wd drive pickup’ kind of offroad. Heading out to the desert to camp and enjoy the outdoors. Shane had owned Jeeps and loved to go wheeling at Rausch Creek Offroad Park in Pennsylvania. Both guys did extensive research on Jeep models, modifications, shops, etc., and both came to the same conclusion. They wanted a Jeep built by GenRight Motorsports. Both had watched all the YouTube videos of the GenRight Terremoto JKU build (featured in CRAWL Issue 46) and both decided they wanted a yellow 4-door Wrangler. Shane bought his Jeep used, from a dealer in Chicago and had it shipped straight to GenRight in Simi Valley, CA. GenRight Motorsports is the same shop that builds all the GenRight Ultra4 race vehicles and does all GenRight’s customer builds. They help design the GenRight parts, so they certainly know how to install them. The builds are similar in many ways. Both utilize the stock 3.6 motor and trans from a Jeep mated with an Atlas transfer case from Advance Adapters. Kelly and Shane both wanted to be able to license, register and insure their Jeeps for street use so they left the stock motor in place. Both have the complete GenRight aluminum armor package including bumpers, fenders, and sliders. Both have the GenRight JKU 2” DOM cage and both have the GenRight Elite Coilover Suspension Kit. In addition to what we would normally expect in a suspension kit, this one includes an aluminum gas tank and an aluminum skid plate. The gas tank is moved to the rear with this system to accommodate the double triangulated 4-link rear suspension. A 3-link front design is also part of the system. Both Jeeps run 40” Goodyear MTRs, Magnaflow exhaust, K&N Intakes, Griffin Radiators, Odyssey Batteries, WARN winches, ARB lockers and Reel Drivelines. But they differ slightly in some regards. Both have King coilovers, but Kelly opted for IBPs, both run Currie Rockjock 60 front axle housings, but Kelly chose the Rockjock 70 rear housing. Kelly chose factory half doors while Shane chose to have GenRight customize some aftermarket half doors for his Jeep. Kelly has forged Raceline Liberator

beadlock wheels while Shane went with the tried and true Trailready beadlocks. Shane runs lights from VisionX while Kelly went with lights from Baja Designs. Here’s where the 2 guys meet. Both Jeeps were scheduled to be completed about the same time, so Tony Pellegrino reached out to both owners and suggested a shakedown run on the iconic Rubicon Trail. Neither of these chaps had ever been to the Rubicon. Both new owners cleared their calendars and made plans to meet Tony at GenRight Motorsports. Kelly drove up and Shane flew in. Google maps says that it is 437 miles and over 7 hours from Simi Valley to the Rubicon Trail. Shane and Kelly met Tony at GenRight, took delivery of their Jeeps and hit the road. I remember talking to Tony on the phone as they were driving up to The Rubicon. He said he could see Shane in his rearview mirror and that his face was going to hurt from smiling so much! They met some of Tony’s oldest wheeling buddies at the trailhead and hit the trail! Both new owners got to experience the trail the first time with their brand new Jeeps. Some experienced spotters helped make it a very enjoyable trip for all involved. Lifelong friendships were formed. The guys then drove back to Simi Valley. No problem! Since that time, I've had the pleasure to wheel with these guys at the Hammers and in St. George, UT. While these Jeeps were built for the Hammers trails, they excel on all types of trails and in all environments. That’s a testament to the suspension design and the build quality. These Jeeps simply work. The only problem Shane and Kelly have is being mistaken for Terremoto. I've been with them as people describe “watching all the Youtube videos on this thing” or asking them how they convinced Tony to give up the keys to Terremoto. Yes, they’re all 4-door Yellow JKUs but, if you pay attention to the details, they’re all unique. Since taking delivery of his Jeep, Shane has moved to southern California, but prior to that his Jeep was his only vehicle and his daily driver. How many Jeeps are built to commute to work in New York City, haul the kids around town and tackle Johnson Valley?! Kelly seems to really love the offroad lifestyle. We frequently run into him at offroad events and parks. We even ran into Kelly at SEMA. He wanted to know where all the offroad companies were!! We heard a wild rumor that he has purchased an LJ to build into a rock crawler. This one will not be driven on the street and is going to be an even more aggressive build than his JKU. Maybe we’ll see that LJ one day on the pages of CRAWL. Will the JKU become a mall crawler? We doubt it! Shane now works in the offroad industry. He’s frequently out at the Hammers and we also ran into him at Easter Jeep Safari this year. If you see him at some offroad event, make sure to compliment Wolverine. He’s not driving Terremoto! Two great guys. Two awesome Jeeps. When you see these guys on the trail, join them. They’re a blast to wheel with! [C]

17


WARN and Factor55 handle the recovery duties while Baja Designs brightens things up.

Stock motor keeps the state inspector happy. Both of these Jeeps are licensed, registered and insured in their home states.

The GenRight 20 gallon gas tank does take some hits.

King coilovers and bump stops allow this Jeep to cover ground quickly.

The only thing Rubicon left on this Jeep is the sticker on the hood. The Atlas t-case is from Advance Adapters; sway bars and axle housings are from Currie.

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Vol. 13 — Number 68


The Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs have been around for quite some time and for good reason: true sizing, tough sidewalls and tons of traction in a tire you can drive on the street daily.

Kelly opted for the GenRight B-pillar removal kit with Mopar factory half doors.

19


Tony Pellegrino and GenRight Offroad worked very hard to get the belly as flat as possible with their Elite Coilover Suspension system.

The differences are subtle but if you pay attention you can spot them.

20 Vol. 13 — Number 68

The aluminum armor and skid from GenRight handle the trails of Johnson Valley with no issue.Â


PRP provided the harnesses in the Wolverine JKU.

Both Wolverine and Yellow Jacket feature a GenRight cargo tray in the rear.

21


Still stable with just three tires on the ground. Unless Shane tells us otherwise, we're going to say he made it.

22

Vol. 13 — Number 68


Kelly is relatively new to wheeling, but he takes direction well and he's not afraid to try anything.Â

23


24 Vol. 13 — Number 68


specs INFO Owner Location Vehicle Type Builder & Location

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

CHA SSIS Jeep (Stock) 3.6 liters 285 260 Normal aspiration NA Odyssey Griffin K&N Magnaflow Cat Back Automatic NA Factory Atlas 2-speed 3.0:1 J.E. Reel 1350 J.E. Reel 1350 GenRight 20 gallon Crawler Tank Factory

B ODY & INTERIOR Body / Body Panels Body Modifications Skid plate / Material Seats / Harnesses Electronics Lights Interior / Exterior Safety - Fire Extinguisher Winches - Front / Rear - Brand & Capacity

Stock Body, Mopar Factory Half Doors GenRight Bumpers, Fenders, Rockers 7075 Aluminum Stock Seats and Harnesses SPOD; Superchips Programmer Baja Designs Exterior Yes Warn Zeon 10-S (Front)

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

Kelly Sims Rancho Palos Verdes, California 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon GenRight Off Road, Simi Valley, California

Goodyear MT/R 40/13.5 x 17 Raceline Forged Liberators 17x8.5

Chassis Design Frame / Chassis Materials Cage Builder / Cage Material Overall Wheelbase Overall Length Belly Pan Clearance Overall Height Wheel Track Width Overall Weight (Estimate if uncertain)

Jeep JKU Stock / Steel GenRight 2" DOM Full Cage 118" 180" 22" 79" 84" 5500 pounds est.

SUSPENSION Front Suspension Type & Material Front Sway Bar

GenRight 3-Link (Elite Suspension System)

NA King 2.5" x 12" Dual Rate Coilover w/ Reservoir Front Shocks / Sims IBP Front Bump Stops King 2.0" Dia x 4" Air Bump GenRight Double Triangulated 4-Link (Elite Rear Suspension Type & Material Suspension System) Rear Sway Bar GenRight King 2.5" x 14" Dual Rate Coilover w/ Reservoir Rear Shocks and Internal Bypass Rear Bump Stops King 2.0" Dia x 4" Air Bump

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 Rear Steering Setup Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s)

Currie RockJock 60 ARB Air Locker 35 Spline Traditional U-joints Warn Locking Hubs Stock PSC Steering hydro assist Currie RockJock70 Full-Float ARB Air Locker 40 Spline Currie Stock NA Currie High Pinion; 5.38:1 Gears

25


specs INFO Owner Location Vehicle Type Builder & Location

Shane Wolford Agoura Hills, California 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon GenRight Off Road, Simi Valley, California

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

CHA SSIS Jeep (Stock) 3.6 liters 285 260 Normal aspiration NA Odyssey Griffin K&N Magnaflow Cat Back Automatic NA Factory Atlas 2-speed 3.0:1 J.E. Reel 1350 J.E. Reel 1350 GenRight 20 gallon Crawler Tank Factory

Stock Body, Custom Aluminum Half Doors GenRight Bumpers, Fenders, Rockers 7075 Aluminum Stock Seats w/ PRP Harnesses in the rear SPOD; Superchips Programmer VisionX Exterior Yes Warn Zeon 10-S (Front)

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

26 Vol. 13 — Number 68

Jeep JKU Stock / Steel GenRight 2" DOM Full Cage 118" 180" 22" 79" 84" 5500 pounds est.

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

GenRight 3-Link (Elite Suspension System)

NA King 2.5" x 12" Dual Rate Coilover w/ Reservoir King 2.0" Dia x 4" Air Bump GenRight Double Triangulated 4-Link (Elite Rear Suspension Type & Material Suspension System) Rear Sway Bar GenRight Rear Shocks King 2.5" x 14" Dual Rate Coilover w/ Reservoir Rear Bump Stops King 2.0" Dia x 4" Air Bump

A XLE S

B ODY & INTERIOR Body / Body Panels Body Modifications Skid plate / Material Seats / Harnesses Electronics Lights Interior / Exterior Safety - Fire Extinguisher Winches - Front / Rear - Brand & Capacity

Chassis Design Frame / Chassis Materials Cage Builder / Cage Material Overall Wheelbase Overall Length Belly Pan Clearance Overall Height Wheel Track Width Overall Weight (Estimate if uncertain)

Goodyear MT/R 40/13.5 x 17 TrailReady Beadlock, 17x8.5, Bolt Pattern 5 on 5.5, Backspace 4.5

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 Rear Steering Setup Ring & Pinion Manufacturer & Gear Ratio(s)

Currie RockJock 60 ARB Air Locker 35 Spline RCV Warn Locking Hubs Stock PSC Steering hydro assist Currie RockJock 60 Full-Float ARB Air Locker 40 Spline Currie Stock NA Currie High Pinion; 5.38:1 Gears


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

27


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4-LINK LONGARM SUSPENSION SYSTEMS

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CRAWL17


THE NEW JEEP WRANGLER JL Words by Chris Hughes; photos by Jeep/FCA Let’s take a different kind of look at the brand new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. You’ve probably seen all the numbers and driving impressions at this point. Let’s look at what we’re hearing in the offroad community and how this new Wrangler fits in. We'll apologize in advance. This is not hardcore offroad...yet. Just as JKs are now being built into hardcore wheelers, one day the JL will as well. But we need to cover this because the Jeep Wrangler always has been (and always will be) the most important offroad vehicle in North America. We spent three days in Tucson, AZ with 27 other journalists. One of the other guys owned a Defender D90 that he liked to take to Rausch Creek in PA. I was the only one of the 28 who owned a Wrangler or had any offroad experience. We have been trained since the days when the first Wrangler, the YJ, was released to hate the newest Wrangler model. It's part of our heritage and a rite of passage. Each new Wrangler will be the one that killed the Wrangler. Each new model is too nice and has too much stuff. The penultimate model is always the last real Wrangler. CJ guys hated YJs because they had carpet. We still don't like to talk about the square headlights. YJ guys hated TJs because they had coil springs and TJ guys hated JKs because they had four doors. Yet Jeep has sold more JKs than all other Wrangler models combined. The hate stops now. You can read about the on road driving impressions, raw numbers and creature comforts elsewhere. Let’s talk about offroad. I'll go ahead and say it. The JL is better than the JK in every conceivable way: more power, better handling, safer, more functional, lighter, better visibility and more refined. All that while still being just as rugged and capable offroad. I'll address some of the criticisms I have heard so far: "The interior is too nice". It is very nice. The first question I asked the Jeep executives and engineers was about its durability. The Jeep execs stated "We cannot strand our owners." To test the durability of the JL interior, Jeep folds the windshield down and removes the top. Then they mist the JL interior for 18 hours. After that, the Jeep has to start and run as normal. It did. As fancy as it is with heated steering wheel, touch screen NAV and climate control, it’s still water resistant. That’s good to hear. "I don't like the grill." It's different. It has a bend near the top that helps airflow and increases gas mileage. The slots are wider. And the headlights interrupt the shape of the two outboard slots. This is one of my favorite parts of the new JL. It looks like grill on a Flattie or a CJ. It shows that Jeep has paid attention to their heritage. "It has a bunch of stuff I don't need or want". I don't think Jeep wanted to have standard backup cameras or stop/start technology. But these items are mandated by either safety regulations or gas mileage requirements. They don't hurt the Jeep's capability or ruggedness so I choose to look past them. “It costs too much”. This is true. This has always been true. If you compare the JL to older Wrangler models it is more expensive. Jeep estimates a price increase between 5% and 10%. There are several reasons for this: vehicles costs more to build. Compare a 2018 Honda Accord to a 1987 Honda Accord. The comparison will look much like the Wrangler comparison. The newer vehicle is much more sophisticated and much more expensive. New vehicles also have to meet much

30 Vol. 13 — Number 68

more stringent safety, emissions and gas mileage standards. The cost to do this ultimately falls on the consumer. “They went back to the Dana 30 and 35”. Although the names are the same, the axles are different. The axles are new designs with no parts shared with the earlier axles. The Rubicon models come standard with 33” BF Goodrich KO2 tires. Jeep says the new axles are stronger than their predecessors. If you want a Dana 44 in the rear of your Sport or Sahara, just order the limited slip differential and you’ll get that Dana 44. Who are we kidding? We’re changing out the axle housings anyway! “The JL looks smaller/bigger”. The JLs are virtually the same size as the outgoing JKs. The 2-door wheelbase increases by 1.4” and the 4-door wheelbase increases by 2.4”. Jeep tells us that all the breakover and approach numbers are improved on the JL. And even with the increase in wheelbase, the turning radius is smaller. Jeep has increased the steering angle in the JL. “It looks heavy” The JLU is 200 pounds lighter than the JKU. Jeep used aluminum for the windshield frame, hood and doors. The tailgate is magnesium with an aluminum shell. In a time when most vehicles are getting heavier, we’re excited to see Jeep has been able to put the Wrangler on a diet and shed some pounds. “I don’t like the more sloped windshield” The designers call that a “fast” windshield. The more slope, the faster it is. It helps with fuel economy and if we want Jeep to keep producing Wranglers, they have to increase those MPG numbers. From the inside you can’t tell that the windshield has 6.5 degrees more slope than the JK. All the glass in the JL is bigger than the JK. The Jeep engineers joked that they are the only vehicle model lowering beltlines. All the new glass means much better visibility in the JL, which is important offroad. Speaking of windshields, you can fold down the windshield on the JL in four minutes with the included tool kit. We saw it done with our own eyes. Remove four bolts in the upper part of the windshield frame and the windshield folds down flat against the hood. Two more Torx fasteners on the hinges and the windshield can be completely removed. That’s much easier than the two hours it would take to fold down a JK windshield. There have not been any engine options for the JKs. That’s changed. The standard motor is the Pentastar 3.6 liter. But shortly there will be a 2.0 Turbo option. Jeep wasn’t releasing horsepower and torque numbers but they tell us horsepower will be similar to the 3.6 and torque should be significantly higher. This motor is also what they describe as a mild hybrid so there is an electric motor that produces instantaneous power as well. In 2019 the JLs will offer a diesel option and in 2020 there should be a fully electric Jeep Wrangler. After running the offroad section, one of the Jeep execs asked what I thought. I told him I loved the JL. He asked if I loved it enough to buy one. When the second model year JLs come off lease, I’ll consider buying one. The Wranglers have a vibrant, healthy, smart aftermarket. It’s going to take them some time to get their own JLs and develop products. This model is going to give them new challenges like electro-hydraulic steering, more tapered bodies and integrated sensors and cameras, but they’ll figure out. I’ll give them some time to do it right. Will current Wrangler owners hate this new model? It’s part of our


heritage, but I certainly hope not. It’s a great vehicle and a worthy heir to the Wrangler name. Will you see one in CRAWL anytime soon? We doubt it, but stick around long enough and we guarantee you’ll see hardcore JLs on the trail and in the book. Happy Trails! [C]

New hood latches eliminate the hood flutter common on JKs.

Straight from the factory with 33" BFG KO2s.

Grab handles now come standard on all Wrangler models.

The locker switches have been moved up and are now more visible in low light situations. Someone at Jeep must have been driving a JK at night and couldn't find the lockers. The vents are functional. Jeep moved the emblem from the grill to the front fenders. 31


A combination of analog and digital gauges. The digital center section can be configured to the owner’s preference.

Auxiliary switches can be used for accessories like lights, winches, comms, etc.

The JL provides access to information not previously available.

The interior is very well thought and comfortable, yet still rugged. The rear headrests fold down to increase rearward visibility.

Quieter and more comfortable than before, more rugged too.

32

Vol. 13 — Number 68


SPECS INFO Owner Location Vehicle Type Builder & Location

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

4-link with trackbar Electronic swaybar disconnect system Nitrogen charged gas shocks Polyurethane Electro-hydraulic power 4-link with trackbar Yes Nitrogen charged gas shocks Polyurethane

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

Next-Generation Dana 44 E-locker Dana Dana N/A Disc 12.9" vented rotor Next Generation Dana 44 E-locker Dana N/A N/A Disc 13.4" solid rotor N/A 4.10:1

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

Steel Body with Aluminum Hood, Doors, Hinges, Windshield Frame and Fenders. Magnesium Tailgate With Aluminum Skin. Fold down windshield frame Steel Jeep Classic seven slot Steel

The American Public Tucson, Arizona 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon JLU Jeep -Toledo, Ohio

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

Body on Frame Steel Steel 118.4" 188.4" four door with spare tire 10.8" 73.6" 73.8" F & R 62.9" 4455 pounds

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

FCA North America 3.6 liter 285 horsepower 260 lb.-ft. Normal N/A Mopar 600 CCA Maintenance Free Stock Stock Jeep Eight Speed Automatic Rock-Trac (NVG 241OR) Dana Dana 21.5 gallon capacity In-tank

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

BFGoodrich KO2 285/70-17 Aluminum 17 x 7.5, 5 on 5 bolt pattern

33


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34 Vol. 9 — Number 49

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LEARNING CURVES

A JHF FAB REAR STEER PORTAL RIG 36 Vol. 13 — Number 68


Cody watching his spotter Randall Davis pilot the new car up the rocks.

37


Words & photos by John Herrick Cody Waggoner is one of those guys that knows what he wants and then goes and gets it. If you want to be competitive in rock crawling now you need to have rear steer, you probably ought to have portal axles and you need to be ready to re-learn how you do things. He had Jesse Haines build the first two items on the list and I watched him quickly teach himself how to do the last. Built in Sparks, Nevada, right next door to Reno, Jesse Haines Fab cars are known for being competitive and well thought out. To look at one is to see great fabrication without anything extra that doesn’t need to be there. The fact that Jesse is a great competitor in his own cars suggests that he knows what he’s doing. Starting with a moon buggy foundation that allows for one driver and little else, the light weight rig is built of 1.50” chromoly tubing. The sight lines are great; the ergonomics are good, with simple controls that let the driver focus on the task at hand. This is where the similarities to other cars end and the competitive differences start, down below. Jesse has been building portal axles for a while and he has found a recipe for success. Starting with a Diamond Toyota 8” axle fabricated housing, he adds his portal boxes, a Trail-Gear 8” high pinion 3rd member and drops in 5.29:1 gears and an ARB Air Locker. The portal boxes have a gear reduction of 1.92:1 which nearly doubles the effective R&P ratio to a 10.16:1 final gearing. This car is not designed to go fast, instead it needs to crawl deliberately and handle big tires. It does this very well. With this much gear reduction and two axles steering, choosing the right axle shafts meant 300M material and machining by Branik Motorsports. Stan Haynes has been making specialty stuff for this market for years and he’s good at getting custom machining done

Cody gets the hang of the new JHF car. He ran the rear steer like a pro after 20 minutes.

38 Vol. 13 — Number 68

on a timetable that works. With all the gearing in the axles and all of the 42” BFG stickies on the ends of those axles, strong shafts were mandatory. The tires are the famous BFG Krawler KX Red Label comp tire. It’s a 42/14.50R20 size which is a big tire and requires a big wheel. The TrailReady HD wheels are 20” x 9.5” with an 8-lug pattern. These are lifetime warranted and will withstand huge amounts of abuse. Cody had them copper-plated and I watched as the first few scratches were put in them during this shoot. It was really something to see the sun hit them and make the whole car stand out. The rest of the car looks like a regular rock crawler until you get a little closer and start looking at the level of detail. Front and rear steer both use PSC double-ended rams. The rear is controlled with a simple joystick that Cody had never used before the day of our shoot, which was also the day before his first comp in the car. To watch the learning curve was fascinating and he took to it like he’d been doing it for years. The front is controlled through a steering wheel that lays down low in the driver’s lap to not interfere with the sightlines out of the car. The rest of the cabin features high leverage cutting brake handles, a pair of custom handles directly connected to the Atlas, a JHF custom trans shifter & gate. The dash is nothing but a pair of idiot lights, ARB controls and a starter switch. Everything is designed for the driver to focus on the job at hand, negotiating the difficult Unlimited Class courses that bring out the best in competition. I like this car. It’s simple, straightforward and designed for this particular mission. It’s got enough bling to make it visually appealing, but has far more substance to make it competitive. This car and driver make a pair to watch in 2018 and beyond. [C]


The turbo motor does big numbers for a four banger. Gearing does the rest.

Cockpit is compact with all that is needed, nothing more.

No wasted space in this rig.

39


40 Vol. 13 — Number 68


I LIKE THIS CAR. IT’S SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD AND DESIGNED FOR THIS PARTICULAR MISSION.

Opposite, top: It crawls like a goat, anywhere you want. Opposite, bottom: It steers like a video game, around and over anything you want. This page, top: Level of detail is very high for such a simple car. This page, bottom: Atlas and trans shifters are right at hand and ready to work.

41


Randall learning what the car can do so he can spot Cody at a higher level.

42 Vol. 13 — Number 68


SPECS INFO Owner Location Vehicle Type Builder & Location

Cody Waggoner Copper Town, California Competition Buggy Jesse Haines, Reno, NV

CHA SSIS 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 with 7075 links NA 14" Fox 2.0 air shocks NA 4-link with 7075 links NA 16" Fox 2.0 air shocks  NA

Diamond Toyota 8" Trail-Gear high pinion 8" w/ ARB Branik 300M RCV H1 JHF portal hubs Spidertrax/Wilwood  PSC 3" x 9" Diamond Toyota 8" Trail-Gear high pinion 8" w/ ARB Branik 300M RCV H1  JHF portal hubs Spidertrax/Wilwood  PSC 3" x 9" 5.29 R&P/1.92 portal/10.16 total 

B ODY & INTERIOR Body / Body Panels Skid plate / Material Steering Column / Wheel Pedal Assembly / Cutting Brakes Seats / Harnesses Safety - Fire Extinguisher Winches - Front / Rear - Brand & Capacity

Moon buggy 1.5" x .120" chromoly Jesse Haines Fabrication  108" 140" 20" 62" 79" 2850 lbs

P OWERTR AIN

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

Chassis Design Frame / Chassis Materials Cage Builder / Cage Material Overall Wheelbase Overall Length Belly Pan Clearance Overall Height Wheel Track Width Overall Weight (Estimate if uncertain)

Polycarbonate 3/16" AR500 steel Custom/11" Grant Custom/CNC PRP/Scroth 2.5 lbs with Joe's mounts Warn 5000 lbs ATV

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 Driveshaft Builder & Components Used Rear Driveshaft Builder & Components Used Fuel Cell or Tank, Type, Size & Builder Fuel System Pumps & Filters

GM Ecotec 2.0L 315 hp 330 lb/ft Factory turbo  Performance tune Odyssey 680 CBR 12 x 24, 11" fans Custom stainless  Custom 3.5" stainless  Jeep 904  JHF adapter  Derale  Maximum Transmission 3200 Custom shifter Atlas 2.0:1 JE Reel Toyota shaft JE Reel Toyota shaft Custom 5 gallon Bosch 044

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

42" BFGoodrich Trail Ready 9.5" x 20", 5" BS

43


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Visit vsm.skf.com for more information. ® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group. | © SKF Group 2016


SEMA 2017 the GOOD the BAD the TOTALLY WEIRD Words by John Herrick; photos by Chris Hughes SEMA is squarely at the top of many bucket lists. It covers a few million square feet of everything automotive aftermarket and is a world renowned gathering place to see the wildest custom vehicles. Couple that with a growing and dedicated offroad segment and it’s one of the top places to see new products and ideas in the sport we enjoy. Heading to Las Vegas this November, Chris Hughes joined me and we checked out the show and grinned at great ideas and more than occasionally scoffed at some things that were beyond ridiculous. Follow along as we take you through a photo spread of some cool ideas as well as some other half baked builds that needed someone to just say… No. [C]

Clockwise from top left: We were scratching our heads after seeing this. // Fox Shox showing off their new floating piston bump stop. // The Superwinch Jeep was pretty cool. Flatbed and TJ based, it’s a runner. // We got the lowdown on Rare Parts’ cartridge tie-rod end system.

46 Vol. 13 — Number 68


47


A Cummins 2.8 liter powered Toyota Landcruiser pickup.

Another Red Dot Engineering buggy that does more with less.

48 Vol. 13 — Number 68


BFGoodrich had a nice lineup of classic Baja rigs.

Herrick with Loren Healy sharing a chat about a very “unique” Jeep.

49


Why is this here in CRAWL? It’s simply cool. Hoon on!

The Jeep CJ Sixty Six…I never get tired of this rig. It also has a SpiderWebShade.

The Jeep Short Cut is from a few years ago but it’s still a good looker.

Chris and I made healthy diet choices while we walked miles every day.

50 Vol. 13 — Number 68


This beast was built by Bruiser, BDS and Fox.

Chrome won’t get you home but the big turbo motors might.

Probably not the best trail rig but it’ll get you there in a hurry with twin V6s.

Super clean Jeepster build from Synergy.

51


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THE HAMMER A ROCKY MOUNTAIN STYLE BOUNCER

54 Vol. 13 — Number 68


Special thanks to the Goedls for use of their property for the shoot!

55


Words & Photos by Tim Magee Jason Butts wanted the reliability and toughness of the dirt bike he rode on the weekend and the Bobcat he operated during the week. Motorcycles put up with some serious abuse and the fact that something like a tumble off a cliff hardly phases a bike proves it, just hop back on and go. Then, there are the14-hour days for weeks on end and only needing a filter and fluid change in the heavy equipment he runs, that is a hard thing to live up to. But he wanted a buggy for a no worries kind of fun and anything less wouldn’t cut it. Complicated and problematic were out– burly and simple were in. Getting something built on that level seems almost impossible. But inspiration for the build came while Jason was hanging with Nick Sessions and the guys watching Backdoor Challenge one year at KOH. The abuse that the rock bouncers were taking and the way the guys could just drive the hell out of them without regard gave Jason an idea of what it’d take to get a rig to that point. Nick, having known Jason for a long time, had built a few rigs with the guy and spent time wheeling and riding with him and knew that Jason puts the hurt on equipment while out playing. He was all in. A car like that would be perfect for his friend. After an 18hour drive home talking about the build and getting more and more excited about it, a plan was in place. Nick got to work on the project soon after. Starting at the chassis, Sessions Motorsports put in some serious steel. 2”x.250” wall DOM was used for all of the subframe and the rocker tubing that would be exposed to the rocks is sleeved double wall. 1.75”x.188” wall was used on the A-pillar/roofline/C-pillar and .120” wall was used throughout most of the bits in between. Weight wasn’t much of a concern, but the overall design is small so it was even less of a concern. Strong, simple and safe were. Visibility was worked into the design, too. Jason wanted a long hoodline and a long angle down the back worked into the chassis design and Nick bent tube to fit the aesthetic. Jason is a no frills kind of guy and if it doesn’t serve a purpose it doesn’t need to be. Skins serve no purpose other than looks, so they were of no concern. The skids do serve a purpose though, and are built with seriously tough ¼” thick AR400 plate. Jason is a diehard Ford guy and placed at the middle of all the tubework is a stroked 351 Windsor built by Darin and the guys at AMS Automotive in Ft. Collins. That was put together with a C6 transmission running a 3500-stall converter and an NP205 T-case. Simple and reliable was the only way. From there driveshafts using monster truck size 1480 U-joints reliably take the power to the axles. Using the 1480 was a discussion Jason and Nick had, and sure 1350 or 1410 would have probably held up most of the time, but the 1480 won out as the end all solution to avoid possible fun ruining breakage on the trail. Jason would rather spend a little extra or take a slight weight penalty than have to worry about trail breaks. When a joint’s U-bolt uses 11/16” nuts you know it is stout. These guys even double nutted and tacked them in place. Lock it in and hammer down! The suspension follows suit with 3/8” plate used for all of the link mounting brackets. 1-1/4” heims are at each end of the 2” 7075 aluminum upper links and 2.5” lowers. Nick worked as much triangulation into the front and rear four-links as possible for performance and strength gains. He nailed it as far as suspension is concerned. Even the steering is overbuilt and designed to eliminate unnecessary breakage with a 2” 7075 tie rod and 1-1/4” heims pushed around by a PSC single ended ram that is fed by a PSC high

56 Vol. 13 — Number 68

flow pump. If Jason wants to use the tie rod as a bumper, then so be it. After seeing firsthand what the bouncers at the Hammers could put up with, the guys turned to the rock bouncing world to draw influence for a bulletproof front axle build. Jason didn’t want to mess with breaking 35-spline and stock D60 sized U-joints. At first he thought Rockwells might be the ticket, but Nick knew otherwise. Nick built the 14-bolt front axle using Wide Open Designs knuckles and 2” 47-spline RCV shafts. The rear 14 uses Spidertrax 40-spline 300M with spools at each end. It’s not like they just threw the biggest, heaviest, most burly pieces and parts at the build. It’s stout where it counts and weight was saved where necessary and possible. The lightweight and small Warn 9.0RC winch has plenty of pull power for the rig. And the brakes use Spidertrax rotors and hats with Wilwood calipers. At first a big block was in the plans, but a built small block won out. It was about having strength where it counts. The first time out with the car was exactly a year after watching the bouncers on Backdoor - they brought it out to the Hammers to see what it could do. Jason had also teamed up with his brother Kevin to race in King of the Motos. Though leading up to the race he was busy concentrating on finishing the car while his brother gave his bike a look over. KOM is no joke, and somehow he still finished the race even though he wasn’t as prepared as he’d have like to be. Getting his car done had taken precedence and he had big plans of getting the car up Backdoor. It was after watching the start to a disappointing shoot out at Chocolate Thunder that Jason and Kevin headed over to Backdoor for a one-shot full throttle assault up backdoor without skipping a beat - it was exactly what the car was built for. The car is brutally simple and strong, like a steel hammer. As Jason Butts put it, “A hammer is effective. It’s not great at everything, but good at a lot of things. And they’re pretty damn tough.” It’s a doctrine that applies to almost all aspects of Jason’s life and now he has a buggy to fit the bill. [C]

Opening spread: Low and dirty. Sessions Motorsports take on a Rocky Mountain-style bouncer. Opposite page: The lines of the tubework flow and are easy to see sans skins.


57


Running a 3500 stall converter on the shoot lends the rig to throttling up obstacles.

The front of the chassis is very simple and clean.

Behind the fuel cell is space for a cooler.

58 Vol. 13 — Number 68

The chassis uses a mix of .250”, .188” and .120” wall DOM.


The stroked AMS built Windsor 351 was placed far back to help with weight distribution and suspension layout.

Just the essentials in the cockpit.

WOD Cs and knuckles stuffed with big Rockwell-sized RCV 47-splined goodness.

Jason runs an excavating company and has spent a fair amount of time operating equipment, the buggy is no different.

¼” AR400 plate was used for skids bolted up next to .250” wall tubing and 3/8” link tabs. Tough is an understatement.

1480 U-joints on the driveshafts up the ante, along with 2-1/2” lower links and 1-1/4” heims throughout the suspension.

59


The 43” TSLs were chosen like many other pieces used in the build - they’re tough.

60 Vol. 13 — Number 68


SPECS INFO Owner Location Vehicle Type Builder & Location

Jason Butts Steamboat Springs, Colorado Tube chassis/Ford powered/"The Hammer" Sessions Motorsports Ft Collins, Colorado

P OWERTR AIN

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

4 link 7075 aluminum links 1-1/4" hiem joints None 16" King Coilovers Fox 2" 4 link 7075 aluminum links 1-1/4" hiem joints None 14" King Coilovers Fox 2"

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

14 bolt Spool RCV 47 spline 300M 1480 Ouverson 2.5 ton Spidertrax Wide Open Design knuckles PSC ram 7075 aluminum tie rod 14 bolt Spool Spidertrax 40 Spline 300M 1480 Spidertrax Spidertrax Yukon 5.13:1

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 (Estimate if uncertain)

Nick Sessions/Jason Butts 2.5" DOM .250 wall/.188 wall .250/.188/.120 Nick Sessions 114" 157" 18" 5'11" 90"

2"

Engine Manufacturer Engine Displacement, Liters or Cubic Inches Engine Horsepower Engine Torque Engine Induction, Normal or Forced Engine Modifications Radiator / Fans Air Intake Exhaust Transmission Make & Type 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

Ford 410 cid 500 ? Normal Holley Dominator Throttle Body Stroked 351 Windsor Built by AMS Machine in Ft. Collins Ron Davis K+N Borla C6 TSC NP205 Northern Colorado Driveline Northern Colorado Driveline 22 Gallon Holley

B ODY & INTERIOR Body / Body Panels Skid plate / Material Painter Name Dash / Gauges / Switches Pedal Assembly / Cutting Brakes Seats / Harnesses Electronics Lights Interior / Exterior Safety - Fire Extinguisher Winches - Front / Rear - Brand & Capacity

Hood/roof only AR400 Dellenbach Powdercoating Autometer Oil press/Coolant temp/Trans temp Wilwood PRP Jason Fish!!! 2 Head Lights/ 2 Rock Lights 2 Warn 9.0RC

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

Super Swamper TSL SX slightly cut Walker Evans 17" 8 lug

4200 lbs

61


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FELIX THE HILUX Words and Photos by Tim Magee The experience of driving and time behind the wheel were special right from the start. The pedal-less gas pedal bar and the waterbed handling characteristics only added uniquely good feels to her time in the first gen. Ashley Keller loves her truck, Felix, and everything that makes it tick. The time spent in the garage with her husband, Dan, and all of the pieces and parts she put her personal touch on make getting out on the trail to wheel that much better. After hearing about a coworker’s 1979 Hilux that was destined for the scrapper, Ashley and Dan Keller did what any Toyota diehard should do and stepped in to save it. Well, they ended up buying the truck, which wouldn’t start at first. After only cleaning up the alternator terminals it fired right up! It was all over after that, Ashley hopped in for a test drive, while Dan insisted she probably wouldn’t like the rough, loose, old truck. After a quick trip she returned with her truck, she loved the old Hilux. She loved the experience of driving and the quirks, from the start. She saw potential in the rough primer yellow and silver pickup. Her love for four wheeling came, initially, out of necessity when she met Dan and realized if she wanted a relationship with the guy, she’d better spend some time in the garage with him. He had a 4runner that kept him busy and with Ashley at his side, she realized she enjoyed everything from days in the garage to days on the trail. This one was Ashley’s from the start, five years ago. Now, builds take time, and she knew it, but was all in after that first drive. It took about two years to get the rig wheel-able. They worked on it as time and money allowed, as these things go. She picked up a welding gun and plasma torch for the first time putting Felix together. As new parts showed up she would get to work, with Dan only lending a hand when she would ask. He was there for moral support and guidance only – this one was hers. Trail-Gear 3-link front and 4-link rear was sourced for suspension duties along side King 2” x 14” and 16” coilovers respectively. You can’t spell flex without Felix, or Felix without flex, and this setup proves it. Tons of wheel travel comes in handy getting the first gen front and second gen rear solid axles articulated in the big rock. The housings are no slouch and are stuffed with RCV Chromoly up front, Detroits front and rear, and disc brakes at all four corners. Ashley wanted nothing but the best for Felix.

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When the stock motor developed a rod knock it was decided that a GM 4.3L was going in. The pair had never done a motor swap, but was all in on learning how. With an adapter from Advance Adapters it was mated to the W56 manual trans, and plopped in place – sort of. The old Toyota frame needed to be replaced from the firewall forward first, then it was shoehorned in. It is a tight fit, as immediately evident by the existence of pusher fans in from of the radiator. Though the drivetrain is now reliably solid with the GM power plant at the helm. Backing up the power is a Marlin Crawler Crawler Box dual case setup. Low low is slow slow with the Marlin Crawler Crawler Box. Shifters are a thing for Ashley and Felix, and a point that proves she doesn’t take wheeling too seriously – it is all about fun. Pop the rear case shifter into “Work” and you’re set for a dull two-wheel drive to work or trail, put it in “Play” and it is time for fun in the 4x4. The rest of the interior is a showcase for her style. It started with the green skull shift knob from Twisted Shifterz. Green highlights spread throughout, with purple thrown in because, well, she wanted people to know it is a girl’s truck. A dash from Precision 4x4 is fitted with AutoMeter gauges and a GPS speedo they first heard about in Crawl Mag. The switch panels are from 12-volt Guy, even the “Plan B” switch for the front winch. Pulling cable is not her preference and she’d rather stick with Plan A. Dan joked that when it came to cleanup time after a long day wrenching, Ashley could usually be found in the drivers seat making engine sounds dreaming of what it’d be like to drive. The pair is in it together. About half way through the build Dan seized the motor on his rig and ended up selling the whole thing off to help Ashley finish building Felix. Unlike some couples, these two didn’t want a “his and hers”. They like working together. A day on the trail always starts with Ashley giving Felix a pep talk – words of encouragement to her truck reminding him that they are in it together. From there Dan hikes along and spots them through the tough spots while she works the bar throttle pedal and clutch of the manual trans – something she prefers for just the experience and connection to driving that comes with it. She enjoys all of the small things that make Felix unique, whether it’s a rough edge or the slinky suspension that makes it feel like driving a waterbed. Felix the Hilux certainly exceeded Ashley’s expectations when she first drove it, and unquestionably continues to every time on the trail. [C]


Felix’s green is a custom paint code.

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Clockwise from top: Ashley in her happy place. // The GM 4.3L V6 isn’t necessarily big, but neither is the engine compartment on a first gen. // Trail-Gear bits for the suspension and a t-case skid from Front Range. // The frame forward of the firewall was rebuilt using 2-inch by 3-inch by 1/16th wall tube.

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Above: Pudam qui il illuptiae natur rerferiatem. Itatur reres quidunt utatus voluptae etusdan dessinti

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The skull shift knob was one of the first mods Ashley did to Felix. It is Felix’s mascot.

Work is two wheel drive, Play is four wheel drive.

Dan spotting Ashley through the rocks.

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The “Winch” switch is for the rear suck down winch. “Plan B” is for the main winch in case plan A doesn’t work out.

Custom Mastercraft Rubicon seats and a cage by 4x Innovations keep occupants safe.


Even with a spare tire and a hole for coilover hoops in the bed, there is still plenty of room for spares and camp gear.

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SPECS INFO

Owner Location Vehicle Type Builder & Location

Ashley Keller Colorado Springs, Colorado 1979 Toyota Pickup named Felix Ashley Keller & Dan Keller

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 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

Chevy 4.3 Liter Vortec/ 262 cubic inches 195 260 Naturally aspirated PSC high flow steering pump/ Pace Setter Headers modified to fit Optima Red top & Yellow top Stock 4 core Toyota radiator with Flex-a-lite pusher fan Airaid cone filter Custom exhaust done by Muffler Masters Toyota 5 speed manual- W56 Advance Adapters None Custom shift knobs by Twistedshifterz.com Marlin Crawler doubled- 4.7 gear in rear case/ 2.28 gears in front case

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 (Estimate if uncertain)

Body / Body Panels Body Modifications

Modified driveshaft by Driveline Services

Trick flow high flow pump

Skid plate / Material Painter Name Hood / Grille

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

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Floors / Firewalls 1st Generation Toyota axle with top truss by Sky Manufacturing Detroit Lockrite RCV Chromoly Shafts Stock RCV 4340 Inner hub gears Stock brakes with 2nd generation Toyota calipers Trail-Gear six shooter knuckles with Trunnion Bearing eliminator kit/ Trail-Gear 8" full hydraulic steering Toyota 2nd Generation IFS housing V6 Third member/ Detroit Locker G2 shafts Stock Trail-Gear disc brake conversion/ Low Range Off-Road Line Lock 5.29:1

4100lbs

B ODY/INTERIOR

Modified driveshaft by Driveline Services

RCI 17 gallon fuel cell/ vertical orientation

1979 Toyota pickup frame modifed from doors forward Front Frame 2"x3" 3/16" square tubing Interior Cage by 4x Innovations/ 1.75"x .250 wall Hrew 112" 180" 23" 76" 75"

Dash / Gauges / Switches Steering Column / Wheel Pedal Assembly / Cutting Brakes Seats / Harnesses Electronics Lights Interior / Exterior Safety - Fire Extinguisher Winches - Front / Rear - Brand & Capacity

1979 Toyota Pickup Factory short bed re-arranged by Rainbows and Unicorns Fabwerkz, 9" removed from behind wheel wells and moved in front of the wheel wells Front Range Skid plate modified to fit Design and graphics hand drawn by Ashley, painted by a friend, Sean Frank Stock 1979 toyota pickup Floors redone by Rainbows and Unicorns Fabwerkz Dash by Percision 4x4 center/ Custom Auto Meter gauges with GPS Speedometer/ Switches custom made by 12Voltguy.com Stock/ Grant steering wheel with Trail-Gear quick release steering wheel kit Stock Custom Master Craft Rubicon Seats with Crow 5-point Harnesses Stand alone Howell engine harness with Painless Wiring harness for accessories 48" Curved Cree Light Bar/Green rocklights from Luxlighting.com 1- 2lb fire extinguisher Front-Smittybuilt 9500lb/ Rear-Warn 2000lb suck down winch


SUSPENSION Front Suspension Type & Material Front Shocks Rear Suspension Type & Material Rear Shocks

Trail-Gear 3 link kit, 2" x .250 wall DOM tubing 14" KING Remote Reservoir coilovers Trail-Gear double trianglulated 4 link, 2"x .250 wall DOM tubing 16" KING Remote Reservoir coilovers

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

37/12.50 R17 Maxxis Creepy Crawlers 17x9- 105 Method beadlocks/ 6 by 5.5 with 3.5" backspacing

Ashley and Dan aren’t afraid to put Felix in some tricky spots.

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TRAIL HERO 2017 Words by Chris Hughes; photos by Sergio Pinillos We packed up from Off Road Expo and hustled to Hurricane, Utah for the Trail Hero 2017. This was the second year for the event held at Sand Hollow State Park. There were organized trail runs each morning and competitions and events each afternoon. The days were full. Sand Hollow is a great area in southern Utah with landscapes similar to Moab. There are plenty of red rocks and even some giant, red sand dunes. The thing we found unique about Sand Hollow was it was very close to civilization. Our phones always had service and we could leave the trail at lunch time, run into town for a quick bite and be back on the trail in less than an hour. Where else can you do that? On Wednesday, we attended the All-Pro Trail Breaker. There were three courses for the ten competitors. Guys like Jesse Haines and Cody Waggoner gave it their best, but no one was able to complete all three courses. Thursday was the Lasernut Rock Race. Ultra4 competitors like Tony Pellegrino, Randy Slawson and Cody Waggoner showed up with their race faces on. Waggoner and Slawson started on the front row and were trading paint before they even hit the first corner. Slawson and Waggoner stayed out front the whole race. In the end, Waggoner lost a transmission and Slawson took the win. Trail Hero 2017 was a great event with a nice mix of wheeling and spectator events. Many folks chose to skip the events and stay on the trail all afternoon and evening. October is great time of year to be in southern Utah. The sun was shining and the temps were perfect. [C]

This page, from top: Issue 66 Cover Jeep Whitewalker made an appearance at Trail Hero. Thanks for the ride Sergio! // The banner at the top of the picture was the start of Course one. That V-notch took out some vehicles before they ever saw the second or third courses. // A view of the bottom of that V-notch. Opposite, from top left: Several competitors rolled on this one. Some recovered and kept competing. Some did not. // There were lots of rigs on the trails but rarely were there any traffic jams. // There were plenty of friendly wheelers and spectacular views. // The landscapes are worthy of a stop just to take them in.

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Opposite, from top left: They raced all the classes simultaneously at the Lasernut Rock Race. That made things interesting. // You gotta want it. No purse. No points. Just bragging rights. Waggoner and Slawson going into the first corner. Waggoner got it. // Randall Davis decided to take a nap during the Rock Race. He eventually woke up and kept racing. // A lot of rigs skipped this line. Kelly Sims and his Wolverine JKU (featured in this issue) made it up with some great spotting by Cameron Harris. // Cameron Harris took all the bonus lines in his four banger Wrangler TJ. This page, from top right: Sergio and the Whitewalker stopped long enough to take in some of the gorgeous views of southern Utah. // Traction was an issue at the start of the Bounty Hill event. // The sand dunes were huge and a lot of fun. // Randy Slawson is always aggressive, even when there are no points or money on the line.

King coilovers and bump stops allow this Jeep to cover ground quickly.

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TECH IN THIS ISSUE BATTERY CHARGERS PAGE 77

LANDCRAWLER UPDATE PAGE 81 PROJECT LJ SILVER UPDATE PAGE 88 76 Vol. 13 — Number 68


BATTERY CHARGERS Words & Photos by John Herrick As we roll into winter and our rigs spend more time sitting, having a decent charger on the battery will ensure you’re ready to go when the call comes. It could be a great snow run or a chance to help someone drag their junk out of the ditch but no matter what, your rig has to start. With so many of us running absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries, having a charger designed to work with these units and their unique characteristics is a must. Look for a charger that has a specific AGM profile for charging. Make sure it will have the minimum required output to do the job. And then use it. Short of actually disconnecting your battery, there will be parasitic loads that will draw it down. A good charger will keep it at the correct level all winter and keep you ready. For this review we have two chargers. First is the Odyssey Battery Portable Charger which was selected based on the size of the Odyssey battery in the Project LJ Silver, a PC1500 group 34. The second unit is a CTEK MXS 5.0 which is designed to be a multi-vehicle charger from motorcycles and UTVs to full size cars and has the ability to maintain even larger applications. The CTEK MXS 5.0 comes from a company that does nothing but make chargers. They have brought this latest unit to market with the latest technology. Here’s a quick rundown: • Charges AGM and new Enhanced Flooded Batteries • Built-in temperature sensing • 8 Step Charging Program • Completely sealed • Spark proof and reverse polarity protection What I like about it is that it’s about the size of a hot dog in a bun, comes in a convenient drawstring carry bag and is super easy to use. In addition, they provide a maintenance pigtail to add to your battery to easily plug it in whenever you want without getting the clamps out. Finally, they also have a dongle that can be added that provides an app on your phone with current battery condition and whether you might want to hook up the charger. The Odyssey charger is a larger unit that puts out 20 amps and is at the ready to do bigger jobs. It’s programmed to manage AGM and flooded lead acid so it should cover everything in your shop or garage. Here are the highlights: • Six stage performance charging • All digital • LED charge monitor • Fanless design eliminate failure points • Matches up with Odyssey PC1200 and 1500 batteries common in offroad use For a full size pro-style charger, this doesn’t take up a lot of room on your shelf and will give years of use since there are no analog or mechanical parts to it. Gone are the days of worrying that your old charger may make the battery work but could also blow up your rig. Either way you go, you can’t go wrong. I’ve used them both and they work well on both major manufacturer’s AGM batteries and on flooded lead acid. When my two 100 month warranty batteries in the Chev dually crew were both 101 months old, they quit dead as can be. The CTEK brought them back enough for me to get to the shop and get some new ones. That’s what you want in a charger…something to get you on your way. These will do it for years to come.

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The Odyssey 20 amp units is weather tight and ready to go with everything attached to the case.

A hook & loop strap holds the power cable in place while the positive and negative cables nest on each end.

Cables route around the body of the charger. It evens fits back in the original box.

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Simple and easy to use, the panel tells you exactly what’s going on.

The CTEK MXS5 is a smaller unit with a lot of big features.

The quick disconnect allows the use of the clip style connectors or the provided maintenance wiring that can be attached to the battery posts and left in place.

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The CTEK is about the size of a really good all beef hotdog on a bun.

The optional dongle lets you know at a glance the condition of your battery through the CTEK smart phone app.

You can get a view of condition and temperature.

You can personalize it to know which rig you’re checking if you have more than one.

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LANDCRAWLER BUGGY UPDATE: END OF YEAR ONE Words & Photos by Derek Trent A year ago we finished the Trent Fabrication LandCRAWLer for John Herrick, owner of CRAWL Magazine. He was nice enough to let me jump in it for the photo shoot and after that I didn't see it for almost a year. John set out on the CRAWL Across America tour and wheeled the LandCRAWLer from coast to coast and back again. Since John is always busy taking photos on trail runs, the LandCRAWLer has become the village bicycle of the CRAWL Across America tour. Everybody gets to drive it and so far I haven't heard a single complaint. After a year of wheeling trails all over the country John finally brought the LandCRAWLer back home to Trent Fabrication for some maintenance. He had only one complaint.  The brakes are squeaky at low speeds on the trail. They are fine at speed but at low speed on the trail when driving with both feet they squeal and squeak like crazy.  Michael Scully from Wilwood said we were using the right pad compound and that a different compound that would be quieter would also be less aggressive. Since the six piston Wilwood Calipers with E compound pads and 14" Trail-Gear rotors worked phenomenally well together, Michael suggested that we sand the rotors and brake pads with 80 grit and bed the pads in again. That's when it occurred to me that the pads were never bedded in correctly the first time. We usually bed pads in when breaking in and tuning the engine but this time the car left the shop for the debut at the SEMA CRAWL party and it never came back. It went straight to trail wheeling and developed a squeak.  Bedding brake pads correctly is easy and quick to do. Basically, the car needs to be driven until the brakes come up to temperature and then a series of hard stops from around 30 miles per hour are made. This process makes the pads break in to match the rotors. The brake lights also stopped working somewhere on the trip so the brake pressure switch was replaced and that problem was also fixed. Michael also recommended a good brake bleed and when we did it we discovered the Wilwood 600 plus fluid had turned from clear to black so we flushed out all of the old fluid. We also changed the engine oil and filter, tightened all of the hose clamps on the coolant system, re-torqued all of the shock and links bolts, and adjusted the throttle cable that has stretched to the point that the car was only getting about 3/4 throttle.  The car looked amazingly good for a buggy that never came back to the shop for a bolt check after its first shake down run. Actually, we never got a chance to give it a shakedown run, but the rest of America did. [C]

The LandCRAWLer is finally back at Trent Fabrication for some routine maintenance after a year of abuse from sea to shining sea and back again.

With the air filter and pre-filter removed the inside of the intake tube can be seen. Dirt trapped in the air filter definitely reduces air flow into the engine but the filter and pre-filter did a good job of keeping dirt from getting in. Both will be cleaned with soap and water. The filter will be oiled and then both will be reused. It's a good idea to clean both of these often.

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The LandCRAWLer has an identical wheel hub and brake set up on all four corners: Chevy Dana 60 front spindles, Yukon Dana 60 6-lug wheel hubs, Yukon 35-spline drive flanges, Trail Gear rotor hats, Trail Gear 14-inch rotors, and Wilwood 6-piston calipers.

The Trail Gear rotors are removed from the wheel hubs and sanded with 80 grit sand paper. This will clean the rotors thoroughly.

The rotors are sanded on both sides until the cross hatching is relatively uniform.

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The brake pads are also sanded with 80 grit sand paper.

The pads are then put back into the calipers and reinstalled on the axle.

In the middle of the CRAWL across America tour the brake lights on the LandCRAWLer stopped working. We use hydraulic pressure activated switches to activate the brake lights on all of the cars we build at Trent Fabrication and it was suspected that the switch had failed. 

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The brake pressure switch is plumbed into the brake lines using a 1/8th pipe T that is attached to one of the brake master cylinders.

The old brake pressure switch is on the left and the new one is on the right. I have used this same pressure switch on a lot of buggies over the years and this is the first one that I have seen fail.

The brake system is then flushed and bled with Wilwood 600 plus super high temp racing brake fluid. It's a 3 person job because the brake system uses separate master cylinders for the front and rear of the car with a pedal assembly that utilizes a balance bar. One person pumps the brake pedal while the other two each open the bleeders on one front and one rear caliper at the same time.

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When bleeding a brake system it's important to get all of the air out and to get fresh clean brake fluid in the whole system. The old brake fluid that came out of LandCRAWLer was dark in color and had a bad odor. The LandCRAWLer is not a race car but it has been put through a lot of harsh conditions.

I recommend using Wilwood 600 Plus Super Hi-Temp Racing Brake Fluid. We have used a lot of different brands of brake fluid and have found that the Wilwood fluid seems to be capable of operating at higher temperatures without boiling versus anything else we have used.

With a new brake pressure switch installed and the brake system bled, the brake lights work again.Â

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It's always a good idea to do a bolt check. We torque the 3/4" link bolts to 250 foot pounds.

Yukon Super Joints are also greased. They will last a long time as long as they are greased regularly.Â

The skid plate is removed for the first time since the car was built. We use 1/2"-thick UHMW plastic and back it with 1/8thinch thick aluminum. The skid plate has been well used and the aluminum has taken the shape of the chassis tubes that it bolts to.

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All of the hose clamps on the coolant system are also tightened. None of them were leaking but every hose clamp felt a little loose and we were able to get a half turn on all of them.Â

Bath time. With the skid plate off the LandCRAWLer is taken outside and power washed. It's lifted up with the forklift to get to some of the hard-to-reach areas.Â

It's hard to believe that the LandCRAWLer is a year old. It has been wheeled all over the country by John and a lot of CRAWL Magazine readers. After a day of maintenance and a bath it's ready to go again.

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PROJECT LJ SILVER: THREE YEARS LATER Words & Photos by John Herrick Let me start with this: I love this Jeep. I’ll go out to the garage sometimes when I’m on a phone call and just look at it. It’s so filled with great memories from the last 3.5 years that it can’t help but bring a smile to my face. We brought this to the world in Issue 48. It left the shop at Vegas 4x4 in June of 2014 and was built the way I wanted it. I needed something for the western rocks, hoped it would work in the trails of the east and figured it would be fun to try everywhere in between. In very few instances has it left me disappointed. It’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience. For those that weren’t reading CRAWL back then, a quick refresher. I had an opportunity to buy a Jeep Wrangler LJ, properly called a TJD for derivative. It was a special extended wheelbase/extended overall length rig built from 2004 to 2006, just before the introduction of the JK. With a 103.4 inch wheelbase, it’s arguably the most capable Wrangler ever built. The rig I bought from Frankie the Cop had these parts: a bent frame, motor, transmission, hood, grille, windshield frame, tub and a partial interior. From these modest beginnings, a great rig was built. Since then it’s been on the Rubicon out west to the sands of the Atlantic coast at Daytona Beach. It’s broken new trail in West Virginia and been broken badly in Minnesota. It’s slid all over the snotty rocks of Ohio and crawled all of Johnson Valley’s big boulders. As a tool, it’s like a Craftsman 300 piece socket set. As a fun machine it’s one thing… ready to deliver. Over the years I always knew there would be room for improvement. Part of being in this business is also about trying new parts and seeing if there has been a shift in our technology. I’ll go over what’s been done, and why, in this photo essay. Most everything has been with an eye toward making it better or solving an issue that I realized later I didn’t know I had. Finally, this: To date, my favorite experience was pulling into the visitor parking lot, in this Jeep, at the Toledo Assembly Complex to meet Bruce Schabeck. He was waiting up on the second floor and saw me pull in. He was getting close to retirement in 2015 and was winding down a career at Chrysler that spanned many decades. Part of what made this meeting special to me was hearing the story of the LJ and how he was an integral part in making it happen. This was his baby and my rig had returned to Toledo where it all began. We spent the next several hours talking about the history of Jeep and the LJ in particular. It’s good to know your roots. [C]

The GenRight aluminum bumper came well packed and in perfect condition.

The Superwinch EXP comes well packed too.

The new Superwinch EXP didn’t quite fit with the winch bolt holes. The gussets on the roll bar were preventing the mounting of it. 88 Vol. 13 — Number 68


Some quick measurements and after making sure that moving it back didn’t cause an unintended consequence, I marked and then drilled new winch mounting holes.

The winch sits back a little further and is well protected. The bumper is aluminum and tough as nails. I’ve run aluminum before and it can take CRAWL style abuse. It’s also 25.5 pounds lighter than the previous bumper.

GenRight takes advantage of the rearmost bolt that holds the body lift at the grille. A total of ten bolts keep this bumper in place.

The EXP has a semi-auto clutch and will lock in when power is applied. This helps keep the co-dog from having to run back and forth.

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The blue cover keep water and crud out of the electric remote plug and the silver button to the lower left is for the turning on the power and task lighting.

The blue cap covers one of the auxiliary power ports that allow for lights and other accessories.

A really good idea, the Picatinny rails afford some new mounting points for cameras, lights or equipment.

The Superwinch came wound with synthetic rope and the aluminum fairlead. I added my favorite blue Factor 55 ProLink.

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The Bestop Elements doors are tubular doors with a powder coated steel skin that should take some significant abuse. They are also readied for soft uppers for when the weather goes bad.

You can add your factory mirrors if desired.

The venerable paddle latch even comes equipped with door locks.

We upgraded the shocks and that project required some finish welding that got missed earlier.


The bolts didn’t want to come out as the tabs had shifted. We straightened it all out and the boys at Independent Specialists in Reno pulled the welder out and sparkle wrenched them back into perfection.

The front end now has Radflo 2.5 x 12 inch shocks with remote reservoirs. This is a huge increase in fluid volume and should keep the shocks nice and cool. There was room to mount the reservoirs on the bodies in front.

The rear shocks fit perfectly in the inset mounts. The existing reservoir positioning worked as well. The rear fenders flares were narrow and heavy so I removed them and dropped 42 pounds off the rear end.

I’ve had this mod sitting in a bag waiting to go on for a while. PSC Steering worked with Stage 8 to design a locking fastener kit for the steering gearbox. I got it installed and should probably never worry about it again.

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The GenRight Lock & Load system is really slick. Using existing holes on your tub rail, you get a variety of easy to use tie down points for securing your cargo. Here my camera bag is strapped down to prevent an unfortunate departure.

The TnT Customs spare tire mount is on the deck of the Jeep and holds a 37” BFG Krawler flat to the floor. Larger tires will also fit and the whole system uses the existing rear seat hardware mounting points. It’s a very nice way to carry a spare.

Gone is the Lowrance GPS and in its place is the Magellan TRX7 Explorist. Since I’m not using the rig to pre-run at Johnson Valley, it’s nice to have a more mainstream GPS that has good base maps and lots of user information like trails all over the US.

I updated the SpiderWebShade and reversed the color scheme. I never take these off so I can go anywhere without a hat and no sunburn on my hairless head.

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The BFG Krawler Blue Label 37s have been a great change. The tread is perfect for the West Coast rocks I like but this year they proved to be perfect in other points around the country.

The Long John Silver at home in the hills outside Reno. It’s ready for its next adventure.

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INFO Owner Location Vehicle Type Builder & Location

John Herrick Reno, Nevada 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) Vegas 4x4 & Off-Road, Las Vegas, Nevada www.vegas4x4.com

P OWERTR AIN

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 (Estimate if uncertain)

Stock Jeep Steel Poison Spyder Lazer-Fit cage, 1.75" DOM 103.75" 162" excluding front stinger 20.50" 80.50" Front 82.25", rear 79.50" 5100

DRIVE TR AIN Front Suspension / Type / Materials Front Sway Bar

Clayton 3-link with Currie Johnny Joints

Currie Anti Rock offroad swaybar Radflo 12" x 2.5" smooth body shocks with Front Shocks remote reservoirs and compression clickers, Teraflex pin eliminators Front Bump Stops Teraflex Speed Bumps Currie F9 fabricated 9", Reid Racing D60 kingpin Front Axle Housing knuckles & Cs Yukon nodular iron 3rd member, Yukon Daytona Front Differential / Locker pinion support, Yukon Grizzly locker, Trail-Gear pinion guard Front Ring & Pinion / ratio Yukon 5.43:1 Currie inner 4340 35 spline shafts, Yukon 4340 Front Axle Shafts 35 spline outer shafts Front U-Joints Yukon Super Joints Front Drive Flanges / Hubs Yukon Hardcore Locking hubs Front Brakes Parts Mike 1/2 ton Chevrolet Vegas 4x4 custom steering with Artec D60 high Front Steering Setup steer arms, ARP studs Front Driveshaft J.E. Reel 1350 Rear Suspension / Type / Clayton triangulated 4-link with Currie Johnny Materials Joints Rear Sway bar Currie Anti Rock offroad swaybar Radflo 12" x 2.5" smooth body shocks with Rear Shocks remote reservoirs and compression clickers, Teraflex pin eliminators Rear Bump Stops Teraflex Speed Bumps Rear Axle Housing Currie F9 fabricated full float 9" Yukon nodular iron 3rd member, Yukon Daytona Rear Differential / Locker pinion support, Yukon Grizzly locker, Trail-Gear pinion guard Rear Ring & Pinion / Ratio Yukon 5.43:1 Rear Axle Shafts Currie 4340 35 spline full float Rear Drive Flanges Currie Rear Brakes Currie JK disc brakes Rear Driveshaft J.E. Reel 1350 Tire Make / Size / Summer BFGoodrich Krawler KX Blue Label 37/12.50-17s Tire Make / Size / Winter BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3 37/12.50-17s Trail-Gear Creeper Lock 17" x 9", 6 on 5.5" Wheel Make / Size / Bolt Pattern pattern, 3.75" backspacing

specs

Engine Make

Jeep

Engine Displacement

4.0 liters, 242 cubic inches

Engine TQ Engine HP Engine Induction Engine Modifications Batteries Radiator / Fans Air Intake Exhaust Transmission Make Transmission Cooling System Torque Converter Transmission Shifter Transfer Case(s)

235 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm 190 @ 4600 rpm Normally aspirated None Odyssey PC1500T Stock Superchips Trail Jammer intake Spin Tech Pro Street 6222 Chrysler 42RLE 4-speed overdrive automatic Stock Stock Stock floor shifter Advance Adapters Atlas 3.8:1 Stock 19.5 gallon, Savvy Offroad aluminum skid plate

Fuel Containment

B ODY & INTERIOR Stock with Poison Spyder aluminum Crusher Corners, XC DeFender aluminum front fenders & inner fenders, rock rails Swag Offroad "Bertha" high clearance body Body Modifications mount skids GenRight aluminum stubby front bumper, Bumpers Poison Spyder BFH rear bumpers Clayton Offroad with integrated full belly skid & Skid plate / Material engine skid Stock hood cut for Poison Spyder high line Hood / Grille DeFenders, stock grille, Poison Spyder hood louver Tub interior coated with truck bed liner, Floors / Firewalls shouldered eye bolts in floor for cargo management Dash / Gauges / Switches ARB compressor switches Steering Column / Wheel Tilt/Stock Pedal Assembly / Cutting Brakes Stock PRP Competition High Back suspension seats, Seats / Harnesses PRP 5.3 five point harnesses Electronics Magellan Explorist TRX7 gps, RAM 1" mount Lights Interior / Exterior JW Speaker 8700 Evolution LED headlights H3R Performance Halguard and Maxout 2.5 Safety - Fire Extinguisher pound extinguishers Superwinch EXP 12, synthetic rope, Factor 55 Winches - Front / Rear ProLink ARB CKMTA12 twin compressor, Yukon single Extras compressor ARB Fridge Freezer Poison Spyder Trail Gate Bestop Elements trail doors with Bestop soft uppers SpiderWebShade sun shade top Stage 8 X-Lock locking spindle nuts TnT Customs bed mount spare tire carrier GenRight Lock & Load tub rails Body / Body Panels

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96 Vol. 12 — Number 65


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EXHAUST Photo by Tim Magee

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98 Vol. 13 — Number 68


CRAWL Jan/Feb 2018 Issue 68  
CRAWL Jan/Feb 2018 Issue 68  

We bring the hardcore offroad world to our readers through edgy writing and breathtaking photography. CRAWL is your source for the content t...