Building the Perfect Off Road Jeep

We set out to find the perfect off road jeep and came across Jeff (Mr. Moab) who is the adventure guide at Sorrel River Ranch in Moab Utah. He has been in the Moab area for 25 years and knows the trials, land, and parks like the back of his hand. Jeff is truly an expert when it comes to off roading. He even pulled our SUV (with his jeep) out of some soft land we sank in getting to our shoot location. Truly a wonderful man with one heck of a Moab jeep.

He is the proud owner of a classic '92 Jeep Wrangler that he has had for 25 years. He likes to say that he "got it when it was a itty bitty little thing".

He has slowly, over time built it up piece by piece till it got to the point where it is today. A real Moab Jeep. His Wrangler, believe it or not, has just a four cylinder engine with a manual transmission. He believes that it's a dying bread in Moab because everyone is going to automatics. That may be his next big upgrade, but not yet.

He also added full width axels off of a '79 Ford Bronco. He wanted the width because the oversized tires make the Jeep so tall and that he needed more stability. He then geared down to a 538’s gear box because its a "tiny motor" four cylinder with that manual transmission. He then added heavy duty tie rods and a hydraulic assist steering mechanism. He wanted to make sure the Jeep was able to handle the rigors of the desert and be highly maneuverable as well.

The final big thing were the oversized tires. "These are 40” tires. I geared everything down to 538 gears so that four cylinder is able to turn those big 40” tires. It won’t go over 50 mph but it will go over big rocks, thats fun! It's all beat up now but it has character, a lot of Moab character. I know every one of these dents, when I bought it, it didn’t have any… not a scratch. But its a lot of fun, I’ve rolled it three times. I tend to learn the hard way…. It can get expensive. But its a fun toy. I joke and tell guests I don’t have kids… I have this thing. Which is probably still cheaper. But this one is mine… its my baby."

Photography by Rachel Saad

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