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Will discuss suspensions, lifts, lockers along with tire suggestions. Trail ratings and possible requirements needed for specific type of trails. Safety equipment and what you should carry with you. Certified off-road instructor. I am not a mechanic, and 4-Wheeling is a hobby, so if I can't answer a technical question it is due to my mechanical knowledge being related to vehicles that I have owned, or have worked on. I do not have manuals on all vehicles, and I suggest that you obtain a repair manual for mechanical problems and do some research before asking your question. Most mechanical questions can't be answered completely without looking at, or listening to the vehicle in person.

Experience in the area

40 plus years of 4 wheeling in a variety of vehicles. At the present time, my major off-road rig is a 94 Jeep Wrangler with a spring over and a 1 1/2" suspension lift. This gives me a total lift of 7" or so. I have lockers front and rear. I have removed the track bars, and sway bar for maximum articulation. I am running a stock 2.5 ltr 4 cylinder with a Jacobs ignition along with a cold air high flow filter. It has 4.56:1 gears with a Dodge NV4500 transmission along with a 3.8:1 Atlas II transfer case. This gives me a final ratio of 105:1 in low gear/low range. Other vehicles I own, are a 96 Ford F-250 with a 6" lift, posi rear end, 36" Hummer tires, 5 speed with a fuel injected 460 ci engine, an 87 Samurai with an 8" lift, Ford 9" rear end with a spool, Chevy Dana 44 front end with an electric locker, 5.88 gears, 16% reduction in high range and a 6.5:1 low range with 35" Baja Claws, and a stock 2003 Grand Cherokee Overland. Trails I have run are the Rubicon (10 times), Dusey Ershim, Fordyce Creek trail, McGrew trail, several trails in Moab, Utah along with local monthly runs.


Lost Coast 4x4's Cal 4-Wheel Corva UFWDA Blue Ribbon Coalition


Certified off-road instructor - Certificates in engineering/electronics

What do you like about this subject?

This is a great hobby, and anyone with a 4-wheel drive, needs to get out and enjoy it to the max.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I'm constantly learning new techniques, and hope that I never get to a point where I think that I can't learn something new.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

I feel that, as a whole, most off-roaders are very aware of their surroundings, and do not damage the land, nearly as much as many would think. There is enough room in this Country for all, whether you are a hard core environmentalist, or a hard core off-roader. We can work together, and there is room for multi-use areas.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
John06/20/16101010Thanks Carl, I'm On It w/Chevy !

Recent Answers from Carl Brandt

2016-12-24 car troubles:

Andrew,  First I would recommend a good tune up and fuel injector cleaning with sea foam or any good quality cleaner.  If you have a turbo, that is about the rpm that they kick in and sometimes there is

2016-10-05 oil check:

Gabe,    This really doesn't make sense, as the dip stick is inserted into the oil and both sides should have the same amount of oil on them.    I would warm it up before checking the oil anyway, as the

2016-10-03 Rough Idle:

Michael,    First of all, there is no such thing as a flathead engine anymore.  They were done away with in the late 50's or so, so if the mechanic told you that is what it is, then it's time to find a

2016-09-26 ball joints:

B,    If you are changing one, you should change both.  If the lower ball joint is starting to wear, a new upper can put more stress on it, and it will have to be replaced soon anyway.  It's much easier

2016-08-28 1997 tracker have same front diff (and gears) as a 2003 chevy tracker ?:

Rhianna,  According to what I can find, the differentials were changed in 1999.  When changing the differentials, it is mandatory that the gear ratio is the same as the rear differential.  There were several


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