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Todd Taylor

Founder - Colorado

Todd Taylor is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that holds true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American West to explore were his reasons behind starting Trailsoffroad.com. On any given weekend you can find Todd on some obscure 4x4 trail or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.

My Builds

Todd

Since being a little boy, I dreamed of owning a Jeep Wrangler. However, due to practical needs, I was never able to own one but had the pleasure of owning an XJ, WJ, and WK. I was finally at a point in life to purchase a Wrangler when I bought the Red X. I purchased this 2008 Jeep Wrangler JKU at the bottom of the Financial Crisis in early 2009 with only 12,000 miles on it for a pretty good deal. It came slightly modified with the rims, tires, generic winch, front and rear bumpers along with a 2.5" puck lift. After testing it out on the trail, I decided it wasn't as built as I would like and launched into a never ending outlay of cash, time, and research to build a road worthy, yet "go anywhere" Jeep to take me wherever I wanted to go.

Although the Wrangler comes well equipped with skid plates my first task was to reinforce the underneath and protect two crucial points: The oil pan and evaporator canister. I researched high and low for a good oil pan only skid plate without much luck. I finally found an all aluminum skid manufactured by ASFIR and I loved the fact that it just covered the oil pan and I wasn't wasting dollars on parts that Jeep already had covered with its stock set-up. For the evaporator canister, I simply looked for the cheapest and most durable I could find and that was, at the time, Rugged Ridge. I then added in the Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers for a combination of aesthetics and protection.

After hitting the trails a bunch, I quickly realized that the puck lift was just simply not going to suit my needs. I spent the next several months researching lift kits for the JK. After reading hundreds of forum posts and articles, I selected the Rock Krawler 2.5" Max Travel. I chose this lift based on the more vocal feedback on various forums and photos showing the flexing ability. I can say when this lift is dialed in, it is amazing on the pavement and has all the flex in the world for off-road. I would highly recommend the $20 spring clips because it really is not fun when you have a spring pop out on narrow and steep switchbacks.

After having installed the lift, the extra weight was enough to really make me notice the factory gears coupled with the minivan engine were not a good combo for the highway mountain passes. I then decided it was time to regear. Gearing was something I didn't feel comfortable doing myself, so I had found a shop I liked and had 5:13 gears installed. The big decision was what about lockers? It was easily described to me that when they swap the gears out, the locker install is practically free. With that thinking, I had two ARB lockers installed front and rear, along with a compressor. To beef up the stock axles, I had gussets and sleeves installed at the same time. I rarely need to use the lockers, but I am glad to have them there when I do, and it's a simple push of the button to make it happen.

Still not satisfied with the power of the engine, I opted for a Superchip install and have tuned it for high octane towing to help me up and over the mountain passes throughout Colorado. This little modification really does make a difference for power and after trying several other of the tunes, I really do like the towing tune.

Needing a new winch I spent a good amount of time researching what I could get for the best bang for the buck and chose the SmittyBilt X20 Comp 10,000 lbs winch. It is very fast, smooth, there when I need it. I couldn't justify spending another $500 more on a winch with the same specs, same warranty, and only a different brand name. My recovery bag is all ARB products; snatch block, tow strap, tree saver, snatch strap and shackles.

2008 Flame JKU Wrangler | 2.5" Rock Krawler Max Travel Suspension | 35" Cooper Discoverer STT PRO | Warn Rear Bumper/Mopar Front Bumper | 5:13 Gears with front and rear ARB air lockers | SmittyBilt X20 Comp 10K Winch.

Recent Trip Reports

Miners Gulch 06-25-2017

I think this trail is the "gem" of the Yankee Hill Network. It is a little rougher and challenging than the other trails. In the late spring and early summer the wetness of the gulch welcoming against all the hot sun up high. The water flowing down is really fun to drive in. The trail seems to change conditions rapidly. This year it seemed a little rougher than years past, but we will hold the rating the same.

Democrat Mountain 06-24-2017

I was excited to run this and get above timberline. However, I was a little disappointed to find that the trail was closed at waypoint 5 by the Forest Service and you can no longer get to the top. But the views from the first overlook were amazing, as the whole trail was really pretty. Don't let the bumps scare you, we had a stock JK up there no problem. There was zero trash along this trail, so please keep it that way :) Tip: If you have rooftop tent, or are off the ground, there would be really good camping at the first overlook.

Michigan Hill 06-08-2017

Fun time exploring Michigan Hill, there were some great camping spots near the top of Michigan Hill offroad trail that I want to go back and check out some more.

Trails

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