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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

Shafer Trail 04-11-2017

One of those trails you never get tired of. This was my 3rd time driving this road and it still always leaves me with a sense of wonder as I do. Today was a great day on the trail, even during an Easter Jeep Safari week we did not encounter any other vehicles on the trail as we descended. One tip I would give is that before drive the road, be sure to check out the overlooks off of the main paved road that gives you additional vantage points on a grander scale.

Gateway – Castleton Route 04-09-2017

I was excited to take a new route to Moab from Colorado. The scenery was epic driving through Unaweep Canyon on my way into Gateway. The closer I got to Gateway the more dramatic the scenery became. As I traveled along the actual trail the elevation kept increasing and got much more cold, windy, and the landscape looked seasonally dead. The closer I got to Utah the more excited I was to drive through Castle Valley. I can say I was utterly disappointed that so much of the route out of the La Sal National Forest was paved. Towards the end, I took a side road looking for the access to Castle Rock for a future write-up. I found it, and it was the highlight of this trip. Overall this was fun route to Moab, I would do it again.

Surprise Overlook 04-15-2017

Ran this real quick while doing Bull Canyon. It really is worth the drive to hit the overlook as a stand alone destination. The sand at the end seemed extra deep this year. Added new official trailsoffroad.com video.

Trails

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