Who One day, on a fiendish wave of inspiration incited by this very forum, I singed up for ROTW week 4/10/06. Have you ever mailed a love letter, only to find out ten minuets after you have put your soul in the mail box, that you girl is cheating on you? You can’t get the letter back and reality has hit you with a bucket of ice water. I’m a rookie, a native New Yorker, a city mouse, no a Central Park squirrel trying to get a nut. Why did I sign up for ROTW? After the shock wore off, I shifted gears to the realization that my rig cannot compete with the heavy hitters of past ROTWs, such as Manrigdude, NorCalDoug, White Shark and many, many others! Oh and lets not forget “Tired Iron GBR.” OUCH…holy shee-ites… his truck hurt us all. And all in good time maybe I will sign up for the “where are they now ROTWs.” Then I will have the portals, the sub tanks, hot and cold water and cable TV. For now I will work the theory of relativity angle.In New York City my 33s look like 35s-maybe even 37s on some streets. My 3” OME like a Slee 6” kit. I am a city slicker who has always played on the dirt, from my first BMX bike in 1979 to my mountain bike in 1983. Mountain biking brought me to my first off road experience at the 24 hour team endurance race held in Davis West Virginia (24 hours of Canaan). Good fun if you like being wet and cold, and you want to ride 2 hours in the stickiest mud in world in the middle of the night ( I did 6 years in a row). While down there, I was invited to sit in the back of a Jeep Cherokee that had no seats, two dogs, four other friends (also first timers, except for the driver), a cooler full of Coors Light and a big bag of ammo. The tales of that first day of wheeling the Black Water area of WV (before it was closed) are many and worth telling, but for now I will leave that for later, only to say I was hooked. Hooked Bad! All I saw in my future were plans and schemes on how to get a 4X4. It took from June1992 till August 10th 1:30 PM 2004 until I got a 4X4(the day I got my locked ‘96). Now some may be crying for (or laughing at) me as it took 12 years to have a vehicle capable of off road exploration. But I think all in all I did good in that time. I read every 4x4 rag article I could and logged every mod in to a dream list of mods for my vehicle. With 20/20 hind site (that I did not use when I backed into a tree… more on that later), I realized I might have gotten myself into a Jeep earlier. But I think of all the misery, expense and time(in repairs) that it would have taken to get to a point where I would have gotten an 80. Even though I have been keen on 80’s forever, only recently have they become affordable. I was ready for 4 months to make a move on an 80. In NYC and surrounding areas, buying a used car is well like buying a mail-order bride. You know what you want, but can’t think about what you are getting. From dealerships to private-party sellers, the hunt is one run around after another. Finally, after hovering over the internet for months, appears “1996 LC 101k $10,500 dark blue” 10-5 w 101k and lockers. Yeah right. What’s the catch? Despite suspicions of the price, I called, and to my surprise, I was the first to call. With a bag of cash I was off to CT to take a look at LC #12. Two hours later, a shiny, blue and new looking 96 with lockers rolls up. Can this be happening? I don’t see any smoke or dripping oil or hear any weird noises. Inside it looks 3days old. I stay calm. I access my photographic memory and read the Slee newbie guide in my head for the 365th time so I don’t make any major blunders. It looked too good to be true. Time for the test drive. Smooth, quiet and smells new (compared to my previous stinky 91 Jimmy 164k). Now with the owner in my clutches, and with all native New Yorker suspicions, I ask, “Why are you selling her?” (I already new she would be mine). “We are moving to Nashville.” (a good answer) Then the trip-up question: “How did you come up with the price?” (Listening with my spider senses on 11), he said his wife looked up the price on Kelly Blue book and then she subtracted a few hundred for the few minor dings and scratches(she must have blue booked the wholesale value and not the retail, as this was way under Galvis at the time). The test drive included a low range and locker test, both of which he said his wife never used (hence the stuck rear locker). With a hand shake I said Yes- $10,500. Wow that was $4500 less than I had planned to spend, and I got me a genuine Connecticut soccer mom car. So I took the left over money and bought a T bill. Yeah right! On the way home I ordered my OME kit and BFGs, and I kept saying, “Now I am a Made man.” I would say that since then, two things don’t add up. It seems to me that every time I get my next modification done, I am still always just halfway through the list. I will start with mods that are done and then I will talk of the day I get to drive my own car in Moab (I have rented Jeeps from Slick Rock Jeep a few times and done all the tourist spots, Fins and Things, Hell Revenge etc…) That said, from NYC to Moab and back will cost me $997 in gas alone. How to talk the misses into that one? For now with a great tip and tour from Lovey and Cruiserhead, now I at least have one decent spot just 35 minuets from Manhattan. Not that I haven’t found all sorts of things to throw a wheel up and over (unattended car carrier trailers, loading docks and even the occasional construction site). I started with the standard OME 3” Js & Ls and steering, with SS lines and castor correction bushings BFG AT 295/75-16s on the stock rims that I will soon have anodized or Powder coated black (it would have already been done had I not been distracted in the last five minuets of the EBay auction that let a set of 5 go for $102.95 !thanks guys for dropping by just then, really thanks) Did my own drop block for the front and the rear sway bar drops. The rears have held up well http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=57426 Welded in the Slee front and rear DIY weld in panhard adjusters Plugged in a CDL switch from Slee I picked up a used XD9000 for a song and started my bumper that I fabed up, in a long weekend http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=57222 Installed my oem toy aux light switch ($70 ouch, since that pain in the wallet I have gotten hip to the Hella switch $7.50) and the Pia’s that my good friend Bluemax Then after an incident on a pile of construction barricades I bent my rear control arms. So I fabed up this set up as seen on this thread (a thread that turned into a cat fight) http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=60801 and while I was at it I made a exhaust pipe guard – future slider mount http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=63113 for my birth day last fall some great friends got me a Iron Pig skid plate. A great piece of mind to be had with that addition. Then it was time to get my rear bumper and hopefully my sliders before the looming ROTW day. But then this happened http://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=78334 A four weekend set back and big shot to the ego. I went for a 2 piece rear bumper it is fabed from 3/16 as is the front bumper. I had a Stink Bug problem that I corrected with a little help from My CNC mill (brag, brag boast, boast. but really don’t get too jealous I still have to do all my work on the sidewalk, in Brooklyn). I ended up going with a 1” spacer. I may try to use a 1.5” some day, when I have the cash for a front drive shaft. I also have made my fair lead on the mill in both plastic and aluminum. I am using the plastic at the moment, but I may one day get one of the three extra aluminium fair leads I have, anodized to match my LC The list of projects to be done as soon as I can, 1 Fix sticky rear locker, I am being a chicken s*** about this one because I have to do it on the street in front of my shop 2 breather extensions for the transmition and TC (already did the axles) 3 Slee DIY upper control arm adjusters 4 sliders, that are some what under way 5 hard mount my compressor Well now that I have made Charls Dickins sound short winded, I will get ready for a pelting of all the pro’s ?