Prater’s Willys Wagon

4 Wheel & Off Road - - CONTENTS -

DRIVER: Rick Prater CO-DRIVER: Todd Daines HOME­TOWN: Uin­tah, UT

Rick Prater and his fa­ther-in­law, Todd Daines, were off to a rough start when they broke a front axle­shaft 50 feet into the first trail on Day 1. Ev­ery­one started to won­der whether invit­ing a guy rock­ing a 10-bolt had been a good idea, but they got the ’shaft changed in short or­der and never had an­other is­sue all week long. These guys wheel in Moab all the time, and it showed in their prepa­ra­tion, driv­ing prow­ess, and abil­ity to work to­gether as a well-oiled ma­chine.


EN­GINE: TBI 350ci V-8 TRANS­MIS­SION: SM465 4-speed man­ual


FRONT AXLE: Cor­po­rate 10-bolt with 4.10 gears and Spar­tan Locker REAR AXLE: Cor­po­rate 14-bolt with 4.10 gears and spool >SUS­PEN­SION

SPRINGS & SUCH: Leaf springs front and rear with twin-tube shocks TIRES & WHEELS: 37x12.50R17 Falken Wild­peak M/T on 17x8.5 Al­lied bead­lock

STEER­ING: Cross­over steer­ing with TJ steer­ing box

WINCH: Warn Zeon 10-S

OTHER: Floor­boards made from old li­cense plates, clearcoat over the orig­i­nal patina, plaid flan­nel head­liner

WHAT BROKE?: Long side in­ner axle­shaft, cracked side win­dow HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU



I have al­ways dreamed of go­ing to a new place, on a long trip in my Jeep. Get­ting to go with the cal­iber of peo­ple that are in­volved in UA was ic­ing on the cake. It was much more amaz­ing than I ever imag­ined.

MOD­I­FI­CA­TIONS AF­TER BE­ING SE­LECTED: Beefed up the trans­mis­sion cross­mem­ber and built a rollcage.

AD­VICE FOR NEXT YEAR’S READERS: Don’t over­think it, and don’t over com­pli­cate it. Bring spare axle­shafts and drive­shafts.

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