Search This Blog

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jeep Rebuild Final 7-31-11

The Jeep is done and the rebuild is complete.  Here are some final notes from our tremendous experience with T&T Customs:
Here is the Jeep on the trailer, with the final buildup ready to roll.  It's on our trailer and ready to head out to All 4 Fun in CO.  Notice the High Clearance Y-Link Radius arms.  Not in the pic are the Dual-triangulated 4-Link rear arms.  This system is tight, rad, and you name it.  :)

Bob and Mary Levenhagen own and operate T&T Customs in Cheyenne, WY.  Great folks; awesome products; and total commitment to off-roading....that's what you get with T&T Customs.  Learn more at

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jeep Rebuild Update 7-30-11

From underneath, rear looking forward, you can see the dual-triangulated 4-link system going in.  This eliminates rear "crabbing" when in a bind and gives maximum performance.  It's also ruggedly built, I can assure you.

We've also got the JKS Manufacturing Switch Blade Sway System installed and working.  Wow, can't wait to try this out with like 5 positions of sway (or no sway).  Simple to use as well.

T&T Customs notched the frame for the rear shock giving a new installation position for the Fox Racing Shox to ride.  Notice the coil relocator kit from T&T as well.  Red will be an incredible machine soon!
More on T&T right here:

Check out their Y-Link High Clearance Radius Arms (JK, TJ, LJ, XJ, MJ, ZJ and YJ) also.  That's what is riding on Red now.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jeep Rebuild Update 7-29-11

T&T Customs has been working day and night to get this custom build wrapped up and trail ready.  We've made several mods all at once, so this is a bigger project than normal. But WOW, check this out and see where we are with the Land Use War Machine:

Dialing in the high steer is fairly easy with the pre-fab (slightly modified) truss and brackets fromT&T Customs.  Notice the PSC hydraulic assist steering custom mount on the tie rod.  This T&T clamp will hold the ram tight to the tie rod, but also allow the toe-in to be adjusted down the road if needed.

Getting the coils, shocks and high steer adjusted just right takes several ups and downs on the lift to ensure everything clears and performs as expected.   While nice to have, the lift is not mandatory to do this install.  When we worked the system up and down, it blew me away to see how much droop and articulation I now have on Red.  Dude, I can't wait to wheel this!!!

This is a newer style Fox Shox that we are installing on Red, and I'm liking them already. Stacie says they're "sexy" too.  Performance should be incredible when matched up to a Rock Tek system like this.

The new WJ (Grand Cherokee) rotors, calipers and knuckles will make a tremendous difference in stopping power, while allowing for an awesome High Steer set up.  Beefy....

The Rock Tek Long Arm getting some fine tuning as we go along.  We still have some painting to do as well, but that can wait until everything is fitted and ready.

My Currie Ford 9 (old school) is a tight fit for no matter what suspension Red carries, but the Rock Tek truss is going to fit just right.  Several articulations on the lift will make sure everything clears.
 I am really getting excited now to get Red back on the trail and get some wheeling in.  I am impressed with every component of this install:  T&T Customs, ARB/Old Man Emu, Fox Shox, and JKS Manufacturing (still to come in the install).   I'd also like to thank J&W Auto Wreckers for the knuckles and brake parts.
Saving Trails Together

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reno Stampede Best Prepared Trail Rig Team Challenge 2011

It's AWN!  Friday night September 9th in Reno, NV, at the Ultra4 Reno Stampede...

Tons of the prizes for the contestestants!  All done in fun and for landuse!  Anyone can enter!  Audience cheering (and hissing) likely!  Teams will be famous!

We are still looking for a TITLE SPONSOR, but as of right now, the Team Challenge looks like this:

This is like a scavenger hunt on your rig, with a team of UP TO four (4) folks.

Any 4x4 rig set up for trail rides may enter (including UTV's).  Does not have to be street legal.

We are asking for a small donation/entry fee of $20 per person ($80 per team), with the donation going to BlueRibbon Coalition.

First Team Challenge we had 5 teams; second Team Challenge we had 7 teams.  Who knows how many this time??  :)  ENTER and take a shot.

Magazines and TV coverage likely.

Hot chicks for judges!!!

RUMOR has it that past Team Challenge champions are returning to DEFEND their titles!!!

Hosted by Del & Stacie Albright of the BlueRibbon Coalition.

All items must be located in or on the vehicle.  Teams must find the requested item QUICKLY and dash to the assigned judge, in front of a live and verbal audience!  Fastest team with item to judge, wins that item.  Team with most items WINS the competition.  First two winning teams get fancy-beautiful trohpies made by Raceline Wheels.

TONS of prizes will be awarded teams; all teams will win something from our supporting businesses.  Audience will get rewarded as well with freebies and fun goodies. 

A landuse extra raffle is possible as well, with donated prizes from businesses.

To ENTER:  send an email to Del Albright at with the following information:

NAME OF TEAM: (make one up)
TEAM MEMBERS: (the names you have so far; up to four)
RIG: (short description, make, type, year; does not have to be street legal)
TEAM MEMBER LANDUSE INVOLVEMENT: (club and group memberships; work days; volunteer stuff)
IS THIS YOUR FIRST TEAM CHALLENGE? (what other comps like this have you done before?)
NOTES: (anything else you'd like to add). 

There you have it...
thanks, Del

About Axle Trusses, Interview with T&T Customs Bob Levenhagen

Bob from T&T explains how trusses work and what they will do for Jeep Albright in continuing the fight to save trails (with a macho off road machine). 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Story of T&T Customs, Cheyenne, WY

Bob and Mary started T&T Customs after Bob retired from the Air Force.  A "fixit" kinda guy, who grew up working on stuff and making do with common sense and the school of hard knocks, Bob has an "eye" for creating mechanical marvels that work right!!!  Here is Stacie interviewing Mary about the business:

For more pleas

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jeep Rebuild Video (from the start)

T&T Customs first round of live video on the Jeep Albright rebuild.  See it here:

Summer Land Use Trip More T&T Updates

The first fitting of the belly pan bracket with  the Atlas back in (re-clocked).

Axle truss getting fitted.  Can you believe the rugged construction and well-thought out engineering.

Go Equipped fits this outfit.   My junk will be ready and equipped like never before.

Another look at the truss as we add to it, installing brackets, coil pads, and more.  SWEET.  T&T Customs knows what they are doing!  I can't wait to wheel this baby.
More on T&T here:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Best Prepared Trail Rig Team Challenge Update 7/25/11

First up to donate to our Team Challenge (in September in Reno, NV) is Raceline Wheels, Allied.   Not only are they donating a set of steel wheels, but also making our trophies for the top teams.  Raceline has always supported landuse and trail access.  They are also a personal sponsor of ours and a big supporter of BlueRibbon Coalition and many events that support landuse.  Learn more and say hi at

MetalCloak is giving a handful of Gift Certificates for their awesome products. Team participants will all win something and these gift certificates can apply to a variety of goodies.  Another of our personal sponsors and big supporters of landuse, MetalCloak is on the team, for sure.  Their frame built bumper is riding on our Jeep right now!  We love it.  Thanks MetalCloak for being in the game helping us to save trails and keep our sport alive.

F-O-A Shocks jumped right in with a Gift Certificate to help the participants walk away with something cool.  Thank you, FOA, we appreciate your support.   Check out their off-road shock technology at

Always good about helping us save trails, Premier Power Welder and Pull Pal are donating a Gift Certificate as well.  Our Premier Power Welder has rescued a lot of wheelers, including us on famous trails like the Rubicon and Moab.  Thank you again.  Visit these landuse supporters at

thanks to all who are supporting our Team Challenge for landuse.  Drop me a note to apply to compete as a team or to donate.  Thanks , Del

Reflecting on Our Changing Off-Road Sports

Reflecting on our Changing Sport.  As I sit in Wyoming, hunkered up in our motorhome struggling to get a good WiFi connection, I find myself reflecting on our off-road sports and how they are changing -- evolving.  Everything has to change, right?  So it is with our sports.  The picture here shows "Red" a few years ago on the Rubicon Trail -- about two rebuilds back it seems.                                                  Rock crawling competitions like Cal-Neva and W.E. Rock give us new innvovative modifications we can all use.  Tire size changes more than, well, socks!  "Red" started on 33's and now rides on 37's.  Recently we saw Top Truck Challenge (TTC) where 54's were the tire of choice.  Motors are trendy too.  Name me a JK owner that does not want a Hemi???  :) So what does all this mean?  Is it just change?  Is it good or bad?  What do we do about it?
I think it's just a normal part of any sport.  It's going to change.  Our Jeep is changing (again).  Many of you are doing mods and improving the performance of your rig -- which probably was pretty good to begin with.  But that's ok.   The KEY thing is that we embrace all aspects of our sports -- and the machines that take us there.  We learn and help each other do our sport responsibly.  We stay on the trails.  We pack it out.  We teach our kids the right thing to do.  My reflection tells me to not fight the change; but to embrace it and make it work for a positive future in off-road sports.  I hope you'll join me.

For more on how to get involved in saving our sport and making sure we have a viable future, try this link from my website:

And let's not forget to do the BASIC first step -- JOIN BlueRibbon Coalition and all those groups that make sense to you.  BRC website at

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Land Use Trip, Jeep Upgrades

We are at "ugly" in our Jeep rebuild.  Parts are everywhere.  The whole underbelly has been removed.  Old long arm kit: gone.  Old belly pan; gone.  Old skid plates; gone. Old shocks; gone.  Old brackets; gone.  YIKES.

T&T Customs has removed all the old parts, even the Atlas (that appears to have been clocked wrong).  Everything is being shaved and made ready for a clean install of new parts.

Mike, the magician mechanic, is making sure we've got everything lined up to do the best possible install ever.  T&T takes serious pride in "doing it right."  I can now attest to that.  They do not let anything past them -- even the small stuff.  Do it right is engraved into their foreheads.  :)

Here the T&T owner, Bob Levenhagen is performing some welds that would impress the best stick man.  Can't wait to see these axle trusses on my Ford 9 in the rear and Dana 44 up front.

Here's another shot of the "ugly" that we will now call BEFORE.  Just wait a day or so until we have the AFTER pics.

Parts hanging....even little things are being tended to, making sure the fit is right and the install is tight.  Wow, I'm impressed.  This is an amazing operation; very professional and very strict in attention to detail.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Land Use Trip Day 6, T&T Customs

Getting a tour of T&T Customs, Cheyenne, WY, where the Jeep is going to undergo major changes in the engineering and ride.

The "boys" in the welding/fab side of things give Stacie the tour.

Mike, the mechanic magician, shows some T&T work being done on another rig in the shop.  T&T suspension components are well-engineered and quality controlled.   This takes you jeep to another level where you can brag that you "Go Equipped."

the in-shop powder coating is a system that recycles the coating and really gets the parts protected.

Can't help but have a little fun with the machines in the shop. Everywhere we looked, it was apparent the T&T folks are professional and caring about the products they make and install.
More on T&T Customs at

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Land Use Trip Day 5, Wyoming

Wyoming takes pride in its wildlife.  Here we are viewing a habitat area from a Rest Stop along I-80.  Stac is working the spotting scope, looking for antelope and deer. 

We saw a ton of antelope alongside the freeway all day today.  Some with big horns too!!!

Can't say the whole drive across the bottom of Wyoming is one of our favorites, but we sure did enjoy the critters.  AND we had very little wind.

  Considering the winds sometime blow pretty regularly at 70MPH in this stretch of road....yikes.

This is the view we were enjoying from the Rest Stop. 

The other thing we saw were miles of snow drift fences right along I-80.  Found out these things also help keep patches of grass exposed for the winter herds of elk in the area so they have a source of browse.  Cool.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Land Use Trip Day 4, Utah

No stop in Salt Lake City, UT is complete without a visit to Temple Square.  We wanted to make sure Jessica got to see this unique part of our country's history, as well as the beautiful architecture.  It's impressive up close and personal.  SLC is a very clean town as well....nice people everywhere.

The campground even had a free guided shuttle over the the Square and plenty of volunteers are there to give you a tour and more on the LDS religion. 

This momument to "seagulls" is about the most unique I've ever seen.  In fact, I know of no other to a bird.  When the Mormon settlers were about to get wiped out by bugs (Mormon  Crickets), they prayed for relief and bingo.  The gulls swooped in by the millions and ate the crickets, thus saving the crops and the settlers.

Of course, the Great Salt Lake, like other inland salt lakes, attracts gulls and birds of all kinds during their migrations.  So toss in a few bazillion crickets, and I suspect these seagulls were packing some heavy bellies.

Temple Square is well tended and manicured.  The landscaping is colorful and beaufitul, with a large variety of flowers and shrubs.

As a musician, I must say this pipe organ was mind-boggling just to stand near it.  Marvelous piece of history that is still in use. 

Next stop is Cheyenne, WY for our Jeep rebuild at T&T Customs.  Here we come.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Land Use Trip Day 3, Utah

Day 3 of our Summer Land Use Trip started off with memories still hanging on of Lamoille Canyon.  Stacie got this beaver pond shot (which is up in the Ruby Mountains not far from Elko, NV).   What a great place.  We love the outback of Nevada and the many sights you can see with just a little exploring.

Elko, NV has one of the coolest museums full of natural and cultural history.  It's always worth a stop, especially for young eyes and ears.  Learning is always a part of our travels -- for all of us.   Get this, they found the bones of a Mastadon right outside town, not that long ago (the find).  He's been dead for 2 millions years.  Wow.

It the 1920's there was a cow thief around Elko County (Crazy Tex) that made up and used "cow shoes" to disguise his cattle rustling habit.   They never saw human foot prints after many rustlings over the years.  No one could figure it out.  He acquired quite a few steak dinners before ever getting caught.  Oh yea, they finally got him and he did a little time.  But everyone thought he was pretty inventive.   He was later shotgunned to death when he was in the 70's by a fueding neighbor.  
We are going to do some sightseeing around Salt Lake City next.  Utah is one of our favorite states. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Land Use Trip Day 1 and 2

Summer Land Use Trip Days 1 and 2
Our travels in the motorhome towing the jeep in the name of landuse and BlueRibbon Coalition include a little fun time and adventuring with our daughter, Jessica.  We're headed to Wyoming and Colorado.

My latest BlueRibbon shirt includes our newest sponsors, T&T Customs from Cheyenne, WY who are rebuilding the Jeep Albright, bottom up, new suspension system and tons of work.  And Magnum Ink who helped put the shirts together.  We are really pleased to be displaying a new T&T Customs Rock Tek suspenion when we get to CO for All 4 Fun with the Mile Hi Jeep Club.
On the road trip we try to get a walk in every day and here we are with a road workout as our shadows tag along in the sage brush nearby.


 Outside Elko, NV is Lamoille Canyon -- one of the most spectacular treasures in NV (in our thinking). We also stopped in downtown Elko to show Jessica the world's largest Polar Bear.  It's at the Commerical Casino downtown.  Whew...big boy.

Check out the desert Horned Toad we said hello to (then let go).  Next stop Salt Lake City, UT.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Poison Spyder Drum Set Land Use Raffle

A Rikki Rockett (Poison) drum set being raffled off to support charity including the BlueRibbon Coalition!  Get it on Poison Spyder who did custom work on the set.  This is amazing.  BUY some tickets and support the cause.  WOW. 
Thanks to KrawlZone TV for helping to get the word out.  Only $5 a ticket; get yours today.

Jeep Rebuild and Summer Landuse Trip

This is what "Red" the Jeep (Land Use War Machine) looked like about 14 years ago on the steps of the California State Capital for an OHV Lobby Day. Tube bumpers; nerf bar; 33's and a couple inches of lift.

He's been thru a few rebuilds since then, thanks to the help of many off-road businesses.  Well, he's about to go thru another one!

In the next couple weeks, Red will undergo another belly transformation at T&T Customs in Cheyenne, WY.  You can FOLLOW the progress here and on Facebook at

We are going to do a new long arm kit (T&T Rock Tek); truss the axles; upgrade to WJ (Grand Cherokee) brakes and knuckles; install a new Switch Blade Sway Bar System from JKS Manufacturing; smooth out the ride with Old Man Emu (OME) coils; pop in some new Fox Racing Shox; and add a custom T&T High Steer set up.  Pics and story here as we go along.

We'll also post up pics of our adventure getting there -- our Summer Landuse Trip.

Eldorado Nat'l Forest Exessive Cost Recovery

Seems like the Eldorado National Forest is trying to put OHV clubs in the bankruptcy catagory with excessive cost recovery charges for organized events.  It's happening in Moab, southern CA, and many other areas as well.  But here is an example where it appears anti-access political pressure is pushing the cost recovery thing as a way of shutting out our access for events.

Check out my partner Don Amador's blog about this and where things are headed:


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Volunteer Training Freedom Deal (online)

Online volunteer training course SALE -- all throughout July get RLTC for 2/3's off.
$50 for the whole course.

Nothing else like it in the whole country.  One of a kind training  for leadership, volunteerism and event organization.
Work at your own pace.  All done online.

Get 35 years of tips, tricks and secrets to managing and working with volunteers.  Learn 10 new things to help your club stay viable.  Get at least 3 new public speaking tips.   Learn the inside trick to managing events with the RICS system, like the command system used by the fire service all over the USA.  And gain invaluable communication tools that will help you in private, work and volunteer life.

Go here for more:
Drop me a note any time if you want to start the course.  Arrangements can be made to start now; pay later.