Tyler Branham

At a glance

  • Has three welders and an oxyacetylene torch because more ways to melt metal are always better
  • Favorite tool: 220V Air compressor - it gets fired up for every job
  • Believes Jeep XJs are the most economical 4x4 to wheel
  • Was one of the earliest members of the original Pirate4x4 forum before the database was nuked
  • Has had up to 9 Land Cruiser axles stashed in the parts pile at once
  • Hates mud, but always gets stuck in it anyway
  • Believes the FJ55 is the best looking SUV ever made

The Long Version

Tyler spent his formative years riding quads and dirt bikes. Since that wasn't expensive enough, he started his 4x4 journey by fixing up a rusted out FJ40 that arrived mostly in boxes. It was fun to drive until he realized the horsepower to be had with a small block Chevy swap.

When the welder showed up, slightly inebriated, and tried to charge him extra because he double-passed the low-penetration booger-welds he made, Tyler realized he needed to learn how to weld and bought a Lincoln AC stick welder.

Buying a welder, of course, is the gateway drug to 4x4 fabrication. This would lead to tube benders, chop saws, regular trips to buy steel, tube bumpers, linked suspensions, roll cages, spring overs, chopped tubs, and bobbed frames.

He's rebuilt engines, transmissions, axles and transfer cases. If he's not working on a vehicle, he's usually got a stock of parts that are being prepped - like his recently rebuilt R151 transmission with the AX15 input shaft that he'll probably mate to a Buick 3800 II that's sitting in the corner of the shop.

Tyler has camped and wheeled in most parts of the country from Maine to Florida and across from Oregon to Arizona. He knows how important land access issues are, having grown up on the East Coast and experienced the wide open spaces of the West. (As it turns out, some states get the open spaces and rust-free trucks that we'd kill for in the east.)

Tyler likes research. He keeps notebooks, spreadsheets, and images on as much 4x4 information as he can find. This usually means spending hours going through forums, finding out-of-print military manuals, and just taking stuff apart and putting it back together again.

One of the primary purposes of his writing is to make fourwheeling a little safer, a little easier, and a lot more fun.