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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/01/2023 in Posts

  1. 12 points
    Hello everyone! Fresh back from another adventure through the north end of the state. It's always incredible to drive through Arizona and see how truly diverse the landscape, geography, people, and the weather can be here. It's amazing. Folks on this trip included: @Bradywgn71 @theksmith @Dennis Szymanski @Ken Ford @Mick Bowers @AZRNintheJeep242 @OffroadFun @Curly For this adventure we laid down the miles and met up in Seligman at the famous Roadkill Cafe, right on old Route 66. It's a sleepy little down, but one full of history and interesting things to look at. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the Roadkill Cafe and then jumped on a beautiful section of Old Route 66 on our way into Peach Springs. The road was nice and smooth, the white plains of grass ebbed up and down with the mesas and plateaus in the distance. We descended into Peach Springs, a very small town on the Hualapai reservation, and quickly found the Hualapai Lodge. Across the street next to a market was the one-room office that Hualapai Game & Fish uses for their permit operations. We queued up in line, paid out $16.27 per person, and then received our "Permit to Trespass" down to the Colorado River via Diamond Creek Road. As we aired down, someone noted that the BNSF railway had trains thundering through on almost 15 minute intervals. After we were aired down, we hit the trail, which was literally across the street. After passing through the pretty depressing suburbs of the reservation, the views quickly opened up into pristine and towering canyon walls. The road was graded in some spots and bumpy in others. We only saw 3 other vehicles our entire time on the road - with an additional stop by a Hualapai Ranger who meticulously checked every permit in the group with a discerning eye. You can see my permit jammed up on the center of the windshield. Running deeper and deeper into the canyon, the walls grew taller and taller. Eventually they topped out at almost 3,000 feet above road level. Not as deep as the well-known south rim of the Grand Canyon, but 3K feet of vertical rock ain't nothin' to sniff at. For reference, I shoot with a 35mm camera - this gives you the approximate field of view of the average human eyeball. Hopefully that puts some of these images in perspective. We drove through the thickest ocotillo forest I've personally seen here in the southwest. They were everywhere, green, and thick with life. We made multiple creek crossing over Diamond Creek, which was bubbling and flowing with crystal clear water every few thousand feet. After about an hour, we made it to the mighty Colorado. The water was MOVIN'. Like really moving. You could see powerful ripples in the river as it moved over the rocky bottom, scraping the sides of the canyon and picking up silt and mud. Checking the topographical maps, the peaks around us topped about 4,600ft above sea level - the river is at 1,300ft. Fun Fact: The elevation of the Colorado River at Bright Angel in the GCNP near the South Rim visitor center is 2,540ft above sea level, so there is more than a 1,000 foot drop over in water surface level about 125 miles. This helps explain the extreme momentum of the river. By the time the river hits Lake Havasu you're just 440 ft above sea level. The surrounding canyon walls on the South Rim are 7,000ft and over 8,000 at the North Rim. Here's the crew checking out the river. We broke to lunch at some nice pavilions with concrete tables with the roar of the river in the distance. After lunch, we made our way out the canyon. We made it back to Peach Springs, aired up, and headed up the 66, connecting to I40 into Williams. After a brief fuel stop, we made our way to camp for drinks and some fireside socializing (always my favorite part of every trip!) The next morning - we packed up and started our whirlwind tour of the wonders Kaibab NF has to offer - starting with the grand daddy of them all - Sycamore Canyon - Arizona's little known 2nd largest canyon. We had several first-timers with us who had never seen or heard of the canyon. Here's a nice shot of Dennis and Jeanine ogling the canyon and the snow-capped peaks of the San Francisco Mountains :) Here's the view they were taking in: A few years ago the Raphael Fire swept through the canyon. Note the burned trees along the canyon wall in the foreground: After "oohing and aaahing" the canyon, we headed north to connect with Sarah, Chris, Devon, & Tim. Sarah brought doughnuts! YUM! Our next destination was nicely labeled: If you know - you know: Our plans to check out the Hardy Hill Trestle didn't pan out as there was a large tree blocking the trail, so we took an alternative route down a pipeline trail, which was surprisingly pretty. We made our way to Johnson Crater, an approx 1km wide hole in the ground. The story on it is its either a sinkhole or somehow related to past volcanic activity. We then made another fuel stop in Williams and made our way to camp. The site we stayed at on Friday night was so nice, we decided to do it all over again! Here's Jack's neat "spaceship tent". Ken - setting up the Leslie's Pool Guy truck camper shell: Dennis and Jeanine's nice custom overland trailer and RTT setup: Darryl's rig, blending in to it's surroundings: Here's Kristoffer - enjoying breakfast in the sunrise the next morning: Marty's Betty Lou: Mick's sweet trail limo: Sunday morning we took Jerome-Perkinsville Road into Jerome, stopping a few times to take in the views. Government Canyon was pretty neat, hidden beneath a pretty inconspicuous bridge. Of course, it wouldn't be ORP without some shenanigans! This photo makes me think ORP is about the drop the sickest alt-rock album of 2023: "Boats & Hoes" Jumping back on the trail, things were pretty dusty (for most of the trip!). The switchbacks always make for fun photos: We stopped at the Perkinsville Bridge for a quick photo and to check out the Verde River. The views all along J-P road are always stellar: All in all - it was a great trip with a great group of people. I love the ORP fam! Thank you all for coming out and making it such a great and memorable trip!
  2. 11 points
    She is named after my 2nd cousin - Grace Mildred. I had only met Grace 2x in my life, probably 20 years ago, and she seemed pretty nice. In 2018 her home in Paradise, CA burnt down, and she was in a hotel in Chico CA with her dog, widowed, age 90, with no children, no belongings except her and her dog and her car. So I flew in and drove her to her brother's in NY. We got along famously on that one week trip in December across the snow filled US 80, and every time that I visited my mom and dad in nw PA, I went to see her. We talked often on the phone. She passed in October 2022 and I still miss the dear friend. This one was from her, for her. Meet Millie.
  3. 10 points
    just got back from Alaska, and a highlight of the trip was the all-day backcountry tour we did where we drove a couple of Argo 8x8 Conquest 950 Outfitter series rigs with aftermarket tracks. the adventure was through Destination Alaska Charters, a family business in Homer. the owner Scott was our main guide, along with one of his employees, Timmy. we got to do all the driving though. this part of Alaska in the summer is primarily really wet mud. often where there's grass or brush, there's still insanely deep mud waiting just an inch below the surface - found as soon as you step or drive there. 20230612_124032.mp4 even 6x6 side-by-side rigs get stuck easily here. but this is where the fully sealed, smooth bottom, high-floatation Argo's excel. they aren't very fast (maybe 11mph max), but they churn through muck and can float in rivers. they even have built-in bilge pumps! with the optional tracks installed, the 8x8s are *nearly* unstoppable. we did manage to need the winches a couple times though! 20230612_115158.mp4 the Argos have a hybrid skid-steer type system that is a bit sensitive and takes some getting used to. there's a normal looking handlebar, but turning it actually engages brakes on either side so you get sort of a tank steering effect. we didn't manage to find any wildlife besides ptarmigans, but we did see fairly recent tracks from a moose with 2 calves and some huge prints from a bear that seem to be tracking them. this tour was expensive, but IMO totally worth it to experience driving a unique type of rig in one of the most scenic areas of the country. and for those that know me, i'm sure you're wondering... no i didn't wear my trail flops as they provide these suave waders instead!
  4. 10 points
    We joined a small group of capable offroad vehicles for an “easy forest service” road picnic. This was a chance to test out our 4x4 that had been making a weird rattle noise for sometime. We started in Williamson Valley and the plan was to have a nice lunch and exit through Skull Valley area near Iron Springs Road. It was a beautiful sunny day and the first portion of the trail was easy sandy roads with some minor running streams. We had to turn around once as one of the trucks wouldn’t have made a stream crossing. Not a big deal it happens. We then took a long route up to a ridgeline with nice views of the mountains towards Baghdad, AZ. In the middle of nowhere we came across a rancher with a flatbed Unimog. He stated it had been stuck in deep mud for several days and he just got it out. He warned us to be careful the trail had some deep mud but with our built rigs we should be ok. We thanked him and moved along. **This was one of those here is your sign moments** We found the spot he had been stuck in but it was only a short section and we made it through with horsepower and careful placement. A little further on we found our first quicksand/mud area. The lead vehicle (suburban) sunk in front of us. With a heavy Factor 55 kinetic rope we were easily able to pull him back. During this time one of the group members, in a very nicely modified Gladiator, attempted to come around that area but found even deeper mud. Sunk his whole rear end and not going to move. He had to use his winch line to pull himself up and out of that. 20230325_132312.mp4 We continued and the trail became the normal rocky Arizona forest road with not much difficultly. Along the way we stopped for a BBQ lunch and enjoyed finally getting out after a long winter. After lunch, we joined a larger main easy road and made our way to Skull Valley. Lots of running water but no mud and no issues. We were a few miles from town and hit a locked gate. Such a bummer. We were told it was a 50/50 chance on the gate being open. Not our lucky day. The trail leader knew this area well and we had two other options. A direct route back to Williamson Valley on a newer small forest service road or a power line trail to the south. Our group chose the shorter route since storms were in the area and it was later than expected. We had some kids who needed to get home and animals at home that needed fed. We made our way to the north and the trail was fine. A few small stream crossings but nothing much. As we were about halfway to being done with this spur trail the Suburban in front of us just sunk in seconds. The trail was dry and it was a big surprise. Turns out there was a crust of dry dirt over “mud soup”. It was clear none of us could go forward with the trail melting in front of us. Chris was behind the Suburban and we attached our winch line and attempted to drag him backwards. Unfortunately, our big Grand Cherokee (on one-tons) then also broke through the crust and sunk on the right side all the way to the frame. The entire 37” tires gone on the right side and no hope of moving. The whole front right bumper at ground level. This was the most stuck we have ever been in years of wheeling. We had to shuffle the group a bit and got the big Gladiator behind us. He attempted to winch us, but our Jeep refused to move. The mud was too deep. Tires turning freely and no hoping of escaping the mud soup/quicksand crap! Chris tried to then pull himself forward using the Suburban as an anchor, but it just wouldn’t move. Our jeep was sunk. The Gladiator then got turned around and got out his kinetic rope. We are so thankful he had this!! We pulled a stupid and all our recovery gear, except for 1 soft shackle, was sitting in our other jeep at home! Now that is super helpful and not our usual!! The Gladiator had to take several attempts at pulling us out but eventually got the big WJ pulled backwards to a small patch of more solid ground. See Video. By this time it was dark out and getting cold fast. Snow was even starting to spit at us! Not ideal for sure. Now the issue of getting the first vehicle pulled out started. For several hours the group tried multiple plans that failed. Finally, Chris was attached to the Gladiator with a tow rope. Then the Gladiator was attached to the Suburban with that kinetic rope. They took several shots at it and finally after a long time and much shoveling of mud the vehicle finally was forcefully yanked out of its happy mudhole. They had to drag him around 30 feet backwards. This was around 7pm. I’m sorry I don’t have video at this time or photos of this one as I was helping spot and communicate to Chris. I should add we were all soaked with mud and one of he guys even lost his boots to the mud and was barefoot in this cold. Additionally there were some minor injuries to hands and feet from helping out during the recovery. The bushes were not kind in this area and the shoveling was rough without gloves for some of the people. Link to us getting dragged out of the first sinkhole spot: https://photos.app.goo.gl/XuDbYQ9NUMnwmJru6 One other “fun” factor was there was almost no cell signal in this area. The one group member was able to get a text out to a panicked mom (was a friend of one of the other kids who was with us that day) and get someone to take care of her horses. After that the cell signal died and no one could get messages out. Totally alone and miles from a “town”. The group then backtracked and hoped to smoothly get back to the main road so we could try going home on the powerline trail. We were in the lead and navigating in the dark. I’m thankful I was recording the gpx track. As we were approaching a stream area, we knew we needed to stay hard left as and then make a turn up the bank to the right out of the stream. This was all solid when we went in but leaving the earth opened up swallowing the front right of our jeep into quicksand. We sunk over the front right bumper and leaned hard into the bank on the passenger side. There was no going forward or back, and we were again stuck. This time though we had stream water coming in and filling the passenger side. I couldn’t get out of the vehicle to pull the winch line so our team leader had to come through the water and mud to pull our line to a tree. Thankfully in this area there was a large tree. Our jeep also decided in this moment to break the window regulator, so the driver’s back window was down. Karma considered running away during this moment! Our winch pulled us out thankfully and we got up to the dry bank in maybe 15 minutes. This was certainly a surprise and I’m thankful for our good Warn 10k winch. It would have been helpful earlier to have our full recovery gear, but we thought we were going to make it back out to the main road where we started this spur trail. However, the truck behind us was mostly stock and we warned her to try to avoid the hole we just ended up in. She unfortunately also found the sink hole that had expanded since we got out of it. She sunk even deeper than we did and we later learned she had some electrical damage. Chris flipped around and tried from multiple angles to pull her out using the winch. We were limited on dry ground and didn’t want to sink in the steam as then the whole group would be blocked by us. NO such luck. She was stuck too deep and the bank in front of her right front tire was too steep. Chris then turned around and we tried to use the kinetic rope to pull her forward. Tried again several times and several angles. Even tried backing up the steep bank on the other side of the stream but we started to sink, and we all agreed this wasn’t working. This is after she pulled back. She was sunk in about 4ft deep on her right front when up at the bank wall. We moved our Jeep out of the way while the rest of the group scouted the area around us to see how we were going to get her out and the rest of the group around this deep sinkhole. The Gladiator then pulled her backwards and the group had to bushwhack up and around the trail. The issue now is a very steep bank (8 ft vertical) that dropped the truck on her nose, and she couldn’t make it to the other side of the stream. One of the guys attempted to shovel out her front to find her tow point but couldn’t find it. They had to pull her backwards and hang by the rope and then one of the guys attached the tow strap. That was scary! Chris then dragged her out and up to a safe area. I hate having to go off trail and do this, but we’d otherwise be spending the night, abandoning vehicles, and walking out. With the cold this got scary fast. Lot of prayers said. My poor dog was shaking from fear and all the rough rope pulls. Most of us were shivering badly in this area for hours. The group was amazing despite this. Everyone worked well together, communicated respectfully, and even tried to bring humor to a very very tough evening. While the rest of the group was making it through “the bypass around” and dropping into the creek, we noticed the truck’s tire was flat. This is when we discovered she didn’t have a spare. A few of the guys attempted to see if it could be plugged but it turned out to be her inner TPMS valve was leaking. They fixed that but later found that the bead had come off and wouldn’t reseal due to all the mud and sand. We continued to lead the way out and in the dark it was a challenge. We kept needing to stop to fill the truck tire with air but eventually she decided to leave her vehicle at the main road once we got back there. So now it is around 1am and we have to try the Powerline trail. Our nerves were fried but the group was successful and it turned out that the powerline trail was in much better shape and limited mud and no sink holes. We made it to a main gravel road and out to Williamson Valley by around 230am. Home by 3am. In reflecting on the situation a lot went right but we certainly could do better in the future. Hopefully no mud sinkhole futures for us again and we won’t be wheeling in areas that get this much water or snow. There have been record amounts of rain and snow in central Arizona so please be careful. I swear I have mud PTSD now. We were on trail almost 16 hours not counting the time for lunch. What a long day! We did make some new friends and have a crazy story to tell!! The woman was brought back to her truck the next morning with a spare tire. We spent the next day cleaning the jeep and are still trying to dry out the r side. I am shocked but no major damage. Lost a spot mirror, a few new scratches, need to fix the window regulator, regrease everything, and check the diff fluid. Lesson Learned/Tips -Actually, pack your recovery gear in the vehicle you are in. We are now building a full second recovery kit so we have a dedicated set. We are adding a factor 55 winch line repair tool https://factor55.com/product/fast-fid-new/ We are adding heavy 1” kinetic rope likely the Yankum Ropes https://yankum.com/collections/kinetic-recovery-ropes/products/rattler-kinetic-recovery-rope?variant=39734984999118 made for 1 ton vehicles (we weigh around 6500lbs), and adding a winch retention pulley https://factor55.com/product/rope-retention-pulley/ and some extra soft shackles. A warn 10K winch not enough with a straight pull for this mud. Had we had the donut tool we could have doubled the winch line for more strength. In the first sinkhole there were no trees so that was not helpful either. - I'm thankful we all knew how to use the winch, what tools would work best, and working together we were able to make it home that night. Some of the guys race in King of the Hammers and have a ton of trail recovery experience. I am so thankful we were with awesome people who were committed to not leaving anyone behind and doing it as safely as possible. -Kinetic ropes are amazing in these conditions. It really is the only thing that saved all of us all evening. I highlight recommend you get a good quality one. -Understand that with the months of rain and snow Prescott National Forrest in this area is soaked and even if the trail looks dry underneath it likely is not. This area and further north are going to need a long time to dry. Seen two other friends get seriously stuck in the Camp Woods area recently. -Make sure to have a full set of spare clothes and warm weather gear. We personally had winter jackets but could have used a change of pants and socks. Others in the group needed heavy jackets for this freezing nighttime temps. Don’t forget your dogs too and bring jackets if they need them. -Add extra hand warmers for other members of the group. Add emergency blankets and other items to stay warm. We had about 4 handwarmers but not enough to pass out to everyone. We personally could have slept the night (even with the open window) and would have made it. -Have extra high-quality flashlights with enough battery life to get you through the night. We personally had 3 flashlights to be able to help with the recovery but discovered 2 of them were crappy. I have ordered better ones. The waterproof flashlight came out handy when our jeep took on water and of course the flashlight fell into the water!! -Have your active Garmin In -Reach or Spot. Are we were in had zero cell signal. We hadn’t been trail riding much and had deactivated it to save money. But looking back this should have been on and could have gotten us help sooner. We just said oh it’s an easy picnic forest service road shouldn’t be any issue. Have cellphone numbers to text through Garmin or Spot when you need help. -Pack an extra meal and more water than you think you need. Other members needed food and water and we were limited in what we could share. Needless to say we were super hungry from eating lunch at 1pm and getting home at 3am! Pack extra meal and water for your dogs too! I had plenty of snacks for them so they were fine thankfully. -Harness your dogs and have a net or attach them to the jeep somehow. Karma went flying at one point and hit the dash super hard during a pull. I couldn’t have her and Cooper out of the Jeep and help. Plus it was in theory safer inside than in the mud and cold. Dogs are ok but it could have been worse for sure. -Make sure to tell someone what area and preferably what specific trails you plan to run and when you plan to get back. I tried sending a text at 3pm to a friend saying where we were but it never transmitted until 1am. Lessons we got right -Knowing how to navigate your way out if the trail leader can’t or if someone’s device fails. -Knowing where your first aid is and how to use it -Know how to use your recovery gear and be prepared to use it for others benefit. -Know hand signals for winching and winching safety. Be able to communicate effectively under stress was key for us. -Know how to trail repair a tire. Have someone with on board air to continually refill a tire that can’t be repaired -Have a SPARE tire. - Bring extra gloves -Bring full size shovel. We only had one for the whole group which slowed down the digging out of the vehicle. -Have a bottle jack available. High lift was available but didn’t work for the vehicle we needed to use it on. -Had extra blankets in case we had to sleep in the Jeep that night -Have hiking boots for when you need to walk to town - Communication with GMRS and had an extra radio to share. Despite being a new group we ran with everyone was patient, respectful, and worked very well as a team. They even kept a sense of humor even thought the situation is dire! -Ask for help. We had some newer people on the trail but they did a great job of staying calm and asking for help when they needed it. Everyone was excellent at making sure they were as comfortable as they could be and being supportive. So that is the story of our long Saturday night on an “easy forest service road”. I am so thankful we made it home and will be making changes to what we bring on “just a day trip.” I may have more videos of us being recovered but trying to obtain those.
  5. 10 points
    Got the rocksliders installed today. I went with the LOD signature series sliders. Heavy as hell, but a pretty easy install. I had to grind one bolt hole a bit larger. We are ready to go offroading!!
  6. 9 points
  7. 9 points
    well the "lost" motor mounts decided to show up late last night! i was able to get the engine in and put everything mostly back together today. probably need a couple more hours in the morning to wrap up and then hopefully it runs!
  8. 9 points
    Gadget started to have short spikes of running a little hot (230*) randomly even though it's been cool weather. i also noticed the coolant overflow tank getting filled almost every time i drove (then getting sucked back to nearly empty when the rig cooled as it should). i bled the system multiple times and replaced the radiator cap, but then i also noticed the exhaust smelling sweet on initial startup. so last week i used a block check type fluid test and confirmed my suspicion, Gadget has a combustion leak. she continues to seemingly run fine (other than getting warm) and does not throw any codes. however, i spoke with Joe at On Point Performance and Offroad and he informed me that continuing do drive with coolant entering the exhaust could ruin the catalytic converters. those are over $1k each, so she's been parked since confirming the leak. Joe also said in his experience with the 3.6L it was about equal chance of being a cracked head vs just a head gasket. the only way to know for sure was to take it apart and send the head out to be checked. based on several factors, i decided to put in a whole reman engine instead of digging into the top end... Gadget has 164k miles on her and I've had horrible luck with this engine since day 1. besides the typical oil cooler replacements, she's already had 1 complete new head, another camshaft, and had rocker arms & lifters replaced at least 4 times (i've lost count)! and i have what appears to be a large rear main seal leak currently. there's also not that much more labor to replace the entire thing versus a head. i'd hate to spend the effort on a head replacement only to have the other side leak soon after or need to replace the oil pump, etc. the 3.6L engines are at least plentiful. so despite the overall complexity of the DOHC layout and VVT system, a remanufactured long block can be had for $3,500. or, a completely new long block from Mopar is just under $7k. for that price difference i've decided to roll the dice on the reman and just hope to get 100k miles before i have to tear into it again. i also still have a dream of swapping in a 5.7L and 8 speed trans at some point. so if the remain can get me by for another few years, maybe i could acquire parts for that swap in the meantime - a man can dream right? FYI, a full gasket set for these engines is over $300! while i'm in there, i'll also replace a few sensors and the only remaining original coolant hoses (to the heater core and oil cooler). so that will bring the project total with tax & shipping closer to $4,400. ouch! thankfully i can do all the labor myself which saves several thousand dollars. the reman engine should be here Thursday or Friday, so I'll start working on pulling the old one mid-week.
  9. 9 points
  10. 9 points
    another successful Offroad Passport holiday party in the books - what a great way to kick off the new year! i hope everyone had as much fun as we did. it's always nice to meet new members and catch up with folks we haven't seen for a while. a big THANK YOU to everyone for bringing all the sides and random stuff we needed, making it a fun low-stress event, and for not leaving a scrap of trash behind - you all rock! also, special thanks to: @4x4tographer for cooking, leading the easy ride group, getting things setup, and generally being so awesomely helpful! @aimee for cooking, helping setup/teardown, organize the chaos, and all her support! @Yodamom for helping setup, teardown and generally organize/direct the shenanigans! Anne Marie for running the cookie contest! Brady for driving separate with all the junk we needed to bring! @johnpa for tailgunning and Lori for helping us learn to count! @Jbjr for stepping up with the propane last minute! @lofreqjeff for handling the job no-one really wants but is so important - trash duty! CONGRATULATIONS to @Curly's wife Devon for her yummy winning oatmeal cookies - enjoy your new ORP shirt! and a special mention for our runner-up Brynna who was only one vote shy of a tie for winner! hope to see you all on the trail again soon!
  11. 9 points
  12. 9 points
    Started today by washing Barbie for the last time. Sold her this afternoon. My first Jeep, first 4x4. 18 years of ownership. More than anything else, this Jeep changed our lives. We have met so many fine people and had so many memorable trips. She is headed for Apache Junction with a young man and his dreams of building his first jeep. I hope he enjoys her as much as we have.
  13. 9 points
    @SonoranWanderer @Michael Trapschuh @Gonzo-Ralph and myself made the trek from Carefee to Dugas via the Verde Rim. We were rewarded with magnificent views of stunning scenery accentuated by color from the wildflower bloom. The run went off without a hitch. The only hiccup was that access to the Verde River was blocked for whatever reason. I guess the government is afraid we would have drowned ourselves in the swollen river. Thanks again to everyone who made it out today! Here are some of my attempts at photos (I hate taking pictures by the way) lol!
  14. 9 points
    Spent the last three days hiking the corridor trails at the Grand Canyon for my volunteer “job”. I know most of Arizona the canyon has had a wetter than normal winter. Here are a couple of pictures of the icicles on the upper part of the Bright Angel trail Also, if the park service recommends shoe traction devices please, please believe them. Some of the slip and falls I witnessed were very, scary.
  15. 9 points
    It's official now. Bumble has his Hood Sticker and some window stickers too. 😎
  16. 9 points
    Starting to do some mods to get Bumble Trail ready. Installed larger, wider off road tires today. Went from 31 to 33 inch. They sales guy at Discount tire talked me into wider rims and I am glad he did. These are about 1.5 inches wider and have a more positive offset, helping to visually fill wheel wells. Plus, I am VERY happy with how the new rims look. When we brought it home: New Tires and rims Installed Seat covers on the front seats. We always cover the seats in any vehicle we buy. This protects them from my butt sliding across the cushion on the way in and out. Removed the rear seats so we can maximize the room for camping gear. Lots of room back here! Next up, Rock sliders. We are leaning towards the LoD brand.
  17. 8 points
    We had a great trip to the AFNM today to check out some ruins and petroglyphs. Thanks to everyone who made it out........saw some familiar faces and new ones! The weather wasn't bad at all! The petroglyphs were phenomenal! The trail down from the escarpment to the Brooklyn Mine has experienced some significant erosion.......the trail rating for that portion could now be borderline 'moderate minus'. But with some careful spotting everyone made it through with no issues. Here are a few pictures:
  18. 8 points
    on to the inside all the little things like Brady's old floor mats and grab handles were swapped in. then we got the new-to-us Sony head unit installed, thanks for that @mesach. we used a PAC RP4-CH11 wiring harness and interface module to retain the steering wheel buttons and provide a reverse output to trigger the rear camera. the Jeep already had headliner inserts, i think they are the Bedrug version. we swapped in some LED bulbs i already had for the overhead lights. the cloth seats were the only thing we couldn't really clean up well. they need a carpet shampooer or steam cleaner. worst case if they don't come clean then B can get some covers for them. next we ran all the wiring for his sub. we decided to secure it with just a tie-down strap so that he still can easily access the jack and other storage area under the rear deck. B will have to get a black strap since all i had handy was this obnoxious orange thing! here's the final pile of things we removed: and how she looks now: a shot of our matched-color Jeep fleet ;)
  19. 8 points
    Hello everyone! Excited to announce the Offroad Passport Club's 2024 Event Lineup! There are 12 official events on the 2024 itinerary! Many are multi-day overland style adventures, along with day/night runs, the Holiday Party and the 15th Annual Dirt Formal Gala (which is returning to the Cinders for 2024!) Trail ratings range from easy to extreme, and are located primarily in Arizona, though we'll also visit California, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah! Some trips are live NOW - others will be posted and opened for sign-ups as the year goes on. Be sure to check out the Adventures section of the site from time to time to keep on top of the latest! Massive thanks to all of the club members who stepped up and volunteered to plan and lead these trips. These folks were willing to commit to leading their adventures well in advance so that other ORP members can plan ahead. We also try to have a full year's worth of events on the calendar so prospective new members can see what a vibrant and active club this is! Most of these trips are open to members of the Offroad Passport Club only, so if you haven't upgraded yet - don't miss out! The Holiday Party and the Dirt Formal Gala are open to any basic members.
  20. 8 points
    WOW! What a trip! 😎 It was so great to see everyone, old friends and new friends alike! Our family had a heckuva good time on this one, exploring an area we've never been, and seeing a celestial event like no other. Massive thanks to everyone that made the big drive to hang out with us: @theksmith @johnpa @J2DXPLR @Visket @Alexis For this trip, we congregated near Mexican Hat, Utah, which was just a few miles from the centerline for the path the moon's umbra would take as it transited from the PNW down into Central America - pass right right through the Four Corners region. Just 6 hours away and with plenty of trail options to explore, it was a natural choice! We selected John's Canyon for the trip - it was rated as a moderate trail and would serve as a good "gatekeeper" to filter out the Prius drivers and get away from the big crowds that would descend on the region. In the below map, I marked where we stopped to view the eclipse - note the blue centerline for the umbra - we were approx 3-4 miles from "center". John's Canyon Trail was rated as moderate - but we found it to be very easy. It was a smooth dirt road for the most part, with a few minor dips. Any stock, 2WD high clearance SUV would have no issues on the trail all the way up to the John's Canyon Waterfall, where you'll need some flex and good clearance. From that point on, the trail is more "traditional 4x4" territory. We meet up "early" in the morning at 7am MDT, just 30 minutes before sunrise at a 7-11 in Mexican Hat. The trailhead was a quick jaunt up the road about 4 miles. As we passed through the area you could see the local authorities prepping for a crowd. The EMTs and LEOs had set up a base camp on the corner and there were port-a-potties around. Further up the road we ran into small crowds of RVs, van lifers, and campers. As we stopped to air down, the sun rose. Our sleepyhead friends know how to boogie! They caught us up just as we were stopping to air down. The sun had just broke over the canyon walls behind them, illuminating their dust wake. Airing down and enjoying the rising sun! In terms of weather.... what weather? This is a look west from the trailhead at Cedar Point. The famous Muley Point is hidden behind this formation. @Alexis taking in the views: Along the way we saw a great many things! The trail was fun, winding through the canyon, hugging the walls. There were interesting boulders and petroglyphs along the way... and of course plentiful views of the Goosenecks below through which the San Juan River has slowly carved out the canyons over the millennia. Look closely - this view of these petroglyphs is from the road - they're easily the largest I've ever seen. This rock face was perfectly flat and approximately 30-40 ft across. We stopped here for the eclipse, just inside of the "new" Bears Ears NM. Here's a view looking north. What a great place to witness the eclipse! A photo of the spot on iPhone: We watched the eclipse just over this ridge: Speaking of eclipses: Full annularity at approx 10:29 am MDT Now - we all know the moon isn't perfectly round (neither is the Earth for that matter). It's a spheroid and has mountains and craters. If you look closely at the below photo, you can see those mountains and high-points at the southern pole of the moon interacting with the edge of the solar disc: During a TOTAL Solar Eclipse, this would result in something called Baily's Beads, which you can see with the naked eye during a Total Eclipse (not safe during an Annular Eclipse). Another shot of the mountains at the edge of the solar disc: Moving out of annularity: One last shot:\\ During the eclipse, we noticed the air temperatures began to fall as the moon's shadow passed over us. We also noticed a red shift in the light around us. You can see this if you look closely at this Timelapse: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4dNYMX2cP8yB7F7R7 After the festivities and some lunch - we spent about 3 hours sitting and marveling - we headed down the trail a bit to John's Waterfall. After the waterfall, some of the group split off to head deeper into the canyon to camp. The rest of us made our way back out the way we came. All in all - a wonderful trip. I really enjoyed hanging out with you all and sharing in this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle!
  21. 8 points
    Out with the old and in with the new. I traded in the 2020 Gladiator Mojave for a 2023 RAM 2500 Rebel HD. I wanted 5th wheel towing capability but I did not entirely want to give up offroad chops. The Power Wagon is light in payload and towing, but this new Rebel HD at 2750 payload and 16800 towing (as configured) splits the difference between a Power Wagon and pure street towing pickup. This a new trim level for the 2023 model year. You can get them with either a 6.7L Cummings or a 6,4 Liter HEMI, but beware due to the softer than street suspension of the Rebel, the diesel engine cuts nearly a thousand pound off of the payload and 2K pounds off of towing. Also, diesel models cannot be had with the factory winch option as the intercooler goes where the winch would. Because towing and factory winch, I ordered the HEMI option. Strangely enough, Stellantis anticipated high diesel demand and produced the first batch as entirely diesel. I had to custom order to get a HEMI. Modifications will be light. While I want to create a new "overland" build, distinct from my JLUR which is meant as my technical route vehicle, I want to maintain towing capacity. So for now, no lift is planned and since the factory tires are already 34", I'll leave the wheels and tires alone for now. The most I'd probably go with in the future is 35s. I'm not one good with naming, so I'll probably stick with calling it the "Rebel". Despite no lift nor aftermarket tires, the highest point on the Rebel, the top of the GPS, SiriusSM, and cellular antenna, is higher than the highest point on my JLUR lifter 3.5 inches and sitting on 37s. It's sitting at maybe a hair under 6' 10". But given the wheelbase, I'm not sure it would clear well in parking garages, like the Phoenix Airport calling for <= 6'10". TBD. It was custom ordered with the 6.4L Hemi, RAMBox, winch, sunroof, every towing option including rear air suspension, dual alternators, and the 12" console. At 5'6", sitting in this thing makes me feel kinda tiny to be honest. It does fit in my garage, but just barely. There is no getting past the front or rear of it with the garage door closed. Some options are mutually exclusive and unfortunately not all marketed options were available (eg: trailer reverse steering, digital rear view mirror) but I ordered just about every option you could get in April 2023 for a HEMI Rebel intended to tow and still go back country. 2023 RAM 2500 Rebel HD Olive Green Pearl–Coat Exterior Paint (two-tone over Diamond Black) 6.4L V8 Heavy–Duty HEMI MDS Engine with 8–Speed Auto ZF 8HP75 Transmission Power 410 hp (306 Kw) @ 5,600 RPM Torque 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•M) at 4,000 RPM Dual alternators (380 amp total) BW 44-46 electronic shift transfer case w/ 2.64 low range Limited–Slip diff with electronic locking rear and conventional diff front axles 4.10 Axle Ratio Automatic–Leveling Rear Air–Suspension RamBox Cargo Management System w/ Bed Utility Group Power Sunroof Factory installed Warn Zeon 12 Winch Towing Technology Group Center Stop Lamp with Cargo–View Camera, Surround–View Camera System, Blind–Spot with Tag Trailer & Cross–Path Detection, Trailer Reverse Guidance Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring System Safety Group Lane Keep assist, fwd collision warning, adaptive steering Level 2 Equipment Group Leather everywhere, front cooled and heated seat, rear heated seats, and heated steering wheel 12" Display w/ 17 speaker Harmon Kardon Audio Bi–Function LED Projector Headlamps Adaptive forward lighting (follows steering up to 15 degrees) Auto dimming rear and telescoping side-view mirrors Adaptive Cruise Control Like the Power Wagon, the Rebel HD has 11.1 inches of clearance and a water fording depth of 30 inches and a 429 RTI (ramp travel index). Misc Stuff: 8HP75–LCV Transmission Gear Ratios 1st 4.71 2nd 3.14 3rd 2.10 4th 1.67 5th 1.29 6th 1.00 7th 0.84 8th 0.67 Reverse 3.30 Battery: Group 65, maintenance-free, 730 CCA
  22. 8 points
  23. 8 points
    40 years in Yuma. We used DV as a vacation spot in July. 😎
  24. 8 points
    The views were awesome. Thanks for another great run. So happy to find that Mrs Shellback really isn’t a figment of your imagination 🤣 Some Pics from the day.
  25. 8 points
    So, I was under the impression that the cabin we visited on Saturday was called Moki cabin, but it turns out it is either Aspen springs cabin or Houston cabin. I found out the main cabin burned in 1976, but I couldn't find a picture of it. The forest service is supposed to have photo, but my google-fu failed me on that one. I did find a picture of the barn taken in 2019, it was in a bit better shape then. I pulled this write up off the forest service site for the cabin: For much of its length the Houston Brothers Trail wanders along the bottom of Houston Draw, a picturesque little valley through which a spring-fed perennial stream flows. T he scenery here is mostly pastoral with a few photogenic rock outcrops and aspen groves to remind you that you are in Rim country. This trail served a number of purposes during a heyday that stretched over most of the first half of this century. The Houston brothers were ranchers who used it for moving livestock from one part of the range to another. The Forest Service used the trail to move fire guards into isolated forest cabins where they were on twenty-four hour duty during times of high fire danger. Evidence of both of these pages out of the trail's history is visible at a number of locations, including a cabin site which Gifford Pinchot, father of the U. S. Forest Service singled out for its peaceful beauty. Today this trail is part of the Cabin Loop trail system, which provides an opportunity for Forest visitors to relive an aspect of Forest history while they enjoy the area's natural beauty.
  26. 8 points
    Minor update to my Smittybilt 5.56cfm air compressor set up. While my compressor was sitting on the floor in the rear the plastic on the air gauge shattered. The gauge and air fitting were hose-clamped on to the end of the original hose the compressor came with. After watching this video on modifying the compressor for a pressure switch, I figured it'd be easy to just ditch the hose all together and with the guage/fitting flopping around. To make it work, you have to adapt the Smittybilt metric fittings over to whatever you're using. In my case, I picked up an M12 male to 1/4" male NPT fitting on Amazon and removed the hose entirely from the compressor. I reused my brass t-fitting and added a replacement pressure gauge and relocated the quick connect fitting I've been using. I replaced the broken gauge with another from Winters, however this on is a little better built with a thicker glass face and is filled with glycerine to help prevent vibration damage on the needle. My old gauge was always read a little higher than reality by about 6-7psi. Hopefully this new one is a little more accurate. A dash of thread sealant and a few turns of a wrench and this mod took all of 15 minutes to complete. And there you go. The solution to a floppy hose! 😁
  27. 8 points
    i recently added a rear swing-out faucet to my existing on-board water setup, writeup here... as part of that project, i consolidated several previously randomly placed switches into a single panel on the tailgate interior vent. all the switches and custom actuators came from otrattw.net. i drew the aluminum panel in a 2D vector program (similar to Adobe Illustrator) and had the part laser cut by sendcutsend.com. while i was rewiring things, i replaced my rear overhead light strip. the old one was slowly getting dimmer and dimmer over the years. i also previously had separate red and white fixtures mounted, but this time i used a single 12v RGBW LED strip and simply power either the red or white channel with a 3 position switch.
  28. 8 points
    my existing pump and sprayer nozzle work well for showering or rinsing off muddy feet. but due to the pressure buildup from the on-demand pump, the setup wasn't great for getting just a small amount of water for something like wetting a toothbrush. it would also waste a lot of water if i locked the sprayer in the ON position for the common task of washing my hands. so, i've added a rear faucet that uses an additional much smaller water pump that is activated with a switch (instead of being on-demand). the swing faucet itself is meant for a wok or other commercial grill. the photo above shows it swung out to fill a kettle, and below is the "stowed" position. i use a small piece of velcro to keep it stationary so it doesn't end up rattling against the rear window. it's mounted to some of my existing contraptions (the spare tire hoist and ham radio antenna bracket). with the tailgate closed you can barely see it tucked in behind the spare. it will also swing out past the tailgate for washing hands or to rinse something when the slide-out tailgate table is deployed. the new tiny 12v pump was mounted inside the tailgate, behind the interior exhauster vent. a 3/16" I.D. silicone hose runs down to the same water tank used for the shower and connects to the existing line with a brass tee. the pump activation switch was placed on a new switch panel i created on the tailgate vent. the faucet switch is a 3 position, ON/OFF/TRICKLE... "ON" runs the little pump at it's full 12v rating which is pretty low-flow but can still fill a pot quickly enough to not be a PITA. the "TRICKLE" feature drives the pump via a 5v DC voltage adapter so that it flows even less. this setting is perfect for rinsing hands without wasting water.
  29. 7 points
    well, after several test drives - nothing is spewing or burning, so i guess good? ;) i noticed 2 differences right away... first, it doesn't rattle like crazy on startup for a few seconds anymore! not sure what that was about. i didn't find any sloppy rocker arms in the old engine. i read somewhere it might have been the timing chain until the hydraulic tensioners came up to pressure? second, there's a bit more vibration now in cab. i don't know if that is because the motor mounts are just new or because i went with a random brand instead of OEM. it's not horrible, i'd still choose some vibes over the additional $300 for the OEM mounts in an offroad rig. oh and seems like it fires up slightly faster. it's not like the old one cranked for a long time, but the new one just seems to start a split second faster. otherwise there's no noticeable difference in power that i can tell. i mean the old engine seemed to run OK too, it was just a time bomb.
  30. 7 points
    Sunday was spent swapping everything over to the reman engine, including plenty of time cleaning parts. this "abrasive filament" die grinder cup works well to remove RTV after an initial scraping. i use carb/choke cleaner rather than brake cleaner for a final wipe-down as it seems to be less harsh on any surrounding plastic parts. it's a good idea to check all the block bolt holes before putting the engine back in. sometimes a few will get gunked up during the reman engine cleaning process and it's a lot easier to fix them up with a tap before anything is back in the engine bay. i had one motor mount bolt hole and this bellhousing mounting hole that needed a little love. i'm just waiting on my new engine mounts, there was a delay in shipping but hopefully they show up today. as far as the reman engine, it's all put together now except the rear main seal and flexplate which i can do once it's off the stand and on the hoist.
  31. 7 points
    received the new engine yesterday and got it mounted to the engine stand. i needed to work so that was the only progress made toward this project!
  32. 7 points
    got the engine nearly ready to pull today, but stopped to assemble my new engine hoist and folding engine stand. the reman engine is on schedule to arrive tomorrow and i'll need the hoist to unload it. i also made some quick attachment points for the hoist out of a 1/4" thick bar i had in my scrap pile and some thick washers. apparently the exhaust header mounting bolts are the generally accepted place to lift the 3.6L from. i could hook the leveler's tabs to those 4 bolts directly, but it takes up a lot of vertical space and i'm trying to pull this thing without removing the front clip/radiator/condenser/etc. so instead i'm using a 6'x1" lift sling (strap) doubled over to 3' to hook the hoist too. tomorrow i need to remove: a/c compressor, power steering pump, flex-plate bolts, bellhousing bolts, loosen the motor mount bolts, and take the wheels off to lower the front end - then i can try to yank this POS! total time into this project so far is 9 hours.
  33. 7 points
    finally found a new rig for Brady last week, just over a month after Fiona was totalled. Brady, his friend Eric, @aimee, myself spent the weekend giving the new ride a little love to get her dialed in before B took her back up to Flagstaff. she's a 2016 JK Sport in Granite Crystal - yes that's the same year as my JKU and the same color as it and our Grand Cherokee - we're all matchy matchy, lol! private party sale here in Phoenix, single owner, great shape visually (other than really dirty inside and out), 95k miles on the clock, seemingly good mechanical shape. here she is right after picking her up and giving her a bath. besides the year and color coincidences, there were other signs B was fated to get this particular Jeep... the previous owner shares Brady's birthday, his name is also Chris, and we found a Talladega Nights dvd left in the stereo after we got it! she also came with what appears to be Rancho 2.5" lift coils and a rear trackbar relocation bracket, but with Teraflex bump-stop spacers and their 9550 shocks. she also has a Rough Country exhaust that has a decent mild sound. options like factory remote start, cruise control and even power windows/locks are all welcome upgrades from Fiona! first things first first thing was an oil change. we checked all the other fluid levels and will change them when Brady comes home for spring break. the only mechanical problem we could find was the rzeppa joint on the front driveshaft (at the t-case). this is a common failure with 2.5" or larger lifts on a JK. Brady just removed the front shaft for now so it wouldn't seize up on him while he's in Flag. we have a Teraflex high-angle version of the joint on order to install when he's home next. so for now the new ride will just have no 4wd. cleaning up the exterior first mod was getting Fiona's old wheels and tires on. we had also saved the adjustable Teraflex tire carrier from Fiona which was needed to fit the offset on those wheels. we'll still need to get a new aftermarket hinge at some point to support the weight of the 35s. out with the old: in with the new: we also removed the factory license plate bracket and installed his old magnetic plate/camera/3rd brake light mount. we were able to tap into the wires the existing wires for the camera and just needed to tap the passenger rear running light to power the plate light. keeping the wiring looking clean: the previous owner must have really liked his bullet antenna as he used a ton of red Loctite to install it. so that required a pair of vice grips and a half rotation at a time on the longest mounting stud ever created! the PO had been a little rough on the freedom panels. i only had a generic black touch-up pen, but that still looked better than all the white fiberglass spots showing through. the plastic cowl corner covers had to go as well. fortunately there were none of the common dents in the underlying metal. they did leave some scratches behind that we couldn't get out. i'm sure a professional buff one day will clean that up. we did have success reducing this big scratch on the rear quarter panel with a little rubbing compound: after: Eric and Aimee did a great job removing all the decals from the sides of the rig. we also removed a bundle of wiring for the RGB rock lights and headlight halos that the PO said no longer worked anyway. here she was after all those changes: Brady is leaving the side steps for now until he gets real rock rails. he said he also doesn't mind the front bumper but would like a smaller one eventually. continued...
  34. 7 points
    That's one hell of a calendar line-up! Huge props to @4x4tographer, @shellback91, and @gearhead for taking the initiative to plan and lead so many wonderful adventures. I think @Ladybug might have a trip or two up her sleeve still as well. Everyone be sure to thank these guys when you attend one of their trips! Just FYI, last minute runs are OK too. I know a lot of us randomly get the urge to do a day or night run on an upcoming weekend. If anyone ever needs help posting to the calendar or forum, just PM me. We'd love for you to share a run on this site! It coudl be "open to anyone" or for "club members only", it's totally up to you as the leader who can attend and what rig limit you are comfortable with. I look forward to seeing all of you on a trail sometime in 2024!
  35. 7 points
    More views as we hike down to the canyon: Enormous cottonwood on the canyon floor: After what seemed like an eternity we made it to the cliff house: Final picture:
  36. 7 points
    I have a hard time getting my head around the mentality of this group. I wish I could find some follow up info. Best info if you’re able to open the link https://www.facebook.com/100067787659206/posts/injured-hiker-kanab-creek-grand-canyon-national-park-north-rimabout-6pm-friday-9/637813388488244/ A bit less detail but same info in an easier to open link for some https://www.azfamily.com/2023/09/17/man-with-traumatic-injury-rescued-after-friends-left-him-alone-grand-canyon/ Some pretty cool footage from the rescue helicopter approaching the injured hiker. God bless these first responders. https://fb.watch/n8aHFsleWX/
  37. 7 points
    i recently switched from Apex AutoLYNX sway bar disconnect system to the ORO SwayLOC. there was nothing wrong with my AutoLYNX, they just didn't have quite as much travel as my shocks, and so i wasn't able to take advantage of all the potential articulation. the SwayLOC mounts to the factory locations but is a selectable dual rate system. it has one really light bar for off-road and then a stiffer bar for on-road. the on-road setting is supposedly a bit stiffer than the OEM sway bar, which is a nice bonus for a lifted rig on the highway IMO. the off-road bar is so small that with a heavy rig, i don't really think it does much. i certainly doesn't limit my articulation any when fully flexing out for a poser shot! to switch on/off-road mode, you simply flip a spring loaded lever. you don't have to be perfectly level, just flip it then drive and the latch will engage or disengage as soon as the axle hits level for a split second. note the 2 black "arms" here pointing different directions. this is what happens when the system is in off-road mode (unlatched). basically the 2 sides of the axle are only connected by the internal small torsion bar at that time. when you flip to on-road-mode, the arms latch together and both the small inner and large outer torsion bars are then connected. this system took a fair bit longer to get installed and dialed in than the AutoLYNX. most of that was because of my rig's aftermarket complications. i had to shift everything to one side to clear my Synergy track bar brace, install some spacers to clear the VKS Fab frame chop bumper, and get the links adjusted just right to clear my flipped drag link but not let the arms hit the front-most body mount brackets. the AutoLYNX just worked without any modifications and i think they are still the best solution for most people. of course after it was all dialed in, i eventually painted most of the new components black ;) anyway, i'm happy with the new system. it was an expensive way to get just a little more articulation, but the SwayLOC can still grow with the rig (like if i ever go to coilovers)!
  38. 7 points
    did an oil change and tire rotation this week, then we had a last minute fix before B and Fiona headed off to college yesterday... the Discount Tire dude noticed the rear sway bar link bushings were almost completely gone (dry-rotted and crumbling away). Amazon Prime delivered these inexpensive replacements in a day and B swapped them out Friday evening. rolling into Flag yesterday afternoon:
  39. 7 points
    Nitto Recon, 37 11.5 17
  40. 7 points
    Just returning from a massive trip through London and throughout Ireland. In Ireland we rented a car and a series of AirBnB - traveling the Wild Atlantic Way, the Ring of Kerry, and the countryside in south/central Ireland. Along the way I spotted a few interesting 4x4 rigs and wanted to share what some of the Irish are driving. Mitsubishi Pajero - Gen 2. I had the pleasure to spend a lot of time around these when we were stationed in Okinawa and love these (lots of really neat little off-roaders in Japan - including the Hillux, Delica, Jimny, Samurai). This specimen was spotted just feet from the Cliffs of Kerry and looked well-loved. Mitsubishi Pajero, 4th Gen. This one was in downtown Dublin. I've never seen a 2 Door (modern) Land Cruiser before. This bad boy was a turbo diesel and sounded like an absolute animal. This VW camper van was a brand new rental from Black Sheep. It was pretty nice looking. I frankly wouldn't mind one for myself. Some larger BFG KO2s and a mild lift and it'd probably meet the needs of 90% of the overlanders out there. Then we get to the ONLY Wrangler I found.... Was pretty much given the Miami Special. Had more wrapped up in "aesthetics" than capability. An expensive matte wrap, a 4 slot grill (why?), eBay bumper, and about $2-3K in KatSkinz quilted upholstery. Suspension was bone stock. Behind it was a nice G-Wagon - but let's face it, they're all nice. I also spotted (but didn't get pictures of) several Toyota Hiluxes, a TON of classic Defenders, and a FJ40.
  41. 7 points
    So in April our transmission started slipping when we were climbing up from the Colorado River to Peach Springs. We changed two sensors and it slightly helped but it was clear that second gear got toasted. So we thought we were being smart and thrifty and got a transmission from a salvage company shipped to a shop near us. The shop put this in only to find out the transmission was worse than what we have and now the Jeep wasn't driveable!! We did get a refund for the transmission but we're out the freight shipping costs. We continued saving up money and gathered quotes for a transmission rebuild and compared this to just buying a used XJ that was compatible. Needless to say two months went by. Quotes were as high ask 5k for a vehicle not worth that!! We found out that used XJs are insanely priced right now and couldn't find the right deal. In the end Chris found Martin's Performance Transmission Repair in Prescott Valley. They had to order parts but got the work done quickly once the parts arrived and the quote never raised. The owner of the shop was a super nice and knowledgeable guy. Out damage was $2300 to the budget but way better than the average of 4k to 5k quoted around this area and in Phoenix. So far she is driving great and has a year warranty. Fingers crossed we get another 200K miles on this transmission.
  42. 7 points
    So we were literally standing at Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London on the 4th and one of the Yeomen wished us a “Happy Treason Day” 😆
  43. 7 points
  44. 7 points
    Here is the few pics I took this time. This was a fun and easy trip.
  45. 7 points
    This natural spring flowed out of the rock and across the meadow. A pretty pond near the aircraft arrow. A ground view of the directional arrow. Used to guide pilots before Radios were common. The entire thing reads " Phx 75"
  46. 7 points
    60,425 miles Took the Jeep over to see our good friend Joe @OnPointOffroad to get some maintenance knocked out and some ball joints installed. Always happy with the work Joe does on any of our vehicles, Jeep or otherwise. Can't recommend him enough and it's always great to talk with him and pick his brain on different topics. The last time we were in to see Joe we got to talking about the 8 speed ZF transmission in the Jeep JL and the service interval. Jeep seals these trannys "for life" - but that's not reallllllly true. Maybe it's because most American's these days trade their vehicles in every 2 years and roll over that sweet, sweet negative equity. Since I'm in the "severe duty" category, Joe recommended a 60K service interval for the transmission for a new filter and fluid. So there you go. Additionally, Michelle gave me some new Teraflex HD Ball Joints for my birthday back in February. We had those installed as well. They're STOUT and I was really impressed with the apparent quality and design of the new ball joints. Twin zerk fittings on each one allows you to easily grease them up and they allow for adjusting pre-load anytime you need in the future. Lastly, I've been getting some wobble on certain predictable sections of my local roads at certain speeds. Was suspecting a loose trackbar at the axle. Clayton's install instructions called of 90ft/lbs of torque. I recently increased the torque to 105 and that seemed to dampen the wobble a bit. Joe noted that factory spec was around 160ft/lbs (I can't remember the exact number) so they tightened her up. On the drive home, no wobble. And the new ball joints are great! I'm getting a more firm feel from the steering and feel more "stable" on our local windy roads. So far, pretty happy. The last thing to talk about is some cupping on my front Yokohama Geolandar G003 tires. We thought this might be contributing to the wobble, so Joe was kind enough to switch the fronts with the rears so see if there was an impact. Can't really narrow the wobble down to the tires since the trackball torque was upped - but we did notice a shift in braking behavior. The Jeep used to pull left on hard braking, now it pulls right a bit. Possibly chalked up to the tires. All-in-all, that's all I have to report. Looking forward to the next run later this month when we check out Smiley Rock trail and Mingus Mountain!
  47. 7 points
    been working with the bumper some this week... i rounded the sharp edges of the d-ring tabs so they could be used with a soft shackle. cut out the logo, welded in some filler metal and ground it all down smooth. removed the front 2 rock lights, grille, shower nozzle, winch control box, winch line, winch, lower skid plate, vacuum pump, and then finally the old bumper could come off! then yesterday evening i started cutting. hope it's right - there's no "undo" button on a sawz-all!
  48. 7 points
  49. 7 points
    NEXT STEPS! Build the platform. Loaded up the fridge, slider, and my pre-cut base plate. As mentioned earlier, the fridge would need to be mounted at an angle to clear the soft top tailgate cross-bar (no idea what the technical term for it is). In terms of operation, the RV45 is good to operate at UP TO a 45 degree angle, which is pretty crazy. However, 45 degrees certainly isn't optimal for the system to cool properly. I emailed SetPower's tech support folks and asked if it would be detrimental to operate the fridge at a 5-10 degree angle - they came back very quickly and said that it would work just fine, but with a footnote that it would work at its best if flat. @theksmith noted that one is rarely "perfectly flat" when offroad - so that certainly helped in the decision-making process. 😅 Stacked up some scrap boards to find that magic number to allow it to happen. This was the slowest part of the build so far and I hem-hawed on it for about 2-3 days. Using a pair of straight edges, I'd adjust the angle and place the straight edge across the top of the fridge and along the bottom of the slider to see where it would impact along the deck lip and the cross-bar. For me, on 30" drawer slides, the magic number was 6.3 degrees with the fridge shoved all the way to the rear (front?) of the trunk area. The baseplate is bolted down to the factory tie-down points using factory hardware. I used a contour gauge to ensure the platform was cut to fit into the spot nice and flush all around, following the lines and angles of the "cutout" in the truck. Here's a look down along the "hump" in the tailgate the houses mostly empty space, but has the mechanics for the rear door lock, handle, etc... Some considerations had to be made for how far the hump intrudes into the trunk area. After a LOT of fussing around with it, it was time to get back to building. Here's a jump forward to the "left wall" and "center wall" built, glued, and screwed with copious amounts of pocket screws. At the rear of the compartment I added a "cross wall" to help support both supporting walls, in addition to serving as a rest for the rear of the slide (previously, I had measured the height of the rear of the slides once I was happy with the angle they needed to be mounted at). A 1/2" shim was used on the front as a "rest" for the front end of the slides. Combined, this helped ensure I stayed at 6.3 degrees and made it a lot easier to mark the mounting holes. All bolted up! Verifying the slide angle in the rear of the Jeep Load'er up! The full-extension 30" slides allow the fridge to come completely out of the Jeep for easy loading, access, and allows the lid to open without hitting the soft top. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! More to come!
  50. 7 points
    Some photos from our weekend adventure through the Table Mesa rec area on Crapshoot, led by @SonoranWanderer! My personal first time on this trail - it was fun! The 2 obstacles on the trail were interesting and made you pause to think for a minute. The views were very nice with some scenic overlooks and plenty of wildflowers waiting to burst into color. The desert is extremely green right now. We had an interesting mix of vehicles with us, a 50/50 blend of current and "vintage". 😁 3 JLs, a YJ, an XJ, and a sweet Ramcharger.
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