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I have never been a superstitious person, but after this weekend's event I don't think I'll be wheeling on a Friday that lands on the 13th day of the month anymore. Our club hosted a campout for some out of state wheelers to show them some of the best wheeling Arizona had to offer. We jokingly referred to the weekend as "MLK on the Rocks" which was based off of our old "Turkey on the Rocks" traditional turkey day run. I am thinking next year we will call it "Carnage on the Rocks". I started this trip report with a numbered list of breakages we experienced and left the numbers in so you can see where stuff broke. By the end of the weekend only 5 of the 17 rigs were unscathed. All of this is cut and paste from my website since it took me a few hours to type it all up.

Friday the 13th

1. Jack is the first on the list when a unit bearing on his tow rig goes out on the way to camp, he ends up changing it in a restaurant parking lot.



2. Further up the highway one of the California wheelers looses boost in the tow rig and has to pull over. He suspected a blown hose but finds no problems under the hood.

3. Jason cuts a trailer tire heading in to camp.
We gathered everyone who had arrived up to this point and went down to the river to play follow the leader in the rock garden.

4. While driving in the wash rear sway bar breaks but I wouldn't discover it till getting back to camp. I suspect when it happened I was flexing the rig out on a large notch (shown above) to get a picture when the rig suddenly listed to the side and slid into the notch which launched my camera from my lap and down about 5 feet to the rocks below. The camera was pretty tweaked but it looked like it was still functioning.







 

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The next obstacle I tried to climb was a vertical wall. Without the sway bar the rig was acting differently, when I crested the wall and bumped the gas the rig listed to the side and came crashing down into some nice soft sand. Once we got the rig back over we discovered the motor was hydro locked. After clearing the cylinders we started the motor and it had a horrible knock and only had 2 cylinders firing. I limp back to camp and then discover my sway bar is hanging from it's mounting tube. This explains the roll. I disassemble the intake and pull the plugs again to clean up any residual oil and eventually get all the cylinders firing again. The engine still feels down on power but I chalk it up to having to burn off oil in the intake/exhaust.

5. While I was getting winched over from my roll, Scott broke one of his airshock mounting bolts (grade 8 1/2" bolt). He also fell and twisted his ankle while rummaging for a replacement bolt.



6. Shane (CA) attempts the wall I rolled on and destroys the ears on his long side axle (D60). Jack and I waited by his rig while everyone else ran back to camp to get a replacement axle. When Shane finally returned we discover his spare axle does not fit so he stuffs a rag into the axle tube and limps the rig back to camp.

7. Once back at camp Jack discover his battery is dead. We also meet Nolen and Jim from Texas. They wisely choose to get some shut eye after their 16 hour drive.





8. Undeterred by the above carnage, Randy (CA) and Wade (UT) both want to try an S&M night run. I lead them back there and Randy makes a beautiful climb on the first fall. Wade lines up and gives it a go. After the 3rd or 4th attempt he comes down hard on the rear end and we hear a loud noise. On closer inspection we discover his lower cross member has rotated upward, ripping the tubing and binding one of his suspension link joints causing it to snap off.

9. After securing Wade's rig and getting everyone back to camp I lead a short run down Bushmaster and up 1/3rd of Suzy's Choice. On the way back my rig starts cutting out as if I were out of fuel. we make it back to camp just after midnight.
 

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Saturday the 14th

1. The camp is a flurry of activity with people wrenching on nearly every rig in sight. I luck out and discover Nolen has an unused sway bar on his buggy that is the exact same model as mine. He sells it to me (I need to send him a new bar) and I install it back on my rig. My luck then runs out, just as we are going to leave my rig dies. I notice my voltmeter is at 8 volts and I immediately suspect the alternator. I swap out the alternator but accidentally blow one of the main fuses in the process. After rigging up a new wire connection I fire up the rig and the spare alternator looks to be charging.



The above shots show how Wade's buggy was positioned on a trailer so they could use some winches to pull the cross member back into position. It ended up taking 3 winches to get the cross member to bend back to its original position. A spare link was used to fabricate some braces to reinforce the cross member.



We had about 12 rigs to get thru S&M and more to come as guys finished up their repairs in camp. I was up first and slid off the wall to the left and nearly roll while trying to get a winch line hooked up.


Jack makes a clean run up the wall, video link.

Brian has an exciting run, he pops a pretty good wheelie at the top, video link. next, Scott breaks the breakage streak and makes an easy run up the wall much to his relief, video link.



2. We don't experience another break till Jason hits the wall with a full throttled attempt that results in his rig launching itself several feet into the air! When it comes down the passenger side stub shaft gives in under the pressure and explodes. Video link 1 and video link 2.



3. Nolen is up next, he tries the wall once on the right (video link), then chooses to try the left line (video link). His attempt looks beautiful but on the second hop, right about the middle of the climb the back of his rig seems to collapse. As he holds the brakes a bunch of coilover parts drop from his rig. Once we have his rig secured we discover his passenger side rear axle tube has been torn from the center section. The rotation of the axle tube also snapped the coilover mounting eye off.



4. Once Nolen was off the wall his friend Jim lined up and gave it a go. He ended up sliding off to the left side like I did and broke the welds on one of his front links in the process, video link. We were able to do a trial fix on this break.

Video of Randy's climb and video of Dennis's climb.

At this point we decided to name the first waterfall on S&M the "Money Shot", you either made it or your shot at the wall cost you a lot of money.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
one more carnage pic.



Further up the trail, despite no rain in months the water was as deep as ever. Here's some video of Scott and Pat's run thru the waterhole.









The last waterfall bested everyone who tried it today. Here is some video of Scott's attempt along with Randy's attempt.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)


The splash in the first picture is from the heckling section, video link. Pat was raining down rocks to encourage people to get to the top.



Karma caught up with Pat later as small pebbles were lobbed at his plumbers crack......

After a quick stop at camp for a late lunch (around 3pm), we headed up the road to run Seed of Chucky.







Once at the trailhead I told Randy to head up first figuring if anyone could climb the top fall it would be him in his superlight buggy. Sure enough, he made it top the top and rocketed up the last waterfall being the first person to climb it. I gave it a go but couldn't quite make it. Jack, Scott, John and Barry all made the climb.


5. Carnage ensued again on Cary's attempt, he snapped a front longside axle in his FJ80 front end, video link.

6. Somewhere along the way Jeff snapped some steering arm studs on his Toy axle.

7. On Jason's attempt he busted the front long side axle in his 60.

8. After Seed of Chucky almost everyone headed back to camp to start making dinner. Jack led a few people to SC, but on the first waterfall he broke his front driveshaft and had a tire go flat. he had to go back and recover his rig in the morning.

Back at camp we started dinner. A huge thank you goes out to the Texas boys who brought with them 40 some pounds of BBQ beef brisket, beans, bread, sausage and hot sauce. We also chipped in some sides and a few pies for desert. Everyone was stuffed and sitting around the fire by 10pm when talk of a night run started to circulate. Randy wanted to run Pet Cemetery so I said I'd take them if they wanted to go. We gathered up a small group of wheelers (Myself, Randy, Jason, Wade, Shane, Jim with Nolen & Scott tagging along for the ride). We arrived at the large crack and it was as impressive as ever. Randy made a run thru it and nearly made it until his back end slipped into it a little early. We used a strap and some people pushing on the cage to keep his cage from getting hooked on the rocks. He then proceeded to drive the last part unassisted with a line right up the middle. At this point I decided to run the trail and as I was walking back to the buggy it started to drizzle, which would later turn to light hail. I drove the crack using my line from last time but didn't make the end climb thanks to some slick rocks. Wade followed me and after an initial roll he followed my line but used his rear steer to crab walk the length of the crack. It was an amazing sight seeing his rig at times only on the two opposite wheels. Jason was up next and drove the right line but his spring hangers kept him from crossing the crack. While maneuvering around we got him more and more stuck until we finally had to winch his front end up the hill as he used rear wheel drive to pull the back end down and back inline with the obstacle. Once we freed him both Jim and Jason headed back out (Jason was going to drive down the end of the trail and meet us) and the rest of us continued on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Sunday the 15th



1. We were still on Pet Cemetery. As Randy tried the next waterfall he was hitting it hard and started to climb when his buggy suddenly launched itself backwards off of the face. The buggy came down hard on the valve cover on the rock wall that was behind him. Randy was ok but the buggy was seriously hurt, the valve cover had a big hole knocked in it and the intake was crushed. I winched up the line to the left, followed by Wade and we started heading out as soon as Randy's buggy was secured for the night. Around the corner from that obstacle I nearly rolled when I nosed into a small pool of water that was much deeper than I remembered it.










2. While I was being righted Jason discovered he had broken his front ARB, that meant the only part up front he hadn't broken this weekend was the housing. I ended up towing Jason's rig thru a few spots and acting as a winch point for some of the harder spots. We finally rolled into camp about 3am.

3. We were up by 8am and packing the rigs for a recovery mission to get Randy's rig. As I loaded my buggy I noticed the front steering ram looked tweaked. I discovered the front cross member had taken a good hit and had bowed upward which cracked the welds on the steering ram mounting blocks. My drivers side steering arm also had cracks on the parts bracing the tie rod mounting tab. I was done for the weekend.

4. Shane discovered his winch solenoid was broken.
After this everyone with a running rig headed down Pet Cemetery and most of the guys with broken rigs started packing up for their trip home. When I get the scoop on the rest of the day I'll post up. The carnage this weekend was just incredible and I didn't even count the little stuff like brake lines, lighting issues, etc. Despite all the misfortune I think everyone had a good time, everyone was always smiling or joking around. A big thanks to all the guys that accepted our invite and to all the guys who lent a hand with all the wrenching that was going on. It was cool seeing everyone pitch in with stuff they were good at. Lastly I think Wade should get some sort of award for sheer determination. He arrived on Friday afternoon from Utah, broke his rig that night (a break that for most would have ended their trip). When he wasn't riding along after the break he was grinding and welding on his rig so he could run something. The group eventually came up with a camp fabrication solution that allowed Wade to run Pet Cemetery. Here's looking to next year!
 

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this pic is insane.



holy crap ... bad luck for randy's buggy that thing is sweet.

AZcrwler - do you pull the pics from your videos?
 

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mobil1syn said:
this pic is insane.



holy crap ... bad luck for randy's buggy that thing is sweet.

AZcrwler - do you pull the pics from your videos?

That pic is why I want to come.

You are officially on my Thanksgiving schedule:) Thanks

Dan
 

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Man what a trip and what a place! This place is the most amazing, hardcore area I have ever been to. It truly makes Johnson Valley look like child's play. :eek:

I can say this, spending 2 days with the BTG crew EVEN THOUGH I BROKE ON THE FIRST OBSTACLE was worth the 2200 mile round trip.

It was kind of like going to a competition and not driving but spectating from inside the cones :D

I met some great friends and cannot wait to run those trails again!

This is the first climb on S&M from the top. This puts the climb in perspective.

For those of you that have run Upper Helldorado, this is just as steep with more crap on the rocks and 10 more feet of vertical climb.
 

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Dan Dibble said:
That pic is why I want to come.

You are officially on my Thanksgiving schedule:) Thanks

Dan
make sure to have someone with a camera there for the enjoyment of the PBB
 

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Chris made a fantastic effort on this climb. Randy made the first assault on Seed of Chucky and it was truly increadible. I have sent the video to Chris.

Chris was up next and he threw a rock into the left hole that helped the rest of the bunch a lot....
 

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