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The Wolf takes on Slippery Creek

Some kick-ass hardcore rock-crawling....with a twist. No dry, high-traction action here. Just big, brutal, unforgiving boulders covered in mud, moss, and wet leaves. This trail is short, brutal, and murder on your rig....but it's awesome action, as you will see........

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The Wolf sits all prettied up. Freshly painted and roaring to go.

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Right off the bat you get all twisted up.

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I seem to be very happy with the Wolf.....so far!

Here's an interesting series that clearly displays either:

a) my complete inability to pick a decent line,
b) my total lack of skill at being able to drive a line, or
c) both!!


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Actually, this little series is a terrific example of the major weakness of the Wolf, it's inability to steer precisely and accurately. It's all but impossible to stick a precise line.

I attribute this to several factors. Most of all the welded front diff. It's not hard to steer in terms of steering effort - I can turn the tires no problem - but with the tires turned, get on the throttle and the front end wants to just push straight. This causes it to slip off the rocks instead of following a narrow line on the peaks. This situation is exacerbated by the slippery rocks with mud and moss, and also by the relatively stiff and hard Michelin military tires - especially as I am forced to run them at a relatively high 10psi due to not having beadlocks at present.. Rue had a much easier time sticking lines with my old 36" TSL's on beadlocks with about 4psi (pics below of the Green Cherokee).

Other factors that don't help me are the front-only manual brakes, meaning precise braking is difficult, as well as my 350 that I'm having a hard time idling. I don't know what the problem with the motor is, but I have a heck of a time keeping it from quitting at idle, even with 110:1 gearing, and this means I have to use more throttle than I'd like to keep it running, making precise driving even more difficult.

I don't think the carb is the problem per se - as it is no worse at angles than level. It might be too frumpy of a cam, it might be timing or general carb tune (it smells awful rich to me). But whatever it is, I must get it sorted out.

Now - the good news is, I drove out of this, and every other series on this page. The Wolf's saving grace is that it powerful and tough enough to survive a bad line (or twelve). But I really would like to get the bugs worked out so I can drive a little more cleanly and elegantly.

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Here's me testing my approach angle and regretting having to stick the winch out front like that! Drove through OK though :)

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We look like a couple of gangsta's in a buggy!

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Hey...SOMETIMES I actually keep the tires on the rocks!

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It's pretty amazing what this rig can claw and climb it's way through. I drove right out of this too.

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There's some pretty slippery and brutal drop-offs on this trail, but the Wolf prevailed and I clawed my way out of this predicament too. This was some awesome wheeling! Some good real-world trail "flex" in the last pic in this group.

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Visibility is excellent.

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I'm even learnin' to use this here stick shift thingeymabob

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This was the coolest part of the trail for me, and was something I'd never enjoyed before. The standard "pictures don't do it justice" caviat applies. In fact - nothing could do it justice without surround sound!

The hill was muddy, rocky, and steep. Rue went first, and rutted it up pretty well. I had made about a dozen attempts and failed, from crawling it in 4l lo / lo to trying some speed.

I was about to give up and take the winch, when Rue yelled "Hey, what gear you in."

"Second" I yelled back.

"No, in the cases" he replied

"Oh, low / low " I retorted.

"Try the 203 in high and second gear, then giver her hell" he advised.

So I put the 203 in high, the D20 in 4 low, the SM465 insecond, revved her up and dumped the clutch.

Tires screaming, mud and rock showering the air, Jon in the passenger seat clinging on for life, the tach hit 4500rpm, and I Rocketed up the hill, barely in control, somehow I kept it pointed between the trees.

It was a HUGE rush. It also convinced me that, for trail running (not competition) 1 ton and up is the only way to go! Finesse, elegance, and crawling are great - I like then best, and prefer to do it when I can....but there was NO WAY to crawl up this, and it's awesome to be able to "fully get it" when you need to or want to!

Check the reaction from the crowd in the last pic :)

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Carnage on the day was pretty light. Ate a front left radius arm bushing, beat the daylights out of my front diff cover (thank god it was beefed), and made some pretzels out of my steering linkages!

Some Pics of Rue taking on the trail in my old Cherokee. I think his front Detroit, power 4 wheel discs, and beadlocked TSL's allowed him to do the trail much more easily / gracefully.

'Course he could just be a much better driver than I :)

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