This year my truck was just not going to make it to the trail
because a blown tranny, so rather than being a passenger I
fired up the uninsured backup rig to do the duties. As I was
backing up the driveway to load it up I notice one tire spinning
(not used to power) and realized one of my rear hubs (full
floater) was not working so I swapped the hubs for the lockout
plates. One side had 2 busted studs out of six but they seemed
like they had been that way for a while so I decided to go
Maybe that was not the right thing to do, upon arrival to
Loon Lake someone told me my rear axle was sticking out a
foot, and when I looked it was! I had lost one of the plates
(the studs sheered off) and there was nothing to keep the
hub from sliding out. It still drove because of the locker
so I went in search of the missing plate but did not find
it and ran into a quad in need of gas instead. I let him siphon
a gallon or 2 out of my spare tank and I headed back to the
damn where I took the plate from the other side and Clean
Dean welded it on to the side with the broken studs with the
help of Glenn Hammock's on-board welder. Several wheel studs
were stripped in the process..
Now I was ready to lock the front hubs in and hit the trail!
I noticed the rear tires rubbing right off the bat but kept
going. After coming out of the trees after the "gatekey"
I opted to take the line to the right climbing up a steep
rocky slope only to have my front driveline pop out. I replaced
it and tried again - same thing. Next time I tried it with
the help of a winch (by now the splines were pretty bad) and
it still popped out. Keep in mind this is not far into the
trail! I took the driveline off and beat the severely twisted
splines straight with a chisel. Mark from SNORT loaned me
a long front half of the driveline and I continued on being
the not so smart guy I am - Lance and several others figured
I was done at this point only fueling me to go on!
the only problem was a tire rubbing but I did not thing anything
of it, although I should have since it eventually took several
lugs off of my tires!
Too much work to do right then so I moved on.
From then on the Jeep did very well, it caught more air in
the front end that I am used to but I found if I just kept
it on it would come back down, several times rocks to the
right of me save me from going a bit further than planned.
I opted to pass on the soup bowl and the sluice since the
way things were going I was lucky to be moving at all. I ended
up meeting Glenn and Glenn to the left of the sluice where
I camped on the granite (forgot the air mattress).
This picture was stolen without permission (well his article
says you can take em so I did) from Glenn of me making breakfast,
a mixture of potatoes, eggs, sausage and spices hit the spot!
After breakfast I drove over to see what was happening at
the sluice where I saw Sean "gearman" making a pre-run
of the sluice and drinking a "prepper in a bag."
And yet another stolen picture from Glenn, check out his
write up HERE.
I just had to have atleast one action picture here even if
it wasn't of me..
Congrats to Sean for making the sluice look like a dirt road
with a welding mask taped so he could not see at all on. I
was very impressed as was the quiet awe stricken crowd. After
the show we motored on to the springs where I set up camp
and helped Jack fix a broken stub shaft on his newer yota
I was pretty beat that night and after a little time near
the campfire and getting cleaned up in the river I crashed
for the night. The next morning I got up and packed up. Dimitri
from the Sierra Rock Crawlers had asked that he follow me
since he had done some damage to his rear driveline, he needed
me as a tow point just in case. Turned out he made it out
fine (he really likes first gear). Scott with Grady's old
truck was amazingly kind and towed a flatfender with a blown
Tcase all the way up Cadillac hill! (Yea, another stolen pic
- I forgot my camera all right!)
Somewhere along the way I busted my antenna from my radio,
no biggy since my brand new JBL (POS) radio was not working
Upon hitting the pavement I got some MAJOR wobbles and I
"think" it was my tierod that was just slightly
bent, although I still have not fixed it so I am not sure.
Anyway after 3 attempts to fix it I called AAA for my free
100 mile tow on a flatbed back to sacramento. Actually they
attempted to flat tow it but the jeep started whipping around
and they put it up on top for a free ride back home!
I noticed a large puddle of gear oil on the flatbed when
I took it off and after pulling the front driveline I found
that it had eaten right through my SM420 transmission which
I temporarily fixed with JB weld.