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A lesson learned—keep it light and nimble!

OP
Irun

Irun

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OP
Irun

Irun

Jeep Addict
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I only spent 3 hours on the trails yesterday. Didn't do anything super tough, because I wanted to just do a shakedown run. It rained and was extremely slick and muddy. The only problems were mud being flung by the rear tires without flares and having to really pay attention to the lower differential housings. Both were known issues. Overall the Jeep did better than expected, even with a locked rear and Detroit TrueTrac up front.

Today will be much tougher. There's no rain, but it will still be wet, and we'll be on harder trails. Plus, everyone else is on 35 and 37 inch tires, along with 302 and 351 powered Ford V8s (1st Generation Broncos). Should be an interesting day for sure!
 
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OP
Irun

Irun

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It's dirty and looks rusty in the rear quarters. 2.5k free shipping.

Have fun spending the next few weeks cleaning it off lol. We all know soon enough it'll be back to looking like a museum piece.

You're likely spot on. So much mud and black coal swamp water. It's worth it though. I'm thrilled with the Jeeps performance! :)

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OP
Irun

Irun

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Loaded up everything yesterday evening and headed back home. While at Rausch we ran trails that covered a wide range of flat and off-camber terrains, including water holes, mud, decent size rocks, and several very steep hill climbs. I'm thrilled with the Jeeps performance and am now a huge fan of the Firestone Destination M/T2 tires. More to come there and on what I learned and need to fix/address.

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OP
Irun

Irun

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As I've said a couple times, the Jeep, overall, exceeded my expectations. I went everywhere the group on bigger tires did, and a few places only a smaller contingent ventured into. Although I didn't have anything I'd classify as "major" carnage, there was some damage. Those things included the following:

1. Took out the driver side mirror - this was on a very steep off-camber hill climb, where only 3 of us went. I was the second up and after watching the first person struggle, I took a different line between two trees that were just wide enough for me to fit. As I entered the trees, the tail end kicked to the driver's side. Given how steep the hill was, I knew if I stopped I wouldn't be able to start again without potentially getting sideways. Because of that, and the two big rocks at the top I had to get over, I kept up my momentum, knowing the mirror was going to be sacrificed. It was, but I made it up and over.

2. Bent the ZJ tie rod - here I underestimated how I would use the Jeep and figured the ZJ parts would be tough enough for my use. It wasn't. While trying to crawl through a series of "Black" trails down by the "Rock Garden" the ZJ tie rod, and clamp, got pushed into the lower part of the swaybar link bracket, as seen in the picture. I was able to bend it back straight, with a winch line, but the damage showed a flaw in my thought process.

3. Honestly, my single biggest problem was the differential height - on 32" tires I'm at 9.25" (rear) and 10.5" (front) of clearance. I was able to mostly keep the front from being abused, but the rear really took a beating. This can only be addressed by larger tires, so I'm just going to have to focus on being a better driver. The other thing I can do is install the two cameras I have for the Insane Audio system.

4. The mini skids and wheels were abused - these are things I'm glad I did. The mini skids saved me from having bent lower front control arm mounts and the wheels performed their sacrificial role.

5. One rear shock kept popping off the bottom cap - this was a very minor thing, but annoying

6. The axle side track bar and rear sway bar upper link bolts loosened - My steering felt weird and I was hearing a rattling sound in the back, so I stopped to check things out. I found the bolts had backed out so far, they were just short of falling out.

7. The passenger front tire was into the SwayLoc, when stuffed and turned in - it wasn't enough to worry me, but I knew it was there.

None of this was bad, just demonstrated that I need to not underestimate what the Jeep or I can do together. Out of all this, getting an upgraded tie rod, and doing the tie rod flip, ;)

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RINC

I Love Me Some Arizona
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2. Bent the ZJ tie rod - here I underestimated how I would use the Jeep and figured the ZJ parts would be tough enough for my use. It wasn't. While trying to crawl through a series of "Black" trails down by the "Rock Garden" the ZJ tie rod, and clamp, got pushed into the lower part of the swaybar link, as seen in the picture. I was able to bend it back straight, with a winch line, but the damage showed a flaw in my thought process.

3. Honestly, my single biggest problem was the differential height - on 32" tires I'm at 9.25" (rear) and 10.5" (front) of clearance. I was able to mostly keep the front from being abused, but the rear really took a beating. This can only be addressed by larger tires, so I'm just going to have to focus on being a better driver. The other thing I can do is install the two cameras I have for the Insane Audio system.

I feel your pain.
 
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