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Pucker Factor

Sancho

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Jan 17, 2018
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San Diego, CA, United States
Describe a time when on the trail, where your heart jumped through your chest, your pucker factor exceeded levels never known to man, and made you regret choosing wheeling as a hobby.

But you learned something.


For me.. it was Devil's Slide in Anza Borrego. I was trail lead, and showing some buddies who were new to offroading some easy trails.

Devil's Slide is just a soft sand dune, did not think much about it. I went down the dune, and nearly rolled twice because i was in too low of a gear, 4lo 1st... which caused the sand behind my vehicle to fish tail me.

Fish tailing on a steep sand dune is doom... as you end up sideways, perpendicular to where you need to go.

It was pretty hairy, and the fishtails occurred twice. 2 wheels in air at one point. vehicle almost

Reaction:
After a shout of "Dear Jesus... HELP", my reaction to the rear fishtailing was to push in the clutch and straighten out.. causing the vehicle to pick up speed.

Lesson Learned:
Dont underestimate obstacles. And always make sure to be in the right gearing for soft sand.

If that hill was a normal material of dirt... 4lo 1st would of been fine, since the engine compressuion can help regulate speed.

 
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tworley

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For me it would have been my first trail in my Jeep. Chinaman Gulch a couple hours West of Denver. I remember thinking I was way in over my head, hours from home and scared shitless I was going to break something. The crew I was with though were very patient, walked me through everything, I wheel with those guys regularly now.

79988
 

KimsJeep

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Jan 5, 2019
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Sacramento
Mine wasn't a trail ride, it was the freeway off ramp. LOL I had owned my TJ for all of 2 days and I was driving to work like I have been doing for the last 10 years (in the direction I was going, LOL, been working for 30 yrs.). It had been raining that day and the roads were still wet that early morning. I was behind a car that was going really slow getting off the off ramp and he finally moved to the other lane so I sped up a tad, thinking to myself, "come on dude we can go faster then this on this curve". Well, I ended up fish tailing. I was able to recover but it scared the crap out of me and I learned that in the TJ I need to respect the curves and wet roads a bit more then in my VW bus, or any of the other vehicles I drive. I mean I can take that curve getting off the freeway at 50 in my bus. LOL

Honestly I don't know if it was just because of the TJ being smaller and lighter or do to the fact the tires weren't the best. It did have one brand new one in the back but the others were all getting pretty bad. I have had tires that bad on my bus before and still took that curve no problems though. We have switched the tires since then, not new ones, but better then what it had. I still slow down for that curve regardless. LOL
 
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astjp2

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Aug 22, 2018
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Utah and Alaska
Sliding sideways at 80 mph on the Alaska highway just after a new snowfall. Thank goodness the banks were 6' high and soft, I just slid into the snow, it piled up over the top of the cab. Took an hour to dig myself out. That was in the winter of 91...
 
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Sancho

Sancho

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San Diego, CA, United States
The Gate Keeper at Mabel... It was my first outing with SISOffroad and the first experience with rocks. My left leg was shaking from pressing the clutch through the floor at every moment of uncertainty.

Lol... the shaking left leg thing.. i know all too well.

Heart Attack Hill, also in anza borrego is another i can remember scaring me.

I did it 13 yrs or so ago, stock on 30's.


 
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Camdenst

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Dec 7, 2017
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Connecticut, United States
My father was riding shotgun giggling, might have actually wet himself watching me wobble walk after I made it up. Hahaha. He still tells the story 10 urs later. He grew up in a different era with a CJ 7.
 

jodomcfrodo

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Feb 24, 2016
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Evanston, IL, United States
I don't really get scared too much off-road, but this one on Hell's Revenge in Moab was a bit sketchy. The fact that I had started driving less than 9 months earlier didn't help either. It's a bit steeper than it looks in the video.

Just for reference, I was in first gear low range and standing on the brakes.


 
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AndyG

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Jul 30, 2018
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Alabama
I don't really get scared too much off-road, but this one on Hell's Revenge in Moab was a bit sketchy. The fact that I had started driving less than 9 months earlier didn't help either. It's a bit steeper than it looks in the video.

Just for reference, I was in first gear low range and standing on the brakes.


View attachment 80060
You can skin the paint in Moab.

It's surreal to me . I've ridden all over it on a KTM, it's just amazing , beautiful country.
 

Squatch

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Lol... the shaking left leg thing.. i know all too well.

Heart Attack Hill, also in anza borrego is another i can remember scaring me.

I did it 13 yrs or so ago, stock on 30's.


Thank you! I have been looking for that first video for months. I had seen it before, and remember in the comments how people were roasting the spotter (deservedly so, I suspect). I wanted to go back and watch the video again, but couldn't remember the title. Thanks, @Sancho!
 
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AndyG

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Thank you! I have been looking for that first video for months. I had seen it before, and remember in the comments how people were roasting the spotter (deservedly so, I suspect). I wanted to go back and watch the video again, but couldn't remember the title. Thanks, @Sancho!
First time I'd seen it .. boy that all went bad fast.
 

PCO6

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 25, 2016
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751
Location
Newmarket, Ontario
I've never had a problem with a Jeep but I had a few when I used to race off road cars in the '70s. It's funny ... we occasionally raced against Jeep CJ's and they seemed HUGE!!!

I went off of a jump in a race and the guy I just passed landed on me when he came off of it. His right front tire crushed my left rear shock and then hit my roll bar and grazed my helmet. The track photographer caught part of it.

picture.jpg


Another time a friend had just finished a 2 seater which we didn't see a lot of back then. I was in it as a passenger when he barrel rolled it down the side of a hill. It was a slow roll and what I remember most was seeing ... blue, green, blue, green, blue, etc. Other friends said they counted 7 rolls but that's the last thing you're thinking about as it's happening. The same guy later did an endo in it and that pretty much destroyed the car. I'm glad I wasn't with him for that one.
 

Mike_H

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Thank you! I have been looking for that first video for months. I had seen it before, and remember in the comments how people were roasting the spotter (deservedly so, I suspect). I wanted to go back and watch the video again, but couldn't remember the title. Thanks, @Sancho!
That Spotter caused that crash, IMHO. He should have been pushing that driver away from the incline...Would have been fine, had the passenger tire not climbed that rock. Dummy.
 
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Sancho

Sancho

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Jan 17, 2018
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San Diego, CA, United States
Thank you! I have been looking for that first video for months. I had seen it before, and remember in the comments how people were roasting the spotter (deservedly so, I suspect). I wanted to go back and watch the video again, but couldn't remember the title. Thanks, @Sancho!

Your welcome!

If you make your way down here.... we can run that trail.

The gatekeeper of that trail is called "The Squeeze."

 
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Mike_H

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Grand Rapids, MI, United States
My most "pucker" moment didn't come on a famous trail...just a dirt hill behind a buddy's house. He has a few acres with a jeep trail through the woods. Just a short little thing, but there is a swamp behind him, so there are a couple nice holes and a couple good hills. Its fun to get out and test mods. Well we were having a Halloween party and as people drink, the frequency of desired jeep rides increases. Buck (my buddy) has a collection of jeeps, so we had a Cherokee and a YJ out that night. I live quite a drive from him (30'ish miles) so I don't drink at the party. That means I am typically the Designated Driver for the jeep rides. I took the YJ out with 3 other guys. We were going up the tough hill, which is the steepest and most rutted. There is also a little jog at the top around a tree. Gotta carry some speed to make it, but there is a tight RH turn at the bottom. It can be challenging, depending on the dirt conditions. It was a bit wet that night, but not terrible. Anyway, We didn't make it this time...had made it about 5 other times that night. So, as I was backing down, the front tires locked up and started sliding on the wet leaves. The ruts also grabbed the tires, so I started sliding sideways in the middle of this steep hill. I thought for sure we were going over. Thankfully, I got it stopped and called ( on my cell) for some help. In the meantime, I'm telling the three other drunk idiots (they really weren't, but in my stressed out mind during this, I was yelling at them) not to move, and NO you can't get out...We haven't rolled yet, so we're safe if you quit moving around. If you get out...who knows. Anyway about 5 minutes later (felt like hours) the Cherokee shows up with the winch. We hooked the uphill corner of the YJ to the winch, and I was able to drive it out. I needed that anchor point though!
 
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Squatch

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Everett, Wash, United States
That Spotter caused that crash, IMHO. He should have been pushing that driver away from the incline...Would have been fine, had the passenger tire not climbed that rock. Dummy.
Agreed. He motioned her right into the incline. In fact, it was one of the few hand signals he made that could actually be understood. His spotting abilities/hand signals give new meaning to the Bible verse "let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth".:rolleyes: