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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Jeep Rebuild 8-7-11 Field Testing

Red, the Land Use War Machine is a whole new rig now.  The T&T Customs Rock-Tek suspension is truly amazing and works like a dream.  Both on and off-road, this engineered system is a "Cadillac" ride and performance. We found ourselves cruising through obstacles with ease and finesse.  On the last day of All 4 Fun in Salida, CO where we were doing the testing, we broke a 10 year old axle in the Ford 9.  But it was field fixed and we made it back to camp. 
The T&T shows itself on this rock with the cab still fairly level (considering).  The JKS Switch Blade Sway Bar System is working great and is so simple to use.

The PSC hydraulic assist works so much better now with this T&T High Steer set up (one ton gear).  The BFG's are grabbing and working great like always.

Note the WJ (Grand Cherokee) knuckles that provide the foundation for the high steer setup.

We were also very pleased with our new emulsion Fox Racing Shox.  They worked amazingly well, especially coupled with the Old Man Emu (OME) coils and T&T suspension.  We felt a whole new ride and feel, let alone awesome handling.

Drivers meetings and trail updates were frequent on most All 4 Fun trails, and proved very valuable to knowing more about the trail and the history of the area.  Here we are on the Chinaman Gulch trail near Carnage Canyon intersection.  Carnage lives up to its name and we opted to avoid that one.

This gives a view (top down) of Carnage Canyon.  It's hard to see but the drop off in the middle of the trail is pretty much a winch-up obstacle that is nothing less than gnarly!!!!

These trails are about 8000 elevation so the scenery is more high desert type.

The soil here is best described as slippery (greasy?).  When you put it on big rocks, you get a ride you'll never forget.

Bob Levenhagen of T&T Customs poses for a good camera shot at the top of Carnage Canyon.  All in all, it was a great trail test day on Chinaman Gulch. 

Then it happened.....

I got on a rock pile, not pushing it or getting crazy, when the 10-year old axle in the Ford 9 gave up and snapped off at the hub/flange.  Ouch.  It was described by fellow wheelers as an epic break.

Tyler Schleppy of 4x4Offroad and Used Parts performed magic and created the right length of splines on a spare axle he happen to have along in his XJ, using our Warn PowerPlant winch/air compressor and a cut-off tool.   Will Carter looks on and helps.  All hands chipped in to make sure "Red" got back to camp.

We had to press on the new bearings (that Tyler also happened to have) with a pipe and "armstrong" work.  We did it.  It worked.

Then, before we could get all the way down off the mountain and back to camp, Chris Lowrey broke both spring hangers on his rig and we had to use "Red" and his Premier Power Welder to rescue him as well.

Will Carter provided a spare tire that fit the new bolt pattern of the loaner axle from Tyler.  Well, ok, it's several sizes to small compared to the 37 inch BFG's up front; but hey, it worked and I nursed it back to safety and camp.  Thanks to all who helped, including our T&T friends, Tyler, Will, Mike Paris in his '73 Bronco that ensured we all made it to camp, Melody Mesmer our trail boss, and the rest of our trail crew on Chinaman Gulch.  You all ROCK.

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