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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2000, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Jeeping Stories and driving tips

Seeing as how my Jeep is down, and will be down for the foreseable future [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] I am hoping to at least hear how everyone else enjoys their vehichles. This could also provide valuable driving tips to those of us who haven't yet encountered a particular terrain.

Take mudding for example. Thats pretty much the only thing I have experience with (a little sand, and a little water too). I've managed to get through a whole lot of mud holes without ragging on my Jeep (Point in fact, my transmission broke during a drought- there was no mud to break it in!) I sure don't crawl through it, but I try to keep things around 3000rpms (give or take 500.) I've blasted through a particularly nasty ditch that had a big Jeep Cherokee on 36" tires stuck even (my crowning achievement thus far.)

The biggest trick in mud is to keep up vehichle momemtum. You miss a shift and your screwed- thats why automatics are so popular in mudding these days. When I attempt some nasty stuff, I get a nice head-start and try to make it into 3rd gear-low range before hitting the hole. As engine RPMS drop, you've got to downshift around 1800-1500, and do it fast. If you can get the engine to accelerate while mudding, upshifting around 3000-3500 will keep the engine from bogging down in the next gear.

At a particulary large, nasty mudhole after a serious amount of rainfall- I really put my Jeep through it's paces. The mudhole was basically an oval, with the "staging point" or gathering area on the Northeast edge. on the East end it is very shallow, 2wd stuff and it gets progressively deeper to the West end. The patches of grass marked a sort of boundaries and lanes. The South side of the hole was some nasty, thick mud but wasn't particularly deep- Just up to the axles I'd say. A truck on 44" swampers was trying to drive the entire border of the hole. He'd start out on the Northeastern corner and drive across the easy stuff, then along the Southern corner through the nasty-but-shallow stuff, and then get stuck at the Westen edge in bumper deep (for him, on 44s!) mud. Being a Sycho, I tried to follow him in my nearly stock Jeep Wrangler on 31" MTs. Once he was firmly entrenched in the Western end I started my run- Across the easy stuff in third gear-low range, across a couple ruts, and then get up to 3500 rpms before hitting that nasty axle-deep (to me) stuff. There was seemingly no stopping me! At least for a little while- I downshifted into 2nd as the engine bogged down but maintained reasonable forward progress, then down into first gear as the engine continued to bog- this was some really thick goo! Right before some knee-deep ruts the big truck had just made in the South-West corner I decided to save myself a long walk back through deep mud and let the Jeep stop, quickly shifting into reverse before it began to sink in. I must confess that in reverse I might have hit 4 grand for a little while, but I was trying to look back and wasn't focusing on the Tach. I successfully reversed through the course enough to turn around and drive back and hang out with everyone else for a little while before helping the guy with the big truck haul the Tug-boat tow rope and some massive wire over to his truck.

Know your area before you try to tackle it, even if other people are there- it doesn't mean they want to spend all day pulling you out of a hood-deep 'bog. After having proved my mettel at that hole in front of everybody I prompty asked where I should try next.
"You see that first patch of grass on the left, and the patch about 10 feet to the right of it?"
"Yeah- where that Cherokee was stuck?"
"Yup- thats it, you could probably get through there- I went through it just last week with my Samuri on 31s, ands its only got a four-banger."
"Alright- here goes!" I replied and took off, hitting it in 3rd gear-low range and 3000rpms. I'm pretty sure that I bent my driver's front shackle when I hit that rut someone had made the day before with some 38s.... The Jeep, of course, stopped dead. No reversing out of it this time either. Since I had helped tow the strap out to the big truck, that guy tried to pull me out forwards using my tow hooks. He sure slid all over the place but my Jeep didn't budge an inch. Finally, I hauled that heavy rope over to the Jeep and hooked it around the ball hitch so a guy "on shore" in a Dodge Power Wagon could pull me out. After spinning his tires and digging some holes he resorted to snatching. While not being fun for either driver it sure gets results, and did mange to extricate my vehichle. I stayed to the left of that first patch of grass for the rest of the day!

At a park about 40 miles from me there is some serious fun to be had. the trails are usually made like this: First the dirt-bikers start doing them, then the ATVs, then some stock 4-wheelers and finally the big dogs come in an dig it all up. Thats what happened to a certain 200' ditch there. I wouldn't even go near the thing for quite a while, except to pull people out (including a full-size Dodge on 33s.) The park had dried up enough one weekend until that ditch was one of the last challenging obstacles remaining. I had just installed my racing bucket seat and 5-point harness and needed to test it too. My friend has a '78 Cherokee with a 258, 3 speed, Dana 20, and 36" swampers. He took off down this ditch as soon was about level with the roof of his truck, I promptly backed down the ditch close enough to hook up a strap and snatched him out. I took a close look at it and saw that it gradually got deeper and deeper and then suddenluy there was a 6" drop where someone had dug a hole with their tire. Since it was uphill from there it made a 10" ledge after the hole. I figured to myself that if I tackled it from the other end I could jump this hole with enough speed. I strapped that harness on tight and lined up at the other end tp get a good running start. 3rd gear-low range and 3500 rpms again. I bounced around like mad, but cleared the hole! I shifted into second for the uphill climb out, and then down to first. The engine began accelerating again and I upshifted to 2nd and drove on out. The crowd goes wild! So, of course, the Cherokee tries it. He goes to slow though, hits the hole, and all forward progess ceases. The next time he hits it a little harder and his engine dies- all the rattling around had knocked the coil wire off. He tried again, full throttle...and makes it!

Thats all for now- Sorry for such a long post. I hope to see some more stories posted up here so everyone can enjoy them and maybe even learn something.

Restoring a '74 DJ-5C! Finally, it runs [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] and drives [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] and leaks oil [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif[/img] and water [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2000, 10:58 PM
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Re: Jeeping Stories and driving tips

OK, you talked mud, lets talk rock for just a minute (mud is fairly rare around here!). I spent the last 2 days getting my t-case skid plate hung up, I usually just scrape along on it real good, but not this weekend. For you guys that are thinking about dropping your skid plate with that lift...DON'T!, if you plan on crawling over rock. This afternoon was an especially good one, the Jeep was doing a very nice pirouette on a knob at the top of a 6 ft or so wall, had to have my friend in his early Bronco pull me off. Then turn around, try it again, different line, stuck again on the skid plate, this time was able to back off and take a different line, finally made it. Yesterday, try a almost vertical 8 ft wall, guess what happens, get stuck on the skid plate and bury the tailpipe in the sand at the same time. Think I woulda learned about this obstacle, its the one where I stood the Jeep on its spare tire last time I tried it. Anyway, if there is a point to all this rambling, don't drop that skid plate, in fact who has done a flat skid plate and clocked their Dana 300, I'd like a little info on that, it is DEFINITELY an upcoming project.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2000, 09:38 AM
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Re: Jeeping Stories and driving tips

Brad, I just returned from a great trip to Utopia,Texas. A buddy of mine had his first outing on a 'clocked' 300 and a really nic flat skid plate. "Man this thing is BEEFY!" I have a couple of pics of it and the trip I will post when I get some more free time. By the way he used the 'ring' that was advertised on Jeep Wire and was really happy with it.

Common sense is genius dressed in working clothes.

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