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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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OT. I learned something

Most of you know my ride "Dr. Evil". With that Samurai I don't have too much trouble getting around. It's locked, geared, buit, etc...Yesterday I took the wifes Sammy out for a short ride.Spoa, 2" lift springs, 32" tires, the rest is stock even the shocks. I learned how much fun it is to wheel one with open diffs and easy stearing."Dr. Evil" has never been that. I was in heaven!!! I am now thinking of unlocking "Dr. Evil" but probably wont. I do know this, I have saved alot of $$ with yesterdays run, my new project "Benji" that I have been working on will now be open diff and not locked.

For those whos do not know of the project, here is a current pic of "Benji".

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 07:22 AM
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Re: OT. I learned something

I've been a long time subscriber to the belief that if you build your Zuk too much it takes a LOT of the fun out of wheeling and you need to find tougher and tougher terrain to fulfill the need for a challenge. I'm going to lock mine but I'll do it with ARBs that way if I want to wheel like "everyone else" in the crowd, I can.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 09:07 AM
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Re: OT. I learned something

Well, A few of us were discussing this very thing a couple of months ago. When we started wheeling as a group we went just about everywhere on 31's (Scout II) and open diffs with sucky gear ratios. Now people want you to be locked front and rear on 36's with at least 75:1 crawl. It's a mindset, a rut people have gotten used to, thinking more is better. Last night I went out with a group, and they thought I'd be dragged along on the extreme trails, because the Zuk only has one locker and 32's. I never got tugged once, and all of them were amazed that I was able to keep up with them. I was also amazed, I must say, because these trails are only run with 36" and larger tires, and the ruts are 36" deep.

The point is, most people don't take the time to learn to "read" a trail, which is needed to overcome any vehicle shortcomings. Doing this allows a near stock vehicle to go the same places as a built vehicle. There are limitations, sure, but most of the times it's true. My most humbling experience was when wheeling with a group of locals. I had the big bad Scrambler, on 33" Swampers, and we were doing a muddy trail with huge ruts. A guy borrowed a CJ-3A with 225 street tires, half bald. That guy could drive, and he went everywhere, but never stayed in any ruts, he almost rolled it in a few places, but knew every limitation of that Willys. I was amazed and to this day will never put down an "inferior" rig. In fact, I think I got towed, and he never did. I wish I had pictures, but there was no such thing as a digital back then.

When someone asks me what mod to make to their rig, I always tell them, "Go drive it". They look at me funny (and a lot of people ask, you wouldn't believe how many) and ask what I'm talking about, so I explain. If you don't KNOW what to do to your rig, then you haven't spent enough time behind the wheel. Once you have spent enough time behind the wheel, you won't have to ask. You'll ask the questions about which lift or lockers to get, sure, but not what to do overall.

A few of the local trails are a lot easier with a locker and large tires, but there is enough around to still make it interesting, and sometimes I just like to be out wheeling, and not beating, so a ride in the country is in order. I do enjoy doing some harder trails though, and some of the ones here just aren't possible without at least one locker, no bones about it. I have also hosted runs, and listened to people complain (behind my back) about how pathetic a trail is, and how they want something harder. Well, if people can't be greatful to be wheeling on an invite, then I stop inviting them, which is what I have done. No sense twisting someone's arm to hear them complain.

A lot of the people I wheel with are locked front and rear on 36's, and they wheel them well, no doubt about it. Every one of them knows why their rig is the way it is, and every one of them built it that way, it's the way things are around here. Occasionally we'll get a newby wheeling, like the one back in May, where he took his lifted TJ out on the trail and commenced to whail on it. It survived, and went a lot of places, but he did some damage. Now I hear he's spending the money on a Klune-V. This is a guy with a family, with no money to spare, and he's trying to build his rig (some of them are running Klune's) to match the others, without knowing why.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 10:25 AM
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Re: OT. I learned something

I have to agree with what Jeepn and grumpy have said. My rig is for hunting first and formost,
and Its most serious drawback is lack of HP in that tiny 1L motor when towing my tent trailer.
It makes the hills a pain.

Once I go to a bigger motor I'll need to bump the tire size to 31's maybe to bump the gearing, (I cruise
at ~5000+ rpm, not good for the 1.3) and will add the 5 sp OD. At that point I'll do a simple SPOA
and at most an ARB.

I can relate similar stories about getting around on the trails, like going hunting in a 2wd LWB chevy truck.
Coil sprung, loaded so heavy it was near bottomed out. We stopped when the trail turned into a
creek bed for a hundred yards or so and set up camp. Opening morning 2 Dodge power wagons and a
Jeep parked nearby and they walked in. Only a honda 90 and a guy on a horse kept going.

The honda guy stopped to talk that evening comming out, and during the conversation asked "who's the
crazy guy that drove that chev in?" My partners laughed and pointed at me. (I had sheered all the side
lights off one side of the camper shell on a tree comming in, as one example) My comment was why did
the other 4 wheelers stop? They would have had no problems picking their way through the creek, but
didn't know how.

Learn your rig, it will amaze you. If you can, spend some time in 2 lo. you will be shocked.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 10:28 AM
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Re: OT. I learned something

My wife made an interesting commit once when we went out after I got my swampers and rear locker. We used to slip and slide all over the place when I was running my AT's and just a front locker that being locked front and rear with really agressive tires made everything to easy.
Then, after watching Billy Bob and Murph wheel a bone stock hard top with slick tires just about everywhere the built sami's were going at Haspin, made me long for a stocker. It just looks like sooo much more fun!
Nick, if you sell any of them....get a stocker and let's go wheelin!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 01:21 PM
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Re: OT. I learned something

My two cents:

I went to Disney OK Saturday the 19th to wheel with my club (many Land Cruisers) and write a story for the KC 4 Wheel Drive Association's newsletter. For clarification, my Samurai is down with bad front axle bearings, so I rode with a Cruiser owner.

We had amonst us a stock early seventies RHD British Military Land Rover radio car comparable to your average Willys Jeep. The only thing it had that was special was slightly aggressive 30" tires. Everyone else had at least one locked axle.

We went up this 300 foot long 30 degree grade. This truck (and it's skilled driver) went up the hill like it was nothing. Those that didn't have breakdowns in the process of navigating the hill managed to get up it, though occasionally not as gracefully as the MIL Rover. Thus the point was made that it's the driver, not the technology, that often get's one over the toughest terrain.

So, does my essay win an air locker?

BTW, Disney was a really great place to wheel!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-20-2002, 03:13 PM
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Re: OT. I learned something

my 'wheeling' sami was (still is) down this year for some big mods. I didnt want to miss a season of 4-wheeling so I did a basic SPOA with some 31's on my daily driver. Welded the rear and locked the front and had a blast all summer, you dont need to do alot to have a good time. I did miss my other sami though and do look forward to wheeling it, its just about finding the right trail for how you are built.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-21-2002, 11:19 AM
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Re: OT. I learned something

I agree.. I've said before that I'm done building my rig -- anything else added will be because I broke it and might as well improve while I replace -- I'm content wtih my 4 inch lift and 30's -- just enough to give a little more bite, but not enough to take away the challenge. I don't want lockers either.

Driving that stocker bald-tire hardtop (with the swaybar) was incredible -- brought me back to my totally stock days and I was amazed at how much I learned over the years with minimal modifications.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-21-2002, 12:54 PM
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Re: OT. I learned something

<font color="black"> </font color> [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I'd have a agree about the driving part. You have to know your line. I took my 93 Sidekick offroad for the first time since i bought in back in March just last Saturday with a great bunch of guys from around new england. my sidekick is bone stock with street tires.The trails we went on were pretty easy but there were places to play also. I made it all the way through with only a few frame scraps.If you know what line to take and let the truck do the work you shouldn't have any peoblems. Now on the other hand if you are locked and lifted and bigger tires sure you can go over bigger rocks and climb bigger hills.So the moral of the story is you do what you can with what you have.
Another time when I had my 87 sammi I went 4wheeling in VT. with my friend who had a 4runner with 32's(?) and my tires where stock size.Anyway,anywhere he went I could go too.It just depended on how you drove and where.
post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-21-2002, 08:44 PM
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Re: OT. I learned something

80% driver 20% vehicle is what it boils down to.
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