It was an absolutely wonderful trip. Full of great scenery, great fourwheeling, and best of all, great company. Everyone pulled their weight and did their best to help out in the face of adversity. And they were a ton of fun to spend time with as well. Most importantly of all, thanks for Danny Warden for his help. Without him, our trip would have been far less entertaining.
On a humorous note, after we got home and Dave read the first draft of my story, he told me he could relate to the slapping, open window and water spraying techniques of trying to stay awake on a long drive. He drove for 21 hours straight, from Placerville to Langley, BC, and tried everything imaginable. The anti-histamines Pam took weren't the non-drowsy kind so she was unable to drive except for maybe 1.5 very brief hours. Meanwhile, Dave got to watch everyone else take turns driving in the other vehicles, including Gord and Rob who were rotating drivers as much as every 45 minutes near the end.
Project YJ Notes
Stuff that worked:
I can't end this article without stressing the need for rocker armour. Even on vehicles with a lot of lift, rocker armour will be needed to fend off sheet metal damage. There were many occasions where I was pleased that I took the time to build and install my rocker guards.
The TJ flares worked very, very well. I maxed out my suspension travel a lot but the tires only rubbed the flares once or twice. I wish I did this mod sooner.
Big rocks require lots of ground clearance and the Go 2 Twister Dana 300 re-indexing adapter provided it. The additional 3" of ground clearance was noticeable and allowed me to clear obstacles that would have previously caught my skid plate. Considering that the centre of gravity wasn't altered by this modification, this improvement in ground clearance had absolutely zero drawbacks.
The Pro Comp MTs and Rockcrawler wheels...well, what can I say? Everyone was impressed at how well they hooked up to the dust-covered rocks. At 10 psi with a fully loaded Jeep, they flattened out to provide a huge contact patch. I was amazed at how much abuse the sidewalls took without puncturing or getting pulled off the rims. And after all that, I drove another 24 hours on them at highway speeds to get home. Very, very impressive.
Stuff I wish I had:
The high traction surface of the Granite Bowl caused a lot of driveline bind. For most of the time, I used 4-lo and unlocked the front hubs. A twin-stick conversion that would let me use 2-lo would have been a major convenience.
A hot water shower! It's one of those things that sounds so-so when you hear about it but once you try it, you MUST have one. After trying John Barron's onboard hot water shower, I am determined to build one for Project YJ.
Onboard air. I still haven't finished my OBA project and this trip provided another incentive to do it. John Barron used his system extensively to power his impact wrench. If I had OBA, I wouldn't have had to drive so far on partially inflated tires when we drove back to Placerville on that parts run.
An inclinometer. Jonathan had one in his TJ (the BC4x4.COM project vehicle) and while it wasn't a necessity, it sure made the trail more entertaining for him. I would have loved to know some of the angles I was at. The one Jonathan had was the 7489c Tilt Meter from Cascadia Instrumentation and was very accurate.
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