As a Jeep outcast from the USMB, I've been cheating over at a Jeep site and occasionally wheeling with groups from there. Had a couple of pretty sweet runs, did Evans Creek at night in the snow and mud. Probably the funnest wheeling I ever did. The guys we went with were in capable rigs and were experienced at wheeling Both weren't afraid to let Ken or I spot for them. Even the stock JK Rubicon did ok.
Next time out, went to Evans with guys in big ol' rigs and my brother Marty who bought my old Toyota. Again, the guys were experienced and had well built rigs. Only Marty is a greenhorn, but he listens well and the Toyota is a friggin' soldier. There's no where I can go in my Rubicon that the Toyota can't just plod right thru.
So. Third time's a charm right?
I agreed to meet up with some other guys and go to Walker Valley. Dude talked about how they had their rigs on trailers and blah blah. Sounds like some baddass rigs to me, my plain jane rig might get teased. I met up with a guy I'd met once before in a stock 2014 JK 4 door Rubicon. Thinking he'd have the most problems, we headed out to go meet the other two rigs in Marysville. A stock 99 wrangler on 33s and a kinda built YJ on 33s. Neither has a winch or recovery points. wtf.
We follow them up and get head on up the trail (Easy something or other) after unloading and airing down. Well, I aired down to 15lbs, but the other guys declined. I take last in the line of 4 and head up. At the (NEW) gate, both 2 doors have big struggles getting around the posts and rocks. Clutch smell city. The JK crunches his door in on his less than 500 mile having new ride. (He sucks it up and says no big deal) Up the hill we go. SOON, we're smelling clutch and seeing smoke. This goes on for a half a mile until we all pull over and dude in the YJ realizes he's been in high range the whole climb. doh. So we head up the steep part to get to the Express Way rock climb. The JK and the other TJ bypass the rocks and pull over. I'm third in line and stop at the bottom of the rocks. The YJ struggles and bounces and scrambles its way up and parks behind me. I decide my line and headed up the rock. You'll note dude yelling "Passenger", but I didn't trust his line. When did finally listen to him, he got me high centered, so I had to back down some.
You guys local to Walker know there's some rocks just after that. Well, the TJ took about 50 tries and finally bounced his way thru, hammer down. The YJ tries it and mashes the pedal too hard and BAM! rear axle. "You only got one front wheel turning now man." Backed him down and this next photo is their solution to how to keep the rear tire from sliding out on the broken axle. yep.
And they walked it down the hill the whole way at a snail's pace, but made it.
I learned not to wheel with noobs. I learned that even though it's a Jeep, mashing the pedal will still wreck your stuff. Finesse, works just fine, I'm ok with not beating up my ride.