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Unread 06-02-2011, 07:43 PM   #31
Apollo21
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Midshipmen Patrick 1/C USMMA DD: 2004 Golf GLS TDI 43mpg and 2002 Overland: Zone 4in, 32in Treadwright MTRs, IRO upper CAs, lift gate light mod, Alpine/Polk speakers, and power inverter with USB in dash mod, CB, custom rear swing out tire carrier Build thread [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/apollo21-build-thread-902929/[/url] SOLD
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Unread 06-05-2011, 01:48 PM   #32
billzcat1
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Took a big road trip with the WJ this week. 3689 miles. Did have a couple issues... rear pinion seal, rear axle seal both took a dump, leaking about 4 oz of gear oil every 1500 miles. Also, on a bad washboard road, the RC quick discos started clunking to the point I called it a death rattle. There is a definite design flaw with these QDs where they meet the sway bar as they use a 12mm stud passing through a much larger hole. I also had the same phenomenon on-road over Independence Pass in Colorado on a large crack in the pavement. I still like them better than the JKS QDs, but not by much. The moral of this story is that that RC QDs should be discoed any time you go offroad with them, even on easy forest service roads.

Anyway, here's some pics of the trip. Unfortunately the two places I planned on wheeling were closed due to epic snow, so most of the wheeling was just FS roads and campgrounds.



Newberry Volcanic National Monument - this was a good place to test the Variloks



I guess that road is closed?



Near Fort Rock, OR



Developed campsite in UT



Around 13,000 ft elevation on Pikes Peak



At the Summit



A good indication of what Pikes Peak Highway is all about.



A little light wheeling to the North of Pikes Peak.



Unfortunately...had to keep going. Passed Moab on the way home, no time to stop



Got tires? Yeah I think my WJ needs 96s. Think a Dana 30 will hold up?
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Unread 06-05-2011, 07:31 PM   #33
SnowLeopard
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I love that you took a road trip like this. I'd love to do that. I did something similar during the winter of '08/'09, but it was insanity. That was one majorly bad winter. I was just at Independence Pass in Colo last weekend. It's a lot of fun up there, I must say.

If you think Pike's Peak is something, try Hwy 103 heading out of Evergreen, Co someday. Then take the Mt. Evans Hwy. That's insane! I love it though. It's so high up there! It's a lot more beautiful terrain as well, in my opinion.

I would like to ask for more pics. You've gotta have more from such an epic road trip. Thanks for sharing. Your Dub is awesome.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 08:41 PM   #34
billzcat1
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Yeah... took over 1000 photos. We got a new camera before we went and I'm really happy with its image quality for being a non-SLR. It's a Nikon "mega zoom" point and shoot, forget the model, but I'm happy with it.

I've done lots of road trips, but none so well equipped. I think we could have crashed anywhere and survived just fine for a week before looking for help. I'd love to take another trip like this during the summer (and do more wheeling) but alas, it was mighty expensive. An average day was $120-140 in fuel costs alone.

I would love to live in CO or even UT, both were beautiful states. The high altitude and heavily loaded rig gave the 4.7 a good workout. At high altitude, I found that 91 octane yielded significantly better economy than the 87-89 range because it would downshift much less often. Down here where the air is thick, there's not much difference in economy (.5 mpg worse with premium). I had a best tank of 21 mpg, but most were 18-19, with one outlier (allllll downhill from Aspen to Grand Junction) that was 24.9. I don't count that as a real mileage figure.

Pikes Peak is a pretty epic driving road and Independence Pass was as well. PP was more about experiencing it before it is all paved. I have been a fan of Audis and how they set all kinds of records in the 80s on Pikes Peak. I'm not as hardcore into rally as I was, but it was still phenomenal to experience, a cathartic experience. Next stop Nurburgring! I wish...
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Unread 06-05-2011, 08:50 PM   #35
SnowLeopard
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I love the beauty of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho as well. You're lucky to be where you are. Be sure to post up some more pics when you get the chance. Yeah, the snow was still pretty deep up in the mountains of Colorado when I was there last weekend. I know Independence Pass had hardly been opened. How far was your trip, from point A to point B? And it's funny, we might've even crossed path up in Colorado. If only we'd known we were both going to be up there. I'd loved to have seen your Jeep in person. Oh, and meet you, too.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 10:25 PM   #36
billzcat1
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Well, we had a lot of points along the way, but the total was 3689 miles. More pics (and a vid) on the way to my Photobucket. We took a few videos, but most of the time I wasn't aware of the recording and wound up saying something dumb, so this is the only one I am posting!



The album if you want to browse (this is only 1/4 of the pics we took):
http://s271.photobucket.com/albums/j...at1/Honeymoon/
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Unread 06-05-2011, 10:33 PM   #37
SnowLeopard
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Is that Independence Pass in that vid? I'll have to take a look at the full album tomorrow. It's getting late. I really wish I'd known you'd be in Colo. I bet we could've met up. Ah well. Maybe next time.

Edit: Nah, that's Pike's Peak. I've just never been up the road with all the snow on it like that before. At least not since I was like 7 years old. It was October of last year when I was last up there. It's beautiful, and your wife is right, pictures and video can't do it justice. You just have to see it.

It's like after coming back from Independence Pass last week. I look over the pics I took and wonder what happened to the grandeur and majesty. It's just lost in 2 dimensional photos. There's no way to realize how immense and amazing it all really is. The Arkansas River was really roiled up, too, with snowmelt off the mountains. I hiked along it for part of a day.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 10:42 PM   #38
billzcat1
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Yeah...both roads are beyond comprehension through photos.

No more road trips for a while...expennnnnsive! Guess you'll have to come out this direction!
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Unread 06-05-2011, 10:54 PM   #39
SnowLeopard
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As an aside from the beauty of the trip itself, what'd you think of the GY Silent Armors? Were they worth it over getting Duratracs? I was going to get some, but I ended up with Hankooks because they were quite a bit cheaper for 4. I sometimes wish I'd gotten a spare to match. My old Michelin that I keep as a spare is like an inch smaller in diameter, but I was on a budget...

I know they're expensive! I can't get the time off nor afford to drive the 1700 miles out west where you are anytime soon either.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 11:03 PM   #40
billzcat1
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They're good tires. I wouldn't say they are better than Duratracs though. I bought them because I needed tires badly when I was still stock and Duratracs weren't available in an appropriate size. When I go to 31s (someday) I am debating between Duratracs, MT/R w/Kevlar, or General Grabber AT2.

Nice thing about the SAs is the Kevlar layer and uber-tough tread. I've driven on nasty sharp rocks and not even had any chipping of the tread. I read another guy's post in the WJ forum that he ran over some nails, they went in to the Kevlar, stopped, and bent over. So, they are pretty indestructible. Aired down, they do really well on most surfaces (never been a big fan of mud though). But for rock, sand, dirt, snow...pretty darn good.

On trick on making the Goodyears affordable is to sign up for TreadLightly. I'm not sure if they are doing it again this year, but last year they offered a $100 rebate on any Goodyear Wrangler tire for being a member. That made them cheaper than the Hankook ATM RF10s I was eyeballing, and they came with the Mountain/Snowflake rating.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 11:28 PM   #41
SnowLeopard
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I wish I'd known about that rebate a year and some months ago when I got the Hankooks, but they've been good tires so far. Excellent actually. I can't say a single bad thing about them. And so far they haven't had any chipping of tread either. I've driven over a lot of nails, but none have punctured. Without the kevlar, I'm not sure they'd survive as well. I really wanted the SA's. Duratracs are pretty nice in comparison though. They were pretty unheard of back when I got my new tires. Otherwise I might have ended up with them. I would like the Mountain/Snowflake rating, too.
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Unread 06-06-2011, 10:19 AM   #42
SnowLeopard
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An amendment to my above post... I meant that the Hankooks haven't been punctured by any nails, despite driving over them, but I don't think they'd fare very well should I hit a nail just right. Not like the GY's with kevlar. That was a major selling point I liked, but I couldn't afford the extra $30 or so per tire, I think it was at the time.

And the Hankooks are good on snow and ice, but not excellent. When brand new with soft, grippy rubber, they were great. But as all tires do, they've worn in and weathered a bit, so now they aren't as great, but they still have very good traction. I definitely like them far more than the Michelin street tires that came on my Jeep.
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Unread 06-06-2011, 01:49 PM   #43
billzcat1
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One of the things that turned me off of the Hankooks was how similar they are to the Toyo Open Country A/T. I had a set of those that were terrible in the snow. Compound is important, but so is pattern. Anyway, keep an eye on rebates and coupons... I never pay full retail for anything anymore!
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Unread 06-11-2011, 09:23 PM   #44
billzcat1
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Went out to the trails at Tahuya State Forest today. Small group, took out a friend with his FJ60 who had until yesterday, never used the 4WD lever. He had fun but the trails are really tight and that Land Cruiser barely fit between the trees. I'm pretty stoked about the WJ right now because up till now, I'd never taken it to a trail I had also done with my ZJ and I am looking at the experience going "WOW" from how well the WJ did in comparison.

Unfortunately with such a small group, there wasn't much "get out and take pics of everyone" going on so while we have pics of the trail and of the Land Cruiser but no real WJ pics to share (yet). Also, as the leader, didn't see much else besides trail.

It was a good test of some new stuff that so far has only seen street duty. For one, the Riddler Front Diff Cover had a substantial build-up of mud where it was plowing during some of the really rutted areas. So, I'm definitely glad that is on there. For two, the JKS Track Bar and tie rod helped keep wheels in place and the articulation with the TB is considerably better. With the front sway disconnected, it was like the axles were glued to the ground. I ran climbs and descents that were formerly a struggle in my stock/open/open ZJ without any drama at all. All in all, I'm really impressed with the performance of the WJ today.

Quadradrive really worked some wonders. The trickiest sections where the ZJ struggled you could feel it spin tire, slow slightly, then grab and get moving again as it locked up. All in about .5 seconds. Working great at 123,000 miles with Redline 75W140 in the diffs.

Also, took my 2-year old daughter on the trail for the first time and she had a blast. She loves "Daddy's Jeep".

A couple pics of the trail and the LC for you.












The tough section - no problem for the WJ with QD!


The FJ60 getting stuck. He wound up taking the bypass on this obstacle. By the time I got over there to spot him and take more pics, he was stalled and coasting back downhill.
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Unread 06-12-2011, 01:35 AM   #45
SnowLeopard
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Love the pics, man. I wish I lived where you do. The LC seems to be inferior to the WJ now. LC's are quite capable, but QD is pretty awesome. I'm glad you had such a good experience, and your daughter got to go along. She's going to be one of them girl Jeepers when she gets older. Perhaps she'll inherit the Dub somewhere down the line...
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