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 Rubicon in August. 
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
ohh. How do you do the google hotlinking?

Here is my rundown.

It really was a great trip. I had a bit of a cloud around it at the end with the clutch and relay going out. Now that I've had a day to think about it it really was an awesome. I couldn't have asked for more for a first Rubicon trip driving for me. It felt great to get the rig out there finally and get through the trail.

Saturday. We got on the road at a good time and it was smooth sailing to Shingle Springs. After dropping the rigs off we headed up the road and up Ice House. I had noticed that the truck was running warm going up Ice House but it wasn't extreme and it was running well. We got going on the trail and were cruising along past Ellis. The angle of my hydro assist ram was not ideal, and it rotated the tie-rod loosening the jam nuts. I tightened it up using Danny's big Cresent wrenches after trying to tighten it with mine and kept on going. Just before little sluice the thing started missing REALLY badly. It sounded like a tractor. After letting it sit for a bit it would fire right up and run great for a little bit then do it again. We fiddled around with stuff, checked connections and fuel pressure regulators, and couldn't find anything wrong. I think it just got too hot under the hood and warmed up the fuel rails enough to vapor lock the motor. Let it cool, then kept the e-fan on high and it was fine the rest of the weekend. We kept chugging along and once we hit Buck i realized my steering wasnt right. It turned out the hydro assist clamp had loosened. No biggie, tightened it up as close to where it should be as I could get and then drove the rest of the way into camp. Got to camp in the daylight, and it was my first time at Buck Island. Pretty awesome place with all the rigs and the lake.

Day two. Got the ram back into position on the tie rod. Tightened it down with some loctite and it was good for the rest of the trip. Went for a swim, and got back on the trail around noon. Got down to the Springs in two hours and everything was running great. Big Sluice was a little.... interesting without enough gearing and I managed to wedge my rear diff and pinion on a perfectly shaped rock. Quick sideways winch by Rich and we were on the way. Got to the Springs early enough to get some good swimming in, gather some firewood and get set up for a nice camp fire (yay private property). We may have done some swinging from the rope swing by the light of some HID's...maybe.

Day three. Got up early and was able to sit on the granite with a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise into the valley. I switched the rear strap that was bent a little on Big Sluice, and decided to check the steering. There was some noticible play in the tire rod ends, and the nuts (with cotter pins) were loose. Kind of odd since I tightened them down when they were first installed. Tightened them down and the play was gone. We took our time and hit Cadillac around noon. The ride up Cadillac went really well. No winching, no straps, no stucks, just some steady movement and a couple of line adjustments. Just like that we were up at Observation Point.

Then on the annoying stretch out I pressed the clutch in and the pedal stayed down. I was still in gear but couldn't get the clutch to engage. Get out and take a look and don't see a puddle of fluid, but the slave cylinder wasn't moving. Not to big a deal, just rev matched to the staging area on the Tahoe side, which was technically off the trail, about 20 feet from pavement. We decide to truck along to the campground in Tahoe and then the thing wouldnt start. Crank and crank but no fuel. We tried swapping the fuel pump relay, bypassing the relay, checked all the wiring and couldnt figure it out. So once again I hook up to Dan's truck (after pushing the truck to pavement, thanks Dan) and we flat tow to the campground.

The next day call AAA setting up a tow for 10AM. They call back and say it wont be until 12PM. So Rich and I mess around with the truck and the problem was the EEC relay. I had no idea that would prevent the pumps from priming, but lesson learned. Tow truck finally comes and gets me back to the trailer. I drove the truck up the trailer under its own power and away we went.

SOOOO here are my takeaways.
. Damn the Rubicon is fun
. Don't put 2.5gal of water in the same cooler as your beer, and then bounce it on a trail for 6 hours.
. I need more gearing, so a doubler or Atlas is in my future sooner rather then later.
. Hydro assist was awesome even with the minor issues. I was able to steer when I wanted and it really helped prevent the yanking of the wheel when the tires hit rocks on the edges of the trail.
. I'm concerned that the knuckles were wallowed out a little which made the tie-rod ends loosen. We will see

I really enjoyed the trip and especially the company. Im happy with the way the truck performed, but there is certainly room for improvement. I also learned a lot about what I want to do with the future bronco as I build that. I felt like a minor league ball player spending a day in the Majors with the way Dan and Rich's rigs performed. Great work guys. I can't wait to get on the trail again.

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September 1st, 2017, 8:10 am
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
Here is the beer story.
It was the end of the first day. It had been a long day with the drive up and wheeling to Buck. I had some issues with the truck and was afraid that the engine stumbling was going to make it to where I had to turn back, plus I had stopped a couple times to tighten stuff. I was REALLY looking forward to a beer. I brought Shiner Bocks and then four 16oz cans of Modern Times pale ale that was billed to be perfect for a nice hot summer day at the end of the trail.

So we get to camp, I'm exited that the truck made it, and we all made it to Buck the first day. So I crack open my cooler and I see it. All four cans were smashed and no beer was left in them. Then I look at the bottles. ALL SIX had the caps off and were drained into the cooler/beer/water mixture. The group was quick to point out that maybe putting a 2.5gal wrecking ball in with cans and bottles was not a good idea. Especially when it was at the highest point of the gear swaying around. Needless to say the others brought enough beer, but it was enough to be called Wrecking Ball for the rest of the trip.

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September 1st, 2017, 8:20 am
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
I came in like a wrecking ball!

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September 1st, 2017, 9:17 am
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
www.imgur.com

ive been using them for quite a while now never had an issue

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September 1st, 2017, 10:40 am
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
Rich, was that your second time driving the con? I had to double check the old photos to jog my memory that moma cas was there too. How does the EB feel after the bronco, too long to remember?

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September 1st, 2017, 9:37 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
honestly, I don't remember the trail being filled with so many boulders. The drive to buck was like a never ending boulder field and I was over it by the time we made it. It's just so slow going and just being tossed around for hours sucked. I'm hoping to remedy that with a better seat and some 5 points because as awesome as the 68 did, it was too repetitive being rocked back and fourth doing a 1/4 MPH for 4 hours.

Ultimately, the two rigs are completely different. the 91 was great but it was more like guiding a slightly out of control hippo down the trail. The 68 is so controlled and purpose built that anyone could take it and do the trail really. The 91 didn't have a choice where it went as it had to take the only line it fit and the easiest line you could find. The 68 bronco could take most lines and you really didn't have to worry about body damage. In fact, I only rubbed my rear bumper 2 or 3 times so it was almost perfect when it came to the size of the rig.
The atlas low in 1st is too slow most of the time but when you aren't feeling like breaking stuff and getting to camp in the daytime.... it's amazing. I cruised in 2nd most of the time which was a great slow but steady crawl and when the trail got tricky or I needed to increase the gap between me and the guy in front of me.... 1st gear in low and it just crawls.... I was only able to get the motor to stall out once while in low and first and that was amazingly difficult to do with all 4 tires bound up and my foot on the brake.

Also, you guys should really try wheeling on 40's :goodfinger:

Danny's rig is amazing and the confidence he has in it is something to strive for. I kind of feel like I was hitting a similar level of that confidence towards the end of day 1 and as we left the rubicon springs I felt like the 68 had proven itself to me and my confidence in it was fairly solid. I have a couple of possible weak links to sort out and I need to get better at packing but fortunately on this trip, the 2 times I needed a tool someone had there's easily available or already out. I would have liked to done more "nut and bolt" checks each day but didn't because it wasn't quick and easy to access my tools.

Peter should be crazy proud of this trip... The learning curve of heat under the hood, hydro assist steering and blocks of ice in a cooler full of glass were all small issues that weren't really big deals and the clutch and relay aren't exactly avoidable issues. When we were moving along he was on pace and really did 99.9 of the trail without help or a spotter. The only reason we went with the winch was because it was quick and easy but one high lift on his rig and he would have been off of the rock that was on his pinion.

It's pretty crazy to have just done the rubicon and I have nothing I "need" to fix. I have my wants but everything is good to go if I had to do it again right now. I am pretty bumbed that spent a good amount of time trying to fix my fuel vent only to have it still leak but I happy to report that I made it from shingle springs to lower Tahoe on one tank so the jerry can isn't "needed". I have too much steering slop which I need to contact west texas about as my shaft where my pitman arm attaches to has way too much play. I have a couple of new leaks I should fix but nothing leaking so bad it needs to be fixed right away (hopefully). Steering and leaks are my priorities for now.


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September 2nd, 2017, 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
You guys killed it! Well done, I'm super bummed that I missed this trip, I'll definitely be on the next one. (I know you've heard that before...) some good lessons learned but nothing major. Peter you should switch to the 92+ relays, I had the ecm and the fuel pump relays go bad at the same time on the race bronco, the general consensus on the forums is that the Bosch design is much better.

Tell me more about the radio situation? Is it time for us all to get our ham licenses?

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September 4th, 2017, 7:29 am
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
The radios we were using worked great within a couple of miles of each other but that's it. A really good CB would be better but not as cheap and mobile as we took them from tow rig to wheeler to spotting. My $25 headset ended up being awesome as the radios themselves don't get super loud and at speed can be hard to hear.
All in all not amazing radios but cheap, easy and got the job done.

Radio BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF) Includes Full Kit with Large Battery https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MAULSOK/re ... RzbQTF2DKN

Headset Retevis R-114 VOX Boom Mic Over-Ear Headphone Noise Reduction for Retevis/KENWOOD/BAOFENG/TYT/WOUXUN Two Way Radio(1 Pack) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CZU9JD6/re ... RzbMSWD28S

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September 4th, 2017, 10:09 am
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
I'd still argue they have better range than CB. They're twice the power and a higher frequency. The biggest problem is using the handheld in the vehicle severely affects the antennas effectiveness.

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September 4th, 2017, 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
I wonder if you can use it with a vehicle mounted antenna. Although range was almost never an issue

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September 4th, 2017, 8:00 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
California Monkey wrote:
I wonder if you can use it with a vehicle mounted antenna. Although range was almost never an issue


Can't beat a HAM radio. I'm about ready to ditch my CB and have the FT7900 I have be my only radio. I'm pretty sure you can get a magnetic mount remote antenna for the Yeasu radios the Baofengs should have one available as well.


September 5th, 2017, 3:20 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
#S194 wrote:
California Monkey wrote:
I wonder if you can use it with a vehicle mounted antenna. Although range was almost never an issue


Can't beat a HAM radio. I'm about ready to ditch my CB and have the FT7900 I have be my only radio. I'm pretty sure you can get a magnetic mount remote antenna for the Yeasu radios the Baofengs should have one available as well.


Agreed (on all counts) but specifically that you should be able to get a vehicle mounted antenna for the handhelds.

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September 6th, 2017, 10:36 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
This one for $25 has reviewers saying you can hit repeaters 30 miles away with it....
Authentic Genuine Nagoya UT-72 Super Loading Coil 19-Inch Magnetic Mount VHF/UHF (144/430Mhz) Antenna PL-259 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016SIJX28/re ... SzbEJ2GVX4

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September 7th, 2017, 4:34 am
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Post Re: Rubicon in August.
I'd believe it on 8 watts with a good antenna. Dave and I talked on our 5 watt hams once through a repeater in Fremont. So easily 20 miles for each of us.

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September 8th, 2017, 6:09 pm
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