September 24th, 2005
Grandpa Jim and I took two of his Jeeps
over to the offroad park in Harrison for a fun day of wheeling.
My Jeep was not ready at this time due to having some issues with a leaking head gasket and bad
fuel pump wire, so I wheeled the green TJ, known as "Snoopy." Grandpa wheeled his big white Jeep
on the new 42 inch TSL's and 15x10 chrome steel wheels, just like Scramzilla has. What started out
as a very fun, easy going day, turned into something much, much worse. What else is new?
We wheeled a couple of trails. My
uncle Josh was here from Tulsa, so he rode with me in the TJ,
and my wife Chelsea rode with Grandpa in the white YJ. We happened to pass a large rock ledge
that the white Jeep was not able to climb up previously, so I asked Grandpa if he wanted to try it
again with the new tires. In order to climb this ledge, you have to bump the throttle and try to
bounce the rear of the Jeep over the rock. When he bumped it on the 2nd or 3rd try, apparently
the rear driveshaft hit the rock, and that ripped the tail shaft housing off the rear of the transfer
case completely. Fortunately, the slip yoke stayed in so we did not leak any fluid. He still had
front wheel drive and so we went back to the trailer, thinking it would be the end of the day. Wrong.
After eating lunch, we decided to wheel one more trail. Okay, I wanted to keep wheeling so I talked
him into it. "You can make it in front wheel drive," "I'll pull you if you get hung up," etc. He gave
in and away we went to Coyote Creek, my favorite trail. The Jeep did great going down the creek,
never getting hung up at all. Strangely, the TJ's brakes were not working very well, and the motor
was overheating, so I had to keep taking breaks to keep from damaging anything. When we got
to the end of the trail, the TJ climbed right up the culvert and out of the trail... the white Jeep did
not. We used the Ramsey winch that came with the Jeep to pull the YJ up the hill. This is when
the real carnage began. The Ramsey winch got stuck and would not release. It would not pull
the YJ up the hill any more, either. So the Jeep is stuck to a tree and the winch won't move.
That's the great Ramsey quality for you. I told Grandpa that he could probably tug backwards
on the winch cable and get it to let some line out, then drive forward a little bit, just enough to
unhook the winch from the tree saver and get him going. He got a little crazy with this idea and
ended up hammering down in reverse. I heard a very loud "POP" and then transmission fluid
literally poured out from under the Jeep, with little bits of metal all around. The front output
on the cast iron Dana 20 transfer case broke, and so did the yoke on the front axle. The ears
on the yoke were totally ripped off. Only later did we also realize that the transmission housing
was cracked and would not hold fluid. So that left us with a very big, heavy Jeep, on a hill, that
had no part of the drivetrain connected to the axles. Hey, at least he still had power steering, right?
3 hours later, in the rain, we finally
managed to pull the white Jeep all the way out of the creek, up
the hill to a parking lot, and brought the trailer to it. We used the winch on the TJ to pull the YJ on
to the trailer and finally headed home after a long, long day of pulling winch cable, hooking up
straps, sweating like dogs, and abusing the TJ to the point that the lower end had to be rebuilt
because of the damage done by low oil pressure and overheating. All in a good days fun.
Playing around before hitting the trails
The Rock Ledge that broke the YJ's rear driveshaft and the tailshaft on the transfer case
Heading down to Coyote Creek for another beating
Thank you Ramsey Winch for sucking so much
Broken front driveshaft...
I forgot to mention all four leaf spring packs were bent as well
TJ/Snoopy going up the hill to turn around and winch the YJ up enough to release the Ramsey winch cable
Pulling the YJ up and around...
Last updated: December 21, 2005