So I survived my first Jeep Jam at Drummond Island this weekend. Had a great time. A couple of photos of other jeeps on lines that I did get up on stock tires and no lockers. Had some pretty deep mud/water too, over the front bumper. I certainly have a new respect for what these things can do!
No doubt it will be bigger tires. Of course, I will need to re-gear it at that point. While the gears are out, it's an ideal time to add lockers. It will also be a good time to add a bank of electrical switches to control the lockers and of road lights. Might as well plan for a few more circuits. I think that should be it for the next mod. Trying to figure out if I will need new tires for the next winter! Either that or a new rear bumper. Mine got scraped last weekend. Or what ever I can get with the $50 door prize I won at the closing of the event.
Drummond Island was a blast. There were trails that they didn't take our group on based on capability, and there lines that far more capable Jeeps than mine failed on where we went, so I think there's plenty of challenge ahead on those trails. Nice island, but it's pretty flat. Lot's of limestone ledges though, and surrounded by lot's of small islands that add to the lake views.
Unfortunately, on the first morning I was dealing with a case of apparent food poisoning. Missed the start of the ride by the time I felt I could do anything. We just took a private tour of the island and got some brunch. We found a random trailhead and decided to check out the trails, figuring we would bail if it got too serious for being out alone. We eventually came up behind a group, that happened to be the group we were assigned to. After that the weekend went according to plan, and the trail guides really challenged me sending me over obstacles that others with more lift and bigger tires declined to try. Really beat up the skid plates! I think they call it setting the hook!
Prior to all of that, it was a series of events that seemed to be conspiring against me making this weekend though. I had 2 people drop out of going with me after it was paid, but ended up with my brother going with, which turned out great. There were times that it seemed there was a higher power at work destroying my plans, but opening doors to even better plans. It made for a great, but strange trip.
I had a few Led lights on the front of my Jeep. They were/are a waste of money. They are so damn bright you can't use them during daily driving. I forgot I had them on one day and a sheriff was headed toward me in the opposite lane... He turned on his spotlight and pointed it right at me... message received! I removed most of them and replaced them with rock lights. They are a LITTLE more useful on the trail or when something breaks underneath.
I can't recommend the Jeep Jamboree in Williamsburg, KY enough. Its October 17-19. Very family oriented. Its a good place to see a LOT of Jeeps and figure out what direction you want to go with mods. The local Jeep dealer keeps the techs on call to fix just about anything that gets broke so you can make the journey home.
Yeah, I've got a 9 inch light bar on the front with flood light LEDs. It fills in what the headlights don't light nicely. I can't see the need for more on the front. A bit of light in the rear would be nice at times, but not a huge thing.
What's your thoughts on lockers? I've heard good things about the Eaton automatic lockers. Supposedly well mannered on the road, even in the snow. It would also save the expense and hassle of mounting switches in the cab to control them. Otherwise I would probably be leaning toward electronic lockers. This is still mostly a road going Jeep, not a dedicated rock crawler.
I would go with the E-Locker. Doug (Jeep YJ pictured above) ran Eaton True Tracs in the front and rear of his Jeep based on my recommendation and internet chatter... he was NOT happy. They didn't lock in all the time. Sometime when they did, they hit the drive train pretty hard. So based on the amount of grief he gave me... I would avoid them.
I would also plan on having that Jeep until you get put into a nursing home and can't drive it anymore... With that in mind, spend the money once... not 4 or 5 times like me.
Thanks for the input on the True Tracs. I know a lot of people rave about them, but if they lock up harshly, which I always wondered about, that's not a great thing crawling rocks. Probably fine for snow and mud. Sounds like the added hassle installing E-lockers would be worthwhile.
I've got Detroit lockers front and rear on my CJ7 and haven't had any issues with daily driving it, the rear will randomly I would call it unlock and pop rather loudly and it can be a surprise, though I can almost feel when it is about to happen.
my first Jeep was a rusted 57 CJ 5. F head 4 cyl 3 spd . topped out at about 38 mph. On or off the gas would make it change lanes, with a quarter turn steering gear slop going faster would have been a bad idea. lol.
At 200 lbs, when I got in the driver side dropped about an inch and a half. This caused an immediate counter steer. Fixed that when ever I had a passenger of near the same weight.
It had the Sears and Roebuck metal half cab with full metal doors. Craftsman toolboxes were much stronger built. Being flimsy it was a fantastic woods trail crawler. Low-low was walking speed. No hubs, no lockers.....just low gears, super soft springs, and no power. Suspension up travel about 2 inches, down droop probably 14 inches. It had that unique farm implement rear bumper hitch.
Wada piece of shit to drive! I loved that old thing, what a learning tool for a 17 year old kid.
Back when, in the early 70's, we found that by putting the front spring shackles on the rear of the front springs and the through bolt brackets on the front, it reduced throttle steer a lot. Even with that, my current long term CJ7 with it's 400 Chevy engine will change lanes just stomping on the gas!
With half ton Chevy truck axles, with the rear spider gears welded solid, would that be considered a locker? Always in, cannot be turned off. Makes tires hop and chirp turning on hard surfaces. Can cause a steer push in mud, but man, will it crawl!
As much as I love my Jeep it just takes up too much of my time and I am struggling to keep up with the everyday basics such as cleaning and maintaining my home, so something has to give. I will be getting rid of my collection.
Below is a list of what's available. Serious inquiries only please and don't insult me with your offers.