View Full Version : Broke my car's "off road" cherry today...

08-31-2008, 07:01 PM
Now, I know it's really not much, big picture, but while out and about w/ the family, touring the "glorious" Lower Alabama hillside, I found a crossing of the Chocktawahatchee river. (sp??). Anywho - to get down to the river required crossing a pretty large, maybe 15-feet long mud muddle. As I couldn't see the bottom, I decided against it. On the way out, however, I noticed a fairly steep (camera completely erases how steep this hill was) route leading to the main road. On a whim I decide to try for it.

Here's the hill from the bottom:


After I drove up, I waited at the top for a truck to pass, then looped around to get pics. The truck - F250 4x4 - turned down to go to the riverfront. I followed him. He looked in his mirror a lot, while his passenger (perhaps his son? Young boy, about 15) looked back at our car repeatedly. When he got to the water crossing, I hung back about 50 feet. Half way thru the water crossing, the water was up to his bumper. yikes! VERY glad I didn't try it. I woulda got waterlogged without a doubt, figuring his bumper was likely as high as the top of my fenders.

Back to the hill. My trooper-of-a-wife climbed to the top, and when no traffic was approaching, me and the kids made for the hardball!





Here's an animated gif (1.2MB) of the run.


On the way home, thru Fort Rucker, I went down a dirt trail for about 100 yards - became impassable after. However, coming back, I found some soft mud, and had some fun, while my wife snapped a few pics (without regard focal points, it seems! I'll have to get her to practice! )






I'm hooked, really - I'm so very impressed. Yeah, from the pics nothing looks like it was any challenge, but during the driving I was a little worried the summer sport tires I have (Potenza SO3s) wouldn't cope well with dirt/mud. I commented to my wife "Ya know, it's really neat a car is this capable off road, yet handles reasonably well, had good power, and carries us in relative comfort and safety.

Mr. P
08-31-2008, 07:18 PM
Careful bud, that ain't really "off road" down here, just wet clay/dirt. Yer car doesn't have the clearance for the real thing.

08-31-2008, 07:27 PM
Careful bud, that ain't really "off road" down here, just wet clay/dirt. Yer car doesn't have the clearance for the real thing.

I know it - when we saw the 250 run thru the water, I mentioned to Mary "We shoulda brought your truck instead." But even her truck isn't what I call "extremely capable" off road at stock height + All terrains.

My first car was a Scout II. Second car was a Scout II, too. :)

It's in my driving genes....

08-31-2008, 07:58 PM
When I was a lot younger(24 years ago) I had a CJ-5 with a minor 3" lift but It had 33" x 12" Gumbo Mudder tires. It also had the jeep 258 inline six with a 3 speed transmission. That thing was amazing in the shit. In 4 wheel low it felt like it could go anywhere. A friend of mine and I would drink "Alice from Dallas" shots and then head out at 2 a.m. to see if we could get it stuck....... this was in South Louisiana where there are plenty of places to get stuck. It had a 4" square tube bumper with some dill pipe in the center protecting the radiator, I knocked down trees with that thing. I had it for 5 years and got it stuck twice, once in the sand right next to a river where I hesitated for a split second and let it dig into the sand. If I would have continued it would have rolled over into the river. I drove through flood waters that were coming into the jeep and making the exhaust sound like an outboard motor to go rescue my girlfriend, I was driving down the road by feel since it basically looked like I was driving in a lake.

As silly as it sounds, I had more fun in that jeep, windshield down and doors off with my 2 Afghan Hounds........... off-road andmud can be a kick in the ass...... just make sure you repack the front axle bearings often........ I ate mine and my jeep was a 2 wheel drive vehicle when I sold it at auction.

09-01-2008, 12:52 PM
I loved my Scout for perhaps the same reasons you loved that Jeep.
I remember breaking a u-joint in my scout one day driving down the freeway. I simply disconnected the other u-joint, and put the main axle in the back. I locked the hubs, and drove home in FWD. It snowed shortly thereafter, and I drove to school for a week or so, in FWD. Pretty amazing stuff - although thinking back, it was probably hard on the front drive system. If I recall, the truck had a Dana 44 front end - fairly robust.