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



dmp
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:

http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/dirthill_1.jpg


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!

woohoo!!




http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/hillrun6.jpg


http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/hillrun7.jpg


http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/hillrun8.jpg


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

http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/specbhillrun.gif

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! )


http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/lgt_dirt4.jpg

http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/lgt_dirt3.jpg

http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/lgt_dirt2jpg

http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/lgt_dirt1.jpg

http://www.d-mphotos.com/images/specb/dirt/lgt_dirt.jpg



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.

dmp
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....

Sitarro
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.

dmp
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.

:)