Discussion in 'Offroad 4x4 Runs Planning and Discussion' started by RockRanger, September 17, 2016.
@RockRanger you are going to film this right?
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I will probably shoot some video and take pictures. It is hard to do when I don't have a passenger willing to get out and do some walking. My 72 year old dad might ride with me for part of the trip but he won't be jumping around on the rocks to take pictures and doesn't want to drive so I can.
We have been working on Mike's TJ, getting it ready for this run. Seems like every time we fix one thing, we find something else. He had the transmission and transfer cases rebuilt as they both had major issues. The work was done on a tight budget at his Father-In-Law's shop. I think the mechanic was pissed at him or something because he impacted the Rubicon Express skid plate bolts on so tight that my 235 pound impact would not loosen most of them. Ended up using a six foot breaker bar to break them loose. Had to pull the skid plate because, even though the mechanic pulled the transfer case, he must not have noticed the U-joints in the front drive shaft were loose, real loose, I'm talking move side-to-side with your hand loose. We were tracking down a rapid thumping noise that only seemed to be in 4WD. Think we found it. If its not the U-joints, then its something with the front locker. Don't think that is the issue because we pulled the diff cover and everything looks to be in great shape. No chunks, flakes or slivers of metal in the lube.
We pressed out the U-joints and the double cardan CV fell apart. More parts on order.... Also noticed the T-case is leaking fluid at the newly sealed seam between the SYE and the case. Now, Mike has to take it back up so the pissed off mechanic can reseal the case, after we repair the drive shaft.
Last week we replaced both front hubs, brake pads, and rotors. While doing that, noticed that a few of the steering tie rod nuts were loose, causing slop in the steering. The TRE's were still OK, so it must have been driven very little since they were loosened. I am guessing, same mechanic. Still need to flush / bleed the brakes and change out the rear diff fluid.
On the Explorer, I noticed I have gotten quite a bit of play in the steering. Have two bad rod ends in the drag link. Think they wore out prematurely due to the binding I was getting at full passenger-side droop. Ordered two from Ruff Stuff.
I still need to fix the steering, and change out both diff's fluid. Purchased Lube Locker gaskets for both diffs so its not such a pain next time, and the time after that, and the time after that... Not going to mess with the engine main seal leak until we get back. It hasn't dropped the oil level, it just leaks enough to make a mess. Also am waiting for the Sam's Club down here to get two of the Duracell AGM 34/78 series batteries in stock because both of my Optimas go flat in about ten days, while hooked up to trickle chargers. I don't have a SC membership, but found out one can get a 24 hour trial membership. The only draw is the stereo pre-sets on the rear battery, and the ECM on the front. Should not be enough to drain them down.
Dusy is looking doubtful as of now. Swamp should hopefully open in the next few weeks.
Ten days till we hit the trail. Four rigs confirmed and a few still trying to clear their work schedules so they can make it. Right now Dusy is still closed however I heard a group has been up there all week working on the trail trying to get it cleared. Fingers crossed they do and we can get on Dusy right from the start. Can't wait.
If the Dusy is open, we will be one of the first groups of the season to run it.
I'm back out. Going to hit the Rubicon and some other trails instead I think. Dusy will not be open.
They are working on it all next week, so it might open up, but it might not. It would have been nice to run into you on the trail. Next time..
Harbor Freight is having a parking lot sale. I got three of the 12" tool bags for $4 each.
Less then a week out. Dusy won't be open for this trip but I have made a few changes to the schedule and it will still be an awesome trip. Also planning a second part in early October to run Dusy if it is open.
Sunday morning start swamp to swamp lake.
Monday. Stay st swamp lake. Fish hike or relax.
Tuesday. Finish swamp and go into brewer. (Resupply if needed)
Wednesday. Brewer to Coyote. (Resupply if needed. I will be as I am picking my dad up in Shaver to ride with me the rest of the trip.)
Thursday. Stay at Coyote. Hike fish or relax.
Friday. Coyote to Strawberry to Mirror. Camp at Mirrior.
Saturday. Mirror to highway and home.
Tentatively planning a Dusy trip Oct 3-5.
I'm a maybe for that one
Fun trip. Awesome weather, great people, good wheeling, few break downs, good fishing, fun hikes. More info later when I get more time.
Trip won't be happening. Some work things came up while I was out. But we are talking about a 6 day dusy trip next summer.
Looking forward to pics and a trip report I hope everyone did well without too many issues on the trail.
Where's the return report and pics?
I will try and get something up this weekend.
All my pictures can be found here.
Our trip started Sunday morning. We met up along Dinkey Creek Road and headed to Swamp Lake. As soon as we turned off the pavement we all aired down.
IMG_0890 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
In the group was my self in my Ranger, Mike and Ken in the TJ, Brian in the Explorer, and Mike and Zack in the JK. We made our way up the very dusty forest service roads to the trail head of Swamp Lake trail. We made our way up the trail without much trouble. The biggest issue was Mike in the TJ started having problems with his front ARB not locking. But the trail was awesome.
IMG_0897 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
IMG_0905 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
IMG_0908 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
IMG_0914 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Half way to Swamp we did a quick hike over to a private lake called Mud lake and checked it out.
20170827_131653 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Then we made a stop at Grouse lake. I tossed a fishing line in real quick and caught a small trout on the first cast.
20170827_160048 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
After Grouse Lake you climb to the highest point on the trail of about 9600 ft. On the way down to Swamp lake is a mine on the side of the mountain.
IMG_0917 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
WOW 9600 feet LOL Just kidding. Trail looks like you all had a lot of fun. I really need to get my Explorer rolling to get out. Tired of seeing everyone else having fun. Hope to have you all out this way and go up to 13,000 feet in the vehicle.
We made our way down to Swamp lake at 9000' and setup camp. We had the entire lake to ourselves. I went down to the lake and caught a few trout.
IMG_0923 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
IMG_0922 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
IMG_0921 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
The next day was a relaxing day of no wheeling. Some people hung out at the lake and relaxed. Myself, Zack and JK Mike decided to hike to the top of Three sisters peak. We are starting at 9000 feet. The peak is at 10612 feet and there is no trail. So we set off back up the trail and around the lake. This is looking out part way up at Swamp lake. We are camped just to the left of the rocks at the top side of the pictures.
20170828_092334 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Another view looking down on Swamp part way up. The small lake on the left is Little Doris Lake
20170828_101708 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Made it to the top.
20170828_120546 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Signed the book and a picture of the lake where we started from.
20170828_120426 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
A 360 degree picture from the top. The two lakes on each end are the same and more on them later. Just left of center is Courtright reservoir where Dusy Ershim trail starts. Just to the right of center is Swamp lake.
20170828_115824 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
We hiked back down and all said took us maybe 6 hours. A bit later a few of my friends wheeled in Monday and spent the night with us. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of them.
Tuesday we packed up camp and were planning on heading to Brewer lake to camp for the night. We made it about 200 feet from camp to a pretty good climb and JK Mike broke a driver rear axle shaft.
IMG_0928 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
To get it all apart we ended up having to pull all but the pinion from the axle housing. The broken axle shaft wedged itself in the locker. we had to pull the e-locker apart to get the piece out.
20170829_173245 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Thru the use of Ham radios we were able to get a hold of JK Mike's dad in town he located a Yukon alloy shaft and misc parts we needed for the repair and brought them up the mountain. I wheeled out to the paved road and back in with the replacement parts. I had to stop and take a few pictures in one spot. Always fun wheeling solo.
IMG_0926 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
IMG_0927 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
By the time I got back with the replacement parts it was around 430 pm. We reassembled the Jeep and resetup camp and stayed at Swamp one more night.
Wednesday morning we packed up camp and headed out the plan was now to skip Brewer Lake and go into town for gas and ice then head to Coyote lake. When working on the JK yesterday it was found that the other shaft had twisted splines and was ready to break anytime. We didn't discover the second shaft till it was to late to get a second shaft on the same day. So the plan was for my wife to pickup the other side shaft and bring it up the mountain with her. She was bringing my Dad up who was going to ride with me for the rest of the trip. So Mike took off early from camp solo and headed for town. If he had any problems we would catch him on the trail He made it to town, got the parts and on a pullout on the side of the road swapped out the passenger side shaft.
We all made it to town topped off and headed to Coyote. On the way to Coyote we stopped at Red lake on the way. Here is an older picture of one of my previous trips of Red lake.
20160630_144628 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
We continued passed Red Lake and on to Coyote. We get about 200 yards from Coyote lake at the last hard spot and JK Mike tells me he keeps feeling a thud under his feet. As he pulls forward I see that the driverside link mount brackets are broken and swinging on the frame. We start determining the best way to get a welder up to fix the problem. As I pull into Coyote lake I notice the first camp is taken. On the second take I notice it is Sean (4x4junkie) from this site camped there with his friends. I have met him up there the last two years and camped with them. I go over to and talk to him and find out he has a welder in his BroncoII. We setup camp and planned to fix the Jeep Thursday morning.
Thursday we get up and tear the Jeep apart to get the bracket off. Here is the busted bracket.
IMG_0933 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Prepped straitened and ready to be welded back together.
IMG_0934 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
We slapped the bracket back in and did a nice walk around Coyote Lake.
IMG_0931 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
IMG_0932 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
IMG_0935 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Do have to say you all got some very beautiful pictures up there.
Friday we got up and decided to go on another hike into the Dinkey Creek Wilderness. We left Coyote lake and hiked a few miles south to our First lake called First Dinkey lake. As look at the picture you will see three peaks in the back ground. Those are Three Sisters Peaks. The one we on Monday was the one on the left in the below picture. you can see this lake in the picture I posted earlier. I fished the lake for about 20 minutes. I caught one and lost another.
20170901_110127 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
We left First Dinkey Lake and headed to South Lake
20170901_114913 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Then we hiked to Swede Lake.
20170901_121921 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
Then headed back to First Dinkey lake and back over to Camp at Coyote. JK Mike decided to pack camp and head home. He was in a wedding the next day so he didn't want risk making it home in time. Once he got back to pavement he reached me on Ham radio to let me know that he made it off the trail and the lift bracket on the passenger side was starting to break on the front suspension. Fortunately he he made it home that night without incident.
Saturday we packed up camp and made our way out. We made quick work past Red Lake. Instead of heading strait out we decided to do a quick trip over to West and Strawberry lakes. The trails to each is not very hard but they are dusty and bouncy.
We made it to West and and I didn't take any pictures there. Then we went over to Strawberry lake.
IMG_0948 by Matthew Dresselhaus, on Flickr
While at West Brian was showing me his modified steering shaft. I noticed the fan was also rubbing on the shroud. a quick look around and noticed the passenger motor mount bolt snapped on the top. A length of chain and a bolt was wrapped around the mount to hold it on the way out. We made it back to pavement and back to reality. It had been a great week of fun adventure and relaxation. I made the two hour drive home. Brian and TJ mike drove down the mountain to stay the night in town and leave for San Diego Sunday morning. You can read more about Brians adventure on the way home here.
Bkennedy's SAS and Modification Thread
Considering I live a 70 mile drive away at under 400 feet it is a pretty good haul. 100ish miles away is the tallest point in the lower 48. I hope to hike it one day. We had a blast.
Thanks I enjoy the local trails. I try to spend 20-30 days a year up in the local mountains.