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Photos Back from Truckhaven 2003 - Photos


Elite Ranger
Elite Explorer
January 14, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Fresno CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
86 ranger no more
Back from truckhaven

What a great time out there this weekend. Was clear and in the low 80s during the day. There was the typical damage that occurs during every event. messed up rear axle, blown up busted rear drive shaft, few flat tires, gas filler line ripped out. I had a great time out doing trials. Was nice seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Sorry I dont have any pics cause I have no camera. Im sure they will follow in a few days. I know Tdavis got some great ones of the big dog run on saturday. Not sure what happened today.


Matt, I'm adding to your post so we can get all the links to the photo gallerys in the first post.

John Johnstone's Gallery
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Rick Horwitz's Gallery
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Jefe's Gallery

Kevin's Gallery (Diff Whack Daddy)
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Well, I just got back from my tour of the desert... Had a good time on Friday out there with you guys. F'ed up my ride pretty bad in that ditch EARLY Sat. morning. I want to say A BIG THANKS!!!! to Brian Kennedy, I believe it was DifWhackDaddy that rode with him, and who ever it was that rode out with my friend JC in the Bronco to come and give me a little tug... You guys turned a REALLY long night into just a long night. I didn't want to take it on the trail judging how bad the front end was tweaked after getting it out. I still havn't figured out if I bent a beam, a pivot bracket, or a radius arm. I just know that my passenger side front tire is pushed back in the wheel well about 1.5" further then the driver's and it rubs the fender on small hits now when before I never rubbed.

On the other hand I went to Ocotillo Wells around 11ish on Sat. morning and had a blast on my bike all day yesterday and today, even went rockstar and did a 85' double I've been trying to get the balls to hit for years.

The weather out there was to die for.

And, Paul B. your front end is BY FAR the cleanest, nicest setup I've seen so far. That includes all the insane prerunners I've seen running around the desert at the races.


I'll second that the weather was perfect. It was a bit much for my wife who now suffers from Lupus, but she was still able to enjoy herself, and the run through Ocotillo Wells.

My Favorite Moment: I believe it was Bill Pugh who was driving the 2WD Ranger up that steep section of trail when he rolled over this huge rock, his Mickey Thompson Baja Claw threw several rocks and dirt clods at us spectators causing us to run for cover! Man, that was pure action!

2nd Favorite Moment: When Char screamed, "Come And Get It!" The dinner table was covered with so much good food for the taking. I'm still thinking about what I would love to eat if that table were still set up. That was one serious pot luck! I'll be back next year for the eatin'!

If anyone is interested in viewing some of Suzanne's unique desert photogaphy, just click here . It was nice seeing everyone, and let's do it again!

-Ken and Suzanne Cooke

-That link is not working for me Ken

Okay I see now. Great pictures, very serene quality to them, keep it up.

John and I just got back home. That was fun. There was quite a bit of damage taken, but I think everyone managed to get their rigs in working order to get them home (well, except for the trailered rigs). I'll have my few pics up by tomm, and I can't wait to see everyone elses.

Great Run. Lets do it again sometime :)

What an awesome time!! Sat was the most fun I have had with a 1/4 tank of gas!!:D
I hated to bail outta the short run this afternoon... not only was I feeling conservative (plus my 'stock-ness' really showed considering how all the others were outfitted). I think I felt like murphy's law was gonna bite my ass; you know nothing bad happens a whole day of wheelin' then 1/2 hr before leaving something bad happens or you make a dumb decision. Anyways, I felt better leaving the rest of you guys to play and not have me as the huge limiting factor ;)

Rick; I still have to check pay-pal... My wife couldn't get a confirm after-all ?!:confused: I don't know what the deal is... but I will make sure $20 got/gets to ya.

Thanks for everything all.... onto the AZ run!!!

Back home. Get to tear that rear end apart, and find out what really happened - we believe it's not the ring and pinion, but something else (pinion bearing is one theory).

Total carnage I know of:

2 broken d35 hubs (I watched it FLY! rios's got pics of it!), 1 SportTrack gas filler tube (johnstone), 1 Sporttrack gas cap (johnstone), 1 front lockright (dannyboy's), 1 ARB air line (rios's), 1 ARB pressure regulator (rios's), 1 Chevy tow rig (diesel injector pump died) (DWD), 1 toyota third member (mine), rear driveshaft (Rick), tweaked rear springs (Rick, again) and some damage to a ranger from going to fast off the trail..

I've got video to capture in the next few days - Rick blowing the driveshaft on CJ hill, the broncoII almost landing on it's lid trying to do CJ hill, the big dogs playing on Saturday.

And yes, I was totally bummed with the zuk's rear blowing up on thursday night. I did get to play some on thursday - but not enough. :)

Here are my pics...

Well guys, got home yesterday in one piece from Truckhaven. What did we have? Something like 30 vehicles and close to 50 people show up? Thanks to Rick and Char for inviting us along for the fun.

The good news is that everyone had a blast. Christina and I caravanned out with Tim and Julie. Tim did great on the trails and I know he had a fantastic time. We also had the opportunity to wheel with an excellent and experienced group of people. I can't wait for the Arizona run next month to go wheeling with you guys again.

The bad news is that I broke the truck within the first 30 minutes of wheeling. I decided to go out with the "Big Dawg" group on the traditional night run and the truck was doing great. I subjected the suspension to its most work yet and the Deavers continue to amaze me with how awesome they are. We were in canyons and washes only about a foot wider than the truck (one of those mirrors folded in affairs) with an enourmous amount of suspension flexing terrain. I definately need to trim the gas tank skid plate because the driveshaft has now been polished by it.

Also this was enough to bend the upper differential bracket (frame flex?) and cause the diff to drop down and clearance the collar on the lower subframe. This caused quite a bit of noise until all the metal was worn away.

Limping back to camp, I parked the truck for the night. Saturday morning I made the executive decision to hit the trails witht he easy group to see how the truck would hold up. We were doing great (with only the occasional front driveshaft noise) until I noticed that the driver's side frot axle popped out of it's front seat and started leaking diff fluid. Once again we limped back to camp. I got the axle fixed later that evening and took Jim (Buckin' Bronco II) out for a ride in my truck for a test run. Everything felt great until we flexed the truck for some pictures and I snapped the front CV again.

So, Jim and I limped it back to camp and with the help of Jeff (Jefe) and Winter we put a new axle (a used Jefe spare - THANKS JEFF!) back in. Having only one more spare left in camp, I decided to park the truck for the weekend, rather than to tempt fate.

However, the weekend was not a total loss. Once the Saturday night run came along, Jim asked me if I would like to co-pilot the Bronco with him.

"Hell Yes!" I thought...

Jim and I took off and I was having a blast riding in his Bronco II and learning about how it worked and the story behind it when Jim asked if I wanted to drive! After a millesecond of hesitation and confirming with him that he hadn't lost his insanity, I swapped seats with him. He told me that he wanted to get me trained in the Bronco for some possible future co-pilot duties.

All I have to say is the Buckin' Bronco is AWESOME! I had more fun than a person was allowed to have. We crawled our way over 75 degree inclines and down the other side witout a problem! At Jim's insistance, I took lines that I didn't even know existed. Jim would say, "drive down that." And I would. "Drive up that," and I would.

We crawled up this one "cliff" and the only thing you could see out of the windshield was the Moon (formerly straight above us). I told Jim that the moon sure looked cool. He replied, "It sure does , now keep crawling." Oh yeah. :) Anyways, thanks a bunch for giving me the chance to drive the Bronco Jim. It really made my night. And hopefully I passed phase one of my driver's training!

Fortunately, we got home in one piece, and the truck even got 17.5 mpg on the way home. On the agenda for this week is another axle shaft and a trip to RCD to figure out what I broke/bent. I think the axles breaking are all part of the same problems. I'll let you guys know what i find out.

Here are some pics!

The morning driver's meeting...

Group 2 on the trail...



Go Tim!








Coming in from the runs...



Go Jim!

Pre-second breakage...

Campside repair or entertainment, take your pick...



Char and I just got home. We both had a blast out there this weekend. It was great meeting a bunch of new folks and seeing our old friends.

I'll be posting my photos and photos for Diff Whack Daddy and John Johnstone as soon as possible.

It's great to see everyone is making it back okay. Let's hear the whole scoop behind all those carnage reports!

Rick, I tried to call you Sunday because I thought it would be neat to say hi from freezing Tellico while ya'll were basking in California's Truckhaven, but the number I had ended up being your house and not your cellphone.

All of my photos are being uploaded here:
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(Photos are uploading while Char and I grab some dinner, they should be up for viewing shortly.)

These photos are from Friday - Sunday. If you were in the big dawg runs you are definately in there. Unfortunatley I didn't get photos of all the Exploreres, Rangers and Sport Tracs that were out there. Hopefully, we will get some shots of everyone's trucks since we had so many photographers :D

Thanks to Matt (Rock Ranger) for leading us to one of the best trails I've seen at Truckhaven:D

Thanks for the posted pictures!! Sean even got one of me... thanks! Darnit; I need to bring a co-pilot/passenger to take some pics for me of everyone on the run.

Well I just got back from RCD and I definately bent the diff brackets, both of them. RCD identified a couple of weak spots and are making a design chage to gussest the weak areas and add some material where needed. They are making the changes immediately and are will be test fitting the new brackets to my truck as soon as they are done.

By the looks of everything, this SHOULD solve my CV breakage problem. I'll be doing some test runs when it is ready.

So...I will be back up and running soon! Definately before the AZ trip.


Found what died in the rear diff.

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Chewed up the carrier (which "happens" in toy diffs when the pinion has issues..)

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One of the pinion bearings died. All the gears appear to still have their teeth..

I'll know more in a few days.

Had a great time seeing old friends and making a lot of new ones. Thanks to Rick for putting together a great event like always.:thumbsup:

Tom I'm really sorry the Zuki took a crapper the first day.:( What I saw it do on Thursday was awesome. Hope to see ya in Arizona.

There might be a member of the board with a new name."StrapBoy" Hummmm I wonder who that might be;)

I don't have a picture site so I'll just post a few interesting ones.

This was the first group to arrive on Thursday.


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Gary Steeber stuck in very soft sand.


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Gary Steeber's front locking hub decides to lauch when he floors it. Thanks Tom for warning me just as it happened.


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Me and Rick almost crash.:D


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