Clayton Summary | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Clayton Summary


Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
January 20, 2000
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City, State
McKinney, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
76 Bronco
Clayton Run, Wow!

This was an all Jeep event put on by JNT club. However, Gerald was invited and I rode with my friend Mark ( Jeep guy ). This will be a really fun area to run in the future. We meet early at the state park. The JNT club was there to run 4+ trails and several "Stock" jeeps also showed up. Mark led this group on 2 - 3 trails for the day.
Gerald still got those "WTF" looks. His truck looks great with those biggies size tires, brush gaurd and New Graphics. They figured out he was serious when he started airing down. Our first obstacle was "3 Stage" It is a steep flatrock with a 2' ledge about 30 feet up. This first ledge is tough, most of the weight shifts to the back wheels. Gerald got his front tires up fairly easy, but the torque to climb with the back tires would shift the vehicle toward the rock wall, Using good judgement he backed down to fight another day. Out of our group of 10 jeeps only 4 tried this run.
Congrats to Gerald for trying!

We ran timberline next, It was a nice scenic run...Until we took a wrong turn. The trail was fine until we came to some rocks. We made it thourgh OK, but the trail kept getting worse. 4 hours later we made the call to turn back and find our way out. Several people got stuck and had to be wenched or strapped out of trouble. This turned in to a 4+ or 5 trail real quick. Yes there was body damage. Gerald made several obstacles without assistance and soon earned the name " Jeep Eater ". This honor was bestowed upon him by the Jeep Club. He earned it. He did crunch a running board on a very harry obstacle.

All in all it was an exciting run.

We will make another trip up there next month, but will stick trails that we know.

Gerald really showed everyone there what an Explorer can do.

Now for Moab!

Rob Robertson
94 XLT 4X4 4 door
"It's an Explorer Thing, you wouldn't understand"

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Gerald "Jeep Eater",
You stud muffin you! Dead Link Removed
Pictures.... I want to see pictures!

Happy Wheelin'
Ray L.
97 XLT 4X4 4.0L SOHC

Heh heh heh....

OK, I posted on my "big tire thread" for a vote on pictures but I'll go ahead and get a roll developed.

I wanted to post a nice pretty picture for you of how my Explorer looks after all the mods, but I'm waiting 10 days for a running board to come in. It looks kinda naked right now. I'll post a "Whoops" picture here from right after the run. You'll have to use your imagination how it looks when I clean it back up and replace the running board. I've already cleaned it up and believe it or not that 3m foam pad polish got 95% of my trail pinstripes out from when we were busting out a new trail through the woods when we got lost. Thank God I put that brushguard on last week. Once I replace the running board this thing will look brand new! Unbelievable.

Rob, check out and read the different writeups on Clayton in the Trail Report section. I didn't realize just how big a deal "3 Stage" is; it's got quite a reputation. There's video of a rollover and all kinds of stuff on it. If I can figure out how to tackle it without sliding my left rear quarterpanel into the wall I know an Explorer can make it no problem. I don't think there's any way to clear the ledge with less than 33's. I had it and could have forced it, but just had to quit when I kept sliding left toward the rock wall. I still want to keep my paintjob if at all possible.

Ray, I don't have a website, so how do I get the picture on? Can I load them onto our ecircles site and then link to it? Is that how it's done?

------------------Figured it out. Here you go.....

Sorry for the quality of photos but it was a throwaway camera (my "x" got all the good stuff when we split). It's hard to tell what my Explorer looked like before the "Whoops" when the shopping cart banged into my running board at the mall when I was dropping the soccer team off at Oshman's...... Dead Link Removed

Anyway, here I am with a bunch of people all driving a bunch of the same vehicle. Mine's the one that looks different. Dead Link Removed


Here's when the shopping cart -- er, ah, well, here's the event as it really happened:


As usual the picture doesn't do justice to just how big a predicament I got myself in. Look closely at the true ground level in the middle of the trail below and behind the back of my vehicle and you can see that the photo is a kind of optical illusion; I was much higher up than a first glance at the photo would seem to indicate. My right rear tire was a couple feet up hugging and trying to grab the side edge of the right hand rock formation. My left side is WAY up there. That boulder that ate me came up to my hip bone. In my defense, this obstacle ate several J**ps also. And don't forget this was on the way back out... I actually made it through this obstacle going the other way! Yeah! As it has been said, this wasn't no "3" trail by this point....

After I get my new running board on I will post a permanent photo of "Jeepeater" all nice and pretty in my Explorer Registry entry.

"Nerves of Steel; Brain of Chipmunk"
'99 Eddie Bauer 4x4 4.0L SOHC-mods listed in my Explorer Registry post 7/8/99
Dead Link Removed "What the heck is he doing out here in that thing?"

[Edited by GJarrett on 01-13-2001 at 03:11 PM]

Gerald, ole' buddy,
That should work just fine

Happy Wheelin'
Ray L.
97 XLT 4X4 4.0L SOHC

I thought you said a rock? Thats a boulder ! Dead Link Removed The Eddie B looks real nice too. And yes !!!!! It sure LOOKS out of place with them j**ps. I said LOOKS out of place. Now I understand your signature. It should say Balls of steel Dead Link Removed

JJW, 92 xlt,4x4

What Gerald didn't mention was how good of a driver he was. It was a lot of skill that got him out of there with the small damage that he had.

Now for MOAB!!!!!!

Rob Robertson
94 XLT 4X4 4 door
"It's an Explorer Thing, you wouldn't understand"

Gerald - I must say I'm a bit disappointed. You gave up a weekend of getting stuck in a lot of mud in Kansas to go and beet the crap out of your running boards. Heh heh just kidding, looks awesome! Love that custom paint job! Can't wait to see it in Moab!

Matt Adams
94 Explorer 4-door nick-named "Tippy"

BOULDER??? That's a MOUNTAIN!!!! Gerald, you need a 7" lift to deal with stuff like that! I can definately see why you want some kind of skid plate ski type things on there. Let me know what you come up with. Dead Link Removed

Man, you've got a ton of rubber under there, though. Tires look real good, and I think that it looks great without the running boards. Those 265's I'm eyeing up suddenly seem too small. Maybe I'll wait until the lift comes out.

99 Sport 4x4
Auburn Rear & Gerald's old Shackles


Nice looking rig! Leave the running boards off, it looks better that way. Besides, two inches more ground clearance without them -- then it's a no brainer.

Sounds like Clayton is a good time. I'd like to come down sometime and check it out with you guys.

Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up.

91 4dr 5sp
5.5" Superlift
"Downhill is just uphill in the opposite direction"

Hey that's a sharp looking Jeep Eater!

Are you going to replace the running board with a stock piece or are you going to build some real "nerf" bars?

You seriously modified the shape of that board, that's for sure!

Rick Horwitz

I'm replacing it with a stock running board, but will have the left side skid plate under it this time to disperse the force of a hit like that. I had one on the right side that worked well during the trip but I didn't get finished on the left side, so now I'm paying for it.

I am leaning more and more toward removing them for Moab and doing the XLT lower molding/angle iron setup for that trip. I want those two extra inches of clearance when I take a serious wheelin' trip. I guess "Jeepeater" could be a town & country / show n' go setup where I usually have the running boards on but have the alternate setup to put on when I go on an offroad trip.

Hey G-
Like the rig! It is now the wallpaper on my computer screen, a very high and respectable honor. You should be proud. Dead Link Removed It took the place of a nice Early Bronco. One question, don't know if you touched on it or not, but did you do anything to compensate for the drop from the bumpers to the rest of the body? The reason I ask is because if you didn't, it looks really good (Ten times better than I imagined it would be). I was considering doing the job you did, seeing how there will probably never be a lift for us 95-97. My only concern was that there was no way to put the bumpers back at there original height (If they looked strange or ackward after doing a body lift) from the body. Blah blah blah, I'm sure you get the point I'm trying to make. Thank you for providing such hope and inspiration for us 95-00 Explorers who have no lift currently, and specifically us 95-97's who will never see one. Thanks ahead of time, and once again, it looks great!

Tim Y.
1996 Explorer XLT
4.0L OHV 4x4

Wow Tim I'm flattered. Be sure to check my Registry entry in a month or so when I get it back to new shape and post a permanent picture there.

I didn't do a thing to raise the bumpers, only extended the front one forward (as I explained on the tire thread to help clear the big tires). One inch is not that noticeable and I am very satisfied with the look. You can tell if you look at the pictures closely that there is indeed a one inch gap on both the front and rear bumper but I don't think it's that obvious at all.

The last picture shows the front gap at the junction of the front wheelwell where the gold trim stops one inch above the gold trim on the bumper. The brushguard kinda breaks it up visually though so it blends in fairly well.

The "whoops" picture clearly shows the rear bumper gapping down an inch. The trim fills in the gap though.

Hey guys what do you think about this. I think I have come up with a way to get a two inch body lift and lift your brush gaurd with it . I am putting the bumper brackets on and then slotting the bracket the brush gaurd go on all the way up witch is about an inch , to an inch in a half. So in the end the brush gaurd will sit about a half an inch lower, but it will look about like yours sits gerrald. What are you alls views on that.