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Old 10-24-2012, 05:48 PM   #1
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Graduated, Mall to Rubicon

Well, I finally had the opportunity to get off the porch and run with the big dogs. I rode passenger in a Jeep, about fifteen years ago. I was invited by a Jeep group to go with them 12, 13 and 14 Oct. All were veterans of the Rubicon and run it several times a year.

On this run, at the last minute, my spotter/passenger had to cancel. So, that left me to run without a spotter and/or passenger. It was bad enough having to hold my beer between my legs, but tougher maneuvering through the rocks. It also made it difficult to take photos, with no action shots of my Samurai.

We went in at Loon Lake, and camped at Spider Lake. A couple of the Jeep guys know one of the owners of Spider Lake. The owner (retired) came by a couple of times to BS. He was a real nice guy.

With one exception, we had no major incidents. My primary mentor was an 18 year Rubicon veteran. He is six months younger than me, with many 4x4 years of experience. He was following me, and rolled on the southern bypass at the Little Sluice. I posted a couple of photos on this thread http://www.zukikrawlers.com/showthread.php?t=49105, on post number 11. Neither he nor his passenger were hurt, bent the roll bar a little, and tweaked the spring hangers. He finished the run, including part of the highway home (Placerville). He had his Jeep towed on a flatbed from Ice House.

I was cheered by onlookers at the Little Sluice, when I made it up the bypass. Along the way, I received several encouraging comments on my Zuks performance, including amazement I made it with 30-inch tires. When we got to our camp site, several of the Jeep guys in our group came over to me and stated they were truly impressed. My first run, with a Samurai, my Samurais maiden trip after being built, no shotgun, no spotter, no breakdown, no dents in the sheet metal, no paint scratches on my rock sliders and no winch or strap needed. A couple of guys said they just knew the 30-inch tires were going to need a strap, and were super impressed they did not.

I don't know that I am qualified to say how tough the trail is, at least using the 1 to 10 rating. I can only compare it to the Mall and a few forest roads. I guess I could say it was a 1, simply because I did not break down, did no body damage, only had lockers in the rear, no spotter and 30-inch tires and even though I did bypass the Little Sluice, I made it to Spider Lake. However, I really used the underside of my Rock Sliders, full Skid Plate and Diff Pipe Caps. They took a real licking. I did not Poop my paints, probably because my butt was so sucked up Poop could not get through. Somehow, I did dent my fuel can. Sure would have been nice to have had a spotter.

On the return trip, about 1/4 mile from Loon Lake, I did need a winch to pull me back about 6 to 12 inches. I high centered on my full skid, and hit my front diff cap on a rock preventing forward travel. The front tires were just over a ledge with little traction, and the rear tires not touching enough for traction. Lockers in front may have been all that was required. A spotter would have avoided the rock. Perhaps more experience on my part would have avoided the rock. Oh well. a Jeep behind me winched me back 6 to 12 inches, and I had the traction I needed. This same Jeep was winched up the bypass.

When I got to the highway, I discovered I broke my Panhard Bar mount on the driver side frame connection, someplace on the trail. I forgot how much improvement in road manors the Panhard made. Fortunately, it was not a major issue crawling in the rocks. I do think with the steering not being as tight, it could have contributed to my hanging up on that rock. When I got home, I re-welded the mount and added a gusset.

There were a couple places I would have been more comfortable with an EXO cage. They were narrow, and off camber enough the top of my Zuki would hit a rock or tree before my Rock Sliders. Fortunately, I had no problem.

I was packed for two people: food for three days, 6-gal water, all cooking stuff plus stove, and 5-gal of gas. I was only minus one sleeping bag, tent and clothes for the second person. I also had tools, spare alt, right and left rear axles (without backing plates), spare EFI parts in ammo can, U-joints, belts, hoses, air compressor, jumper cables, clutch cable, 48 cans of beer, and a fifth of whiskey. Without me or passengers, my Samurai weighed 3,400 pounds, with 1,580 on front axle, and 1,820 on the rear axle. After my return and unloaded, my total weight was 2,980 pounds, with 1,580 on front axle, and 1,400 on the rear axle. That translates into 420 pounds of gear, all on the rear axle.

With 420 pounds of gear, all on the rear axle, it pretty much bottomed out on my bump stops. If it caused any problem, I am not aware of it. I have 5-leaf springs, so I will add a sixth spring.

My Samurai met all of my expectations, including the Maxima rear calipers with e-brake, and my rear Locker. My rig is as stated in my signature. I also used my TentCot for the first time. It was great.

Not many photos, but below are a couple.


Wayne
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 028 zk1.jpg (109.5 KB, 198 views)
File Type: jpg 043 zk2.jpg (96.4 KB, 198 views)
File Type: jpg 050 zk3.jpg (119.1 KB, 198 views)
File Type: jpg 061 zk4.jpg (138.5 KB, 199 views)
File Type: jpg 081 zk5.jpg (138.8 KB, 199 views)
File Type: jpg 098 zk6.jpg (105.8 KB, 199 views)
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:15 PM   #2
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Very Cool!!!! Cool write up and pictures!!! Unfortunately, no pictures with your rig in them. But I know how that is.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for viewing JPR Ram.

My only disappointment was no one in the group took any photos. I have so many questions that photos would have answered. No one in our group ever saw any occasion that I had less than four wheels touching the ground. They said only on one occasion did my Missing Links open, and then about half way, That was when going up the Little Sluice south bypass.

Although photos are great, I really do not think they could do the Rubicon justice.

Wayne
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'91 EFI, DD, Hardtop, Partial EXO, A/C, Warn 8000 winch, 100 AMP GM Alt, Toy Celica P/S, TT YJ SPOA M/L, 5-leaf YJ, DT 8000 shocks, TT Knuckle Over Steering, Mighty Kong, 6.5 TC, Evil Twins, TT Full Skid Plate, Diff Guards, Fuel Tank Skid, Rock Sliders, Anti-Wrap Bar w/Axle Truss, Panhard Bar, Cooper SST - 30x9.5x15, 8" wide 2-1/2" BS wheels, Maxima rear Disc w/ebrake, rear locker, Thumb Throttle, CB Radio, towed 4 down








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Old 10-25-2012, 12:29 AM   #4
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great trip and nice pictures ! I like the little gray rig,pretty fair looking rig. glad you got to go and have a good time man. looks like your front bumper worked out pretty well on your rig,looks nice.
how's the tent cot work out and what weight are they rated for ? was it comfortable ?


this is the one I've been looking into.

http://www.benmeadows.com/kamp-rite-...121025052935:s
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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Good stuff Wayne! Appreciate the write up on your experience and glad to here you made it without any major problems!
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Thanks dadstoybox

I did not have the opportunity to inspect the Gray Samurai, or talk to the owner. The Zuk appeared to be well done, and from what I could see a four link coil spring setup. Overall, I could see nothing that was not well done. It looked as though it has been around a while, but it was not beat up in any way that I could see. The driver followed the led of his spotter, and was not a throttle jockey. Very little wheel spin, and had to reposition (different line) a couple of times. Judging how excited he was after he got through, I am guessing it was his first time.

I am real pleased I had the opportunity to go. The Jeep guys were all great and very friendly. All though we had a couple of beer stops on the trail, nothing at all serious. After setting up camp, then the party was on. Not one vehicle from our group went out Friday night, Saturday or Saturday night. It was not even discussed, just did not happen. I was impressed with the self control.

My front bumper did not fall off, that was good. Actually it only got a couple of paint scratches on the underside. I never needed the jack, that was also good. I thought I would have issues with its departure angle, but I did not. I do plan on raising it up about two inches, and move it back about one inch. I don't know that it needs it, but I think it will look better.

I really like the tent cot. I am 6-foot, about 240 pounds, and had no issues at all. I did a lot of research and read many forums before I bought mine. I ruled out the Cabela early on, I forgot the reasons. I have plenty of room for my clothes, sleeping and pillow. Most importantly, I found it to be comfortable, as is, with no added air mattress or foam. That will certainly be a personal decision. It got very cold. All closed up, I did get a lot of condensation inside. The alternative is to allow more vent and cold. I have the oversize, specs say supports Weight Rating in excess of 350 lbs, Dimensions: 90"L x 40"H x 32"W. Folded: 34"L x 34"W x 8"D. Weighs 24 lbs. The advertised dimensions are very inconsistent. I think mine actually measured 36"x32"x6" thk, out of the box and in its carry bag. It does fit in my Zuki. I used the Tent Cot right out of the box, just threw my sleeping bag and clothes in. I did put a tarp under the cot, so my feet did not track dirt in.

They do have them for kids also. For adults, they have the regular, oversize and double. The reviews I read said the regular was too small length and width. The double has a bar down the middle, and presents issues for a single person. The oversize got the best reviews. I decided that even if it cost more money, I would go with two Tent Cots before I went with the double. That bar and its big size turned me away. I question you could get the double (45 x 12 x 12) in a Zuki. I think you would have to put it on top, and at 44 pounds, pretty heavy to put overhead.

I do not know if the rain fly is included, but, this double is about $150 each. Not a good customer support review:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...=31-43688485-2



I do have some photos of a Samurai with the tent cot on top, closed and folded out. If anyone is interested I will post them.

Wayne
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:18 PM   #7
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Thanks jplasse. It was a great trip, and I learned a lot. I am excited that everything on my Zuki performed as planned, the first time out. I was, and am, amazed at what the Samurai can do. There were several rigs on the trail that were broken, for what ever reason. I kinda think if you hash stuff and/or a throttle Jockey, you will break pretty easy. I did underestimate my Panhard Bar mount. I think it takes a lot of thought to build a street legal DD machine on 30-inch tires that can run a trail like the Rubicon. Even after the changes, it is not a Shopping Mall.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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I have been using a tent cot for over 10 years. I use it when we camp on the trail. Love it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:23 PM   #9
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I've had a tent cot since before it was in production and available to the public. I picked it up at a little outdoor expo directly from the owner and inventor. It's already been stated, but condensation and the cold are its two biggest issues. Without any insulation under you, it tends to get mighty chilly. There have been several improvements over the prototype. I have torn and repaired several straps and my frame is a bit tweaked. Its biggest upside is convenience. It is about perfect for a trip like the OP took or quick hunting/camping trips....But I must say, it can be rather difficult to extricate yourself after a few too many silver sodas
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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igofshn - Which size do you have, Original, Oversize or Double? Do you carry it in the back of your Zuki, or on top?


HumboldtZuk, I just kind of fall out of mine feet first.

One of the guys said he never counts on his tents to keep him warm, just dry. He said his sleeping bag's job is to keep him warm. My bag was warm, and my PJs was a Snowmobile suit, so no problem getting cold, except for my feet the first night. The second night my feet each had a sleeve of a sweat shirt.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:04 PM   #11
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Awesome thread!
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:50 PM   #12
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Nice trip! Sounds like you had a blast!

And showed them heepers a thing or two bout zuks
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #13
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36Fan - Thanks, I do wish I had more photos. I do have some, but they are pretty much the same as those I posted. I will say, I do not think the photos do the trail justice.


talonxracer - I think my Zuk gained a lot of respect, especially with the 30-inch tires. I am still willing to argue, bigger tires (than 30") are not worth the trade off, unless you have a special need. I did hit one rock, with my front diff, that would not allow me to go forward. The rock was positioned in such a way with my front tires were over a small ledge, a taller tire would not have helped. Maybe a 38" would have.

I definitely had a good time.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:59 PM   #14
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Reddog1, you did us proud! I did the Rubi back in '96, when all I had was a 4:16:1 TC,
1 1/2 inch Rancho springs and a rear locker, and BFG 30" mudders. The only problem I had was the Little Sluice, as you made your way around the can opener rock, about 1/2 way thru.

We also did Ersheim Creek Trail and that was more difficult that the Rubi, I thought.

My local club went last year, but sadly, I wasn't able to make it. I really want to do it again while I am still able.

I was with an old CJ5, 3 4-Runners, new and old, and an old Bronco. They were all pretty amazed I did OK.

Nowadays, it takes a complete newbie to wheeling to not know the Zuk's capabilities.
I really love when we go out with some new kids in the club with Rubis and what not
and they can't always follow me, but I can follow them.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
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Without a doubt, I was very pleased with my Zuk. I personally put it together from stock. The mods are TT, with a couple of exceptions. This was the first time it has been on something serious. It also had an inexperienced 69 year young driver (me). It did not embarrass the Zuk world, in any way.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddog1 View Post
This was the first time it has been on something serious. It also had an inexperienced 69 year young driver (me).

So NOW you'll be even MORE bit!


'the crawlin' coot'



Congrats, Wayne!
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:33 PM   #17
Reddog1
 
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Thanks ecoast.

Considering my Zuk is black and white, I have considered naming it "A Pepe-Le-Pew Limo". So, the driver would be "the crawlin coot'".
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'91 EFI, DD, Hardtop, Partial EXO, A/C, Warn 8000 winch, 100 AMP GM Alt, Toy Celica P/S, TT YJ SPOA M/L, 5-leaf YJ, DT 8000 shocks, TT Knuckle Over Steering, Mighty Kong, 6.5 TC, Evil Twins, TT Full Skid Plate, Diff Guards, Fuel Tank Skid, Rock Sliders, Anti-Wrap Bar w/Axle Truss, Panhard Bar, Cooper SST - 30x9.5x15, 8" wide 2-1/2" BS wheels, Maxima rear Disc w/ebrake, rear locker, Thumb Throttle, CB Radio, towed 4 down








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