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On June 15th, 2002, we met several Jeepers from the Quadratec BB system. The catch is, we met them in central Indianna. After a short night prior, we travelled to The Badlands Offroad Park. We had a decent time riding the trials. While I cannot recall which trail we actualy ran... all i did was follow the leader... I can say that the trip proved that the conversion was a true success. The ZJ had been converted for over a year by then. It just had not had it's leggs stretched.
This trip was conducted with the ZJ in it's initial setup. It was running an approximate 3" lift. I had the 2" BB by Extreme Engineering, and a pair of 2" TJ coils... which only added 1" on my heavier ZJ, and the stocl 2wd coils on back, which still only gave me 1" more. We were sitting on 31-1.50 ProComp M/Ts. The ZJ did very well, I though. With the exception that the trail we ran had a lot of breakover hills. My long wheelbase caused me to high-center a couple of times. One I got off of. The other, I got strapped down by a chick in front of me... my memory escapes me of the BB name.... but she should know who she id. ;-). With the exception of ripping the tow hitch from the "frame" on a staicase and the nerve-wrecking activity of negitiating around a tree in the middle of a creekbed... up the bank... side-hill... it was a fun outing. I still think we drove the farthest. PB2 has family there. We drove there for the offroad trip alone. We had no other reason to be there.
On June 24th, 2003 I landed in Moab, Utah in the ZJ. Last summer we went to Attica, Indianna and rode at The Badlands Offroad park... tearing the towhitch off of the ZJ and damaging the frame... again. Now, with 2.5" more lift and proper skid plating I felt we were ready to take on Poison Spider.
Promptly upon our arrival, we set up camp at the KOA n Moab. The place was pretty decent with shade trees and a good sized pool. The staff was nice... except for one pissy maintenance guy who thought he was the "king" or something. Other than him, the place was great and accomodated a minor conflict in plans for us.
We decided to take the ZJ up Poison Spider first thing. We drove out to the trail where I aired down and disconnected the sway bar. I also crawled over the right front tire and locked the front axle in. Man.. I have GOT to do something about that. Anyway, up we went. Unless I failed to mention earlier, I had received the new set of Doesch Tech DT3000 shocks the DAY BEFORE we left for this trip. Man... do they ride niiice. Thier improvements showed on the trail as well. The rocky trail was taken up with little trouble. I found that the rumors were in fact true. Most "hard" obstacles on the trail had an easy bypass. I found one that I wanted to try. It was a incline, which coming from the sart, is a DEcline, but I took the bypass and circled back and went up it. No problem. Turned around and went down... and decided that UP was waaay better than down. The BFGs tended to slide a litle on the rocks for some reason. Gravity...???...
We continued on and found the trail easy going. We came to a obstacle with a very steep incline to the right, near verticle, that eased off to the left leaving a bypass that was steep, but 2-wheel-drivable. I got set up and picked a line that caused the ARB to hit, slide up and continue on up with no trouble. I went back around and got the ZJ set up for Lori... on what I THOUGHT was the same line... but wasn't. When Lori got in, she started off and couldn't judge how close she was and hit the rock clanging the ARB like a bell. She backed around a little and took a slightly less-steep line and drove right up. The amount od adhesion on the slickrock is amazing.
On up we went.. and found ourselves at this obstacle, which I took pics of on the way back down. There is no bypass, and the right line is essential for open-diff vehicles such as ours. I had it wrong to begin with, but the line to the right proved good.
The views from the trail are wonderful.. for us flat-landers, and we took lots of pictures of the kids. I will probably not take our kids back there again. I knew they would be trouble trying to "get a good view" at the ledges and cliffs. They got a week's worth of bottom-busters in one day. Boys... (aaarrrgh!!) We rode Poison Spider up to the "Little Arch" at which point we turned and came down.
Thanks to Ed and his family for the company!
Our time at Moab was cut VERY short. We went to Arches Nat. Park the second day then left. Bummer. I'll be baaack. :-)
We Left Moab and went to the Grand Canyon. It was okay.. not that great for me. It was VERY expensive out there. 1 gallon of gas was $2.29!! Can you believe that crap?! Anyway, we did one day of that, hit a Geocache and left. Here's a pic of one of the kids holding the cache.
A couple of more..
This was a very short run-down of our trip to Moab and the Grand Canyon. June, 2003.
The ZJ was used driven in a competion, called RAID NORTH GEORGIA, which was a 1st ever event, combined Time-Speed-Distance "rally", land nav, offroad event and other "tests". The details are HERE.
After blowing the cobwebs out of the ZJ, I prepped it for another trip to Moab. There was alot to do.... and it was a steady run of work to get ready. New onboard air... new locker.. new limited slip... the details? Theres too much to go on about it here. Check out the MOAB 2006 PAGE.