Moab 2005- Page 1
Moab 2005 is still currently under construction (kinda like Chris's Jeep below), but getting closer to being completed.
The Mission Statement
Our mission started with Ed and Ryan wanting to haul their Jeeps out to Moab for some Winter rockcrawling. In the East it's called 4-Wheeling. But out West the terrain is much harder, so the speeds are slower to avoid damage to the Jeeps parts. Drive shafts, axles, hubs, gearsets (ring and pinions), U-joints, transmissions, clutches, transfer cases, hey the list goes on and on- are a few of the things that can break. So when you're way out in the desert- you crawl. That way you get back.
Anyways Ryan and Ed were getting all set for the big trip. About 8 days before the intended departure time- suddenly Ryan remembers that he still hadn't finished his independent study project that he needed to graduate college in the Spring. Then he decides to get married in 4 weeks. Then he remembers that his Jeep needs a transmission rebuild, a new rear axle and the front and rear differentials rebuilt. So lets see- Finish the project to graduate college, plan and organize a complete wedding in 4 weeks and completely overhaul the TJ in 8 days- that was a lot to remember.
So we go to plan-B. Completely overhaul Chris's Jeep in 8 days and have Ryan fly out after working on the project and planning the wedding. Wow- Koleen reallllly loves Ryan a lot.
Chris's 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee 8 days before we leave for Moab 2005. Chris replaced the current engine with one that had 100,000 miles. That's 104,000 miles less that the original. A quick valve job, reseal the intake manifold and bam, a great operating engine. The original transmission had a little too much underwater time in NY at a Jeep event this Spring so Chris opted to replace that too. After installing a shift improvement kit, it operated great also. Ed helped by installing new ring and pinions in the front and rear differentials, 4.88's, an excellent choice for rock crawling.
Our good buddy Matt helping Chris out with the valve job and intake manifold. Without his help we would have been underwater even more...
Chris installs the transmission with our new jack. Worked great. Hey why don't they build cars with all the parts on the top anyways?
Meanwhile Ed is getting the mobile shop ready. Our 31ft. Royal enclosed trailer was built special for the lifted vehicles by Joe McMenamen of the Tilton Trailer Outlet. He knew we were in a jam for the special trailer, and he really saved us. The trip would not have been possible without his help. The trailer was one foot taller and set up as a mobile workshop. 40,000 BTU heater, super sturdy workbench, 12 volt and 124 volt lighting, GFCI outlets, stereo, dual 29 series deepcycle batteries with dual battery switch, painted nonskid floor, storage compartments for parts and tools...
When loaded we ended up with about 1 inch between the 2 vehicles and 2 inches at the front and rear of the trailer. Whew- that was a close fit. This was after we removed the monstrous ARB bumper off the front of the Grand AND the 35 inch tire holder off the rear of the CJ. We had originally designed the trailer for 2 short wheelbase Jeeps- a CJ and a TJ.
Ya- it was pretty tight. But we strapped the two Jeeps down and nothing moved around for the 2340 mile trip (one way). On the return trip back to NH we tie-strapped a throwable boat cushion (PFD-4) between the Jeeps and then tensioned them as a unit. This worked even better in securing the load. We only gave the very rear straps a couple clicks for the return trip. The cushion worked great
As fate would have it... a storm blew in just as we were loading up. This made the whole process a bit harder.
Finally on the road !!!! The first loading of the trailer was excellent. We backed in the Grand so the engine was over the axles and then brought in the CJ engine first so that it was over the axles too. Look- level, the trailer and the Suburban. It trailered great cross-country. 65-70 mph was about warp speed. Here's Chris eating a Blizzard (Dairy Queen style) in a blizzard.
This is the road from about Chicago all the way to Denver where the Continental Divide starts. Thank God for XM radio, otherwise it'd be County and Western the entire way.
Warp speed over the Continental Divide was about 40-50 mph. The 8.1 L in the Suburban did good though. The transmission stayed cool and there were a bunch of other trailers heading over the pass that were slower. This started in the foot hills past Denver and ended after Vail Pass at about 10,500 ft. We tried to stay away from these emergency runaway truck ramps.