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Discussion Starter · #621 · (Edited)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

E-LOCKER SKID DAMAGE

When I bought my Inchworm E-Locker Skid, it was certainly the most esoteric of my armor. Did I ever thing a big rock would get up there and smash the e-locker motor?

No.

However, it appears as though it took some damage on a recent trip to Arizona while crossing some washed out stream banks in the snow. The approach angles were brutal, the rocks were covered with snow, it was all but impossible to see the road because of a blanket of newly fallen snow.

When I got back from the trip I noticed some leakage. I feared damage to the rear differential seal. Upon closer inspection, the Inchworm armor was bent about an inch (life imitates art) and the powdercoat was scraped off. The same was true of the back of my beefy Budbuilt gas tank skid. It seems as though the gasket leaking is the e-locker motor gasket. No doubt from the hit. It's not a heavy leak, but even a drip out of place sends me into orbit.

So put one in the plus column for the Inchworm E-Locker Motor Skid.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Damn, I thought the same thing when I bought my Inch Worm E-Locker Skid, I thought yeh, it's cool looking, but do I really need any protection up that high inside there?...I doubted it...Until now....Wow, I'm glad to hear you DID have one in place, otherwise you would have knocked out your locker....Needless to say, I'm now glad I do have the Inch worm locker skid, I guess it's not as esoteric as I thought it was.

The hit probably really torqued the bolts of the electronic locker, maybe even bent or sheared one off loosening the locker gasket to get that drip.

I'll be interested to hear how it plays out, make sure you post up what you find out buddy, and thanks for posting this. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #623 · (Edited)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

The hit probably really torqued the bolts of the electronic locker, maybe even bent or sheared one off loosening the locker gasket to get that drip.

I'll be interested to hear how it plays out, make sure you post up what you find out buddy, and thanks for posting this. :)
The bolts are ok. It was just a hard impact and I'm VERY happy for the armor plate.

The price of the E-Locker Motor Gasket is $3.00 so the repair did not break the bank. The gasket was TRASHED as a result of the impact. Better to have armor than not to have armor.

I am going to cut off (and round off) the lower outside/driver's side portion of the Inchworm E-Locker Motor Skid in order to repair the damage & rattle can it to keep the rust out. If I had a blacksmith's forge I could have more fun with it, but simple will work just fine in this case.

The right front uni-bearing went today as well and needs to be replaced. There is a price to be paid for running the expedition vehicle on expeditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #624 · (Edited)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)



DEATH VALLEY EXPEDITION
March 7-8-9, 2008​

My co-pilot/son-in-law and I stayed at the Longstreet Inn (hotel/casino) in the Amargosa Valley on Thursday night. Think of two steps below a Motel 6 and you're in the ball park -- however they do the local weddings there and since it's right across the Nevada State Line, there's no blood test and no waiting.


TARGA88 came all the way from Alberta, Canada to make the run with us. Colin was a great addition to the group!


Left to Right: OLIVER, POKERDAWG, (max-the-pit bull), MIKESCRUISER. A brief interlude while air hisses from the tires.


Entering Death Valley from the East on the road to Chloride Cliffs.


You never know who you're going to meet in the deep desert. Here at a cross-roads in the (literal) middle of nowhere is STHARRIS who drove all night to make the run.


MRSNEVADAESH emerges from a mine-shack


OLIVER explores a mine, hoping to find an overlooked nugget.


JESHUA and CROZHAWK ponder whether nor not they can use the wire mesh protecting the unwary from an abyss as a trampoline.


A shot from above the mine shack of some of the rigs.


The Scorpion climbs toward Chloride Cliffs.


There are no words to describe the view from Chloride Cliffs. It was spectacular. We ate lunch there and sucked in the view. Again - no words and I'm sure POKERDAWG (our staff photographer) will post better photos, but I don't know that they'll do the view justice. Those who have been at the Top of the World on the Kokopelli Trail will know what I'm talking about.


After we descended from Chloride Cliffs we were all low on fuel and we drove to the friendly town of Beatty, Nevada only to find that the local brothel was closed.


We re-entered Death Valley through Titus Canyon. One of our first stops was Ledfield, a ghost town. We marveled that anyone would travel to Death Valley to mine lead for a living.


JESHUA at Leadfield.


Titus Canyon is worth the trip to Death Valley if you do nothing else there. It was another spot where you are left speechless.


CROZHAWK's Uber 4-Runner in Titus Canyon


JESHUA under an overhand in Titus Canyon.

We ended up camping near the end of the world. I say near because it wasn't "the end" but you could see it from where we camped. I know others have photos of the camp. We drove into the desert and lagered the FJ's. As usual, one of the best parts of any camping trip is sitting around the fire. POKERDAWG and OLIVER tried to convince me to eat a balut (fermented fertile duck's egg) but I declined. :cowsmile:


Once we'd eaten breakfast, we broke camp and drove to Scotty's Castle there in Death Valley. The 32,000-square-foot compound was built in 1927 by Albert Johnson, a wealthy Chicago insurance executive, who constructed Death Valley Ranch for his health. How Johnson's ranch came to be called Scotty's Castle, is a tribute to Walter E. Scott, who during a lifetime of shameless self-promotion, hustling and swindling, came to be known as Death Valley Scotty.


While we were there at Scotty's Castle, minding our own business, the UBER FJ showed up with AIR2AIR at the wheel and his son, James as co-pilot.


Just down the road from Scotty's castle is Ubehebe Crater. NEVADAESH walks his faithful hound in front of the crater. The Ubehebe Crater system contains several volcanic craters, cinder cones and ash hills, which are relics from an explosive steam eruption about 2,000 years ago. Rising magma met an underground lake and BOOM - Ubehebe crater is formed. The crater is very colorful with variegated, buckled strata around its sides and grey-black ash on the rim.


Teakettle Junction on the way to The Racetrack.


The Racetrack


TARGA88, CROZHAWK, AIR2AIR/James, STHARRIS and NEVADAESH wait for a rock to move.


TARGA88 photographs a rock while JESHUA looks on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #625 · (Edited)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Some of POKERDAWG's photos of the Death Valley run:


FJ Cruisers freaking RULE!!!


MrsMIKESCRUISER, Nevadaesh and Uphill


STHarris and Uphill at Chloride Canyon


Jeshua feeding the rig


MIKESCRUISER


STHarris making the climb to Chloride Cliff View



The Scorpion @ Chloride Cliff View



The view for lunch at Chloride Cliff


Nevadaesh's Rig


Getting gas and air at Beatty


Crozhawk's built 4Runner


Leadville


Targa88 @ Titus Canyon


The view for Friday night camping


Ubehebe Volcanic Crater on Saturday


Racetrack


Saturday night at Panamint Springs



 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)



Reserved for MRII Mojave Road: Needles to Barstow
April 5-6, 2008​
This design is my favorite so now you can add "Artist" to

Poet, Warrior, Proud Father, Adventurer.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #629 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Yes this is a shameless plug - and I'm not often impressed - but TARGA88 hit on something. There we are in Death Valley and he trots out a very unique camp stove.


He cooked his dinner on four charcoal briquettes.

Cobb, a South African company found that there wasn't much fuel available for cooking when they were in the bush and came up with this system.

The Cobb Premier can be disassembled into a few key components, all Stainless steel, making it easy to place in a dishwasher or clean by hand. The outer casting will never get hot, even if the temperature inside is above 450 degrees (so if the kids get curious, they won't get their fingers toasted).
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Very Cool trip, wish I could have been there....Chaulk up another trip I miss out on..:(

The pics are great Larry and your story telling is awesome as ever buddy. :)
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Yes this is a shameless plug - and I'm not often impressed - but TARGA88 hit on something. There we are in Death Valley and he trots out a very unique camp stove.


He cooked his dinner on four charcoal briquettes.

Cobb, a South African company found that there wasn't much fuel available for cooking when they were in the bush and came up with this system.

The Cobb Premier can be disassembled into a few key components, all Stainless steel, making it easy to place in a dishwasher or clean by hand. The outer casting will never get hot, even if the temperature inside is above 450 degrees (so if the kids get curious, they won't get their fingers toasted).
The Cobb is a great piece of equipment. I had one up until last summer, when it was stolen/lost from one of our camping trips. I hope to pick up another one before this season starts.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Yes this is a shameless plug - and I'm not often impressed - but TARGA88 hit on something. There we are in Death Valley and he trots out a very unique camp stove.


He cooked his dinner on four charcoal briquettes.

Cobb, a South African company found that there wasn't much fuel available for cooking when they were in the bush and came up with this system.

The Cobb Premier can be disassembled into a few key components, all Stainless steel, making it easy to place in a dishwasher or clean by hand. The outer casting will never get hot, even if the temperature inside is above 450 degrees (so if the kids get curious, they won't get their fingers toasted).
I second that.

The Cobb was sweet. If the foil dinners don't work out for me I will be picking up one of these thats for sure.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Thanks for the DV report Larry. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #634 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Thanks for the DV report Larry. :)
My pleasure, Tony. This was an ideal run in many ways for the FJ Cruiser:
  • The group of nine FJC's was manageable. It took longer for nine FJ's than it would have for one to complete the same course, but it's more fun with great company.
  • The route that NEVADAESH selected for the group wasn't challenging but it was definitely the "road-less-traveled".
    (note: Taking a challenging rock crawl in such a remote place where damage might be expected is -- pardon the word -- stupid. The nearest tow truck was a day's drive, maybe more from the more remote legs of the journey. There is no cell service in Death Valley. Extraction is a 3 day problem.)
  • The weather was Death Valley perfect. Making this run in the summer would have offered a number of challenges to both men and machine IMO.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

My pleasure, Tony. This was an ideal run in many ways for the FJ Cruiser:
  • The group of nine FJC's was manageable. It took longer for nine FJ's than it would have for one to complete the same course, but it's more fun with great company.
  • The route that NEVADAESH selected for the group wasn't challenging but it was definitely the "road-less-traveled".
    (note: Taking a challenging rock crawl in such a remote place where damage might be expected is -- pardon the word -- stupid. The nearest tow truck was a day's drive, maybe more from the more remote legs of the journey. There is no cell service in Death Valley. Extraction is a 3 day problem.)
  • The weather was Death Valley perfect. Making this run in the summer would have offered a number of challenges to both men and machine IMO.
so, if i'm hearing you correctly, the next DV run will be coming up prior to the Mojave trip? :clap:
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

My pleasure, Tony. This was an ideal run in many ways for the FJ Cruiser:

  • (note: Taking a challenging rock crawl in such a remote place where damage might be expected is -- pardon the word -- stupid. The nearest tow truck was a day's drive, maybe more from the more remote legs of the journey. There is no cell service in Death Valley. Extraction is a 3 day problem.)
That's always a major concern for me. Since I'm limited on what I can do on the trail in terms of repairs and actual replacement parts available, I'm leary of anything close to a moderate challenge when I'm far and away. As you know, stupid things can happen on simple trails. There's no point to tempt fate on the more difficult stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #637 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

THOUGHTS ON PLANNING A TRAIL RUN/EVENT

When I bought my FJ Cruiser, I never imagined the level of social interaction it would provide or the great people I'd meet with similar interests. I've managed a few things in my life, more recently FJC events and wanted so share my perspective on planning pitfalls for what it's worth.

7 P's
Prior
Proper
Planning
Prevents
Pi$$
Poor
Performance

(1) TIME
  • Allow time from the date you announce the event until the event takes place for others to schedule the event.
  • Give yourself enough lead time so that you can do what you need to do in order to prepare for the trail event.
  • Watch the weather and don't be afraid to cancel the event if the weather is unfavorable in the extreme. Flash floods, blizzards, etc. ruin the event.

(2) PRE-RUN
  • If you haven't run all of the trail(s) recently, you need to do it before you lead a group/groups of people down them because trees fall, rain washes areas out and the condition of the trail might be different than when you last ran it.
  • Pre-select spots for lunch/breaks/camping areas.
  • It takes 10 rigs a lot longer to cover a distance than it does for you to do it alone. Take that into account when planning your day.

(3) PAPERWORK
  • Almost all national parks and many national forest areas require a permit and prior approval for a large group. We're back to "time" again because you'll need to apply and receive written permission for your event well in advance.
  • There are horror stories of other groups organizing events, getting "verbal" permission from the local rangers, only to be shut down when they showed up because of some communication glitch. Take the time, pull the paperwork, pay the fee and nobody can shut you down.
  • If you're on private land, there might be a hold-harmless agreement the owner will want you to sign. If you're doing that, I suggest that you provide a copy of that agreement with all participants and have them sign it as well at the beginning of the trip.

(4) GEAR (better to have and not need than need and not have)
  • Large First Aid Kit - if you are taking a large group, you should have a large first aid kit with YOU. If you don't know how to use it, either have somebody present who can or take a class. Yes, everybody with an FJC should have their own, but it might not include SAM casts and other preparations for problems that you might encounter.
  • Insure that there is recovery gear present with the group and that they/you know how to use it.
  • Issue guidelines (if needed) as to the level of sleeping bag required, etc. for the event.

(5) TREAD LIGHTLY - Practice trail conservation and pay attention to fire danger regulations locally.

(6) FUN - Work to plan the event so that everyone participating has fun. That's why we go on runs. Don't expect stock FJC's to tackle horrible trails that require full armor. Help the newbies to tackle the trip and make sure that the environment is conducive to "fun".
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Good stuff. The time aspect is very important and I've seen a lot of run get ruined because people weren't given enough time to respond, prepare, or schedule. Thanks.
 

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Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Yes this is a shameless plug - and I'm not often impressed - but TARGA88 hit on something. There we are in Death Valley and he trots out a very unique camp stove.

He cooked his dinner on four charcoal briquettes.

Cobb, a South African company found that there wasn't much fuel available for cooking when they were in the bush and came up with this system.

The Cobb Premier can be disassembled into a few key components, all Stainless steel, making it easy to place in a dishwasher or clean by hand. The outer casting will never get hot, even if the temperature inside is above 450 degrees (so if the kids get curious, they won't get their fingers toasted).
Ah cool, thanks Larry. I was looking for this on Cabelas, and couldn't remember who Collin said made it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #640 ·
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)



I disconnected and removed THE TUFFY BOX (pictured on the forward part of my rack) from The Scorpion today and I'm not sure whether or not I will ever put it back on. I guess time will tell.

There are some small design issues that I may try and correct in my garage/shop that I made Tuffy aware of in a phone call a couple of months ago. My problem is not with the manufacturing quality of the box so much as it is with some overall (larger) design issues that I can't fix that deal with accessibility on the trail.

Perhaps I'll put it on for the anticipated British Columbia Expedition, but at the moment -- I doubt it.
 
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